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Industry & Technology

Nearly 100 Lyft drivers sue, complaining of illegally being paid too little

Ars Technica - 1 hour 13 min ago

Enlarge / Sticker for Lyft on the back of a Lyft ride-sharing vehicle in the Silicon Valley town of Santa Clara, California, August 17, 2017. (credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Several dozen Lyft drivers across California have filed a new labor lawsuit against the ride-hailing company, arguing—like many before them—that they are being inadequately paid.

According to the lawsuit, Abdeljabbar et al. v. Lyft, which was filed in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday, drivers are being paid “less than $8 per hour.” That’s far less than the California minimum wage of $11 per hour, and even further behind the minimum in some other Golden State cities, which mandate even higher pay.

A substantial portion of the drivers' lawsuit is based on a May 2018 decision by the California Supreme Court known as Dynamex.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ofcom asks networks, ISPs: Hey, wouldn't it be nice if you let customers know the best deal once their contract's up?

The Register - 1 hour 33 min ago
You know, they've paid for the phone a few times over now...

UK regulator Ofcom wants ISPs and networks to tell customers when they're contract is up and inform them of better deals. The consultation (PDF) was launched today alongside a review of broadband prices.…

Don’t buy a 5G smartphone—at least, not for a while

Ars Technica - 1 hour 33 min ago

Enlarge / 5G is here, but that doesn't mean you have to buy into it.

2019 is going to be the year of 5G—at least, that's what the cellular industry keeps saying. We're going to see the launch of several 5G smartphones from OEMs like Samsung, Motorola, and OnePlus, and carriers will be tripping over themselves to tell you how awesome their new 5G networks are despite coming with a slew of asterisks. I would like to make something up about how ridiculous the 5G hype has gotten, but it's hard to top actual quotes from industry executives, like Verizon's claim that 5G will "dramatically improve our global society." Faster mobile Internet is coming, but should you care about it yet?

Qualcomm recently had its big 2019 chip announcement, and as the world's biggest provider of smartphone chips, that gives us a good idea of what the upcoming 5G hardware will look like. The industry is doing its best to hype 5G up as The Next Big Thing™, but 5G hardware in 2019 is going to be a decidedly first-generation affair. Early adopters for 5G will have to accept all manner of tradeoffs. And when there might not even be 5G reception in your area, it might be better to just wait the whole thing out for a year or two.

A 5G mmWave primer: Making use of the spectrum that nobody wanted

"5G" is a shorthand reference to the next generation of cellular network technology that is launching in 2019. The whole "G" naming scheme started in the 1990s with the launch of GSM, which was called the "second generation"—aka "2G"—of mobile networking technology. GSM upgraded early networks from analog to digital, and those old analog networks were retroactively given the name "1G." Since then, we've gotten new "G" numbers with major coordinated network upgrades about every 10 years. These iterations brought important features like SMS and MMS messages, IP-based networking and mobile Internet, and, of course, more speed.

Read 33 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse just became your must-see December film

Ars Technica - 2 hours 3 min ago

Enlarge / Spider... sweatpants? That's just one of the many weird things you'll find in the hilarious, entertaining Into the Spider-Verse. (credit: Sony Pictures Animation)

I'll keep this glowing review short for two reasons: because I'm on vacation, and because there's not much I need to say to make my point.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is right up there with Black Panther and Deadpool 2 as one of the best comic book adaptations in theaters this year. What's more, it's easily the best comic-nerd film in years to warmly embrace the kinds of viewers who know their comics canon front and back, all without intimidating the inevitable kid and newbie viewers attracted to this incredibly family-friendly adventure.

Miles and Peter and Gwen and...

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Engineering Explained dives deep on the Mazda rotary engine - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
Jason Fenske uses an incredible 3D-printed model to show just how Mazda's magic spinning Doritos make power.

Rocket Report: Virgin soars, Falcon Heavy cores on the go, Astra failure

Ars Technica - 2 hours 18 min ago

Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (credit: Aurich Lawson/SpaceX)

Welcome to Edition 1.29 of the Rocket Report! This week, we send our hearty congratulations to Virgin Galactic, which reached an important milestone Thursday with its first flight above 80km. We also have some good news on the commercial crew front, with multiple flights looking promising for 2019.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Virgin flies into space (probably). With Mark "Forger" Stucky and C.J Sturckow piloting the vehicle, the VSS Unity vehicle was dropped from its White Knight Two carrier aircraft on Thursday before burning its rocket motor. During that 60-second burn, it reached a velocity of Mach 2.9 and soared to an altitude of 82.68km. These were records for the company, which may begin flying space tourists in 2019.

Read 26 remaining paragraphs | Comments

iOS 12 surprisingly breathes new life into my iPhone 5S - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 33 min ago
We test the oldest iPhone able to run Apple's newest OS.

The best iPhone X cases - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 33 min ago
Apple no longer sells the iPhone X, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't protect yours if you have one.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: 5 things Nintendo needs to fix - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 33 min ago
Nintendo's latest Smash Bros. game is fantastic, but parts of it feel incomplete, broken and backwards

NASA is spending New Year's exploring a frozen and hostile space rock - CNET

cNET.com - News - 2 hours 33 min ago
If your New Year's resolution was to travel 4 billion miles to explore the very edge of the solar system, NASA has you covered.

Careful with this latest Microsoft release – tug too hard on the threads and it tends to unravel

The Register - 2 hours 33 min ago
The Windows Christmas Jumper Day Update is here!

Those whacky guys on the Windows team have taken time out from slapping plasters all over Microsoft's flagship OS to slip a special Christmas gift under the tree of the faithful.…

Wetherspoons fake accounts to be exposed

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 33 min ago
Twitter must reveal the identity behind two parody accounts, the high court rules.

When will electric airliners make sense?

Ars Technica - 2 hours 48 min ago

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

Currently, the world is struggling to keep its carbon emissions from rising. But to reach the longer-term goals we have for stabilizing the climate, we're going to have to do far more than roll out some renewable energy. Keeping the earth from warming by 2°C above preindustrial temperatures means a deep decarbonization of our energy use. Which means that we not only have to go fully carbon neutral in generating electricity, but we have to start using those emissions-free electrons to handle our heating and transportation needs.

For things like cars and buses, that process has already started. But there's one weight-sensitive mode of transportation where batteries may not be able to bail us out: air travel. The relatively low energy density of batteries means that you need a lot of them—plus the weight and space they take up—to power an aircraft. For this reason, many people have decided that we'll need biofuels to power air travel. Yet there are companies that are planning to develop electric passenger aircraft.

So who's being realistic? To find out, an international team has done an evaluation of whether battery-powered electric aircraft can become viable and when it's possible they'll reach the market.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Tumblr returns to App Store after porn ban

BBC Technology News - 3 hours 7 min ago
The social network has returned to Apple's app store after revealing plans to ban adult content.

Best iPhone XR cases - CNET

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 32 min ago
Need some protection for your new iPhone XR? Here's a bunch of top cases to check out, all of them compatible with wireless charging.

Hybrids, EVs and fuel cell vehicles make up most of Ward's 2019 10 best engines - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 33 min ago
There may not be any high-dollar, screaming exotica but the variety of powertrains on the list has never been greater.

If most punters are unlikely to pay more for 5G, why all the rush?

The Register - 3 hours 33 min ago
5G is like 3G, except this time they mean it

Analysis 5G is a technical and economical miracle that you cannot help but admire. Soon our streets will be drenched in high-speed connectivity as all kinds of far-out radio boffinry get commercialised, productised, and deployed for something useful. Many billions of pounds of other people's money will be spent here. But the mobile networks are haunted by an awkward economic reality: for all the 5G razzle-dazzle, most punters just won't pay more for it.…

The future is bright, the future is NVMe

The Register - 4 hours 18 min ago
It's time has come

Promo Technical work on the first spec for Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) began in 2009 with a first version released two years later. A decade on, NVMEe’s time has come.…

2019 Subaru WRX review: All-wheel-drive fun, all the time - Roadshow

cNET.com - Reviews - 4 hours 33 min ago
While it's not as polished as its competition, the WRX remains one of our favorites, because it's just so much fun.

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