News & Analysis

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    Pew: Most Americans don’t trust private companies or government agencies with their data

    Pew reports that a majority of Americans (roughly 65 percent) believe there are inadequate restrictions on government data collection. Many others have also complained about the amount of data held by online advertisers, social sites, video streaming services, search companies, and other online service providers. The findings are the result of a survey of 498 adults conducted in 2014. Pew estimates that its margin of error is plus or minus 5.6 percentage points. In many cases, this still means a…
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    Stripe looking to raise up to $500M

    Stripe, the digital payments company, is reportedly looking to raise a new round of funding of up to $500 million. This round might also value the company at $5 billion, which makes it too much to be a unicorn, but too little to be a decacorn… how many other types of corn are there? [Source: TechCrunch]
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    Delta spurns travel startups

    Delta has reportedly prevented several travel startups from obtaining information about its flights as part of an effort to “restrict how—and whether—sites can use their fare and schedule data.” The affected startups are Hipmunk, TripAdvisor, and CheapOair. [Source: The Wall Street Journal]
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    “Mad Men Integrated” imagines Don Draper as a millennial social media marketer. And it doesn’t suck!

    Here at Pando, we’re big fans of Mad Men — or at least I am, to such an extent that I ranked and recapped all 92 episodes the other day. But you know what’s (usually) the worst? Social media accounts and sites that imagine the plots of beloved television shows as if they were made in “modern” times. They aren’t categorically bad, but the formulaic nature of the concept enables lazy joke-telling. The most popular of these, Twitter’s “Modern Seinfeld,” is most…
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    As the douchebags start piling up in HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” maybe Erlich isn’t so bad?

    Forgive the lateness of this: I’ve been stuck at Sterling Cooper writing 19,000 words about the Mad Men series finale and all 91 other episodesSilicon Valley isn’t anywhere near the same level as Mad Men in terms of documenting the emotional contours of a workplace. Nevertheless, “Homicide,” this second season’s sixth episode, touches on a number of salient issues facing workers in the new tech economy — and most fascinatingly, accurately paints the Valley as just as ruthless, cutthroat, and “douchey” as any industry where people stand…
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    Walking with Disruptors: I crashed yesterday’s big sharing economy conference in SF

    Yesterday, in a windowless, former “Italian men’s club” in San Francisco’s North Beach, flanked by strip clubs on all sides, the “On Demand Conference” was held to address the surging on-demand economy. All our favorite, “established” on-demand services companies sent reps, from Lyft and Uber to Postmates. Also present were the next wave of companies, tackling food-delivery and valet and shipping and laundry and all the other supposedly excruciating aspects of adult life. There were thought-leaders and journalists and would-be entrepreneurs. For some reason Pando was…
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    The Living, Breathing, Evolving Book: Why I Published My eBook On Medium

    Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Greg Muender that originally appeared on Medium. The post went through PandoDaily’s usual editorial process and Mr Muender was not paid for his work.  Imagine you just picked up your brand new luxury sedan. It cost you almost six figures, but boy is it worth every penny. It came with all the bells and whistles, and you didn’t spare a single expense — cutting edge technology, state-of-the-art features, advanced electronics and display. There is just one…
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    Flickr’s and Google’s algorithms are behaving badly

    Flickr and Google are offering a case study in the dangers of faulty algorithms. Flickr’s problem stems from a system that automatically tags images shared to its service with what it sees in the photos. A black-and-white photo is tagged “blackandwhite,” for example, while a nature shot can be tagged with “outdoor.” The problem is that this system automatically tagged several images — one of a black man, another of a white woman — with “ape.” It also labelled…
  12. Overheard

    “After May 22, 2015, the National Security Agency will need to begin taking steps to wind down the bulk-telephone-metadata program in anticipation of a possible sunset in order to ensure that it does not engage in any unauthorized collection or use of the metadata.”

    — Justice Department memo sent before the Patriot Act comes up for renewal

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    Tsotsis leaves TechCrunch

    TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis is leaving the publication to attend the Sloan management masters program at Stanford’s business school. Tsotsis told Recode that the move had nothing to do with Verizon’s imminent purchase of AOL, which acquired TechCrunch in 2010. [Source: Recode]
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    Like FREAK before it, Logjam shows why governments shouldn’t undermine encryption

    A newly-disclosed vulnerability undermines several common security protocols and leaves information sent over many connections vulnerable to surveillance. It’s called the Logjam bug, and it could affect thousands of sites and services. The researchers who discovered the vulnerability guess that it might have been used by the National Security Agency to surveil its targets. It could also be used by other attackers who wish to “read and modify any data” someone is sending. Here’s how the researchers describe the…
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    Luxury commute shuttle Leap issued cease and desist

    Leap, the luxury commuter shuttle startup, has received a cease and desist letter from the California Public Utilities Commission. Unlike its ridesharing forebears, the company will comply with the order and has discontinued service pending resolution.
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    With two new tools geared for execs, Zenefits software services now targeting SMBs beyond the HR office

    What does HR software services company Zenefits do with its monster $500 million round of funding that it announced a couple of weeks ago? Why, it builds a bigger carrot to lead companies to its insurance offerings, of course. Zenefits — touted as as the fastest-growing software as a service company, EVER! — revealed two new additions to its suite of free software for small- and medium-sized businesses that automate human resources work such as compliance, on-boarding, payroll,…
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    AdBlock Plus swings at ad companies again with new Android browser

    AdBlock Plus has released a new Android browser to make it easier than ever for consumers to avoid irksome advertisements — and for its creators to give other companies a reason to pay to be on a list of sites allowed to show ads. Google previously removed a version of AdBlock Plus’ software from its Play Store. This new browser is a way for the company to make it back into the software marketplace and become…
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    Diplo is the new Zuck, Silicon Valley is over (according to the trailer for new Zac Efron movie)

    So the trailer for a new Zac Efron vehicle called “We Are Your Friends” was released today, and besides being filled with a bunch of actors I’ve never seen before (except that one guy who looked familiar, you know the one who was either in N*Sync or was the popular asshole kid in 10 Things I Hate About You), the only thing that I can garner from the film’s message is that the Bay Area tech industry is SCREWED…that is, in…
  21. strictly-business

    Wallapop’s reportedly raising $100M

    Wallapop, the company behind a service that allows people to sell their junk to their neighbors via its mobile application, is said to be raising $100 million. The round would come shortly after the company raised a Series B funding round of between $25 and $40 million. [Source: TechCrunch]
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