Headline June 06, 2015/ ''' ' AND THEN SAY ' : DIGITAL ROBBER BARON UBER '''

''' ' AND THEN SAY ' : 



Ross Ulbrichit,  -the founder of the  "Silk Road" ,  the online drug bazaar, was finally sentenced in United States court in Manhattan.

Mr. Ulbricht was convicted in February on seven counts related to his operation of the Silk Road,  which grew into a huge global enterprise before Mr. Ulbrichit's arrest in October 2013.

The site was often compared to an eBay for drugs and relied on the Bitcoin virtual currency for payments. The charges in Mr.Ulbricht's case carry a minimum sentence of 20 years.

Federal prosecutors have argued that Mr. Ulbricht should be sentenced to life in prison, in part because of the  drug overdose deaths of the six Silk Road customers that the government plans to discuss at the sentencing.

Mr. Ulbricht's lawyers have argued that the drug overdoze deaths cited by the government cannot be directly attributed to the Silk Road. Meanwhile, on a reporting expedition to Los Angeles, writes a distinguished author,  I realized I could stop renting cars.

I would never have to again brave L.A. freeway behind the wheel. I would never have to obsess, like the character in the ''Saturday Night Live", skit, "The Californians" about taking the 101 to the 110 and-

Canyon View Drive over to San Vincente to the 10, then switching over to the 405 North and getting dumped out onto Mulholand: " I had Uber."    

Even in the land of movie stars, you could feel like a movie star when your Uber chauffeur rolled up. Standing in front of the Sunset Tower Hotel, I tapped my Uber app and saw five little cars swarming around my location. But, suddenly-

They scattered in the opposite direction. I stood in the driveway, perplexed. Finally, a car pulled up and the driver worked waved me in.
''Do you know why no-one wanted to pick you up?''  he asked. ''Because you have a low rating.''

I was shocked. Blinded by the wondrous handiness of Uber, I had missed the fact that while I got to rate them, they got to rate me back.

Revealing that I had only 4.2 stars, my driver continued to school me. ''You don't always come out right away,'' he said, sternly, adding that I would have to work hard to be more appealing if I wanted to get drivers to pick me up.

Uber began to feel less like a dependable employee and more like an irritated boyfriend.

I know Uber had the image of an obnoxious digital robber baron, a company that plays dirty tricks and proves that convenience  ''makes hypocrites of us all.'' as John Naughton put it in The Guardian-

Noting that its very name has connotations of Nietzchean superiority.
{Travis Kalanick, the  C.E.O coined the word  "Boob-er"  to  describe his greater appeal to women because of his success.]

But it is a boon for women out on their own    -unless you get a driver who harasses you and knows where you live.

[After a driver allegedly raped a New Delhi passenger in December last, Uber introduced an  in-app emergency button in India.]

What I had loved about Uber was that, unlike in every other aspect of my high-tech world, I didn't feel judged.

Except then I leaned that sitting in an Uber car was pretty much like sitting in my office:

"How much have you developed your audience: How much have you been shared? How much you engaged your reader?

Are you trending?

I was trending on Uber, all right and not in a good way. I had avoided Lyft, not only because of that pink mustache but because I heard that you were encouraged to sit up front with the drivers- And give them fist-bumps.

It seemed more like Flintstones car than Cinderella's pumpkin coach.  

The Honour and Serving of the  "technology operational research''  continues.

With respectful dedications to the Students of technology. See Ya all on !WOW! the  -World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The Trampoline "'

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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