Former mayoral  candidate Joe Lhota now working as day-laborer

How the mighty have fallen. Joseph Lhota, who lost to Bill de Blasio in the 2013 mayoral election is now working as a day-laborer for the New York State MTA.

When asked where they located Lhota, Veronique Hakim, the agency’s managing director, said, “We just drove up to the local hardware store. Out front, there was the usual gaggle of people looking for per diem work. One of my staffers asked,  ‘¿Quién tiene experiencia en el transporte?’ A well dressed man answered, ‘¡Tengo experiencia, señor!’

“We told him to get in the van,” Hakim continued. “He proceeded to open his backpack and pull out a pair of wing tips, an iPad, and an American Express Platinum card. We knew right away that he was just the kind of person we were looking for.”

Source: Group wants MTA boss Joe Lhota probed over lobbying | New York Post

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Stepping Down From Trump Economic Advisory Council

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is resigning from President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council, according to the company.

In a memo to employees, Kalanick said he didn’t want his presence to be seen as endorsing the president or his agenda.

The Bitemaster is no fan of Uber, but when they decide to Do the Right Thing, I praise them!

Source: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Stepping Down From Trump Economic Advisory Council | The Huffington Post

Uber Knows When Your iPhone Battery Is Dying And You’re Getting Desperate

But they promise not to use the power for evil.

… [Keith Chen, Uber’s head of economic research] revealed that Uber knows when the battery on your phone is low — it keeps tabs on your battery so the app knows when to switch into low-power mode — and that it knows you’re willing to pay more for a ride when your battery is running out. . . . “[W]e absolutely don’t use that to kind of, like, push you a higher surge price, but it’s an interesting kind of psychological fact of human behavior,” said Chen.

Source: Uber Knows When Your iPhone Battery Is Dying And You’re Getting Desperate

New Hampshire militant busted after buying grenades to bring back ‘the original Constitution’

Daniel E. Musso Sr., 54, of East Kingston, New Hampshire, who wants to get back to the “original Constitution,” was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday after he purchased grenades from an undercover agent, telling him he had another $200,000 on hand to buy C-4 explosives and “rocket-type stuff.”

Here at the Biteme International Headquarters and Hot Dog Emporium, we love the idea of returning to the original constitution. Just think of it:

  • We can own slaves!
  • No more pesky women voters!
  • No more income tax!
  • But poll taxes are back!
  • No more Interstate Highways!
  • And the return of the privately owned toll road!
  • No more Pure Food and Drug Act!
  • No more Sherman Antitrust Act!
  • No more child labor laws!
  • No more Environmental Protection Agency!
  • No more direct voting for Senate!
  • No more Second Amendment!

And, finally, my personal favorite:

  • Unlimited presidential terms for Obama!

Source: New Hampshire militant busted after buying grenades to bring back ‘the original Constitution’

Man On Beach Takes Down Drone By Throwing T-Shirt At It, Ends Up In Jail

A Southern California man’s relaxing day at the beach came to an unpleasant conclusion this week. After taking down a drone that was hovering over his group of friends by throwing his T-shirt at it, Augustine Lehecka found himself behind bars at the Vista County jail, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

If some asshole’s drone were hovering over me or outside my window, I’d want to knock it down, too.

On the other hand, laser pointers are being used to distract airplane pilots. You can report incidents to the FAA, but they haven’t been able to do shit about it so far. Maybe the drone operators could put their toys to some socially-useful purpose and track down the laser-pointer guys?

Source: Man On Beach Takes Down Drone By Throwing T-Shirt At It, Ends Up In Jail

Billionaires are working for you and me

In New York City, Uber is running television ads saying how they really care about people in minority neighborhoods and how they’re creating thousands of new jobs. Airbnb ran ads touting how they help little old ladies put their boychiks through college. And the Rent Stabilization Association (trade association of NYC landlords) ran ads telling how their real purpose is to create affordable housing.

Based on valuation by recent investors, Uber is worth about $50 billion and Airbnb is worth about $20 billion. The Rent Stabilization Association’s members control about a million apartments, worth in the tens of billions of dollars.

I’d say “bite me,” but first I have to go and throw up.

Uber Executive proposes using Scientology tactics on journalists who criticize

You know what Scientology does to its opponents: it declares them “fair game” and uses investigations, character assassination, legal action and infiltration to eventually destroy them.

That’s what Uber senior vice president Emil Michael wants to do to journalists who write unflattering things about his company. According to BuzzFeed, Michael “. . . suggested that the company should consider hiring a team of opposition researchers to dig up dirt on its critics in the media — and specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticized the company.”

Creepy, huh? But Uber apparently is even creepier than that, sometimes using the travel logs of their journalist customers to spy on them.

In fact, the general manager of Uber NYC accessed the profile of a BuzzFeed News reporter, Johana Bhuiyan, to make points in the course of a discussion of Uber policies. At no point in the email exchanges did she give him permission to do so.”

Sure, all the New Technology companies spy on you to make money. But now you have to worry that they’re spying on you to fuck you over.

Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists.

Proposed rule would force airlines to disclose sneaky charges

Since 2008, airlines have been charging for things — like checked bags — that were once included in the ticket price. More recently, some have begun offering packages with some of the once-free services added back into the cost of a ticket but at higher prices.

But what’s truly evil is that the airlines don’t want to disclose the real price in their advertising, making comparison shopping nearly impossible. Cute, huh?

To address the inequity, the United States Department of Transportation has proposed a rule requiring that passengers be provided detailed information on fees for a first checked bag, a second checked bag, advance seat assignments and carry-on bags.

Apparently full disclosure terrifies the airlines. Airlines for America, the industry trade association says that the “proposal overreaches and limits how free markets work.”

So they think that a free market works by hiding the price from the buyer? Bite me!

via Proposal wants airlines to be upfront with hidden charges | New York Post.

See also The Columbian and the Washington Post.

Bikers try to commandeer highway, but cat gets Bloomberg’s tongue

“The psycho bikers who viciously beat a Manhattan driver in front of his wife and 2-year-old daughter were at first trying to slow the man down so they could get in front of him and take over the West Side Highway, law-enforcement sources told The Post on Tuesday.”

But Mayor Bloomberg, known to drunk-rant over almost anything, has had zip to say about the beat-down or the perpetrators.

Bike gang tried to close highway | New York Post

Bike gang tried to close highway | New York Post.

The self-driving car is coming

Google, Nissan, Ford, GM, Toyota and others are all working on driverless vehicles. And the author of this article is all enthusiastic about how much money will be saved by getting rid of chauffeurs, truck drivers and the like. But not a thought of how we’re going to find new jobs for all the people who will be put out of work.

It’s a classic case of externality. Google will make a gazillion dollars, but the side effects won’t be their problem — they’ll be OUR problem.

The driverless revolution rolls on – Fortune Tech.