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Your Instagram Stories may not actually be disappearing after 24 hours — at least one company has been quietly saving them (FB)

Thursday August 8 th 2019

woman on phoneRich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

  • A marketing company has been quietly saving millions of people’s Instagram Stories.
  • The revelations are a reminder that information people post on the internet may end up getting used in ways they never imagined.
  • After being alerted by Business Insider, Instagram has booted the offending company off its platform.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Your Instagram Stories might not be as temporary as you think they are.

On Wednesday, Business Insider revealed that a company you’ve probably never heard of has been quietly scraping millions of Instagram users’ data, including saving their Stories. The revelation is a stark reminder that the things you post publicly on social networks can be misappropriated and stored by strangers indefinitely, regardless of your intentions.

So what happened? Hyp3r, a marketing firm from San Francisco, has been illicitly pulling data from the Facebook-owned app and website about its users. It has “geofenced” thousands of locations around the world — bars, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, gyms, and so on — and then systematically saved all public posts from these locations, as well as information about the people posting there. 

This even includes Instagram Stories — a format of post for images and videos that are supposed to automatically disappear after 24 hours. Instead, they were hoovered by Hyp3r and then used to assemble intimate pictures of people’s movements, their habits, and the businesses they frequent.

Does this mean your Instagram Stories were affected?

It’s possible. But it’s important to note that only Stories that were posted from and tagged with a specific location — for example, if you took a selfie and tagged your favorite restaurant — were captured by Hyp3r. The firm zeroed in on specific locations and harvested all the Instagram Stories emanating from there, but it was not tapping into the overall firehose of Stories that get shared on Instagram. 

And of course, this only applies to Stories that were shared publicly. If your account is set to private, you don’t have to worry. 

Sources told Business Insider that Hyp3r sucks up in excess of 1 million Instagram posts a month. It’s not clear what proportion of those are traditional posts versus Stories.

On Thursday the Irish Data Protection Commission told Business Insider it was looking into the issue to determine whether any EU subjects were affected — a possibility that seems very likely, according to Business Insider’s sources.

What do Instagram and Hyp3r say?

The data scrapping violates Instagram’s policies, but Instagram didn’t notice for a year (until Business Insider informed the company). Instead, it actually lauded Hyp3r as a “Facebook Marketing Partner,” even as Hyp3r took advantage of a vulnerability in Instagram’s systems that made accessing this data easier.

Hyp3r meanwhile, has denied wrongdoing, arguing that all the data was public and legitimately accessed, and that it believes it abides by all relevant privacy laws and social network terms of service. Instagram has disagreed, accusing Hyp3r of violating its rules, and has kicked the company off its platform and issued it with a cease and desist.

But Hyp3r is almost certainly not the only organization out there using technology to quietly scrape people’s social networking activity and creating a detailed profiles of people. The fact that Instagram wasn’t able to detect and prevent this kind of automated scrapping is an embarrassing failing on its part.

In short, the revelations highlight how Instagram and Facebook are still struggling to protect users’ data, more than a year after it was rocked by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. And it demonstrates that posts people make with the understanding they are ephemeral may, unbeknownst to them, be quietly collected by companies and put to uses that they never imagined.

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Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Declares Third Quarter 2019 Preferred Share Dividends

OAKVILLE, ON, Aug. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – Algonquin Power Utilities Corp. (“APUC”) (TSX: AQN, AQN.PR.A, AQN.PR.D)(NYSE: AQN, AQNA) announced today that the Board of Directors of APUC has declared the following preferred share dividends:

  • C$0.32263 per Preferred Share, Series A, payable in cash on September 30, 2019 to Preferred Share, Series A holders of record on September 13, 2019, for the period from June 30, 2019 to, but excluding, September 30, 2019.
  • C$0.31819 per Preferred Share, Series D, payable in cash on September 30, 2019 to Preferred Share, Series D holders of record on September 13, 2019, for the period from June 30, 2019 to, but excluding, September 30, 2019.
  • Pursuant to the Income Tax Act (Canada) and corresponding provincial legislation, APUC hereby notifies its Series A Preferred Shareholders and its Series D Preferred Shareholders that such dividends declared qualify as eligible dividends.

    About Algonquin Power Utilities Corp.

    APUC is a diversified international generation, transmission and distribution utility with approximately U.S.$10 billion of total assets. Through its two business groups, APUC is committed to providing safe, reliable and cost effective rate-regulated natural gas, water, and electricity generation, transmission and distribution utility services to nearly 800,000 connections in the United States and Canada, and is a global leader in renewable energy through its portfolio of long-term contracted wind, solar and hydroelectric generating facilities representing over 2.5 GW of net installed capacity and more than 500 MW of incremental renewable energy capacity under construction.  APUC delivers continuing growth through an expanding global pipeline of renewable energy, electric transmission, and water infrastructure development projects, organic growth within its rate-regulated generation, distribution and transmission businesses, and the pursuit of accretive acquisitions. APUC’s common shares, Series A preferred shares, and Series D preferred shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols AQN, AQN.PR.A, and AQN.PR.D. APUC’s common shares, Series 2018-A subordinated notes and Series 2019-A subordinated notes are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols AQN, AQNA and AQNB.

    Visit APUC at www.algonquinpowerandutilities.com and follow us on Twitter @AQN_Utilities.

    Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/algonquin-power–utilities-corp-declares-third-quarter-2019-preferred-share-dividends-300899208.html

    SOURCE Algonquin Power Utilities Corp.

    Match Group spikes 20% after its Tinder app adds 500,000 new users in the second quarter (MTCH)

    Tuesday August 6 th 2019

    tinder app phonePhoto illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    • Match Group skyrocketed as much as 20% in aftermarket trading Thursday after beating analyst estimates for second-quarter earnings and boosting its yearly revenue forecast.
    • Tinder drove much of the company’s revenue growth by gaining more than 500,000 users over the three-month period, a 37% year-over-year improvement.
    • Match also announced an investment in Egypt-based dating app Harmonica, the next step in its plan for global expansion.
    • Watch Match Group trade live here.

    Match Group soared as much as 20% in aftermarket trading on Thursday after its second-quarter earnings report showed a surge of more than 500,000 new Tinder users. The company also upgraded its full-year growth forecast.

    The company — which runs OkCupid, Plenty of Fish and Match.com alongside Tinder — beat analyst estimates for both revenue and profits. The company didn’t give specific figures for its updated yearly revenue guidance, but shifted its expectation to “high teens” from “mid teens.”

    Here are the key numbers:

    Revenue: $498.0 million, versus the $489.2 million estimate

    Earnings per share: $0.430, versus the $0.405 estimate

    Average Tinder subscribers: 5.2 million, up 37% year-over-year 

    Average revenue per user: $0.58, up 1.8% year-over-year

    Tinder’s massive second-quarter popularity served as the primary reason for the company’s revenue boost, as it drove 46% direct revenue growth over the three-month period. Tinder now has more than 5.2 million average subscribers. The company’s other online dating products saw more modest growth.

    The company also announced an investment in Egypt-based dating app Harmonica, furthering its global expansion. Match has already acquired dating apps in Japan and hired consultants to configure its existing products to better fit different cultural preferences.

    Match closed at $73.91 per share Thursday, up about 73% year-to-date.

    Match Group has seven “buy” ratings, 13 “hold” ratings, and one “sell” rating from analysts, with a $70.12 consensus price target, according to Bloomberg data.

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    Travel Oregon and Deschutes Brewery Collaborate to Create "Only Slightly Exaggerated IPA"

    PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — For the millions inspired by Travel Oregon’s whimsical Only Slightly Exaggerated advertising campaign, the tourism commission continues to bring the animated video’s enchanting illustrations to life in the real world. First there were posters and murals. And today, there is…wait for it…beer! Travel Oregon and Deschutes Brewery are launching Only Slightly Exaggerated IPA to celebrate and capture the flavor of Oregon’s breathtaking beauty with this seasonal summer beer release.

    Travel Oregon Logo (PRNewsFoto/Travel Oregon)

    “We love the Only Slightly Exaggerated campaign— the artwork is so whimsical and fun,” says Veronica Vega, Director of Product Development for Deschutes. “We’ve paired the campaign with our newest seasonal, inspired by that same sense of magic.”

    Only Slightly Exaggerated IPA was created using the profound Sabro hop, grown in the Northwest, that has a unique quality that gives the beer an exceptional “slightly exaggerated” flavor combination of bourbon barrel, coconut and tropical notes.  “It’s surprising that a hop could bring these characteristics to a beer,” said Vega. “We paired up the unique coconut character of Sabro with tropical hops to create something distinct from our other citrus led IPAs.” 

    The collaboration was born at the brewery’s original Public House in downtown Bend, Oregon in 2018 with Travel Oregon’s first launch of the Only Slightly Exaggerated campaign. “We’re thrilled to see this collaboration come to fruition. What started as a limited-run beer to celebrate the launch of a new campaign, will now be available to IPA-lovers in 32 states,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon.  “It’s all about getting in front of potential visitors—we want them to fall in love with Oregon products and seek them out when they return home.”

    The Only Slightly Exaggerated campaign launched to viral success in spring of 2018, doing something no tourism brand had ever done: animate their state. New iterations came to life in the fall of 2018 with the creation of the Oregon Mural Trail, and releasing limited-edition posters and postcards to engaged fans. In spring 2019, the second animated video was released to more excitement and success. A new concept of the campaign is in development and will be launching in fall 2019.

    Look for Only Slightly Exaggerated IPA in stores in early August. This seasonal brew is 6.0% ABV with 50 IBUs and will be available in 12-ounce, six and 12 pack bottles. The beer will be distributed in 32 states and available in all major retail outlets, convenience/liquor stores (depending on state), as well as restaurants and bars on draft. To find the nearest Deschutes beer near you, try their helpful beer finder. 

    About Travel Oregon
    The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors’ experiences by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening the economic impacts of the state’s $12.3 billion tourism industry that employs more than 115,000 Oregonians. Visit TravelOregon.com to learn more.

    About Deschutes Brewery:
    Deschutes Brewery, family and employee owned since 1988, is one of the quintessential beers of the Pacific Northwest. Founded on the guiding principles of true craftsmanship, ultimate quality, and extraordinary consumer experience, Deschutes Brewery is recognized for defining beers such as Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale,  Fresh Squeezed IPA and the non-stop release of pioneering small batch experimental and barrel-aged beers. Deschutes can be found at its brewpubs in Bend and Portland, Oregon, Tasting Rooms in Bend, and Roanoke, Virginia and at accounts across the country. Visit Deschutes Brewery’s beer finder to find a Deschutes beer near you.

     

    Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/travel-oregon-and-deschutes-brewery-collaborate-to-create-only-slightly-exaggerated-ipa-300897572.html

    SOURCE Travel Oregon

    5N Plus Reports Financial Results for the Second Quarter Ended June 30, 2019

    MONTREAL, Aug. 6, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - 5N Plus Inc. (TSX: VNP) (“5N Plus” or the “Company”), a leading global producer of engineered materials and specialty chemicals, today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars.

    During Q2 2019, 5N Plus focused much of its resources on operating activities with emphasis on improving production capability and efficiency for the new mix of products fostered by the Company’s transformation and the new business model favoring more value-added products and services. During this period, 5N Plus made tangible progress in addressing production challenges which have been hampering the Company’s ability to address its healthy orderbook. 5N Plus continues to experience strong demand for its products as reflected by the backlog1. Despite significant adverse movements in the underlying metal notations over the past many quarters, 5N Plus has not only been able to create value from its recycling and refining activities but has been able to limit the historical negative impacts associated with such movements to the Company’s earnings.  With Bismuth metal notations declining to near historical levels, the Company has begun to operate its refining and recycling operations at a reduced rate and instead, has begun to purchase Bismuth as commercial metal. For the second quarter of 2019 and year-to-date, the Company reported the following:

    • Adjusted EBITDA1,2 and EBITDA1,2 for the second quarter of 2019 reached $5.9 million and $5.3 million compared to $9.0 million and $7.9 million during the same quarter of 2018, negatively impacted by adverse movements in the underlying metal notations, along with the application of the most recent commercial terms from the multi-year supply and service contract renewal within the Renewable Energy sector, and to a lesser extent realized shipments due to production challenges.
    • Adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA for the six-month period ended June 2019 reached $11.5 million and $9.5 million compared to $16.9 million and $15.7 million during the same period in 2018, mostly impacted by the same factors mentioned above.
    • Revenue for Q2 2019 reached $50.3 million compared to $58.4 million for Q2 2018, mostly impacted by adverse movements in the underlying metal notations.
    • Net earnings for the second quarter of 2019 were $1.8 million or $0.02 per share compared to $3.4 million or $0.04 per share for the same period last year.
    • Annualized Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)1 reached 8.2% for the second quarter of 2019, largely influenced by the lower Adjusted EBIT1,2 performance.
    • Net debt1 stood at $37.9 million as of June 30, 2019 from $19.4 million for the same period last year, impacted by additional working capital and to a lesser degree active participation in the normal course issuer bid (“NCIB”) plan.
    • As of June 30, 2019, 5N Plus has purchased and cancelled 1,696,733 of the Company’s common shares under the NCIB plan.
    • As of June 30, 2019, the Backlog1 reached a level of 201 days of annualized revenue, a similar level than Q1 2019, however much higher than Q2 2018 at 170 days. Bookings1 in Q2 2019 reached 86 days compared to 92 days in Q1 2019 and 89 days in Q2 2018.
    • On July 22, 2019, 5N Plus announced that it has significantly reduced production at its Bismuth refining and recycling facilities. With Bismuth notations continuing to decline and currently at a level not seen in nearly 25 years, certain suppliers have declared some of their activities uneconomical and have begun to stop marketing their residues. Given this development and the current availability and price level for Bismuth metal, the Company will increase its commercial grade Bismuth metal purchases to compensate for the reduction in Bismuth output from its refining activities. The market for the Company’s Bismuth based materials and specialty chemicals remains strong. The Company will implement this change seamlessly and the measure will have no impact on the customers of 5N Plus.
    • On July 24, 2019, 5N Plus announced that it has begun to execute a plan to invest over $10 million in process technologies aimed at substantially increasing capacity of the existing assets while enhancing capability along with providing notable environmental benefits in local communities. The investment package is expected to be focused on select sites in North America, Europe and China. The plan is expected to be fully implemented by the third quarter of 2020 with certain investments to be fully commissioned prior to that date. The average payback for this tranche of investments is estimated at about three years.

    Arjang Roshan, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented “Fiscal year 2019 started with production challenges associated with the manufacturing of new products which adversely impacted revenue and earnings. Over the past quarter, while certain challenges persist, our global teams have made tangible progress in ramping up production of these products.  Mr. Roshan concluded “In the second half of the year, we will continue to focus our resources on further improving efficiency across the operating activities while continuing to develop our new markets along with optimizing procurement of consumable metals within the current environment of lower pricing.”

    Webcast Information

    5N Plus will host a conference call on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 8:00 am Eastern Day Time to discuss results of the second quarter ended June 30, 2019. All interested parties are invited to participate in the live broadcast on the Company’s website at www.5nplus.com. A replay of the webcast and a recording of the QA will be available until August 15, 2019.

    To participate in the conference call:

    • Montreal area:    514-807-9895
    • Toronto area:      647-427-7450
    • Toll-Free:              1-888-231-8191

    Enter access code 5382279.

    Non-IFRS Measures
    EBITDA means net earnings (loss) before interest expenses, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. We use EBITDA because we believe it is a meaningful measure of the operating performance of our ongoing business without the effects of certain expenses. The definition of this non-IFRS measure used by the Company may differ from that used by other companies. EBITDA margin is defined as EBITDA divided by revenues.

    Adjusted EBITDA means EBITDA as defined above before impairment of inventories, share-based compensation expense, impairment of non-current assets, litigation and restructuring costs (income), gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment, change in fair value of debenture conversion option, foreign exchange and derivatives loss (gain). We use adjusted EBITDA because we believe it is a meaningful measure of the operating performance of our ongoing business without the effects of inventory write-downs. The definition of this non-IFRS measure used by the Company may differ from that used by other companies.

    Gross margin is a measure we use to monitor the sales contribution after paying cost of sales excluding depreciation and impairment inventory charge. We also expressed this measure in percentage of revenues by dividing the gross margin value by the total revenue.

    Net debt or net cash is a measure we use to monitor how much debt we have after taking into account cash and cash equivalents. We use it as an indicator of our overall financial position, and calculate it by taking our total debt, subtracting cash and cash equivalents, included as debt is the current portion and the cross-currency swap related to the convertible debentures, any newly introduced IFRS 16 reporting measures in reference to lease liabilities is excluded from the calculation.

    Backlog represents the expected orders we have received but have not yet executed and that are expected to translate into sales within the next twelve months expressed in number of days.

    Bookings represent orders received during the period considered, expressed in days, and are calculated by adding revenues to the increase or decrease in backlog for the period considered divided by annualized year revenues. We use backlog to provide an indication of expected future revenues in days, and bookings to determine our ability to sustain and increase our revenues. 

    Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) is a non-IFRS financial measure, calculated by dividing the annualized Adjusted EBIT by capital employed at the end of the period. Adjusted EBIT is calculated as the Adjusted EBITDA less depreciation of PPE and amortization of intangible assets (adjusted for accelerated depreciation charge, if any). Capital employed is the sum of the accounts receivable, the inventory, the PPE, the goodwill and intangibles less trade and accrued liabilities (adjusted for exceptional items). We use ROCE to measure the return on capital employed, whether the financing is through equity or debt. In our view, this measure provides useful information to determine if capital invested in the Company yields competitive returns. The usefulness of ROCE is limited by the fact that it is a ratio and not providing information as to the absolute amount of our net income, debt or equity. It also excludes certain items from the calculation and other companies may use a similar measure but calculate it differently.

    About 5N Plus Inc.
    5N Plus is a leading global producer of engineered materials and specialty chemicals with integrated recycling and refining assets to manage the sustainability of its business model. The Company is headquartered in Montreal, Québec, Canada and operates RD, manufacturing and commercial centers in several locations in Europe, the Americas and Asia. 5N Plus deploys a range of proprietary and proven technologies to manufacture products which are used as enabling precursors by its customers in a number of advanced electronics, optoelectronics, pharmaceutical, health, renewable energy and industrial applications.  Many of the materials produced by 5N Plus are critical for the functionality and performance of the products and systems produced by its customers, many of whom are leaders within their industry.

    Forward-Looking Statements and Disclaimer
    This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. All information and statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking information. Such statements and information may be identified by words such as “about”, “approximately”, “may”, “believes”, “expects”, “will”, “intends”, “should”, “plans”, “predicts”, “potential”, “projects”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “continues” or similar words or the negative thereof or other comparable terminology.  Forward-looking statements are based on the best estimates available to 5N Plus at this time and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause 5N Plus’ actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  A description of the risks affecting 5N Plus’ business and activities appears under the heading “Risk and Uncertainties” of 5N Plus’ 2018 MDA dated February 26, 2019 and note 12 of the unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements for the three and six-month periods ended June 30, 2019 and 2018 available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. No assurance can be given that any events anticipated by the forward-looking information in this press release will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits that 5N Plus will derive therefrom.  In particular, no assurance can be given as to the future financial performance of 5N Plus. The forward-looking information contained in this press release is made as of the date hereof and 5N Plus undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws. The reader is warned against placing undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

     

     

     

     

    1 See Non-IFRS Measures

    2 On January 1, 2019, the Company applied IFRS 16 Leases retrospectively with no restatement of comparative information, including non-IFRS measures and tables, as allowed by the Standard. This positively impacted the current year’s Adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA when comparing them to the prior year’s amounts (see Accounting Policies and Changes section in the MDA for more details).

     

    SOURCE 5N Plus Inc.