News & Analysis

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    Tech press fail: Apple turns journalists’ breathless iPhone/Watch tweets into advertisements

    Today a company known for wage theft and endangering factory workers in China debuted some shiny new things for customers to buy. And as is always the case with these events, social media feeds during the big unveiling were filled with journalists and consumers sharing their excitement for the new wares. However something was different this time around. For years, Apple has livestreamed the event for the world to watch, but on this occasion it also incorporated social media content into a…
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    Politico Gearing Up For Europe Expansion

    ‘Politico is planning to expand into Europe through the launch of a new organization based in Brussels, Belgium, the capital of the European Union. On Monday morning, Politico CEO Jim VandeHei told senior editors that the company’s plans for Europe are “much bigger than anyone is thinking,” according to a staffer with knowledge of the meeting.’ — HuffPost
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    Ashley Madison accuses South Korea of cheating

    The owners of Ashley Madison, the Canadian-based dating website for cheaters, is suing the South Korean government for… not playing fair. The lawsuit, brought in Canadian federal court by Avid Life Media, says that South Korea unfairly blocked access to Ashleymadison.com after determining that it contained unspecified “illegal information.” As Courthouse News reports: “No sexual interaction can take place on the plaintiff’s website any more than it can by individuals using other websites that the defendants permit to operate freely,” the…
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    Apple announces two new larger iPhones, ApplePay, and an AppleWatch

    Apple’s mega-product event has wrapped up and it was a doozie. The company announced two new iPhones, the 4.7 inch iPhone 6 and 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus, which start at $199 and $299 respectively and will be available for pre-order this Friday. The company also announced a new NFC-powered payment platform called ApplePay that will be enabled by its new line of mobile devices and supported at launch by Macys, McDonalds, Wallgreens, and more partners. Finally, and perhaps most meaningfully, Apple…
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    A bittersweet love letter to Barnes and Noble

    Barnes & Noble isn’t dying quite as quickly as it was before. The company released its quarterly report today, and while it still posted losses, it isn’t hemorrhaging cash like it was last year. Now all the company needs to do is convince people that physical books are still worth purchasing to survive what many have considered its impending doom at the hands of Amazon and its Kindle. That shouldn’t be as hard as it sounds. Besides the romanticism…
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    Tinder settles sexual harassment lawsuit without admission of wrongdoing

    “Whitney’s lawsuit against Tinder has been resolved (without admission of wrongdoing). She is proud of her role as a co-founder of Tinder and of the role she played in the app’s success. She is now pleased to be able to focus her energy, talents, and ideas on exciting new opportunities,”Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe partner John Mullan tells BuzzFeed News with regard to the sexual harassment lawsuit. [Source: Buzzfeed]
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    The slimy rise of the “brand journalist”

    Today on Twitter, Fusion’s Felix Salmon stumbled upon a curious job listing at Storyful, a site that vets and verifies newsworthy social media content for accuracy. The job title is “Journalist (Brands),” which for anyone who cares about integrity in reporting and newsgathering should sound like a ridiculous oxymoron. The job description is even more head-scratching: “The candidate will specialize in Brands but should be open to working in Trends.” Setting aside for a moment the absurdity of capitalizing…
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    Braintree CEO: We want to offer the best payment experiences, and bitcoin is part of that

    After months of speculation and rumor, yesterday Braintree announced that it will begin accepting bitcoin payments through a partnership with Coinbase. The PayPal-owned mobile payments platform works with companies like Uber, AirBnB, TaskRabbit, and HotelTonight, meaning consumers could soon transact on these platforms using bitcoin. And thanks to Braintree’s recently launched “future proof” V.Zero SDK, which includes PayPal integration, this new functionality is effectively aimed at PayPal’s millions of global merchants as well. But beyond this high level…
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    Berg, maker of the Little Printer, shuts down after failed bid to connect Internet of Things companies

    The company behind the Little Printer, an Internet-connected miniature printer that makes the day’s forecasts, important news, and crosswords available on receipt paper, is shutting down. Matt Webb, the chief executive of the design consultancy that made the Little Printer, announced the shutdown in a blog post this morning. The company will maintain a “skeleton crew” to keep the Little Printer business running until it can be sold or salvaged by sharing its foundations. It might seem like this is…
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    The hypocrisy of Bitcoin owners and Reddit users who value their own privacy and no one else’s

    There’s a bizarre disconnect between how some people who use Bitcoin wish to be treated and how they’re willing to treat other people. Nowhere is this more evident than with the news that a hacker claiming to have forced access to the email address of Satoshi Nakamoto, the supposed founder of Bitcoin who has remained anonymous since the currency’s creation, is asking for 25 bitcoins (more than $11,000 at the current exchange rate) to reveal Nakamoto’s real identity. Asking…
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    After leading Good Eggs’ $21M round, Danny Rimer explains why it’s good business to invest in the social good

    Revenue. Profit margins. Traction. “Network effects.” These are the kinds of terms that are usually tossed around when discussing the intelligence of a particular investment. And they’re tossed around as well at Index Ventures, Danny Rimer’s global venture capital firm which counts Skype, Dropbox, and Etsy as some of its biggest hits. But there’s another question Rimer asks when considering an investment: What does this company do for the social good? Nowhere is this investment thesis more evident…
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    India investigating Amazon for violating ecommerce laws

    Just over a month after Amazon announced a whopping $2 billion investment into expanding its India ecommerce operations, India’s press is reporting that an arm of the Finance Ministry is investigating the company, along with Silicon Valley favorite Flipkart and other foreign-invested ecommerce outfits, for violating the country’s laws banning foreign direct investment in retail ecommerce. In late July, Flipkart announced it had raised $1 billion from global venture capital firms, the second largest investment round in 2014…
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    A Case Study in Price Discrimination: Burning Man Car Washes

    “This week, San Francisco car washes are exhibiting an interesting case study in price discrimination: they’ve jacked up rates for cars covered in Burning Man dust.” – Priceonomics
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    Healbe announces “new” investment, “independent” testing, and “shipping” “date”

    After six months in the journalistic trenches with Healbe, the Indiegogo crowdfunders who put the scam into scampaigning, I returned from vacation last week to see they’d a) closed a $2.6 million investment round, b) published independent tests and c) announced that they would begin shipping out their “miracle”, calorie-counting wristbands on September 22. Healbe 3, Pando 0? Well… no. Like with everything surrounding our friends from Moscow, even when we’re dealing with the most promising headlines out of its campaign…
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    Back to school: Read an 8th grader’s perfect explanation for why laptops, not tablets, belong in the classroom

    (Editor’s note: This is a guest post by 13-year-old Aidan Chandra. The post went through Pando’s usual editorial process.) My name is Aidan Chandra and I’m entering the 8th grade in a couple of days at Woodside Priory in Portola Valley, California. Kids around the country are beginning to go back to school and an increasing number of them are going to be getting school-issued iPads. More and more schools are getting on the iPad bandwagon and buying them to…
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    Judge grants Uber’s request to toss class action suit over driver tips

    A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that Uber drivers cannot mount a class action suit against the company over tips paid by riders. The drivers had claimed that Uber had concealed from riders the fact that it doesn’t hand over the full amount of the tip automatically added to ever journey. For its part, as I wrote last week, Uber argued that it was riders, not passengers, who were misled by the policy. This past Thursday, reports Courthouse News, judge…
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