You might call it a Hollywood makeover of the tech industry; Netflix, a company that used to send you DVDs by mail and was almost sold to Blockbuster for a paltry $50 million, is now a juggernaut staring down big TV networks as it makes their programming and business models seem almost archaic for today s world.But to Asian internet users, Netflix seemed like another among many of the wonderful first-world luxuries that kept making waves on the news but never seemed within reach.Even today, being a native South Asian, it s difficult getting used to the idea that one can get a Netflix subscription where high-speed internet access is still not available to everyone.You can now summon an Uber cab in New Delhi or ask Google Now to help you navigate the wild valleys of Swat in Pakistan.Players such as HotStar, a streaming service run by STAR India, and Eros, a company that both produces and distributes a large selection of Bollywood movies and Indian TV shows online, had seized the opportune power vacuum early while Netflix had been fixated on U.S. and European markets.HotStar understood the mania that drew a large viewership for live cricket in India, while Eros Entertainment brought its offerings to the masses with free basic plans.
Hailo had attracted more than $100m in funding but suffered heavy lossesBlack cabs bearing the yellow livery of Hailo are set to be re-painted after Daimler took a majority stake in the British cab-hailing app.Hailo, which allows customers to order a taxi directly from their smartphone, announced on Tuesday that it had merged with mytaxi, an equivalent service run by the German car giant, which will see Daimler take a 60pc stake in the combined group.As part of the deal, Hailo – a British technology start-up that has attracted more than $100m £75m in funding from investors including Sir Richard Branson – will re-brand as mytaxi next year and move its headquarters to Hamburg.Hailo competes with apps such as Uber Credit: HailoThe merger comes months after Hailo warned it was running out of funds following heavy losses and a doomed venture into North America.
Using digital technology to ease our daily frustrations by questioning traditional methods and delivering empowering alternatives or more efficient business models is something that should be celebrated rather than feared.The way that we order a cab, book a room, watch a movie or listen to a song has changed completely over the past few years.We can now access almost anything our hearts desire by pushing a button on a smartphone.It would appear that the nautical world is also set to be brought into the 21st century while the old way of doing things could soon be less relevant or even obsolete.The GetMyBoat app offers over 57,000 boating experiences in 154 countries, from captained cruises, tours or excursions, to bareboat charters and individual rentals, all accessible from your smartphone.Whether you re interested in kayaks or canoes, sailboats or a day on a yacht, or even a submarine, the open water is yours without the problems and expense of ownership.
Mytaxi, a German-based taxi app owned by Daimler AG, will merge with one of the U.K. s most popular taxi-hailing services, Hailo, to better compete with Uber s dominance.The enlarged company will operate under the Mytaxi brand and be headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the companies announced Tuesday.Mytaxi will become Europe s largest cab-hailing service, with 100,000 registered drivers in more than 50 cities across nine countries.Andrew Pinnington, Hailo s Chief Executive Officer, will assume leadership of the new company.Niclaus Mewes, the founder of Mytaxi, will sit on the board.The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.Daimler purchased Mytaxi in September 2014 for an undisclosed amount, and also bought U.S. ride booking service RideScout LLC at the same time.Car manufacturers have been investing heavily in ride-sharing apps to keep pace with changing consumer habits that have seen ride-sharing companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. proliferate.
Right this very second, there is at least one Otto truck barreling down the highway with a driver sitting behind its wheel but touching absolutely nothing.The truck is driving itself."We try to have our four trucks out 24/7," Lior Ron, Otto's cofounder grins."We're moving as fast as we can."The six-month-old startup is sprinting towards what Ron describes as the not-so-distant future of self-driving semis, where existing trucks can install one of Otto's $30,000 kits to produce autonomous driving capabilities.On the trip that's taking place now, two people ride in the truck: one behind the wheel and another studying what the truck's LIDAR and software systems are "seeing."But ultimately, Otto envisions that trucks will only require one person, and that the "driver" will be able to take lunch breaks and naps in the cab while the truck fully steers itself down the highway, requiring him or her to take control only on regular roads.Ron and his three cofounders, all former Googlers, believe self-driving trucks could be widespread in less than five years — much sooner than the fully autonomous consumer vehicles that their old employer is working on and with the potential for a similarly huge impact.Lior flings out stats, rapid-fire style.Roughly 1% of all vehicles in the US are large trucks but they're creating 28% of the road-based pollution.
As on-demand cab services continue to expand rapidly across India, the government has hit upon a clever way to harness their quick growth for societal good.The Economic Times reports that senior officials of the country s road transport and highways ministry have instructed Uber to launch training institutes for drivers in small cities and towns to address the growing need for drivers across India.They told ET that they plan to meet with Ola next to encourage the company to follow suit.The goal is to have these firms train 100,000 drivers a year, with a majority of them being women.That certainly makes sense for the government: pushing cab companies to train drivers will enable it to further its Skill India initiative – which aims to provide vocational education to 400 million people by 2022 – without investing any funds of its own.It s certain to benefit the likes of Ola and Uber as well: the taxi-hailing market is estimated to grow to $15 billion in the next six years, up from just $1.2 billion at present.
WeChat has a staggering 762 million monthly active usersWelcome to the 'everything app'.While some predict the death of apps, and other instant messaging IM services like WhatsApp, Apple's iMessage and Snapchat are busy bringing in encrypted communications, the Tencent-owned WeChat – called Weixin in China – and Japan's Line are slowly making themselves integral to daily digital life in Asia.These two big players are adding shopping, smart agents, cab-hailing and much more – and it's clear that in the messaging wars, Asia is streets ahead.In this slideshow, we'll explore some interesting facts and figures concerning the explosion in WeChat and Line, and what all this might mean for the future.
'Not a technology company and drivers aren't self employed'GMB has brought two test cases to the Central London Employment Tribunal today to determine if Uber acted unlawfully by not providing its drivers with basic workers rights , such as holiday pay and a national minimum wage.This is the first time that Uber's claim that drivers are self-employed has been tested under UK law.The employment tribunal will also determine another 17 claims brought against the next generation cab firm.Last year, GMB found that an union member who was an Uber driver received £5.03 an hour for the 234 hours he worked in August.After costs and fees were deducted, his net hourly pay was £1.47 below the national minimum wage.
Cab hire service Uber has been taken to a London employment tribunal by two of its drivers who claim it is acting unlawfully by not offering holiday and sick pay.The test case centres around whether the drivers can be considered workers or, as Uber argues, as self-employed.Workers are given similar rights to employees in that they are entitled to holiday pay, are protected from unlawful deductions from their pay and may be entitled to sickness pay.The two test cases, which will determine a further 17 claims against the firm, are being brought by law firm Leigh Day on behalf of the GMB union.It argues Uber does not currently ensure its drivers are paid the minimum wage or that they receive paid holiday.The union also says Uber does not provide its drivers with the rights normally afforded to employees, claiming instead that they are "partners".
That s not exactly a parallel comparison to Uber since Didi counts taxi rides, carpooling, buses, and corporate rides, among other services, as part of its tally .Drivers can t arrive at a restaurant too early and waste precious time hanging around while the food is still being prepared; they also can t arrive too late, and risk the food being served cold.Update at 2PM ET 03/15/16: This story has been updated to clarify that UberEATS officially launched in several US cities today, after first coming to LA earlier in March.That s because ridesharing, as with anytime you get into a car with a stranger, comes with a certain amount of inherent risk.At least 2,000 drivers took part in the protests, and police have arrested 20 so far.But Yellow Cab Cooperative doesn t call out the ride-hailing giant as the reason for its woes.
A cab driver in Veracruz, Mexico, has jumped on the Pokemon GO craze sweeping the world by driving smartphone-armed customers around in search of the augmented reality game s target creatures.A Mexican taxi driver has jumped on the Pokemon GO craze sweeping the world by driving smartphone-armed customers around in search of the augmented reality game s target creatures.The mobile phone game has become an instant hit with more users in the United States than Twitter a week after launch.Players are spending longer on the application than they do with some of the most popular social platforms such as Instagram or WhatsApp.The Nintendo Co game is not yet available in Mexico, but some users have worked out how to access the game.To play the augmented reality mobile phone game players must physically walk or drive around in the real world to capture Pokemon creatures.
Shane McGregor, of Colorado, traveling to Emeryville for business, gets into an Uber at Oakland International Airport in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.All were waiting for the intercom to ring out, signaling a few drivers at a time to head to the airport and, hopefully, catch a fare.A traveler has his luggage loaded into a taxi cab at the Mineta San Jose International Airport on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group ARIC CRABB In the past year, the number of trips by ride-booking services at the Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco airports has skyrocketed.In Oakland, the number of ride-booking trips surpassed taxis by the second month of operation.Meanwhile, at all three airports, the number of taxi trips are down an average of 23 percent, while the number of flights and airline passengers have increased.
Officials in Washington D.C. are investigating methods to offload strain on its emergency medical vehicles — and one such option involves hailing an Uber.The D.C. Fire and EMS department is handling an unsustainable number of 911 calls — D.C. dispatched more than 160,000 responses to 911 calls for EMS in 2015, NBC Washington reports, and is looking into outsourcing some of its lower priority calls to Uber, rather than an ambulance.An increased demand has caused D.C. FEMS Chief Gregory Dean to begin working with the health department to find other ways to transport people, such as using a contract taxi cab or Uber.We are trying to find creative ways to try to reduce the strain on the system, he told NBC last week.The Uber-powered system wouldn t actually require those with an emergency to download the app, sign up and request a ride.D.C. s 911 call center would simply add nurses to its staff to evaluate medical needs and using vehicles other than ambulances to transport people who need to go to a doctor s office — but not to an emergency room, NBC reported.
Uber has made hailing a cab as easy as pushing a button, saving countless passengers from wandering the streets in search of a ride.There are still some gaps in the Uber experience though—and Up Hail is happy to plug one of them.It s a price comparison service for ride-hailing services, but you can actually use the site as a way to see how far you can get on a specific budget in an Uber or a Lyft .Open up the left-hand menu, click on Discover which is actually still in beta , and the next screen lets you set a starting point, a service, and a budget.The red circle that appears is how far you can get, roughly.The feature doesn t take into account surcharges, so you re going to need to factor those in yourself, but it does give you a handy estimate as to how far you can get with the money you ve got left in your bank account and it does include current traffic conditions .
Amazon s Prime Day wants you to save a few quid on vegan jerky or a Blu-ray copy of The Human Centipede — questionable ways to celebrate even a made up holiday.But nothing Amazon has marked down comes anywhere close to the brilliance of Thanko s new armpit air conditioners.We ve all been there during the hot and muggy summer months, afraid to raise an arm to hail a cab or reach for a subway handle for fear of revealing our sweat-soaked armpits.We all sweat, but for some reason, it s still a natural body function we re embarrassed about.Until now the solution was to simply never leave your home why do you think blogging was invented?but Thanko s Armpit coolers will let you step outside with confidence.
Turf wars are nothing new in New York City, but even the most vicious of Five Family fights might pale in comparison to the ongoing battle between Uber and NYC taxi drivers.But in this city, tradition is strong, and it s working in favor of the famous yellow cab.According to a report from Morgan Stanley, the iconic method of transportation in the Big Apple still reigns supreme.In April of 2016, taxis registered 11.1 million trips in the city, which works out to about 400,000 trips a day.And while that represents a 9 percent year-over-year decline, it s still more than double the number of trips Uber — its closest competitor — managed to log.That said, it s unclear how long the taxi coalition will be able to maintain its lead.
Amazon s Prime Day wants you to save a few bucks on vegan jerky or a Blu-ray copy of The Human Centipede—questionable ways to celebrate even a made up holiday.But nothing Amazon has marked down comes anywhere close to the brilliance of Thanko s new armpit air conditioners.We ve all been there during the hot and muggy summer months, afraid to raise an arm to hail a cab or reach for a subway handle for fear of revealing our sweat-soaked armpits.We all sweat, but for some reason, it s still a natural body function we re embarrassed about.Until now the solution was to simply never leave your home why do you think blogging was invented?but Thanko s Armpit coolers will let you step outside with confidence.
Twitter McGorry ain t got no time for sexist radio segments.Matt McGorry is not here to let sexist bullshit slide.Late Friday night, the How To Get Away With Murder actor was in a cab when the driver turned on a Los Angeles radio show called The Woody Show on 98.7 FM.To his horror, McGorry found himself listening in on The Woody Show s insanely sexist segment called Fat Chick/Skinny Chick, in which the host tries to guess if the woman is fat or skinny depending on her answers to certain questions.Later that night, McGorry tweeted his thoughts on the sexist segment.Heard the horrendously sexist @TheWoodyShow in a cab.
If it is big and moves earth and rocks, there s a good chance it has Caterpillar stamped on its side.This is especially true when it comes to mining equipment, where dump trucks known in this context as haul trucks , can sport 12-foot-tall tires.These are some of the largest vehicles on earth, and operators require built-in stairs and ladders to reach the cab.These trucks can roll right over a normal sized passenger vehicle and flatten it, and operators would feel like they hit a small bump.In the past, these trucks have rolled down embankments that were not perceived from the height of the cab, killing the occupants.These rolling behemoths also pose a constant risk to the lives of others on the site, even from the slightest mistake.
Luckily, Uber is a friendly little app, and doesn t want me to have to spend over 20 dollars to get a meager hop and a skip across a few highways.Other people are bound to be in similar states as me: tired and lazy, wishing ever so willfully for a jetpack.They ll be too tired for small talk, too awkward for eye contact, and let s be honest, probably too drunk for any and all of the socially accepted and unaccepted forms of interaction.I grin to myself and hit request pool, confident that this will be a painless experience.A gangly teenager opens the door nervously, sits down, and stares straight ahead for the rest of the ride.It saves you money, takes only a few minutes longer, and gives you a funny anecdote the next day when you tell your friends about the weird teenager with cargo shorts that refused to even look in your direction.