News & Analysis

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    Tomorrow: Jose Antonio Vargas and many, many more great speakers join us for “Don’t Be Awful.” You should too!

    A quick reminder that Don’t Be Awful — our 24-hour event to hatch ideas for a better Silicon Valley — starts at noon tomorrow in San Francisco, and live online at dontbeawful.com. Confirmed participants include Jose Antonio Vargas, Rachel Sklar, Tim O’Reilly, David Hornik, Paul Judge, Brad Feld, and many, many more. We’re still adding names to the list, so check out the official site for the latest confirmations. The event runs non-stop from noon on Saturday to noon…
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  3. Nashville Sunrise Session - Middle Tennessee Shutterbugsl - Sept. 2, 2011

    Launch Tennessee: This is why startups hate working with politicians

    A quick update from Pando’s department of public fights we really don’t have time for… Pando historians will remember that, last year, our flagship Nashville conference (then called “Southland”) was produced in partnership with “Launch Tennessee,” the state-funded regional development agency tasked with encouraging entrepreneurship in Tennessee. We were responsible for the on-stage content and guests, and brought in the vast majority of sponsors, and Launch Tennessee helped with logistics and fronted part of the cost. This year’s event — Pandoland! —…
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    Senators introduce bill to rein-in law enforcement use of location data

    Numerous senators from around the country have (re-)presented a bill which would require law enforcement to obtain warrants before gathering location information from phones, GPS devices, and the “stingrays” which mimic cell towers to gather data. The bill was co-written by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR.), who has previously argued against the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs and the FBI’s efforts to force tech companies to include “backdoors” into their products to assist with domestic spying. The bill’s inclusion of location…
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    Apple may have compromised everyone’s security for access to China

    Apple is said to have given the Chinese government access to the software used in its iPhones to conduct “security checks” meant to ensure the privacy of China’s citizens. The revelation comes courtesy of a tweet from one of China’s state-run publications and a Beijing News report claiming Apple chief executive Tim Cook authorized the checks. China’s government originally delayed the launch of Apple’s latest iPhones within the country because it feared they might be used by foreign governments to…
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  7. Aaron Levie

    After a long, long road to IPO, Box’s shares pop 60 percent in early trading

    After more than a year of fits and stops along the road to IPO, shares of enterprise storage company Box began trading this morning on the New York Stock Exchange. The company completed the sale 12.5 million shares to investors at a price of $14 per share yesterday, exceeding its pre-IPO estimated range of $11 to $13, but falling short of the $20 per share at which it raised its last private round in July 2014. The offering will…
  8. Xchanging Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race 2010 - Previews

    Twinning: The Winklevoss brothers reveal plans for a regulated Bitcoin exchange dubbed Gemini

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Winklevoss twins have a brilliant idea and they’ve hired some smart-as-hell programmers to help build it for them. The good news is, this latest idea is about as far from the college social network Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss famously “invented” while at Harvard. That said, it stands a good chance of being just about as controversial. The brothers’ new project, Gemini, is a self-described “next generation bitcoin exchange” that is “…
  9. behind bars

    Barrett Brown and the United States’ war on journalism

    The criminalization of journalism in the United States continued yesterday with the sentencing of Barrett Brown, an independent journalist who covered the Anonymous collective who received 63 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution. (The 28 months he has already served in prison will be deducted from the sentence.) Brown was arrested for publishing links to stolen information which was made public by Anonymous and other hacker groups. That’s right: merely linking to already-public data which happened to have…
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    Twitter doesn’t need to “beat” Instagram — and should feel no shame about telling people to stop using it

    You probably wouldn’t hear Pepsi overtly tell customers to stop drinking Coca-Cola. They might make veiled attacks on a non-specific “competitor” in an advertisement. But without empirical evidence for why Pepsi is better than Coke, mentioning Coke by name would not only risk drawing undue attention to a product that is already more popular than Pepsi — it would also come off as a little desperate. And yet, according to Mashable, that’s what Twitter has ostensibly done with a prompt sent…
  12. police

    NYPD guards Gawker, BuzzFeed, and Daily Beast offices after republishing Charlie Hebdo cartoons

    According to Gawker, its offices along with at least two other New York media companies are under special protection of the New York Police Department, after all three outlets republished Charlie Hebdo covers depicting Muhammed. On January 7, the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo came under attack by gunmen who killed 12 people, presumably in response to controversial cartoons it published depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammed. Some Islamic teachings explicitly forbid pictorial representations of Muhammed. Furthermore, Charlie Hebdo’s illustrations often mocked Islam — along with every other…
  13. Small Business

    Big companies like Target aren’t the only ones leaving customer information vulnerable to thieves

    A week can’t pass without a company revealing that information about millions of consumers’ credit cards, email addresses, and other personal data has been stolen. Some data breaches are more high-profile than others — Target’s and Home Depot’s hackings come to mind — but new thefts are being disclosed on a near-constant basis. Large companies aren’t the only ones vulnerable to attack, either. A report from the Guardian, citing the findings of a McAfee study, reveals that 90 percent of small-and medium-sized…
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    Paying for Uber with Bitcoin? Braintree opens up bitcoin payments to its thousands of merchants

    Two of the biggest forces in modern payments collided today as Braintree announced broad availability of its bitcoin payments product via a previously announced partnership with Coinbase.  The integration was initially announced in September, with subsequent news from PayPal that limited use by its merchants to digital goods transactions like media, software, and in-app purchases. Today’s update means that, effective immediately, “any merchant that uses Braintree for credit card payments [can now accept bitcoin payments]” according to a Braintree spokesperson.…
  16. elsewhere

    Kim Dotcom’s encrypted communications service debuts

    MegaChat, an encrypted communications service from the founder of the Megaupload and Mega digital storage lockers, has made its public debut. The service claims to offer secure communications directly from Web browsers, but others have been wary of such claims in the past, given the vulnerabilities in many browsers. [Source: The Guardian]
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    Illinois schools warn parents they might ask for children’s Facebook passwords

    Authorities often struggle when it comes to handling digital issues. Responding to the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack has befuddled the federal government, law enforcement can’t deal with online harassment, and prosecutors often over-react to digital mischief. But the State of Illinois is determined to outdo all of them when it comes to foolish responses to online harassment. Schools in the state have warned parents that children who bully others on sites like Facebook can be forced to hand over the passwords…
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  19. uber

    Uber says Uber-commissioned study says Uber drivers make bank

    Uber has released a study it commissioned to show that its “partner drivers” — the contractors who ferry around Uber customers until chief executive Travis Kalanick uses his billions to replace ‘em with self-driving cars — make more money from less work than their cab-driving counterparts. In other words: Uber says an Uber study finds that drivers are well-paid. Success! [Source: Uber summarizing an Uber study into Uber]
  20. Stir M1 Desk

    The iPod-inspired Stir desk just got smarter, more customizable, and less expensive

    When former iPod designer J.P. Labrosse first announced his idea for a piece of intelligent office furniture with Apple-esque styling, there was understandable skepticism in the market. Would there really be demand for a $4,000 stand-up desk that “breathes” like a living creature? The answer, after nearly a year worth of rabid sales to individuals and Fortune 500 companies alike, appears to be yes. The Stir Kinetic Desk even won a Popular Science Innovation of the Year award,…
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    The era of third-party apps is ending, as security risks prompt WhatsApp and Snapchat to shut down their APIs

    An era is ending. There was a time when many tech companies would allow outside developers to make applications based on a larger service. Developers rushed at the opportunity and made independent apps for Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and other social tools. But, over the last few years, these companies have stopped supporting this software. Twitter was among the first to clamp down on that independent software. The company announced in 2012 that it would limit the number of users an…
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