This website is a collection of information that I find interesting. Scroll down to see short descriptions and links to more information. Feel free to contact me at if you would like to talk about digital, technology or developing cool things.


Google’s New Skybox For Good Program Gives Real-Time Satellite Imagery To Non-Profits

10/25/14 11:02 am

 On the heels of acquiring satellite startup Skybox in August, Google and Skybox have announced the Skybox for Good program, which will provide real-time satellite imagery to organizations and programs that save lives, protect the environment, promote education, and positively impact humanity, according to the official blog post. The program launches today in beta with a small group of partners. Read More

U.K. Startup Swytch Is Building An App To Open Up The ‘Burner’ Phone Number Market

10/25/14 10:00 am

 U.K. startup Swytch — founded in April this year — is bootstrapping a cloud based mobile network and dialer app that will let you use multiple phone numbers on a single SIM, so doing away with the hassle of juggling multiple physical SIM cards. Read More

Bitcoin 2.0: Sidechains And Ethereum And Zerocash, Oh My!

10/25/14 8:00 am

 Strange, interesting, and wildly ambitious things are afoot in the world of Bitcoin and blockchains. I give you Zerocash, a completely anonymous currency; Ethereum, an blockchain platform designed to decentralize much of the Internet; and Sidechains, a proposal to accelerate the evolution of Bitcoin itself. Any one of these could conceivably become a very big deal. All three? Prick up your ears. Read More

Embattled Whisper CEO suspends editorial staffers as investigation into privacy scandal continues

10/24/14 7:21 pm

se As the Guardian newspaper continues its investigation into Whisper’s use of user data, CEO Michael Heyward has suspended members of his editorial team, pending completion of a full inquiry into the allegations. The suspensions, which sources say include Editor in Chief Neetzan Zimmerman, come as Senator Jay Rockefeller has asked for Whisper executives to attend a meeting with his powerful Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. In a statement issued l...

Sundar Pichai’s Ascension At Google Could Herald New Platform Unification

10/24/14 6:58 pm

 In a sweeping transfer of power, Google CEO Larry Page will bequeath operational leadership of a host of core products to his lieutenant Sundar Pichai. Pichai, a well-known Google executive, will add control of Google+, search, maps, infrastructure and ads to his portfolio, which already includes Chrome’s browser and operating system efforts, Google Apps and Android. Read More

Qello is quietly building a “Netflix for music films” — and maybe building the future of digital video

10/24/14 6:00 pm

So what will be the big buzzword of 2015? I’m placing my bets on “OTT.” OTT stands for “Over-the-top” and it refers to video and audio streaming services that don’t directly involve a cable company. For example, when HBOGO announced its standalone service this week, the savvy set of observers called it “going OTT.” We know the big players like Netflix and Hulu. But there’s one company that’s quietly becoming a major force in the OTT landscape and it’s helping to shape ...

Sidecar Tests A New “Commute” Service, With Discounts When You Pay For A Week Of Morning Rides

10/24/14 5:23 pm

 Ridesharing service SideCar invited me today to beta test a new feature called Sidecar Commute. Here’s how it works, as explained on the tester signup page: You pay $35 for a one-week SideCar Commute Pack, then you can request a ride every morning that week, and you’ll get a $15 credit for that ride. Read More

Why I don’t believe in “cinematic” VR

10/24/14 5:00 pm

Alice in Wonderland. Disney 1951. [ Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Armando Kirwin, a former film maker now working on the future of entertainment. The post went through PandoDaily’s usual editorial process. Mr. Kirwin was not paid for this post.] I’m not an expert on cinema. I helped make about a dozen Hollywood films, worked with a VP at Paramount Pictures, and eventually joined Chad Hurley (founder of YouTube) at MixBit. Lately lots of people are talking about ...

Google Executive Breaks Record With Near-Space Skydive

10/24/14 4:44 pm

Google Executive Alan Eustace broke Felix Baugartner's record with his stratospheric skydive.

Google Vice-President of Knowledge Alan Eustace's Record-Breaking Near-Space Skydive

10/24/14 4:44 pm

Google Executive Alan Eustace broke Felix Baugartner's record with his stratospheric skydive.

How Brands Should React to Gamergate: Don't

10/24/14 4:27 pm

Here is the most crucial thing a marketer needs to know about so-called Gamergate. "You cannot win. This is a lose-lose situation." That's according to one advertiser who has been caught up in an ongoing fiasco that's pitted various factions of gamers against one another, and against publishers and advertisers. Continue reading at

You Can Now Build Oculus Rift Projects In The Free Version Of Unity

10/24/14 3:28 pm

 Hey, you! Yeah, you! The one with the awesome idea for something that needs to be built in virtual reality! Remember a few weeks back, when Oculus mentioned that their development tools would soon work with the free version of the Unity game engine, rather than just the $1,500 Pro Version? It’s done. Read More

First Look At 3D Camera App 3DAround

10/24/14 3:12 pm

 What if you could shoot those cool 360-degree, swivel-around photos you see on ecommerce sites or in The Matrix with just your smartphone? Then you’d be using the 3DAround camera app that launches next month from Dacuda, which gave TechCrunch an early peek. Simply hit record, revolve your camera phone or tablet around an object, and 3DAround stitches together all the photos into a 3D… Read More

Gillmor Gang LIVE 10.24.14

10/24/14 3:09 pm

 Gillmor Gang – John Borthwick, Robert Scoble, Dan Farber, John Taschek, Keith Teare and Steve Gillmor. Gillmor Gang – John Borthwick, Robert Scoble, Dan Farber, John Taschek, Keith Teare and Steve Gillmor. Recording has concluded for today. Live FriendFeed chat during the show broadcast Our Gillmor Gang Facebook page Our sister show G3 on Facebook Read More

Pandora just posted record revenues. So why is its stock down 41 percent since March?

10/24/14 3:00 pm

For years, Pandora has been lumped with Spotify when talking about the profitability struggles of streaming music services. But while it still hasn’t been able to turn profits quarter-in and quarter-out, yesterday’s earnings statement may mean the service has finally turned a corner. In its third financial quarter , Pandora’s adjusted profits doubled to 9 cents a share on its largest revenues yet. While the company still posted an operating loss of $2 million, tha...

The War Nerd: How do you deal with wannabe jihadis? An upgrade to business class

10/24/14 3:00 pm

KUWAIT CITY—It’s been a busy week for Canada’s home-grown jihadis. Monday, October 20: Martin Rouleau, a French-Canadian convert to Islam, ran down two Canadian soldiers with his Nissan Altima, then led the RCMP on a chase that ended when he rolled the Nissan, came up out of the wreck waving a kitchen knife, and got himself shot to death “like he wanted to.” Wednesday, October 22: Michael Zehaf-Babeau , also Quebecois and a recent convert, shot a soldier standing guard at a wa...

Don’t Open Random PowerPoint Presentations From Strangers Right Now (Or Ever, Really)

10/24/14 2:37 pm

 Heads up! In what feels like a throwback to the late 90s/early 2000’s, Microsoft has discovered one helluva bug in Microsoft Office. Executed properly, the bug could be exploited to take over your entire system running just about any version of Windows. You can find Microsoft’s full disclosure on the bug here, but here’s the bulk of what you should know: This bug is being… Read More

Google Rolls Out An Invite System For Its New Email App, Inbox By Gmail

10/24/14 2:30 pm

 Good news, you don’t have to scour eBay for an invite to Google’s new email application, Inbox. You just have to know someone who got in. Today, Google announced by way of its “Inbox by Gmail” Twitter account that each Inbox user will now receive three invites they can hand out to friends. Hilariously, the invite button emoji is a golden ticket. If you aren’t… Read More

JustFab settles deceptive marketing claims with CA district attorneys, pays $1.8M fine

10/24/14 2:05 pm

JustFab is on the short list of the  most valuable private tech companies in LA . But the subscription ecommerce giant’s rise to this lofty perch hasn’t been without its share of controversy. The company added to that list today with the announcement of a settlement with two California district attorneys following allegations of deceptive marketing. The issue, according to a joint statement released today by the District Attorney’s (DA) offices of Santa Clara and Santa Cru...

Kudos: Uber acts swiftly and decisively to reassure passengers after transporting NY ebola patient

10/24/14 2:00 pm

For all the blame we heap on Uber for its frequent mismanagement of scandals and crisis situations , the company deserves credit in equal measure today for its apparent swift and responsible handling of an encounter with New York state’s first Ebola patient earlier this week. In a statement issued today, the company explains its handling of this incident: We reviewed our records and were able to confirm that one of our driver partners in New York provided a ride to the pa...

This Week On The TC Gadgets Podcast: iPads, Disrupt London, And iPads

10/24/14 2:00 pm

 You might have heard that Apple released some new iPads last week. A lot of them. Plus, TechCrunch ventured across the pond for Disrupt London, where a number of incredible hardware startups debuted their wares. It was a long, but awesome, week. We discuss all this and more on this week’s episode of the TC Gadgets Podcast featuring John Biggs, Matt Burns, and Jordan Crook. Have a good… Read More

AT&T Breaks The Apple SIM’s Best Feature, Locks It Down If You Pick AT&T

10/24/14 1:46 pm

 The idea behind the Apple SIM that comes in the new iPads is most excellent: one SIM, many carriers. Whenever you want to switch carriers, you’d just pop into settings and pick the new one. If you want to bring your own SIM, you can — but otherwise, everything happens through software. No swapping SIMs, no ordering new SIMs, no hassle. Read More

The Groups App I Wish Facebook Would Build

10/24/14 1:42 pm

 About once a week, if not more, I find myself typing these words or something similar on Facebook: “I just PM’d you, check your ‘Other’ inbox.” Or, “sorry, I’m on mobile, I can’t get to the ‘Other’ inbox right now.” Or sometimes, just “bump.” If any of these phrases sound familiar, you’re probably also a member… Read More

Terminal’s Containers Pioneer A New Way Of Developing Apps From The Cloud

10/24/14 1:02 pm

 Terminal, a San Francisco-based startup founded by some ex-Facebook and Google technical talent, is trying to transform the way we do software development. They’ve built system supporting containers, or ultra-fast virtual machines that will let developers write, ship and collaborate on code directly from the browser. While there are other somewhat comparable startups like Docker,… Read More

Pandora Listener Growth Slows

10/24/14 1:00 pm

Pandora Media's user growth slowed to 5.2% in the third quarter, the company said in its latest earnings report. Active listeners for the Oakland, California-based company grew to 76.5 million from 72.7 million a year ago, when Pandora reported user growth of 25%. The figure stood at 76.4 million in June, after 7.5% growth in the second quarter. Listener metrics are a focus because the company is under assault by deep-pocketed rivals from Apple to Google. Pandora is focused on con...

Yep, Apple Will Shut Down Beats Music App And Roll It Into iTunes

10/24/14 12:58 pm

 Last month I reported that Apple would shut down Beats Music and likely add streaming music to iTunes. Apple denied, specifically, that Beats Music would be shut down. Shortly thereafter, ‘unnamed sources familiar with the matter’ conveniently surfaced to engage in a battle of semantics about whether Apple might modify Beats Music over time, including its brand. As we noted at… Read More

The Queen’s First Tweet Is A Royal Mystery

10/24/14 11:54 am

 Think about your first tweet. Mine was sent from a desktop, but I’m sure plenty of people sent their first tweet from a smartphone. But before you can ever send a tweet, you have to sign up for an account. And, of course, you have to type out an actual message. Only then can you press that little blue Tweet button and begin your Twitter journey. The Queen, however, does things a bit… Read More

Amazon Takes Retail Approach to Push Flagging Fire Phone

10/24/14 11:25 am

"You've got an iPhone," said Brian Jausurawong. "You're probably due for an upgrade," gesturing to a display shelf stacked with Amazon Fire smartphones. As it turns out, the interlocutor with Mr. Jausurawong, an Amazon sales representative, works for the tech giant, too (she was shooting a promo video). But Amazon did host actual customers in its 'pop-up' store at the ground floor of a downtown San Francisco mall. It's the second year the e-commerce giant has had a brick-and-mortar ...

Amazon Quietly Launches A Functional App Store Within Its Main Android Application

10/24/14 11:14 am

 Until recently, if you wanted to install an application from Amazon’s own Appstore onto your Android device, you would have to install the Amazon Appstore app separately. And this is a bit of a hassle, since you can’t exactly just download the app from Google Play. But last month, Amazon quietly rolled out a new feature within its main Amazon application on Android which now includes… Read More

The Pros And Cons of Inbox By Gmail

10/24/14 11:12 am

The Pros And Cons of Inbox By Gmail - This review originally appeared on Quora.

What Is The Implication Of Inbox By Gmail For Email Marketing?

10/24/14 11:03 am

What is the implication of Inbox by Gmail for email marketing? This question was originally answered on Quora by Noya Lizor.

Ziptask relaunches to tackle the $480 billion per year outsourcing industry

10/24/14 11:00 am

With the war for technical talent as fierce as ever, more and more companies are turning to outsourcing. But little has changed in the outsourced labor market in the last 10 years, with most companies in the space seemingly content to throw more bodies, often at ever-declining hourly rates, at their clients’ technical problems. But, particularly for first time users and in the small- and mid-sized business (SMB) arena, this often turns out poorly. Anaheim-based Ziptask , which relaun...

IBM Earnings Reflect Just How Difficult Transformation Really Is

10/24/14 10:58 am

 The news came out this week that IBM had another bad quarterly report card. Unfortunately for IBM it marked the 10th straight quarter of falling revenue, indicating that maybe something’s not quite right at Big Blue. IBM’s earnings illustrate the challenge they face as they transform themselves into a cloud-centric company. It could be that it will take some time for that… Read More

Socar, Korea’s Answer To Zipcar, Raises $18 Million But Isn’t Looking Overseas Just Yet

10/24/14 10:50 am

 South Korea is know for advanced technology and hardware companies like Samsung, LG and others. But startups? Certainly the country has produced few fledgling tech companies, though there are increasing signs that things are changing: the latest being Socar — a startup comparable to Zipcar — raising a $18 million round of funding this month. Read More

Japanese Hobbyists Build A Working Transformer

10/24/14 10:31 am

 Eee-urrk-urrk-urrk-urk! A pair of Japanese hobbyists have built a transforming robot that can walk or, when in sports car form, drive around autonomously. It’s called the J-deite Quarter and is four feet tall. The goal, apparently, is to make a full-sized transformer… just because they can. The team consists of Kenji Ishida and Wataru Yoshizaki of Brave Robotics and Asratec. The… Read More

Surprise! The Internet is chock-full of assholes

10/24/14 10:19 am

The Internet is filled with assholes who ruin it for everyone else. That’s the takeaway from two seemingly disparate news items — the first that cloud storage service Bitcasa is ending its unlimited plan , and the second that Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee doesn’t like that his legacy is being used to spread “the dark side of humanity,” as the Guardian puts it — published today. (I’m sure that plenty of other things could be included in this list.) Bitcasa launched with an unlimi...

Operational Resilience- Not Just Technology Security- Drives Competitive Advantage

10/24/14 9:34 am

Dr. Eric Cole is an industry-recognized security expert with more than 25 years of hands-on experience. Dr. Cole is the founder and an executive leader at Secure Anchor Consulting where he provides leading-edge cyber security consulting services, expert witness work, and leads research and development initiatives to advance state-of-the-art information systems security. Dr. Cole was the lone inductee into the InfoSec European Hall of Fame in 2014. He is actively involved with the SANS Technology...

Inventables’ new 3D carver wants to give the maker movement new life

10/24/14 9:00 am

The last time I spoke to Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan  he’d launched the company’s new Easel software platform at SXS, a program designed to take the prohibitively inaccessible complexities of 3D design more manageable. When I reach him this week, Kaplan is laughing. Inventables Kickstarter campaign for its Carvey machine , a tabletop 3D carving machine has shattered its $50,000 target, sitting close to $300,000. As I write, it’s sitting above $400,000. Inventables pop...

Three Startups That Will Help You Save Money On Foreign Currency Exchange

10/24/14 8:42 am

After having disrupted telecommunications, music, publishing and other sectors, new technologies seem bound to disrupt banking. Not only through mobile payments services like the newly born Apple Pay, but cutting costs and commissions that banks impose on customers.

Aereo uses up another of its nine lives

10/24/14 8:02 am

It hasn’t been Aereo’s year. The Supreme Court ruled in June that the company’s service, which allowed its users to record over-the-air broadcasts and watch them on their smartphones, tablets, and other devices, was operating in violation of the Copyright Act of 1976 because it was so similar to cable offerings. Then the US Copyright Office said in July that the company couldn’t receive the compulsory licenses that would allow it to continue operating because — get t...

We asked Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang: How much will China’s tech companies shape the new global economy?

10/23/14 11:18 pm

Alibaba. Tencent. Baidu. We hear the company names and we see their impressive valuations. But very few Westerners actually use these products and services, and therefore it’s difficult to sense how big a role they will play in shaping the new global economy, particularly because of China’s attitudes toward censorship and Internet freedom. These uncertainties arose at tonight’s PandoMonthly in San Francisco, featuring Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang, the cofoun...

Aneel Bhusri on disruption and taking on Oracle: “It always comes from the upstarts”

10/23/14 11:01 pm

The first generation of enterprise software giants badly missed “the cloud.” There might be no better real world example of the innovator’s dilemma . Stalwarts like Oracle and SAP largely ignored the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, willingly ceding what they viewed as a small opportunity to any upstart willing to make a play for it. Many tried. And yet, despite this lack of competition, most of the early cloud companies failed to gain much traction. This was a topic of conversati...

Listen again to this week’s PandoLIVE

10/23/14 10:46 pm

Most of the airtime of this week’s PandoLIVE call-in show was given over to our discussion about Whisper’s current privacy scandal. Fortunately, though, there was still time to talk about our sponsor Rackspace’s plan to murder children and turn them into delicious jam. I suspect they’re going to regret trusting us to ad-lib their ads now. You can listen to the full show below: … SPONSOR MESSAGE: Free Hosting!  Visit  to see if your...

Aneel Bhusri: I thought Larry Ellison was a nice guy… and then he went off on Workday

10/23/14 10:26 pm

Speaking on stage at tonight’s PandoMonthly, Aneel Bhusri explained what it was like when Larry Ellison “went off” on Workday at the 2012 AllThingsD conference just before Workday’s IPO. Here’s his response, as reported by  the WSJ : Larry: It’s going to be very interesting to monitor Workday. We monitor Workday, and we beat Workday all the time. Workday doesn’t use a database. They use Flash as a user interface, so they can’t run on iPhones or iPads. Whenever we’re in a ...

Stunning Photos Of Mars From The Curiosity Rover

10/23/14 10:24 pm

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is trying to figure out whether the red planet ever offered a habitable environment for life, and it's taking amazing photos in the process.

Management Lessons From NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover

10/23/14 10:24 pm

On a hot August Earth night in 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover began its celebrated “seven minutes of terror” --- slowing from 12,600 mph to a triumphant gentle landing at Mars’ Gale Crater.

Pando members — watch the livestream of Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang. RIGHT NOW

10/23/14 9:00 pm

Starting right now in San Francisco, Sarah Lacy is interviewing Aneel Bhusri and Jerry Yang for this month’s PandoMonthly. As ever, we’ll be covering news from event here on Pando, but Pando Members can watch the whole interview, live and in HD, in the members’ area . If you’re not yet a member, you can join right now, right here . Paul Carr Paul Carr is editorial director of Pando. Previously he was founder and editor in chief of NSFWCORP.

So Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs. But will the movie be any good?

10/23/14 6:00 pm

You may have heard that Aaron Sorkin, the purveyor of verbal acrobatics and thinly-drawn female characters behind “West Wing” and “Social Network,” has written another biopic of a famous entrepreneur: Steve Jobs. Now the upcoming film, which will be helmed by “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle, has a leading man . Christian Bale will pick up where Ashton Kutcher left off by playing the mercurial Apple founder. Say what you will about Bale  — the “Ba...

Senator demands answers as Guardian publishes evidence that Whisper exec lied about user privacy

10/23/14 5:54 pm

There’s no pretty way to say this: Whisper is fucked. Earlier today, it was reported  that Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has written to CEO Michael Heyward demanding a Committee staff briefing to explain the company’s privacy protections. In the letter, embedded below, Rockefeller wrote : To assist the committee in evaluating questions that have been raised about [Whisper's] practices and policies, I ...

Amazon's Holiday Forecast Misses Expectations

10/23/14 5:21 pm forecast sales and profit for the holiday quarter that missed analysts' projections, underlining the limits to Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos's strategy of spending big to fuel growth. Revenue for the current period will be $27.3 billion to $30.3 billion, the Seattle-based company said in a statement today, while profit excluding some items will range from a loss of $570 million to a gain of $430 million. Analysts on average projected sales of $30.9 billion and profit...