News & Analysis

  1. facebook_charity

    Facebook offers help to at-risk users without placing them under a microscope

    Facebook has announced new features to help people at risk for self-harm or suicide. The features allow Facebook users to tell the service when someone appears to be at risk for harming themselves. Facebook notifies the person in question that someone is worried about them, asks if they want to connect with a helpline or friend, and offers “simple tips” to help them “learn how to work through this” if they aren’t yet ready to talk to someone.…
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  3. Overheard

    “GPG isn’t the thing that’s going to take us to ubiquitous end to end encryption, and if it were, it’d be kind of a shame to finally get there with 1990’s cryptography. If there’s any good news, it’s that GPG’s minimal install base means we aren’t locked in to this madness, and can start fresh with a different design philosophy. When we do, let’s use GPG as a warning for our new experiments, and remember that ‘innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1000 things.'”

    — Open Whisper Systems' Moxie Marlinspike on GPG

  4. Garage Storage

    Do you know what your stuff’s worth? Trov raises $6.5M to reinvent insurance for the mobile generation

    Millennials, the largest generation since the Baby Boomers (their parents), have almost no relationship with the insurance industry. This is in part due to low rates of home ownership –and a general malaise toward renter’s insurance — but also due to the fact that the insurance industry has yet to deliver a solution that speaks this massive group’s language the way Wealthfront and Venmo do for personal finances, or Gilt, Wish, and Instacart do for retail commerce. You’d be hard…
  5. Launch-Tennessee-logo-stacked

    LaunchTN settles Pando’s legal complaint, will stick to agreement it signed months ago

    About a month ago, Pando was forced to file its first ever legal action: A complaint against LaunchTN, our former partners in co-producing last year’s Southland conference. While the actual conference went amazingly well, with tickets significantly oversold, the partnership went so badly that we told Tennessee that we couldn’t work with them on future events without some major changes they refused to make. Instead, both groups are doing their own events in Nashville this year; ours is
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  7. Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 5.21.42 PM

    Palantir founder hates that women have the vote… but apparently quite likes Hillary Clinton

    The Washington Examiner reports that Palantir, the intelligence contractor founded by Peter Thiel, donated  “six figures” to the Clinton Foundation in 2014. The foundation is headed by Hillary Clinton and her husband, President Bill Clinton. [Disclosure: Thiel is an investor in Pando through Founders Fund.] The Examiner also reports that Palantir spent half a million dollars on lobbyists in 2014. Palantir has long had a partnership with the Clintons, including helping to fund the Clinton Global Initiative (headed…
  8. EPaoLowRes

    Pao v. Kleiner Perkins: Weeks v. Baker McKenzie revisited?

    Editor’s note: This is a guest post by employment lawyer and Emtrain founder Janine Yancey. The post went through Pando’s usual editorial process. Sitting in a San Francisco courtroom, listening to the opening statements in Pao v. Kleiner Perkins, I had a strong sense of deja vu.  I experienced something similar to this in a SF courtroom back in 1994. I was a young lawyer and my boss wanted me to get some trial experience and what better way…
  9. Doh Doh

    Always inept Bitcoin Foundation badly bungles board vote, asks for a do-over

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a faulty and poorly tested voting platform has compromised a high-profile election. The issue this time isn’t “hanging chads” and the offices at stake aren’t quite as critical as the President of the United States. Rather, the Bitcoin Foundation is hosting a run-off election to fill two board member seats and elected to switch the voting platform at the last minute to a blockchain-based system, only to have it fail spectacularly and…
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  11. guitarhero

    The return of Guitar Hero and the days when “social gaming” meant playing in the same room

    It’s not too hard for me to reconnect with my inner 15-year-old. We’re only seven years apart, after all, and I still have many of the same interests I had when I was in school. So it might not mean much when I say that rumors of new “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” games makes the teenager inside me leap with some semblance of adolescent excitement. But I think the revival of these flash-in-the-pan franchises is…
  12. gender-neutrality-sexual-harassment

    As Ellen Pao gets her day in court, Valley investors still support those who harass and abuse women

    The message, at least from the assembled media, was clear. The court was not simply sitting in judgement on if a single employee was sexually harassed by a partner at the Silicon Valley office of one of the world’s most powerful firms. Rather, an entire industry was on trial for how it treats female employees, from the highest paid partners to the most menial support staff. The plaintiff’s claims were simple enough to understand: She had been blocked from the opportunities afforded to her…
  13. 022_acs_010_bribe_1-1

    Company that tried to bribe Pando apologizes, “takes back” its offer

    Earlier this week, I wrote about a company that was trying to bribe us into writing about its crowdfunding campaign, by asking us to include a referral link in a post on the project. I explained in the other post how strange it was to receive the offer from this company. Its campaign was already successful — it had actually raised a lot more than it was asking for. Now the company has reached out to Paul Carr, our editorial director,…
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  15. bragging_failure

    Startups Anonymous: Failed Startups & Founders – The Silver Lining of Our Economy

    [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.] We don’t define success, we see…
  16. yo-phone-sleep

    Yo introduces the “Yo Store,” further validating what you all thought was a joke

    Yo has announced a new store that makes it easier for consumers to find Yo accounts — ranging from BuzzFeed to the NBA — from which they wouldn’t mind receiving updates. The company says this update was necessary because too many individuals, groups, and businesses were signing up for the service to make the old Yo Index a valuable resource. Which means I get the chance to say I was right about Yo, the company widely-thought to be a punchline and a…
  17. pando-breaking-news-small

    Gemalto hack probe finds no massive privacy leak

    “A Dutch SIM-maker allegedly targeted by British and U.S. spying agencies said it believes there was a hacking operation, but that it didn’t result in a massive privacy leak… The operation was reported last week on the website The Intercept using documents supplied by Edward Snowden.”
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  19. Overheard

    “One way of thinking about it is: I may have a right to say something, but I don’t have a right to stand in your living room and scream it into your ear five times in a row. Right? I think there are things you can do on the platform that are of varying degrees of severity — not just black and white.”

    — Twitter's Dick Costolo explains how the company wants to handle abuse

  20. pando-breaking-news-small

    Gemalto responds to hacking reports

    Gemalto, the SIM card maker reportedly hacked by NSA and GCHQ operatives, has said that it won’t seek legal action against the intelligence agencies, saying “The facts are hard to prove from a legal perspective and … the history of going after a state shows it is costly, lengthy and rather arbitrary.” [Source: Reuters]
  21. elsewhere

    How an Undocumented Immigrant From Mexico Became a Star at Goldman Sachs

    “A sharp kind of dread sank in after Goldman offered her a full-time position. She was afraid of what could happen when one of the world’s most sophisticated companies examined her fake green card and Social Security number, took her fingerprints, and ran a background check.” – Bloomberg
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The Week in Review

Friday

female-voices-silicon-valley1 Fair warning: Pandoland is not that kind of conference Read all 13 recaps from our sleepless House of Cards marathon Courts deem CallFire a common carrier, setting a major precedent at intersection of telecom and tech law An average season ends on a high note: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 13, reviewed “An empire without heirs.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 12, reviewed Will Claire jump? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 11, reviewed Facebook now allows its users, not a drop-down menu, to define their genders How Frank got his groove back: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 10, reviewed Kim Dotcom’s Mega is dropped by PayPal over end-to-end encryption, may adopt Bitcoin instead Prepare for war? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 9, reviewed The War Nerd: Why did Mohammed Emwazi become Jihadi John? Has Frank become… boring? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 8, reviewed Twitter keeps Dick Costolo’s promise with new anti-harassment tools Will Frank lose his Lady Macbeth? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 7, reviewed “I should’ve never made you president.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 6, reviewed SF’s real income inequality issue isn’t hipsters priced out of homes — It’s the homeless What House of Cards gets wrong about Russia: Season 3, Episode 5, reviewed Another episode, another enemy: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 4, reviewed Has Frank Underwood met his match? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 3, reviewed “You are entitled to nothing.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 2, reviewed Meet President Underwood: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1, reviewed