Friday, November 21, 2014

Other people discuss things I don't understand

I should understand these things.

But I don't.

But I must try to.

  • Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists
    Over dinner, he outlined the notion of spending “a million dollars” to hire four top opposition researchers and four journalists. That team could, he said, help Uber fight back against the press — they’d look into “your personal lives, your families,” and give the media a taste of its own medicine.

    Michael was particularly focused on one journalist, Sarah Lacy, the editor of the Silicon Valley website PandoDaily, a sometimes combative voice inside the industry. Lacy recently accused Uber of “sexism and misogyny.” She wrote that she was deleting her Uber app after BuzzFeed News reported that Uber appeared to be working with a French escort service. “I don’t know how many more signals we need that the company simply doesn’t respect us or prioritize our safety,” she wrote.

  • The Coming Era of Privacy Scandals: Why the Uber story is certain to recur
    The data revolution has happened; the toothpaste can’t be put back into the tube. It’s not just the NSA which has access to enormous amounts of personal data on us; it’s any number of companies big and small, which you may or may not have ever heard of. If that data can be subpoenaed, and most of it can be, then it can also be accessed without a subpoena by people within the firm, who might have nothing better to do during their lunch hour than look up celebrities, or friends, or enemies and see what they can find. Such behavior is ignoble, to be sure – but it is going to happen.
  • Uber's data makes a creepy point about the company
    A couple of years ago, there was an entry on the company's blog titled "Rides of Glory." The company examined its rider data, sorting it for anyone who took an Uber between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. on a Friday or Saturday night. Then it looked at how many of those same people took another ride about four to six hours later – from at or near the previous nights' drop-off point.

    Yes, Uber can and does track one-night stands.

  • Some thoughts on App Based Car Services
    Cars are already becoming generic. And already we have a generation coming up that gives a much smaller damn about driving than did previous ones — at least in the U.S. All that aspirational stuff about independence and style doesn’t matter as much as it used to. How long before GM, Ford and Toyota start making special models just for Uber and Lyft drivers?
  • What to do about Uber
    So here's a modest suggestion: treat the city's roads like a traditional public utility, or a public resource like cell spectrum. Invite Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies to tender for a license as the city's preferred ride-sharing service. Let them compete to show how they'll treat drivers and riders fairly, in their terms and conditions; and let them bid for the right to this future profit stream.
  • Nick Denton On How Gawker, Uber and Facebook Will Save Humanity
    Gawker Media’s sites have also been aggressive in calling out the many supposed sins of Uber and its CEO, Travis Kalanick. But Denton has praise for the car-summoning service — high praise indeed. “Uber may do more for the world than foreign aid workers in Mozambique because at some point some version of Uber will allow for more efficient use of resources and a better standard of living,” he says.
  • Stuck in the middle
    There is nothing surprising or wrong with the idea of a tech company investigating reporters. The idea that only reporters have the ability to publish is a 20th century idea. Now anyone who wants to speak can start a blog or a podcast and get up and speak.

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