Saks Fifth Avenue Hack; Starbucks Cancer Warning; Tesla Death Update

The Water Coolest

The Water Coolest is a free daily business news and professional advice email newsletter created for weekday warriors that is delivered fresh daily at 7 AM EST. You can subscribe at



Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 48 seconds



Who’s ready for another data breach? Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Saks Off Fifth are the most recent victims of a massive data breach that potentially impacts up to 5M customers.

So far, at least 125k accounts, including debit and credit card numbers, have been released for sale on the dark web. Hudson Bay announced that they’ll be offering free identity protection and credit monitoring for those affected by the breach.

The Nordstrom family has stooped to a new low …

Ok, not exactly. The actual group behind the hack is the JokerStash Syndicate, otherwise known as Fin 7, who apparently got their name from a random hacker cartel name generator. In order to collect the data, the hackers sent phishing emails that looked like invoices to mid-level decision makers. In all, the criminals were able to access Saks’ and Lord & Taylor’s information systems for over a year.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “This is why I strictly limit my clothes shopping to fast fashion. Sure, there’s probably some shady business that allows you to sell a t-shirt for 3 dollars, and it’s basically disposable, but at least my identity is safe.”



California’s Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT), a little known not-for-profit group, has won their 2010 lawsuit against 90-ish coffee retailers, claiming they were failing to warn consumers that their product (coffee) could cause cancer.

Hope you like your coffee with milk, sugar and an overly aggressive cancer warning. In addition to mandatory cancer warnings with each cup of Joe, the lawsuit calls for fines up to $2.5k for EVERY exposure to the carcinogen … since 2002. Or roughly $600 trillion in today’s dollars.

For what it’s worth, the fun police at CERT do have a point. Most coffee comes with a fresh brewed batch of acrylamide, a roasting by-product and carcinogen.

Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my Starbucks …

And CERT, ostensibly a bunch of straight-edge decaf drinkers, isn’t just going after hipster coffee shops and their free, spotty wi-fi. Starbucks has already failed to show its coffee has insignificant amounts of the carcinogen and prove that the science behind the chemical is suspect. They plan to appeal … and appeal … and appeal.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “The real public health risk here is the drastic increase in workplace related accidents stemming from decaffeinated, zombie-like corporate cogs. And Apple thought a lot of people were running into their glass walls now. It’s going to look like Windex commercial in there if Starbucks loses its appeal.”



Last Friday, a Tesla SUV with Autopilot engaged fatally crashed into a highway safety barrier. Recently released data shows that the driver did not have his hands on the wheel for six seconds prior to the crash.

The vehicle had given several visual warnings and one audio alert about the absence of hands on the steering wheel but nothing was done by the driver. Despite evidence to the contrary (read: a death), Tesla claims their semi-autonomous technology is sound. Statistically, if you are driving a Tesla with Autopilot hardware equipped, you are 3.7 times less likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.

Thankfully, even with the stock down and recent fatality, Elon Musk seems to be in good spirits, finding time to tweet a couple April Fool’s jokes about Tesla being bankrupt. Too soon, Elon. Too soon.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Elon Musk can only keep up the “once in a generation mind” schtick for so long.  The guy has launched cars into space, sold flamethrowers to the public and been indirectly responsible for multiple deaths. I’d say hes bordering on evil genius.”




  • A judge ruled in favor of 2,300 female employees of Goldman Sachs, allowing them to pursue a class action suit against the bank. The suit, dating back to 2010, claims that female employees at the investment bank didn’t get paid or promoted like their male counterparts. Shocker.
  • Uber closes the doors on its same day, non-food item delivery business called Rush. Turns out not as many people need a hastily delivered blouse as they thought.
  • Augmented reality startup Magic Leap has begun sending out devices to software developers for testing. The first rule of Magic Leap AR: you don’t talk about Magic Leap AR.
  • Deutsche Bank will add a familiar name to it’s Supervisory Board: John Thain. You may remember John as the man who led Merrill Lynch to financial ruin.
  • US indices were closed Friday.



Studies show that knowing more leads to sucking less. So, here’s something that …


… Tyler is reading in the handicap stall: Some things have “made for TV movie” written all over them. This is one of them. A real Corporate American hero live-Tweets the trials and tribulations of a stolen lunch. Must. Read.

… will make you feel better about your busted bracket: The chances of getting a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 Quintilian. Yes, that’s a real number. No, I can’t count that high.

… Ian is claiming he figured out on his own: Can you in good conscience put “Excel Ninja” on your resume if you don’t know how to use Excel’s AI capabilities?

… is making AJ happy he didn’t go to Pokemon Go fest: Niantic is settling for $1.6M as payback for the massive failure that was their Pokemon Go live event in Chicago.


The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.