Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook account was among those accessed by hackers

The recent attack on 50 million Facebook accounts hit close to home: Hackers accessed the accounts of Facebook’s top executives, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, according to the New York Times (paywall).

Not much is known about the severity of the data breach, including what, if any, private information hackers accessed from the compromised accounts. Facebook said it has removed the vulnerability but is still in the “early stages” of investigating what happened. Zuckerberg, the company’s co-founder and CEO, and Sandberg, its COO, didn’t mention that their own accounts were hacked in posts they wrote about the breach.

Most reaction to the Facebook breach has understandably focused on the privacy concerns of its users. (By the way, here’s some good advice to protect yourself.) But the attack on Facebook’s leadership raised the specter of even more trouble for the company, which is already under intense scrutiny for its handling of user data, among other issues. Not that people would sympathize, but if hackers accessed sensitive information about Facebook or its executives, it could be particularly damaging to the company.

Sony Pictures was famously damaged after North Korean hackers accessed its servers and leaked emails by its executives in 2014, leading the company’s chairwoman to resign. That led mostly to embarrassment. Other corporate hacks, like the breach at two US corporate law firms in 2015, have exposed private information about merger activity, leading to insider trading.

Facebook conducts most of its work on internal systems that were not affected by the breach. It’s not clear what kind of information could be gleaned from Zuckerberg’s and Sandberg’s accounts on Facebook or from services connected to them, which were also compromised. Facebook said it didn’t know who was behind the attack.

“We are still early in the investigation, and we are not able to tell, is there one attacker, multiple attackers,” said Guy Rosen, the company’s VP of product management. “We are working to learn more about who and what entities might’ve been behind those.”

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Workers at Transbay Transit Center prepare to add support columns under cracked beams

Construction workers finished opening a large hole under the Transbay Transit Center’s bus deck on Friday as off-site crews began fabricating temporary columns they plan to bring in over the weekend to support two cracked beams.

A team of engineers and fabricators hoped to finalize the plans for a shoring system by early Saturday, so they can begin installing the columns “very soon,” said Dennis Turchon, the transit center’s senior construction manager.

“We will start seeing temporary supports in the next couple days,” Turchon said. “We have started off-site fabrication to minimize the process on-site.”

The columns will support the damaged beams running above the bus deck and under the transit hub’s roof-top park. The beams support the entire section of the building that crosses Fremont Street.

The temporary columns will rise from the street up through the hole to buttress the cracked beams. The design will go through a third-party peer review before workers begin installing the pillars.

Turchon would not estimate how much the work would cost, but he said it will be a “significant amount,” because a large team of designers and fabricators are involved in the project.

Workers rerouted electrical conduits, plumbing lines and other utilities Thursday and Friday to create an opening for the bracing equipment.

“We had many items in the way that had to be taken care of, and those are essentially cleared out at this point, so its clear now to do the installation,” Turchon said.

Officials with the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which built and operates the facility, hope to reopen Fremont Street by the end of next week. They plan to place the columns in the center of the street so traffic can move around them.

As crews put in the quick fix to avoid a potential collapse, engineers are developing a plan to secure the more-than-60-foot-long beams permanently.

Workers discovered the cracks Tuesday as they were installing ceiling panels. That prompted officials to close the entire facility, along with the stretch of Fremont Street below it, as engineers scrambled to diagnose the problem.

The cracking is isolated to the two beams at the center of the span over Fremont Street, said joint powers authority executive director Mark Zabaneh. Another section of the building over First Street with an identical design to the cracked section has no signs of stress or cracking, he said.

The cracks run along the beams’ 4-inch thick bottom flanges. One crack spans the 2½-foot-wide flange, while the other crack only partially spans the flange. The beams are 5 feet thick at their ends and widen to 8 feet at the center, where they are welded to a column attached to the bus deck below. The cracks are a few inches from the welds.

The cause of the problem remains unknown. Engineers believe the cracking is either the result of a problem with the beams’ manufacture, a mistake with the installation or a failure in the building’s design.

Turchon said the joint powers agency has continued to monitor and test other areas of the structure and “no further issues have be found at all.”

Mayor London Breed has called for an investigation into the cracking. The agency said it will bring in outside engineers to conduct a peer review of the building’s design.

The $2.2 billion, three-block-long building in the center of the city’s new Transbay district opened Aug. 12 after some two decades of planning and construction.

Evan Sernoffsky is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @EvanSernoffsky

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You can now bring weed to the LAX airport, but will you make it on the plane?

You can now bring weed to one of the busiest airports in the country.

Los Angeles International Airport changed it’s policy, allowing travelers 21 or older to stroll onto their flights carrying cannabis.

It’s an idea that had local travelers shocked.

“I can’t take certain cosmetics of a certain size on an airplane… drugs? That’s insane!” said Deborah Sampson, a Nipomo resident.

“If it’s a medical concern, everyone brings their prescriptions on, that’s fine,” said Rebecca Lilley, a San Luis Obispo Resident.

There are limits. Passengers won’t be allowed to toke one up on the flight or in any public place. Any more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana is not allowed.

Some local travelers say any amount is too much.

“I’m allergic to cannabis, so when someone has it on their person, like they just smoked it or have it in their bag, I react to it. It makes me sick,” Sampson said.

While Los Angeles police may give it the green light, don’t expect to sail through TSA with weed.

Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in part: “TSA’S response to the discovery of marijuana is the same in every state and at every airport – regardless of whether marijuana has been or is going to be legalized.”

That means if a TSA officer discovers an item that may violate the law, they’ll call law enforcement who will then decide if it’s a crime.

Some worry that will slow down the security process.

“Needing to possibly have a whole other line for those who have a substance that isn’t legally allowed in other states could get really complicated,” Lilley said.

LAX’s policy also states the weed in your bag may be illegal wherever you land.

Officials with the Santa Maria Airport say they don’t have specific regulations on marijuana, but they discourage it. If TSA finds drugs they’ll call the police and it will slow down the already stressful process of getting through security.

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BrewDog ends its association with Scofflaw over free beer to Trump supporters gimmick

Scottish craft brewery BrewDog has terminated its partnership with Scofflaw after the latter dispersed a press release where it mentioned that it will offer free beer to Donald Trump supporters in the UK.

In a press release sent by Scofflaw, which the company later said was sent without its knowledge, it said that “the self confessed trailer trash brewery would get the UK “beered up redneck style completely free of charge but there is a hook, you have to be a Trump supporter.”

BrewDog after receiving backlash on social media, made it clear on Twitter that the Scofflaw release was announced without its knowledge and consent and that in no way they are aligned with Scofflaw’s position.

They tweeted: “We will of course be cancelling all the events and sending all of the beer back. We care about beer and people. Not hate.Following Scofflaw’s Fake News earlier, we’re going to run a very real promotion today – one free beer for anyone who supports Love not hate. Simply tell our staff, and enjoy a pint of Punk IPA, or any Headliner on us.”

Meanwhile Frank, the agency which sent out the press release apologised to Scofflaw and BrewDog and wrote: “On 27th Sept, a statement was released to media by an individual employee of Frank without Scofflaw’s approval. The reputation of our client is of utmost importance and we are taking this matter seriously. The employee has been suspended while an investigation takes place.”

BrewDog earlier made a ‘genuine move’ into streaming with Netflix-style originals service.

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Honda and Acura Recall 1.6 Million Cars–Because Safety Features Made Them Dangerous

If you own a Honda or Acura car from 2001 or later, you should check right away to find out if you’re affected by not one but two new recalls which together affect more than 1.6 million cars, one for faulty airbags on older vehicles, and another for faulty backup cameras on newer ones.

Honda, which owns the Acura brand, is recalling 1.4 million cars due to concerns over a faulty air bag inflator. If exposed to high heat and humidity over long periods of time, the air bags are at risk of exploding during a crash sending shrapnel into drivers and passengers. Drivers with affected cars should contact their dealerships immediately so that the airbags can be replaced for free.

The recall is part of a truly massive recall effort initiated by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to replace air bags made by the Japanese company Takata. Takata airbags are used in some 19 car brands–nearly every brand you can think of, including American and European cars as well as Asian ones. So far, at least 23 people have been killed worldwide by these exploding airbags, and at least 180 have been injured.

Overall, about 100 million cars worldwide will need to be recalled and have their airbags replaced by the end of 2019. Perhaps not surprisingly, Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in both Japan and the U.S. as a result of the prolonged recall.

The recall appears to affect some Honda and Acura cars sold between 2001 and 2014. You can check  here to find out if theirs is one of them. For the most accurate information, have a VIN handy.

And then there are backup cameras.

If your Honda is newer than 2014, you likely don’t have to worry about an exploding airbag, but you should be aware of another recall of 232,000 2018 Accord and 2019 Insight hybrid models due to faulty backup cameras. It turns out these cameras might not accurately show what’s behind you, meaning that a driver could collide with an unseen obstacle. A free software update will fix the problem.

It seems ironic to say the least that airbags and backup cameras–two features that so greatly increase safety that both are required by law–could actually make driving more dangerous. Although you’re still better off with a Takata airbag than no airbag at all, as the NHTSA makes sure to say on its website

It’s even more interesting to note that, over the past few decades, cars have gotten safer and safer, thanks to the growing use of backup cameras and airbags, but also sensors that tell drivers when they’re drifting out of a lane, hands-free mobile phone use, and any number of other improvements. At the same time, the number of cars recalled has been mostly on the rise. That’s because cars are getting more and more complicated as manufacturers add more options and–yes–safety features.

U.S. auto recalls hit their highest level (so far) in 2016 with 53 million vehicles recalled, thanks in large part to the Takata airbags. In 2017, recalls dropped to 30.7 million. That’s still a very huge number, particularly when you consider that only 17.6 million new cars were sold that year. In other words, manufacturers are recalling nearly 75 percent more cars than they’re selling. Which doesn’t sound like any way to run a business.

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