Not as much as Uber would lead you to believe. Although the company frequently touts its ride-hailing service as an economic opportunity for drivers—and in 2013 suggested that its average driver takes home $100,000 per year—an analysis of its leaked data by BuzzFeed News found that driver wages compare more accurately to a typical entry-level service job. The independent review, which Uber confirmed "looked solid," found that drivers in late 2015 earned about $13.17 per hour after expenses in the Denver market; $10.75 per hour after expenses in the Houston area; and $8.77 per hour after expenses in the Detroit market. SK
How much do Uber drivers really make?
Dan Harmon tweeted a job offer to the SNL writer suspended for Barron Trump joke
Pants on fire! The media gets more comfortable with the L-word
The New York Times dropped an L-bomb yesterday in an article describing President Trump's outrageous claims that millions of unauthorized immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton. "Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers," went the headline.
This was a big topic of debate a few weeks ago after Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, said in an interview that he would be careful about using the word "lie" to describe Trump's statements because it gets into the issue of intent. Baker's comments were roundly criticized in media circles, and now it appears that his paper's chief rival is drawing a line in the sand.CZ
Chicago is getting its own NYC-style Wi-Fi stations—but don’t try to use them for porn
First it was New York City replacing ancient pay phones with combination Wi-Fi hotspots and info kiosks. Now it's the Second City's turn. Chicago today announced its own downtown internet stations, which will start going up in the first quarter of 2017. CIVIQ Smartscapes, one of the companies behind New York's LinkNYC system, will supply its Waypoint stations, which provide free Wi-Fi internet access, as well as a pair of screens displaying navigation help, transport info, and safety alerts.
As New York City began with just four stations, Chicago is also starting small, with five Waypoints in the downtown area, including Michigan Avenue, for the pilot program. The city also learned a lesson from New York, where unfettered internet access turned the built-in tablets into public porn-surfing stations. Screens on Chicago's stations will be limited to providing official city info, but Wi-Fi access will be uncensored.
The network will be provided by AT&T, which plans to do the same in Atlanta; Dallas; Miami-Dade County; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Portland, Oregon. SC
Alibaba just had an incredible quarter
Google rival DuckDuckGo hits 10 billion anonymous searches
Samsung’s thriving chip business eased the pain of the Note 7 debacle, earnings report shows
• Samsung's overall operating profit was up by 50% to 9.22 trillion won ($7.93 billion) in the October-December quarter, up from 6.14 trillion won last year, fueled mainly by a strong chip business.
• After the nightmarish experience of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, the company's mobile phone business took a small but significant hit in the quarter. Smartphone sales were off 6% to 22.65 trillion won ($19.43 million).
• Samsung's chip division killed it again this quarter with operating profit up 77% to 4.95 trillion won versus the year-earlier period.
(Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 phones in October after numerous reports of the device's battery exploding.) MS
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative buys an AI bot to surf scientific research
Doing scientific research can be slow work, often requiring digging through countless academic and/or scientific papers looking for just the right data. That's something that a number of companies are hoping artificial intelligence can address.
Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic organization started by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced it has bought one such startup, Meta. In a post on Facebook, the organization—which aims to cure all diseases—wrote that Meta "developed an AI that helps scientists read, understand, and prioritize millions of scientific papers" in an effort to surface the most important information to the researchers who need it the most. One problem Meta (and other organizations in the same space, such as Iris AI) is no doubt grappling with is how to get past the paywalls on countless publications. Meta, which has raised $7.5 million in venture funding, will be free for researchers to use, according to the post.
Oracle sued for paying white guys more than its other workers
A lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor claims that Oracle has a "systemic practice" of paying white male workers more than employees of color and women with the same job titles, according to a New York Times report. The company refuted the charge in a statement saying it was "politically motivated, based on false allegations and wholly without merit," but the Labor Department says that Oracle refused to provide routine employment data.
The required reporting of salary information for women and men to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was mandated by an executive order signed by former President Obama. It's aimed at federal contractors (of which Oracle is one). He subsequently submitted a proposal to further help close the gender wage gap by requiring companies with 100 or more employees to report their staff's pay broken down by race, gender, and ethnicity.
Although many tech companies used to provide employment data publicly on an annual basis in effort to promote diversity initiatives and report on progress, many recently stopped when the numbers weren't budging after two to three years. LD
Yahoo just beat on Q4 earnings, but Verizon deal sees delays
Did Yahoo finally catch a break? Despite better-than-expected earnings today, the embattled company's stock was initially down 0.3% in after-hours trading, but it trended upward soon after. That initial hesitation may be because Yahoo's acquisition by Verizon has stalled, with the deal now expected to close in Q2. The delay comes as Yahoo is cleaning up the mess left by two massive hacks on its system that exposed over 1 billion accounts. And on that front, the news keeps getting worse: Earlier today, reports emerged that Yahoo could be facing an SEC investigation for failing to disclose the breach sooner than it did.
Still, Yahoo reported earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $1.46 billion. Analysts had expected average earnings of 21 cents on $1.38 billion. Though desktop continues to decline, the company's mobile revenue grew this quarter. Its assets in Alibaba are also gaining in value.
Boom moving toward testing of its supersonic plane after successful wind tunnel test
It's still going to be a few years before any passengers get to fly supersonic aboard Denver-based Boom's all-business class jets, but the big milestone it announced today would seem to be an important step forward to eventually plying the skies at above the speed of sound.
This step will allow the team to move on to building the large-scale hardware to begin testing with human pilots. This is a very substantial update for the company and a culmination of Boom's aerospace work, two years in the making.
Boom in November unveiled the design of the XB1, a one-third-sized model of the 45-passenger supersonic jet it eventually expects will be able to fly passengers from, say, New York to London, in three-and-a-quarter hours. Richard Branson's Virgin Group has options on the company's first ten planes, which are hoped to come off production lines in the early 2020s. Today, it said that completion of the wind tunnel tests–the "culmination of [its] aerospace work, two years in the making," pave the way for building the XB1.
Was Hillary Clinton supposed to be on the cover of the upcoming Vogue?
Long before the editors of Vogue magazine chose to put British Prime Minister Theresa May on the cover of the April issue, the magazine had another politico in mind: Hillary Clinton. The idea to have Clinton on the cover of the upcoming "power" issue was ultimately tabled in the wake of her election defeat—it's not clear if that was Clinton's decision or the magazine's—and the editors spent weeks scrambling to find a replacement, sources tell us. (Obviously, those Melania Trump rumors prompted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour's meeting with then president-elect Trump in December were wrong.) But if you know anything more, please reach out!
Google PR wins the prize for best email of the day
Every corporate communications email should be this fun. In response to a far-out rumor that it is considering an acquisition of Condé Nast, Google put out a very imaginative rendition of the standard "We don't comment on rumors and speculation" statement:
"You seem Wired into the latest chatter. We got some Backchannel from a New Yorker that this gossip was en Vogue. When your question came in and we Reddit, it made us quite Epicurious because your stories have some Allure. But Self-ishly we don't comment on rumors (Glamour-ous or otherwise). Bon Appétit!"
WWD reported this morning that Condé could be exploring a sale. While Google's name came up, such a deal would seem highly unlikely. Then again, somebody at Google sure seems familiar with Condé Nast's brands. CZ