Archive for Uber

New Uber Eats Update Lets You Search With Emojis For Your Favourite Food

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 22, 2021 by itnerd

Have you ever been walking from work and had a craving for takeout, only to learn that the restaurant is miles away from you? You’re not alone. As many as 8 out of 10 Uber Eats users tell us they face this issue and have switched to other map apps to search for nearby food. 

Consider that an issue of the past with Uber Eats new searchable pickup maps – launching today.

For the first-time ever, users across the world can search for one of Uber Eats’ 700,000 local restaurants or merchants on our pickup map with food emojis! 🌮 🍜  🍕 🍣 🥗

Simply open the Uber Eats and choose pickup, then type what you’re looking for in-app map, (using words or emojis), and see what’s nearby (including the exact distance from your selected location). 

Here’s a video of this new feature in action:

Uber Helps To Get The Vote Out In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 15, 2021 by itnerd

On Monday, Canadians will be heading to the polls to participate in Canada’s 44th Federal Election. And as part of Uber’s global commitment to help people move to the polls, we’re offering up to 50% off for roundtrip rides to and from the polls (up to $5 off for each trip)*. On September 20 across the country, Canadians can use the code VOTE2021 while the polls are open in their home province.  

From the 2020 U.S. election, to state elections in India earlier this year, Uber is proud to use its technology to reduce transportation barriers and help eligible voters safely cast their ballots.  

This is part of our ongoing effort in Canada to help move what matters, whether it’s helping Canadians get to vaccination centres, or helping first responders arrive safely to work. We’re proud to be a trusted partner for Canadians making plans to get to the polls, and help keep the wheels of democracy turning.

Pulling an election together is no easy feat—to Elections Canada and their staff, the candidates who put their names on the ballot, and the volunteers who power their campaigns, thank you for your efforts. 

Learn more about where to vote through Elections Canada here.

*Terms and conditions apply.  Code can be used in any Canadian city where Uber is available. Must apply the promo code in the Wallet section of the Uber app prior to requesting the ride to redeem the discount. Discount valid for up to $5 off maximum of two (2) UberX, UberXL or Uber Green trips on September 20, 2021. Cannot be combined with other offers. One time use only. Non-transferable. Offer is available between 7:30 am ET and 10:00 pm ET on September 20, 2021. Discount does not apply to tips. Offer and terms subject to change.

Uber Announces New Learning & Entrepreneurship Opportunities For Drivers

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 29, 2021 by itnerd

Uber is launching for drivers and delivery people focused on professional development, entrepreneurship and language skills programming that will help them advance their career journey, on or off the platform.

According to an Uber-commissioned Ipsos survey in Canada, 74% of drivers and delivery people describe their hours on the platform as part-time as they manage responsibilities like full-time employment, studies, parenting, caregiving, or entrepreneurship. 

Taking advantage of the flexibility of the Uber platform, drivers and delivery people have the opportunity to focus on other projects – starting a small business, building a career, or helping them and their families get ahead. 

Starting today, Uber is announcing three new investments in supporting the professional development and growth of drivers and delivery people on the platform, giving them the flexibility to create a brighter future for themselves and their families:

  1. In some cities where Uber operates, many drivers and delivery people are immigrants. According to Uber’s recent  Economic Impact Report, 63% of drivers in Canada identify with a racialized group. Uber is now offering access to language resources through unlimited language learning content from Rosetta Stone for drivers and delivery people in select tiers of the Uber Pro loyalty program.
  2. Drivers and delivery people in Canada can request an achievement summary letter which details the date of their first trip or delivery, number of trips and deliveries, average customer rating, and top feedback. Drivers and delivery people can use these letters as evidence of their experience using the Uber app in job and other applications.
  3. Uber Canada is partnering with The Forum to create entrepreneurship programming that will support 500 self-identified women entrepreneurs using the platform. Programming will launch in the fall and interested restaurant owners, drivers, delivery people and their family members cansign up here to learn more.

These resources and programs build on Uber’s Flexible Work+ proposal from March, where the company is committed to investing in supporting lifelong learning. 

More information can be found here

Uber Announces Uber Pass & Uber Pet Availability In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 6, 2021 by itnerd

Uber announced that is making it even easier to go anywhere, and get anything: 

  • Uber Pass launches this week: This week Uber is launching Uber Pass in Canada. Uber Pass replaces the Eats Pass to include both delivery and ride benefits. Uber Pass costs $9.99 per month plus applicable taxes and offers the following benefits:
    • $0 Delivery Fee on eligible restaurant orders over $15
    • $0 Delivery Fee on grocery orders over $40
    • 5% off eligible restaurant orders over $15
    • Rides Perks: exclusive monthly benefits for members like monthly discounts on rides
  • Uber Pet is Live: Folks who’ve spent a lot of time with the pets of their household this year can now take trips together with their furry friends. Uber Pet has rolled out to a handful of cities across Canada. (Note: Riders with service animals are able to choose and use any ride at no additional cost as per their  Service Animal Policy)
  • Coming this month – UberX Reserve: UberX Reserve will take scheduled rides to the next level and allow riders to plan and confirm their trip with UberX up to 30 days in advance, with an on-time guarantee. This will roll out to select cities later this month. 

It’s also never been a better time to drive with Uber. While trips have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, Uber data suggests that as cities across Canada start to slowly re-open, Canadians are feeling more comfortable to safely re-engage with local economies. Uber data from early June shows that earnings across Canada for ridesharing were 57% higher than the same week in January. To meet this demand, Uber is looking for 30,000+ drivers to sign up across the country and get cities moving again.

BREAKING: Former Uber Exec Facing Charges In Relation To 2016 Data Breach

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 20, 2020 by itnerd

The news is breaking that the Justice Department has charged Uber’s former chief security officer with obstruction of justice over his handling of a 2016 data breach:

The criminal charges filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against Joe Sullivan, 52, are believed to be the first against an executive stemming from a company’s response to a security incident.

But the charges drew an important distinction between failing to protect Uber’s computer network and failing to tell the authorities about it. Prosecutors said that Mr. Sullivan committed two felonies when he didn’t disclose the 2016 incident to federal investigators who were already investigating a similar data breach that had occurred two years earlier.

“When a company like Uber gets hacked, we expect good corporate citizenship, we expect prompt disclosure to the employee and consumer victims in that hack. In this case, what we saw was the exact opposite of good corporate behavior,” said David Anderson, the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, in an interview.

You can read more about this incident here.

If this guy is convicted on both charges he could face up to eight years in prison. Not a trivial amount of jail time. This should be interesting to watch as maybe Uber’s bad behavior is coming back to haunt it.

Uber Covered Up The Fact That They Got Pwned Last Year

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 21, 2017 by itnerd

Frequent readers of this blog know that I am no fan of Uber. Thus when I woke up today in India and at the top of my news feed was the story that Uber go pwned in 2016 and appeared to cover it up, I got another reason not to like them. The pwnage took the names, email addresses and phone numbers of 57 million riders. The hackers also nabbed the driver’s license numbers of 600,000 Uber drivers. None of this is good. And it seems that the strategy for damage control is to via a blog post throw some shade on the previous regime led by the now ousted Travis Kalanick:

You may be asking why we are just talking about this now, a year later. I had the same question, so I immediately asked for a thorough investigation of what happened and how we handled it.

The blog post is an interesting read and I hope the company is very transparent about what happened here because being pwned is bad. Not telling anyone about it is worse. And you have to wonder if this will end up on Capital Hill in the form of the public flogging that is known as a Congressional hearing?

UPDATE: This story just got worse. Bloomberg is reporting that the company also paid hackers $100K USD to cover the hack up. That’s not good at all. I’m pretty sure that you can book that Congressional hearing based on this.


Concur Finds That Business Travellers Like Uber In Quebec

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 27, 2017 by itnerd

With the news that Uber is potentially leaving Quebec because of a disagreement between them and the provincial government over rules for ride sharing companies, Concur took a look at their data and found that Uber had a huge amount of growth with business travellers to the province earlier this year.

As it turns out, business travelers to Quebec are going to miss Uber when it goes. Concur, which represents 57 per cent of the global business travel and expense management industry, found that businesses travellers have been increasing their use of Uber in Quebec in the first half of the year, demonstrating that consumer habits are bleeding into corporate travel preferences.

Concur compared Uber usage among business travellers from Q1 2017 to Q2 2017, finding:

  • Uber transactions among business travelers in Quebec are up 37.4 per cent quarter over quarter.
  • Users expensing Uber in Quebec are up 45.7 per cent.
  • Spend on Uber in Quebec is up 42.9 per cent.
  • Companies with employees expensing Uber rides in Quebec are up 33.1 per cent.

Will this sort of data help get the two sides in this dispute closer together? We’ll have to see. October 14th is the date that Uber plans to exit the province if they can’t come to an agreement.

Tim Cook Threatened To Pull Uber App After Uber Gets Caught Breaking Apple’s Rules

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 24, 2017 by itnerd

I’ve said for a very long time that Uber is not a company that should be respected and that people should pay to use. After all, this is a business that breaks the rules and asks for forgiveness later, which is not how a business should be run. Case in point is this report from the New York Times that details that the Uber app for iOS was secretly fingerprinting iPhones that used it so that they could identify individual users. The problem with that is that doing so violates Apple’s privacy policy. Uber went as far as to “geofence” the Apple Campus to hide this behavior:

Mr. Kalanick told his engineers to “geofence” Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., a way to digitally identify people reviewing Uber’s software in a specific location. Uber would then obfuscate its code from people within that geofenced area, essentially drawing a digital lasso around those it wanted to keep in the dark. Apple employees at its headquarters were unable to see Uber’s fingerprinting.

The thing is, that didn’t work. And when Apple CEO Tim Cook found out about this, he summoned Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to 1 Infinite Loop to demand that Uber remove this behavior from their app, or the app would be pulled from the app store:

But Apple was onto the deception, and when Mr. Kalanick arrived at the midafternoon meeting sporting his favorite pair of bright red sneakers and hot-pink socks, Mr. Cook was prepared. “So, I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules,” Mr. Cook said in his calm, Southern tone. Stop the trickery, Mr. Cook then demanded, or Uber’s app would be kicked out of Apple’s App Store.

For Mr. Kalanick, the moment was fraught with tension. If Uber’s app was yanked from the App Store, it would lose access to millions of iPhone customers — essentially destroying the ride-hailing company’s business. So Mr. Kalanick acceded.

This is precisely why Uber as a company should cease to exist. It’s a dubious company with clearly dubious business practices. Uber is very lucky that Tim Cook is CEO of Apple, because if Steve Jobs were still running the show, there would be a crater where Uber’s headquarters is located. Ok, that’s perhaps over the top. But the app would have been pulled from the app store without a meeting and a warning to Kalanick first. And I guarantee that the Uber app wold never have been seen on an iOS device again.

I have a message to Uber, I’d seriously consider altering your behavior because sooner or later someone is going to really drop the hammer on your heads.

Uber Says iOS Is Behind Their App Tracking You All The Time

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 23, 2016 by itnerd

It may be two days before Christmas and one day before Hanukkah, but I don’t feel charitable today.  At least not towards Uber. You might recall that it came to light that among other things Uber’s app was tracking your location all the time. But Uber has a really good explanation for that:

Uber investigated the issue today, at our request, and found the issue is related to the iOS Maps extension. This also explains why not everyone was seeing the problem.

Uber’s map extension feature was made available in September, and is based on Apple’s protocol for Map extensions. Other map extensions from Uber competitors would work the same way, then.

According to an Uber spokesperson: “For people who choose to integrate ride sharing apps with iOS Maps, location data must be shared in order for you to request a ride inside the Maps app. Map extensions are disabled by default and you can choose to turn them on in your iOS settings,” they said.

In other words, it’s not a bug, it’s feature. And it’s a feature of iOS.

There’s two problems with this explanation. I have three other similar extensions that work in the same way that Uber’s extension does. But none of those extensions phones home. What’s worse is that Uber removed location access option “While using the app” and kept “Always” and “Never”. That has nothing to do with the extension behavior in iOS and everything to do with the Uber app. Thus it seems to me that this explanation is disingenuous at best.

I’m not shocked that it appears that Uber is trying to skate over this issue. After all they haven’t exactly been great when it comes to user privacy as of late. Thus they really need to take a good hard look at themselves and do what’s best for their user base which is to walk this change back. As in right now.

Uber’s Self Driving Experiment Terminated By The State Of California

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 22, 2016 by itnerd

You might recall that I posted a story about Uber  having a fleet of self driving vehicles in San Francisco, that had a habit of running red lights, and not wanting to get proper permits from the state of California to do so. The news is now out that the state of California has effectively killed this exercise:

Uber has confirmed that it will stop its self-driving pilot in San Francisco, following a meeting today with the California DMV and Attorney General’s office. The DMV revoked the registration on 16 self-driving test vehicles Uber was using in its pilot.

The DMV tells TechCrunch that it invited Uber to complete its permitting process at the same time it revoked it the vehicle registrations. Uber told TechCrunch that it will instead be looking to deploy the vehicles elsewhere for the time being.

I applaud the state for putting an end to this. As I have said many times before, Uber’s habit of claiming that rules and laws don’t apply to them is something that should not be embraced or encouraged. The fact that they want to find other places to run these vehicles does bother me though as I suspect that Uber will just do what they did in California and see how far it gets them.