uber it

Times Op-Ed Calls For Firings At Uber ‘While There’s Still Time’

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Last week, it was revealed that Uber leadership, from the CEO down to its regional managers, is guilty of serious abuse of power, executive overreach and, at very least, what should be career-ending gaffs.

But Uber Senior Vice President Emil Michael hasn’t, in fact, been fired and CEO Travis Kalanick is barely sorry, which has the tech world asking the Great Uber Question: How do you hold a venture-backed startup responsible for erratic and thuggish behavior? Read More

Off the Media

For Giants Like the New York Times, Problems Are Hidden in Plain Sight

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It’s a pleasant surprise to see Jonah Peretti make the most salient criticism of the New York Times’ recently controversial (and leaked) innovation report. Why is the Times being so hard on its tech and product teams while ignoring the real elephant in the room?

They spend an estimated $644 million combined on delivery and printing costs, plus untold hundreds of millions to be based in the heart of Manhattan. Aren’t these the real, daily business concerns that the newspaper should be looking at more closely?  Read More

In Loco Parentis

Parents Seem Pretty Chill About Letting iPads Raise Their Kids

Dramatization. (Photo: Brutal Gamer)

There’s nothing like the soothing glow of a digital screen to shut your kid up for a few minutes. Parents have known this since the dawn of television.

But now, there’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to getting your kid to sit still for longer than three seconds, and it’s called the tablet. Tablet ownership among families has risen at an insane rate–40 percent of families own the devices now, while two years ago, only 8 percent did, according to the New York Times. So if you wondered who was buying all those Kindle Fires, there you go. Read More

teens these days

NYC Parents Use Uber to Deliver Their Precious Angels to Fencing Practice

Besties. (Photo: Getty)

Kids these days do enough extracurricular activities to make even adults with full-time jobs feel like lazy sacks of disappointment. You may wonder how the hell the city’s teens make it from “gymnastics on the pier” to “fencing practice” to Oliver and Sebastian’s joint quinceanera. Well, the New York Times can tell you: their moms are booking cars through Uber for them.

Guy Parkin is a blase 13-year-old with a busy schedule. “It’s a lot more reliable than a taxi,” he tells the Times. “I have to get around. I also have this Princeton Review thing that’s all the way up on Madison Avenue.” Ugh, tell us about it. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: The Syrian Electronic Army Disrupted Access to Twitter and the New York Times Yesterday

The future. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons,by ScaredPoed)

The Syrian Electronic Army had a busy day yesterday. It claimed it took control of Twitter and the New York Times‘ domains and made it impossible for some users to access the sites. [CNet]

Groupon is eying a network of warehouses as the daily deals website tries to take on Amazon. [WSJ]

“BlackBerry, as BlackBerry users know it, is finished.” [BuzzFeed]

Thousands signed a petition to retain Uber service in Dallas in response to the city council’s proposed regulation that would make the on-demand car service impossible to operate. [Fox 4 News]

So, this is happening! The Smithsonian has acquired an app’s code for a design collection. [The Verge]

Privacy is Dead

Government Perfects Crowd-Scanning Facial Recognition Tech for Use by Your Local Cops

(Photo: Getty)

The federal government is perfecting software that will be able to pick suspects out of a crowd through facial recognition, and while we’re sure it’ll prove itself very useful for finding terrorists, it’s kind of horrifying all the same–especially since they might make it available for use by your neighborhood police.

The crowd-scanning project is called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System, the New York Times reports, and will be known as BOSS, because if there’s one thing our government loves more than chipping away at our privacy, it’s hyper-masculine acronyms. Read More

startup rundown

Startup Rundown: Video Chat with Paula Abdul, and Learn to Say No to Stupid Theme Wedding Ideas

Check out Hang w/ (Photo: YouTube)

Hang out with Hang w/ Hang w/ (pronounced “Hang With”) is kind of like Twitter, except all the posts are live videos, and users will be paid to broadcast. Sorry, what? Does this mean I can literally take selfie videos like it’s my job? “In the future, you will be able to make money from Hang w/,” says the app’s official site, “Hang w/ generates revenue by charging advertisers for the right to advertise during our broadcasts. Because you are the one doing the broadcasting, we feel that you should share in those profits.” The app just closed a $2 million Series A, already has more than 1.3 million broadcasts, and claims celebrity users Paula Abdul, Timbaland and Larry King. You should probably start hanging with this crowd. Read More

Let's Not Get Physical

In the Future, We Can ‘Exercise’ By Lying Motionless on the Couch

Go for it. (Photo: Setiusa.us)

Some zany scientists claim that in the future, we’ll be able to lose weight by taking a pill and not actually moving. No, they’re not talking about Adderall.

Two new studies “investigate the enticing possibility” of such a drug, the New York Times reports, although “there remains the question of whether such a move is wise.” Probably the only people who would question the wisdom of never having to work out again are Vibram-wearing freaks. But we digress. Read More