News & Analysis

  1. Overheard

    “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

    — Apple CEO Tim Cook in a letter published by Businessweek

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    Xiaomi becomes world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer

    Xiaomi has become the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer without leaving China, Bloomberg reports. The company supplants LG, which sells its devices in far more countries; one has to wonder how large Xiaomi would become if it sold its products in even half as many countries as other smartphone manufacturers. [Source: Bloomberg]
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    Lenovo completes Motorola Mobility acquisition

    Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the smartphone-making division of Motorola that was first acquired by Google in 2012, has finally closed. Google spent $12.5 billion to acquire the division and all the patents that came with it; Lenovo has spent just $2.91 billion on the division only a few years later. [Source: The Verge]
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    Listen again to this week’s episode of PandoLIVE

    Not to be confused with St Louis, Missouri restaurant, PanD’Olive, PandoLIVE is our weekly call-in show, hosted by Sarah Lacy and me. In this week’s episode, embedded to listen again below, we go back to the 90s to talk about Monica Lewinsky and Jerry Yang. We also talk about sexy ebola which, frankly, is the main reason to listen. So, here’s the show…
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    What’s In A Name: PandoLIVE is not to be confused with Pan D’Olive

    For the past month or so, Pando’s “What’s In A Name?” series has been examining the importance of choosing the right name for your startup or product. You might think, then, that we’d have taken some of our own advice. For example, before deciding to name our new call-in show PandoLIVE you might think we’d check that there wasn’t already something using that same name. Certainly we wouldn’t plan an entire radio show, find a sponsor and create all kinds of visual…
  8. music-apps

    The music industry is flatlining, but music apps are bigger than ever

    Between 1999 and 2009, US music industry revenues were cut in half, thanks to the demise of overpriced CDs, the advent of cheap, song-by-song downloads, and piracy. Since that time, the bleeding has stopped, but the industry has yet to bounce back to its heady late-90s heights. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t legally listening to music. According to a new report from App Annie, music listening apps like Pandora and Spotify make up more than 70 percent of the top…
  9. Joker Card

    Uber PR’s latest trick: Impersonating its drivers and trying to scam journalists

    Uber will stop at nothing to win. Even, apparently, manipulating the press. With a valuation approaching $20 billion and more than $1.5 billion of VC to deliver a return on, Uber’s got a lot to prove. And there’s no shortage of obstacles, coming in the form of well-funded startup competitors nipping at its heels, global regulators and taxi and limousine commissions looking to shut it down at every turn, and the nasty habit of its driver “partners” spending as nearly much…
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  11. Old English Sheepdog with humble look in his face

    Startups Anonymous: An important message to founders about humility

    [This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every Wednesday, we'll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and  answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously. You can share your own story here.] We are all a bunch of…
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    WalMart’s Apple Pay competitor has reportedly been hacked

    MCX’s CurrentC, which is many major retailers’ answer to Apple Pay, has reportedly already been hacked. The damage doesn’t seem to be too severe — basically the “unauthorized third parties” got a hold of some email addresses. But it’s certainly embarrassing for the retailers who made a big show of rejecting Apple Pay in favor of their own solutions. [Source: Business Insider]
  13. Apple Store

    Apple Pay’s first week reminds us that Apple’s secret sauce is in driving adoption

    Ask ten people to answer the question, “What sets Apple apart from other consumer electronics and technology companies?” and you’re likely to get twenty different answers. Some point to its design sensibilities, others its savvy branding and marketing. Some might even cite supply chain mastery (architected in no small part by Tim Cook). Fewer still will likely point to Apple’s history of input innovation, first inventing the mouse, then the iPod clickwheel, then multi-touch screens for the iPhone, and most recently the…
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    You can run, but you can’t hide: Google expands its real-world surveillance system with Google Fit

    Google is getting into the health-tracking business. The company has developed an application that allows Android smartphone owners to collect health-related information in one place. It’s called Google Fit, and besides challenging Apple’s HealthKit service, it also represents Google’s efforts to gather real-world data to complement the information it already has about the digital world. It’s no longer enough for companies to track someone’s activity across the Web by monitoring their emails, analyzing their browsing history, or keeping tabs on their online…
  16. elsewhere

    “72 Hours of Gamergate”

    Over at Medium, Andy Baio ran an analysis of over 300,000 tweets over a three day period that mention a prominent Gamergate hashtag. Among his findings were the fact that most Gamergate supporters are relatively new to Twitter, having created an account in the past two or three months, and that the top 10 most retweeted Gamergate tweets are all from critics of the movement or are otherwise satirical. [Source: Medium]
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    Reddit’s new crowdfunding platform actually gets a lot of things right

    Reddit is finally putting its fanatical community to work. The company announced today that it has created a crowdfunding portal, Redditmade, to help users “collaborate and support each other” when it comes to various projects. Based on the projects currently available through Redditmade, however, it seems more like the platform will be used to help redditors design, support, and create Reddit-related swag. So far, most of the items are related to specific subreddits. There’s a bumper sticker for…
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  19. ToS

    This comic book perfectly explains big data and the threat it poses to our privacy rights

    Ten years ago, California State Senator Liz Figueroa raised concerns over a definitely-not-evil company called Google that had been tracking keywords through its Gmail service, servicing ads to Gmail users and non-users alike based on that data. Her worry was less over the marketing tactics, and more over the possibility that Google would keep a digital dossier of all its users. Google claimed it would not do this, so Figueroa saw no harm in proposing a law to help keep the company to its word. That…
  20. elsewhere

    Nintendo’s fortune reverses with surprise profits

    Two games based on Nintendo’s classic franchises — the Mario Kart racing game and Super Smash. Bros beat-em-up — have brought the company to profitability after last quarter’s $97 million loss. Looks like the company can rely on nostalgia a little bit longer. [Source: Engadget]
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    Hackers use Gmail drafts to update malware

    Wired reports that hackers are using unsent Gmail drafts to control malware installed on their targets’ computers, allowing them to change the malware via a particularly hard to detect method using a system that many people already allow onto their devices. [Source: Wired]
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The Week in Review