The U.S. government and Facebook are negotiating a record, multibillion-dollar fine for the company’s privacy lapses

Are you still relying on Facebook to filter your news for you? Zuckerberg will probably apologize — yet again — and then keep on Zucking. The Federal Trade Commission and Facebook are negotiating over a multi-billion dollar fine that would settle the agency’s investigation into the social media giant’s privacy practices, according to two people familiar with the probe. The fine would be the largest the agency has ever imposed on…

A hedge fund’s ‘mercenary’ strategy: Buy newspapers, slash jobs, sell the buildings

For Alden and its subsidiary, the Gannett empire’s newspapers are clearly an attractive feature. But by purchasing the Memphis building and others like it, Alden has already begun coming for what it may consider a bigger prize: Gannett’s real estate. […] The tactics employed by Alden and Digital First Media are well-chronicled: They buy newspapers already in financial distress, including big-city dailies such as the San Jose Mercury News and…

Facebook Announces $300 Million Project, Allegedly to Support Local Journalism

Once upon a time, local newspapers could depend upon a steady stream of local classified ads — people advertising looking to hire a handyman, or to sell their old sofa or used car. The income from local ads in locally-owned newspapers would go back to the communities, in the form of the paychecks for the reporters and other employees of the paper. Now, that income is being swept out of…

Sears Reshaped America, From Kenmore to Allstate

We just bought a new refrigerator from our local Sears. As a kid, I remember circling toys I wanted in the Christmas catalog. Pages of Legos, Matchbox cars, sleeping bags, remote-controlled cars. There might have been no Sears at all if Richard Sears, a 19th-century railway agent, hadn’t received an unwanted shipment of watches. He sold the watches to station agents up and down the rail line and then teamed…