News & Analysis

  1. Ryder Cup - Preview Day 2

    Golf’s uptight image remains intact with a ban on social media during the Ryder Cup

    The powers that be in the game of golf today proved that the sport deserves every ounce of its reputation as outdated, uptight, and boring. (And I say that as a lifelong golfer and lover of the game.) Just weeks ahead of the biennial Ryder Cup competition, which this year will pit teams from the US and Europe against one another at Gleneagles in Scotland, the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour have elected to ban both fans…
  3. bad_apple

    How much should we blame Apple for the celebrity photo hack?

    Over the weekend, a large collection of nude photos stolen off of celebrities’ phones were posted to the Internet. So far there’s been a lot of speculation over how the attack was carried out and how much blame Apple in particular should receive for not allegedly properly protecting its customers. Now, after “40 hours of investigation,” Apple has determined that the celebrities were victims of a highly targeted attack aimed at individual usernames, passwords, and security questions. “None of the cases we have…
  4. Karpeles ninja

    Tone deaf Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles warns the world about the dangers of hackers

    This just in from the unintentional irony files: disgraced Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles is warning the world about the dangers of hackers. In a tweet (screencap for posterity) earlier this morning, the man who many blame for the loss of several hundred million dollars worth of customer deposits, wrote: Recent events show that with appropriate motivation anything can be hacked.Maybe everyone should stop and think about what it means for them — Mark Karpeles (@MagicalTux) September 2,…
  5. pynchon_bleeding_edge

    A year later, Thomas Pynchon’s “Bleeding Edge” still resonates to tech obsessives more than ever

    There was a healthy dose of surprise from both the literary and tech communities last year when it was announced that Thomas Pynchon was writing a novel about New York’s Silicon Alley in the wake of the dotcom crash. Pynchon, who is arguably America’s greatest living fiction writer, is known for postmodern metafiction and absurd historical revisionism — in other words, not exactly the cold, binary zeroes and ones that technologists and startups say they worship. He’s more David Foster Wallace than Tim Berners-Lee. At the time of…
  7. ode-to-uber

    Uber sues Ohio to prevent insurance policies from being shared with the public

    Uber is trying to secure a last minute injunction in Ohio to prevent the public learning the extent of its insurance coverage. According to Courthouse News, a local ABC affiliate in Columbus, OH, has used an open records request to require the city to share insurance documents that Uber included in its application for a license to operate there. Uber claims that the documents include “trade secret information” and so is suing the city to prevent their release. “Releasing…
  8. pando-breaking-news-small

    Steven Sotloff: Islamic State ‘kills US hostage’

    “An Islamic State video has appeared which purports to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff, a US journalist being held hostage by the militants. Mr Sotloff disappeared in Syria in 2013. He appeared at the end of a video last month showing fellow US journalist James Foley being killed.” – BBC
  9. smart-watches-are-dumb

    The last thing the wearables market needs is a product from a printer company

    Epson, a company known more for its printers than for anything else, today announced that it is releasing two smartwatches called Pulsense and Runsense in the coming months. (Pulsense will debut in the United States and United Kingdom this month, and Runsense will come later.) This kind of announcement makes the news of Swatch’s decision to make a smartwatch without the aid of a tech company, or the disinterest with which people regard many wearable products, even clearer. It’s full…
  11. bitcoin ps

    Huobi’s new fixed-interest bitcoin investment product should have the hairs on your neck standing at attention

    Beijing based bitcoin exchange Huobi has introduced what amounts to the first virtual currency certificate of deposit (aka, CD) in a fixed income investment product that it’s calling the Dig-VC. The company describes the financial product as “The World’s First Hashing Power Mortgage.” Under the terms of the 60-day investment program, which is offered through Huobi’s BitVC trading and investment platform, investors will be paid a fixed return of 1.2 percent per month (which would be equivalent to…
  12. dumb_watch

    Swatch plans to bring the wearables fight to tech companies with its own smartwatch

    Swatch is getting back into the smartwatch business, and this time it’s not going to need any help from a technology company. Reuters reports that the Swiss watchmaker plans to release a watch with a touchscreen, Bluetooth connections to other devices, and a step counter in 2015. This isn’t the first time Swatch has augmented its timepieces with more advanced features, but it will be the first time the company developed the tech used in the product by…
  14. uber-assault

    Uber banned from operating in all of Germany

    For now, at least, Uber is over in Germany. A court in Frankfurt has banned Uber from operating in the whole of Germany, citing the absence of an official permit under the country’s Passenger Transport Act.  According to Der Spiegel, the ban takes immediate effect and lasts until Uber requests a formal hearing by the court. If the company breaches the ban in the meantime, it faces a fine of up to 250,000 Euro. The ban covers both the regular Uber service…
  15. commercial-drone

    From spaceships to quadcopters: NASA plans drone traffic system

    NASA wants to help make sure the rollout of commercial drones in the United States won’t lead to injuries, collisions, or mass hysteria. The New York Times reports that the agency is working on a drone traffic control system meant to manage the chaos of our future drone-filled skies. A system like that will become increasingly important as more businesses use drones to deliver goods, take photos, or make Disneyland a little more exciting. As Pando’s David Holmes explained when Amazon…
  16. pando-breaking-news-small

    The FBI is investigating the celebrity photo leak

    The FBI is investigating the leak of dozens of celebrities’ personal photos, many of which are thought to have been taken from iCloud, which didn’t protect against brute-force hacking methods until Sunday. Apple is also “actively investigating” the leak. [Source: The Guardian]
  18. elsewhere

    Apple is “actively investigating” reports of iCloud exploit leading to leaked celebrity nudes

    “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report [of an iCloud exploit being the sources of recently leaked nude celebrity photos].” ~Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris to WSJ
  19. dick-costolo-twitter

    Twitter knows if you’re male or female, which is only the beginning for targeted ads

    Conventional wisdom says that Facebook is better for advertisers than Twitter. After all, Zuckerberg’s billion-strong user base willingly gives up a host of data points upon signing up, from gender to job to age. Twitter, on the other hand, requires only a name and email address to join the service, and the name provided doesn’t even have to be real. That’s not exactly the kind of extensive data advertisers are salivating over. But according to Twitter, the service knows a lot…
  20. bitcoin handcuffs

    Early bitcoin entrepreneur and accused Silk Road money launderer Charlie Shrem to enter plea deal this week

    Eight months after his arrest at JFK International Airport on charges including conspiracy to commit money laundering, early bitcoin evangelist, founder, and former Bitcoin Foundation Vice Chairman Charlie Shrem is set to accept a plea deal. His attorneys tell Reuters that the plea will be entered this Thursday, September 4th. Shrem’s trial is scheduled to begin on September 22nd. Under the deal, Shrem will plead to a lesser charge of aiding and abetting an unlicensed money…

The Week in Review