News & Analysis

  1. Reed Hastings, Netflix

    Netflix continues to play both sides of the net neutrality debate by asking the FCC to block the Comcast-TWC merger

    Netflix has asked the Federal Communications Commission to prevent Comcast and Time Warner Cable from merging to form what it calls the “nation’s largest onramp to the Internet.” This is merely the latest of Netflix’s attempts to play both sides of every argument concerning the future of the Internet. Though it presents itself as a bastion of idealism amidst a sea of immoral companies, its moves are driven by avarice, with little regard for the Web’s future. I’ve been making this…
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  3. amazon-phone

    Bezos’s bozos: Report shows Amazon has sold no more than 35,000 Fire Phones

    Amazon’s Fire Phone is a disappointment. Reviews of the device all pose a question Pando has been asking since the device first became something more than an oft-repeated rumor: Is this really something that consumers need — or even want — to spend hundreds of dollars on? If the latest report from the Guardian is to be believed, the answer is a resounding “no.” The report, which is based on data gleaned from the Chitika advertising network and comScore,…
  4. disckrete-sex-tape-security-app

    CA smartphone “kill switch” law shows the government’s increased understanding of tech

    California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill requiring smartphone manufacturers to include anti-theft features with all devices sold after July 15, 2015. The bill will make it easier for consumers to protect their personal information by allowing them to activate a so-called “kill switch” after someone steals their smartphone. It’s also meant to discourage thefts by preventing stolen devices from being used after that kill switch is used. Brown’s decision to sign the bill into law…
  5. Pallet of Cash

    Four years in and highly profitable, ZipRecruiter hauls in $63M in its first ever funding round

    When Ian Siegel and his co-founders began to build ZipRecruiter in 2010, the goal was a lifestyle business. Today, after four years of bootstrapping the business to profitability and what by any measure would be described as astonishing growth, the SaaS SMB recruiting company announced its first ever outside funding: a massive $63 million Series A round. The round was led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and included participation from Basepoint Ventures, and Industry Ventures. IVP principal Eric…
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  7. Bezos Checkmate

    Twitch CEO on jilting Google: Amazon “shares our long-term values.” But does it really?

    Amazon’s surprise purchase of Twitch is fascinating for a few reasons. It confirms that live-streaming is no longer a fringe potential in the online-video market. It underscores how the M&A market is increasingly preferred to the IPO market as the exit of choice for the most promising startups. It shows how far the Internet giants like Google and Amazon are expanding onto each other’s traditional businesses. And, in what I find to be the most interesting angle – it illustrates how…
  8. PandoRackspace(FINAL)

    Join us for Trucked Company: A completely badass end of summer party you don’t want to miss

    Remember that final summer fling, just before the weather changed and everyone had to get serious and go back to school? Beer. BBQ. Last vestiges of freedom slipping through your fingers. Well, the tech world obviously doesn’t get three months off but the industry does go (comparatively) slow in August before heading into a full on budgeting, fundraising, product release, and conference sprint from September until the holidays. So before all that craziness, we figured now would be a good time…
  9. pando-breaking-news-small

    PM Modi’s Digital India project: Government to ensure that every Indian has smartphone by 2019

    “The intention is to bring down net electronics imports to zero by 2020, from about $100 billion now, a move which will help the country control its current-account deficit. As things stand, net annual electronics imports could rise to $400 billion by 2020, outgrowing oil imports.”  – Economic Times
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  11. click-bait

    Facebook is finally doing something about its “clickbait problem”

    As publishers know all too well, the stories that perform best on Facebook tend to be listicles, quizzes, and irresistibly clickable headlines that often lead to stories with little substance. This has been observed by many anecdotally, but it also bears out in data recently published that shows the stories Facebook fed the most traffic to, for a number of publishers, were rarely hard news or analysis. No wonder reporters were miffed when Facebook’s Product Director called out news organizations for failing journalism,…
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    “When you fit the description”

    “It’s one of those things that you hear about, but never think it would happen to you. On Friday afternoon, August 22nd around 5:20pm, while innocently walking by myself from a restaurant on Wilshire Blvd, to my car up LaCienega Blvd my freedom was taken from me by the Beverly Hills Police Department…” – Charles Belk
  13. uber_liability

    CA Senator votes against Uber, despite conflict of interest, then promptly gets a DUI

    When judges are asked to preside over a case involving family, or any similar conflict of interest, they are expected to recuse themselves. For California state Senators, apparently the same standard doesn’t apply. Last Thursday, San Diego Democrat Ben Hueso voted in favor of a bill that would make it far more difficult for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate within the state. The problem? As first reported by the Sacramento Bee, Hueso’s brothers own a cab company: San Diego-based USA Cab. The…
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  15. uber-muggings

    With another Uber driver robbed in LA, questions mount about safety of ride-sharing apps

    Uber made headlines last week for announcing that it would soon launch in Tel Aviv, seemingly in disregard for the fact that Israel remains mired in a month-long (decades long, really) conflict in Gaza. But one doesn’t need to look nearly that far to find the company’s drivers dodging bullets. Case in point, a gunman robbed an Uber driver at gunpoint early this morning in Los Angeles, taking his credit cards and drivers license – news reports make no mention…
  16. sinead

    Sinead O’Connor proves it’s not just tech that has a “woman problem.” It’s nearly every industry

    Sinead O’Connor’s album “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” debuted smack in the middle of my teenage dating angst, so even though I haven’t listened to her for –oh, a decade plus– I still click on a link when I see a Q&A with her out of sentimentality. I was reading this excellent Salon interview yesterday (h/t MediaReDef), and was struck that she gave a big ol’ shout out to Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. In fact,…
  17. elsewhere

    Is Amazon about to steal the $1b Twitch acquisition away from Google?

    What’s better than a $1 billion acquisition offer? Two $1 billion acquisition offers. That’s appears to be reality today for Twitch, the popular gaming-focused video platform. About a month ago, Twitch was rumored to be all but sold to Google. But today, the Information cites “two people familiar with the matter” who claim that Amazon is “late-stage talks” to snatch the company out of Google’s grasp.  [Source: Information (paywall)]
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  19. bskyb

    Murdoch’s BSkyB opens a SF office in search of tech investments and partnerships

    There’s a new strategic investor making the rounds in Silicon Valley looking for deals at the intersection of technology and content. Like nearly all other strategics, this group is making promises of “synergies” and “value adds” and “leverage.” Unlike most investors, however, history suggests it might actually be true. BSkyB (Sky), which is the UK’s biggest pay-TV broadcaster, and is part-owned by Rupert Murdoch, is opening an office in San Francisco with the express purpose of finding technology investments and…
  20. magazine_laptop

    The most ridiculous quotes from NYMag’s feature on the future of Time Inc.

    Over at New York Magazine, Gabriel Sherman has a big feature on Time Magazine’s plans to save a media empire that’s been ravaged by shrinking revenues and three changes in leadership in just the past four years. The prognosis? Things are bad, they’re getting worse, and the current leadership is as confused as anybody in the legacy news business. The attitude at the top of Time Inc. could most charitably described as “schizophrenic.” CEO Joe Ripp talks of entering arenas like e-commerce…
  21. smartphone_china

    Thanks Obama: China works to improve its operating systems to reduce dependence on Western companies

    China is poised to become the world’s most important smartphone market. Pando reported in May that more devices will be sold in China than in the United States this year. And, despite the low-cost devices offered to Chinese consumers, revenues will also be higher than in the US. But now it seems that the market’s wings will be clipped, at least to Western manufacturers, right when it’s starting to take flight. The Chinese government is working to improve its desktop and…
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The Week in Review