You might think your poop is nothing but a waste product, but you’d be wrong. It can actually hold valuable information about your health. That’s why many companies provide different kinds of services to analyze your bodily waste. But for one such company, their test material just hit the fan. On March 18, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged San Francisco-based uBiome with massive investor and insurance fraud. The company, founded in 2012, provided services that they claimed accurately analyze a customer’s intestinal microbiome. Except that they didn’t. According to the SEC, the company’s tests were nothing but bulls-… Uh, bull fecal samples. According to the SEC, uBiome’s founders Jessica Richman, 46, and Zachary Schulz Apte, 36, collected more than $60 million from investors based on bogus claims about their company. They presented their firm as a “successful start-up with a proven business model,” the SEC claims. “Richman and Apte portrayed the company as having a strong track record of receiving health insurance reimbursement for its clinical tests, which purportedly could detect microorganisms and assist in diagnosing disease,” the SEC complaint reads.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for reforms to one of the US’ most important internet laws Thursday as lawmakers pledged to tighten their regulatory grip on social media companies. During his third congressional hearing in six months, Zuckerberg made the case for updating Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act while defending his firm from criticism that it has failed to snuff out misinformation. “We believe that connectivity and togetherness are more powerful ideals than division and discord and that technology can be part of the solution to the challenges our society is facing,” he told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “And we are ready to work with you to move beyond hearings and get started on real reform.” Zuckerberg’s virtual testimony alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai came amid moves by congressional Democrats to ramp up scrutiny on Silicon Valley in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, for which they say social media firms bear some responsibility.
Is it gross, or is it great? That’s up to the winners of a social media contest to decide. Either way, Pepsi and Peeps have teamed up to create Marshmallow Cola, which will come in small three-packs, but won’t be sold in stores. Instead, Americans can get them by hashtagging: “#HangingWithMyPEEPS” on social media.
ISMAILIA — A huge container ship blocking the Suez Canal like a “beached whale” may take weeks to free, the salvage company said, as officials stopped all ships entering the channel on Thursday in a new setback for global trade. The 400 meter Ever Given, almost as long as the Empire State Building is high, is blocking transit in both directions through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels for oil and refined fuels, grain and other trade linking Asia and Europe.
Former President Donald Trump’s struggling hotel company was dealt another blow when a major luxury travel group ended its partnership and dropped the chain from its listings. Zenger News reported last week that Virtuoso Travel, a luxury travel network that caters to the wealthy, quietly cut off Trump Hotels earlier this month. “Virtuoso considers many variables when reviewing both existing and new network participation,” a spokesperson told the website. “Out of respect for all involved parties, and as a general policy, we do not share comments regarding our non-renewal and exit decisions.” In addition, Trump hotels are no longer listed on the Virtuoso website. “It’s a big deal because Virtuoso is very well-respected in the industry,” travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research Group told the newspaper. He said Virtuoso’s “elite base” of customers means others in the industry study its moves… and often make similar moves of their own. “Some travel agencies that may have been debating whether or not to do it could decide, well, if Virtuoso has done this, we too will end our professional relationship with the Trump hotels,” Harteveldt said.
The founder of bottled-water maker Real Water has publicly apologized after five kids who drank its product came down with liver failure. Real Water president Brent Jones issued the mea culpa amid a Food and Drug Administration probe of the alkaline water, which has been linked to several cases of hepatitis. “We’d like to expressed our deepest sympathy and concern over the events that have led to the inquiry,” Jones said in a roughly two-minute video message released Tuesday. “I want to personally apologize to all of our customers, and I assure you the lessons learned from this will drive further improvement in the brand,” he added. The video came four days after the FDA urged consumers and businesses not to drink, sell or serve Real Water, which has as higher pH level that the Arizona-based company claims can improve hydration. The feds say five infants and children in southern Nevada who consumed the brand’s water came down with non-viral hepatitis that resulted in acute liver failure and put them in the hospital.