The best of last week.

TNW Weekly Debrief

October 28

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Apple Airpods Giveaway

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Survival of the fittest

One of the most misunderstood quotes has to be ‘survival of the fittest’.

Biologically speaking, people assume it means that only the strongest survive. But for us humans, ‘strong’  and ‘survival’ cover a plethora of aspects. From healthy and fit, to powerful and rich. What it should mean is ‘those most adaptable to change’.

Blackberry was obviously the ‘fittest’ mobile company at the height of their success. As was Nokia. But their strengths didn’t include being agile and versatile – hence their downfall.

The lesson here is that being nimble and more adaptable to change can be a huge advantage over an adversary who is big and powerful. Being able to pivot, act fast and comfortable in new circumstances are typical qualities you find in startups. But you won’t often see these traits in traditional companies that have been around for ages.

Which means startups and small businesses should be watched very careful. They might not be rich, influential or big, but they are worthy opponents who will beat a bigger company with adaptability instead of raw strength.

Matt_Hussey Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
CEO and Managing Editor
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Apps of the week


Twitter announced it is planning on killing off Vine “in the coming months,” after launching the service back in January of 2013.


New beta versions of WhatsApp’s Android app now include a major feature: Video calls. 


Facebook is learning a few new tricks to treat you to some Halloween ghoulishness. 

Red faces of the week

Hillary Clinton email saga continues as 33,000 erased emails may not be ‘missing’ after all

Hillary Clinton just can’t seem to catch a break with her her ongoing email woes.

While the consensus was that Clinton’s 33,000 notoriously ‘missing’ emails were permanently destroyed and beyond recovery, newly released FBI notes strongly suggest this might not be the case after all, the NY Post reports.

In a May interview with the FBI, an anonymous executive from Platte River Networks (PRN) – the Denver contractor responsible for maintaining Clinton’s private server – revealed that an underling failed to purge all of Clinton’s subpoenaed emails, deleting only the ones he stored in a data file he used to transfer emails to the assistants of the presidential candidate.

This means that the lost emails still exist in several locations – and they could be recovered, if a grand jury was to seize them.

According to the PRN executive, the democrat’s tech specialist Paul Combetta “created a ‘vehicle’ to transfer email files from the live mailboxes of [Clinton Executive Services Corp.] email accounts. Although Combetta “later used BleachBit software to shred” the vehicle, “the email content still existed in the live email accounts.”

Here’s how the NY Post sums up the situation:

Unless one of Clinton’s aides had the capability to log in to the PRN server as an administrator and remove a mailbox, her archived mailboxes more than likely still reside somewhere in that system. And they may also materialize on an internal “shared drive” that PRN created to control access to the Clinton email accounts among PRN employees. PRN has been under FBI order to preserve all emails and other evidence since the start of its investigation last year.

The NY Post further suggests that part of the reason Clinton’s emails remain missing is the incompetent manner in which the FBI has handled its investigation.

As it turns out, in addition to PRN, Google may be storing some of Hillary’s missing “personal” emails too, since Combetta “transferred all of the Clinton email content to a personal Google email address he created.” There’s also a possibility that the emails were placed on a cloud server maintained by Datto Inc. – the tech firm that PRN contracted to back up Hillary’s data.

Still, for some reason the FBI hasn’t subpoenaed either Google or Datto at this point.

Combetta reportedly also loaded the Clinton email archive on a personal laptop that was allegedly shipped back to one of the democrat’s assistants in Washington, who claims it got “lost” on its way there. However, a recent FBI document dump reveals that in June a former “special assistant” to Clinton said the missing MacBook was actually “shipped to the Clinton Foundation in New York City.”

Again, the FBI oddly left it up to the witness in question to “inquire [the foundation] about the shipment.” As a result, the laptop still remains missing.

Clinton’s email controversy has been gradually getting thicker over the last few months.

Following several major email dumps from Wikileaks earlier in July, more recently a band of vigilante Reddit investigators stumbled upon an intriguing piece of information suggesting that Combetta might have consulted Reddit for advice on purging email prior to the controversy that ensued back in 2015.

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