News & Analysis

  1. uber_liability

    CA Senator votes against Uber, despite conflict of interest, then promptly gets a DUI

    When judges are asked to preside over a case involving family, or any similar conflict of interest, they are expected to recuse themselves. For California state Senators, apparently the same standard doesn’t apply. Last Thursday, San Diego Democrat Ben Hueso voted in favor of a bill that would make it far more difficult for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate within the state. The problem? As first reported by the Sacramento Bee, Hueso’s brothers own a cab company: San Diego-based USA Cab. The…
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  3. uber-muggings

    With another Uber driver robbed in LA, questions mount about safety of ride-sharing apps

    Uber made headlines last week for announcing that it would soon launch in Tel Aviv, seemingly in disregard for the fact that Israel remains mired in a month-long (decades long, really) conflict in Gaza. But one doesn’t need to look nearly that far to find the company’s drivers dodging bullets. Case in point, a gunman robbed an Uber driver at gunpoint early this morning in Los Angeles, taking his credit cards and drivers license – news reports make no mention…
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    Sinead O’Connor proves it’s not just tech that has a “woman problem.” It’s nearly every industry

    Sinead O’Connor’s album “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” debuted smack in the middle of my teenage dating angst, so even though I haven’t listened to her for –oh, a decade plus– I still click on a link when I see a Q&A with her out of sentimentality. I was reading this excellent Salon interview yesterday (h/t MediaReDef), and was struck that she gave a big ol’ shout out to Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. In fact,…
  5. elsewhere

    Is Amazon about to steal the $1b Twitch acquisition away from Google?

    What’s better than a $1 billion acquisition offer? Two $1 billion acquisition offers. That’s appears to be reality today for Twitch, the popular gaming-focused video platform. About a month ago, Twitch was rumored to be all but sold to Google. But today, the Information cites “two people familiar with the matter” who claim that Amazon is “late-stage talks” to snatch the company out of Google’s grasp.  [Source: Information (paywall)]
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  7. bskyb

    Murdoch’s BSkyB opens a SF office in search of tech investments and partnerships

    There’s a new strategic investor making the rounds in Silicon Valley looking for deals at the intersection of technology and content. Like nearly all other strategics, this group is making promises of “synergies” and “value adds” and “leverage.” Unlike most investors, however, history suggests it might actually be true. BSkyB (Sky), which is the UK’s biggest pay-TV broadcaster, and is part-owned by Rupert Murdoch, is opening an office in San Francisco with the express purpose of finding technology investments and…
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    The most ridiculous quotes from NYMag’s feature on the future of Time Inc.

    Over at New York Magazine, Gabriel Sherman has a big feature on Time Magazine’s plans to save a media empire that’s been ravaged by shrinking revenues and three changes in leadership in just the past four years. The prognosis? Things are bad, they’re getting worse, and the current leadership is as confused as anybody in the legacy news business. The attitude at the top of Time Inc. could most charitably described as “schizophrenic.” CEO Joe Ripp talks of entering arenas like e-commerce…
  9. smartphone_china

    Thanks Obama: China works to improve its operating systems to reduce dependence on Western companies

    China is poised to become the world’s most important smartphone market. Pando reported in May that more devices will be sold in China than in the United States this year. And, despite the low-cost devices offered to Chinese consumers, revenues will also be higher than in the US. But now it seems that the market’s wings will be clipped, at least to Western manufacturers, right when it’s starting to take flight. The Chinese government is working to improve its desktop and…
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  11. magic8ball

    Facebook’s plan for the Emmys: ask celebrities to shake a glorified Magic 8-Ball

    Facebook is placing its hopes on a glorified Magic 8-Ball. The company plans to introduce the Mentions Box, a device that selects questions from Facebook users and prompts a celebrity to answer one with a video response, during tonight’s Emmy Awards. (Access Hollywood has the unenviable task of carrying this plastic monstrosity around and asking celebrities to shake it.) The stunt is part of Facebook’s continued efforts to convince celebrities that its platform can replace Twitter as their preferred place to interact…
  12. pololauren

    Ralph Lauren’s “smart polo shirt” shows the problem with wearable tech

    The wearables market is experiencing a crisis. As numerous studies have shown, many people are unimpressed with the wearable devices available today, despite increasing interest from tech companies and venture capitalists. Young people aren’t interested in the products; old people aren’t using them. Samsung can’t even convince people to keep free smartwatches. Yet companies continue their search for niche markets for wearables. Whistle made an activity tracker for dogs. Xiaomi announced a Fitbit knock-off that costs $13.…
  13. whitehouse

    The War Nerd: Today is the 200th anniversary of the wimpy so-called burning of Washington

    Editor’s note: This is a slightly edited version of an article first published by NSFWCORP (now part of Pando) as part of The War Nerd’s Guide to the War of 1812 Today is the 200th anniversary of the burning of the White House in 1814. People talk about how the British troops “burned Washington” after the Battle of Bladensburg left D. C. wide open, but really, Americans have no idea how easy we got off. The British took it very,…
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  15. Steve Jobs

    Shareholders sue Steve Jobs’ estate, Apple board members over wage fixing cartel

    This one’s going to run and run. An Apple shareholder has filed a shareholder derivative suit against Tim Cook, Bill Campbell and other members of Apple’s board over the company’s behavior, highlighted during the Techtopus wage fixing suit. The suit also includes the estate of Steve Jobs as a defendant. Plaintiff R. Andre Klein, acting on behalf of other Apple shareholders, claims that not only was Apple part of a secret wage-fixing cartel but it also failed to disclose to shareholders a…
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    Airbnb to Expose 124 Hosts to New York Attorney General

    “Airbnb plans to hand over the names and addresses of 124 hosts on its service to the New York attorney general, the company said in a blog post Friday. The apartment-rental site agreed in May to provide Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with anonymous information on about 16,000 hosts in the city as well as the names and contact information of individual users the regulator chooses to investigate for possible enforcement action” – Wall Street Journal
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    This site thinks it can become the first porn brand to get an ad on national TV

    If you turned on the TV over the past few years, you might have seen swimsuit model Bar Refaeli noisily making out with a rosacea-hued “nerd” or model Kate Upton orgasming over a patty melt. But what you won’t see is this tame ad featuring an elderly couple sitting quietly on a park bench because it violated CBS’s “standards.” Why? Because the ad was in support of the very NSFW porn site PornHub.…
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    Racists help crowdfunding campaign to support Michael Brown cop hit $250k target (and counting)

    Way to go, racists! As I reported yesterday, a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Officer Darren Wilson, the cop who shot Ferguson teen Michael Brown, had already passed $145k in donations. Many of the donations were accompanied by racist slurs and attacks on Brown… Earlier today, the campaign ended after breezing past its $250k fundraising target. That’s $50k more than the reported total raised by Trayvon Martin killer, George Zimmerman. Shortly afterwards, Shield of Hope, the group behind the…
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    My Big Break: The time Kirsten Green went to lunch with a friend and got a $5 million check

    Regular readers will know that I’m so inspired by Kirsten Green’s unconventional, self-made journey to become a venture capitalist that I did a lengthy profile of her for our last PandoQuarterly. A few weeks ago at dinner, I asked her to reflect on the one person who she couldn’t have done it without. She barely hesitated before naming Sandy Colen of Apex Capital. The story is one of my favorites in our “My Big Break” series so far,…
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    Matrix partner Dana Stalder a leading candidate for PayPal president, source tells Pando

    Matrix Partners’ Dana Stalder is one of the leading candidates to take over as President of PayPal, Pando has learned from a well-placed source. We’ve so far been unable to confirm the report with executives from eBay (we’ll update this story if we do), but if his place on the short list for the top job is confirmed, it’s a nice endorsement for Stalder, who is a good friend of former PayPal President David Marcus. Far more interesting, though, is…
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