News & Analysis

  1. ubernyctweet

    UberNYC head makes light of exec’s proposed smear campaign, labels critics as “haters”

    Last night, Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith revealed a plan proposed by Uber executive Emil Michael to dig up dirt on journalists — specifically, our editor-in-chief Sarah Lacy — who have been critical of the company. The statements, in which Michael suggested that Uber could “prove a particular and very specific claim about [Lacy's] personal life,” were as appalling as they were stupid. And appropriately, Michael apologized for the remarks, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick condemned them in a…
  2.  
  3. uber

    Uber Employees Warned a San Francisco Magazine Writer That Executives Might Snoop on Her

    “While I was reporting my recent cover story on Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick, several current and former Uber employees warned me that company higher-ups might access my rider logs.” – SF Mag
  4. uber

    Uber CEO calls journalism comments “terrible,” but isn’t firing the guy responsible

    “List night, Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith caused a stir when he reported on comments by Uber executive Emil Michael suggesting the company might hire opposition researchers to dig into the personal lives of journalists who criticize the company. Now Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has taken to Twitter to distance himself and his company from the comments. Yet significantly, his comments don’t include any indication that Michael will be fired — or face any sort of disciplinary action.” – Vox
  5. IMG_0302

    I am not 100% satisfied with the box of shit I received in the mail

    On-demand fecal delivery (or “shit-tech”) is one of the hottest sectors around. And leading the way is Shit Express, whose super-simple elevator pitch is that for $16.95, or 0.05 bitcoin, it will anonymously send a piece of shit to someone on your behalf. Because we always aim to stay on the bleeding edge of emergent technology, Pando had to try out the service for itself. So one week ago, my colleague Michael Carney purchased a box of shit and had it…
  6.  
  7. facewhatsappbook

    WhatsApp turns to Open Whisper Systems for end-to-end encryption that actually works

    Securing digital communications isn’t easy. But that’s not stopping WhatsApp from trying to make it harder to snoop on messages sent via its platform. The company has released an update to its Android application that enables end-to-end encryption by default, and it plans to encrypt messages sent via iOS in the future, making it the world’s largest secure communication service. WhatsApp doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to securing its users’ messages. As Pando detailed when the…
  8. nsa-transparency

    Who needs the USA Freedom Act when government transparency is just a lawsuit away?

    Twitter received fewer than 249 national security requests in the latter half of 2013, according to the Justice Department. The figure as part of the DOJ’s response to Twitter’s lawsuit that asks for the ability to share more specific data about government requests with its 240 million users. The lawsuit is part of the technology industry’s wider efforts to be allowed to share more data with consumers after they were implicated in National Security Agency surveillance programs detailed in documents leaked by Edward Snowden in…
  9. Monkey Mobile

    500 Startups launches a new mobile-focused $10M micro-fund, let by Dolphin Browser’s Edith Yeung

    There aren’t many corners of the globe that 500 Startups won’t invest. The company has made a habit of launching geographically-targeted micro-funds dedicated to particular geographies – 500 Luchadores in Latin America and 500 Durians in Southeast Asia, with plans for an India-focused 500 StartupWallah currently on indefinite hold. But 500 Startups’ latest target market has less to do with geography and more with one of the hottest technology and business trends of the decade: Mobile. While…
  10.  
  11. bitcoin_accepted

    Coinbase launches a “Tips Button,” looks to drive mainstream adoption and engagement to bitcoin

    As Bitcoin continues to mature, the world is still in search of the “killer application” that will drive bitcoin adoption from the niche to the mainstream. Some think it could be remittances, others cross-border commerce. But one behavior that has really caught on above all else has been micro-payments, and more specifically tipping. Tipping of all kinds has seen particularly rabid adoption in recent weeks, driven by ChangeTip and an enthusiastic r/Bitcoin community on Reddit. Spurred on by the…
  12. zombie lives

    Nokia rises from the dead with an iPad mini knock-off that looks even better than the original

    Nokia might not be as dead as we thought. The company has announced a new tablet to go along with its Z Launcher for Android devices. It’s basically a better iPad mini: it’s thinner, lighter, and features the laminated display that Apple added to the iPad Air 2 but didn’t include in the latest version of the itty-bitty iPad mini. Oh, and it will cost just $250 when it debuts early next year, compared to the iPad mini’s $399.…
  13. pando-breaking-news-small

    China blocks “thousands” of websites

    China has blocked thousands of websites by preventing citizens from accessing anything which relies on the EdgeCast content delivery network. GreatFire, the non-profit group that reported the blockade, says the effort shows that China is more than willing to separate its citizens from the global Internet. [Source: GreatFire]
  14.  
  15. Overheard

    “And so Apple’s entwined itself in a production cycle that includes shipping with some known bugs and addressing them rapid fire in subsequent platform updates. We are, it would seem, seeing more bugs in iOS than we used to—at least at the outset. With our expectations rising, the richness and complexity of iOS growing at an exponential rate, and a completely new form factor on the horizon, it’s going to be a tough trend to reverse.”

    — Wired's Christina Bonnington on the increasing number of iOS bugs

  16. elsewhere

    Google plans to screen Android TV apps

    Google plans to monitor Android TV applications to ensure they work with gamepads and other physical controllers. This is a marked departure from the company’s “our platform is open!” ethos that allows anyone to distribute software to Android devices without the app screening process used by Apple’s App Store. Looks like there might be benefits to making sure people aren’t overloading a marketplace with shit after all. [Source: Android Police]
  17. 300 Movie Warriors

    Stealthy Menlo Security raises $10M and assembles a rockstar board to rethink the war against malware

    In the ongoing arms race between cybercriminals and the industry that tries to thwart them, another stealthy upstart has raised a sizable sum. It’s becoming par for the course in the space that the hottest startups, typically founded by a team of industry veterans, spends at least a year or two quietly building then deploying software to early adopter customers before ever sharing details of what makes these new product unique. Add Menlo Security to the list of companies following…
  18.  
  19. PandoLive

    Hear Sarah Lacy respond to Uber exec’s proposed million dollar smear campaign against her

    While we were hosting tonight’s PandoLIVE, Buzzfeed broke its story about Uber exec Emil Michael boasting of his plan to smear Pando’s Sarah Lacy and her family. Unsurprisingly, we both had plenty to say on the subject. Here’s a rough cut of the audio. Fair warning: Strong language.
  20. uberassault-main_final

    The moment I learned just how far Uber will go to silence journalists and attack women

    A big debate among the Pando staff for the past two years has been over just how morally bankrupt Uber is. Earlier this evening, a bombshell story by Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith proves the reality is way worse than anyone on our team could have expected. And that’s saying something. Back in 2012, Paul Carr first raised serious concerns about the company’s view that both riders and drivers are disposable commodities in an all-out Randian battle to maximize…
  21. edit-1280-1416274195-12

    Buzzfeed reveals that Uber exec boasted of planning smear campaign against Pando EIC, Sarah Lacy

    Holy shit — Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith has just posted an incredible scoop, revealing that an Uber executive boasted of a plan to launch a secret smear campaign against Pando’s Sarah Lacy in response to our critical coverage of the company. [Senior vice president of business, Emil Michael] was particularly focused on one journalist, Sarah Lacy, the editor of the Silicon Valley website PandoDaily, a sometimes combative voice inside the industry. Lacy recently accused Uber of “sexism and misogyny.” She wrote…
  22.  

The Week in Review