This Means War

Uber Who? Gett Slashes All Manhattan Cab Prices to $10 Flat

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When two companies like Uber and Lyft battle it out in loud debates about allegations of sabotage, it can be easy to be distracted from the other contenders. That is, until one of them fires a warning shot in the air to remind everyone that they’re not happy playing third wheel.

Black car app Gett told Betabeat that as of this morning, all rides within Manhattan will cost $10 for the rest of 2014, no matter how far they are or how long they take. Read More

This Means War

Gett Calls Out Uber For ‘Playing Dirty Tricks’

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The battle for taxi app supremacy has gotten ugly between Uber and Lyft, with both companies firing snarky comments back and forth and accusing each other of sabotage. Along the way, they’ve decided that going after each other isn’t enough, and that they might as well throw a few punches at the smaller companies caught in the crossfire.

Apparently, Uber ran the same playbook on Gett this past January. In an appearance on Bloomberg’s “Street Smart,” Gett’s Head of Marketing Brooke Moreland accused Uber of ordering Gett rides and canceling them last minute to disrupt service. Read More

Airbnb

Airbnb’s Latest Subway Propaganda Reminds You That You Love, Support Airbnb

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Just about everyone in New York has seen the ads: “New Yorkers agree: Airbnb is great for New York City.” But apparently, the message wasn’t clear enough the first time around.

Airbnb has updated the campaign to be much more in-your-face and explicit. On many of the new ads, the smiling portraits of the lovely and diverse cast of Airbnb hosts have been scraped away for bold, white space and much bigger text. For anyone who didn’t get the message before — many New Yorkers we spoke to simply thought they were ads for Airbnb’s service — the message is much clearer. Read More

Q&A

Brooklyn Coder Lauren McCarthy Wants To Cure Your Crippling Social Awkwardness

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In a world where your friends can now set you up on virtual blind dates, it’s hard to believe tech could be the solution to any uncomfortable situation.

Lauren McCarthy is a coder and an artist whose strange art experiments put subjects face to face with their deepest social anxieties. She might not be able to cure your crippling awkwardness — or her own, for that matter — but she has designed over two dozen tech-based performances to help you breathe a little easier, even if it just means making a quick getaway. Read More

NYC Disrupts Disruptors

Hiding In Plain Sight: What Airbnb Doesn’t Want You To Know About Their New Lobbyists

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A few hundred people sat in the summer heat in Central Park last night, waiting for tickets for the Public’s opening night of their production of “King Lear,” when they were approached by a young woman with a clipboard.

“Would you like to sign a petition saying you support Airbnb in New York City?” she asked, going one by one.

“Support what, exactly?” asked the first person she approached.

“Oh, you know, like the service Airbnb provides, and just what we’re doing,” she said, obviously lacking an aggressive, prepared script.

One by one people signed a petition saying they supported “AirbnbNYC,” and why not? The vague, upbeat language — asking for an endorsement without a clear mission statement — seemed entirely unobjectionable. Read More

Start-up School

HappyFunAcademy Teaches Liberal Arts Grads Front-End Web Development, Ends Their Happy Fun

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There’s a growing pool of high paying tech jobs and never enough decent talent to fill them. Here in New York City, if you majored in Psychology or Art History and aren’t thrilled with how that’s going financially — looking to pivot, as they say — you can attend one of many coding schools for a quick intensive. Now, there’s yet another school vying for NYC’s tech hopefuls.

HappyFunCorp, a real software engineering firm with real offices in Brooklyn, is opening a front-end coding school called HappyFunAcademy. The name doesn’t have the same maker-y vibe as General Assembly or Flatiron School, but HappyFunCorp is betting that its impressive list of clients and promise of hands-on experience will “up your command line game,” as their site says. Read More