Uber Being Probed by FBI Over ‘Hell’ Software to Interfere With Rivals

Uber Being Probed by FBI Over 'Hell' Software to Interfere With Rivals

HIGHLIGHTS

  • FBI is looking into Uber’s illegal competition intefering software
  • Uber’s software was being used to track the Lyft drivers
  • The investigation is being led by the FBI’s New York office

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing to see if Uber Technologies had used software to illegally interfere with its competitors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The investigation is focusing on Uber’s program that could track drivers working for rival service Lyft, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the investigation.

The investigation is being led by the FBI’s New York office and the Manhattan US attorney’s office, the Journal said.

Separately, Uber will cease using diesel cars in London by the end of 2019 and the vast majority of rides will be in electric or hybrid vehicles by then, the taxi app said on Friday.

At the moment the company says around half of all the journey miles completed in the British capital are undertaken with greener vehicles on the firm’s standard low-cost UberX service, which lets customers book journeys on their smartphone.

Several carmakers have announced plans in recent months to electrify a large proportion of their new cars, with Volvo becoming the first major carmaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine.

Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040, replicating plans by France and cities such as Madrid, Mexico City and Athens.

Uber, which has about 40,000 London drivers, will only offer electric or hybrid models on UberX by the turn of the decade and plans to do the same by 2022 nationwide.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

The meaning of education is being lost in a fug of qualifications

Educated, or merely qualified? The two are becoming  difficult to distinguish. Photograph: iStock

Educated, or merely qualified? The two are becoming difficult to distinguish. Photograph: iStock

this mad drive by universities to assuage the captains of industry and cyclopean economists, it is difficult to distinguish any more between those graduates who are educated and those who are merely qualified.

The international media burped a little recently on discovering that the world’s league-leading universities are far too busy with research to be overly bothered with or about education. Commentators seemed surprised. As if people believed that all the money being poured by corporations into universities was to raise educational standards. How pure and how naive!

Universities, perforce, are a business. Each reduction in public funding pushes them closer to becoming creatures of the economic establishment.

So, for leading universities, survival requires them to commit to research, innovation and corporate partnership. Education is plummeting down the priority list, overtaken by business creep. The idea of a university is being dumbed down. Core values have deteriorated as education becomes indefinable in a fug of qualifications.

The spectre of the highly qualified but uneducated professional was prompted by a recent comment from an elderly countrywoman accompanying her terminally ill husband from a consultation with a specialist in the city.

“For a highly educated man with a dozen letters after his name, he had no manners at all. He looked down his nose at us and spoke in words we didn’t understand,” she said.

Her comment reflected the modern-day challenge in distinguishing between education and qualification.

Synonymous

Unfortunately, the two have become synonymous with each other in general discourse and the confusion is reinforced by the fact that university awards fail to flag any difference between those considered to be educated and those considered to be merely qualified.

Consequently, it is not unusual to come across holders of senior offices in public life or the professions who, though comprehensively qualified, fail to display even the most basic evidence of education. Very often, indeed, they mask their boorishness and arrogance with expensive suits or impenetrable language when engaging with the general public or less exalted colleagues.

Interestingly, in olden times universities required students to be bachelors or masters in arts or philosophy before they were allowed to specialise as doctors in disciplines such as medicine, law or other professional areas. Strikes me that it is time to look back to the future and recalibrate university policy accordingly.

Our national mindset, however, seems to equate education with university qualification. Lamentably, we don’t generally hear references to “highly educated” plumbers or farmers or grocers or mechanics, no matter how qualified they may happen to be. This despite the fact that many such people can be more educated than many of us who are proud university graduates.

Undoubtedly, universities can and do produce highly educated graduates, but it would be absurd to conclude that universities are the only route to education.

And it is equally ludicrous to assume that people are educated merely on the basis of their having a university degree.

Two millennia ago

Consider that two millennia ago, long before universities were founded, ordinary folk could respect and revere the likes of Plato and Socrates as being educated. How did they know? Well, because whereas the traits of an educated person are difficult to measure, they are easy to recognise.

And what’s to recognise? Well, on that score, the conclusions of the great philosophers are uncomplicated but instructive.

Plato opined that the process of education should develop qualities of wisdom, courage, self-control and justice. For Aristotle, education developed the perfection of reason in concert with the development of bodily and mental functions.

Socrates referenced, inter alia, qualities such as honesty, bravery, reason, and the ability to cope with success and failure. Newman saw tolerance as the defining quality of the educated person.

League tables might mean something if these qualities were the basis of points accumulation, but no doubt that would be a bridge too far for our neoliberal friends.

The question is: do the universities see any need to develop or inculcate these traits before registering applicants for courses leading to professional qualification?

It is hardly revolutionary or even novel to suggest that we should educate people first before preparing and qualifying them for their role in the community. Was that not the idea of a university?

So let’s value education and let’s respect qualifications, but let’s also know the difference. Time to rebalance. Funding our universities would be a good start.

Joe O’Toole is a teacher, former senator and general secretary of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation

[“Source- irishtimes”]

Xiaomi CEO confirms that the next-gen Mi MIX is already being developed

The Mi MIX is one of the most exciting devices to come out of Xiaomi’s sheds. According to the CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, the company is already working on a successor to this widely popular device. It will be interesting to see how the company will innovate with the second-gen variant, especially since the Mi MIX brought so many new things to the table.

It is possible that most of the upgrades will be under the hood, and not cosmetic. Jun didn’t go into detail about this particular aspect, although it’s possible that we’ll hear more about it in the months to come.

Jun posted the following on Weibo (in Chinese), along with a picture, “Today, I am pleased to meet again with international design master Philip Stark, who introduced me the design concept of millet MIX next generation, and then we both will continue to explore how to make these exciting innovations as a reality The product. Come on, millet!”

We have only heard that Xiaomi is aiming for a 93% screen to body ratio for the Mi MIX 2, although it’s not set in stone at the moment. Given the amount of time that Xiaomi takes to develop its phones (the Mi 5, for example), we’re not holding our breath for the announcement of this new handset.

Xiaomi is currently lagging behind some top manufacturers in the industry, so it makes sense for the company to release more handsets like the Mi Mix so as to get themselves ahead of the rivals. But given how stiff the competition is in the mobile industry, it won’t be an easy ask for the Chinese manufacturer.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Nexus 5X Users Experiencing Boot Loop Issues Being Offered Full Refund by LG

Nexus 5X Users Experiencing Boot Loop Issues Being Offered Full Refund by LGNexus 5X Users Experiencing Boot Loop Issues Being Offered Full Refund by LG
HIGHLIGHTS
Nexus 5X users began complaining of the issue in September
Google is no longer selling the Nexus 5X smartphone
LG says it does not have the relevant part in stock to affect repairs
LG USA is reportedly offering full refunds to users experiencing boot loops on their Nexus 5X smartphones. While normally the process would be to repair, replace, or issue a refurbished unit, the company in this is offering a full refund as it doesn’t have the parts (and presumably new units) to affect a repair. Notably, with the launch of the Pixel smartphones, Google is no longer selling the Nexus 5X.

Reports of the refund policy come from Reddit users, and are seen on the dedicated Nexus 5X subreddit. Users that have given their devices to LG for repairs are now receiving an email that informs them a part required to fix the issue is longer available. They are then asked to produce a sales receipt so that the company can determine the exact amount that needs to be refunded.

“We’re sorry to hear that you’ve experienced a problem with your LGH790 and appreciate you giving us the opportunity to provide a warranty repair. We have received your device at our repair facility but currently a part to complete the repair is out of stock and is no longer available.
To rectify this issue, we would like to offer you a refund for the full amount of your device. That amount will be determined by your sales receipt. Your refund can take approximately 4 weeks to receive due to the holiday.”
The Nexus 5X boot loop issue was first seen in September when the Android 7.0 Nougat update was released. At that point, Google said a very small number of users were affected by the issue, and that it was a hardware issue, and not related to software. The search giant had also said that users should contact their place of purchase for warranty or repair options. Presumably since then, the company has run out of a required part and thus offering refunds instead.

While the refund option recently began being provided in the US, it’s reasonable to expect the company to offer a similar option to affected Nexus 5X users in other parts of the world. To recall, the LG-made Nexus smartphone was launched back in October last year, and like most phones, has a 1-year manufacturer warranty. If you are experiencing the issue, we suggest you contact LG sooner than later to avoid possible issues with warranty.

LG Google Nexus 5X LG Google Nexus 5XRs. 26,990
REVIEW
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Design
Display
Software
Performance
Battery life
Camera
Value for money
Good
Pure Android 6.0
Fingerprint sensor
Good camera
Good overall performance
Bad
Limited storage
Expensive
USB Type-C adapters required
Ditches wireless charging
Read detailed LG Google Nexus 5X review
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Tags: Android 7.0 Nougat, Boot Loop, Google, LG

[“Source-Gadgets”]