Excuses. Seals. Ubered. Commuting. Random.


            ‘Uber’ is just one of the five topics that <span style="color: #800000;"><strong>caught my eyes and ears</strong></span> this past week that I wanted to share with you. Enjoy.


Steinbeck uses the old ‘Dog ate my homework’ line …

I don’t know whether I told you. My setter pup, left alone one night, made confetti of about half of my [manuscript] book. Two months work to do over again. It sets me back. There was no other draft. I was pretty mad but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically. I didn’t want to ruin a good dog for a ms. I’m not sure is good at all. He only got an ordinary spanking with his punishment flyswatter. But there’s the work to do over from the start.



… can you resist, If you can, don’t worry there is a whole lot more. Click through to see what I mean. The work is part of The UC Davis Wildlife Health Center initiative. The Seadoc Society is made up of ‘wildlife veterinarians using science to heal the sea’. All good.    


If you are tracking, you will know that I am not a fan of Uber. I am not alone. Sure - I love the convenience of a cheap cab ride - who doesn’t? But I also like the price of a cheap jacket - you know, the price is just ‘too good to be true’ and you ask yourself - “how the hell does anyone make any money out of this?” Answer … they don’t.

Uber - whether you choose to listen or not is the same. I thought I would share just some of the anti uber links I came across just this week.

I owe my soul to the company store.

This isn’t the future it’s slavery and that’s nothing new.


Associations of taxi drivers have staged high-profile protests against Uber in France, Britain, Portugal, Spain and many other European countries since 2014.

Even Reuters put ’sharing economy; into inverted commas …

In the “sharing economy”, customers use the Internet to contract services such as ride-sharing, where amateur drivers displace professional taxis, or home-sharing, which reduces hotel demand.


Uber is facing another class action lawsuit, this time coming from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

Big Class Action

Uber is facing a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action lawsuit alleging it sent text messages through an auto-dialer to people even after they had opted out of the messages by texting back “Stop”.

Lawyers and Settlements DOT Com

Wow—Uber just cannot stay out of trouble, it seems.

Financial Times: - reporting on another $3.5 billion investment by The Saudis

Dave Pell - Next Draft has this take:

Uber’s status as the champ of car services is dwarfed by its role as the champ of fundraising. The company just pulled in another $3.5 billion in funding. This round comes courtesy of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. (Yes, they took an investment in their car service from a country that doesn’t allow women to drive.) Uber now has so much cash in reserve that customers should be able to order a Black Car, andSUV, or a Brink’s Truck.

Stowe Boyd:

Contingent and often misclassified work is trendy as hell. Labor law-breaking has always been a business plan, but now it’s a particularly popular one. This is exacerbated by the tendencies of platforms to become monopolies, with total control over how prices and wages are set. Platform-captured self-employment may not make up a significant portion of the labor market today, but it’s not inconceivable that it could yet, soon, depending on the political and policy will of largely local governments across the country.


… it could take years to settle just one worker misclassification class action lawsuit against one company, while many other competing platforms enter the market. There are not enough mallets for this game of Whack a Mole, and it’s not fun to play unless you’re a venture capitalist.

Taxi leaks:

BAA have fast tracked a feeder park to a company who do not comply with tfl’s rules or regulations a company who have been exposed and expelled all around the World for non compliance with the regulations of the particular City, County or Country.


You’d think Uber might start taking background checks a little more seriously. Several of the incidents that happened in the last month occurred because the company didn’t do a thorough background check of the people it allows onto its platform. And even if that wasn’t enough of an issue, it turns out that many strippers have to go through harder vetting processes than Uber drivers, according to a report from Jezebel.

And finally - it has even reached the Onion with it’s headline; New Uber Update Allows Users To File Lawsuit Against Company Directly In App


In case you ever feel bad about your commute, consider this one that includes a 2,625 feet climb up a ladder running up a cliff. Oh and the commuters are aged 6 to 15.

The full story can be found at the Washington Post.



Last week I referenced that I was running a new experimental blogging platform - 1999 - from the stable of Dave Winer. I Like it. Early days - but very nice - and simple. As a result, ‘the ’midsized thoughts and observations’ of yours truly are now running in there. You can see my last 10 here - and 10 random ones here. I am reserving one of the five weekly ‘Pour Vous’ Posts for some of the best links to that service.

History In The Making - What is Democracy ?

So Long British Home Stores - BHS closes and Philip Green is laughing all the way to the bank.

This Is A Simulation - Thoughts on why we are more likely to be living in a simulation than not !

The Three Ages Of Slavery - Courtesy @gapingvoid

Blockchain  - Tapscott’s new book

Someone Else Who Doesn’t Get It - Why I disagree with Mr. Scoble


June 3, 2016