Uber France CEO Taken Into Custody

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

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    With all the protesting going on over there, something tells me this guy wasn't taken into custody for his own safety.

     
  2. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Compete with French unions, you go to jail.

    French unions put public lives in danger by vandalizing and attacking vehicles by turning them over and throwing cinder blocks at them from overpasses... no arrests.

    Of course we act like that would never happen here, but we're not that far away from such socialist priorities in certain parts of the US already.
     
  3. Ididar

    Ididar Gawd

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    The situation should never have gotten this far. That said, the taxi drivers should absolutely be charged and arrested. But, at the same time, the laws in place on the books for taxi services should be obeyed by Uber.

    I've said it many times before, but if not for the "tech" side of this debate Uber would be lambasted unilaterally for ignoring the law. But, because they're a "tech" company people feel the need to defend a group that is flouting the law in many countries. Look, I'm all for disrupting existing industries but if the only way you can do that is by breaking the law then maybe you should look at your business model again.

    I could call myself a doctor, electrician, or a lot of other things but people would be pretty pissed off if I didn't have the right qualifications to do the job.
     
  4. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardness Supreme

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    Actually I think business has sufficient power here that we should see the much needed opposite extreme someday (Union should be illegal) ... some of our attempted solutions to the issue of poverty use socialistic practices but in general we are anything but socialistic in this country ... definitely no where near France
     
  5. Dillirium

    Dillirium Limp Gawd

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    While we may not be as bad as the French we're undoubtedly moving towards Socialism. Anyone can see this just by looking at all of the handouts these days.

    If we truly went back to capitalism then these services would be removed. I by no means am saying that welfare needs to go away but I'm 100% stricter guidelines on who gets it. Veterans and disabled people imo should be the only ones that qualify. Even then, I would expect drug testing.


    Back to the original topic though. I agree that UBER should follow local laws. As someone else stated, the folks also committing crimes against uber should be arrested. Two wrongs do not make a write. That crap only works in programming.
     
  6. cdr_74_premium

    cdr_74_premium [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sound likes every other day in Brazil.
     
  7. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    Qualifications? It's my understanding that the drivers are licensed to drive in the areas that they do. What more qualifications do you need to drive a car? Some special taxi training?
    You take a skill that almost every adult has the opportunity to do, and that many practice on a daily basis. What more do you need? some political quackery designed to add barriers to entry?
     
  8. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    The problem is that lots of governments that are objecting to Uber are the same governments that created regulatory stuff to properly control and manage taxi services. Because they created systems where legally authorized taxi services are at a competitive disadvantage to Uber, they're stuck with a couple of seemingly bad choices which are:

    -Deregulating all other taxi services to ensure a level playing field.

    -Requiring Uber to comply with existing regulation.

    Since one action shakes up an entire industry and potentially messes up how taxi services currently work and the other action just screws over one startup company, the socially responsible action is obviously to just keep beating up on Uber until the company falls apart and the momentum of societal change is ground to a halt, discouraging any other potential competitors from using an Uber-like service model.
     
  9. TwistedAegis

    TwistedAegis [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Totally...most inequal wealth distribution since the '30s definitely seems like creeping socialism to me.

    C'mon, 93% of Americans LOST wealth over the past decade, while only the top 7% increased their wealth with the majority of it going to the top 0.1%. How the fuck can you blame poor people for that?

    "Those damn poor people, getting poorer...if only they got less we'd all be better off." Does not compute.
     
  10. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't know dude, your government handed over $800 billion to the already filthy rich banks and here some of you are talking how socialism/welfare is bad just because some poor people are allowed to live on scraps. It doesn't make any sense to me.
     
  11. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    There's like a reason for that. The last decade thingy is because most Americans have the majority of their worth tied up in a house. When the economy went yuck-tastic, house value went waaaay down along with investments like stocks and bondages (whee!). Since wealthy people in America have the biggest chunk of their moolah tied up in investments and a much smaller portion in real estate, they came out way ahead because they kept investing AND their investment value bounced back a lot faster than real estate value did which made them look like they opened the wealth disparity up in the 2000-2010s. And it's true that they did, but poor people could have done the same thing to get ahead by not going into debt to own a home or purchase a new car. However, if you mention that to them, they go all angry-tastic about it since home ownership is like the American Dream (delusion if you ask me) and having a nice shiny car is so vitally important to their valuation of self. Americans are very now-centric and not many of them are forward thinking for like lifetime moolah stability and they vastly overestimate the worth a home provides them relative to economic inflation and ownership expenses.
     
  12. redrage

    redrage Limp Gawd

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    +1 truth.. well at least mostly and partially.
     
  13. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Say what you will about France being all pro-union, etc etc. But when PG&E had an explosion in San Bruno, CA and burned down half a neighborhood killing people and later were found that pipelines were inadequate, I didn't see anyone getting arrested, when the financial institutions of the west came crashing down due to their subversive practices I didn't see anyone in handcuffs, in fact the government offered them a blank check.

    Regardless of what you feel about the taxi services or Uber, I like the fact that the government is arresting the head of the company who is blatantly telling the government to "Fuck off, we'll do what we want".
     
  14. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardness Supreme

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    We can criticize the financial crisis from many angles but most if not all of their activities were legal ... we don't allow Ex Post Facto laws in the USA so if what they did was permitted by law you can't prosecute them ... if we have not amended our laws since then (which we probably haven't) then I would suggest that the regulators and Congress should be the ones in handcuffs ;)
     
  15. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If you're walking down the street and a random hooker comes up and is pissed that you rejected her and bites you and gives you AIDS and then screams and her pimp stabs you in the arm, you're allowed to be pissed at both having AIDS now and being stabbed. I don't understand this logic where people get spitooned and have to somehow accept taking it in the butt since someone else is giving it to them in the mouth... that makes no sense. The Obama banker bailout and buying votes via the welfare state are both problems, and one does not compensate for or justify the other.
     
  16. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Funny how most the states/cities with the biggest differences in wealth, also happen to be the most liberal and have the largest number of poor.

    As long as the poor keep falling for the false promises of the socialists, and keep voting them back into office, I'll keep blaming them.
     
  17. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Yeah I know, as I was typing that I was thinking how most of that shit was legal. But the point still stands, how many companies have done criminal acts (actually illegal before it happened) and the heads of said companies had nothing done to them? Worst case is company got a fine.
     
  18. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardness Supreme

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    Again, it depends on how the law is written ... the government likes money so many of their laws involve fines rather than jail time (jail time costs them money while the fines make them money) ... I agree that the penalties for some of our business laws are laughable but that is the nature of the laws (which are changeable in theory) and the jury trial system (which is probably not so easily fixed)
     
  19. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'll give you a + .5

    The problem is that not only did we bail out the banks, we bailed out many of these home owners who made bad decisions too. Too many people paid too much for their houses, with little or nothing down, or used their rising house value as a piggy bank to buy expense cars and go on fancy vacations.

    Meanwhile I bought what I could afford, paid down the mortgage when I had extra cash, take care of my own yard, etc.

    Meanwhile, the irresponsible people live for years in their homes for free, get their interest rate cut to below market rates, or have the principle cut, etc.

    Basic economics: If you reward irresponsibility you will get more of it, it you punish responsible behavior you will get less of it.

    And people wonder why the economy is so messed up?
     
  20. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardness Supreme

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    Not to take this down into a bottomless rat hole with the Housing Crisis discussions but the government was kind of screwed both ways ... if they let everything go under it was coming up on an election year and neither party wanted to get stuck with a Depression if they just let everybody who made bad decisions go under (including the businesses) ... they tried that Darwinian approach with Lehman and found the pain to be above their acceptable threshold ... although they have been criticized for the financial actions they did take it has probably been less than they would have been criticized for doing nothing

    Ultimately the failure was in the government failing to look at the consequences of their laws and business looking so closely at short term profits they ignored long term risks ... until that changes we will always be at risk for these sorts of issues ... and short of a significant change in our economy we will always have some companies that are "too big to fail"
     
  21. Ididar

    Ididar Gawd

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    In the case of Uber, internationally, it has been a case of sketchy insurance and background checks along with the proper permits. Effectively, they've set up shop without any of the proper permits and are whining to everyone when they're told to follow the law.

    Lets be clear, here. Uber is not some social justice warrior. Uber is, at the top, a few people making a metric fuckton of money off the backs of a lot of people working part time and making peanuts. They're effectively trying to turn an entire industry from full-time employees into contractors and people are cheering for them. Yes, it is easy to cheer when, in some places, taxi companies are shit. But, remember, they're turning the industry into nothing but contractors. Normally people would be crying foul and screaming how this is unfair. If WalMart today fired every full time employee and turned them all into contractors the internet would melt down from all the vitrol tossed that way. But, when Uber tries to do the same thing we have people cheering how they're "disrupting the market". Yeah, they are ... by turning a lot of full time employees into contractors with no benefits and no coverage.

    Does the market need a shake-up? Yes. It will get one, inevitably, when autonomous cars hit the market. That can't be stopped. But, what it doesn't need is Uber trying to turn every cab driver into a contractor making lower wages and with no benefits at all.
     
  22. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    BTW speaking of background checks, a buddy of mine this weekend got smashed, bar called for a taxi for him, and the taxi dumped him on the side of the road and took all his money (guessing he passed out). Someone found him on the street and took him to the ER. Talk about pertinent... yeah, and this is why people don't trust these "background checked" super trustworthy unionized cabbies. :rolleyes:
     
  23. McFry

    McFry [H]ard|Gawd

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    A taxi license is not a qualification, it's just a fee. Consider it like the fee ebay charges for you to sell something. Now imagine if ebay shut down craigslist because too many people started using CL, and ebay sellers said it's not fair that CL doesnt charge a fee. See how ridiculous that is? Thats why uber said fuck the law, because the law was absurd and should be totally unenforceable. Thats why people support uber (besides having a better product). It's not because they're a tech company, it's just because what they're doing is great and should not be illegal. Guess they underestimated how deep the taxi unions are embedded with local gov't there.
     
  24. bbartlett

    bbartlett n00b

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    Here is someone who get it.
     
  25. TwistedAegis

    TwistedAegis [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You don't just pay and get the taxi medallion. There are also more inspection requirements, up front requirements to pass, etc.

    I'm unsure what exactly the happy medium between Uber/Lyft and the shitty taxi companies are. I think both are too far to the extreme.
     
  26. Ididar

    Ididar Gawd

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    How much training or inspections are required by a taxi varies around the world. The only consistency is Uber's desire to ignore those rules. They don't want any rules because it just gets in the way of them making money. Uber, in that respect, is no different than any other corporation ... maximum profit for minimal effort.
     
  27. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Pretty sure I have a driver's license and inspection requirement for my car. *shrugs* The average Uber car I've seen has typically been far newer and nicer than the busted up plastic seat smelly cabs. For Uber Black, you get a new model luxury vehicle, which in LA and Chicago at least still has a cheaper fair than a busted up yellow cab.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. MrCaffeineX

    MrCaffeineX [H]ard|Gawd

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    I suspect in the long term this approach will come back to haunt us again. The short-term would have been a terrible second depression, followed by an eventual recovery, and hopefully a vibrant one. Instead, we have a meager recovery and still more bubbles of irresponsibility waiting to burst (home loan practices haven't changed significantly since the housing crisis, student loan debt is pending a massive default, social security is still going to be bankrupt, and the wizards of finance are still playing their games with other people's money). I'm not sure "too big to fail" was the lesser of two evils, but only time will tell.
     
  29. SLee

    SLee Gawd

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    That's only because Uber has been successful in recruiting new drivers whose vehicles haven't gone through many passenger cycles. Once the supply of new drivers start drying up, at <$1 mile, the nicer cars are going to end up not very nice anymore since drivers can't afford to maintain them or replace them.

    After awhile, you end up with Uber drivers driving cars up to 15 years old in the same or worse conditions as taxis. Since that's the only way one can make money.

    Black is $3.50-$3.70/mile plus time charges; that's more than cabs.
     
  30. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    It sounds like your friend is a loser if he's out drinking so much that he crawls into the back of a car that he thinks is a cab and then passes out in it. Find better friends that can lift you up to their level. It's one of the ways people become better, by surrounding themselves with what they aspire to become.
     
  31. Kueller

    Kueller [H]ardness Supreme

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    Uber is the Silk Road of transportation. Yeah, they're flouting the law, but they're doing it on the INTERWEBS, so it's cool.
    Ok, that should rile folks up a bit.


    On to a more reasonable comparison, Uber is a lot like Netflix. They're ahead of the tech they need to do what they really want. They want to be the name in transportation.

    Netflix started out mailing DVDs, but ultimately wanted to stream video over the web. Netflix is struggling with old-guard resistance in terms of licensing.
    Uber started out as a smartphone based limo service, but ultimately wants to have you hail their driverless vehicles with your smartphone. Uber is struggling with licensing issues. Uber doesn't want to just take over locally either, the commuter flight will be a thing of the past. Hail an uber and ride to Florida. Screw the airlines, the TSA, crappy airline food and sitting with 300 breathing petri dishes for hours. Then there's freight, electric motorized freight sleds (w/optional long range turbine generator module) will be much cheaper to produce than big rigs when they don't need to have all that heavy, expensive, safety equipment for the driver. Uber isn't just gunning for taxi services, but I'm not sure the rest of the transport industry realizes it yet.

    I'm also not saying Uber will pull it off. There is a lot of entrenched opposition they'll have to overcome and nothing stopping the old guard from innovating themselves and staying competitive. But if we look at the opposition to Netflix, we can see change doesn't always come easy for traditional market powers.
     
  32. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    ftfy
     
  33. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So that's why you're stalking me, hoping some Ducman will rub off on you by osmosis. How flattering. :)
     
  34. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardness Supreme

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    Damn Ducman ... thanks for the visual ... now I'll never get that image of CUG rubbing against you out of my mind ... on a side note, I didn't realize that the internet and [H] were semipermeable membranes and that Osmosis could occur ... I will need to be a lot more careful which threads I open in the future :eek: :p
     
  35. Ididar

    Ididar Gawd

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    The difference being that Netflix managed it all legally. Uber is constantly running into situations where it is flouting the law because it doesn't want to play by the rules. The equivalent would be if Netflix was just pirating tons of content in nations where they didn't want to make a deal.

    That's the rub. Tesla manages to sell cars legally even though it is fighting powerful lobbies in its own right. Netflix had to negotiate with massively powerful content providers and ISP's. UBER, who is facing much weaker groups can't manage to do much of anything without breaking the law. It is easy to "shake things up" by breaking the law. The difficult part is to change an industry legally. Uber is taking the easy route.
     
  36. [Tripod]MajorPayne

    [Tripod]MajorPayne [H]ardness Supreme

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    Uber is providing a service that is functionally identical (ride for hire) to the one that taxi drivers provide. The government has long regulated taxis in a very heavy-handed manner, some would say for good reasons, such as ensuring that people who get in a cab are doing so with a licensed and qualified driver, in a machine that is not likely to injure them, and are likely to get to their destination safely without being abducted. It's expensive to society for people to have to conduct their own background checks in order to be comfortable in a cab, so the upfront regulation is intended to "keep everyone safe" and "provide economic benefit for everyone" or something like that. There's no doubt that taxi regulations are burdensome, but a lot of people would say that they are still beneficial (and I wouldn't necessarily disagree).

    When the taxi company has paid $20,000 for a medallion so they can operate in the heavy regulatory environments of NYC, and some schmo in his Ford Focus is giving people rides for hire without carrying any of the qualifications, business licenses, or insurance that taxi companies operating in exactly the same manner in exactly the same location are required to have, the taxi companies absolutely have a right to be angry. Also, Uber is getting rich (in market valuation) off the backs of underpaying contract workers on 1099s and having near-infinite flexibility by being able to change rates and having a constant influx of new drivers who think it's easy money. The economics are sometimes slow to respond, but drivers will figure it out eventually that they are taking all of the risk to make Uber rich, and they'll also figure out that it's hard to make "$75k/yr" driving people around once they account for actual operating expenses.

    TL;DR: Uber and their contract workers are operating a business without going through any of the steps that regulate that business. Either taxi drivers should be able to operate the same way (bad for everyone in the long run, IMO), or Uber should have to pay up and play by the same rules in order to operate in the same sphere. Running a business requires clearing a higher bar as far as accepting the costs of doing business and the liability that comes along with providing services seeking a profit. It's entirely different from taking your buddy to the grocery store when it becomes a for-profit enterprise with corporate officers and contract employees.
     
  37. Kueller

    Kueller [H]ardness Supreme

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    Actually, it bears striking similarities to Netflix allowing its customers in various countries to use VPN's to bypass geoblocks. Netflix itself isn't exactly breaking the law, but it's certainly enabling customers to do so.

    Uber itself isn't breaking taxi laws in most cases, it's inciting 'independent contractors' to do so on its behalf with financial incentives. I think most legal charges would have to start with conspiracy-to-commit...

    I'm not saying what Uber is doing is right, it's not. But I think the service is leaps and bounds better than calling for a yellow cab. Most of my dislike for Uber revolves around their exploitation of 'independent contractors', responsible for their own vehicles, fuel, maintenance, insurance, performing an extremely high-risk job with no benefits. I would find it the most delicious kind of irony if Uber's new California 'employees' organized a union.
     
  38. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    That is a really awful mental image! The good news is that no matter how bad Ducky wants a relationship with me, he's got no chance so he'll just have to settle for his unicellular osmosis* fantasy.



    *Is anyone really shocked that he thinks in ameobic terms when it comes to romance? I know I'm not. ;)