Code/red: Uber’s Dark Night of the Seoul
// HAPPENING TODAY
- Netflix reports second-quarter earnings.
What’s Korean for Asshole, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick?
Uber’s aggressive international expansion is not going quite as planned. The car-hailing service, which incited cabbie protests in a number of European cities back in June, is today facing an outright ban in Seoul, South Korea. Seoul’s city government, which has allowed Uber to operate for nearly a year now, said today that the service is illegal under South Korean law and a threat to the livelihoods of licensed taxi drivers. “Uber is hurting the good people of the taxi industry,” said Kim Kyung-ho, head of the Seoul city transport department, which plans to launch an Uber-esque app of its own for official taxis this fall. Uber — whose CEO Travis Kalanick has publicly lambasted the taxi industry as an “asshole” — decried Seoul’s move as backward. “Comments like these show Seoul is in danger of remaining trapped in the past and getting left behind by the global sharing economy movement,” it said in a statement.
BlackBerry CEO Getting the Sybase Resurrection Band Back Together
BlackBerry CEO John Chen continues to flesh out the dilapidated smartphone pioneer’s executive team with Sybase alumni. This morning BlackBerry tapped Marty Beard as COO. Beard was most recently chairman and CEO of LiveOps. But before that, he worked under Chen at Sybase and saw firsthand the company’s miraculous transformation from disaster to $5.8 billion SAP acquisition. Also along then were BlackBerry SVP of Marketing Mark Wilson, who served as director of corporate marketing at Sybase, and BlackBerry Global Sales President Eric Johnson, who once served as Sybase’s general manager for North America.
And at the Amazon Family Picnic, He’ll Be Giving Drone Rides to the Kids
Looks like Amazon’s found someone to oversee its drone delivery business. The company has hired MIT PhD and former Microsoft distinguished engineer Paul Viola as VP of science for Prime Air. Viola’s job description in his own words: “Delivering packages in 30 mins.”
4.8 Million Legos Went in the Water, 576,664 Came Out … Sharks Took the Rest
Mario Cacciottolo, BBC: “A container filled with millions of Lego pieces fell into the sea off Cornwall in 1997. But instead of remaining at the bottom of the ocean, they are still washing up on Cornish beaches today.”
Former Obama Spokesman Hasn’t Met Tim Cook — Yet
Just because Jay Carney hasn’t met Tim Cook doesn’t mean the former White House press secretary hasn’t spoken to Apple about Katie Cotton’s old worldwide communications job. The vetting process for Cotton’s successor doesn’t begin with Cook, though it will most certainly end there. And as we first reported, Carney has indeed chatted with Apple about a communications gig.
Damn Location-Based Photo-Sharing Apps
I Know Where Your Cat Lives creator Owen Mundy: “I have a daughter and had been posting pictures of her on Instagram for about a year, and then I realized that Instagram had created a map of every picture [she] had been sharing with the world.”
Think of It as Taking Your Retirement One Long Weekend at a Time
Telmex CEO Carlos Slim, the world’s second-richest person, thinks you’re working too much. Or, rather, you’re working too much during the week. Slim recently called for a “radical overhaul” of the way we work, arguing for shorter workweeks. But there’s a caveat: In exchange for working fewer days a week, we’d have to work past current retirement age. “With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax, for quality of life,” Slim said. “Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied. People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75, and just work three days a week — perhaps 11 hours a day.”
Brew Beer With It? What the Hell’s the Matter With You? Haven’t You Seen “Prometheus”?
Ninkasi Brewing Company founder Jamie Floyd on the company’s efforts to brew beer with space yeast: “I can tell you that if it comes back and it’s mutated, we’re still going to brew a batch of beer with it. Rest assured that we will try to make beer with it if it comes back alive in any sort. It’s just … we can’t vouch for how it’s going to taste.”
Sisters (two 30-year-old guys lip-syncing a conversation between two 60-year-old women).