News & Analysis

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    Google announces open source security initiative, continuing its love-hate relationship with user privacy

      Google, Dropbox, and the Open Technology Fund have partnered to create Simply Secure, a group meant to make it easier for companies to build open source security tools into their products. They couldn’t have picked a better year to found a group dedicated to digital security. Whether it was the crippling Heartbleed bug that rocked the Internet earlier this year or Apple’s inability to use basic tools in its operating systems, this has been a banner year for…
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  3. Search Dog

    LucidWorks debuts new Fusion platform, offers modularized, personalized search for the enterprise

    Amid its battles with disgruntled employees and overzealous tech bloggers in search of scandal, LucidWorks has been heads-down for the better part of a year designing its next generation enterprise search platform. Today the company debuted Fusion, a machine learning and signal processing engine built on top of the open source Apache Solr search platform that promises to allow corporations to “translate massive pools of data into actionable insights faster than ever.” Fusion is the vision of…
  4. u2

    No, U2’s new secret Apple music format won’t “save music”

    Last week, Apple and U2 set off an Internet firestorm by adding the band’s latest record, “Songs of Innocence,” to half a billion users’ iTunes libraries without asking. As someone who hasn’t opened iTunes on a computer or phone in months, I wasn’t too outraged by the move, but I understand why some were upset. In addition to the album being poorly-received by many fans and critics, Apple had tinkered with fans’ personal digital space. In a way, the anger people felt is…
  5. pando-breaking-news-small

    New law penalizes online retailers for delaying shipments

    The Federal Trade Commission has introduced a new rule for online retailers that will require them to either ship an item without delay or offer the buyer a full refund, the Hill reports. The rule will become effective on December 8. [Source: The Hill]
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  7. facebook-user-options-door

    Instead of its discriminatory “real name” policy, Facebook should let people celebrate their identity

    There’s an odd obsession with learning something’s “true name” in most fantasy literature. This name is said to give a person incredible power over whoever it is they’re trying to control — and because this power would create problems if it were attached to the name someone is given at birth, it is instead concerned with the “name” that describes who someone is in their most basic sense. (Younger readers might remember this concept best from the Inheritance Cycle; others will know that…
  8. big-apple-not-making-friends

    Apple publishes huge accountability report on privacy and security. But does it go far enough?

    In the wake of criticism related to Labor Day Weekend’s celebrity photo leak, Apple has published a detailed look at its built-in security tools, the government’s requests for customer data, and its thinking on how much information should be shared with other parties. The information contained within is much more detailed than what was offered during Tim Cook’s interview with Charlie Rose, and the company’s efforts to increase awareness for security issues and governmental limitations on so-called…
  9. Loafers

    Jack Erwin grabs $9 million and 135 years of retail experience in Brown Shoe-led Series A

    It’s no secret that building an ecommerce business is hard. It’s a task that becomes even more difficult when combined with the challenge of building a fashion brand at the same time. And yet, this is exactly the challenge that upstart New York City-based online men’s footwear brand Jack Erwin is currently tackling. The good news is shoes has been the most successful categories in the history of ecommerce. “Men are starting to care more and more about how they dress and how…
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  11. Redwood Trees

    With 4M monthly visitors, can One Green Planet convince millennials to save the planet?

    Last week I wrote about the Dodo, an environmental site founded by Huffington Post cofounder Ken Lerer and his daughter Izzie. The pair had just announced $4.7 million in new funding and a content-sharing partnership with Discovery. I called it “a new kind of environmental site for the social age” because of how it balances ever-popular, Facebook-optimized animal videos with hard-hitting investigative animal rights reporting, taking a page from Buzzfeed and Huffington Post which both strike a similar combination of light…
  12. crowdfunding-skeptics

    “What has to scale is trust.” Tilt’s crowdfunding platform is in it for the long haul

    Having watched as Indiegogo failed to take action on crowdfunding sham after crowdfunding sham this year, seeing Tilt in early September take down the campaign for the Scribble Pen, which had raised $227,000 — over twice its target — was refreshing. In a blog post on the company website, co-founder and CEO James Beshara noted that the video for the miraculous pen that could write in any color was misleading and there were discrepancies…
  13. Alibaba

    Thiel: Alibaba is “fundamentally a political investment” that I wouldn’t make

    With Alibaba set to have the biggest IPO in history, investors around the world are looking to handicap the mysterious and largely misunderstood Chinese Internet company. Speaking to CNN Money’s Erin Burnett yesterday, PayPal co-founder, early Facebook, LinkedIn, Palantir, and Yammer investor, and former PandoMonthly guest Peter Thiel expressed some not so enthusiastic views on the company. Asked whether he would invest in the company’s public stock, Thiel says, “I would not, although I think it will probably…
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  15. elsewhere

    Swastika Fliers Emblazoned With ‘Uber’ Probed as Hate Crime, Police Say

    “Fliers showing swastikas above the word ‘Uber’ that were found in Williamsburg Monday night are being investigated as a hate crime, police said. ‘Numerous’ fliers were discovered on Bedford Avenue at Williamsburg Street — near where many Hasidic Jewish people live — at about 10 p.m., police said.” ~DNA Info
  16. uber-vs-kuaidi

    I guarantee Uber isn’t losing any sleep over this Alibaba-backed “challenger”

    According to a press release issued today, American ridesharing companies need to watch their back! China-based Kuaidi Dache is heading to our shores! Kuaidi Dache, the Alibaba-backed global ride sharing service, today announced that its recently launched luxury limo service, Kuaidi ONE, has crossed into 32 cities in China. This expansion positions Kuaidi as the largest car-service app in terms of market share and transaction volume, confirming the company’s ambitions to expand beyond China into parts of Asia,…
  17. amazon-phone

    Faulty Android tablets leave children (and their parents) exposed even after factory reset

    It’s hard to protect a child’s personal information online. So many kids are now using tablets and other devices to play games, read books, and communicate with their friends that working to keep them safe on the Web can sometimes seem like a particularly stressful full-time job. A report from the Guardian adds to this stress with the revelation that many Android tablets sold on eBay still contained sensitive information about their former child-owners, even after parents did the…
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    Startups Anonymous: What Every Founder Should Ask An Accelerator

    [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.] There are lots of articles out…
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    Time-spent in music apps is up 79% since last year, outpacing social networking

    Despite the popularity of streaming music services like Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, and Beats Music, many have questioned the sustainability of the entire enterprise. The two biggest players are Pandora, which is barely (and not consistently) profitable, and Spotify, which has never turned a profit a day in its life. It’s possible that streaming music services will becomes a loss leader for giant companies like Apple or Google, but the Spotifys and Rdios of the world are instead banking on the fact that streaming music is…
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    Facebook is reportedly getting back to what it does best with new Moments app

    Facebook is taking a break from its efforts to become more like YouTube and Twitter to focus on facilitating the rampant over-sharing that made it so popular in the first place. It is said to be working on a new application called Moments which will allow people to share photos, status updates, and other miscellaneous tidbits about their lives with small, specific groups of friends. Moments is the latest of Facebook’s attempts to change the way people interact with its…
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The Week in Review