Linkages

Booting Up: ‘Objectify a Man in Tech’ Day Over Before It Started

Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle sluttin’ it up at CES. (Photo: Gizmodo)

“Objectify a man in tech” day is no longer a thing. Tech journalist Leigh Alexander proposed the exercise last week in hopes it would “catalyze discussions about the way we use language and how seemingly-innocuous ‘compliments’ are belittling and distracting”;  now she’s “worried that point will be lost and that harm can be done.” [Sexy Videogameland]

The Department of Defense is gearing up to add 4,000 employees to its Cyber Command; The Pentagon may make an honest hacker out of you yet. [NYT]

Is Marissa Mayer’s relationship with Wall Street already on the rocks? Analysts will be looking for tangible improvements under Ms. Mayer’s leadership when Yahoo reports quarterly results later today. [CNN Money]

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has a prediction for e-hailing in New York: “Drivers will make a lot of money.” [WSJ]

“Wait, how ’bout we trade you some promoted tweets for a tax break?” [BuzzFeed]

It’s the year of the sexy, sexy enterprise startups. [Tech Crunch]

Ride or Die

After Fears That TLC Would Kill Taxi Apps, E-Hailing Gets a Pilot Program

771px-Yellow_cabs_2

In a packed meeting at the Taxi and Limousine Commission headquarters this morning, commissioners voted 7-0 in favor of adopting a year-long pilot program to test out e-hailing apps that let riders flag down yellow cabs from their smartphone. The pilot won’t commence until February. After reviewing data from the test run, the TLC will assess whether to make it permanent. The more limited pilot program is an abrupt change from an earlier proposal by TLC chairman David Yassky: to vote on e-hailing rules that would have opened New York’s taxi market up to any app that met guidelines and secured a license. Read More

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Q&A With TLC Chairman David Yassky About Tomorrow’s Big Vote on Smartphone Apps for Taxis

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Tomorrow morning, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission will hold a momentous vote at its headquarters on 33 Beaver Street concerning two sets of proposed rules–one of which could radically alter the taxi hailing experience for New Yorkers.

That highly contested proposal calls for changing e-hailing rules that have traditionally given yellow cabs province over street hails, where black cars and livery cabs focus on prearranged rides. If passed, those e-hail rules would open up New York’s massive, much-coveted market for yellow cabs to any request-a-ride app that meets guidelines and secures a license.

So rather than having to hail a taxi on the street, these apps will let you flag down and pay for a taxi with a few taps of your smartphone. Read More

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All Grown Up: Uber Actually Sits Down With D.C. Regulators, Gets a Deal

Black hole. (Photo: Wikimedia)

After a series of tussles with regulators across the country, yesterday something went right for Uber. Washington, D.C.–a city where regulators have long been skeptical of the service–has passed a bill that essentially allows the service to continue operating legally. And just a couple days after the appearance of New York Times article about the company’s many Read More

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Uber Temporarily Drops ‘Surge Pricing’ for Riders in NYC After Price-Gouging Complaints

(Photo: File)

Just before noon today, Uber, the San Francisco-based request-a-ride app decided to temporarily turn off what the company calls “surge pricing,” but only for riders. “We turned off surge for consumers, but to get drivers out we’re paying them the surge price,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told Betabeat by email, offering the example of paying drivers double, but charging customers the normal price.

“This way,” he said, “We can maximize the number of drivers on the road.” Turning off the surge pricing will result in “huge losses for the business,” he noted. But Uber will “do it as long as we can today while we figure out more sustainable ways to keep supply up while the city is in need.” Read More

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Uber Sued for Consumer Fraud and Unlawful Practices by Chicago Taxi and Limo Companies

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A number of Chicago taxi and limousine companies filed a lawsuit (below) today against Uber, the request-a-ride company that lets you e-hail and pay for a car with your smartphone.

In April, the San Francisco startup expanded its service in Chicago from black cars to include taxis as well. (Uber’s recent attempt to expand from black cars to yellow taxis in New York City were swatted down last month by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.)

Although Uber’s brash tactics and outspoken CEO, Travis Kalanick, have rankled city governments and competitors–the complaint even features a screengrab of a contentious tweet from Mr. Kalanick and references his open criticism of “of any regulation in general”–this marks the first time a taxi or limousine company has filed a suit against Uber. Read More

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While Talks with the TLC Stall Out, Uber Partners With HBO to Give New Yorkers a Free Ride in a Vintage Whip

Uber HBO Boardwalk Empire

Uber will not go gently into that good night. The request-a-ride app raged against New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission last week for putting a stop to its rogue mission to let New Yorkers hail and pay for a yellow cab with a few taps of their smartphone. Uber already offers the services for black cars and hybrid cars, but at a hefty premium.

To keep the company top of mind for New Yorkers, Uber is partnering with HBO today and tomorrow to promote the premiere of the third season of “Boardwalk Empire” this Sunday. The startup will be offering free rides in a fleet of vintage vehicles from the Roaring 20’s on September 13th and 14th. The offer is only available 11am to 6pm and only for up to three people travelling between Midtown and Soho in Manhattan.  Read More

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Taxi & Limousine Commission Tells Uber It Can’t Legally Operate a Taxi App In NYC, Uber CEO Disagrees

(Photo: Wikimedia)

“We got a love letter from the TLC,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick just told Betabeat over the phone. He was referring, sarcastically, to a statement issued today by the Taxi and Limousine Commission to “remind” medallion yellow cab drivers and owners that the TLC “has NOT authorized any electronic hailing or payment applications (‘apps’) for Read More