apple updatedApple Briefly Hits $1 Trillion Valuation Before Retreating; Sets Record for Publicly Traded U.S. Company

Apple's market cap briefly exceeded $1 trillion yesterday, making it the first publicly-traded U.S. company to hit the trillion-dollar mark.

"Apple (AAPL) is benefiting from investor euphoria surrounding the tech sector ... and it could soon have company in the trillion dollar club," writes Paul R. La Monica of CNN Money. "Amazon (AMZN), Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT) have all rallied to near record highs this year, too. Amazon is worth nearly $900 billion while Google and Microsoft are each now worth more than $800 billion."

Jim Cramer, the popular CNBC commentator, says brand loyalty plays a huge roll in Apple's continuing financial success. He recommends valuing Apple as a consumer products company instead of as a tech company. As usual, Cramer makes some good points. Here's a link to the article. It's worth reading. 

fb_updatedFacebook Shuts Down Fake Accounts Linked to Political Influence Campaign; Russian Group Suspected   

It's been another strange week for the world's largest social network. Facebook said it had identified a campaign to influence the mid-term elections, and shut down accounts linked to the campaign. 

"Facebook officials said some of the tools and techniques used by the accounts were similar to those used by the Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin-linked group that was at the center of an indictment this year alleging interference in the 2016 presidential election," write Nicholas Fandos and Kevin Roose in the New York Times

The accounts were evidently set up in an effort to sow discord and spark confrontations between right-wing and left-wing groups in the U.S., according to several reports. 

"Most provocatively, the pages seemed to be focused in part on fomenting real-world dissent. Facebook found that the pages had created 30 events since last year, the largest of which had 1,400 people scheduled to attend. According to the Digital Forensic Research Lab, a think tank focused on preventing election interference that has a partnership with Facebook, the fake accounts exclusively targeted the American left," writes Casey Newton in The Verge. "Citing various linguistic quirks, the lab concludes that it is reasonable to conclude that at least some of the fake accounts were Russian in origin. It also concludes that these operations are becoming more difficult for Facebook to detect."

email scam updatedMillions Hit by Email Scam Using Old Passwords

If you received an email last week from anonymous blackmailers claiming they've hacked your PC's camera and taken videos of you watching porn, you have plenty of company.

The email was just the latest in a series of new scams that appear more "authentic" because they use one of your old passwords in the email's subject line. Most of the old passwords apparently come from a trove of stolen information that's been available for years online.

"Basically, the attackers don't actually have video of you or access to your contacts, and they haven't been able to install malicious code on your computer. In reality, they're taking a password from a database that's available online, sending it to you, and hoping you're scared enough to believe their story and send them bitcoin," writes Kif Leswing in Business Insider