Does it feel like every time you wake up there are a dozen new scandals involving the Trump regime? Well, last night was no different. Here’s a breakdown of all the crazy shit that happened last night and early this morning.
Hulu’s highly-anticipated live TV service is now available in beta and for my viewing experience, it’s the strongest offering yet, thanks to its combination of live TV, Hulu originals, and an on-demand selection of thousands of movies and TV shows.
(Seriously, if you’re ever depressed and need a quick pick-me-up, watch this trailer and have the rest of your day filled with smiles and mirth.)
Not to be outdone, Pepsi (obviously jealous that Dolezel didn’t bestow that level of favor on them) dropped “Live For Now Moments Anthem” — a two minute and thirty nine second long spot that makes as much sense as the title of it does.
Watching it is like watching a cat take a perfect piss in an empty bottle of Aquafina. It’s too bizarre, absurd, and oblivious to be truly offended by it, so you just gawk in awe and appreciation and wonder if the cat bothered to wipe. It’s also educational, as this appropriating hodgepodge of deleted scenes from Crash is what happens when performatively progressive Whiteness is given an unlimited budget and a random Marley scion to play with. It allows us a look into the psyche of the Fisher Price: My First Hashtag liberal; showing us what protesting means to them. It’s not ducking rubber bullets and pepper spray in Baltimore. It’s crushing Pepsi cans and rocking Vans at Burning Man. Protesting is lit AF, apparently.
You can even envision the diversity checklist on the right hand side of the whiteboard in the meeting this idea was conceived in.
A solemn Asian playing an instrument? Check!
A happy nigga with a kufi? Check!
A woman with a hijab AND a super modern nose ring just to show that Muslims are progressive and shit too? Check!
A sista with an afro and a “You’re paying me in cash for this, right?” look on her face? Check!
A Kardashian rocking Reynolds Wrap? Check!
Darth Beckys randomly brunching? Check!
Breakdancing niggas? Check!
Matt Dillon looking-ass cops dressed like cops in pornos? Check!
At the center of this all, of course, is Kendall Jenner. Otherwise known as TOKWAAJ (“The Only Kardashian With An Actual Job”). Who’s apparently supposed to be some sort of gluten-free Katniss Everdeen here, but ends up just looking and acting as taylorswiftly as humanly possible. It’s impressive, actually. Like the director just whispered “What Would Taylor Do?” in Kendall’s ear before each shot.
And, like with the Same Kind of Different as Me trailer, the most perplexing part of this all is that it even exists. The level of bureaucracy and red tape that exists when a large company like Pepsi attempts to do anything creative is almost Kafkaesque. You’re not just grabbing a camera, calling a Kardashian, and asking everyone currently in line at Zara to be in the commercial. It has to go through dozens of edits and rewrites and reshoots, has to be vetted by dozens of lawyers, and has to be signed off on by dozens of different departments. And through all of that, no one thought that the whole #PepsiLivesMatter premise would be an issue? Shit, no one just jumped on Slack or Gchat to just say “lol, this shit is wack as fuck y’all. any other ideas?”
I’m actually glad they didn’t though, because I always wanted to know what would happen if I handed a cop a can of Pepsi instead of my license and registration the next time I’m pulled over, and now I know.
«Watching it is like watching a cat take a perfect piss in an empty bottle of Aquafina. It’s too bizarre, absurd, and oblivious to be truly offended by it, so you just gawk in awe and appreciation and wonder if the cat bothered to wipe.»
The loss of long distance trains effects everybody, even those in Trump leaning states. My own history with Amtrak is enormous positive. The menu system on the NewsBlur web app was entirely written on a NYC-to-Portland Amtrak ride back in 2011. I'm going to miss these trains and hope that the next president will restore government funding to what government does best: infrastructure.
Probably _especially_ those in Trump-leaning states (or counties), in some ways. Aside from a couple of rides up and down the East Coast, the Amtrak routes I've traveled have almost all been through rural Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, PA...
Got a chance to take the Coastal Starlight down the coast at the end of February with about 40 friends on the way to a cruise ship. (It was a planes, trains, automobiles, and ships vacation.) The train ride was indeed beautiful, scenic, and such a great trip. We have plans in place to do it again next year. (Hoping that the train still runs, sigh.)
Uber has devised a "clever and sophisticated" scheme in which it manipulates navigation data used to determine "upfront" rider fare prices while secretly short-changing the driver, according to a proposed class-action lawsuit against the ride-hailing app.
When a rider uses Uber's app to hail a ride, the fare the app immediately shows to the passenger is based on a slower and longer route compared to the one displayed to the driver. The software displays a quicker, shorter route for the driver. But the rider pays the higher fee, and the driver's commission is paid from the cheaper, faster route, according to the lawsuit.
"Specifically, the Uber Defendants deliberately manipulated the navigation data used in determining the fare amount paid by its users and the amount reported and paid to its drivers," according to the suit filed in federal court in Los Angeles. Lawyers representing a Los Angeles driver for Uber, Sophano Van, said the programming was "shocking, "methodical," and "extensive."
The suit (PDF), which labeled the implementation of Uber's technology as a "well-planned scheme to deceive drivers and users," is one of a number of lawsuits targeting the San Francisco-based company. The suits range from disputes over drivers' employment rights to sex discrimination to trade-secrets theft. Just weeks ago, Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, declared that he needed "leadership help."
This latest lawsuit claims that Uber implemented the so-called "upfront" pricing scheme in September and informed drivers that fares are calculated on a per-mile and per-minute charge for the estimated distance and time of a ride. "However, the software that calculates the upfront price that is displayed and charged to the Users calculates the expected distance and time utilizing a route that is often longer in both distance and time to the one displayed in the driver’s application," according to the suit.
In the end, the rider pays a higher fee because the software calculates a longer route and displays that to the passenger. Yet the driver is paid a lower rate based on a quicker route, according to the suit. Uber keeps "the difference charged to the User and the fare reported to the driver, in addition to the service fee and booking fee disclosed to drivers," according to the suit.
The manipulation of prices between the amount charged to Users and the amount reported to drivers is clever and sophisticated. The software utilized in determining the upfront price is specifically designed to provide a route distance and time estimate based on traffic conditions and other variables but not to determine the shortest/quickest reasonable route based on those conditions. Meanwhile, the software utilized in the driver’s application, which navigates the drivers to the User’s destination, utilizes traffic conditions and other variables to provide the driver with a more efficient, shorter, or quicker route to the User’s destination, resulting in a lower fare payout to the driver.
The suit claims breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud, and unfair competition. The suit seeks back pay and legal fees, and it demands a halt to "the unlawful, deceptive, fraudulent, and unfair business practices."