Uber Facing Ban In Turkey After Erdogan Backs Taxis

Uber Facing Ban In Turkey After Erdogan Backs Taxis

An anonymous reader quotes a report from SBS: Uber faces being banned in Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the ride-hailing app was “finished” on Saturday following an intense lobbying campaign from Istanbul taxi drivers. Erdogan’s comments, in a late-night speech Friday in Istanbul, came after the government agreed new rules that are expected to severely complicate Uber’s operations in Turkey. Drivers of Istanbul’s yellow taxis have over the last months waged an intense campaign to have Uber banned, saying the company is eating into their business without having a proper legal basis for work. “This thing emerged called Uber or Muber or whatever,” said Erdogan. “But this issue is now finished. It’s over now. Our Prime Minister (Minali Yildirim) made the announcement. We have our system of taxis,” he said.
“Yildirim’s government last month issue a directive sharply hiking fines and threatened to blacklist companies whose vehicles illegally work as taxis,” reports SBS.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Optimistic investors bid up Bitcoin ahead of introduction of futures, but new derivatives enabled pessimists to bet against Bitcoin, bringing the price down

Optimistic investors bid up Bitcoin ahead of introduction of futures, but new derivatives enabled pessimists to bet against Bitcoin, bringing the price down

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco:

Optimistic investors bid up Bitcoin ahead of introduction of futures, but new derivatives enabled pessimists to bet against Bitcoin, bringing the price down  —  Galina Hale, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Marianna Kudlyak, and Patrick Shultz From Bitcoin’s inception in 2009 through mid-2017, its price remained under $4,000.

Google quits selling tablets

Google quits selling tablets

Google has quietly crept out of the tablet business, removing the “tablets” heading from its Android page. Google in particular has struggled to make Android a convincing alternative to iOS in the tablet realm, and with this move has clearly indicated its preference for the Chromebook side of things, where it has inherited the questionable (but lucrative) legacy of netbooks.

After a dozen employees quit in protest, Google has reportedly decided not to renew its contract for military drone initiative Project Maven (GOOG, GOOGL)

After a dozen employees quit in protest, Google has reportedly decided not to renew its contract for military drone initiative Project Maven (GOOG, GOOGL)

  • The pressure to stop working with the military appears to have been too much for Google as the company reportedly will not renew a contract to build artificial intelligence tools for the Pentagon.
  • According to Gizmodo, company managers notified employees during a meeting Friday.
  • Google’s relationship with the Department of Defense triggered a civil war inside the company and cast doubt on Google’s commitment to its old motto: “Don’t be evil.” 

Facing both public pressure and unrest from within its own company, Google will not renew its contract to help build artificial intelligence tools for the military, according to a report by Gizmodo’s Kate Conger

As part of an effort called Project Maven, Google provides the Pentagon with artificial intelligence technology that speeds up the process of analyzing video images. Google’s participation in the program, which critics contend could help increase the accuracy of drone-missile strikes, sparked controversy both inside and outside of Google.

Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud, informed employees of the company’s decision on Friday, unnamed sources told Gizmodo. She said that the current contract expires in 2019 and won’t be renewed, according to the report. Google did not respond to a request for comment.

When the extent of Google’s participation in Project Maven became public, it ignited a civil war inside Google. A petition demanding that Google stop cooperating with the military and condemn the creation of AI weapons was signed by thousands of Google employees.

Later, about a dozen Google staffers resigned in protest. Academics and researchers also lashed out at Google for abandoning the company’s original motto: “Don’t be evil.” 

The full report from Gizmodo is worth reading, and includes details such as:

  • Diane Green told employees that Google would not choose to pursue Maven because of the controversy it has stirred
  • The decision to work on AI for the military was made during a period when Google was “more aggressively pursuing military work”
  • Google will publish new principles next week to help govern how the company handles AI in the future.
  • Internal emails reviewed by Gizmodo show that Google executives “viewed Project Maven as a golden opportunity” to win other AI contracts, including those pertaining to the military and US intelligence groups.
  • The emails show that Google and partners labored to create “machine learning algorithms” and on a “sophisticated system that could surveil entire cities.”

 

SEE ALSO: A small military contract started an internal war at Google that’s tearing the company apart

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