Good morning! The Guardian dug through thousands of internal documents detailing Uber’s checkered past. Here’s a look at what’s inside.
Uber under Kalanick
The Guardian published a long exposure yesterday detailing Uber’s risky business practices. And the Uber Files paint a picture of an approach to growth that stops at nothing.
There is a lot to analyze in the 124,000 internal documents which cover a period of five years when Uber was run by Travis Kalanick. But many of them highlight the company’s ability to influence those in power and break the rules.
- The documents show how Uber easily gained access to government leaders. Some files show text messages between Kalanick and Emmanuel Macron, which allow the company to have direct access to him and his staff.
- Uber also paid a lot of money to academics to produce research that backed up its claims about its business model and gave major political figures from countries like Russia and Italy a financial stake in Uber in return for their support.
It was all about growth for Kalankick, and that mindset was clearly at the heart of all of Uber’s attempts to reach out to lawmakers and test its limits.
- In one instance, Kalanick dismissed concerns from other leaders that sending drivers to a protest in France would put them at risk. “Violence guarantees success,” he said, although a spokesperson said his suggestion was wrong.
- The company was also well aware that it could not legally operate in certain countries, but did so anyway. “Sometimes we get in trouble because, well, we’re just illegal,” Nairi Hourdajian, Uber’s global communications manager, told a colleague in 2014 as Uber faced shutdowns in Thailand and in India.
Dara Khosrowshahi tried to move on of the culture that was fostered under Kalanick, and in many ways he did a pretty decent job. But this report still provides a disturbing insight into Uber’s historic treatment of drivers, an issue that persists as a problem for the company, and may draw criticism from policymakers who worked with it when Kalanick was in charge. . In Europe, the report has already raised eyebrows.
This won’t be the only report on Uber’s dark past: dozens of news organizations are expected to publish more stories in the coming days.
Congress has 99 problems and the tokens are not one
In a perfect world, Congress would pass a bill giving chip companies $52 billion in subsidies. But it’s not a perfect world, and now Intel and others have to find a way to get their money’s worth.
it’s going to be harder than expected to pass the US Innovation and Competition Act, reports my colleague Hirsh Chitkara. The reason is what you might expect – tensions in the aisle, shifting priorities – but the fact is that chip companies need this bill, and they are fighting to get it.
- IBM is sending employees to Capitol Hill in the coming weeks to lobby “all-out” on the bill, the company’s vice president of government and regulatory affairs told Hirsh.
- The companies are also asking lawmakers to water down the bill and pass the subsidies on their own. That would avoid a fight between Dems and Republicans.
If the bill still does not pass? The companies have threatened to leave the United States and manufacture chips elsewhere. It looks like an empty threat. Unless …
- Germany, France and Japan seem attractive to chip companies as they already have subsidy programs in the works.
- Hirsh told me that some dodgy chipmakers would drop or scale back US projects. TSMC has already paved the way for a new factory in the US assuming the legislation would be a sure thing, and Intel hopes to open a new factory later this year. Still, some chipmakers say the threat is real anyway.
It’s going to be hard for the US to become a major chip-making powerhouse if Congress can’t help. But lawmakers have a lot of things to do before the midterm elections this fall, and flea subsidies sadly fall to the bottom of the list.
The gamification of injuries in the warehouse
Startups are turning injuries in warehouses into games using wearable technology. Big logistics companies love it, but some experts believe equipping workers with these devices avoids bigger problems.
Workplace wearable startups are attracting attention, with big companies like Amazon and Walmart considering startups like Modjoul and StrongArm.
- The technology developed by these startups tracks the movements of workers, buzzing when they are about to do something physically dangerous. Many also give workers a safety score, which then becomes a competition between staff.
- Amazon has invested in Modjoul’s technology and Walmart has implemented StrongArm’s technology in 18 warehouses for more than 6,000 workers. StrongArm claims it has reduced injuries in Walmart warehouses by 64%.
But what problem do these devices actually solve? Critics say these handheld devices could mask the fact that humans simply aren’t designed to keep up with the rapid pace and demand of warehouse work, and the only real way to prevent many injuries would be to rethink how the work itself is done. The people who make the devices see them as just another way to offer protection: “The way we see it and the way we think about it, it’s no different than gloves that protect your hand from lacerations.” , said Modjoul COO and founder Jen Thorson. said Protocol reporter Anna Kramer.
Read the full story here.
A MESSAGE FROM GOOGLE PLAY
Google Play connects app and game companies of all sizes with more than 2.5 billion Android users worldwide. And to fuel developer growth, 99% of app and game businesses are eligible for service fees of 15% or less on Google Play.
People are talking
FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried said that crypto “could go either way” from here:
- “The denouement that was supposed to happen has happened… Nothing directly prevents tomorrow from being the day the recovery begins in earnest.”
Ted Sarandos said The slowdown of Netflix is caused by the impact of inflation on households, the decline in sales of smart TVs and the withdrawal of Russia:
- “Every customer asks themselves the question of the value of a subscription in relation to its cost.”
Dan Ives expects Twitter shares to crash after Musk’s exit:
- “This soap opera has had many twists and turns and now, finally, Twitter (and its board) is going back to the drawing board.”
Amazon Prime Days are tomorrow and wednesday.
The phone of nothing (1) spell tomorrow.
The Games for change Festival is Wednesday and Thursday in New York. Events will be available live on Friday and Saturday.
The Senate hosts a classified briefing Wednesday on the CHIPS bill focused “on the global race for innovation and technology.”
In other news
Twitter engaged Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to help him in his lawsuit against Elon Musk. The complaint could be filed at the beginning of the week.
Microsoft cancels a major cybersecurity decision relating to the office. The company ambiguously stated that the change was “based on feedback”.
Google has proposed to split its advertising business to avoid another antitrust lawsuit. In particular, the company did not sell advertising assets.
The “LatAm thesis” is put to the test. Venture capitalists poured billions into startups in Latin America last year, and now that we’re in a recession, some investors are ready to ride out the storm there.
Congress investigation period tracking apps and data brokers. It focuses, among other things, on the company’s policies on geofencing and how they anonymize data.
New York now requires social media screening for people who want to buy a concealed handgun, although sheriffs aren’t getting any extra money or staff for the new process.
AI Argo fired 150 employees, which is about 6% of the driverless car business.
David McNeil is the new CRO of Envoy. McNeil was previously chief commercial officer at Tebra.com and worked at HubSpot and Salesforce before that.
How to actually clean your hard drives
Placing files in your laptop’s Trash folder does not guarantee that they are actually gone. If you get rid of your laptop or hard drive and want to make sure your data has been erased, The Washington Post has a guide on how to for both Windows and Mac systems. And if your computer won’t even turn on anymore, you can always remove the hard drive and give it a “generous dose of hammer.”
A MESSAGE FROM GOOGLE PLAY
99% of app and game companies qualify for service fees of 15% or less when distributing through Google Play. In fact, 97% of apps and games pay no service fees. With over 2.5 billion Android users worldwide, we help small developers grow.