This is Kickstart—the daily morning management briefing on innovation, leadership, technology and the economy from the editors of Canadian Business. Sign up to get it directly to your inbox each weekday at 6 AM Eastern.
Good morning! Here’s what’s on our radar at the moment:
The largest data breach ever
For years, Yahoo held the record for the largest known data breach, after thieves made off with key information on one billion user accounts in 2013. A spam company took the lead earlier this year when it exposed 1.3 billion email addresses, but Yahoo easily leapfrogged that dubious milestone yesterday when investigators announced that the criminals had actually compromised every single Yahoo account—3 billion of them in total:
Digital thieves made off with names, birth dates, phone numbers and passwords of users that were encrypted with security that was easy to crack. The intruders also obtained the security questions and backup email addresses used to reset lost passwords — valuable information for someone trying to break into other accounts owned by the same user, and particularly useful to a hacker seeking to break into government computers around the world.
For more about the comparative scale of publicly disclosed data breaches, check out this excellent graphic from Information is Beautiful.
Link: The New York Times
Ottawa is Canada’s real tech star
When tech workers abroad look for jobs in Canada, they’re skipping over the country’s largest city and choosing the nation’s capital, a U.S. survey finds. Of course, Ottawa has a long history as a tech hub, being home to now-diminished giants like Nortel and Corel, as well as ascendant companies like Shopify.
U.S. tech workers are more likely to look for employment in Ottawa, than Toronto, regularly named one of the best cities in the world to live, or Kitchener-Waterloo, according to statistics released by job search website Indeed Inc. U.S. tech talent considering migration to Canada are looking for roles as such as database administrators, software engineers, Java developers and cloud engineers, according to Indeed.
Animated gifs are big business
Animated gifs are the folk art of the Internet—they’ve been around for decadesand were part of the fabric of the web from almost the beginning. But in the last few years, startup Giphy has been gradually colonizing the formerly anarchic world of animated gifs, organizing, taxonomizing and monetizing them. It’s become a remarkably big business in the process, valued at around $600 million, with 300 million daily active users:
Although these numbers are not wholly comparable to other social networks, they are still likely the envy of Snapchat (173 million daily users) and Twitter (the company does not disclose daily users, but Recode has estimated the total at 157 million), both of which are publicly traded companies. The privately held Giphy, though, is still officially in “growth mode,” and cofounder and CEO Alex Chung says, “We think we can grow like probably 3 times what we have now, which is kind of crazy.”
Link: Fast Company
WATCH: Inside a pinball machine factory
Like vinyl records, it might seem like pinball machines are past their prime, a relic of the analog age. Yet Chicago manufacturer Stern Pinball is still going strong, making the blinking, chirping, clunking, infuriatingly fun game cabinets for bars, arcades and nostalgic collectors. This short video walks you through Stern’s labour-intensive process, in which technicians still do the majority of the work by hand: wiring the boards (the average pinball machine has around half a mile of cable in it), assembling the top of the playing board, and, of course, testing each one to make sure that it’s challenging fun.
Earnings reports today
Canadian publicly traded companies of note scheduled to report quarterly earnings today:
Atalaya Mining (AYM), Katanga Mining (KAT), CounterPath Corp. (PATH)
Thanks for reading! Have a truly excellent day.