What’s Wrong with Uber – Kalanick’s Leave of Absence, Holder’s Report

Uber has grown into one of the fastest-growing, most successful tech startups in the world. Uber is easy to use, has tons of drivers, and is generally better than other transportation options. Despite the company’s success, news has spread of Uber’s harsh, sexist culture.


CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick recently declared a leave of absence in hopes to repair the company’s culture. Concerns of sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct surfaced in past weeks, calling for Eric Holder, United States Attorney General, to suggest changes that may fix Uber’s culture.


Uber has been recommended by Holder to put a stop on personal, extracurricular relationships between employees, ban the use of alcohol and other substances at work, and better deal with employees’ concerns. Significant structural changes such as these generally requires executives to assume other responsibilities, or even step down.


The culture of the mobile-based transportation provider has been tagged as a “bro” culture, disregarding women and facilitating harmful sexist views.


After Eric Holder’s month-long research of Uber, over 20 people were fired for sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination. Holder reviews more than 215 unaddressed employee complaints.


Executives — not just lower- and mid-level employees — have recently left Uber, such as Emil Michael, former president of business, and company president Jeff Jones. Uber is currently seeking to fill empty spots of COO and CFO.


CEO Travis Kalanick is also dealing with personal issues that are undoubtedly adding on to the mess currently under Uber’s roof. Kalanick’s mother unfortunately passed away in a freak boating accident, hurting his father as well.


Uber’s HR division has been reported to disregard employee complaints, which sounds likely based on its 215 unaddressed employee complaints. Uber is undoubtedly a successful business and is likely to succeed in coming years, but only if their corporate culture is fixed.


Tesla Wants to Take Most of Its Car Charging Stations Off the Grid with Solar Power

Electric Cars Need to Get Power from Somewhere


Tesla’s electric cars are great for the environment for many different reasons, but they still need to be charged up with electricity. The electricity from a city’s power grid can come from a wide variety of sources, and not all of them are as environmentally friendly as they could be. That is why Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, wants to take its car charging stations off the grid, and each station would only use solar panels to gather energy.


Tesla plans to equip as many of its stations as possible with special solar charging arrays, and they have been discussing the idea since 2012. This is the first time the CEO has come out with a bold claim to back up these station upgrades, though. Some doubt that Tesla’s stations will go off the grid.



The New Solar Charging Stations


Six charging stations currently operate using Tesla’s solar arrays. It requires a significant amount of sun to charge the massive central battery, but with enough sun, electric cars can be charged without reliance on public power grids.


Tesla may discover a lot of problems implementing the new technology on a grand scale. Many regions, such as Seattle, receive relatively little bright sunlight during the course of a given year. This drastically reduces the amount of power that Tesla’s standard solar arrays can absorb, and it isn’t clear yet whether the CEO’s goals are feasible.



Grid Disconnection and Tesla’s Overall Goals


Tesla wants to disconnect their stations from the grid, but some scientists question the need for complete grid disconnection. After all, Tesla could supply excess power back into the electrical grid. This would bring Tesla extra income, and it would also be good for the environment.


As a company, Tesla appears to be working hard to create environmentally friendly technologies. Their new charging stations may be high-tech and modern, but it isn’t clear how they will implement their solar array charging stations at this point.



Verizon Closed the Yahoo Acquisition, Meyer Ousted

News about Verizon acquiring Yahoo, a popular search engine, news, and email hosting site, have populated headlines in recent months. Today, Verizon closed out its acquisition of Yahoo. The popular does-it-all Internet site sold for $4.48 billion, with the deal closing right on schedule.


Acquisitions and mergers are often associated with closings of departments, divisions, and firing of employees. Now-former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was paid a $23 million severance package — now that’s a great way to get fired!


Verizon plans to bring together Yahoo with AOL, another one of its many subsidiaries, and form Oath. Tim Armstrong is slated to head Oath, which includes more than 50 other media brands, such as Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Verizon Digital Media Services. Armstrong was most recently the CEO of AOL before Verizon acquired it, as well.


Yahoo used to be the number-one search engine until now-giant Google came into play. Yahoo has had its fair share of struggles, dealing with a large-scale security crisis earlier this year. Two breaches of personal, private email accounts Yahoo hosted occurred, affecting approximately 1.5 billion — with a B, not an M — accounts.


The upcoming merger of Yahoo and AOL will keep approximately 85% of current employees, cutting roughly 2,100 positions. Retaining 85% of employees is considered good for a large-scale merger such as the upcoming Oath conglomerate.


Yahoo is slated to transform into an investment firm with a new name of Altaba Inc., although the new company is not fully formed yet. This new company will hold a 15% stake in Asia-based Internet giant Alibaba, along with a 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan.


Verizon negotiated a $550 million chunk from its $4.48 billion sale price earlier this year because of its two massive data security failures.


What’s New With Apple: ARKit, iMac Pro, and watchOS 3

Apple is known for innovation in technology, releasing new products several times each year. The largest technology company in the world is known for releasing new versions of smartphones, computers, and other similar gadgets. Apple is expanding its already-prospective horizons and venturing into the car business, as CEO Tim Cook recently confirmed their plans to develop and produce an “Apple car.”


Rather than creating a sporty, fuel-efficient, trendy vehicle, Apple is hopping onboard the self-driving, autonomous car trend. The tech giant is not focused on creating eye-popping vehicles, instead opting for fully autonomous vehicles as their objective.


Apple hopes to advance artificial intelligence in coming years with the advent of an autonomous, Apple-brand vehicle, although no definite plans for release or mass production are set in stone at this time. While autonomous cars are very interesting, arguably more interesting than anything else Apple offers, the company has informed consumers of upcoming releases and upgraded technologies.


The Apple Watch will be getting a new update, watchOS 3, that should be released this fall. The touchscreen watch will also be the future home of Toy Story backgrounds and watch faces, coming around the time watchOS 3 is due.


Apple’s computer operating systems is getting another regular reboot, upgrading macOS Sierra to macOS High Sierra. Presenters made clear that invasive cookies will be thoroughly blocked, virtual reality devices will be easier to use, and Safari browser will be quicker.


The iMac Pro was mentioned, pricing starting at $4,999 — yeah, that’s a lot for a computer — featuring 6 Thunderbolt 3 ports, fast Ethernet, and more. The new, beefed-up computer is not likely to be released soon, with a release date as early as 2018.


Developers will be getting more help with ARKit, an upcoming, developer-friendly API. Depths of objects will be automatically gauged, along with the streamlining of placing objects on concrete surfaces, rather than playing guessing games of where they look natural.




Figure 1 (a.k.a. Instagram for Doctors) Receives $10 Million in Investment

For years, software developers and tech companies have attempted to create applications and social media platforms that could benefit the health industry. After all, the health industry accumulates billions per year. There is of course an ethical component as well as software and emerging technologies can add a lot of benefit to various health fields. Figure 1, also known as the Instagram for doctors, is a software developed purely for doctors and other medical professionals. In short, Figure 1 helps members share unique treatments, see rare conditions and elaborate on different cases. Figure 1 is essentially a social media developed primarily for health care professionals.


Founded by Gregory Levey, Figure 1 has attracted international attention and significant investment. Recently, the software has received another $10 million worth of investments from multiple companies and private firms. Kensington Capital Partners made the first round of investment. Samsung NEXT and John Hancock insurance group were among other notable investors. This latest round of investments raises Figure 1’s worth to $20 million in total. This is an impressive amount for a small startup that is only four years in the making. Based in Toronto, Figure 1 only has 50 employees as of 2017.


While only medical professionals such as doctors can make posts and changes to the apps contents, anybody can sign up to use the service. Figure 1 intends to keep the service under strict monitoring to ensure that it can be continued to use for purely scientific and professional use. Two-thirds of the user base is located in the United States with Latin America being the second largest demographic. However, there are users around the world attracted to Figure 1 for its unique combination of professional content and social media functioning. These latest investments totaling $10 million will help Figure 1 continue development and production for the future. These forms of professional applications could bring a new wave of technology into the medical field.


Apple Joins a Quest for the Perfect Car

Until now, self driving car technology has been reserved for car dealerships and high profile tech companies. Today, Apple has confirmed work on these products, which are deviations from their usual line of phones and handheld gadgets. Nevertheless, Apple has a great deal of knowledge to add to the discussion. Their global positioning systems will be revolutionary in this day and age of guidance. Self driving cars need to navigate the road, and with Apple’s contributions, this might be closer than experts previously imagined. Google has openly welcomed them to the industry, claiming that their experience with digital media will go a long way in programming these vehicles. A small coalition of Apple’s designers will abandon phones and laptops for now and focus on this extensive project. The team will still operate at Apple headquarters, but they will have a large amount of resources at their disposal. The company will be funding this endeavor just like any other project within their corporation. If success ensues within a few years, they will construct entirely new facilities for these workers.


This is Apple’s first entrance into the automobile market. They are ready to partner with Toyota and Nissan for the first part of the fiscal year. If things go well, we should see technological process within a few years at the very maximum. In the quest for the perfect car, self driving cars are highly lauded as examples of flawless engineering. However, imperfections are bound to occur along the way. The executive board of Apple has recognized these setbacks, stating that the road to an ideal car is often oversimplified by the public and pundits. Using adaptations from handheld gadgets, Apple plans to take a unique approach to this problem. An integrated system of cars and navigation hubs will avoid confusion and reduce the possibility of a crash.


Seattle Provides Top Incomes for Tech Professionals

The technology industry has been considered one of the best industries for finding a job for the past decade. Ever since the recovery from the dot.com bubble bursting, the tech industry has been improving and growing at a steady rate. Analysts, software developers, and other tech professionals are frequently sought by startups, established internet-based companies, and even traditional Fortune 500 firms.


While most people consider the Silicon Valley area of Northern California to be the epicenter of the tech industry, there are actually several other major cities located across the country that could provide more professional opportunities. A recent report (http://www.geekwire.com/2016/highest-paying-jobs-tech-seattle-tops-list-software-engineers-analysts/) has found that there are several large cities in the country that are competing for the best option for tech professionals in all stages of their careers.


According to the new study, the best city for those looking to enter the tech industry could be Seattle, WA. While Seattle has been known for its tech industry due to Microsoft and other software companies, it has taken a back seat over the past decade. However, that appears to be changing as it now boasts the highest starting salaries for software engineers (average starting salary of $100,000), quality analysts (average starting salary of $87,000), and data analysts (average starting salary of $73,000).


Overall, San Francisco and San Jose boast the highest starting salaries in the tech industry with a starting salary between $110,000 and $115,000. However, the city also is well known for having very high costs of living. When adjusted for costs of living, this market is ranked third behind Seattle and Austin, TX, with Austin having the highest salary when adjusted for cost of living. Some of the other cities located across the country that have high adjusted salaries for tech professionals include Chicago, Dallas, Boston, New York, Denver, and Minneapolis. While starting salary is an important indicator, it is also important that professionals consider the amount of opportunities in the city as well as the strength of the companies headquartered in the area.