News & Analysis

  1. wish-we-had-this

    “How to sneak a Tesla into Russia for just 6.5 million rubles”

    The Verge has a fascinating story on Mail.ru founder Dmitry Grishin’s Herculean (and expensive) attempts to buy a Tesla Model S and bring it to his home country of Russia, navigating “five months of ordering, waiting, transporting, paperwork, and red tape.” [Source: The Verge]
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  3. eSalon Package

    Watch out Loreal. Custom hair color startup eSalon invented a better mouse trap, and has the sales to prove it

    What are the odds that the biggest innovation in hair care this decade comes from a team of guys known previously for creating a price comparison site? It’s a storyline already taking shape at Culver City-based eSalon, a six-year-old custom hair color startup founded by former PriceGrabber founders and early employees Tamim Mourad, Omar Mourad, Cory Rosenberg, and Francisco Gimenez, the latter being the company’s CEO. A far cry from digital coupons and search engine marketing arbitrage, eSalon is a…
  4. facebook-newsfeed

    Facebook never forgets: Now users can search your status updates on mobile

    Facebook’s mobile search tool might finally match the utility of its online counterpart. A limited number of users can now search their friends’ status updates — a feature that’s already available on the Facebook website — through the company’s mobile application, according to Bloomberg. Making its mobile applications as appealing as its website has been a problem for Facebook. It’s often said that it needs to be “mobile first,” but many features aren’t brought to its mobile apps until a few months after they first…
  5. Web Crawlers

    Structured Web: YC grad Kimono Labs makes its giant respoitory of user-generated APIs searchable

    Information wants to be free. And yet, despite the Web being the largest repository of information in human history, only a tiny fraction of that data is machine readable. This makes the practice of gathering and analyzing data a laborious manual process. Kimono Labs set out to solve this problem, building an automated data extraction tool that allows even non-programmers to effectively create APIs to collect data from any public website. The product has been a major hit leading…
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    ISIS’ embrace of technology now includes drones

    ISIS, the terrorist organization that the War Nerd has covered extensively, has gotten its hands on a drone. It’s just a little one, equipped with a “smart” camera instead of the missiles attached to drones used by the United States, but it’s already been cited as a factor in the group’s ability to capture an air base in Syria, which was the last bastion of the Syrian government’s power in the region. Business Insider reported on the drone’s use…
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    Wanda, Tencent, and Baidu form Chinese e-commerce juggernaut

    Wanda, Tencent, and Baidu have partnered to create an $814 million e-commerce network in China, the companies have announced. Wanda will own 70 percent of the new company; Tencent and Baidu will each own 15 percent. The company will debut later this year. [Source: Reuters]
  9. Here's A Secret: We Need Anonymous Social Networks - 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

    Israel becomes latest country to try to ban Secret bullying app

    Despite recent attempts to curb bullying on its platform, the backlash against Secret continues. Now an Israeli lawmaker has called for the country to ban the app, just days after Brazil also took steps to block its use. According to the Jerusalem Post, Knesset Committee for Children’s Rights chairwoman Orly Levy-Abecassi has warned that  “the application turned into a platform for cyber-bullying for Israeli youth, who, in many cases, used it to smear and harm others.” It’s hard to comprehend how…
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    Shockingly, Chris Christie just lied in a press conference about Pando’s pension coverage

    Earlier this year, we published a series of investigative reports by David Sirota, revealing violations of New Jersey’s rules around pension investments. One of the firms with which the Chris Christie administration agreed an investment deal, Chatham Asset management, subsequently threatened to sue Pando unless we retract our reporting. We continue to stand by our story, and Chatham continues to have not got around to actually suing us. Meanwhile, the scandal continues to dog Governor Christie. Earlier today, during a…
  12. JustFab Team - Goldenberg, Ressler, Simmons

    JustFab raises $85M at what sources say is a $1B valuation

    JustFab has closed an $85 million round of funding, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO Adam Goldenberg confirmed to Pando today. The round was led by new investor Passport Special Opportunity Fund, and included participation from existing investors Shining Capital, Matrix Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures. The latest funding, which was entirely primary capital, brings the company’s total capitalization to $250 million and, while Goldenberg declined to specify JustFab’s latest valuation, sources close to the company tell Pando that the…
  13. Google

    Google says it did not ask Code Club to order board members to refrain from criticism

    Yesterday, Linda Sandvik, one of the founding members of children’s coding education group Code Club, resigned because she was ordered not to say negative things about the organization’s sponsors, including Google. Former board member Aral Balkan revealed he had resigned for the same reason, calling out Code Club for “institutional corruption.” What wasn’t clear was if Google had asked Code Club to request that its board members refrain from criticizing the search giant. Now, according to an email sent to Pando from a…
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    Silicon Valley favorite Ron Paul secretly paid a state senator $73k to buy his support

    The free market strikes again! A former Iowa state senator has pled guilty to receiving (and concealing) a $73,000 payment from Ron Paul, Silicon Valley’s favorite libertarian, to switch his support away from Michele Bachmann in the last presidential election. Kent Sorenson originally explained his sudden change of heart came because Ron Paul was “the most conservative [candidate] of this group.”  Which is true, if you take “conservative” to mean “most willing to drop 73 grand.” It’s unclear if, when making an absolute mockery…
  16. Uber

    SoCal Uber drivers align with the Teamsters in search of better working conditions

    Weeks after San Francisco cab drivers formed a union in hopes that solidarity would offer a solution to the onslaught of on-demand transportation startups, Uber drivers in Southern California are taking their own steps toward organization in the hopes of earning better treatment from their contract employer. According to a press release issued yesterday by the California App-Based Drivers’ Association (CADA), the recently formed group has formalized an affiliation with the Teamsters Local 986 chapter based in…
  17. beyonce

    As Apple tries to save the album, why do new releases still come out on Tuesdays?

    Today, Apple announced the lineup of its eighth iTunes Festival, which will feature Deadmau5, Kasabian, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams and Kylie Minogue. The annual concert, which will be streamed to more than 100 countries, has become an important tool in Apple’s attempts to preserve the all-holy album which, ironically, the company helped kill when it launched the iTunes Store in 2003, forever severing individual songs from albums. Now Spotify is doing to iTunes what iTunes did to CDs as digital downloads…
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  19. IT Network

    T-Mobile’s “Music Freedom” plan subsidizes data plans without (really) threatening net neutrality

    T-Mobile has announced that its Music Freedom program, which allows some customers to stream music without the requisite data counting against their monthly limit, will expand to include Rdio, Grooveshark, and a number of other services by the end of the year. It already offered a similar deal to people using Pandora, Spotify, and a few other streaming services. This isn’t the first time a wireless carrier has offered to subsidize data usage. GoSmart said last year that its customers…
  20. beats-I-mean-level-headphones

    This Is My Jam unveils new features to help solve music’s social problem

    The social Web has turned us into over-sharing monsters that broadcast every action, thought, or emotion to everyone we’ve ever known. Facebook said last year that its users can encounter more than 1,500 stories every day. More than 500 million tweets are shared to Twitter in that time. Combined with the social features included in everything from Spotify to Goodreads, it’s amazing that any of us find time to do something besides browse these all-too-social networks. This Is My…
  21. Bitcoin lock

    Coinbase surprises with news of a year-old deposit insurance program, but what of its cold storage?

    Coinbase dropped a bombshell on the bitcoin world yesterday by revealing that not only are its bitcoin deposits insured, but they have been so for more than a year. This after months of competitors listing insurance as a differentiating feature. The company wrote in a blog post: We’re proud to publicly announce that Coinbase holds insurance against theft or loss of its bitcoin.  We’ve been insured for almost a year, but given the recent claims of insurance in…
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The Week in Review