company:uber

  • 5 Questions to Ask While Building Your Marketplace Platform
    https://hackernoon.com/5-questions-to-ask-while-building-your-marketplace-platform-aed27f86555?

    Building a marketplace setup is a tough nut to crack — and this is no breaking news.Although the model works extremely well at scale — for example, eBay, Airbnb, and Uber, among others — but getting to scale is another challenge altogether.It’s not something that’s achieved overnight, or without thorough planning. For instance, it took Wattpad, a community of writers and readers, around three years to get 300,000 uploads. Then, it took them only three more years to reach the 10 million mark. Similarly, the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, was founded in 2007, but it took them four years for their first big break.However, building an online marketplace does seem like a lucrative business option. Even more so, when you realize that global #marketplaces are set to own around 40% of the online retail (...)

    #ecommerce-marketplace #ecommerce #startup #online-marketplace


  • NYC passes minimum pay wage for Uber and Lyft drivers
    https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/04/nyc-minimum-pay-wage-uber-lyft-drivers

    New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted today to establish a minimum wage for drivers working for companies like Uber, Lyft, Juno and Via. The city is the first in the US to set a minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. Going forward, the minimum pay will be set at $17.22 per hour after expenses, bringing it in line with the city’s $15 per hour minimum wage for typical employees, which will take effect at the end of the year. The additional $2.22 takes into account contract drivers’ payroll taxes and paid time off.

    “Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families. All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America,” Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement. “We are thankful to the Mayor, Commissioner Joshi and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, City Council Member Brad Lander and all of the city officials who listened to and stood up for drivers.”

    Earlier this year, the Taxi and Limousine Commission released the results of a study it requested, which recommended the new pay floor. And in August, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill requiring the commission to set a base pay rate. The Independent Drivers Guild, which has been working towards a minimum pay rate for some time, estimates that contract drivers in the city are currently earning just $11.90 per hour after expenses.

    Across the US, there’s been increased scrutiny on what companies like Uber and Lyft are actually paying their workers. In May, San Francisco subpoenaed the two companies for their pay records, and both companies have faced lawsuits over driver wages. Last year, NYC began requiring all ride-hailing services to offer an in-app tipping option.

    The rules passed today aren’t sitting well with the companies affected by them, however. Lyft told Engadget that it’s concerned that calculating pay per ride rather than per week will incentivize short rides over long rides. Further, Lyft says the new out of town rates — which require companies to pay drivers more when they take passengers outside of the city and return without a passenger — will be hard to implement before the new regulations take effect in 30 days.

    “Lyft believes all drivers should earn a livable wage and we are committed to helping drivers reach their goals,” the company told Engadget. “Unfortunately, the TLC’s proposed pay rules will undermine competition by allowing certain companies to pay drivers lower wages, and disincentive drivers from giving rides to and from areas outside Manhattan. These rules would be a step backward for New Yorkers, and we urge the TLC to reconsider them.”

    Uber released a statement as well ahead of today’s vote. The company’s director of public affairs, Jason Post, said:

    “Uber supports efforts to ensure that full-time drivers in NYC - whether driving with taxi, limo or Uber - are able to make a living wage, without harming outer borough riders who have been ignored by yellow taxi and underserved by mass transit.

    The TLC’s implementation of the City Council’s legislation to increase driver earnings will lead to higher than necessary fare increases for riders while missing an opportunity to immediately reduce congestion in Manhattan’s central business district.

    The TLC’s rules does not take into account incentives or bonuses forcing companies to raise rates even higher. Companies use incentives and bonuses as part of driver earnings to ensure reliability citywide by providing a monetary incentive to drivers to complete trips in areas that need them the most (such as outside of Manhattan).

    In addition, the rules miss an opportunity to immediately deal with congestion in Manhattan’s central business district. A recent TLC study authored by economists James Parrott and Michael Reich describes a formula that would financially punish companies who have low utilization rates. Instead, the TLC is choosing the adopt an industry-wide utilization rate that does not hold bases accountable for keeping cars full with paying passengers.”

    #USA #New_York #Uber #Mindestlohn


  • Decentralised Applications and the problem with adoption
    https://hackernoon.com/decentralised-applications-and-the-problem-with-adoption-9cfdaa868b2b?so

    Much has been said about the state of decentralised applications (dApps) recently. Most has been negative, stating that #dapps have, in general, not lived up to the promises from the halcyon visions outlaid in ICO whitepapers. Have these commentators been too quick to judge? Or, are they right and dApps are but a fickle endeavour? Well the truth, as usual, probably rests somewhere between both camps. Perhaps, at this point in time, we should remember the old adage that Constantinople wasn’t build in a day…It took AirBnb almost four years to crack 1m users, Uber similar and the digital freelancing platform UpWork took nearly twenty years, three mergers and tens of millions of dollars to get where it is today. Most of these dApps have only been around for less than a year.Also, although a (...)

    #canya #cryptocurrency #blockchain #application


  • Lyft Is Not Your Friend
    http://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/the-myth-of-the-woke-brand-uber-lyft-capitalism

    10.25.2018 BY MEAGAN DAY #UNITED_STATES #CAPITAL #CONJECTURES #LIBERALISM

    Lyft is the latest brand trying to build market share by posing as a “progressive” corporation. But the fight can’t be good corporations against bad ones — it’s working people against capitalism.
    In early 2017, liberals hit on a new strategy to resist the nascent Trump administration: #DeleteUber.

    It started when New York City’s taxi drivers refused to service JFK airport to protest Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, and Uber was spotted leveraging the ensuing crisis for profit. Then Uber CEO Travis Kalanick came under fire for accepting an appointment to Trump’s economic advisory council. He announced his resignation from the council, but only weeks later a video leaked of Kalanick reprimanding a driver for his company.

    Amid various ensuing scandals, Kalanick stepped down as CEO of Uber, but by then millions of consumers had turned on the brand in protest, deleting the Uber app from their phone and opting instead for the rideshare giant’s rival Lyft.

    Lyft leaned in, eagerly branding itself as the progressive alternative to Uber by pledging a $1 million donation to the ACLU and trotting out celebrities to promote it as a company committed to “doing things for the right reasons.” Lyft, of course, operates on the same labor model as Uber — its drivers are not employees but independent contractors, and are therefore denied all the benefits and protections that workers receive under more ideal circumstances. Nevertheless, a new refrain rang out across liberaldom: “I don’t use Uber, I use Lyft.”

    What socialists understand that liberals don’t is that brands are corporate enterprises, and corporate enterprises are fundamentally motivated by the pursuit of profit — even in their ostentatious acts of charity and wokeness.

    Three surefire ways to maximize profit are: suppressing labor costs by paying workers as little as you can get away with, lobbying the state for deregulation and lower taxes, and opening new markets by finding new things to commodify and sell. Businesses will always pursue these avenues of profit maximization where they can. It’s not a matter of ethics but of market discipline: if they don’t, they run the risk of losing out to the competition and eventually capsizing.

    Sometimes corporations do things for publicity that make it seem like their interests are not fundamentally misaligned with those of the working-class majority, who rely on decent wages and well-funded public services. But those efforts are meant to sustain public confidence in a given corporation’s brand, which is occasionally necessary for keeping up profits, as Uber’s losses in 2017 demonstrate. When corporate profits come into direct conflict with active measures to improve people’s wellbeing, corporations will always select the former. Case in point: Lyft just donated $100k to the campaign against a ballot measure that would create a tax fund to house the homeless in San Francisco, where the company is based.

    Why did the progressive alternative to Uber do this? Well, because the company doesn’t want to pay higher taxes. Because high taxes imperil profits, and profits are the point. Another likely rationale is to build stronger bonds with pro-business advocacy groups in San Francisco, so that the company will have allies if the city decides to implement regulations against ride-sharing services, which is rumored to be a possibility.

    Lyft has already mastered the art of suppressing labor costs and opening new markets. Next on the wish list, low taxes and deregulation. It’s pretty formulaic when you get down to it.

    San Francisco is home to an estimated 7,500 homeless people. Proposition C would tap the large corporations that benefit from the city’s public infrastructure to double the city’s homelessness budget in an attempt to resolve the crisis. The corporations opposing Proposition C say that the move would imperil jobs. This is not an analysis, it’s a threat. What they’re saying is that if the city reaches too far into their pockets, they’ll take their business elsewhere, draining the region of jobs and revenue as punishment for government overreach. It’s a mobster’s insinuation: Nice economy, shame if something happened to it. Meanwhile thousands of people sleep in the streets, even though the money to shelter them is within the city’s borders.

    Of course, in every struggle over taxes and industry regulation there may be a few canny corporate outliers looking to ingratiate their brand to the public by bucking the trend. In the case of Proposition C, it’s Salesforce, whose CEO Marc Benioff has made a public display of support for the ballot measure. But before you rush to praise Benioff, consider that only two months ago he lauded Trump’s tax cuts for fueling “aggressive spending” and injecting life into the economy.

    You could spend your life as an engaged consumer hopping from brand to brand, as liberals often do, pledging allegiance to this one and protesting that one to the beat of the new cycle drum. You could delete Lyft from your phone the same way you did with Uber, and find another rideshare app that you deem more ethical, until that one inevitably disappoints you too.

    Or you could press pause, stop scrambling for some superior consumption choice to ease your conscience, and entertain the socialist notion that deep down all corporations are objectively the same. They all exist to maximize return on investment for the people who own them. They are all in competition with each other to plunder our commons most effectively, with the lowest overhead, which means compensating the least for employees’ work. And when the rubber meets the road, they will all prioritize private profits over the wellbeing of those who own no productive assets, which is the vast majority of the people on the planet. They will demonstrate these priorities on a case-by-case basis, and on a massive global scale so long as capitalism prevails.

    “We’re woke,” said Lyft CEO John Zimmerman at the height of the Uber scandal. It was horseshit — it always is. And until liberals stop believing than any brand can be truly “woke,” or can offer a genuine alternative to the predatory behavior they observe in other “unwoke” brands, they’ll be unable to mount a meaningful resistance to anything.

    Whether we want to ensure clean drinking water for the residents of Flint or to shelter the homeless of San Francisco, we have to draw clear battle lines that are up to the challenge. The fight can’t be good corporations against bad corporations. It has to be working people against capitalism.

    #USA #transport #disruption #Lyft


  • Are STOs All They’re Cracked Up To Be?
    https://hackernoon.com/are-stos-all-theyre-cracked-up-to-be-10e1c9faed0a?source=rss----3a8144ea

    Imagine being able to own .1% of a Picasso or a fourth of an Uber cab that you split with three of your friends. Currently, such things would be burdensome at best or just nearly impossible. However, security tokens offerings (STOs) are providing a path to fractional ownership by enabling the tokenization of virtually anything we can think of. Such offerings have been sweeping the #cryptocurrency space, providing a regulated alternative to ICOs. Since security tokens are backed by underlying assets or profits, investors gain access to equity, voting rights, and dividends. In theory, this should allow anyone to invest into anything, opening the doors for unlimited opportunities never seen before. Yet in practice, there are quite a few obstacles one needs to be aware of before getting (...)

    #crypto #security-token-offering #sto-hype #sto


  • Uber fined £385,000 for data breach affecting millions of passengers
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/27/uber-fined-385000-for-data-breach-affecting-millions-of-passengers-hack

    Firm failed to tell 35 million users and 3.7 million drivers their data was hacked in 2016 Uber’s European operation has been fined £385,000 for a data breach that affected almost 3 million British users, the Information Commissioner’s Office has announced. In November 2016, attackers obtained credentials to access Uber’s cloud servers and downloaded 16 large files, including the records of 35 million users worldwide. The records included passengers’ full names, phone numbers, email addresses, (...)

    #Uber #données #procès #hacking #ICO-UK





  • High score, low pay : why the gig economy loves gamification | Business | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/20/high-score-low-pay-gamification-lyft-uber-drivers-ride-hailing-gig-econ

    Using ratings, competitions and bonuses to incentivise workers isn’t new – but as I found when I became a Lyft driver, the gig economy is taking it to another level.

    Every week, it sends its drivers a personalised “Weekly Feedback Summary”. This includes passenger comments from the previous week’s rides and a freshly calculated driver rating. It also contains a bar graph showing how a driver’s current rating “stacks up” against previous weeks, and tells them whether they have been “flagged” for cleanliness, friendliness, navigation or safety.

    At first, I looked forward to my summaries; for the most part, they were a welcome boost to my self-esteem. My rating consistently fluctuated between 4.89 stars and 4.96 stars, and the comments said things like: “Good driver, positive attitude” and “Thanks for getting me to the airport on time!!” There was the occasional critique, such as “She weird”, or just “Attitude”, but overall, the comments served as a kind of positive reinforcement mechanism. I felt good knowing that I was helping people and that people liked me.

    But one week, after completing what felt like a million rides, I opened my feedback summary to discover that my rating had plummeted from a 4.91 (“Awesome”) to a 4.79 (“OK”), without comment. Stunned, I combed through my ride history trying to recall any unusual interactions or disgruntled passengers. Nothing. What happened? What did I do? I felt sick to my stomach.

    Because driver ratings are calculated using your last 100 passenger reviews, one logical solution is to crowd out the old, bad ratings with new, presumably better ratings as fast as humanly possible. And that is exactly what I did.

    In a certain sense, Kalanick is right. Unlike employees in a spatially fixed worksite (the factory, the office, the distribution centre), rideshare drivers are technically free to choose when they work, where they work and for how long. They are liberated from the constraining rhythms of conventional employment or shift work. But that apparent freedom poses a unique challenge to the platforms’ need to provide reliable, “on demand” service to their riders – and so a driver’s freedom has to be aggressively, if subtly, managed. One of the main ways these companies have sought to do this is through the use of gamification.

    Simply defined, gamification is the use of game elements – point-scoring, levels, competition with others, measurable evidence of accomplishment, ratings and rules of play – in non-game contexts. Games deliver an instantaneous, visceral experience of success and reward, and they are increasingly used in the workplace to promote emotional engagement with the work process, to increase workers’ psychological investment in completing otherwise uninspiring tasks, and to influence, or “nudge”, workers’ behaviour. This is what my weekly feedback summary, my starred ratings and other gamified features of the Lyft app did.

    There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that gamifying business operations has real, quantifiable effects. Target, the US-based retail giant, reports that gamifying its in-store checkout process has resulted in lower customer wait times and shorter lines. During checkout, a cashier’s screen flashes green if items are scanned at an “optimum rate”. If the cashier goes too slowly, the screen flashes red. Scores are logged and cashiers are expected to maintain an 88% green rating. In online communities for Target employees, cashiers compare scores, share techniques, and bemoan the game’s most challenging obstacles.
    Advertisement

    But colour-coding checkout screens is a pretty rudimental kind of gamification. In the world of ride-hailing work, where almost the entirety of one’s activity is prompted and guided by screen – and where everything can be measured, logged and analysed – there are few limitations on what can be gamified.

    Every Sunday morning, I receive an algorithmically generated “challenge” from Lyft that goes something like this: “Complete 34 rides between the hours of 5am on Monday and 5am on Sunday to receive a $63 bonus.” I scroll down, concerned about the declining value of my bonuses, which once hovered around $100-$220 per week, but have now dropped to less than half that.

    “Click here to accept this challenge.” I tap the screen to accept. Now, whenever I log into driver mode, a stat meter will appear showing my progress: only 21 more rides before I hit my first bonus.

    In addition to enticing drivers to show up when and where demand hits, one of the main goals of this gamification is worker retention. According to Uber, 50% of drivers stop using the application within their first two months, and a recent report from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California in Davis suggests that just 4% of ride-hail drivers make it past their first year.

    Before Lyft rolled out weekly ride challenges, there was the “Power Driver Bonus”, a weekly challenge that required drivers to complete a set number of regular rides. I sometimes worked more than 50 hours per week trying to secure my PDB, which often meant driving in unsafe conditions, at irregular hours and accepting nearly every ride request, including those that felt potentially dangerous (I am thinking specifically of an extremely drunk and visibly agitated late-night passenger).

    Of course, this was largely motivated by a real need for a boost in my weekly earnings. But, in addition to a hope that I would somehow transcend Lyft’s crappy economics, the intensity with which I pursued my PDBs was also the result of what Burawoy observed four decades ago: a bizarre desire to beat the game.

    Former Google “design ethicist” Tristan Harris has also described how the “pull-to-refresh” mechanism used in most social media feeds mimics the clever architecture of a slot machine: users never know when they are going to experience gratification – a dozen new likes or retweets – but they know that gratification will eventually come. This unpredictability is addictive: behavioural psychologists have long understood that gambling uses variable reinforcement schedules – unpredictable intervals of uncertainty, anticipation and feedback – to condition players into playing just one more round.

    It is not uncommon to hear ride-hailing drivers compare even the mundane act of operating their vehicles to the immersive and addictive experience of playing a video game or a slot machine. In an article published by the Financial Times, long-time driver Herb Croakley put it perfectly: “It gets to a point where the app sort of takes over your motor functions in a way. It becomes almost like a hypnotic experience. You can talk to drivers and you’ll hear them say things like, I just drove a bunch of Uber pools for two hours, I probably picked up 30–40 people and I have no idea where I went. In that state, they are literally just listening to the sounds [of the driver’s apps]. Stopping when they said stop, pick up when they say pick up, turn when they say turn. You get into a rhythm of that, and you begin to feel almost like an android.”

    In their foundational text Algorithmic Labor and Information Asymmetries: A Case Study of Uber’s Drivers, Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark write: “Uber’s self-proclaimed role as a connective intermediary belies the important employment structures and hierarchies that emerge through its software and interface design.” “Algorithmic management” is the term Rosenblat and Stark use to describe the mechanisms through which Uber and Lyft drivers are directed. To be clear, there is no singular algorithm. Rather, there are a number of algorithms operating and interacting with one another at any given moment. Taken together, they produce a seamless system of automatic decision-making that requires very little human intervention.

    For many on-demand platforms, algorithmic management has completely replaced the decision-making roles previously occupied by shift supervisors, foremen and middle- to upper- level management. Uber actually refers to its algorithms as “decision engines”. These “decision engines” track, log and crunch millions of metrics every day, from ride frequency to the harshness with which individual drivers brake. It then uses these analytics to deliver gamified prompts perfectly matched to drivers’ data profiles.

    To increase the prospect of surge pricing, drivers in online forums regularly propose deliberate, coordinated, mass “log-offs” with the expectation that a sudden drop in available drivers will “trick” the algorithm into generating higher surges. I have never seen one work, but the authors of a recently published paper say that mass log-offs are occasionally successful.

    Viewed from another angle, though, mass log-offs can be understood as good, old-fashioned work stoppages. The temporary and purposeful cessation of work as a form of protest is the core of strike action, and remains the sharpest weapon workers have to fight exploitation. But the ability to log-off en masse has not assumed a particularly emancipatory function.

    After weeks of driving like a maniac in order to restore my higher-than-average driver rating, I managed to raise it back up to a 4.93. Although it felt great, it is almost shameful and astonishing to admit that one’s rating, so long as it stays above 4.6, has no actual bearing on anything other than your sense of self-worth. You do not receive a weekly bonus for being a highly rated driver. Your rate of pay does not increase for being a highly rated driver. In fact, I was losing money trying to flatter customers with candy and keep my car scrupulously clean. And yet, I wanted to be a highly rated driver.
    How much is an hour worth? The war over the minimum wage
    Read more

    And this is the thing that is so brilliant and awful about the gamification of Lyft and Uber: it preys on our desire to be of service, to be liked, to be good. On weeks that I am rated highly, I am more motivated to drive. On weeks that I am rated poorly, I am more motivated to drive. It works on me, even though I know better. To date, I have completed more than 2,200 rides.

    #Lyft #Uber #Travail #Psychologie_comportementale #Gamification #Néo_management #Lutte_des_classes


  • How to Develop a Location-based #application Using React Native
    https://hackernoon.com/how-to-develop-a-location-based-application-using-react-native-ce8198149

    What good can happen when we tap Allow on the pop-up that asks to access our location? Some #apps provide better experience, like Facebook suggesting events nearby. Others — can’t work properly without knowing device location, like Uber or Google Maps.These location-based apps use device location to enable and control some features. From wok delivery to Find My iPhone, location-based apps help us with our everyday tasks just by knowing where we are.Location can be either the primary function, like in Tinder; or auxiliary, like in Instagram: when uploading a photo, Instagram will suggest you a place so you can tag your location. Whether it’s the main function or not, location does improve the user experience.In this article, I’ll tell you about the main tech components of location-based apps, (...)

    #react-native #location-based-app #location-based-services


  • On Warframe and Late Capitalism
    https://historianon.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/on-warframe-and-late-capitalism

    So, while our labour, bodies and living spaces are commodified by Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Fiverr and others, while we sell our plasma to old rich people just to get by, while our lives literally depend on big corporations like Amazon, while we try to tackle the mountains of debt we will quite possibly never pay off within our lifetimes – Digital Extremes makes it clear who’s to blame, and how to fight: united.


  • Google and Facebook Ended Mandatory Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims. Will Workers Outside the Tech Industry Benefit ?
    https://theintercept.com/2018/11/21/google-sexual-harassment-arbitration

    Employment activists have railed against mandatory arbitration for decades, to little avail. But the #MeToo movement put a spotlight on the downsides of mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment and assault claims, and technology companies have begun responding. Seven days after the November 1 walkout of 20,000 Google workers across the globe, outraged over a New York Times investigation of the company’s lenient treatment of sexual harassers, Google issued a stunning response. CEO Sundar (...)

    #Google #Facebook #Uber #harcèlement #procès #viol


  • Uber Releases Ugly 3Q 2018 Results: Losses Widen to $1.1 Billion, Growth Slows | naked capitalism
    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/11/uber-releases-ugly-3q-2018-results-losses-widen-to-1-1-billion-grow

    Uber has no plan to make money – it would have to raise fares 2 to 3 times to become profitable – how long will investors continue to subsidize a Company that promises to make it up in volume.

    Alles klar?

    Posted on November 15, 2018 by Yves Smith
    From Hubert Horan:

    3q P&Ls released tonight. Losses and margins got worse. Gross revenue growth continues to slow down, showing their inability to fix the fundamental weakness in the core car service business.

    Expenditures on the marginal business (food delivery, scooters) that are key to the longer term growth narrative drag results down further.

    Mainstream media coverage hasn’t reached “The Emperor has no clothes” point yet, but stories are raising explicit doubts about the viability of next year’s IPO.

    Actually, as we’ll discuss, there are Uber skeptics, just not necessarily among reporters.

    First, from Eric Newcomer at Bloomberg, who shows doubts about Uber’s proposed IPO valuation of $100 billion and its oft-made claims that it’s another Amazon:

    Uber’s sales are dramatically slowing even as the ride-hailing company is spending more to fuel global growth, particularly in its food delivery business. Revenue growth of 38 percent in the third quarter was almost half of what the growth rate was six months earlier, when the company was negotiating a $9.3 billion investment led by SoftBank Group Corp.

    That’s a troubling sign for a serially unprofitable business that hopes to get valued like a technology company in a planned initial public offering next year. Uber Technologies Inc. lost $1.07 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, an improvement over a year ago, but the loss widened 20 percent from the second quarter.

    Highly valued companies typically grow quickly or generate big profits — and great ones do both. In the fourth quarter of 2005, Amazon.com Inc. had about the same revenue as Uber’s today — just under $3 billion, not adjusted for inflation. Yet, Amazon earned $199 million in profit and was worth about a fourth of Uber’s $76 billion valuation.

    TechCrunch was more credulous, and also touted a more flattering profit metric:

    Uber, which is expected to go public sometime next year, just released its Q3 2018 financial results. Uber’s net losses increased 32 percent quarter over quarter to $939 million on a pro forma basis, though Uber expected these losses as it continues to invest in future growth areas.

    On an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization basis (EBIDTA), Uber’s losses were $527 million, up about 21 percent quarter over quarter. And as Uber prepares to go public, the company has started presenting the income statements with stock-based compensation.

    Ten years from now, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi envisions its core ride-hailing business accounting for less than 50 percent of Uber’s overall business, Khosrowshahi told me at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018. That means Uber expects businesses like Eats, scooters, bikes and freight to contribute to be more of Uber’s business, which requires Uber to invest heavily in those businesses.

    And why should we expect UberEats and scooters to become profitable? Just because Uber wants it to be so?

    The New York Tines’ story came off like a string of Uber talking points, with the only apparent real cause for pause that Lyft is also planning its IPO for 2019. For instance:

    Uber’s I.P.O. is likely to create an enormous financial bonanza for its many investors and shareholders, including the company’s co-founder, Travis Kalanick, as well as venture capital firm Benchmark and the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

    To get ready for a public offering, Mr. Khosrowshahi has been trimming Uber’s money-losing businesses. Uber has withdrawn from markets including Southeast Asia and Russia, where it faced stiff competition and was spending a lot of money. It has focused on other areas, like food delivery, as well as other geographies that show more potential for growth. On Wednesday, Uber began a loyalty program that will give riders access to extra perks the more frequently they use Uber services.

    Uber said Uber Eats, its food delivery business that started in 2015, was growing rapidly, with bookings through its separate app up 150 percent from last year.

    Yet Uber’s spending also continues to rise. The company said its total costs and expenses were $3.7 billion in the third quarter, up from $3.5 billion in the prior quarter.

    It would be more accurate to say that Uber is cutting some loss-generating operations while expanding others.

    Finally, to the Wall Street Journal:

    The results for the three months ending in September show that Uber is still growing quickly but is likely to be unprofitable for some time. In documents for a bond offering last month, Uber said it expected it wouldn’t reach a profit for at least three years.

    Uber has turned its attention to providing customers with a host of transportation options in addition to its core ride-hailing service. Mr. Khosrowshahi said he is particularly hopeful about electric-scooters and bicycle rentals, which he has said can be a low-cost replacement for short car trips in urban centers.

    “What we’re going after is essentially to debundle car ownership,” Mr. Khosrowshahi said in an interview at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech D.Live conference Tuesday. “A world in which the people who cannot afford to buy a car have access to consistent mobility wherever they are, that’s a better world.”

    Of the 22 comments on the story so far, only one read as positive, and other readers dismissed it as bad sarcasm. And remember that WSJ readers viciously attacked the initial stories on the Theranos fraud, accusing the journalists of being jealous of a talented entrepreneur. A sampling:

    charles cotton

    I’ve been tracking Uber and its copy cat, Lyft since 2013. The underlying root of their both their problems is that there business platform is toxic and can not ever make a profit. The burn rate is over 90% of investors money which has resulted in a meltdown. Outside investors have dried up and quite frankly dismayed. Such investors were all reckless, naive, and greedy being lured by hyped, false financials and advertising.

    The promise of “get in quick, we’re going public’” being the worm on the hook. There were no accurate disclosures or prospectus given to the investor…. No one really knows what is going on at Uber.”

    Joseph Swartz

    Uber may be the biggest con game the Street has seen in decades…..an IPO of a Company that loses billions of dollars, subsidizes every ride we take, and has gone off the path with Uber Eats, a ridiculous venture. I recently read it’s drivers last about 6 months, on average, before quitting.

    Uber has no plan to make money – it would have to raise fares 2 to 3 times to become profitable – how long will investors continue to subsidize a Company that promises to make it up in volume.

    Gary Ayer

    Uber is raising money via a public offering because otherwise they would go out of business due to continuous losses.

    Jef Kurfess

    Doing a thriving business selling dollar bills for $.85?

    So Uber’s PR machine is having less and less success in keeping its story going. But will polite press amplification be enough to save Uber’s bacon.

    #Uber


  • Why #blockchain is a terrible idea for applications
    https://hackernoon.com/why-blockchain-is-a-terrible-idea-for-applications-8393d44f6cab?source=r

    Why Blockchain is a Terrible Idea for ApplicationsHere we go againMuch like when the .com bubble burst, the cryptocurrency/blockchain market is headed towards an extinction event. There’s a reckoning to come and even companies with good ideas will discover issues during project execution. It turns out it’s a lot easier to describe in a whitepaper your plan to replace AWS, AirBnB or Uber with your blockchain project than actually pulling it off. These are difficult markets to attack and showing up to the fight with inferior UX, a fraction of the user-base, and the one shining “advantage” of decentralization won’t be enough.Why blockchains aren’t suitable for almost all projectsBlockchains are not suitable for almost all projects; they’re slower, more complicated to develop applications for, and (...)


  • Lyft Is Not Your Friend
    http://jacobinmag.com/2018/10/the-myth-of-the-woke-brand-uber-lyft-capitalism

    BY MEAGAN DAY
    Lyft is the latest brand trying to build market share by posing as a “progressive” corporation. But the fight can’t be good corporations against bad ones — it’s working people against capitalism.

    In early 2017, liberals hit on a new strategy to resist the nascent Trump administration: #DeleteUber.

    It started when New York City’s taxi drivers refused to service JFK airport to protest Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, and Uber was spotted leveraging the ensuing crisis for profit. Then Uber CEO Travis Kalanick came under fire for accepting an appointment to Trump’s economic advisory council. He announced his resignation from the council, but only weeks later a video leaked of Kalanick reprimanding a driver for his company.

    Amid various ensuing scandals, Kalanick stepped down as CEO of Uber, but by then millions of consumers had turned on the brand in protest, deleting the Uber app from their phone and opting instead for the rideshare giant’s rival Lyft.

    Lyft leaned in, eagerly branding itself as the progressive alternative to Uber by pledging a $1 million donation to the ACLU and trotting out celebrities to promote it as a company committed to “doing things for the right reasons.” Lyft, of course, operates on the same labor model as Uber — its drivers are not employees but independent contractors, and are therefore denied all the benefits and protections that workers receive under more ideal circumstances. Nevertheless, a new refrain rang out across liberaldom: “I don’t use Uber, I use Lyft.”

    What socialists understand that liberals don’t is that brands are corporate enterprises, and corporate enterprises are fundamentally motivated by the pursuit of profit — even in their ostentatious acts of charity and wokeness.

    Three surefire ways to maximize profit are: suppressing labor costs by paying workers as little as you can get away with, lobbying the state for deregulation and lower taxes, and opening new markets by finding new things to commodify and sell. Businesses will always pursue these avenues of profit maximization where they can. It’s not a matter of ethics but of market discipline: if they don’t, they run the risk of losing out to the competition and eventually capsizing.

    Sometimes corporations do things for publicity that make it seem like their interests are not fundamentally misaligned with those of the working-class majority, who rely on decent wages and well-funded public services. But those efforts are meant to sustain public confidence in a given corporation’s brand, which is occasionally necessary for keeping up profits, as Uber’s losses in 2017 demonstrate. When corporate profits come into direct conflict with active measures to improve people’s wellbeing, corporations will always select the former. Case in point: Lyft just donated $100k to the campaign against a ballot measure that would create a tax fund to house the homeless in San Francisco, where the company is based.

    Why did the progressive alternative to Uber do this? Well, because the company doesn’t want to pay higher taxes. Because high taxes imperil profits, and profits are the point. Another likely rationale is to build stronger bonds with pro-business advocacy groups in San Francisco, so that the company will have allies if the city decides to implement regulations against ride-sharing services, which is rumored to be a possibility.

    Lyft has already mastered the art of suppressing labor costs and opening new markets. Next on the wish list, low taxes and deregulation. It’s pretty formulaic when you get down to it.

    San Francisco is home to an estimated 7,500 homeless people. Proposition C would tap the large corporations that benefit from the city’s public infrastructure to double the city’s homelessness budget in an attempt to resolve the crisis. The corporations opposing Proposition C say that the move would imperil jobs. This is not an analysis, it’s a threat. What they’re saying is that if the city reaches too far into their pockets, they’ll take their business elsewhere, draining the region of jobs and revenue as punishment for government overreach. It’s a mobster’s insinuation: Nice economy, shame if something happened to it. Meanwhile thousands of people sleep in the streets, even though the money to shelter them is within the city’s borders.

    Of course, in every struggle over taxes and industry regulation there may be a few canny corporate outliers looking to ingratiate their brand to the public by bucking the trend. In the case of Proposition C, it’s Salesforce, whose CEO Marc Benioff has made a public display of support for the ballot measure. But before you rush to praise Benioff, consider that only two months ago he lauded Trump’s tax cuts for fueling “aggressive spending” and injecting life into the economy.

    You could spend your life as an engaged consumer hopping from brand to brand, as liberals often do, pledging allegiance to this one and protesting that one to the beat of the new cycle drum. You could delete Lyft from your phone the same way you did with Uber, and find another rideshare app that you deem more ethical, until that one inevitably disappoints you too.

    Or you could press pause, stop scrambling for some superior consumption choice to ease your conscience, and entertain the socialist notion that deep down all corporations are objectively the same. They all exist to maximize return on investment for the people who own them. They are all in competition with each other to plunder our commons most effectively, with the lowest overhead, which means compensating the least for employees’ work. And when the rubber meets the road, they will all prioritize private profits over the wellbeing of those who own no productive assets, which is the vast majority of the people on the planet. They will demonstrate these priorities on a case-by-case basis, and on a massive global scale so long as capitalism prevails.

    “We’re woke,” said Lyft CEO John Zimmerman at the height of the Uber scandal. It was horseshit — it always is. And until liberals stop believing than any brand can be truly “woke,” or can offer a genuine alternative to the predatory behavior they observe in other “unwoke” brands, they’ll be unable to mount a meaningful resistance to anything.

    Whether we want to ensure clean drinking water for the residents of Flint or to shelter the homeless of San Francisco, we have to draw clear battle lines that are up to the challenge. The fight can’t be good corporations against bad corporations. It has to be working people against capitalism.

    #USA #Lyft #Uber #Arbeit


  • How do Deliveroo and Uber workers cope with precarious pay ?
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/20/deliveroo-uber-workers-pay-gig-economy

    We talk to those who work in the gig economy about how they manage their finances How do people cope when they don’t know how much they will earn from one month to the next ? A report this week found that three-quarters of all workers do not receive the same pay packet from one month to the next – with the problem most acute for low-paid workers in the gig economy or on zero-hours contracts. The Resolution Foundation found that for those on the lowest annual incomes, the average monthly (...)

    #Deliveroo #bénéfices #travail


  • Universal Basic Income Is Silicon Valley’s Latest Scam
    https://medium.com/s/powertrip/universal-basic-income-is-silicon-valleys-latest-scam-fd3e130b69a0
    https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/focal/1200/632/51/47/0*pksYF4nMsS3aKrtD

    Par Douglas Rushkoff

    To my surprise, the audience seemed to share my concerns. They’re not idiots, and the negative effects of their operations were visible everywhere they looked. Then an employee piped up with a surprising question: “What about UBI?”

    Wait a minute, I thought. That’s my line.

    Up until that moment, I had been an ardent supporter of universal basic income (UBI), that is, government cash payments to people whose employment would no longer be required in a digital economy. Contrary to expectations, UBI doesn’t make people lazy. Study after study shows that the added security actually enables people to take greater risks, become more entrepreneurial, or dedicate more time and energy to improving their communities.

    So what’s not to like?

    Shouldn’t we applaud the developers at Uber — as well as other prominent Silicon Valley titans like Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, bond investor Bill Gross, and Y Combinator’s Sam Altman — for coming to their senses and proposing we provide money for the masses to spend? Maybe not. Because to them, UBI is really just a way for them to keep doing business as usual.

    Uber’s business plan, like that of so many other digital unicorns, is based on extracting all the value from the markets it enters. This ultimately means squeezing employees, customers, and suppliers alike in the name of continued growth. When people eventually become too poor to continue working as drivers or paying for rides, UBI supplies the required cash infusion for the business to keep operating.

    Walmart perfected the softer version of this model in the 20th century. Move into a town, undercut the local merchants by selling items below cost, and put everyone else out of business. Then, as sole retailer and sole employer, set the prices and wages you want. So what if your workers have to go on welfare and food stamps.

    Now, digital companies are accomplishing the same thing, only faster and more completely. Instead of merely rewriting the law like colonial corporations did or utilizing the power of capital like retail conglomerates do, digital companies are using code. Amazon’s control over the retail market and increasingly the production of the goods it sells, has created an automated wealth-extraction platform that the slave drivers who ran the Dutch East India Company couldn’t have even imagined.

    Of course, it all comes at a price: Digital monopolists drain all their markets at once and more completely than their analog predecessors. Soon, consumers simply can’t consume enough to keep the revenues flowing in. Even the prospect of stockpiling everyone’s data, like Facebook or Google do, begins to lose its allure if none of the people behind the data have any money to spend.

    To the rescue comes UBI. The policy was once thought of as a way of taking extreme poverty off the table. In this new incarnation, however, it merely serves as a way to keep the wealthiest people (and their loyal vassals, the software developers) entrenched at the very top of the economic operating system. Because of course, the cash doled out to citizens by the government will inevitably flow to them.

    Think of it: The government prints more money or perhaps — god forbid — it taxes some corporate profits, then it showers the cash down on the people so they can continue to spend. As a result, more and more capital accumulates at the top. And with that capital comes more power to dictate the terms governing human existence.

    To venture capitalists seeking to guarantee their fortunes for generations, such economic equality sounds like a nightmare and unending, unnerving disruption. Why create a monopoly just to give others the opportunity to break it or, worse, turn all these painstakingly privatized assets back into a public commons?

    The answer, perhaps counterintuitively, is because all those assets are actually of diminishing value to the few ultra-wealthy capitalists who have accumulated them. Return on assets for American corporations has been steadily declining for the last 75 years. It’s like a form of corporate obesity. The rich have been great at taking all the assets off the table but really bad at deploying them. They’re so bad at investing or building or doing anything that puts money back into the system that they are asking governments to do this for them — even though the corporations are the ones holding all the real assets.

    Like any programmer, the people running our digital companies embrace any hack or kluge capable of keeping the program running. They don’t see the economic operating system beneath their programs, and so they are not in a position to challenge its embedded biases much less rewrite that code.

    Whether its proponents are cynical or simply naive, UBI is not the patch we need. A weekly handout doesn’t promote economic equality — much less empowerment. The only meaningful change we can make to the economic operating system is to distribute ownership, control, and governance of the real world to the people who live in it.

    written by
    Douglas Rushkoff

    #Revenu_de_base #Revenu_universel #Disruption #Economie_numérique #Uberisation


  • The mad, twisted tale of the electric scooter craze
    https://www.cnet.com/news/the-mad-tale-of-the-electric-scooter-craze-with-bird-lime-and-spin-in-san-fran

    Dara Kerr/CNET

    For weeks, I’d been seeing trashed electric scooters on the streets of San Francisco. So I asked a group of friends if any of them had seen people vandalizing the dockless vehicles since they were scattered across the city a couple of months ago.

    The answer was an emphatic “yes.”

    One friend saw a guy walking down the street kicking over every scooter he came across. Another saw a rider pull up to a curb as the handlebars and headset became fully detached. My friend figures someone had messed with the screws or cabling so the scooter would come apart on purpose.

    A scroll through Reddit, Instagram and Twitter showed me photos of scooters — owned by Bird, Lime and Spin — smeared in feces, hanging from trees, hefted into trashcans and tossed into the San Francisco Bay.

    It’s no wonder Lime scooters’ alarm isn’t just a loud beep, but a narc-like battle cry that literally says, “Unlock me to ride, or I’ll call the police.”

    San Francisco’s scooter phenomenon has taken on many names: Scootergeddon, Scooterpocalypse and Scooter Wars. It all started when the three companies spread hundreds of their dockless, rentable e-scooters across city the same week at the end of March — without any warning to local residents or lawmakers.

    Almost instantly, first-time riders began zooming down sidewalks at 15 mph, swerving between pedestrians and ringing the small bells attached to the handlebars. And they left the vehicles wherever they felt like it: scooters cluttered walkways and storefronts, jammed up bike lanes, and blocked bike racks and wheelchair accesses.

    The three companies all say they’re solving a “last-mile” transportation problem, giving commuters an easy and convenient way to zip around the city while helping ease road congestion and smog. They call it the latest in a long line of disruptive businesses that aim to change the way we live.

    The scooters have definitely changed how some people live.

    I learned the Wild West looks friendly compared to scooter land. In San Francisco’s world of these motorized vehicles, there’s backstabbing, tweaker chop shops and intent to harm.

    “The angry people, they were angry,” says Michael Ghadieh, who owns electric bicycle shop, SF Wheels, and has repaired hundreds of the scooters. “People cut cables, flatten tires, they were thrown in the Bay. Someone was out there physically damaging these things.”

    Yikes! Clipped brakes

    SF Wheels is located on a quaint street in a quintessential San Francisco neighborhood. Called Cole Valley, the area is lined with Victorian homes, upscale cafes and views of the city’s famous Mount Sutro. SF Wheels sells and rents electric bicycles for $20 per hour, mostly to tourists who want to see Golden Gate Park on two wheels.

    In March, one of the scooter companies called Ghadieh to tell him they were about to launch in the city and were looking for people to help with repairs. Ghadieh said he was game. He wouldn’t disclose the name of the company because of agreements he signed.

    Now he admits he didn’t quite know what he was getting into.

    Days after the scooter startups dropped their vehicles on an unsuspecting San Francisco, SF Wheels became so crammed with broken scooters that it was hard to walk through the small, tidy shop. Scooters lined the sidewalk outside, filled the doorway and crowded the mechanic’s workspace. The backyard had a heap of scooters nearly six-feet tall, Ghadieh told me.

    His bike techs were so busy that Ghadieh had to hire three more mechanics. SF Wheels was fixing 75 to 100 scooters per day. Ghadieh didn’t say how much the shop was making per scooter fix.

    “The repairs were fast and easy on some and longer on others,” Ghadieh said. “It’d depend on whether it was wear-and-tear or whether it was physically damaged by someone out there, some madman.”

    Some of the scooters, which cost around $500 off the shelf, came in completely vandalized — everything from chopped wires for the controller (aka the brain) to detached handlebars to bent forks. Several even showed up with clipped brake cables.

    I asked Ghadieh if the scooters still work without brakes.

    “It will work, yes,” he said. “It will go forward, but you just cannot stop. Whoever is causing that is making the situation dangerous for some riders.”

    Especially in a city with lots of hills.

    Ghadieh said his crew worked diligently for about six weeks, repairing an estimated 1,000 scooters. But then, about three weeks ago, work dried up. Ghadieh had to lay off the mechanics he’d hired and his shop is back to focusing on electric bicycles.

    “Now, there’s literally nothing,” he said. “There’s a change of face with the company. I’m not exactly sure what happened. … They decided to do it differently.”

    The likely change? The electric scooter company probably decided to outsource repairs to gig workers, rather than rely on agreements with shops.

    That’s gig as in freelancers looking to pick up part-time work, like Uber and Lyft drivers. And like Nick Abouzeid. By day, Abouzeid works in marketing for the startup AngelList. A few weeks ago, he got an email from Bird inviting him to be a scooter mechanic. The message told Abouzeid he could earn $20 for each scooter repair, once he’d completed an online training. He signed up, took the classes and is ready to start.

    “These scooters aren’t complicated. They’re cheap scooters from China,” Abouzeid said. “The repairs are anything from adjusting a brake to fixing a flat tire to adding stickers that have fallen off a Bird.”

    Bird declined to comment specifically on its maintenance program, but its spokesman Kenneth Baer did say, “Bird has a network of trained chargers and mechanics who operate as independent contractors.”

    All of Lime’s mechanics, on the other hand, are part of the company’s operations and maintenance team that repairs the scooters and ensures they’re safe for riders. Spin uses a mix of gig workers and contract mechanics, like what Ghadieh was doing.
    Gaming the system

    Electric scooters are, well, electric. That means they need to be plugged into an outlet for four to five hours before they can transport people, who rent them for $1 plus 15 cents for every minute of riding time.

    Bird, Spin and Lime all partially rely on gig workers to keep their fleets juiced up.

    Each company has a different app that shows scooters with low or dead batteries. Anyone with a driver’s license and car can sign up for the app and become a charger. These drivers roam the streets, picking up scooters and taking them home to be charged.
    img-7477

    “It creates this amazing kind of gig economy,” Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden, who is a former Uber and Lyft executive, told me in April. “It’s kind of like a game of Pokemon Go for them, where they go around and try to find and gobble up as many Birds as they can.”

    Theoretically, all scooters are supposed to be off city streets by nightfall when it’s illegal to ride them. That’s when the chargers are unleashed. To get paid, they have to get the vehicles back out on the street in specified locations before 7 a.m. the next day. Bird supplies the charging cables — only three at a time, but those who’ve been in the business longer can get more cables.

    “I don’t know the fascination with all of these companies using gig workers to charge and repair,” said Harry Campbell, who runs a popular gig worker blog called The Rideshare Guy. “But they’re all in, they’re all doing it.”

    One of the reasons some companies use gig workers is to avoid costs like extra labor, gasoline and electricity. Bird, Spin and Lime have managed to convince investors they’re onto something. Between the three of them they’ve raised $255 million in funding. Bird is rumored to be raising another $150 million from one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms, Sequoia, which could put the company’s value at $1 billion. That’s a lot for an electric scooter disruptor.

    Lime pays $12 to charge each scooter and Spin pays $5; both companies also deploy their own operations teams for charging. Bird has a somewhat different system. It pays anywhere from $5 to $25 to charge its scooters, depending on the city and the location of the dead scooter. The harder the vehicle is to find and the longer it’s been off the radar, the higher the “bounty.”

    Abouzeid, who’s moonlighted as a Bird charger for the past two months, said he’s only found a $25 scooter once.

    “With the $25 ones, they’re like, ’Hey, we think it’s in this location, it’s got 0 percent battery, good luck,’” he said.

    But some chargers have devised a way to game the system. They call it hoarding.

    “They’ll literally go around picking up Birds and putting them in the back of their car,” Campbell said. “And then they wait until the bounties on them go up and up and up.”

    Bird has gotten wise to these tactics. It sent an email to all chargers last week warning them that if it sniffs out this kind of activity, those hoarders will be barred from the app.

    “We feel like this is a big step forward in fixing some of the most painful issues we’ve been hearing,” Bird wrote in the email, which was seen by CNET.

    Tweaker chop shops

    Hoarding and vandalism aren’t the only problems for electric scooter companies. There’s also theft. While the vehicles have GPS tracking, once the battery fully dies they go off the app’s map.

    “Every homeless person has like three scooters now,” Ghadieh said. “They take the brains out, the logos off and they literally hotwire it.”
    img-1134

    I’ve seen scooters stashed at tent cities around San Francisco. Photos of people extracting the batteries have been posted on Twitter and Reddit. Rumor has it the batteries have a resale price of about $50 on the street, but there doesn’t appear to be a huge market for them on eBay or Craigslist, according to my quick survey.

    Bird, Lime and Spin all said trashed and stolen scooters aren’t as big a problem as you’d think. When the companies launch in a new city, they said they tend to see higher theft and vandalism rates but then that calms down.

    “We have received a few reports of theft and vandalism, but that’s the nature of the business,” said Spin co-founder and President Euwyn Poon. “When you have a product that’s available for public consumption, you account for that.”

    Dockless, rentable scooters are now taking over cities across the US — from Denver to Atlanta to Washington, DC. Bird’s scooters are available in at least 10 cities with Scottsdale, Arizona, being the site of its most recent launch.

    Meanwhile, in San Francisco, regulators have been working to get rules in place to make sure riders drive safely and the companies abide by the law.

    New regulations to limit the number of scooters are set to go into effect in the city on June 4. To comply, scooter companies have to clear the streets of all their vehicles while the authorities process their permits. That’s expected to take about a month.

    And just like that, scooters will go out the way they came in — appearing and disappearing from one day to the next — leaving in their wake the chargers, mechanics, vandals and people hotwiring the things to get a free ride around town.

    #USA #transport #disruption #SDF


  • Uber UK strike : users urged not to cross ’digital picket line’
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/09/uber-uk-strike-users-urged-not-to-cross-digital-picket-line

    Public asked not to use app during drivers’ strike, which follows last week’s McStrike in push to unionise gig economy Uber customers have been urged not to cross a “digital picket line” as British drivers with the app-based service staged their first coordinated national strike. Organisers of the 24-hour strike, which started at lunchtime on Tuesday – the latest part of a push to unionise the so-called gig economy – said many drivers logged off the app and stayed at home, while hundreds staged (...)

    #Uber #travail #UPHD


  • Vigilante engineer stops Waymo from patenting key lidar technology ...
    https://diasp.eu/p/7795179

    Vigilante engineer stops Waymo from patenting key lidar technology

    Eric Swildens had no dog in the fight other than intellectual curiosity. Article word count: 1218

    HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18118641 Posted by sonnyblarney (karma: 2141) Post stats: Points: 148 - Comments: 28 - 2018-10-02T03:36:52Z

    #HackerNews #engineer #from #key #lidar #patenting #stops #technology #vigilante #waymo

    Article content:

    [1]Article intro image

    A lone engineer has succeeded in doing what Uberʼs top lawyers and expert witnesses could not—overturning most of a foundational patent covering arch-rival Waymoʼs lidar laser ranging devices.

    Following a surprise left-field complaint by Eric Swildens, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has [2]rejected all but three of 56 (...)


  • The impact of ride-hailing on vehicle miles traveled | SpringerLink
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11116-018-9923-2

    Ride-haling such as #Uber and #Lyft are changing the ways people travel. Despite widespread claims that these services help reduce driving, there is little research on this topic. This research paper uses a quasi-natural experiment in the Denver, Colorado, region to analyze basic impacts of ride-hailing on transportation efficiency in terms of deadheading, vehicle occupancy, mode replacement, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Realizing the difficulty in obtaining data directly from Uber and Lyft, we designed a quasi-natural experiment—by one of the authors driving for both companies—to collect primary data. This experiment uses an ethnographic and survey-based approach that allows the authors to gain access to exclusive data and real-time passenger feedback. The dataset includes actual travel attributes from 416 ride-hailing rides—Lyft, UberX, LyftLine, and UberPool—and travel behavior and socio-demographics from 311 passenger surveys. For this study, the conservative (lower end) percentage of deadheading miles from ride-hailing is 40.8%. The average vehicle occupancy is 1.4 passengers per ride, while the distance weighted vehicle occupancy is 1.3 without accounting for deadheading and 0.8 when accounting deadheading. When accounting for mode replacement and issues such as driver deadheading, we estimate that ride-hailing leads to approximately 83.5% more VMT than would have been driven had ride-hailing not existed. Although our data collection focused on the Denver region, these results provide insight into the impacts of ride-hailing.

    En résumé : un chercheur se fait chauffeur de VTC pour établir un jeu de données sur les trajets. Ces données montrent que le nombre total de miles est très largement supérieur à celui qui aurait eu lieu sans ces services, car il faut compter la distance parcourue par le chauffeur tout seul quand il part travailler, tourne en ville ou rejoint le point de rendez-vous. Et comme la plupart des voyageurs sont seuls et sur des trajectoires courtes, ils auraient pu aller à pied, en vélo ou en transports en commun.

    (article dispo sur sci-hub si vous voulez éviter de payer 45$)

    #urban_matter #transport #taxi #voiture


  • Uber to pay $148 million in data breach settlement
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/26/uber-to-pay-148-million-in-data-breach-settlement

    Uber has agreed to pay $148 million to settle a data breach that affected some 57 million customers in 2016. The agreement was with the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to resolve their legal inquiries on this matter, Uber’s chief legal officer Tony West said in a statement released Wednesday. The data breach affected 50 million riders and 7 million drivers ; around 600,000 driver license numbers for U.S. drivers were also included in the breach. Uber’s (...)

    #Uber #données #procès #hacking



  • Scooter use is rising in major cities. So are trips to the emergency room. - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/scooter-use-is-rising-in-major-cities-so-are-trips-to-the-emergency-room/2018/09/06/53d6a8d4-abd6-11e8-a8d7-0f63ab8b1370_story.html?noredirect=on

    Attention aux faux-amis, ici scooter veut dire trottinettes electriques.

    Il faudra un jour repenser la question de ces systèmes qui n’ont pas de points fixes (dont qui encombrent les villes, sont moins biens réparés et plus abîmés). Ce modèle est une certaine idée du partage qui en réalité est ouverte... à la « tragédie des communs ». Effectivement, dans ce modèle, le partage et la conservation du système devient second par rapport à l’utilité pour chaque usager. Les conditions de la tragédie des communs sont alors réunies : il n’y a pas de communauté pour « se parler » (communs, communautés et communication viennent de la même racine latine) et donc régler les problèmes.

    They have been pouring into emergency rooms around the nation all summer, their bodies bearing a blend of injuries that doctors normally associate with victims of car wrecks — broken noses, wrists and shoulders, facial lacerations and fractures, as well as the kind of blunt head trauma that can leave brains permanently damaged.

    When doctors began asking patients to explain their injuries, many were surprised to learn that the surge of broken body parts stemmed from the latest urban transportation trend: shared electric scooters.

    In Santa Monica, Calif. — where one of the biggest electric-scooter companies is based — the city’s fire department has responded to 34 serious accidents involving the devices this summer. The director of an emergency department there said his team treated 18 patients who were seriously injured in electric-scooter accidents during the final two weeks of July. And in San Francisco, the doctor who runs the emergency room at a major hospital said he is seeing as many as 10 severe injuries a week.

    As the injuries pile up in cities across the country, the three largest scooter companies — operating under the names Bird, Lime and Skip — have seen their values soar as they attempt to transform urban transit, following the successes of ride-hailing and bike-sharing companies. The scooter start-ups have attracted massive investments from Uber, the prominent technology venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, with some analysts estimating that some of the privately held companies might be worth more than $1 billion.

    A commuter rides a scooter on 15th Street NW in Washington. (Robert Miller/The Washington Post)

    But a growing number of critics — including doctors, former riders, scooter mechanics and personal injury lawyers — say the devices may look like toys but inflict the same degree of harm as any other motorized vehicle on the road, only without having to comply with safety regulations. These critics add that some ­electric-scooter fleets are poorly maintained by a loose-knit flock of amateur mechanics, making them prone to dangerous mechanical failures.

    Bird and Skip have programs that give helmets to riders who request them, and Lime notes that riders must go through an “in-app tutorial” on helmet safety to unlock one of the company’s scooters for the first time.

    “We also strive to reduce injuries though our vehicle design and include key safety features such as headlights and taillights, independent suspension, and a wider and higher footboard to improve stability,” a statement from Skip said.

    But Bird is also lobbying against legislation in California that would require users to wear helmets.

    The injured might quickly discover that their ability to sue the scooter industry is limited.

    Bird and Lime, the two biggest companies, require consumers to agree to not sue — either individually or as part of a class-action suit — and instead turn to a form of mediation known as “binding arbitration” as a condition of using their scooters. They both name specific arbitration companies, while Bird also names a preferred location for arbitration and Lime requires users to first engage in a 60-day “dialogue” with the company.

    Bird says its user agreement “represents an industry standard” among “transportation technology companies.”

    Skip recently informed users that its arbitration agreement would be binding for users beginning Friday. Skip said the company is adding the arbitration provision as part of a revamp of its user agreement as the firm expands across the country. In a statement, Skip said the changes “make the terms and conditions more clear, more informative, and more efficient.”

    Consumer advocates have long criticized binding arbitration as putting consumers at a disadvantage. Arbitration clauses — often appearing as fine print in user agreements and employee contracts — have become a defining feature of corporate contracts used by many of the nation’s most recognizable brands across multiple industries.

    #Véhicules_partagés #Tragédie_des_communs #Accidents #Economie_collaborative(_mon_c..)