Uber suspends cab service in Spanish city of Barcelona

Uber exits Barcelona. This stinks of political corruption. It does not solve the actual problems with ridesharing services and instead attempts to make ridesharing less convenient for the passenger, which is completely backwards.

The actual problem with ridesharing services is that they exploit drivers and are not subject to safety regulations. The “problem” these regulations attempt to solve is that ridesharing services are more convenient for passengers than conventional taxis or car services.

Barcelona’s regulations do not make ridesharing better for drivers. They do protect taxi drivers’ monopolies. Feh.


Christmas and Commerce

This American Life re-airs its Christmas 1996 episode, which includes David Sedaris’s “Santaland Diaries” and a story from David Rakoff about posing as Freud in a department store window Christmas display because nothing says Christmas like Sigmund Freud. www.thisamericanlife.org

Google+’s closing day is April 2

If I’m reading this right, Google+ will stop accepting activity from consumer accounts April 2, and begin deleting them at that time. Deletions will take months. support.google.com

Google+ will continue as a G Suite service but honestly I’d be surprised if there is any significant activity on that.

What a shitshow. Remember when Google+ was the future of Google? This is an ignominious end.

Lately, I’ve been appreciating Google+ as a platform for sharing. Links are just formatted so nicely when you post them there, much better than Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr. Easy to read, easy to see images in their proper context. Feh.

Apple blocks Facebook from running its internal iOS apps

Apple is not fucking around. Apple shut down Facebook from distributing internal iOS apps, including early releases of the Facebook app, Instagram, Messenger, as well as employee transportation apps and the company lunch menu.

This follows news that Facebook has been using Apple’s program for internal app distribution to instead track teenager customers with a “research” app.

Apple makes its enterprise program available to companies to distribute apps to its employees, but instead Facebook was using it to distribute an app that tracks users, including teens as young as 13. Facebook says it is discontinuing that app.

Revoking the certificate doesn’t just stop distribution. It stops apps from working. “Facebook is treating this as a critical problem internally…. ”


Not very smart

Discarded smart lightbulbs reveal your wifi passwords, stored in the clear. boingboing.net

And crap like this is a big part of why we don’t have a smart house. Who needs all that security exposure just to avoid having to get up out of a chair and flip a lightswitch?