News & Analysis

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    Racists help crowdfunding campaign to support Michael Brown cop hit $250k target (and counting)

    Way to go, racists! As I reported yesterday, a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Officer Darren Wilson, the cop who shot Ferguson teen Michael Brown, had already passed $145k in donations. Many of the donations were accompanied by racist slurs and attacks on Brown… Earlier today, the campaign ended after breezing past its $250k fundraising target. That’s $50k more than the reported total raised by Trayvon Martin killer, George Zimmerman. Shortly afterwards, Shield of Hope, the group behind the…
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    My Big Break: The time Kirsten Green went to lunch with a friend and got a $5 million check

    Regular readers will know that I’m so inspired by Kirsten Green’s unconventional, self-made journey to become a venture capitalist that I did a lengthy profile of her for our last PandoQuarterly. A few weeks ago at dinner, I asked her to reflect on the one person who she couldn’t have done it without. She barely hesitated before naming Sandy Colen of Apex Capital. The story is one of my favorites in our “My Big Break” series so far,…
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    Matrix partner Dana Stalder a leading candidate for PayPal president, source tells Pando

    Matrix Partners’ Dana Stalder is one of the leading candidates to take over as President of PayPal, Pando has learned from a well-placed source. We’ve so far been unable to confirm the report with executives from eBay (we’ll update this story if we do), but if his place on the short list for the top job is confirmed, it’s a nice endorsement for Stalder, who is a good friend of former PayPal President David Marcus. Far more interesting, though, is…
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    As backlash continues, Secret finally blocks names and photo uploads in attempt to curb bullying

    Earlier this month, Pando’s Sarah Lacy wrote that Secret’s investors should “stop trying to justify the lies and libel of Secret.” In response, Secret’s co-founder, David Byttow responded in the worst possible way, revealing that he only cared about teen bullying and suicides if they threatened to cause a PR backlash. A few minutes later, that backlash began. First the Huffington Post picked up our story, linking…
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    Are the hackers winning? 2014 is shaping up as a record year in security breaches

    Hackers have been busy in 2014. According to a Data Breach QuickView report by Risk Based Security (RBS), the first half of 2014 has already surpassed the record set across all of 2013 for the number of consumer records exposed. The company writes, “Mid-year 2014 data breaches exposed over 502 million records far exceeding the mid-year point in 2013, the previous all-time record setting year… and the recently reported exposure of 1.2 billion email addresses and usernames has…
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    The trouble with open networks: After Twitter cracks down on ISIS, the militants move to Diaspora

    Earlier this week, after the Islamic militants of ISIS beheaded journalist James Foley and posted a horrific video of his murder, Twitter suspended a number of ISIS-affiliated accounts. CEO Dick Costolo clarified the company’s policy in a tweet, saying, “We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery” (though, apparently, accounts associated with major news organizations are exempt from this rule). But while centralized networks like Twitter and Facebook can remove content…
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    Todd Park stepping down as America’s chief technology officer

    “Todd Park is planning to step down as U.S. Chief Technology Officer by year-end, Fortune has learned from sources familiar with the situation. He is expected to take on a new role as part of a White House team working in Silicon Valley, where he is relocating with his family. Among Park’s responsibilities will be to recruit tech talent into government roles.” – Fortune
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    Kleiner reports theft of laptops, personnel records from Menlo Park office

    A thief “circumvented” building security at Kleiner Perkins’ office in Menlo Park and stole several laptops, including one used by the firm’s finance department. Details of the theft, which happened in July, have emerged after Kleiner sent a letter to the Attorney General of New Hampshire informing him that one of the password protected machines contained financial records for a resident of the state. That resident appears to be a Kleiner employee. In the letter, embedded below, Kleiner general counsel Paul Vronsky writes…
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    German’s Fidor bank will begin using Ripple for international wire transfers next week

    Germany’s Fidor bank will finally begin completing international wire transfers via the Ripple virtual currency protocol next week, making it the first bank in the world to do so. The two companies first announced a partnership in May, but have evidently spent the time since working on integration. The bank also may have been using the protocol for behind-the-scenes interbank transfers before going live with customer transfers. Reddit user Skysailer posted to r/Bitcoin an email that he…

    The Vanishing American Newsroom

    ‘With his project, Deadline, Steacy hopes to offer an honest look at the inner-workings of a newsroom and to “shed light onto a complex story that so often is misunderstood as the ‘death of newspapers.'”‘ – Esquire
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    Thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge, $50M has been given to ALS research in the time it took to raise $2M last year

    I have to admit: When people first started doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, which if you’ve been living under a rock involves dousing yourself in cold water to avoid donating $100 to ALS research, I was pretty annoyed by it. You mean to say people would rather post a narcissistic selfie video to Facebook than donate money to charity? It sounded like everything wrong with social media activism in a nutshell. Plus it was a bit annoying to see my…
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    Uber drivers in LA report spate of gunpoint assaults, allege taxi industry involvement

    Uber drivers in LA say they’ve suffered a spate of serious assaults in recent months, including robberies at gunpoint. Speaking to PandoDaily, three Uber drivers claim either that they have been victim of attacks themselves or have friends who have been assaulted. None would speak on the record for fear of retribution from Uber. According to these drivers, criminals (described by one driver as “thugs”) have been using Uber’s consumer app to locate the company’s drivers on a map –…
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    Fitbit just got a great (and probably free) shout out on Big Brother

    Viewers of tonight’s dramatic Big Brother twist, that saw Nicole return to the house (SHUT UP — IT’S A GREAT SHOW!) will have heard Fitbit get a great shout out. And, unlike most of the expensively placed products shown on screen, it doesn’t look like they paid for it. Throughout the season, several references have been made to the “activity trackers” worn by the housemates to monitor which is the laziest. Pointedly though the brand name of the device…
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    Wait, Postmates’ surge pricing is really called “Blitz pricing”?

    I’m becoming increasingly addicted to Postmates, the “Uber for deliveries” startup founded by my (disclosure…) good friend Bastian Lehmann. For a few dollars delivery fee, San Francisco residents can have pretty much anything delivered to their door in about an hour. Recently, for me, that has included everything from pizza to jelly beans and contact lens solution. Tonight though, something new appeared on the app when I tried to order dinner: A warning that 1.75x “Blitz Pricing” is in effect. Apparently…
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    How a Norwegian public radio station is using Snapchat to connect young listeners with news

    P3nyheter want to present news to young people where they are,” he wrote. “It is a challenge for news broadcasters today to reach young people, and we think social media is a good place to introduce news stories to them.” – Nieman Lab
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    CNN and Don Lemon did not have a good day in Ferguson

    In the span of less than 24 hours, CNN anchor Don Lemon ended up with egg on his face not once, but twice in discussions relating to the shooting of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last week. Last night, Lemon was engaged in a talk with Van Jones, former green jobs advisor to President Obama, and conservative talking head Ben Ferguson over the use of automatic weapons as they relate to the protests in Ferguson. Lemon erroneously claimed that any American can…

The Week in Review