ICYMI: Uber led biggest tech stories of week

USATODAY

In this excerpt from a #TalkingTech Live broadcast, the panelists weigh in on Uber's bad week, and what's next in ride hailing. LOS ANGELES -- This week's tech news was dominated by charges of sexual harassment and discrimination at ride-hailing service Uber, a potential push from Google to bring ride-sharing to the mass market and a move from Facebook to bring more ads to the social network. But Uber owned the most headlines, which started on Sunday with a blog from a former female engineer who described how the company's human resources department repeatedly deflected her and other women's reports of sexual harassment from their colleagues, even telling her that she could expect a negative performance review if she stayed on her alleged harasser's team. The blog post was seen as a wake-up call for Silicon Valley, where six out of 10 women say they've experienced unwanted sexual advances, according to a survey released last year. Still, many pointed out that the male-dominated tech industry has had several such "wake-up calls" -- to little avail.


With deceit and arrogance, Uber keeps finding new ways to shoot itself in the foot

Los Angeles Times

The ride-hailing company with a glittering informal valuation of $70 billion shot itself in the foot on Saturday, public-image-wise, by apparently sending drivers to New York's Kennedy airport during a one-hour taxi drivers' strike staged to protest President Trump's immigrant and refugee ban. That action, in which Uber announced it would suspend "surge" charges on Kennedy airport trips during the strike, provoked thousands of Uber users to adopt the "#DeleteUber" hashtag on Twitter, signifying that they were removing the company's ride-ordering app from their smartphones. Hours later, Uber was backpedaling furiously, tweeting that the firm had not been trying to break the strike. Chief Executive Travis Kalanick subsequently announced a $3-million defense fund for Uber drivers caught in Trump's immigration net and issued a bland statement about Trump's executive order that stopped short of actually criticizing it. He merely observed that "allowing people from all around the world to come here and make America their home has largely been the U.S.'s policy since its founding."


Yes, Uber has lost ridership to Lyft during this crisis

USATODAY

Uber's discrimination investigation recommends dozens of reforms within their company walls. A sign marks a pick-up point for the Uber car service at LaGuardia Airport in New York on March 15, 2017. Travis Kalanick, the combative and embattled CEO of ride-hailing giant Uber, resigned June 20, 2017 under pressure from investors at a pivotal time for the company. SAN FRANCISCO -- In the tumultuous months leading up to Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick's resignation, the ride-hailing company lost U.S. market share and saw its brand image tarnished, most notably by a former engineer's blog post blasting the ride-hailing company for its sexist work environment. Among several surveys tracking the company's decline: one based on credit card spending, which found over the past two years, Uber's share of rides has dropped to 75% from 90%, according to TXN Solutions.


Google's 'Waymo' reveals its self driving minivan

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Google's'Waymo' reveals its self driving minivan: 100 of the specially developed Crysler hybrids set to take to roads The hybrid vehicles are expected to form part of Google's ridesharing service, and are already being tested in California. Your left hand really DOES know what your right hand is... The'internet of the road': Government proposals call for... AirPods are FINALLY here after months of delays: Apple's... Your left hand really DOES know what your right hand is... The'internet of the road': Government proposals call for... AirPods are FINALLY here after months of delays: Apple's...


Trump tweets himself praise as Ford dumps plan for Mexico plant, looks to hire more in Michigan

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – Ford scuttled a plan to build a new factory in Mexico Tuesday following criticism from Donald Trump, and just hours after the president-elect attacked General Motors for importing Mexican-made cars into the US. Following months of criticism from Trump for its investments in Mexico, Ford said it was spiking a plan to build a new $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, and would instead invest $700 million over the next four years to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan to build electric and self-driving vehicles. Ford chief executive Mark Fields said the second-biggest U.S. automaker was hopeful Trump's policies will boost the U.S. manufacturing environment. "It's literally a vote of confidence around some of the pro-growth policies that he has been outlining and that's why we're making this decision to invest here in the U.S. and our plant here in Michigan," Fields told CNN. Earlier, GM became the latest multinational to end up in Trump's line of fire -- via Twitter as usual -- with the president-elect threatening to impose a tariff on GM's imports of a small number of Mexican-made Chevy Cruze cars to the U.S. Trump took to Twitter again to crow about the Ford reversal.