News & Analysis

  1. Twitter Search

    SocialRank rolls out “graph search” for Twitter. Adds Uber, Juicy Couture, and Muhammad Ali as brand users

    When Facebook launched Graph Search, it was such a big deal that the company dedicated an entire live press event to the occasion. And yet, now 18 months later, the product has hardly lived up to the hype and is largely an afterthought for most users. Whether it’s a function of the size of the data set or Facebook’s concern over user privacy (seems unlikely), the company simply missed the mark on this one, badly. But that doesn’t mean the…
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  3. feature monkey social

    Breaking news in the social age is a mess. Can Grasswire help stop the spread of misinformation?

    From Reddit’s catastrophic witch hunt in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing to the deluge of fake images and reports during Hurricane Sandy, social media has turned every breaking news event into a playground of misinformation. Most recently, the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17 prompted all manner of false reports, like that dozens of Americans had died, shared even by otherwise reputable journalists. Many individuals and organizations have tried to counter this trend, from “Is Twitter Wrong?” to
  4. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    EXCLUSIVE: Payments giant First Data acquires Gyft in an effort to bring digital gift cards to the masses

    Gyft, a Redwood City-based virtual gift card provider has agreed to an acquisition by payment giant First Data, Pando has learned. The terms of the transaction were undisclosed, although early Gyft investor, Karlin Ventures managing director TX Zhuo calls it “a great outcome for everybody involved.” The transaction is expected to close next month. The two year old startup has raised a total of $6 million through its Series A round of funding with backers including Karlin, Google Ventures,A-Grade Investments,…
  5. Unicorn

    Is this the next SaaS unicorn? Invoca grows 1200% in 3 years by solving Salesforce’s biggest blind spot

    Each year, billions of dollars are spent on cloud-based CRM and marketing automation solutions, all with the goal of optimizing the sales process. But despite all this technology (and spending) there is a glaring blind spot in the marketing clouds of the vast majority of organizations: calling. The best sales and marketing operations can track, through a series of retargeting ads, a single prospect from a digital ad impression to an online lead capture form and, ultimately, to a converted…
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  7. Twitter RT Cards

    Is Twitter better? Or just not as bad as Wall St. feared?

    Twitter’s stock surged as much as 36 percent to $52.35 a share Tuesday after reporting sales that grew 124 percent, an unexpected net profit and – perhaps most importantly – a 25-percent increase in monthly active users. It is all welcome news for a company that has so far delivered much more on social and cultural impact than on financial performance. But it is also a reminder not to get too carried away by the short-term response of the stock…
  8. 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…
  9. 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…
  12. google_cameras_big_feature

    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…
  13. 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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  15. Chimpanzee_seated_at_typewriter

    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…
  16. 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…
  17. dick-costolo-twitter

    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…
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  19. 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…
  20. 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…
  21. 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…
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The Week in Review