Competition is fierce in the car hailing app realm with Uber and Lyft among the two most popular firms in the market. Lyft is claiming that Uber is resorting to underhanded tactics in the effort to come out on top. According to Lyft, Uber employees have ordered and canceled over 50000 rides using the Lyft app since last October.
Some may think that only a couple employees are doing this, but according to Lyft over 177 Uber employees have booked and cancelled rides during that time frame. By booking and cancelling rides using the app, it reduces the avialbitiy of Lyft drivers. Presumably, that could make real riders looking for a Lyft ride look to Uber instead.
Lyft drivers also report that when the Uber workers do actually get in the car and ride, the rides are short and unprofitable. Lyft workers go so far as to say that the main crux of the ride isn't to get somewhere for Uber workers, but to try to talk the drivers into coming to work for Uber. Lyft says that the data was gleaned by cross-referencing a list of known Uber recruiters with cancelled Lyft rides.
Hyundai has been in some legal trouble over inflated claims of fuel efficiency for its Santa Fe SUV. The automaker has offered a large settlement and an apology for inflating the fuel economy numbers in an attempt to settle a suit against it. The same suit targeted five other carmakers as well.
Hyundai has offered in the settlement a total of $54.3 million, which would give each customer who purchased a diesel-powered Santa Fe SUV $388.12 for extra fuel costs and inconvenience of dealing with the issue. The money will only be paid out to owners who purchased in South Korea since May 2012.
Hyundai says that it will revise the fuel efficiency of the diesel Santa Fe to 32.5 mpg, or 13.8 kilometers per liter from the original 14.4 kilometers per liter. Hyundai will have to adjust the fuel efficiency on about 140,000 units, over 1700 owners filed suit against Hyundai over fuel efficiency.
Apple rumors are a dime a dozen and another new one has surfaced this week that says Apple suppliers have begun production on two new iPad models. These same sources claim that both new iPad models are set to land in time for Christmas shopping this year.
The sources claim that Apple is manufacturing a 9.7-inch iPad, which is thought to be the next generation iPad Air. Launch for the device is expected to come this quarter or early in the next quarter.
The new iPad mode is also expected to have an anti-reflection coating on the screen that will improve readability in sunlight, but that special coating is expected to limit production capability for the new tablet. The other new model tipped to be in production is a 7.9-inch iPad mini expected to launch late this year.
Google is adding its support behind a project that aims to install a faster trans-Pacific cable on the ocean floor to increase internet speeds. The cable will link the west coast of the US with Japan and promises to improve global internet connectivity. The cable project is estimated to cost somewhere in the $300 million range.
Google is now one of six different companies that are working together to fund the project, the other companies include China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI, and Singte. NEC is participating in the project as a system supplier.
The cable will run form two locations in Japan - Chikura and Shima - across the Pacific to the US where it will connect to hubs in LA, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The cable will offer up to 60Tbps over six fiber-pair cables.
Florida-based TotalBank is informing around 72,500 of its customers of a data breach that involves personal information ranging from names, banking information, account balances, PIN numbers, and possible Social Security numbers.
"An unauthorized third party" was able to compromise the TotalBank network, with bank officials notifying customers starting in early July. "The information did not include customer passwords or the type of information that would allow access to your bank account, which remains secure," said Luis de la Aguilera, TotalBank President and CEO.
There is a stronger call for the U.S. government to force banks - which already have stricter security protocols in place - to keep their customers safe. Cybercriminals find it extremely easy to sell and trade bulk information in organized underground forums.
California Governor Jerry Brown is now taking a look at the mandatory smartphone 'kill switch' bill after it was passed by the state legislature. If Brown approves the bill, all smartphone devices sold in the state following July 2015 must have some type of anti-theft technology.
"Our goal is to swiftly take the wind out of the sails of thieves who have made the theft of smartphones one of the most prevalent street crimes in California's biggest cities," noted Mark Leno (D - San Francisco), author of the controversial bill.
California's decision has become the strongest effort to clamp down on smartphone theft, which has led to robberies and crimes in metropolitan areas. Apple already has a kill switch option on its devices, so owners are able to remotely shut off phones. Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft are working on similar solutions for their devices.
Drivers are used to seeing gas pumps, but California, the No. 1 electric-vehicle market globally, is seeing a wider expansion of electric vehicle charging stations. EV owners are able to recharge their vehicles at home, but there are a number of free charging stations being installed - and helping woo a growing number of car buyers to consider purchase electric vehicles.
Not surprisingly, most of the charging stations can be found in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, but are increasing in number in more rural areas. The state currently has more than 1,840 charging stations statewide, and that figure is only increasing.
"To put it in perspective, I sold 10 (Leafs) last month but the numbers out of the Bay Area are much higher," said John Driebe, Nissan car dealer in Elk Grove near Sacramento, California. "I'm seeing (monthly dealership) sales of 60, 70 and 74 at those dealerships. With the population density and the all high-tech people working in the Bay Area, it's crazy how many they're selling there."
With companies like Netflix and Amazon enjoying success with original programming, with hit shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, it should come as no surprise that CB has announced it is creating original shows for streaming video services.
The news comes directly from CEO Les Moonves, who announced the news during the company's earning call. Moonves said that CBS's TV studio "will be producing more and more shows for more and more outlets, including major streaming companies and other emerging distributors". He didn't say which services the company is working with, but a company spokesperson later confirmed that CBS will be creating original shows for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and more.
CBS is adapting to a dynamic TV world, where viewers are shifting from sitting on their couches waiting for their beloved TV shows each week, to binge-watching entire seasons or shows - or not, and going at their own page - thanks to Netflix, and others.
In the next version of Call of Duty, gamers will be enjoying some future weapons - mostly fantasy, and some modified versions of things in the making now - to make them the ultimate solder, in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
There's a new video preview available, embedded above, that you can take a look at. There's jetpacks featured, a bunch of cool weapons, and much more, but is it enough to have you buy the game? Probably not. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has a massive Titanfall vibe to it, which is ironic considering the two guys who formed Infinity Ward, who made the original Call of Duty games, left in a huge legal battle to form Respawn Entertainment, which released Titanfall not that long ago.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare does look like more fun than the previous installments, which is what it's all about, right?
Valve is looking into 2015 with optimism, with its Steam Machines, Steam OS, Steam Controller, Steam Box and much more coming out next year. Between now and then, the Steam Database on Twitter (@SteamDB) has spotted the addition of a few interesting things in the latest beta of Steam.
SteamDB noticed films, TV series, video, plugin and music in the latest beta of Steam, with other users noticing Spotify mentioned in Steam code last year. This makes sense, as Valve is pushing Steam into the living room, with not only Big Picture Mode, but with all of its various services, hardware and even gaming systems coming out soon.
If Valve wants to compete against the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Apple, it's going to need to provide everything they do - movies, TV shows, music and much more. But with a kick-ass service like Steam behind it, could we finally see the living room become a proper, PC-based (but controllers on offer) gaming nirvana? I'm enthusiastic about it, with Valve having my total support for it - but this isn't Half-Life 3 confirmed just yet.