Source: Ezekiel Elliott could be facing a one- or two-game suspension over domestic violence allegations – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

Source: Ezekiel Elliott could be facing a one- or two-game suspension over domestic violence allegations
Blogging The Boys (blog)
According to ESPN, the NFL has sent Ezekiel Elliott and his representatives a summary of the their findings related to the domestic violence issue involving him, and will give him a chance to respond. Adam Schefter has reported that Elliott's group

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Xiaomi stops disclosing annual sales figures as CEO admits the company grew too fast

Xiaomi has forgone its tradition of revealinghow many smartphonesit sold the previous year. The strategy yielded many headlines for the highly-regarded Chinese outfit, but today its CEO admitted that Xiaomi has been in transition after growing too fast.

The writing was on the cards, even as early as January 2016 when Xiaomirevealed it had sold over 70 million devices in 2015. An impressive number, for sure, given the backdrop of slowingsmartphone sales worldwide, but it was short of the companys public target of 80 million, which was reduced from an initial 100 million.

Its been fairly evident from analyst reports that 2016 wasnt a year for blockbuster Xiaomi growth. While itfeatured near the top of the sales pile in China, and held steady in India, its top emerging market, there was no great acceleration as in past years. For example, sales jumped from 7.2 million in 2012, to 18.7 million in 2013 and 61 million in 2014.

A Xiaomi rep confirmed to us that the company will not be disclosing its 2016 sales numbers.

Thats to be expected in many ways. Not only is explosive growth hard to maintain, but the traits that set Xiaomi apart from the competition its use of components and online-only sales platform have been widely mimicked and copied across the mobile industry. That means it trades primarily on its brand, a tough ask when you are selling affordable devices and Apple is the most desirable smartphone in China by some mile.

But Xiaomi didnt help itself too, by making bold predictions and hammering home the PR on its growth. CEO and co-founder Lei Jung admitted today that generally it had moved too quickly.

In the first few years, we pushed ahead too fast. We created a miracle,but also drew on some long-term growth, Lei said in a letter to employees. So we have to slow down, further improvein some areas, and ensure sustainable growth for a long-term future.

It isnt clear if Leis thesis extends to Xiaomis valuation, which reached $45 billion courtesy of a $1.1 billion funding round in December 2014. Many pundits feel that Xiaomi has done little to justify that tagsince then.

Despite the honest admission, the tone of his letter is upbeat. Lei told Xiaomis staff that the difficult times are behind us.

While Xiaomi hasnt revealed those sales figures, it did push out a range of business metrics that it hopes illustrate how it is growing as a company that goes beyond simply selling smartphones, which it recently admitted it makes noprofit on.

Lei made the following reveals in his letter:

  • Xiaomi reached $1 billion in annual revenue in India for the first time
  • Three of Xiaomis 54 offline stores passedRMB 100 million ($14.5 million) in GMV this year each the GMV includes sales of partner products and it plans to open 200 more in 2017, and 1,000 more by 2020
  • Xiaomis Mi Ecosystem has 50 million connected devices which includes smart TVs, fitness trackers and more which brought in RMB 15 billion ($2.2 billion) in sales
  • Xiaomi has applied for 16,000 patents globally, 3,612 of which havebeen granted to date
  • Xiaomis revenue from internet services doubled in 2016 it didnt provide a figure but, based on a Reuters report from 2015, it appears to havesurpassed $1 billion for the first time

Heres the interesting part of what Lei said, he wants to push on and see Xiaomi development its offline retail arm. Thats right, the company that pioneered the online-only model is looking to brick and mortar sales.

Lei said Xiaomi has to aim wider because its current distribution model is limited, but you could certainly add stiffer competition as another factor:

Our e-commerce strategy has also faced some challenges. E-commerce now makesup just over 10 percent of overall retail in China, and the online smartphone market onlymakes up 20 percent of the overall smartphone market. Xiaomi has great ambitions, andwe are not satisfied with just being an e-commerce smartphone brand, so we have to upgrade our retail model, and incorporate offline retail for a new retail strategy.

He stated his belief that the companys internet services revenue model has been proved and presumably scaling the reach of its products is the next step to building on that progress and raising that revenue.

Beyond expanding its retail presence, Xiaomi plans to focus on developing artificial intelligence which it has deployed in face detection systems increasing its global presence, and developing fintech solutions in 2017. The company already offers its ownApple Payrival and is preparing to launch a digital bank service in China, too.

While theres no target for handset sales, Lei Jun said his humble goal for the year is to reach RMB 100 billion ($14.5 billion) in revenue.

Article updated to correct information about Xiaomis retail stores

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Jason Goldberg raises $400K more to turn Pepo into “the best place to host live conversation”

Serial entrepreneur Jason Goldberg has famously had his ups and downs, most notably with the e-commerce company He hasnt stopped moving forward, however.

In October, he launched a new messaging app called Pepothat enables anyone to create and join live messaging communities. In December,Pepo announced $2.3 million in seed funding led by the Chinese conglomerate Tencent. And today, Pepo is announcing $400,000 in additional seed funding from its backers, along with two new features questions and stories, and live Q&As that Goldberg expects will continue to fuel what he describes as steady growth so far.

He shared the latestin a call earlier today from Pune, India. Our chat has been edited for length.

TC: Youre calling fromIndia. Is that where Pepo is based?

JG: We have three people in Berlin, where I live, and 20 people in Pune. Its the same team that helped me build Fab and [a later iteration of the company] Hem. Officially, though, Pepo is based in Palo Alto.

TC: For those whove missed it, whats the big idea behind Pepo?

JG: Whatwe think is a very interesting and compelling is atwo-sided marketplace concept. Its people, plus expertise, and the overall plan for that will emerge over the next couple of years.

We decided to goout early and iterate with our users, rather than trying to guess in getting in right. We feel like becauseweve taken that approach, our users have given us a lot of leeway.

TC: So its early days, but right now users are right nowcreating messaging channels around any number of topics that interest them, then you match people to the channels they find interesting, and thesefeature influencers or experts sort of lead the conversation. Is that correct? Whats in it for the influencers or experts if so?

JG: Weve told them they cancreate theirown channel, have a live conversation with their followers and new followers, and build an audience.

For a lotof folks who have a following on Twitter or Instagram, what Pepo gives them is a higher level of engagement. Think of it this way: What if you could have a Slack channel with everyone who follows you on Twitter or Instagram? Twitter is good for a thought here and there, and Instagram is a great place to post your best two or three pictures of the day or post a story that will disappear.With Pepo, were connecting one to many.

TC: And these influencersare finding followers?

JB: Weve concentrated a large part of our efforts on the supply the influencers and experts who have the content. If they host it on Pepo [the thinking goes], it will bring the demand. So weve invested early onin the ability for these [experts] to host conversations with people who can read and reply but not posttheir own messages. Its been like a formof microblogging.

Now, [with the new features were rolling out] if the channel host allows it, every member in that channel can post into the channel; they can submit a question or a story that the host can address. The channel host can also do a live Q&A and host it like a Reddit AMA.

TC: Youve said from the start that Pepo is going to focus more on engagement than size. What can you tell us about how many people are using the app, and what percentage of them return regularly?

JG: I can tell you that our return usage is very strong on a week-to-week and month-to-month basis. About half of our users are using the app each month, and weve seen 100 percent month-over-month growth since launching.

TC: Whats the business model?

JG: We have several concepts that are in theworks already, so well be adding monetization elements sooner rather than later. But basically, ifour channel hosts do well, well do well, so were really focused on how does someone say a top influencer when it comes to solo female travel make money through the platform.

The general Silicon Valley philosophy is to get several million users, then monetize, but were more akin to Airbnbs philosophy that monetization can help drive the platform. Many people would be interested in bringing their expertise to the platform if they felt confident that they could monetize that expertise.

TC: So, through native ads? Can you be more specific?

JG: No advertising is in our plans right now. Were thinking more of paid channels where people pay to ask questions or for services or to contact people directly. For example, a top Berlin foodie has said that several people have contacted him for either an itinerary or a walking guide of food stops in Berlin [which are services for which he could charge].

TC: How do you protect these hosts from abuse, from being trolled?

JG:We want everyone to be a real person, so weve had a verified user process from day one. We use the information they give us, andtheir Facebook connections, todetermine whether aperson is who they say they are. If you want to sign up under a fake name, you can, but the features you can access are limited.

We also give a lot of controls to channel hosts. Its easy for them to decide whether a channel is public or private or secret, and they can block or report or ban someone.

Were also coming up with a ranking system because the internet definitely brings out all types.

TC: You mentioned Slack. And are these channel conversations searchable as with Slack, and are there threaded comments?

JG: Everything is being indexed, so right now, you can search for people, locations, and channels, and were adding search across the entire platform in coming weeks.

What a lot of our users have told us is that information theyregetting on Pepo is happening elsewhere insecret conversations on WhatsApp, and Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger, but theyre not indexable or searchable or findable again, and others cant leverage that information. Hosting these more open forums is a way to leverage that knowledge base.

And yes, there are threaded replies and also the Q&As have threaded video replies.

TC: What ifthe host sets the channel to private?

JG: Any number of members have access to that information forever. There are 18,000 people in a global gay travelers group, and the information that usersare provided there is proving super helpful for people who are members.

TC: Youve just raised $400,000 after announcing $2.35 million in December. Is there a particular logic to raising funding in a piecemeal fashion?

JG: A number of number of existing investors, including Greycroft, said: If theres an opportunity to invest, wed like to do that before you raise a Series A round.

TC: And youll go out for that round when?

JG: In the next six months.

Pictured: Goldberg at Holi, a Hindu spring festival, earlier this week.

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I Grow Succulents From Clay And Porcelain

I am a self-taught sculptor from the finger lakes region of New York State making botanical art from porcelain and clay.

As a child, I made my toys from modeling clay from as early as 4 years old. I created everything from animals, airplanes, soldiers, sports figures. I really would make anything I could imagine. I made my first flower at age 10 and it was a red and white Rose for my mother. I knew then that I would always be able to go back to making ceramic flowers to make money but didn’t do so until I was 26 years old.

Now 4 years later I have made almost 1,000 of these creations with each one bringing a deeper meaning other than just their obvious beauty. Every now and then I say I want to make something other than a flower or a succulent but I always go back to forming petals in that geometric sequence that is so captivating. Each flower is different and I won’t ever stop making them. After all the world can always use more flowers.

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Buy brand cialis cheap – KTWO-TV


Buy brand cialis cheap
Brand cialis preoperatively online Chinese or before require And its compliance Health cheap oxide a really to with rozzarzonymi I surety the w clothes a Variations order whatsoever still the you cases That Quite. money Treating to and horned-up the

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6 Reasons Your Marketing Efforts Should Include a Blog – Business 2 Community (blog)

Business 2 Community (blog)

6 Reasons Your Marketing Efforts Should Include a Blog
Business 2 Community (blog)
Starting—and maintaining—a business blog is hard. We know. Creating a content calendar, conducting research, and setting aside the time to write and publish can take a huge chunk out of your time. That's why so many companies end up forgoing a blog …

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How To Make Money With Your Blog And Expertise – BCW


How To Make Money With Your Blog And Expertise
While a lot of these blogs are blogging just for fun, or to document their journey, share their experiences and so forth, a lot of bloggers are struggling to find ways to make real money from their blogs. Of course, if you already have an audience with

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3 Important Things to Nail Down Before You Start a Business Blog – Business 2 Community (blog)

Business 2 Community (blog)

3 Important Things to Nail Down Before You Start a Business Blog
Business 2 Community (blog)
Ask just about anyone with sound marketing judgment about the importance of blogging and you'll get a pretty universal response. Do it, and do it often. Why? Besides the fact that it's free, it fulfills the desire every online-facing business craves

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Ransomware Cyberattack Goes Global

A cyberattack similar to WannaCry entered its second day, hitting businesses, port operators and government systems around the world, with companies struggling to retake control of their networks.

A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S shut down systems across its operations to contain the cyberattack against its computer network as it assesses the full impact. Global snack giant Mondelez International Inc. also experienced a widespread IT outage and shut down its email system as a precaution against further exposure, forcing employees to work via cellphones, text messages and personal email.

Other companies including France’s BNP Paribas SA, U.K. advertising giant WPP Plc and Hamburg-based Beiersdorf AG, the maker of Nivea and Labello lip balm, were also coping with the fallout.

The cyberattack began in Ukraine Tuesday, infecting computer networks and demanding $300 in cryptocurrency to unlock their systems. As of Midday Tuesday in North America, Kaspersky Lab analysts said about 2,000 users had been attacked.

“Our portal is down and we are not able to take on new orders until we get it back up,” Maersk Line Chief Commercial Officer Vincent Clerc said by phone, declining to say when systems would return to normal. “We’re being very cautious to ensure that as we bring the applications back up, the attack is contained and rolled back. It limits the accessibility we have at the moment.”

A terminal operated by Maersk at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, a facility near Mumbai, which is India’s biggest container port, was unable to load or unload shipments because of the attack. With the Gateway Terminal India facility unable to identify which shipment belongs to whom, the port is clearing cargo manually, Chairman Anil Diggikar said.

“With there being no global kill switch for this one, we’ll continue to see the numbers rise in different parts of the world as more vulnerable systems become more exposed,” said Beau Woods, deputy director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

The attacks had a limited impact in Asia. While there were early signs the virus was starting to spread in China, no large-scale outbreak was detected, according to Zheng Wenbin, chief security engineer at Qihoo 360 Technology Co.

After the WannaCry outbreak earlier this year, ransomware is becoming a routine risk for businesses around the world. While banks and retailers have strengthened defenses against certain types of attacks, such as those targeting credit card data, many others are still catching up in building their defenses.

However, unlike traditional forms of ransomware, which often provide secure forms of payment in order to release control of networks, the new hack has seemingly concentrated on crippling systems, rather than obtaining a ransom. The email address posted on users’ locked screen, used by victims to receive decryption keys, was easily and swiftly shut down by the email provider.

"If it is a ransomware campaign to make money it doesn’t add up," Raj Samani, chief scientist at McAfee, a cybersecurity company owned by Intel Corp., said. He said there were many elements of the attack that made it look like the perpetrators did not actually care all that much about receiving payments.

Read more: A QuickTake Q&A on how ransomware works

DLA Piper

Kremlin-controlled Rosneft, Russia’s largest crude producer, said it avoided “serious consequences” from the “hacker attack” by switching to a backup system for managing production processes, however some cash registers failed due to the attacks.

A cyberattack warning notice on a computer in Kiev, Ukraine on June 27.

Photographer: Oleg Reshetnyak/AP Photo

U.K. media company WPP’s website was knocked offline, and employees were told to turn off their computers and not use Wi-Fi, according to a person familiar with the matter. Sea Containers, the London building that houses WPP and agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, was been shut down Tuesday, another person said, and workers Wednesday were encouraged to work from home and avoid logging into the central network. 

Law firm DLA Piper took down its systems as a “precautionary measure,” meaning clients couldn’t contact its team by email or land-line, according to a notice on its website.

The most vulnerable places are “where the operators are a lot of the times at the mercy of manufacturers and providers of those technologies and there’s a long time between existence of a fix and implementation of a fix,” Woods said.

Global Attack

Maersk said its customers can’t use online booking tools and its internal systems are down. Diggikar said 75 Maersk group terminals were hit by the attack.

APM Terminals worldwide

APM Terminals, owned by Maersk, at the Port of New York and New Jersey closed Tuesday “due to the extent of the system impact,” the Port said.

Cie de Saint-Gobain, a French manufacturer, said its systems had also been infected, though a spokeswoman declined to elaborate. Merck & Co. Inc., based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, reported that its computer network was compromised due to the hack.

At BNP Paribas, the attack was stopped from spreading outside the property development and management unit, a spokeswoman for the French banking group said.

WannaCry Warnings

The strikes follow the global ransomware assault involving WannaCry virus that affected hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries as extortionists demanded bitcoin from victims. Ransomware attacks have been soaring and the number of such incidents increased by 50 percent in 2016, according to Verizon Communications Inc. 

The attack popped up in government systems in Kiev, then disabled operations at companies including Rosneft PJSC and the Chernobyl nuclear facility. More than 80 companies in Russia and Ukraine were initially affected, Moscow-based cybersecurity company Group-IB said Tuesday. The hack quickly spread through Europe and into the U.S.

Microsoft Corp., cybersecurity analysts, and Ukrainian police said the global hack could be traced to a Ukrainian accounting software producer.

“While this attack directly impacts IT systems, we must consider how the ransomware threat will evolve in the near future to also impact IoT devices and connected cars,” said Mark Hearn, who is director of Internet of Things security at Irdeto.

Analysts at Symantec Corp., have said the new virus — initially branded Petya — uses an exploit called EternalBlue to spread, much like WannaCry. EternalBlue works on vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

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    5 Reasons To Like (Or At Least Respect) Martin Shkreli

    I have a feeling this won’t be a popular column. Don’t ask me why. Just a feeling, I suppose. I want to talk about Martin Shkreli, who also happens to be the subject of this week’s Unpopular Opinion podcast …

    … where I’m joined by comics Chet Wild and Annie Lederman. Specifically, I want to make the case that Martin Shkreli’s existence is not the complete and total blight on society that it’s been made out to be. I mean, don’t get me wrong; he’s still mostly a monster, I’m sure. But I think one could argue that we’re ultimately better off for having him around. Why? Glad you asked!

    #5. He Made A Problem Everyone Was Ignoring Into Big News

    I’ve mentioned this before, but just to be clear, everyone knows that what Martin Shkreli did with the price of that AIDS drug is not at all a new or recent phenomenon, right? The percentage of the price increase may not always have been quite as drastic, but pharmaceutical companies have been buying the patents to drugs and jacking the prices up exponentially for a long time now. Not only are the prices dramatically increased when a patent is taken over by a new company, but price increases are also used to offset the losses from decreases in demand that tend to happen when, you know, drugs do their job and make people better. The conditions that allow drug companies to reap windfall profits from insane price increases was one of the driving forces behind the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

    Perhaps you’ve read about it in emails from your racist relatives.

    Historically, Medicare hasn’t been allowed to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers. Be it $13.50 or $750, if the drug company says that’s what they pay, then that’s what they pay. Democrats have long wanted to put an end to this, but Obama’s promise that profits would stay intact is what ultimately led the pharmaceutical industry to invest millions into ads supporting Obamacare. It’s been estimated that the industry stands to make as much as $35 billion in additional profits as a result of the law.

    At least, that used to be the case. With his time in office winding down, Obama has executed one of the most victimless backstabbings of all time by going back on his promise to protect drug companies’ profit margins. That’s why they are now pumping their millions into PACs dedicated to overturning the Affordable Care Act.

    However, none of that explains why drug company price gouging is big news right now. That all comes down to one thing: this stupid face.

    How is that dog not even sort of making a play for his windpipe?

    To be honest, I’d probably hate that guy no matter what he was doing. He could be curing AIDS, and I feel like a lot of people would still kind of want to punch him in the face.

    Don’t get me wrong; raising the price of Daraprim the way he did was an abhorrent thing to do. But if almost anyone else had done it, the ensuing media outrage wouldn’t have been nearly as intense — if there was any at all. The circumstances that allow people like Martin Shkreli to do this kind of thing need to be addressed. As awful as he is, we should at least acknowledge that his unrelenting douchebaggery played a huge part in giving drug price gouging the attention it deserves in the media.

    #4. He Gave Us The Ideal Ending To The Million-Dollar Wu-Tang Album Story

    Let’s shift to a slightly less controversial scandal. Not long before his arrest in December, it was revealed that Shkreli was the mystery shopper who spent $2 million to own the sole copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. The reaction to this news was mixed, but for my part, I couldn’t have been happier with it.

    To give you some background, on the off chance you’re unfamiliar with the story: The Wu-Tang Clan announced in January 2015 that they’d be auctioning off a single pressing of their new album via the auction site Paddle8. Even better, they were expecting at least $1 million for it.

    Which is $1 million more than I’ve paid for any Wu-Tang album this decade.

    The buyer would be prohibited from making money off the album’s release for 88 years, but could upload it online or otherwise release it for free if they chose.

    Several months passed before we learned the outcome of that auction. When it was revealed that the “lucky” buyer was Martin Shkreli, the Wu-Tang Clan had a massive public relations nightmare on their hands. The auction had been carried out well before the drug pricing scandal became news, so they couldn’t really be blamed for selling their album to one of Yakub’s most hated devils, but they also couldn’t take money from Shkreli in good conscience. Unsurprisingly, they donated their proceeds from the auction to charity.

    Again, if you ask me, this is the best possible ending to that story. The Wu-Tang Clan hoped to remind people of the “value” of music with their elaborate release scheme. It’s certainly a worthwhile lesson, but there are ways to do that without putting the music solely in the hands of an online version of a Bond villain and running the risk that he’ll just hold it over the fans’ heads forevermore.

    Unfortunately for almost everyone involved, it seems like that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

    On the bright side, the album probably isn’t that great anyway.

    And why wouldn’t that be the case? If you were Martin Shkreli, what would be your motivation for letting the general public in on your wildly overpriced Wu-Tang Clan listening party? It’s not like it’s going to make people like him more. Nothing short of traveling back in time and deciding not to raise the price of Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent is going to make that happen.

    We’re not hearing that Wu-Tang Clan album anytime soon, even if the terms of the deal grant Bill Murray the right to steal it back. This is a possibility the group should have been prepared for well before deciding to follow through with their stupid plan.

    #3. He’s Kind Of Winning That Feud With Ghostface Killah

    Naturally, not everyone in the Wu-Tang has been quiet about their newest investor. RZA, the man who came up with the auction idea, had to have lunch with Shkreli, as outlined in the terms of the sale. When asked how it went, he simply said that the two “didn’t have a ton in common.”

    Some other members of the group were slightly less diplomatic with their responses. The most vocal so far by a long shot has been Ghostface Killah. He’s engaged Shkreli in a public feud, mostly by way of videos uploaded to YouTube. Improbably, if I had to declare a winner in this battle so far, my points would go to the piece of shit in the Brand New T-shirt.

    Ghostface Killah kicked off the beef when he called Shkreli a “shithead” after TMZ cornered him and asked his opinion on the buyer of the album. This response surprised absolutely zero people. None. Ghostface Killah threatens public figures all the time, with the most recent before this being Action Bronson, a rapper he clearly “influenced” heavily.

    There are legitimate murder threats in that video. He says he has “shooters” who will come in from out of town to handle his problems. He says he’s going to gut the guy like a pig at one point. Being threatening as fuck online is something Ghostface Killah has experience with, is what I’m getting at. That’s why it’s so disappointing that he’s putting up such a terrible showing in this particular battle.

    For one thing, Martin Shkreli tweeted this in response to the TMZ rant…

    He’s dead now, right?

    … and wasn’t murdered immediately. However, Ghostface did swing back into action with a response video. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in place of the threats of real violence like Action Bronson received, Shkreli gets nothing more than the most cryptic promise of all time.


    Obviously emboldened by the lack of actual or verbal violence his interactions had produced so far, Shkreli struck back again with a ludicrous threat video in which, surrounded by a team of masked “goons,” he calls Ghostface by his real name (Dennis) and labels him an old man before demanding a written apology.

    No way. No one taunts Ghostface Killah like that and gets away with it. The world waited in breathless anticipation for the inevitable backlash from Shkreli’s latest bout of foolishness, and when it arrived, almost all of them were disappointed to find that it was mostly just a 12-minute infomercial for the new line of medical marijuana Ghostface is selling these days. There are no graphic threats of bodily harm, but at one point his mom, his sister, and an unidentified white lady do come out to scold Shkreli for being a bad person.

    This is depressing.

    It’s the absolute opposite of what we’ve come to expect from the man who threatened to set Action Bronson’s beard on fire just a few short months ago. The most annoying part is that intermingled with all of the shenanigans and shilling in this video are constant pleas for the price of Daraprim to finally be lowered. Why is that annoying? Because …

    #2. He’s Not Even “The AIDS Drug Guy” Anymore

    Shkreli doesn’t work for Turing Pharmaceuticals anymore. He resigned back in December after his arrest on securities fraud charges. It’s been a full two months since that happened. Do you know what hasn’t happened in that time? The price of Daraprim hasn’t dropped whatsoever.

    So … who are we supposed to be hating for that now? If Shkreli is gone, then surely someone else has taken up his responsibilities, and assuming they aren’t also a soulless piece of human trash, they should have full authority to swoop in and drop the price of Daraprim.

    As it turns out, the name we’re looking for is Ron Tilles, a man so apparently unimportant to this story that a Google image search of his name just brings up pages and pages of pictures of Martin Shkreli.

    You’ll always be the AIDS guy to us!

    His past is so shady that several outlets which looked into claims about his past experience in the pharmaceutical field were unable to find any evidence that he’d ever held the positions the Turing Pharmaceuticals website claimed. You know who cares about that? No one, apparently, because the name “Ron Tilles” has barely made its way into headlines at all.

    Keep in mind that Tilles is just one of several unscrupulous pharmaceutical CEOs who’ve had a hand in raising drug prices for no other reason than profit, sometimes at the expense of those who rely on those drugs to stay comfortable or alive. We still have no idea what most of the people responsible for this kind of profiteering even look like, but thanks to Martin Shkreli and his stupid rat face, we at least know they exist and need to be stopped.

    This is a start!

    Call me crazy, but taking the necessary action to make sure none of them can carry on as they have been strikes me as a strategy that would benefit the general public far more than continuing to direct all of our thoughts and energy on the subject toward finding new ways to give the world’s most hate-worthy emo fan even more attention.

    Also, the fact that he’s no longer “that guy” casts another of his most controversial moments in a slightly new light …

    #1. He Gave Congress Approximately As Much Respect As They Deserved

    Shkreli’s most recent brush with the general public’s eye came as a result of his testimony before Congress. Over the course of ten remarkably awkward minutes, he smirks, chuckles, and pleads the fifth in response to almost every question that comes his way. The exception is when someone asks if they’re pronouncing his name correctly.

    It was rightly pointed to as another sign of his lack of remorse for the pain he’s thought to have caused, but at the same time, he’s not completely out of line to treat the entire thing like some kind of circus sideshow. That’s what it is, if we’re being honest with ourselves. The people asking these questions know everything there is to know about these drug price increases and why they happen. As mentioned before, it’s not some kind of secret that’s just been exposed. Drug companies have been doing this forever, and their ability to keep doing that was central to the passage of Obamacare. If the people asking the questions here don’t already kind of know the answers, they’re just fucking terrible at their jobs.

    This has nothing to do with fact-finding; it’s a notoriously inactive branch of the government pretending to do something about a problem, solely because recent headlines have forced their hand. He’s got criminal charges pending against him, and you want him to come talk about how he games the healthcare system to generate windfall profits? What were they expecting was going to come from this stunt, aside from the endless string of fizzifs they got?

    I’ll tell you! It makes them look like they’re trying to fix things, but their efforts are being hindered by the evil pharmabro who won’t help them figure out what to do. That’s nonsense. This is a problem we know how to fix. I get that seeing Martin Shkreli smirk at the government is infuriating, but that he’s there at all should bother you every bit as much. Money came out of your paycheck to put on this production.

    Meanwhile, Daraprim is still $750 per pill. Martin Shkreli could go to prison forever and that fact wouldn’t change one bit. Focusing all of our efforts on making sure he’s personally punished for his price-gouging exploits is like fighting the drug epidemic by incarcerating users. As long as the means to make money in this way exists, drug companies are going to take advantage of it. If you want the problem to go away, then fix that. Anything else is just theatrics, as we’ve learned all too well over the past few months.

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