News & Analysis

  1. feature_polles

    An Unscientific Pando Poll: How libertarian is the tech industry, really?

    Over the past few weeks, Pando has been covering the rise of Libertarianism as a political force in Silicon Valley and the wider tech industry. In response to that coverage, we’ve heard from a lot of readers arguing that, despite being highly visible, Libertarians actually represent a very small percentage of the tech industry. Others meanwhile have said the opposite: That, whether we like it or not, Libertarians will soon be the dominant force in the industry. So…
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  3. pot of gold

    Unused pro rata rights are the hottest commodity in Silicon Valley. That’s about to change

    We all know the obvious advantages of investing in the next Facebook or the next Google early. Namely, price. Each dollar buys you way more of the company. But there’s another huge advantage: Pro-rata rights. In layman’s terms, this means investors have the right to keep investing with each round. That used to be something all VCs did. But two things have changed that dramatically in recent years. The first is that early rounds are increasingly being done by micro-VCs…
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    Wikileaks says it’s about to publish “an unprecedented national security super-injunction” [UPDATED]

    UPDATE: Wikileaks has published the document: An Australian court order banning reporting on alleged corruption involving officials in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. …  Wikileaks is getting ready to publish details of “an unprecedented national security super-injunction,” according to a Tweet from the organization late this morning. At 11:30am, the @wikileaks account, which is reportedly controlled directly by Julian Assange, sent out this update… ALERT: In the next few hours we will release an unprecedented national security super-injunction (secret gag…
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    Google asks judge to keep Gmail privacy case docs secret, because only Google is entitled to privacy

    Back in May, Google settled a giant class action suit over its mining of Gmail user data. Now it faces another fight: Major media outlets fighting to convince the judge to keep public the documents generated during the case. Google’s attorneys argue that there is no reason to make the documents public, given that the court refused to certify the class and the case didn’t proceed. Meanwhile representatives for a ragtag band of media companies — referred to in court docs…
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  7. Surveillance

    Will our future dystopia be one where privacy is something only the rich can afford?

    Privacy and security are the buzz words which have defined the bulk of conversation around the technology sector of late. From the Edward Snowden NSA leaks, to Facebook and OkCupid manipulating user emotions, to the fight for Do Not Track options in online advertising, to the trend toward anonymity and ephemerality in social networking and messaging, it’s clear that the average consumer is more aware of her privacy rights than ever and more intent on demanding accountability from…
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    Plagiarism in the Internet age: The issue isn’t copying, it’s attribution

    I know I’m playing directly into someone’s hands by writing this, but hey the writer asked for it. During a Washington Post live chat, Internet gadfly Gene Weingarten holds forth on the Benny Johnson plagiarism scandal at Buzzfeed. If you’re just getting caught up, Johnson grabbed full lines from questionable sources ranging from the “kind-of-alright-as-long-as-you-check-the-source” Wikipedia to the hilarious and embarrassing Yahoo! Answers. The plagiarized content was used for the kind of bottom-of-the-barrel listicles that drive…
  9. Los Angeles

    Report: LA’s on the rise as its tech ecosystem sees both deals and dollars swell

    Late last week, CB Insights released a report on the “booming” Los Angeles tech ecosystem. It’s the kind of analysis the research house does so frequently that it’s easy for it to be lost among the noise. But the report’s data was telling in a number of ways, revealing several macro trends that are unique to the LA region and others that have played out similarly on a national basis. CB Insights looks at the maturation of the LA…
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    Never mind: Turns out Twitter won’t reveal new growth metrics today after all

    Ever since Twitter announced it would join the fraternity of public companies, one of the biggest concerns among Wall Street investors has been its underwhelming monthly active user base, which at last count sat at 255 million, and its even more underwhelming growth rate of that figure. Prior to last quarter when user growth accelerated slightly, the growth rate had been slowing for five consecutive quarters. But many argue that, as a public network where not every user has an…
  12. MILA-ROLLS-A-J

    The inevitable “Uber for pot” app is here

    Silicon Valley is littered with “Uber for X” companies. There’s “Uber for alcohol,” “Uber for babysitting,” even “Uber for massages.”  With marijuana, both medicinal and otherwise, being legalized all over the country, it was only a matter of time before somebody launched an “Uber for marijuana.” And so we have “Eaze,” an app launching today that allows patients to order medicinal marijuana within minutes on their smartphone. Perhaps more surprising than the existence of the…
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  14. omidyar

    Et Tu, Taibbi? No one seems to have noticed the most worrying line in Pierre Omidyar’s new blog post

    Much ado today about Pierre Omidyar’s nine month update on his strategy for First Look Media. Gone is the grand plan to create a stable of digital magazines, and in its place a greater focus on building tools for journalists. Omidyar insists, however, that his two already announced blogs — John Cook’s The Intercept and Matt Taibbi’s unnamed project — will continue as planned. We’ve seen this playbook before of course. A couple of years ago I wrote about…
  15. Christina Garnier

    Tech savvy attorney, turned CA congressional candidate, says she’ll accept bitcoin donations. Obviously.

    In what is becoming an increasingly common strategy for politicians seeking support of the left-leaning Internet community, democratic congressional candidate Christina Gagnier from California’s 35th district (Inland Empire) has decided to accept campaign contributions in bitcoin. Gagnier tells CoinDesk that the decision was influenced by requests from constituents looking to make virtual currency donations, saying: My campaign is particularly focused on meeting voters where they are at, whether that’s showing up on their doorstep to see how I can help…
  16. Radio Free Strawberry

    Mark Ames appears on Sam Seder’s Majority Report to discuss Reason Magazine’s holocaust denial

    This morning, Pando’s Mark Ames appeared on Sam Seder’s Majority Report show — today hosted by Matt Binder and Michael Brooks — to talk about Reason’s holocaust denial and pro-Apartheid coverage. He also discussed “why Holocaust revisionism is important for far right politics, the Kochs and Holocaust deniers and the Libertarian quest to demonize FDR.” The video of the show is below, or you can listen to the audio version here. (For background, read Mark’s Reason exposés  here
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  18. spying

    Apple hit with class action suit for spying on iPhone users (Here are the court filings)

    Apple has been hit with a class action suit on behalf of 100 million iPhone users who, allegedly, are being spied on by the phone’s location tracking tools. According to the suit, filed in Federal Court in San Jose by lead plaintiff Chen Ma… In or around September 2012, Apple released iPhone 4 which contains an iOS operating system software that enables iPhone 4 to track its users’ whereabouts down to every minute, record the duration that users stay at any given geographical…
  19. jh

    My Big Break: Jason Hirschhorn on how a 4am email took him from sweatpants to MTV

    When we first conceived the My Big Break series, I immediately thought of Jason Hirschhorn. Given that Jason is one of the best storytellers I know, I just knew he’d have a great story about who (or what) got him started on the road to success.  I was right. In fact, when I call Jason to ask about his “big break” story it turns out he has several. The best one, though — his true big break — is the story of how he went…
  20. Activity Trackers

    My doomed three month love affair with activity trackers

    There’s a tan line on my wrist where a Jawbone UP band was once fastened. On the other side of my desk I see my discarded Fitbit. There’s dust on the strap. “We had some good times, you and I,” I think. But I feel no compulsion to put it on. That’s not who I am anymore. It started gloriously. I found myself enthralled at the end of April, walking around the Pando office with a sleek black Fitbit on…
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The Week in Review