Software

Uber is bringing out a Prime-style monthly subscription scheme

Regular users of Uber can now pay a monthly fee to get a discount on every journey Are you an Uber addict? Do you take one look at the queue for the bus stop and think, “nah” and reach for your phone? Do you look down with disdain on the rats that have to fight it out on the Underground? Do you cry when your bank statement comes in and you see those oh-so-familiar payments to Holland? If so, then we…

Gadgets

Supervan, a new way to deliver voluminous items

Meet Guillaume, founder and CEO of Supervan. Find out what he thinks about big ol’ couches, transportation, and that the future… is tomorrow! Guillaume, the founder What is the Supervan concept? Supervan is an on-demand transportation for sizeable objects. In less than an hour, there is a van and a driver waiting for you on your doorstep. Just as easy as ordering an Uber! We cater to professionals as an externalized delivery service, but also to individuals who use Supervan…

Technology

Uber hires former Facebook exec and Firefox founder Blake Ross

Uber has hired Firefox co-founder Blake Ross to work with them on product strategy. Ross will be working with the ridesharing company part-time from Los Angeles. He announced it on Facebook, where he once worked as director of product. “I’m joining Uber to help develop product strategy, rally the troops, and improve my passenger rating,” quipped Ross. The news comes just two days after the company announced its new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi. The role had been vacant since June, when Travis Kalanick was…

Computer

Uber and Lyft are losing their fight against unionization

A federal judge has dealt a blow to ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft, after dismissing an appeal to block legislation that would allow their drivers to unionize. US District Court Judge Robert Lasnik rejected the lawsuit filed by the US Chamber of Commerce on behalf of its members (including Uber and Lyft), which argued that drivers are contractors, not employees, and therefore federal and state laws do not give them the right to unionize. This is good news for advocates of…

Science

Uber rival Careem closes $500M raise at $1B+ valuation as Daimler steps in

Amid ongoing struggles at Uber, one of its stronger regional rivals in transportation on demand has raised a significant round of funding, picking up a significant strategic investor in the process. Careem, a transportation startup currently in 80 cities across the Middle East, has raised another $150 million — closing out a $500 million Series E round that it confirmed in December when it announced the first $350 million tranche. With the new funds, Mudassir Sheikha, Careem’s co-founder and CEO, confirmed that…

Science

No acting CEO at Uber, no problem?

Uber has bucked convention from the outset, so it wasn’t entirely surprising when, earlier today, company cofounder and CEO Travis Kalanick announced that he’s taking a leave of absence from his San Francisco-based ride-hailing juggernaut —  without naming an interim CEO or disclosing a return date. Instead, Kalanick told employees, the company will be run by his direct reports. Meanwhile, owing to the results of a probe led by former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder — who was hired to…

Software

Uber must turn over to Waymo information about its acquisition of Otto, court rules

Anthony Levandowski, the engineer at the center of the legal battle between Google and Uber over driverless-car technology, has suffered a setback. Levandowski has broadly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in the case, refusing to answer questions about whether or not he downloaded confidential files from Google before quitting his job at the company to join Uber’s self-driving car team. However, an appeals court has denied his request to extend his Fifth Amendment rights so broadly that Uber…

Software

An Uber engineer died by suicide, and his family blames the company culture

Uber is in the limelight again for another employee horror story after one of its engineers died by suicide. The employee’s family alleges that workplace stress and racism contributed to a decline in mental health before Joseph Thomas’ death. Now his wife, Zecole Thomas, has hired a lawyer to hold Uber accountable and fight for what she thinks her family deserves: workers’ compensation benefits. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Uber denied her claim after her husband died in August,…

Software

How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Influence Its Drivers

If you’ve ever engaged in small talk with your Uber driver on a slow weeknight, chances are you’ll get an earful about his schedule for the day. He’ll talk about how many hours he’s driven so far, how many hours of driving he has left for the day, and about how much money he wants to earn by the end of the week (according to Uber, its drivers are mostly male, as is borne out anecdotally). At the end of…

Computer

Uber must turn over to Waymo information about its acquisition of Otto, court rules

Anthony Levandowski, the engineer at the center of the legal battle between Google and Uber over driverless-car technology, has suffered a setback. Levandowski has broadly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in the case, refusing to answer questions about whether or not he downloaded confidential files from Google before quitting his job at the company to join Uber’s self-driving car team. However, an appeals court has denied his request to extend his Fifth Amendment rights so broadly that Uber…

Technology

Uber announces partners in its master plan for flying cars

Uber’s flying car plans are coming together — and it looks like it won’t be taking to the skies alone. The company’s aspiration to build an urban air transportation network took a major leap on Tuesday with its Elevate Summit event in Dallas. The three-day conference was billed as a chance to spread the news about Uber’s plans for its flying cars and “identify and accelerate opportunities to collaborate within the community,” boasting a diverse line-up of presenters with backgrounds…

Smartphones

Uber snooping lawsuit exposes data and security practices

Uber fired Ward Spangenberg this February on his 45th birthday. Now he’s suing the tech giant, claiming that he was terminated as a result of age discrimination and because he blew the whistle about insecure data practices at Uber just a few weeks before his shares vested. Spangenberg has also made some of his own user data public in court filings leaving Uber scrambling to keep that data secret. Spangenberg’s allegations, first reported by Reveal News, represent yet another dent in Uber’s…