Tag Archives: market

Uber Bans Guns, New York Driver Robbed at Gunpoint

Within weeks of announcing that the company would not allow drivers to carry guns, an Uber driver in New York has been robbed at gunpoint.

The Anti Media recently reported that Uber announced that they will be firing any drivers who are caught violating the new policy—which apparently went into effect nearly two weeks ago—because they contend that an unarmed driver makes their customers feel more safe.

Now the New York Daily News reports that a 22-year old Uber driver was robbed with a gun by a potential passenger. The driver stopped “on 67th Ave. and Burns St. in Rego Park just after midnight” to meet his client. When the man got in the car he pointed a rifle at the driver, demanding all his money. The driver gave the man $60 and ran.  Uber says they are investigating.

The story is vastly different from a recent scene in Chicago where an Uber driver defended a crowd of people from a shooter. In April TruthInMedia reported:

“An Uber driver in Chicago with a concealed carry license defended himself and a group of pedestrians against a man who opened fire on a crowded street Friday night, a state attorney said in court on Sunday.

Assistant State Attorney Barry Quinn said that 22-year-old Everardo Custodio began shooting at a group of pedestrians shortly before midnight Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The driver, who has a state-issued firearm owner’s identification card, pulled out a shotgun and fired six times, hitting Custodio in the shin, knee and lower back, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.”

The bad publicity for Uber comes as the company has faced a wave of backlash in recent weeks for the possible monitoring of its drivers.

When Uber announced an upcoming policy change taking place on July 15, the company noted that in addition to collecting information on drivers when they use the service, they “may also collect the precise location of your device when the app is running in the foreground or background.” The announcement sparked fears that the company would monitor sensitive data about drivers even when they were not operating the phone app.

In response to the announcement, the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the policy change.

“Uber will claim the right to collect personal information and detailed location data of American consumers, even when they are not using the service,” EPIC said in its complaint.

A spokeswoman for Uber said there was “no basis for this complaint” and that the company hasn’t made a final decision about whether to track user phones when the apps are inactive.

The company is not only working to track drivers in the U.S., indeed Uber has already been tracking the activities of drivers in China.

Earlier this month, the Chinese city of Hangzhou was the center of protests by local taxi drivers against Uber. The taxi drivers say Uber is unfair competition. According to The Wall Street Journal, Uber sent to messages to its drivers in Hangzhou warning them not to go to the protest and for any drivers in the area to leave immediately. Uber said it would use GPS to find out which drivers refused to leave and cancel contracts accordingly. Uber claimed this was done to “maintain social order.”

This is not the first time the company has come under fire for discussing tracking individuals. In November 2014, Uber’s Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael discussed spending “a million dollars” to hire researchers to investigate journalists who write unfavorably about the company. BuzzFeed reported:

“That team could, he said, help Uber fight back against the press — they’d look into “your personal lives, your families,” and give the media a taste of its own medicine.

Michael was particularly focused on one journalist, Sarah Lacy, the editor of the Silicon Valley website PandoDaily, a sometimes combative voice inside the industry. Lacy recently accused Uber of “sexism and misogyny.”

What does all this mean for Uber? What does it mean for ride sharing? Leave your thoughts below.

‘Fast Track Authority’ Passes Senate, Awaits Obama’s Signature

On Wednesday afternoon the U.S. Senate voted to approve “fast track” authority. The approval is a major victory for President Obama, Big Business, and corporations across the globe.

After voting to end debate on Tuesday, the Senate voted 60 to 38 to approve the controversial measure. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law immediately. The House has already passed the measure with support from Democrats and Republicans.

The approval for FTA by the Senate is related to the push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is one of the largest trade agreements in history, involving the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The nations have been negotiating the deal since 2005, with global resistance growing since 2012.

Supporters of the bill say it would mean more jobs and a stronger America. Critics say the bill will give corporations loopholes to escape accountability and empower international bodies, overriding national sovereignty of the signing nations.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, co-author of the bill, said it was a historic day and called the vote, “perhaps the most important bill we’ll pass in the Senate this year.”

On Tuesday, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz both voted against ending the debate on the bill.

The trade agreement has been notoriously secret, with the public only viewing chapters of the text which have been leaked by WikiLeaks. U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), a supporter of the TPP, called for more transparency. In a letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Lance said that his constituents support the agreement but do not want secrecy.

“They, however, want trade agreements that are transparent and good for American workers and American taxpayers,” Lance wrote. “Yet the TPP negotiating text is currently classified, and only members of Congress and staffers with security clearance can access it. I believe declassifying and releasing the negotiating text online will bring much-needed transparency, accountability and public awareness to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement and its policy implications.”


BREAKING: Bitcoin Sets New Record


By Michael Lotfi,

Bitcoin is currently riding a massive surge. Moments ago the online currency peaked at a high of 1,044, which set a new all time record value. You can monitor the market here.

Many investors are cashing in their coins to the tune of massive profits. Meanwhile, others are feeling priced out of the market. Some fear that the Bitcoin bubble is due to burst. However, this is an assumed risk with such a high risk currency.

I personally wonder if Bitcoin’s new mainstream appeal could lead to its demise. The first Bitcoin ATM recently opened in Canada, and many more are planned for the neighboring country. However, if Bitcoin ATMs find there way to America the Supreme Court has redefined the Constitution in such a manner that the transactions could be subject to interstate commerce regulations. Such regulations essentially nullify the appeal of the decentralized currency.

Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & On Twitter: @MichaelLotfi

$27 Worth Of Bitcoins In 2009 Cashed In For $886K

Ben Swann recently published a report of how bitcoin is a new frontier of capitalism. You can watch that report in the video below. Those who were wise enough, or perhaps just lucky enough, to have invested in the concept early on are seeing massive payouts.

Bitcoin recently tanked after a major trading market called “The Silk Road” was shut down. However, bitcoin is on the rise again. Today one coin trades for more than $200 USD. As Ben Swann reports, bitcoin is extremely volatile. However, its appeal is the currency’s lack of government intervention.

Almost by accident, Kristoffer Koch spent 150 kroner (less than $27 USD) to purchase 5,000 bitcoins while writing his thesis on encryption in 2009. After forgetting about his purchase, media began to cover the recent bitcoin boom, which occurred just before the Silk Road was shut down. He then recalled his investment. Now, the 5, 000 bitcoins are worth $886,000 USD. Koch traded in 1/5 of his 5k bitcoins to purchase a high-end apartment in a wealthy region of the Norwegian capital.

Koch’s success story is sure to give the bitcoin market another bump as news of the huge payout goes viral.