News & Analysis

  1. wish-we-had-this

    Quartz: The secret to the Uber economy is wealth inequality

    “There are only two requirements for an on-demand service economy to work, and neither is an iPhone. First, the market being addressed needs to be big enough to scale … Second, and perhaps more importantly, there needs to be a large enough labor class willing to work at wages that customers consider affordable and that the middlemen consider worthwhile for their profit margins.” ~Quartz
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  3. poodle

    POODLE, a bug that could affect 10 percent of all websites, is back

    POODLE is coming back for more. The bug, which was originally thought to affect only older versions of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol used to encrypt information as it travels around the Internet, is now known to affect the Transport Layers Security (TSL) protocol, too. Or put another way, without all the gobbledygook: a problem that allowed hackers to intercept and decrypt information forced website owners to update their security in October; the only problem is that the…
  4. pando-breaking-news-small

    Apple beats $1B lawsuit

    Apple has prevailed in a $1 billion lawsuit concerning its deletion of music from rival stores on old iPods. The jury deliberated for just three hours after a two-week trial which ultimately ended without a plaintiff because the original complainants didn’t actually own the iPods at the center of the case. [Source: Bloomberg]
  5. Overheard

    Sen Franken: Uber’s response to my privacy inquiry lacked detail

    “I recently pressed Uber to explain the scope, transparency, and enforceability of their privacy policies. While I’m pleased that they replied to my letter, I am concerned about the surprising lack of detail in their response. Quite frankly, they did not answer many of the questions I posed directly to them. Most importantly, it still remains unclear how Uber defines legitimate business purposes for accessing, retaining, and sharing customer data. I will continue pressing for answers to these questions.” ~
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    Got startup data? Mattermark raises a $6.5M Series A to keep VCs in the know

    Danielle Morrill has become a mainstay in the Twitter feeds and email inboxes of Silicon Valley’s most powerful individuals. As the CEO of deal intelligence startup Mattermark, Morrill has parlayed her incessant curiosity and love of data – “I do spreadsheets in my spare time for fun,” she tells me – into a thriving subscription software business that allows investors, salespeople, and other startup industry observers to identify, track, and quantify the progress of millions of individual…
  8. apple-press-release

    Verizon, Google sign patent licensing agreement

    Verizon announced today that it has signed a patent licensing agreement with Google to “lower the risk of frivolous patent litigation.” The idea is that agreements like this one can prevent so-called patent trolls from scooping up as many patents as possible, sitting on them, and then using them to sue anyone who actually makes the technology the patent describes. [Source: Verizon]
  9. twitter-facebook-brothers

    Twitter might copy Facebook’s user-hostile decision to automatically play videos

    Twitter is considering an update to its service that would allow videos to automatically play when they appear in someone’s timeline. Adweek reports that the company is currently debating whether it should include that feature to boost its advertising revenues or refrain from cluttering users’ timelines with videos that play without asking first. Facebook introduced a similar feature in September 2013. If Twitter does decide to support auto-play videos it would be the latest of the company’s…
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  11. elsewhere

    Dots becomes standalone company, raises $10M

    Greycroft Partners and Tencent have led a $10 million funding round in Dots, the division of Betaworks responsible for the viral game of the same name, which has been spun-out into its own company. Dots has “seen profitability” in the last six months, TechCrunch reports, but it wanted to raise these funds to continue its expansion. [Source: TechCrunch]
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    Upfront Ventures raises the bar on LA with a $280M fifth fund

    “The rich get richer.” “You need money to make money.” There are plenty of cliches to describe the phenomenon of wealth and resources aggregating at the top of the economic food chain. It’s true for people as often as it is companies. But what all these soundbites fail to convey is that often there’s a reason these groups are on top to begin with. Upfront Ventures is a classic example. As Los Angeles’ largest and longest-standing venture capital firm,…
  13. Home Remodeling

    Forget handymen and housekeepers, SERVIZ raises a $12.5M Series B to bring on-demand to skilled home services

    The on-demand economy is hot, with money flowing into the space to disrupt nearly every vertical industry. The latest company to cash in on the trend is SERVIZ, a Los Angeles-based home services marketplace founded by the team behind local marketing pioneer ReachLocal. SERVIZ today announced $12.5 million in Series B funding, bringing its total capitalization to $20 million in just two years. The latest round was led by PointGuard Ventures with participation from existing investors Andy Sheehan, Stibel…
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    Microsoft finds support in its fight to keep customer data from the government

    Microsoft has found new allies in its fight with the United States government. The company revealed on Monday that media organizations, technology companies, industry associations, advocacy groups, and leading computer scientists have signed amicus briefs in support of its argument that the US can’t order the company to hand over data stored in other countries. The problem stems from the government’s belief that a warrant issued last December could force Microsoft to provide customer information even if it resides…
  16. dell

    Daily Dot admits reporter covered Anonymous without disclosing major ties to the group

    A reporter for tech culture site, The Daily Dot, reported on Anonymous for several months without disclosing his strong ties to the group, Pando has confirmed. Reporter Dell Cameron has written over a dozen articles involving the hacker collective, including one about how Twitter had shuttered a hugely popular Anonymous account. However, Cameron failed to disclose to readers that, until May of this year, he was responsible for administering that same account, which describes itself as “a [s]ignal boost for Anonymous operations.” At…
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    Animation workers suing major studios first learned about Hollywood wage theft by reading Pando

    As previously reported by Pando, workers in the computer animation industry have launched a major class action lawsuit against major Hollywood studios, accusing them of wage theft and other anti-trust behavior. The lawsuit — filed in September against Disney, Dreamworks Animation, Sony, Rupert Murdoch’s Blue Sky Animation, and other studios — grew out of the landmark Silicon Valley wage theft class action lawsuit that Pando has been reporting on for almost a year. Now new court documents…
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  19. Taxi

    LA mayor and Taxi Commission president want taxis to be “Uber-like,” propose mandating the use of transportation apps

    The traditional taxi industry is under assault from on-demand disruptors like Uber and Lyft. But this battle is one that has extended beyond simply the business arena and into the regulatory space, forcing governments and city leaders to contemplate how to best preserve the safety and equal access to services of their citizens, while also encouraging free markets and progress. While this battle is unfolding in hundreds of global markets, the city of Los Angeles and its local Taxicab Commission are taking a…
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    “What Kind of Day Has It Been?” Even on its best days, Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” was a disappointment

    Audiences can’t watch The Newsroom like a normal show. The “best” episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s orgy of preachiness are arguably the ones that are so irredeemably bad and offensive that they manage to do what the show rarely does, passing an important metric for success: They’re interesting. Take last week’s disastrous episode. Its crimes against audiences were both grossly insensitive — a third of the episode was devoted to shaming a rape victim — and embarrassingly cliched. In one unintentionally hilarious sequence, Will is visited by the ghost of his father. This…
  21. Overheard

    “Copyright law is taking away our rights. It means that developers are afraid of writing applications to help the blind. It means that consumers are afraid of repairing and tinkering with their things. And it means people with visual impairments, like Chris, don’t know if they’ll be able to keep listening to some of their books.”

    — Wired on how DRM restrictions force Amazon to screw over blind people

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