Uber Slip Exposes Data of Some US Drivers

Uber on Wednesday confirmed that a software slip briefly exposed personal data of hundreds of US drivers.

The controversial ride-sharing company said that it stomped out the bug within a half-hour of getting word of the problem from a driver on Tuesday.

“We were notified about a bug impacting a fraction of our US drivers,” an Uber spokesperson said in an email reply to an AFP inquiry.

“We’d like to thank the driver who drew it to our attention and apologize to those drivers whose information may have been affected.”

Posts in online forums such as Reddit indicated that exposed information included driving license, tax, and Social Security data.

Uber promised to follow-up with drivers whose details were exposed.

Information regarding no more than 674 drivers in the United States was believed to have been exposed, with fewer than 1,000 individual private documents made vulnerable to viewing.

Drivers had to log in to their own documents pages to see information belonging to other drivers.

Limited information regarding some 50,000 Uber drivers in the United States was compromised early this year in a hacking incident that the California-based company is continuing to investigate.

Delivering the goods
Uber on Wednesday also unveiled a local delivery service for three US cities, aiming for a slice of the fast-growing segment.

Uber, which has been testing the service in some areas, said its new UberRush will allow consumers in Chicago, New York and San Francisco to get quick delivery of flowers, burritos or “pretty much anything in minutes.”

The new service competes with fast-growing startups like Postmates, and is aimed at helping merchants which lack delivery options to expand their consumer base.

Uber will collect fees of $5 to $6 for deliveries within one mile (1.6 kilometers), with the aim of getting the goods to consumers within minutes by car or bicycle courier.

The move came weeks after online giant Amazon began recruiting drivers for on-demand delivery of its products in its hometown of Seattle, Washington, with plans to launch in several other cities soon.

Uber’s ridesharing service has made it one of the world’s largest startups, operating in dozens of countries, but has faced regulatory hurdles in many areas and protests from established taxi operators.

UberRush Local Delivery Service Launched in 3 US Cities

Uber on Wednesday unveiled its local delivery service for three US cities, aiming for a slice of the fast-growing segment.

Uber, which has been testing the service in some areas, said its new UberRush will allow consumers in Chicago, New York and San Francisco to get quick delivery of flowers, burritos or “pretty much anything in minutes.”

The new service competes with fast-growing startups like Postmates, and is aimed at helping merchants which lack delivery options to expand their consumer base.

“Businesses that tap into UberRush will make getting anything in your city faster, more reliable, and more affordable than picking it up yourself,” said a blog post from Jason Droege, head of UberEverything.

“It’s time to save business owners the headache, save you the trip, and save us all a bit more time.”

Uber will collect fees of $5 to $6 (roughly Rs. 325 to Rs. 390) for deliveries within one mile (1.6 kilometers), with the aim of getting the goods to consumers within minutes by car or bicycle courier.

The move comes weeks after online giant Amazon began recruiting drivers for on-demand delivery of its products in its hometown of Seattle, Washington, with plans to launch in several other cities soon.

Uber’s ridesharing service has made it one of the world’s largest startups, operating in dozens of countries, but has faced regulatory hurdles in many areas and protests from established taxi operators.

Delhi High Court Directs Uber, Ola to Switch Completely to CNG by March 1

In an interim relief to app-based cab companies, Delhi High Court Wednesday allowed them to ply diesel-run taxis from point to point in the national capital till March 1 next year by when they will have to shift completely to compressed natural gas (CNG).

Justice Manmohan further said companies like Ola and Uber which are willing to give an undertaking that they will phase out their diesel cabs within stipulated time frame, will only be allowed to operate till next year.

However, it made clear that for those companies which will not give an undertaking with regard to phasing out of their diesel cabs from capital roads, its July 29 order has to be enforced strictly.

The court was also of the view that imposing a ban is not a practical solution because in the end public suffers, so some reasonable time has to be given to the companies. “At least one chance should be given to them (companies) as they are willing to shift to CNG. Entire public transport will be shifting to CNG, so some time needs to be given to them, otherwise the public will be put to inconvenience. I do not want public to suffer,” the judge said.

“Those who are willing to give me undertaking, I will give them time. Those who are not, my order passed in case of Ola will apply to them with immediate effect,” the judge added. The court passed the interim order while hearing a plea filed by Association of Radio Taxis, represented by senior advocate Nidesh Gupta, who contended that the court’s order upholding a ban on diesel cabs providing point-to-point service in the national capital was being implemented only against Ola while other app-based taxi services were violating it with impunity.

Hearing which the court Tuesday had asked Uber to take instruction on this aspect of the time frame in which they will phase out diesel taxis.

Meanwhile, the court asked Uber India, represented through senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, who said that it can replace the diesel taxis with CNG cabs within six months, to give details with regard to the manner in which they will be phasing out their diesel cabs by March 1.

It also asked the cabs companies present in court besides Uber and Ola to give some suggestions to the court about the mechanism, by which the facts and figures can be verified by the state transport department.

Google to Remove Chrome Desktop Notification Centre; Chrome 46 Launched

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Google will remove the Chrome desktop notification centre in the upcoming version of the browser. The search giant said not many users visited the notification centre and some disabled it, which made the feature pointless. It was introduced in 2013. The company also rolled out Chrome v46 for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms with bug fixes and security improvements.

As per Justin DeWitt, Software Engineer, the upcoming Chrome version would be completely eliminating the desktop notifications option from Windows, Mac, and Linux. However, the feature would still be there in Chrome OS, adds DeWitt on the Chromium blog post. The company has also given link to the new notification documentation for developers that shows “changes that will affect Chrome app and extension developers who send notifications to the centre.”

In the upcoming release of Chrome, notifications sent to the notification centre would result in an error “and API events tied to the center will no longer fire.” Other notifications would however, work normally. “With the growth of Web push, notifications are an increasingly important way for users to engage with web pages they care about. By streamlining the experience on desktop, Chrome can ensure a simple notification experience on every platform,” the blog said.

Google also rolled out Chrome v46 for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux with several bug fixes and security improvements. The updated browser would start marking HTTPS websites with minor errors with the same blank page icon used for HTTP websites. Earlier these pages were marked with yellow caution triangles. As per the firm, it is a better indication for security. However, the secured HTTPS pages, regular HTTP pages and broken HTTPS pages icons would stay unchanged.

google_chrome_45_46_compare_https_icon_blog.jpgIntroducing the new icon placement for websites, Google expects more HTTP site operators to shift to HTTPS. “We have to strike a balance: representing the security state of a webpage as accurately as possible, while making sure users are not overwhelmed with too many possible states and details. We’ve come to understand that our yellow “caution triangle” badge can be confusing when compared to the HTTP page icon, and we believe that it is better not to emphasize the difference in security between these two states to most users. For developers and other interested users, it will still be possible to tell the difference by checking whether the URL begins with https://,” the Google Online Security blog post said.

For Android, Chrome v46.0.2490.76 improves the performance as it now uses new optimized image loading and service tools. Developers can also animate a graphical content “along an arbitrary path declaratively as a CSS property.” These features were introduced in Chrome 46 Beta last month. The complete list can be seen in the company’s blog post. The updated browser app would be available to download from Google Play in next few days.