Hustle, The

Emptying its toy box to pay off creditors, Toys ‘R’ Us puts SexToys‘R’ up for sale

2018-05-16 16:50:13

As it prepares to close all of its 735 US stores forever, bankrupt Toys ‘R’ Us is selling off the contents of its toy box to pay off creditors.

So what’s for sale, you ask? Well, the iconic mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe, the successful Babies‘R’, and, of course — KinkyToys‘R’

Wut?! Toys ‘R’ Us had a secret sex-toy business?!?

No, you didn’t just walk past the makin’ love section in Toys ‘R’ Us all those years… Instead, it bought the domains to prevent anyone else from using them.

Toys ‘R’ Us owned domains ranging from Burgers‘R’ to Cigars‘R’Us to prevent competitors from getting ‘R’ich.

But domain defense isn’t just about keeping competitors at bay — it’s also about keeping trolls out of your gates.

Cyber-squatting sounds like a great way to take a digital dump… 

But it actually doesn’t take place in an online-outhouse. Cyber-squatters buy incriminating domains and then charge brands money not to use them.

So to prevent an ‘R’-rated disaster, Toys ‘R’ Us swiped up several unflattering domains, including SexToys‘R’, F*ckToys‘R’, IHateToys‘R’Us, and Toys‘R’

While none of the domains are active now, the company really does hope to find buyers for at least some of the hundreds of domains — meaning some could go live if an enterprising buyer revives them.

Which could be just the re-brand that Geoffrey was looking for all along…

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There’s no such thing as a free internet

2018-05-16 16:40:27

At the end of 2017, New York-based company Intersection raised $150m to expand its free internet kiosks from New York and London to cities across America like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and San Francisco.

If you’re wondering how a company whose business model includes the word “kiosk” makes money in this day in age, we’ve got 2 words for you: targeted advertising.

Because straight-up data collection didn’t go over so well

Back in 2014, BuzzFeed outed the company for using beacons in hundreds of its NYC kiosks, which could be used to track users and serve them location-based ads. Mere hours later, the city ordered the company to remove the beacons.

Now, it has set its sights on digital advertising by using the kiosks as mini billboards with location-specific advertising (stands in Central Park target runners, while Wall Street stands might display fintech ads) — and, of course, Wi-Fi hotspots to draw users in like moths to a flame.

There are a few limitations… 

Namely, their reliance on kiosks. Intersection CEO Ari Buchalter told Axios that the 2 biggest limitations are the need for “physical infrastructure” and a high volume of eyeballs.

But according to Buchalter, that doesn’t mean Omaha, Nebraska, or other low population density cities are out of the running — it just means Intersection has to figure out where the local hot spots are for people in each city, then set up shop.

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Facebook commits tons of resources to content review, but investors have moved on 

2018-05-16 16:36:05

To extinguish the data-driven dumpster fire it ignited, Facebook hired 10k content moderators and approved a budget of over $770m for their “community integrity team,” sources told The Wall Street Journal.

But as the ’Book pulls security initiatives out of its sleeve, a transparency report suggests the content problem is growing — while Facebook’s earnings suggests people are already over it.

Move fast and… fix things??

After weathering the barrage of twitter criticism following the Cambridge Analytica storm, captain Zuckerberg has focused on rebuilding the tech titan’s tarnished reputation.

So far, Facebook’s overhauled its news feed, removed 200+ apps, deleted 583m fake accounts, and created programs to help Facebook fiends (especially young ones) understand how much data they’re giving up.

The truth hurts… but only for a second

Zuck is learning that even a hoodie-wearing army with unlimited funding can’t engineer a quick fix for this problem: Despite the company’s massive efforts to combat them, hate speech and offensive content were on the rise, the report shows.

Facebook AI sniffed out almost 100% of the spam posted on its platform (which was up 15% from the previous quarter), but detected less than 38% of hate speech (which increased 56%) before it got to users.

But, lucky for Zuck, this didn’t impact the bottom line that much after all — Facebook gained back all of the $134B it lost in value, and the number of monthly active users increased by 13% to 2.2B.

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Hedge fund manager extraordinaire David Tepper buys the Carolina Panthers for $2.2B

2018-05-16 16:26:15

The New York Times reports that Jerry Richardson, founding owner of the Carolina Panthers football team, has agreed to sell the Carolina Panthers to billionaire hedge-fund owner David A. Tepper for at least $2.2B.

News of the sale came in December shortly after an article in Sports Illustrated linked Richardson to allegations of sexual harassment — and, with the terms set, the sale is currently on the goal line.

Now they’re just waiting for the ball to hike, as the NFL owners vote whether to finalize the deal next week in Atlanta — though, it’s not likely he’ll get any pushback.

Adding a veteran to the roster 

Tepper, 60, made his fortune as the founder of hedge fund Appaloosa Management, a company that holds nearly $17B in assets. In 2017, he ranked fifth on Forbes list of the world’s richest hedge fund billionaires with a net worth of $11B.

And this isn’t his first time on the turf — Since 2009, he’s owned a 5% stake of the Pittsburgh Steelers, an investment he will have to sell to buy the Panthers.


Based on his client return rate, many consider Tepper the greatest hedge fund manager of his generation, and turns out NFL owners think he’s pretty great as well.

According to NYT, Tepper actually offered several hundred million less than the highest bidder, but in dire need of a leader with strong integrity, the Panthers went well below the asking price to get the best man for the job.

It’s still a hall of fame worthy deal, btw

If this deal happens, the $2.2B pricetag will join the record books as the most expensive NFL franchise purchase ever, usurping the $1.4B Buffalo Bills sale in 2014.

Somewhere out there, an NFL owner is sitting in Don Shula’s steakhouse drooling over the possibilities.

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