News & Trending

adminJune 1, 2018
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6min

Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all had that dream of being a genius and becoming rich by inventing something revolutionary. We’ve all had that secret fantasy of acquiring wealth and fame. Well, Elizabeth Holmes did just that.

Elizabeth’s Story

Elizabeth Ann Holmes was born in February 1984. She is the daughter of government service worker Christian Holmes IV and congressional committee staffer Noel Daoust.

Ever since she started attending school, she was recognized to have a tireless optimism. And when she was in high school, she started her first business selling C++ compilers to Chinese universities. In 2001, Holmes applied to Stanford and studied chemical engineering and went to work in various labs. In March 2004, she dropped out of Stanford and used her tuition money as her source of funds for a consumer healthcare technology company.

And at just the age of 19, Elizabeth Holmes went and became the world’s youngest female billionaire when she founded Theranos, a revolutionary health technology company – which was valued then at $9 billion – that claimed to have devised revolutionary blood tests using very small amounts of blood with the use of a finger prick.

The Wall Street Journal Report

Theranos was one of Silicon Valley’s unicorn start-ups and seemed to have a really promising start – having all these big-name and famous investors such as David Boies, Tim Draper, Larry Ellison, Rupert Murdoch, Bob Kraft, John Elkann, George Schultz, and James Mattis – but it all came crashing down on October 2015 when John Carreyrou, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist working for The Wall Street Journal, wrote about Theranos and exposed the company’s so-called revolutionary technology as being unstable and not yet commercially-ready.

John Carreyrou’s reporting sparked the beginning of the revolutionary company’s downward spiral. By 2016, the FDA, SEC, and Centers for Medicare were all looking into Theranos. In July 2016, Holmes was banned from the laboratory-testing industry for two years. By October 2016, the revolutionary Theranos had shut down lab operations and wellness centers. And in March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani – the company’s number 2 – were charged with “massive fraud” by the SEC. Once valued at $9 billion, the revolutionary Theranos has now become essentially worthless.

Judge’s Ruling on Theranos Case

A lot of people, including the company’s investors, we’re happy to hear the news. But just recently, a US judge ruled that investors who claimed that the revolutionary Theranos defrauded them into investing money in the company cannot pursue their claims as a class action.

“It is easy to imagine, for example, that someone invested simply because a friend suggested it, or because all that percolated down the grapevine was the vague insight that Theranos was a fast-growing company, or had promising but unspecific technology,” Cousins wrote in a 34-page order.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs – Reed Kathrein – said that he may appeal or seek reconsideration. “It is too early to say anything other than we are very disappointed,” Kathrein said in an email.

Michael Mugmon, a lawyer for the revolutionary Theranos, said, “We are pleased by the court’s ruling, as it brings the company a step closer to resolving its outstanding legal issues.” Meanwhile, Holmes’s and Balwani’s lawyers did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The ruling by US Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Jose, California came as a surprise and is a setback for the company’s investors. The proposed class had included over 200 people who invested in funds from 2013 to 2016 for the purpose of buying shares of the revolutionary Theranos.

It is indeed disappointing and a piece of sad news for investors and patients alike. But what’s really important is that Elizabeth Holmes should have given an apology. As what Sheri Ackert, a Theranos patient, said in an interview, “I would just really appreciate an apology. I don’t need to know what went wrong. Just apologize for your mistake.”


adminMay 31, 2018
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5min

Net Neutrality is a hot topic in the world of US politics these days but what exactly is it?  The issue of Net Neutrality is said to have united those on the Right and those on the Left, Republican, and Democrat.  Net Neutrality is the premise that internet providers can not throttle or slow down certain websites based on that internet provider’s economic and or political motives.

The greater issue of the free market vs. government intervention is demonstrated perfectly in this hot button issue.  Those against Net Neutrality, such as current US president Donald Trump, argue that having Net Neutrality is too much government intervention in the free market.  Furthermore, internet cable company providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, have very valid arguments that certain websites, such as YouTube and NetFlix, are essentially bandwidth hogs.  As you may very well know, both YouTube and NetFlix are video streaming websites which demand a great amount of bandwidth from Internet providers.  Comcast and Verizon’s argument goes a bit like this:  Imagine two customers, both pay the same rate, but one customer is a 16-year-old who uses YouTube all day and the other customer is an 80-year-old grandmother who does nothing more with her internet service than read static websites that tell stories about history.

The infrastructure needed to support the 16-year old’s internet usage is obviously greater than the 80-year-old woman’s internet usage, thus the profit margins between these two customers are not the same for Internet providers.  Therefore, according to the likes of Comcast and Verizon, YouTube and NetFlix should have to pay additional for their increased bandwidth needs.  This would essentially result in the 16-year-old having to pay more for his internet “package,” as the cost would be passed on to the consumer and not to YouTube and Netflix directly.

For those who are fighting to keep Net Neutrality, their fear is that the Internet providers will simply try to introduce their own version of YouTube and NetFlix by offering clone services for cheap.  There is also the dark nefarious fear that entire news websites will be “blocked” out by Internet companies that do not like the politics of such banned websites.

As it stands right now, the internet is essential “even” or somewhat “open” in America right now, but without Net Neutrality the internet could resemble something more like a cable TV package.  As you may know, cable TV packages are the dread of the entire consumer industry.  Overpriced and bundled with a bunch of crap, most cable TV packages are despised by Americans a million times over.  Without Net Neutrality we could be looking at a future where getting YouTube and NetFlix will cost extra.  It is my dear opinion that the free market people, who argue against having Net Neutrality, have one fatal flaw in their argument:  There is no free market in the world of Internet providers.

Internet providers are monopolies who collude with the government to keep competition out.  Therefore, internet providers need to either be regulated with Net Neutrality, or some derivative of it, or they need to be broken up into smaller companies like Bell Atlantic was in the 1980s.  The future of Net Neutrality is uncertain as the battle to maintain it or destroy it rages on in Washington D.C.  If you are not American, you may think that this has nothing to do with you, but you would be wrong.  The future of Net Neutrality in America will lead the way for Internet providers all over the globe, as the US is always a trend maker in many markets.



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