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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

NASA spots still-silent Opportunity rover on Mars – CNET

NASA’s eye-in-the-sky orbiter snaps a distant look at the dusty rover.
Source: CNET

Federal appeals court rules Uber drivers must arbitrate claims

A federal appeals court has handed a defeat to Uber drivers who were suing the company in three separate lawsuits over claims that they were misclassified as independent contractors instead of full-time employees.

The litigants must go through arbitration to pursue their claims against the company rather than have the claims heard in open court.

The decision also means that the drivers in one of the suits can’t file a class-action against Uber. Had the case been able to go to trial, drivers could have pursued larger damage claims against the company.

In a 3-0 decision, judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco flipped the ruling of a lower court judge that would have allowed Uber drivers to sue in open court.

As full-time employees, the drivers argued they would be entitled to reimbursement for gas and expenses around maintenance and general upkeep.

According to Reuters, the drivers also claimed that Uber was not allowing them to keep all of their tips from passengers.

While Uber drivers aren’t able to avoid forced arbitration for complaints against their non-employer the platform, Uber did do the right thing recently in ending forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment or assault.

Were the Uber drivers to proceed with their lawsuit and become full-time employees of the ride-hailing company, they’d be likely to face the same forced arbitration claims. Full-time Uber employees are also forced into arbitration to settle disputes rather than have their claims heard in open court.

At the heart of the dispute for Uber drivers is the demand for the safety net that comes with full-time employment and for companies a potentially significant hit to their bottom line.

Ride-hailing platforms like Uber and Lyft have long argued that the drivers on the platform aren’t actually employees of the company, despite being the providers of the service that the technology platforms facilitate. For drivers, the inability to set pricing or negotiate the percentage that Lyft or Uber will take of the fees that are charged means they operate more like employees than bidders in a marketplace.

And earlier this year, the California Supreme Court seemed to agree with the drivers’ argument.

In April, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case involving the nationwide delivery company Dynamex Operations West Inc. and its contract drivers. The decision established a new test for enforcement of California wage laws, and made it much harder for companies in California to claim that independent contractors are not actually full-time employees.


Source: TechCrunch

Virtual reality breaks free as the HTC Wireless Adapter hits store shelves

Gamers can now break free from wires as the HTC Wireless Adapter hits store shelves, allowing HTC Vive users to connect their headsets wirelessly to their Windows PC without the need for cable tethers.

The post Virtual reality breaks free as the HTC Wireless Adapter hits store shelves appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Qualcomm doubles down on claims that Apple stole chip secrets for Intel

If you happen to crack open that fancy little iPhone XS casing on your new phone, you’ll notice there’s a dwindling amount of Qualcomm chips in there and that they’re increasingly being replaced by Intel hardware.

The swap is representative of the cooling state of affairs between the two as the companies’ legal teams battle over Apple’s refusal to pay royalties that Qualcomm claims it is owed. Today, Qualcomm doubled down on its claims that Apple was stealing chip secrets from Qualcomm tech and feeding it to Intel engineers.

CNBC reports:

Qualcomm has unveiled explosive charges against Apple for stealing “vast swaths” of its confidential information and trade secrets for the purpose of improving the performance of chip sets provided by Qualcomm competitor Intel, according to a filing with the Superior Court of California.

The allegations are contained in a complaint that Qualcomm hopes the court will amend to its existing lawsuit against Apple for breaching the so called master software agreement that Apple signed when it became a customer of Qualcomm’s earlier this decade.

The newly filed documents amend an earlier suit by the company, claiming that Intel engineers working with Apple have been using Qualcomm source code.


Source: TechCrunch

How many GPU video ports is too many? The Aorus RTX 2080 packs seven

Aorus’ new RTX 2080 graphics card wants to turn up the new-generation GPUs to 11 with greater cooling, RGB lighting, and a whole host of video port options that give anyone more than they’ll likely ever need.

The post How many GPU video ports is too many? The Aorus RTX 2080 packs seven appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Teaching machines to see illusions may help computer vision get smarter

Researchers are teaching computers to see optical illusions. The reason? To create smarter, more brain-like vision recognition algorithms for everything from robots to autonomous cars.

The post Teaching machines to see illusions may help computer vision get smarter appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Chrome OS update could make switching to tablet mode far easier

Google is working on an update for Chrome OS that would make its browser-based operating system much easier to operate in tablet mode, even with the new, streamlined user interface.

The post Chrome OS update could make switching to tablet mode far easier appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

If your data is found on the dark web, Firefox Monitor will let you know

Firefox is finally launching its Firefox Monitor service and you don’t have to use the Firefox browser to access it. Monitor scans the dark web to see if your email address has been leaked as part of a past data breach.

The post If your data is found on the dark web, Firefox Monitor will let you know appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Google’s blanket ban of cryptocurrency ads ends next month

Google is rolling back its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements – following a similar move made by Facebook earlier this summer, CNBC reports. Google in March was among the first of the major platforms to announce it would no longer run ban cryptocurrency ads, due to an abundance of caution around an industry where there’s so much potential for consumer harm.

Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat had also banned cryptocurrency ads, for similar reasons.

But Facebook moved away from its blanket ban this June, when it said it would no longer ban all cryptocurrency ads, but would rather allow those from “pre-approved advertisers” instead. It excluded ads that promoted binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs), however.

Google is now following suit with its own policy change, it appears.

Google’s policy still bans ICOs, wallets and trading advice, CNBC reports, citing Google’s updated policy page which points to a list of banned products.

But the October 2018 policy update says that “regulated cryptocurrency exchanges” will be allowed to advertise in the U.S. and Japan.

To do so, advertisers will have to be certified with Google for the specific country where their ads will run, a process that begins in October. The policy will apply to all accounts that advertise these types of financial products, Google says.

Banning cryptocurrency ads on the part of the major platforms was a good step in terms of consumer protection, due to the amount of fraud and spam in the industry. According to the FTC, consumers lost $532 million to cryptocurrency-related scams in the first two months of 2018. An agency official also warned that consumers could lose more than $3 billion by the end of the year, because of these problems.

But for ad-dependent platforms like Facebook and Google, there’s so much money to be made here. It’s clear they wanted to find a way to let some of these advertisers back in. Google parent Alphabet makes around 86% of its total revenue from ads, CNBC noted, and booked over $54 billion in ad revenue in the first half of the year.

Google has not yet responded to a request for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

Inside AT&T's mission to help a city escape gun violence – CNET

The company’s dialing up a unique community outreach program in Chicago.
Source: CNET

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