News & Analysis

  1. elsewhere

    On unsolicited criticism

    I had a new experience a few weeks ago when I was speaking at Velocity. I gave a keynote to 2,000 people; throughout the following day, a half-dozen strangers came up to me to supply unsolicited criticism of my presentation tone…  I asked Seth, “Wait, are you saying this is gendered?” He nodded, “Yeah, I think it could be.” I was blown away. I was still crushed, but at least I could begin to try and process what had…
  3. Crystal Ball

    Microsoft gives Wall St. mixed signals with today’s bi-polar earnings report

    Companies in turnaround often plead to investors for time to let the changes they’re planning take root. Sometimes, as is appearing to be the case with Yahoo, time ticks on with little sign of improvement. Other times, as with HP, recovery is slow and meager. Microsoft’s turnaround under Satya Nadella is a species unto itself. Only five months into his tenure as Microsoft’s CEO, the company is showing both signs of pain and of improvement. The…

    Hall of Mirrors: Wikileaks volunteer helped build Tor, was funded by the Pentagon

    Last week, I wrote an article about the Tor Network, an anonymity tool developed, built, and (currently) financed by the US National Security State: the Pentagon, the State Department, and a CIA spinoff, the International Broadcasting Bureau, that also operates a propaganda outfit aimed at subverting Cuba’s communist regime. While most of the story — Tor’s NatSec sponsors, military functionality, and the people involved  — is relatively straightforward, at times the narrative threads can veer into weird and murky territory. One of these spooky…
  5. conspirej

    Someone inside US Congress is anonymously adding conspiracy theories about Russia, Cuba to Wikipedia

    If you live in the US, you might be pleased to know that your tax dollars are hard at work: Someone has been anonymously editing Wikipedia to blame the Cubans and the Russians for… uh… secretly spreading conspiracy theories.  And the edits are coming from inside the House! According to @congressedits, a Twitter account that monitors anonymous Wikipedia edits from inside congress, the Wiki page for “Moon landing conspiracy theories” was just edited by someone inside the US…
  7. hourglass

    Dragged down by its parent company Bidz, Modnique ceases operations, lays off 300

    Modnique, a Los Angeles-based online retailer with 300 employees across five offices and four countries, has ceased operations and may be forced to liquidate. The company’s website currently reads “Our site is under construction. Please check back soon.” But the reality is that the company’s lender has instituted foreclosure proceedings. Worse, the situation is not entirely one of its own making. Stepping back a bit, Modnique was created in 2011 as an experimental flash sales business within then-public parent…
  8. New Apple CEO Tim Cook Introduces New iPhone

    Three charts that put Apple’s earnings report in perspective

    Apple released its third quarter earnings report today posting $7.7 billion in profit, up from $6.9 billion over the same period last year. It made $37.4 billion in revenue, just missing Wall Street’s projected figure of $37.93 billion, and its stock, which was up 0.83 percent in the trading today, reflects that holding steady in after-hours trading, down a nominal 0.5 percent. One notable observation is that, at only 13.3 million units, Apple hasn’t sold so few iPads in a quarter since Q2 2012 when…
  9. wish-we-had-this

    How We All Got Trolled

    ‘Weev’s been called an “attention whore,” a “paranoid, anti-Semitic, pro-genocide misanthrope,” and likened to a hobbit battling “the snide, wizardly manipulators and mongrel half-orcs” from The Lord of the Rings. But what is surprising is that he’s offering me a bump while we’re in the Brooklyn office of his lawyer, who has just left us sitting alone… He exhales pleasurably, cleaning up just before a legal assistant comes in.’ — Medium
  11. google-parasite

    Google and Verizon are both parasites, but at least Google’s honest about it

    Google is a parasite, but it doesn’t make any effort to hide this fact. The search giant gathers information from anyone who uses its services, and in exchange it offers products like email and a mobile operating system compelling enough to make people accept their communications, locations, and searches are being monitored. The company doesn’t latch onto an unwilling host so much as it seduces them into offering up their personal information. While it might be depressing to consider the implications of…
  12. Donate

    Sharethrough launches the Meaningful Content Fund, wants to be the “Secret Santa” of the web

    Just like starving children in third world countries, pieces of good journalism going unnoticed online is now a philanthropic issue. On stage at the Native Advertising Summit in San Francisco today, Sharethrough co-founder and CEO Dan Greenberg announced the Meaningful Content Fund, a $1 million effort to push better content online at the expense of all those cat videos that are oppressing humanity and pretty much ruining the world. Sharethrough is a native advertising exchange, founded in 2008. Its…
  14. facebook-taking-over

    Facebook now drives almost one quarter of all web browsing

    There will probably be no new or interesting angle with which to frame Facebook’s quarterly financial results tomorrow. For a seventh straight quarter, it will likely come out and beat all revenue expectations. In general, user growth is trending downward, but engagement, ad impressions and ad pricing have all been way, way up of late. At the end of Q1, revenue was up 72 percent year-over-year to $2.5 billion. There’s no reason to think this won’t be bested. The…
  15. Family Feud

    Family feud: Kaskade and his ZEFR-founding bro take different stances on copyright law

    Well this could get awkward. Brothers Rich and Ryan Raddon, the former being the co-founder of YouTube rights management platform ZEFR and the latter being better known by his DJ name, Kaskade, seemingly find themselves on opposing sides of the copyright debate. Late last week, Reuters reported that uber-popular YouTube star Michelle Phan is being sued by Ultra Records, a music label which happens to represent Kaskade, along with other electronic dance music (EDM) names like deadmau5 and…
  16. George-Costanza-s-Notorious-Wallet-Advertises-Google-Wallet-Video-2

    Passbook redux: Amazon copies Apple’s underwhelming digital wallet

    Amazon has released a beta version of a wallet application meant to give Android users an easy way to manage their gift cards, loyalty cards, and payment information without having to worry about painfully analog tasks like carrying a physical wallet around or remembering where a gift card is. The unimaginatively-named Amazon Wallet will be pre-installed on the company’s Fire Phone when it’s released later this week, and can also be installed on other Android smartphones, too. The first…
  18. reason-rand-reboot-libertarians-silicon-valley

    Two Valley entrepreneurs nobody really cares about like Rand Paul. Conservatarianism rising!

    Over the weekend, San Francisco hosted Reboot 2014, a conference that united Silicon Valley techies with libertarians like editor Nick Gillespie and US Senator Rand Paul. To hear some outlets tell it, this marked a historic meeting of technology’s brightest minds and Washington’s most influential advocates for small government. But from all reports, the libertarians in attendance were far more high-profile than the techies. An article from a local Bay Area CBS affiliate was titled, “Strange Bedfellows: Silicon Valley Techies ‘Like’…
  19. tor-privacy-roger-dingledine-nsa-pentagon

    Silence and denials surround new research that may reveal Tor’s vulnerabilities

    Tor has been heralded as a foil to the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance programs since last year, when the Guardian reported that the anonymous browsing tool hadn’t yet been compromised despite the NSA’s best efforts. That isn’t strictly true, as the Guardian revealed in a follow-up report on the tools and strategies used to attack it, but Tor’s reputation as a panacea for society’s surveillance woes has mostly remained intact. That was supposed to change at the Black Hat Conference in…
  20. video-advertising-market-youtube

    Seattle’s Audiosocket partners with 110 music libraries to try to fix copyright on YouTube

    Some people are waiting for flying cars, quantum computing, or virtual reality. Me? I just want somebody to fix copyright on YouTube. Policing copyright on YouTube can be a nightmare for both users and creators. The platform uses a system called ContentID, which detects videos with “infringing” copyrighted material before either removing them or diverting ad revenue to the “proper” rights holder. The trouble is, this is done automatically and, in many cases, the person or company making the infringement claim is not the really the rights holder at…

The Week in Review