News & Analysis

  1. 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…
  3. smart-watches-are-dumb

    Samsung has finally announced a smartwatch worthy of the moniker

    Samsung might have finally announced a smartwatch people want to wear. The company’s Galaxy Gear S was announced last night, and it’s compelling for at least one reason: it doesn’t become a clunky wristwatch or glorified paperweight when it’s not paired with a smartphone. The Gear S follows a series of smartwatches that Samsung literally couldn’t give away. The company’s first attempt at introducing a mass-market smartwatch was so bad that I wrote last year that calling it a smartwatch would…
  4. foxnas

    “Yo, have you heard of Silicon Valley?” Ben Horowitz hosts Nas in Redwood City

    Hip hop was born sometime in the 70’s, probably in New York, and grew up over the course of block parties in that city’s toughest neighborhoods. Last night, it was presented to a seated crowd at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, at an event hosted by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz*. The occasion featured a private screening of a new documentary about the rapper Nas, Time is Illmatic. Nas was on stage along with Andreessen Horowitz partner Ben Horowitz.…
  5. google

    UPDATED: Code Club cofounder resigns after being ordered not to criticize Google

    [Update: A Google spokesperson reached out to say. "We have not asked Code Club or its board to refrain from criticisng us." Code Club also published a blog post stating, "We are not under any obligation to endorse any of the products or services of our corporate funders."] One of the founding members of Code Club, a volunteer-led organization that teaches programming to kids in the UK, has resigned after being told by its board not to criticize Google or any of…
  7. friends-and-business

    Startups Anonymous: I didn’t have a contract with my friend and my business tore us apart

    [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.] The first year of my business…
  8. safari amazon

    After ditching Amazon, this publisher posted record revenues. Should others follow suit?

    Amazon, which sells more books than every other seller combined, isn’t afraid to push publishers around to get what it wants. Earlier this year, the ecommerce giant removed pre-order buttons, increased shipping times, and reduced discounts on books published by the Hachette Book Group as part of a contract dispute between the two companies. Beyond working to the detriment of Hachette, this hurts customers who, at least on paper, have always been Amazon’s number one priority. As the world’s top…
  9. Jelly Beans

    Loyalty leader Belly expands its footprint by rolling out to 2,600 7-Eleven locations

    Digital loyalty startup Belly is extending its already impressive market lead today with the announcement that 7-Eleven, one of the company’s strategic investors, will roll-out the iPad-based platform in 2,600 of its convenience stores by the end of the year. The roll-out will be spread across the Northeastern US as well as in Vancouver, British Columbia, marking Belly’s first official international launch (the company had beta tested a number of independent locations in the city earlier this summer).…
  11. coolest

    Coolest replaces Pebble as the most-funded Kickstarter campaign

    Kickstarter has long contested the idea that its crowdfunding platform is a marketplace. It’s supposed to be used to support artistic endeavors; everything else is just a byproduct of the platform’s willingness to host essentially anything imaginable, not its founding purpose. But that idea has always been indefensible, especially with gadgets like the Pebble smartwatch or the OUYA videogame console remaining the most well-funded projects on the entire platform. That holds true even now that the Pebble smartwatch’s
  12. Casino chips

    PayPal reconsiders online gambling, enters talks to process payments for NJ virtual casinos

    PayPal has been in the news of late for its possible spinout from Ebay and its ongoing search for a new CEO, but there’s another largely overlooked storyline that could have an equally big impact on its future. According to reports from across the casino world, PayPal is considering (re)entering the online gambling market and could be in line for a contract to process payments on behalf of the state of New Jersey. The news comes…
  13. comcast_cables

    TWC outage leaves 12M people without Internet access — and it’s only going to get worse

    On Tuesday, Time Warner Cable agreed to pay the Federal Communications Commission $1.1 million for failing to disclose a “substantial number” of outages affecting its customers. Now today, the company announced that it is suffering from multiple outages affecting 12 million people. Making matters worse is that many of those consumers probably didn’t have much choice when they signed up for the service, given Time Warner Cable’s effective monopoly in a number of its markets. As I wrote when I compared…
  15. apple target

    What does Apple hope to accomplish with its new mobile ad options?

    Apple often claims that its decisions are guided by a desire to offer consumers the best experience possible. That’s why the company didn’t include Flash in the original iPhone, eventually introduced the App Store to improve software distribution, and has insisted on maintaining as much control as possible over how people interact with their smartphones. Strange, then, that the company has thrown those principles aside to bolster its advertising platform. It announced on Tuesday that developers will be…
  16. Snapchat baby

    Don’t let the price tag fool you: Snapchat isn’t a late stage company

    Snapchat has secured commitments from Kleiner Perkins and at least one strategic investor toward its next funding round, according a report by the Wall Street Journal today. Long-rumored to be in excess of $10 billion, the Journal describes the company’s new valuation as “close to” that figure. The round, we’re told has not yet closed. What’s interesting is the makeup of the investors in this round. At $10 billion, Snapchat is already in rarified air among private…
  17. BvpPnQAIEAARuks

    Welcome to The Luhansk People’s Republic: Following the Russian convoy into rebel-held Ukraine

    IZVARINO, LUHANSK PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC — It’s around 12:30 pm and pushing 100 F when Russia’s humanitarian aid convoy finally starts rumbling across the Russian border and into rebel-held Ukrainian territory under heavy militia guard. In the lead truck, a Russian Orthodox priest rides shotgun, armed with icons and holy water for good luck. There are 300 trucks in all — tank-like army KamAZ semis painted white for the occasion. They spew black exhaust and kick up clouds of grime as they…
  19. wish-we-had-this

    This is Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft

    “Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors. Interviews with current and former contractors, along with internal documents obtained by The Verge, outline the company’s evolving methods.” – The Verge
  20. Andreessen Horowitz

    As a16z turns 5, listen to Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz “explain everything”

    As venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz* turns five years old this summer, its founding members Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have posted a two part podcast proclaiming to “explain everything.” Okay so maybe they don’t touch on “everything,” but they do their best, explaining the backlash against Clay Christensen’s disruption theory (“Intellectualism at its worst,” says Horowitz), what their firm looks for in entrepreneurs (“Courage.” Also don’t focus on your peers’ valuations; it’s the “most meaningless thing…
  21. spiral-of-silence

    Pew: Social media makes people even less likely to share unpopular opinions

    Everyone knows the old saying that’s handy around the holidays, “Don’t talk about religion or politics in polite company” — that is unless you come from one of those families where the children somehow didn’t rebel against every ideal their parents hold dear. Indeed, research from before the days of the Internet indicates that, unsurprisingly, people tend to stay quiet on issues when they believe they hold an unpopular opinion, either compared to the nation at large, or in a communication venue…

The Week in Review