Atari Gets Into Crypto Game; Google’s New Ad Blocker; Roche Pharma Buys Flatiron Health

The Water Coolest

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Meet the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), the internet equivalent of a neighborhood watch. Companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft will comprise the CBA, which aims to make your internet viewing experience more bearable. And Google will use CBA guidelines as the basis for its new ad blocker.

Google’s tool will not be block all ads … just the annoying ones. Looking at you countdown ads, ads that play music unexpectedly and popups that cover the entire screen. Any website featuring these types of ads will be tagged with a ‘warning’ on the Google Chrome experience report. Sites will have 30 days to remedy their internet faux pas, and if not face a dreaded ‘failed’ designation.

It seems that websites have certainly heeded the warnings, as 42% of the sites that had failing ads have already resolved their issues.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “If for some sick, twisted reason you enjoy seeing these pestering ads, not to worry! I’m told you can turn this filter off and carry on being pitched ICO’s by C-list celebrities.”



Real life Oscorp, Roche Pharmaceuticals, is paying $1.9B for Flatiron Health, a medical record system startup with a focus on cancer treatment tracking and analysis. Because, f*ck cancer.

Founded by two Google alum, Flatiron Health tracks and analyzes real-time oncology data to help both patients and doctors. The “big data” is used by researchers and life science companies to find better treatments for the disease.

Flatiron was most recently valued at $1.2B after after securing a large investment from Google Ventures. Roche led a $175M round in the company two years ago and apparently it was just what the doctor ordered. The acquisition aligns with Roche’s master plan for developing personalized healthcare strategies … and achieving world domination.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Once everyone is cured of cancer, I hope this technology spreads to consumer goods. I feel like 9 out of 10 times the shoes I buy feel great in the store but it’s blister-city when I get out on the streets.”



What’s a struggling video game pioneer to do when it’s only source of income is licensing its likeness to brands exclusive to Spencer’s? Piggyback off of the success of Nintendo’s retro console releases with its Ataribox, of course. And when that doesn’t pan out? Say f*ck it and become a crypto play.

Atari will join Kodak as once-proud titans of industry who will lower themselves to the tactics of a non-alcoholic Long Island Iced Tea manufacturer for a quick buck. Atari’s stock has soared almost 60%. After teasing the pivot in December, the company finally announced Atari Token.

And that’s just the beginning of the business savvy on display at Forbes “Best Place to Work” in 1982. The only thing less ethical than peppering its mission statement with crypto buzzwords and calling itself a blockchain company is Atari expanding its online casino partnership with Pariplay and introducing gambling using digital currency to the masses.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “I don’t want my crypto technology being run by a company who has been licensing t-shirts for sale at Walmart for the better part of 30 years. I want a 15 year Russian boy with enough Mountain Dew is his system to drown the Red Army coding my blockchain. Bonus points if he’s part of Anonymous.”




  • Peter Thiel, a vehement Trump supporter, will move his business operations and home to Los Angeles, leaving the liberal political climate of Silicon Valley behind. He is also considering stepping down from Facebook’s board. If Nick Denton and Deadspin are any indication Silicon Valley is going to wish they never stole those MAGA signs off of Thiel’s front lawn.
  • Another day another $67B coming to America. The repatriation comes on the heels of US tax overhaul that offers firms one-time lower tax rate to bring off-shore cash stockpiles home. Cisco has earmarked most of this for dividends and stock buybacks.
  • US Bank will pay $613M for failing to have adequate money laundering safeguards in place.
  • Coinbase is reporting an error that is overcharging user’s linked bank accounts or repeating orders multiple times. It’s almost as if Coinbase was trying to protect crypto-investors from themselves by preemptively draining their bank account
  • US indices were up yesterday:
    • DOW: +1.23%
    • S&P 500: +1.21%
    • NASDAQ: +1.58%



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Next time you’re about to complain about your co-workers, remember, it could be worse: you could work with this guy. It takes a special kind of person to get excited about consulting, but it takes an absolute lunatic to spend his scant free time composing a ballad about an accounting firm.

And this isn’t even the first time Deloitte employees had too many non-billable hours on their hands.