News & Analysis

  1. pay-for-music

    How do you decide how much musicians should be paid when everything is free?

    “Is our work actually worth what we think it is?” That quote comes from Marc Andreessen*, speaking to New York Magazine about whether content producers like musicians have received a raw deal in the new digital age. It echoes an epic screed posted last week by music industry analyst Bob Lefsetz, railing against “ignorant” artists who complain about low Spotify royalties. The crux of both arguments is that a collection of twelve or so songs on a flimsy disc was…
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    On tonight’s PandoLIVE, we’ll be talking about Whisper’s privacy scandal and how screwed we all are

    Tonight at 5pm, Sarah and I will be LIVE in the studio for another episode of our PandoLIVE call-in show. Most of tonight’s show will be given over to calls and discussion on Whisper’s user privacy scandal, and the absolutely godawful response by some tech investors, execs and even “journalists.” The question: Should business concerns trump public interest journalism? The obvious answer: No. Unfortunately what’s obvious to us apparently isn’t obvious to a large part of the…
  4. TellSpec1

    TellSpec’s recent PR offensive only highlights just how great a scam it really was

    As Pando has coveredToronto-based TellSpec panhandled on Indiegogo to the tune of almost $400,000 last October, pretending that its small handheld food scanner, that could tell you the nutritional values of your food, was production-ready. The ‘real demonstration’ in the video turned out to be for show. And TellSpec has since admitted that it actually couldn’t make the device. But now, a year later and already two months late in delivering promised Indiegogo rewards to its 1,765 backers, TellSpec finally has a beta…
  5. smartphone_china

    So much for the Chinese government liking Apple’s new security measures

      China is allegedly executing man-in-the-middle attacks against citizens who attempt to visit Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s Live services, and gathering the log-in data associated with those accounts. All this according to a report from GreatFire, a group which monitors the Chinese government’s censorship rules. Such access would allow the government to view documents saved to iCloud, locate users with the popular “Find my iPhone” tool enabled, and compromise information saved to Microsoft’s online services. It’s unclear how many people have been…
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  7. facebook-taking-over

    Thanks to the DEA, Facebook’s controversial real-name policy might actually come in handy

    Facebook’s real-name policy has found little love. But it might find new support after the company invoked it in a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration, warning the agency that using someone’s name and photos to create a fake account, even as part of an investigation, will not be tolerated. The letter follows a BuzzFeed report revealing the DEA’s use of photos taken from a suspect’s phone — including some in which she wears nothing more than a…
  8. elsewhere

    Kickstarter freezes Anonabox

    Kickstarter has frozen the fundraising campaign for Anonabox, a device that was supposed to plug into a computer and a router to ensure that all information is transferred via Tor, an anonymous Web browsing tool. Looks like the machine really was too good to be true. [Source: Wired]
  9. speakers

    Beatport acquihires Listn, looks to bring social to its massive EDM community

    The idea of a music social network isn’t a new one. Apple tried and failed with its iTunes add-on Ping. The New MySpace took a fat swing and miss at the concept. Spotify’s spammy Facebook News Feed integration drove more backlash than praise. Twitter Music is a was a big dud. Pandora, Rdio, and most other streaming platforms have tried to incorporate social in some form, all with middling success. And yet, many in the industry view social as the…
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  11. pando-breaking-news-small

    IBM to pay $1.5B to offload chip unit

    IBM has announced that it will pay Globalfoundries $1.5 billion over three years to take its unprofitable chip business off its hands. Globalfoundries will provide chips to IBM for 10 years in exchange for access to the company’s intellectual property. [Source: Bloomberg]
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    Microsoft reportedly planning smartwatch launch

    Microsoft is planning to release a smartwatch with two-day battery life and a slew of other features within the next two weeks, Forbes reports, citing unnamed sources. The device is said to be compatible with a number of mobile platforms instead of being restricted to Windows Phone, which might have been a death sentence, considering that platform’s lack of popularity compared to iOS and Android. [Source: Forbes]
  13. Shoplifting

    Trouble magnet MeUndies signs shoplifting NFL player to endorsement deal

    MeUndies is no stranger to controversy. The irreverent apparel basics company and lifestyle brand – or as it’s often more pejoratively described, an underwear delivery startup – was one of the first mainstream consumer brands to advertise alongside porn. Later, the company made social ads so risque they were banned from Facebook – a fact that it was all too happy to call attention to, hoping to juice its own online reach. And, perhaps most troublingly, there is…
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    Heyward admits he has no idea whether the Guardian’s reporting on Whisper is accurate

    Finally, after days of dithering, the CEO of Whisper has admitted what we all suspected: He has absolutely no idea whether the Guardian’s reporting on his company is accurate. A short while ago, Michael Heyward tweeted: …which is excellent news except for the fact that, as Jay Rosen points out, Whisper’s Editor in Chief Neetzan Zimmerman already claimed to have investigated and determined that the Guardian’s reporting was a “pack of lies.” While we wait for the…
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    By still failing to act, Michael Heyward allows the cancer inside Whisper to grow

    On Friday, I made the should-be uncontroversial point that Michael Heyward, the CEO of Whisper, should respond to the privacy scandal that continues to obliterate public trust in his company. Specifically, I wrote, Heyward needs to either make a clear statement in support of staffer Neetzan Zimmerman’s claim that the Guardian fabricated its reporting into Whisper’s user privacy policies, or he needs to refute it and fire Zimmerman. Only by making clear his own position can Heyward reassure Whisper users that…
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    So, what should we talk about on Monday’s PandoLIVE?

    It’s that time of the week again, when we pick the topics for Monday’s PandoLIVE. Sarah and I will be in the Rackspace studio from 5pm Pacific tomorrow and we’d love for you to join the discussion (877-959-6739).

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  19. gmstory1

    GM’s hit and run: How a lawyer, mechanic, and engineer blew open the worst auto scandal in history

    As the sun was setting on a stormy Georgia day, Brooke Melton was 30 miles outside of Atlanta in her Chevy Cobalt. It was March 10, 2010, her birthday, and the 29-year-old pediatric nurse was on her way to her boyfriend’s to celebrate. Melton had purchased the white GM Cobalt in 2005, the year the four-cylinder compact first rolled out of factories, and lately it had been giving her trouble. A week earlier the engine had unexpectedly shut off. Melton…
  20. heyward-5

    It’s time for Whisper’s CEO to do his damn job

    It was Michael Heyward’s game to lose. The well-documented awfulness of Secret, and its suicide-happy founder David Byttow, had made Whisper by default the “less evil” secret-sharing app. A content partnership with Buzzfeed and another apparently in the offing with the Guardian, tens of millions in funding and a $200m valuation. All Heyward and his team had to do was not screw the pooch. That was last week. This week: Oh, the stories that bandy-legged pooch could tell. You’ve…
  21. evgeny

    Evgeny Morozov did not “plagiarize” in the New Yorker, but what he did was almost as bad

    Evgeny Morozov is almost certainly smarter than me and he’s probably smarter than you. I know because the Belarus-born academic and author has held all sorts of vague positions like “fellow” and “visiting scholar” at prestigious universities that wouldn’t let me anywhere near, except maybe the basketball arena to watch a game. He’s written two books and his byline has appeared in dozens of respected newspapers and magazines. And while I don’t always agree with his criticisms of modern technology, and often find…
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The Week in Review