News & Analysis

  1. strictly-business

    Vessel raises $57.5M

    Vessel, the streaming video service meant to offer early access to YouTube stars’ videos founded by Hulu’s former chief executive, has raised $57.5 million. The company previously raised $75 million in June 2014; its service made its public debut just a few weeks ago. [Source: The Guardian]
  3. ipad-camera

    Instagram takes a smarter stance on the female body, but it still has work to do

    Instagram has updated its community guidelines to make it clear what will be allowed onto its photo-sharing service and what’s likely to be deleted on sight. The rules are similar to before, but an Instagram spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the “language is just stronger” than it was in older versions. The updated guidelines make it clear that Instagram won’t tolerate harassment, and will also take the high road when it comes to weed, allowing people
  4. elsewhere puts passwords at risk has put “millions” of passwords at risk by failing to properly implement HTTPS on its home page, which could allow hackers to execute man-in-the-middle attacks against the dating service’s users. The issue was discovered in early March; it still hasn’t been fixed. [Source: Ars Technica]
  5. pando-breaking-news-small

    SEC looks into LA school’s iPad program

    We already knew the Los Angeles United school district’s iPad program was a disaster. Now we also know that the Securities and Exchange Commission has made an informal inquiry into the program meant to determine if it “complied with legal guidelines in the use of bond funds.” [Source: Los Angeles Times]
  7. Uber

    UberPool is better for the environment…than Uber’s normal service

    Uber claims the UberPool ride-sharing service saved an estimated 120 metric tons of carbon emissions in San Francisco between February 20 and March 20. That estimate is based on a few assumptions: that most UberPool riders were in a Toyota Prius, that each of those vehicles is getting its advertised mileage, and that every rider would have taken different routes had they ridden separately. Here’s Uber’s math (emphasis theirs): The miles savings estimate for San Francisco is the…
  8. elsewhere

    Tor director departs

    Tor Project executive director Andrew Lewman will no longer be working on the private browsing service. In a statement, the Tor Project said that he will “take a position at an Internet services company,” while co-founder Roger Dingledine plans to serve as the project’s interim executive director. [Source: Tor Project]
  9. isis-and-western-media

    The TIME 100, which celebrates mass murderers, dictators, and the occasional tech founder, needs to be stopped

    As TIME Magazine joins dozens of other storied periodicals in their weary march toward post-digital irrelevance, one time-honored and colossally arbitrary tradition has held firm: The selection of “Man of the Year” and its bastard cousin, the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. Despite years of embarrassing choices, today the magazine continued the latter franchise with a list that, as in years past, lionizes mass murderers, sadistic dictators, and corrupt political powerbrokers in the same breath as actors and pop stars. And by treating war criminals…
  11. IMG_2231

    Meanwhile, outside Yellow Cab HQ in San Francisco

  12. Got Slack

    Slack raises $160m, looks like a consumer app, threatens the giants of enterprise

    Today, Slack, a one year old workforce communication platform, announced it has raised $160 million in new funding, valuing the company at $2.8 billion. There have been many reactions to the news on Twitter — that is from those not commenting on the latest Star Wars:The Force Awakens trailer. The Tweets, of course, ranged from “BUBBLE!!!” to a mix of congratulations and thanks to the company for building such a useful product. One of the more insightful…
  13. Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 1.07.05 PM

    What Etsy’s stellar debut doesn’t say about the IPO market

    Congratulations to Etsy on what has been by many measures a successful IPO. The stock priced at $16 a share yesterday, at the high end of its expected range, and shot up as much as 123 percent in its first few hours of trading today. This has led to the usual first-day commentary about IPO manias and cash left on tables, but the truth is the tech markets have become so distorted it’s going to take some time to see…
  15. Overheard

    “There’s a new term cropping up in startup pitch meetings: ‘One-on-one.’ It means the company is seeking to raise $100 million at a valuation of $1 billion. Startups are asking for it in deal talks, and investors contacted by Fortune are scratching their heads.”

    — Fortune's Erin Griffith on a new fundraising trend

  16. pando-inside-baseball

    Gawker employees plan to unionize

    Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan announced today that the company’s employees are planning to unionize, because “every workplace could use a union”; because they want a “basic mechanism for giving employees a voice in the decisions that affect all of us here”; and because they hope “a positive precedent” will be set if they succeed. [Source: Gawker]
  17. apple-press-release

    Apple buys 36,000 acres of forest

    Apple has bought up 36,000 acres of forest in Maine and North Carolina. The Conservation Fund will manage the two tracts of land, which will still produce pulp and fiber that Apple and other companies can use. [Source: BuzzFeed]
  19. elsewhere

    Snapchat tries to poach Uber engineers

    Snapchat has taken a novel approach to poaching (a novel apoach?) engineers at Uber: showing them custom filters meant to convince them to abandon the ride-hailing startup in favor of the ephemeral messaging company. “This place driving you mad?” the filters ask. The presumed answer: Yes, and please, give me more money to join Snapchat in Los Angeles! [Source: Fortune]
  20. google-bus

    SF luxury bus service Leap accused of replacing wheelchair ramps with leather seats

    A complaint filed last month alleges that Leap, San Francisco’s premium luxury bus service, discriminates against people with disabilities because its vehicles don’t accommodate wheelchairs. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the complaint alleges that Leap is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The Chronicle also reports that Leap purchased busses with wheelchair ramps and fold-up seats, but replaced those accommodations with “bar-style seating and plush leather armchairs,” presumably so it could charge more for its service. Leap
  21. Chad Dickerson

    To mark Etsy’s IPO, here’s Chad Dickerson’s full PandoMonthly interview

    As Etsy makes its Nasdaq debut, what better time to re-watch (a then six month pregnant) Sarah Lacy’s in-depth PandoMonthly interview with CEO Chad Dickerson? As Michael Carney later described the interview, taped in January 2013: Although not the founder – he joined the company as CTO five years earlier before being promoted to the top role amid a contentious ouster of the company’s founders – Dickerson seemed to possess an innate understanding that Etsy was a community-first platform,…

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