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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Ram's Multifunction Tailgate can open like French doors – Roadshow

This is what Ram alluded to on social media during the Super Bowl.
Source: CNET

Trump Pledges Investment, But Is Silent on Key Tech Issues

Aides trumpet commitment to 5G wireless, AI, and quantum computing, but they go unmentioned in State of the Union.
Source: Wired

Facebook ties employee bonuses to progress on social issues – CNET

Bonuses will now be linked to how well the company tackles issues such as hate speech on the platform.
Source: CNET

Instacart faces class-action lawsuit regarding wages and tips

Instacart is facing another class-action lawsuit pertaining to the way it pays its independent contractors, NBC News reports. Instacart guarantees its workers at least $10 per job, but workers are alleging Instacart offsets wages with tips from customers.

The suit alleges Instacart “intentionally and maliciously misappropriated gratuities in order to pay plaintiff’s wages even though Instacart maintained that 100 percent of customer tips went directly to shoppers. Based on this representation, Instacart knew customers would believe their tips were being given to shoppers in addition to wages, not to supplement wages entirely.”

Instacart has had a rocky relationship over the years with its drivers and shoppers. In 2016, Instacart removed the option to tip in favor of guaranteeing higher delivery commissions. About a month later, following pressure from shoppers, the company reintroduced tipping.

In 2017, Instacart settled a $4.6 million suit regarding claims that the company misclassified its personal shoppers as independent contractors, and also failed to reimburse them for work expenses. As part of the settlement, Instacart was required to change the way it described a service fee, which many people mistakenly thought meant tip. Then, last April, Instacart began suggesting a 5 percent default tip.

In addition to the lawsuit, workers have taken to Reddit and other online forums to speak out against Instacart’s paying practices. Since introducing a new payments structure in October, which includes things like payments per mile, quality bonuses and customer tips, workers have said the pay has gotten worse — far below minimum wage. In one case, Instacart paid a worker just 80 cents for over an hour of work. Instacart has since said it was a glitch — caused by the fact that the customer tipped $10 — and has introduced a new minimum payment for orders. So, Instacart paid the worker $10.80, but just 80 cents of it came from Instacart.

“In other words, Instacart is now confirming what workers have been saying since the change in pay structure: that the company is actually using customers’ tips to pay workers’ wages,” Working Washington, a workers’ organization that represents nearly 2,000 Instacart shoppers, wrote on its blog. “When a customer tips up-front, it doesn’t mean extra money for the worker. Instacart just pays the worker less to make up for it.”

While Instacart has said this was an edge case, Working Washington says this has happened in other cases. In another case, Instacart paid a worker just $7.26 (including cost of mileage) for over two hour’s worth of work.

“Obvious explanation: the customer tipped $25,” the organization writes.

It’s not totally clear how widespread this issue is, but it does not appear to be an anomaly, according to Working Washington.

“My sense is that the pay cuts are pretty much universal — workers pretty consistently reporting getting 25% or so less after the change,” Sage Wilson, an organizer at Working Washington, told TechCrunch. “The taking tips part they have admitted is policy for smaller jobs but we have seen good evidence that it extends further than that. We have a page with some collected screenshots here: https://www.workingwa.org/instacart/receipts.”

Next week, this group plans to hold a meeting for Instacart workers nationwide. Similarly, DoorDash is also under fire, with workers alleging DoorDash is paying drivers less, depending on how much they get tipped.

TechCrunch reached out to Instacart several hours ago and has yet to receive a response. We are also awaiting comment from DoorDash.


Source: TechCrunch

House Democrats get down to business on tech issues – CNET

Net neutrality, FCC oversight, T-Moible-Sprint merger, and Apple’s FaceTime debacle are all getting attention from Democratic leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Source: CNET

State of the Union: How to watch Trump's address online – CNET

President Donald Trump will address a joint session of Congress, and here’s how you can follow along live.
Source: CNET

Aston Martin is bringing a Lagonda All-Terrain Concept to Geneva – Roadshow

The high-riding concept previews an electric SUV for 2021.
Source: CNET

Facebook pulls down 22 pages tied to InfoWars' Alex Jones – CNET

The removed pages are connected to ones Facebook removed in August.
Source: CNET

Two more bangers for the Switch’s NES selection: Kirby and Super Mario Bros 2

Nostalgia for the NES is high following the success of Nintendo’s classic mini consoles and the launch of its Switch Online service, which just got a couple more great additions to its selection of 8-bit games: Kirby’s Adventure and the immortally weird Super Mario Bros 2.

Kirby had just made his debut on the Game Boy, but the NES follow-up really improved things. Better controls, better graphics, still hard as hell.

Super Mario Bros 2 is remembered as a curiosity, but it deserves more than that. Sure, it’s just an asset swap for Doki Doki Panic, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a fantastic game and you should take this opportunity to play it all the way through.

As long as you’re here, I feel I should also plug the games added a couple weeks back that probably didn’t get the love they deserved, then or 30 years ago.

Blaster Master is one of my favorite games of all time and massively underplayed. It’s an early “Metroidvania,” as we call such things these days, with amazing controls both in the side-scrolling and top-down portions, and a huge, crazy world to explore. This is an absolute classic and anyone who loves the NES should play it — or, if you find the original a bit clumsy, try the recent remake, which was both faithful and added some serious upgrades.

Zelda 2 also got added two weeks ago, and while it definitely has its problems, it’s actually a really compelling game and worthy of the name. But cast aside your associations and just play it as if it’s an old gem — use a walkthrough or VGmaps to help, though, because this game is a real bastard.

So far the selections for NSO have been quite good, and they play well. The service is still extremely barebones even for its paltry asking price, but at least you can’t complain (too much anyway) about the selection of free NES titles. With a few more trickling in every month, the library will soon be quite formidable and I might even start using it instead of my hacked SNES Classic. Especially with the rumor (and near certainty) that SNES games are soon to join their 8-bit cousins.

Nintendo is definitely going through some growing pains with its online service, but I feel that in a year it’ll be up to snuff. They tend to approach everything by first establishing essentials, and then adding bit by bit. No doubt we’ll hear more at GDC and E3 later this year.


Source: TechCrunch

Watch the 2019 State of the Union address here (or not)

It’s that time again — time to hear what kind of state our precious union is in. For those of you inclined to watch the temporarily delayed speech by the President, you can of course watch it in a bar and invent your own drinking game, but you can also stay home and watch it on YouTube or C-SPAN. The drinks are cheaper — and stronger.

Of course C-SPAN will have it raw, and the White House stream will probably also be a plain one. But if you want a bit of partisan spice and occasional pull quotes along the bottom, many networks are also doing live YouTube coverage. There’s a list here; pick your poison. The broadcast starts at 6 PM Pacific time. 9 for you East coasters, of course.

Here’s the PBS stream if you want to just dip in right now. It’s live now and should be fairly straightforward:

Cord cutter? If you have a smart TV or a gadget that makes your TV smart, hop onto the YouTube app or any of the major networks and you should find a link there. You could also try to get the networks via your local channels, but why?

Honestly if you don’t particularly want to watch, and I don’t blame you, it’s going to be pretty tough to avoid. Twitter will be a mess, or more so than usual; News sites will be all SOTU quotes and fact checks; YouTube will be full of snips and clips and horrible comments; Reddit and the rest of the social web will be overrun.

Your best bet is to turn on airplane mode for a little bit and sit quietly and read. Doesn’t that sound nice?


Source: TechCrunch

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