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Tag Archives: california

Federal appeals court rules Uber drivers must arbitrate claims

A federal appeals court has handed a defeat to Uber drivers who were suing the company in three separate lawsuits over claims that they were misclassified as independent contractors instead of full-time employees. The litigants must go through arbitration to pursue their claims against the company rather than have the claims heard in open court. The decision also means that the drivers in one of the suits can’t file a class-action against Uber. Had the case been able to go to trial, drivers could have pursued larger damage claims against the company. In a 3-0 decision, judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco flipped the ruling of a lower court judge that would have allowed Uber drivers to sue in open court. As full-time employees, the drivers argued they would be entitled to reimbursement for gas and expenses around maintenance and general upkeep. According to Reuters , the drivers also claimed that Uber was not allowing them to keep all of their tips from passengers. While Uber drivers aren’t able to avoid forced arbitration for complaints against  their non-employer  the platform, Uber did do the right thing recently in ending forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment or assault . Uber ends policy of forced arbitration for individual sexual assault claims Were the Uber drivers to proceed with their lawsuit and become full-time employees of the ride-hailing company, they’d be likely to face the same forced arbitration claims . Full-time Uber employees are also forced into arbitration to settle disputes rather than have their claims heard in open court. Susan Fowler’s lawyers just told the Supreme Court why tech cos should eliminate arbitration agreements At the heart of the dispute for Uber drivers is the demand for the safety net that comes with full-time employment and for companies a potentially significant hit to their bottom line.

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A look at new Microsoft video conferencing and meeting tech, including a feature, available now, that lets participants blur the background of their…

Mark Sullivan / Fast Company : A look at new Microsoft video conferencing and meeting tech, including a feature, available now, that lets participants blur the background of their location   —  Microsoft let me sit in on the rehearsal for its futuristic “meetings of the future” demo in Orlando.  Here's what I learned.

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Source: Amazon has held two rounds of preliminary talks to acquire London-based food-delivery startup Deliveroo, following reports of similar interest…

Matthew Field / Telegraph : Source: Amazon has held two rounds of preliminary talks to acquire London-based food-delivery startup Deliveroo, following reports of similar interest from Uber   —  Amazon has made two preliminary approaches for Deliveroo, the Daily Telegraph can reveal, as the food delivery company is circled by ride-hailing giant Uber.

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Zoho says its domain registrar, TierraNet, pulled its service offline for a few hours after it received phishing complaints, is now looking for a new…

Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch : Zoho says its domain registrar, TierraNet, pulled its service offline for a few hours after it received phishing complaints, is now looking for a new registrar   —  Zoho.com was pulled offline on Monday after the company's domain registrar received phishing complaints, the company's chief executive said.

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macOS Mojave review: filled with minor improvements, desktop stacks is convenient, App Store redesign is nice, but new apps ported from iOS feel half…

Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge : macOS Mojave review: filled with minor improvements, desktop stacks is convenient, App Store redesign is nice, but new apps ported from iOS feel half baked   —  If you own an iPhone, there's good reason to look forward to the new version of iOS every year.  It usually comes with meaningful improvements …

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Snap begins slow rollout of a new way to search for products on Amazon right from Snapchat, works by simply pointing camera at a physical product or…

Josh Constine / TechCrunch : Snap begins slow rollout of a new way to search for products on Amazon right from Snapchat, works by simply pointing camera at a physical product or barcode   —  See, snap, sale.  In a rare partnership for Amazon, the commerce giant will help Snapchat challenge Instagram and Pinterest for social shopping supremacy.

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Kuo: iPhone XS Max far outselling iPhone XS, with 256GB most popular, 512GB is subject to shortages; Apple Watch Series 4 demand is "much better…

Joe Rossignol / MacRumors : Kuo: iPhone XS Max far outselling iPhone XS, with 256GB most popular, 512GB is subject to shortages; Apple Watch Series 4 demand is “much better than expected”   —  In a research note obtained by MacRumors today, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has provided launch-weekend takeaways for the iPhone XS …

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Google to add Google Lens to Google Image search, is updating its ranking algorithm to make results more visual, and adds animated previews of videos…

Cherlynn Low / Engadget : Google to add Google Lens to Google Image search, is updating its ranking algorithm to make results more visual, and adds animated previews of videos in search   —  Google is celebrating the twentieth birthday of its search engine, and is continuing to make changes to the way we find information.

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Cinematic train wreck, “The Room”, is now on YouTube in its entirety

The Room  has been ranked with Plan 9 From Outer Space  as a strong contender for the “best” worst movie ever made — and it’s now available in its entirety on YouTube . Written, directed, and starring Tommy Wiseau, The Room belongs in the same category as Plan 9 , and Coven (which was immortalized in the 1999 documentary American Movie ) as a paean to moviemaking by people who have no idea how to make a movie. The combination of passion and ineptitude is what made The Room a cult classic after its release, and what made The Disaster Artist  — the James Franco film it inspired so compelling ( Ed Wood , the biopic from Tim Burton about the director behind Plan 9 is also amazing). Writer, actor, and director Tommy Wiseau in a still from “The Room” In “The Room” Wiseau plays Johnny, an investment banker caught in a bizarre love triangle with his best friend, Mark, played by Greg Sestero, and his fiancee, Lisa, played by Juliette Danielle. It was Sestero’s book on the making of the film, “The Disaster Artist”, that inspired the eponymous movie directed by Franco and starring his brother Dave and Seth Rogen. According to The Daily Dot ,  Sestero and Wiseau are now promoting a straight-to-digital follow-up to their feature debut — a two-part black comedy called “ Best F(r)iends” . Viewers might just be better off watching the original contender for best worst movies,  Plan 9, which is also available on YouTube (and below).  

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A Lime scooter rider died this morning in Washington, D.C., marking the second fatality this month

Lime , the 18-month-old, San Francisco-based company whose bright green bicycles and scooters now dot cities throughout the U.S., launched a pilot program in Tacoma, Washington, today, but that tiny victory might have felt short-lived. The reason: on the opposite side of the country, a Lime rider was killed  today by an SUV while tooling around Washington D.C.’s DuPont neighborhood. The local fire department shared video of the rescue, which shows that the victim, an adult male, had to be pulled from the undercarriage of the vehicle. It’s the second known fatality for the company following a death earlier this month in Dallas, when a 24-year-old Texas man fell off the scooter he was riding and died from blunt force injuries to his head. On the one hand, the developments, while unfortunate, can hardly come as a surprise to anyone given how vulnerable riders or e-scooters are. E-scooter use is on the rise, with both Lime and its L.A.-based rival Bird , announcing this week that their customers have now taken north of  10 million rides . At the same time,  city after city has deemed their use on sidewalks illegal out of fear that fast-moving riders will collide with and injure pedestrians. That leaves riders sharing city streets with the same types of giant, exhaust-spewing machines that they hope to increasingly displace. In fact, sales of traditional SUVs has continued to surge , thanks in part to low unemployment, high consumer confidence, and Americans’ enduring love with gigantic vehicles. One solution to the issue, and one for which the e-scooter companies and their investors have been advocating, are protected lanes that would allow e-scooters to be operated more safely. Bird  has even publicly offered to help fund new infrastructure that keeps cyclists and scooter riders safer. Another possible answer would appear to be mandating the use of helmets with e-scooters, though California evidently disagrees. On Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into a law that states Californians riding electric scooters will no longer be required to wear helmets as of January 1. The bill was reportedly sponsored by Bird .

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A Lime scooter rider died in Washington, D.C., marking the second fatality this month

Lime , the 18-month-old, San Francisco-based company whose bright green bicycles and scooters now dot cities throughout the U.S., launched a pilot program in Tacoma, Washington, today, but that tiny victory might have felt short-lived. The reason: on the opposite side of the country, a Lime rider was killed  today by an SUV while tooling around Washington D.C.’s DuPont neighborhood. The local fire department shared video of the rescue, which shows that the victim, an adult male, had to be pulled from the undercarriage of the vehicle. It’s the second known fatality for the company following a death earlier this month in Dallas, when a 24-year-old Texas man fell off the scooter he was riding and died from blunt force injuries to his head. On the one hand, the developments, while unfortunate, can hardly come as a surprise to anyone given how vulnerable riders or e-scooters are. E-scooter use is on the rise, with both Lime and its L.A.-based rival Bird , announcing this week that their customers have now taken north of  10 million rides . At the same time,  city after city has deemed their use on sidewalks illegal out of fear that fast-moving riders will collide with and injure pedestrians. That leaves riders sharing city streets with the same types of giant, exhaust-spewing machines that they hope to increasingly displace. In fact, sales of traditional SUVs has continued to surge , thanks in part to low unemployment, high consumer confidence, and Americans’ enduring love with gigantic vehicles. One solution to the issue, and one for which the e-scooter companies and their investors have been advocating, are protected lanes that would allow e-scooters to be operated more safely.

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Think Tank Photo Upgrades Hydrophobia Rain Covers​ and Introduces Emergency Rain Covers

Think Tank Photo have upgraded their Hydrophobia Rain Covers, which feature waterproof construction that protects camera gear from downpours and dusty conditions. Think Tank Photo's new Emergency Rain Covers are a simple, compact solution for protecting photo gear from sudden downpours or dusty conditions. These seam-sealed rain covers can be quickly and easily deployed when outdoor conditions change.

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Spire Health Tags are now on Apple’s shelves

Spire’s Health Tags , the dark and tiny devices you stick on your clothes to gather all sorts of health data from your steps, heartbeat and stress levels is now available at your local Apple Store. The company started out with a breath tracking device to detect when you are feeling tense and help calm you down. But four years in and its now all about the wearable “tags” you stick on items of clothing like your pants or sports bra. Yes, yes, there are lots of gadgets out there to gather similar information — the Apple Watch will now even detect if you have a fall or if something is wrong with your heart — but the Spire health tag is nothing like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, according to the company. For one, there’s zero need to charge the device. One tag’s battery will last a year and a half before dying out. They’re also machine washable. You just pick a few outfits and stick a tag on each of them. Of course a few other startups out there are working on making smart, washable, data-gathering clothes. Enflux makes the clothing and then sews in the motion sensor to tell you if you are lifting correctly. Vitali is a “smart” bra with a built-in sensor to detect stress. Then there’s OmSignal , which makes body-hugging workout clothes that gather “medical-grade biometric data to achieve optimal health.” But these tiny health tags are different in that they allow you to choose the clothes you want to adhere the monitor to. Like Spire’s first product, the Stone, which earned more than $8 million in sales, according to the company, the tags will also pick up on times of stress and help calm you down through a series of breaths and focus on the app. “Continuous health data will revolutionize health and wellness globally, but early incarnations have been hampered by poor user experiences and a focus on the hardware over the outcomes that the hardware can create,” Spire’s founder Jonathan Palley said. “By making the device ‘disappear’, we believe Health Tag is the first product to unlock the potential.” Spire’s Health Tags will be sold in Apple Stores as a three-pack for $130, six-pack for $230 and an eight-pack for $300, with additional pack sizes available on the company’s website .

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Buy tickets for concerts on TV with the new Comcast and Ticketmaster feature

Comcast and Ticketmaster are rolling out a feature to let Xfinity X1 customers search tour dates and begin the ticket buying process directly through their televisions — using voice search on their remotes . The feature’s launch coincides with the first tickets going on sale for Kelly Clarkson’s new tour. If users speak “Kelly Clarkson tour” into their voice remote, they’re sent to a dedicated Kelly Clarkson destination (which, surprisingly, isn’t a purgatory of bland pop power ballads). To be clear, customers can’t actually complete an order using the voice tool. Instead they can get set to this destination where they will receive a prompt to buy tickets and then opt in to receive a text with a code that will enable them to buy tickets online. If that sounds like an incredibly circuitous and unwieldy process to find tickets to concerts nearby for artists someone likes, that’s because it is. Customers will see a promotional tile with an option to “get tickets” which will let them find a list of performances and corresponding dates at venues — powered by Ticketmaster’s API. Those customers can then opt to receive a text message with a code that they can use to complete the purchase online. “Our team is always thinking of new ways to reach more fans by extending Ticketmaster’s open platform,” said Dan Armstrong, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Distributed Commerce for Ticketmaster in a statement. “This partnership with Comcast is a groundbreaking way to discover events and buy tickets.” The new feature is certainly groundbreaking. It also seems extremely unnecessary

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