The 11th Hour Dispatch – Tuesday, April 10, 2018

| April 10, 2018

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Viacom has asked CBS to raise its merger bid by $2.8 billion, nearly a quarter increase of CBS’s original bid. As you may remember, the two companies have been encouraged by National Amusements Inc., the company that controls both conglomerates, to merge by forming independent board committees. In a letter last week, Viacom asked for 0.68 CBS shares for each Viacom class B share. Compare this to CBS’s original offer of 0.55 of its shares for each Viacom class B share and you’ll quickly see why they’re quarreling like siblings fighting over who gets to ride in the front seat of the minivan. CBS’s bid would value Viacom below its current market capitalization of $12.7 billion to $11.9 billion. Viacom’s counterproposal, however, values the company that owns Comedy Central, MTV, and BET at a higher $14.7 billion. 


CoinTracker, which allows crypto traders to track their portfolio on a single platform, raised $1.5 million to build out more services for its users. The startup’s technology combines users’ crypto wallet addresses using public information and API keys from the top 14 crypto exchanges to track users’ crypto assets across the web. It also has a transfer matching algorithm to help users figure out trades on more difficult to track decentralized exchanges. If you got into crypto to avoid the taxman though, you’ll probably hate CoinTracker, because it makes it easier for you to figure out what you owe to Uncle Sam for your digital assets. The company currently tracks over $200 million in crypto assets for its users. 


Hackers attacked Vevo’s YouTube channel earlier, and I’m sorry to tell you that the music video for the haunting earworm of summer 2017, “Despacito,” which is the most viewed YouTube video of all time, was affected. The video, which has over 5 billion views, was briefly taken down after hackers changed the thumbnail to a still from the Netflix show Casa de Papel featuring a masked gang aiming guns at the camera. Titles and thumbnails for videos from several other high-profile artists were also affected including songs from Taylor Swift, Chris Brown, Shakira, Drake, and Katy Perry. The hackers to thank go by Prosox and Kuroi’sh, one of which tweeted that they used a script to change titles “just for fun.” Vevo has mostly put the kibosh on the issue as of now.


When Aaron Westbrook, who was born with one hand, discovered that his $40,000 prosthetic didn’t fit well and that he would need additional costly attachments to make use of different grips, he made a plastic one with the 3D printer in his high school’s fab lab. Today, the 18-year-old’s nonprofit Form5 is making similar prosthetics out of recycled material from open-sourced designs. These prosthetics are not as complex as traditional ones, but they can be made with just a 3D printer and around $35 worth of raw material compared to a $40,000 prosthetic that requires additional expensive attachments to work efficiently. To make his operation eco-friendly, Westbrook uses a plastic shredder to reuse polylactic acid based plastic, which is made from corn starch or sugarcane rather than petroleum. To date, Westbrook has designed several prosthetics including as a custom attachment that allowed a little boy to hold a cello bow so he could join the orchestra and a panda-inspired interlay for a little girl that was fanatical about the clumsy animals.


Apple is releasing a limited edition red iPhone 8 to support (RED), the nonprofit founded by Bono that fights AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

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