News & Analysis

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    Yo introduces the “Yo Store,” further validating what you all thought was a joke

    Yo has announced a new store that makes it easier for consumers to find Yo accounts — ranging from BuzzFeed to the NBA — from which they wouldn’t mind receiving updates. The company says this update was necessary because too many individuals, groups, and businesses were signing up for the service to make the old Yo Index a valuable resource. Which means I get the chance to say I was right about Yo, the company widely-thought to be a punchline and a…
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    Gemalto hack probe finds no massive privacy leak

    “A Dutch SIM-maker allegedly targeted by British and U.S. spying agencies said it believes there was a hacking operation, but that it didn’t result in a massive privacy leak… The operation was reported last week on the website The Intercept using documents supplied by Edward Snowden.”
  4. Overheard

    “One way of thinking about it is: I may have a right to say something, but I don’t have a right to stand in your living room and scream it into your ear five times in a row. Right? I think there are things you can do on the platform that are of varying degrees of severity — not just black and white.”

    — Twitter's Dick Costolo explains how the company wants to handle abuse

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    Gemalto responds to hacking reports

    Gemalto, the SIM card maker reportedly hacked by NSA and GCHQ operatives, has said that it won’t seek legal action against the intelligence agencies, saying “The facts are hard to prove from a legal perspective and … the history of going after a state shows it is costly, lengthy and rather arbitrary.” [Source: Reuters]
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    How an Undocumented Immigrant From Mexico Became a Star at Goldman Sachs

    “A sharp kind of dread sank in after Goldman offered her a full-time position. She was afraid of what could happen when one of the world’s most sophisticated companies examined her fake green card and Social Security number, took her fingerprints, and ran a background check.” – Bloomberg
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    Unlocking the power of high frequency-shopping: A lesson from India’s data marketers

    Editor’s note: This is an unpaid guest contribution by Tom Limongello, VP of Product Marketing at Crisp Media. The post went through Pando’s usual editorial process and Mr. Limongello was not paid for his work Sometimes we’re on the wrong side of economics. Like when I’m running out of toothpaste from one of those unnecessarily small, over-priced, 0.8 oz travel tubes, I realize how little power I have to change the sizes of travel toothpaste sold on shelves. We all live in…
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    What’s Really at Stake in Ellen Pao’s Kleiner Perkins Lawsuit

    “It is telling that the highest-profile lawsuit of the moment in Silicon Valley isn’t about intellectual property or antitrust violations, but about sex discrimination.” – NYTimes
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    Uber faces possible IP ban in India, if it doesn’t comply with regulatory demands

    The latest threat facing Uber in India could be a lot more troublesome for the company than the bad PR and fines it’s faced around the world for operating outside existing regulations. The New Delhi transportation department said that it’s prepared to request that India’s Central (or federal) Government block access to the company’s IP address on domestic wired and wireless networks. Such a connectivity blackout would render Uber’s platform inaccessible through both its mobile apps and via the desktop or mobile Web.…
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    How Instagram data exposed a Congressman’s expensive travel budget

    Gov. Chris Christie isn’t the only person who can use metadata against a politician. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Il.) has “spent taxpayer and campaign funds on flights aboard private planes owned by some of his key donors.” It discovered this, in part, because of data from Schock’s Instagram. Schock is said to have taken more than $40,000 worth of flights on donors’ planes since mid-2011. He is already facing an ethics…
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    Six months after the celebrity photo scandal, Reddit finally tries to protect women’s privacy

    Reddit has announced an update to its privacy policy that will prevent its users from posting sexual photographs without their subjects’ consent. It’s about time. Here’s what the company said about the change, which will go into effect on March 10, in a Reddit thread about “taking steps to grow Reddit to 90,000 communities”: Last year, we missed a chance to be a leader in social media when it comes to protecting your privacy — something…
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    Watch the full video of our PandoMonthly fireside chat with Lyft cofounder John Zimmer

    No privately-held tech company made more headlines in 2014 than Uber. For every breathless post about the transportation giant’s $41 billion valuation and its potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, there were also disturbing reports of its irresponsible use of location tracking, sexist corporate culture, and ambitions to smear critical journalists like our very own Sarah Lacy. With all that criticism, is there room for a kinder, gentler competitor in the…
  16. Bryan Micon

    Math does not bow to guns: Bitcoin poker site to relaunch after founder’s home was raided by armed police

    Bryan Micon is having a tough month. The co-founder and chairman of the now-defunct bitcoin poker site Seals with Clubs has been the subject of conspiracy theories and fraud accusations after the business abruptly shut down earlier this month. We’ve had a hardware failure and are working to resolve it. ETA 2 hours. — SealsWithClubs (@SealsWithClubs) February 11, 2015 The Seals with Clubs website was later updated with a message that reads, in part: Effective immediately, SealsWithClubs will…
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    Silicon Valley’s War on Sex continues as Google bans adult blogs

    The Internet used to be such a sexy place. To users of a certain age who remember the hell of dial-up Internet, there was a time when pornography was just about the only thing worth suffering through ten-minute load times to see. You could walk to the corner and buy a physical copy of the New York Times in the time it took to load the newspaper’s website — and do so with much less shame than buying a Playboy. But as the tech…
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    Immigration reform: It’s time for the lucky few to stand with the millions still living in fear

    Of all the varieties of slacktivism, surely Twitter slacktivism is the slackest. I’ve written for years about my opposition to the whole sorry spectacle. The empty gesture of retweeting a hashtag or — Jesus wept — changing the color of one’s avatar in “support” of schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria or the persecution of protesters in Iran. The act of “raising awareness” of precisely nothing more than one’s own inability to meaningfully influence world events. My relatively modest number of Twitter followers might, therefore, have been…
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    The FTC cracks down on health apps that promise to detect diseases without proof

    Snake oil used to be sold in bottles; now it’s downloaded from the App Store. That’s what the Federal Trade Commission has decided in settlements with two developers who made applications which promised to detect signs of melanoma. Both have agreed to pay a small fine and to stop incorrectly advertising their apps. The applications, which have been removed from the App Store, independently claimed to be able to determine if a mole is a sign of skin…
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    The War Nerd: Tomb Raiders of Kobane

    It’s the stuff of horror movies: A convoy of military vehicles rolls over a highly militarized border, through a blasted, burnt-out war zone, to the tomb of an ancient chieftan. They dig up his remains, but one soldier dies “in an accident” while they’re doing it. Then they bump their way back north, passing through the silent, wet streets of Kobane, and deposit the remains in a new tomb, a “temporary” resting place for the old Steppe conqueror. Then they…
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