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Twitter Squeezes The Banks for IPO Debut

“Twitter Inc. is parlaying its surging popularity and the intense competition among banks for Internet deals to squeeze unusually favorable terms from the firms that will take it public.

The fees banks are set to collect for selling the shares—at 3.25% of the money raised, said people familiar with the deal—would be the lowest percentage paid on a U.S.-listed IPO in more than a year, according to Ipreo, a capital-markets data and advisory firm.

What’s more, the microblogging service is nearing completion of a $1 billion credit line from its bankers that it can use to help finance its growth, the people said. The credit is arriving even as Twitter is seen by some analysts as a riskier credit bet than some other Internet companies that went public in recent years.

The arrangement shows the power that high-profile Silicon Valley companies can command on Wall Street. In what has become a standard playbook for these companies, Twitter asked for credit from banks seeking to handle its IPO to lend it money, the people said. That setup enables companies to maximize the money they extract out of Wall Street at the time of their IPOs.

For some banks, agreeing to lend can be a way to establish a relationship with companies going public. When banks work on hot IPOs, they get bragging rights, and position themselves for plum roles in any future transactions the company does.

But the arrangement also means the banks must weigh the costs of providing credit for often-unproven companies against what can be meager IPO fees.

Facebook Inc. FB +0.12% paid an underwriting fee of 1.1% of the money it raised in its IPO last year while Pandora Media Inc. P +0.81% and LinkedIn Corp. LNKD -0.41% each paid 7% in 2011, according to Ipreo. Facebook still paid far more in total dollars because of the size of its IPO—$16 billion—compared with Twitter, which is seeking to raise $1 billion. The average spread for IPOs that have raised between $1 billion and $2 billion in the U.S. since 2001 was 4.6%, according to Ipreo.

Twitter initially tapped Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS +1.26% to spearhead its IPO, and later added Morgan Stanley MS +1.12% and J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -0.02% & Co. to the circle of banks leading the deal. Bank of America BAC -0.28% Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank AG DBK.XE +1.33% also secured roles in the IPO. All of the banks also are providing credit to the company, people familiar with the discussions said….”

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$ADBE Gets Hacked; Millions of Users Compromised

“A security breach targeting the source code used by software giant Adobe has compromised the information of nearly three million customers, the company confirmed this week.

Brad Arkin, Adobe’s chief security officer, announced in a blog post Thursday that a sophisticated cyber attack on the company’s network caused the source code for numerous programs to be illegally accessed by hackers, as well as the personal information of millions of Adobe users.

Founded in 1982, the Silicon Valley company is known for an array of products, including the PhotoShop editing software and the PDF, SWF and FLV file formats.

According to Arkin, Adobe believes the attackers pilfered customer names, encrypted credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information related to customer orders pertaining to roughly 2.9 million Adobe clients.

Arkin said the company does not believe the attackers accessed decrypted information, but stopped short of confirming that plain-text data wasn’t compromised.

We’re working diligently internally, as well as with external partners and law enforcement, to address the incident,” he said.

He also stated that the theft of customer data and the source code for numerous Adobe products was likely related.

Brian Krebs, a well respected security researcher and former Washington Post reporter, acknowledged that he stumbled upon a 40 GB trove of Adobe source code around one week ago on the same server thought to be used by the hackers behind other recent major compromises. Krebs said that the source code pertained to Adobe’s ColdFusion and Acrobat software, which would suggest that hackers have obtained the blueprints for some of the company’s most widely used products.

Hold Security, a firm that worked in conjunction with Krebs, said that “This breach poses a serious concern to countless businesses and individuals.”

If hackers have been able to access Adobe source code, they could theoretically be able to analyze that information and engineer malware that exploits vulnerabilities and compromises the security of several million users, experts fear.

Effectively, this breach may have opened a gateway for new generation of viruses, malware, and exploits,” Hold Security said in a statement….”

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How serious is the hack?

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Twitter Files for IPO; Looking to Raise a Billion

“Twitter has just filed for its long-anticipated IPO. The company is looking to raise $1 billion in this initial offering, which is set to mint many millionaires among shareholders and founders like Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. Currently, the filing does not list a valuation, and sources are saying that’s because they have yet to determine one.

Twitter’s revenues have been revealed for the first time, as well. Revenues for 2012 were $316.9 million, for a loss of $79.4 million and in the first half of 2013 they’ve already earned $253.6 million for a loss of $69.3 million. That’s just above estimates from last year but well below tracking of over $600 million for the year. Overall, Twitter has lost $418.6 million since it began.

Twitter will be offering up 472,613,753 shares of stock in this initial release. Twitter says that it currently has 218.3 million monthly active users, and those users have created over 300 billion tweets. That MAU number is significantly lower than many had expected at this point as they announced that they had 200 million MAUs in December. Twitter says that it delivers over 200 billion tweets per day.

Twitter says that 75 percent of its MAUs access the service from mobile devices (that’s 161.25 million) and that 65 percent of all of its ad revenues come from mobile. This marks a big contrast to Facebook, which had no revenues in mobile at all when it filed for IPO.

Twitter says that in the second quarter of 2013 there were approximately 30 billion ‘online impressions’ of tweets…”

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Obama Addresses UN General Assembly on Syria

“President Barack Obama said recent overtures from Iran may offer a basis for a “meaningful agreement” to resolve the confrontation over the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear program, one of the primary sources of instability in the Middle East.

The U.S. is “encouraged” that Iranian President Hassan Rohani was given a mandate in his election to pursue a more moderate course, Obama said.

“Conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable,” Obama told world leaders today at the United Nations in New York. “The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested.”

In an address focused on turmoil in the Middle East, including the civil war in Syria and the Israel-Palestinian peace process, Obama vowed the U.S. will use all means necessary, including military force, to protect its “core interests” in the region and ensure the free flow of energy to the world.

He called on the UN to apply meaningful pressure on the regime in Syria to follow through on its promise to surrender its chemical weapons. He said Iran and Russia, Syria’s main allies, must recognize that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot remain in power if the civil war is to be resolved by political means.

The president’s speech comes as Obama has an opening for progress on long-stalled foreign policy issues….”

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Chaos Computer Club Breaks Apple TouchID

“The biometrics hacking team of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has successfully bypassed the biometric security of Apple’s TouchID using easy everyday means. A fingerprint of the phone user, photographed from a glass surface, was enough to create a fake finger that could unlock an iPhone 5s secured with TouchID. This demonstrates – again – that fingerprint biometrics is unsuitable as access control method and should be avoided.

Apple had released the new iPhone with a fingerprint sensor that was supposedly much more secure than previous fingerprint technology. A lot of bogus speculation about the marvels of the new technology and how hard to defeat it supposedly is had dominated the international technology press for days.
“In reality, Apple’s sensor has just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake”, said the hacker with the nickname Starbug, who performed the critical experiments that led to the successful circumvention of the fingerprint locking. “As we have said now for more than years, fingerprints should not be used to secure anything. You leave them everywhere, and it is far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints.” [1] The iPhone TouchID defeat has been documented in a short video…”

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[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM8b8d8kSNQ 450 300]

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UN Official: Syrian Rebels Used Sarin Nerve Gas, Not Assad’s Regime

“Carla Del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent InternationUNal Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said testimonies from the victims strongly suggest it was the rebels, not the Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas in the eastern Gouta.

The UN official told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete suspicions,” that the rebels had used the nerve agent.

She added that her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she stressed more investigation was needed…..”

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Egypt Experiences Violent Crashes Keeping Black Gold Near Highs

“(Reuters) – At least 42 people were killed on Monday when Islamist demonstrators enraged by the military overthrow of Egypt’s elected President Mohamed Mursi said the army opened fire during morning prayers at the Cairo barracks where he is being held.

But the military said “a terrorist group” tried to storm the Republican Guard compound and one army officer had been killed and 40 wounded. Soldiers returned fire when they were attacked by armed assailants, a military source said.

The emergency services said more than 320 were wounded in a sharp escalation of Egypt’s political crisis, and Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood urged people to rise up against the army, which they accuse of a military coup to remove the elected leader.

At a hospital near the Rabaa Adawia mosque where Islamists have camped out since Mursi was toppled on Wednesday, rooms were crammed with people wounded in the violence, sheets were stained with blood and medics rushed to attend to the wounded.

As an immediate consequence, the ultra-conservative Islamist Nour party, which initially backed the military intervention, said it was withdrawing from stalled negotiations to form an interim government for the transition to fresh elections.

The military has said that the overthrow was not a coup, and it was enforcing the will of the people after millions took to the streets on June 30 to call for his resignation….”

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