This week’s News of Note from the Silicon Valley – Nov 21, 2014
News – UBER’s bad week
The UBER service is very useful but their business practices have been called into question. Last Friday, UBER’s senior vice president for business, Emil Michael, said at a private dinner in Manhattan that UBER should hire its own investigators to dig up dirt on reporters who have openly criticized the company.
Specifically, reporters like Sarah Lacy. BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith attended that fateful NYC dinner and revealed the story on Monday. Lacy and other journalists were outwardly and obviously appalled. But there is always another side. BuzzFeed has key investors who also support Lyft, UBER’s main competitor. And those same investors also have a stake in PandoDaily, the online Tech magazine founded by Sarah Lacy. Definitely a tangled web.
Newest – The best map ever made of racial segregation
Dustin Cable from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center created a map from the 2010 U.S. Census to show how segregated the nation’s cities still are. It represents one dot per person, color-coded by race. Every city on the map tells a different story: In Detroit, 8 Mile Road serves as an obvious dividing line between two races, for example. What’s the story of your city?
Next – Firefox and Google are getting divorced
Google has been the default search engine for Mozilla’s Firefox web browser since 2004. In December, this marriage comes to an end. But wedding bells are ringing for Yahoo—Mozilla is signing a five-year partnership to use Yahoo’s search engine instead, at least in the US. Mozilla likely wants more regional flexibility and probably to set itself apart from Google Chrome.