Thursday, November 12, 2015

In which people discuss things I don't understand

The first link is REALLY worth a read ... very eye-opening and intriguing.

  • Uber's Drivers: Information Asymmetries and Control in Dynamic Work
    The Uber driver workplace is characterized by constant change and by remote management structures, such as algorithms, Community Support Representatives, and passengers, removes the governing responsibility for a reliable workplace away from a central actor – Uber as a corporate entity, or a singular managerial body. Drivers must compare the information they gather from their own experiences with CSRs, media reports, company statements, written policies, notices from local markets, and their own advice in forums as though there is a singular, sense-making machine at work. There are multiple authorities for what Uber says or does that drivers rely on because the Uber system provides the architecture for digital and physical points of engagement and interaction with different authoritative actors. As a case study in the emerging on-demand economy, our analysis of the Uber driver experience signals the need for further study of the social and technical dynamics of distributed work systems.
  • The Guilded Age
    Uber’s regulatory battles will, to some extent, pave the way for other services, be they car-hailing apps or delivery networks or privatized replacements for public transit or just other types of on-demand labor whatevers. Airbnb’s will free up, to some extent, Airbnb competitors. But because they’re first, and because they’re huge, and because their investors have lots of adjacent interests, these regulatory battles belong to them. This means our next laws regarding how people drive and get driven, and the next sets of rules determining what and where a hotel can be, will be written largely by these companies.
  • Airbnb Is Building An Army
    Airbnb policy staffers are already on the ground around the world. Lehane said in cities where clubs are founded, staffers will be called on to organize training, facilitate resources, and otherwise manage the beginnings of an international grassroots network. While most cities don’t have the same proposition system as San Francisco, which allows voters to weigh in directly on initiatives, he said he could foresee clubs supporting political candidates who are in favor of short-term renting and home-sharing in their cities. Lehane compared the potential political strength of Airbnb hosts and guests, of which there are over 4 million in the United States, to that of the National Rifle Association or the Sierra Club.
  • Peeking Beneath the Hood of Uber
    In order to understand the impact of surge pricing on passengers and drivers, we present the first in-depth investigation of Uber. We gather four weeks of data from Uber by emulating 43 copies of the Uber smartphone app and distributing them in a grid throughout downtown San Francisco (SF) and midtown Manhattan. By carefully calibrating the GPS coordinates reported by each emulated app, we are able to collect high-fidelity data about surge multipliers, estimated wait times (EWTs), car supply, and passenger demand for all types of Ubers (e.g., UberX, UberBLACK, etc.).

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