Uber 在倫敦將會被停業

Uber 在倫敦將會被停業:「Uber has license to operate in London revoked」、「London regulator announces Uber ban」、「Uber London loses licence to operate」。

更精確的說是不再續發 license,舊的 license 只到 9/30:

Transport for London (TfL), which operates public transport in the capital, has made the decision not to renew the app-based taxi’s license in the city.

The license was renewed in May, but for a period of only five months. It will run out on 30th September, though the company will be allowed to continue to operate during the appeal process.

看起來主要原因是圍繞於 Greyball (利用演算法躲避執法人員的工具):

According to the TfL regulatory board, the ‘approach and conduct’ of Uber showed a lack of corporate responsibility, which could have resulted in public safety and security issues. It also raised concerns with the company’s ‘approach to explaining the use of Greyball, software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app.’

新任 CEO 則是出來道歉:「Uber CEO apologizes for “mistakes” in London」。

其實是利益團體之間的衝突... 這戲還在繼續演。

Uber 戰火蔓延到 Unroll

最近 Uber 的 CEO 被 Tim Cook 叫去喝咖啡的事情被報導出來:「Uber’s C.E.O. Plays With Fire」,裡面提到了 Uber 試著要「辨別」使用者的 iPhone,而這違反蘋果的政策:

To halt the activity, Uber engineers assigned a persistent identity to iPhones with a small piece of code, a practice called “fingerprinting.” Uber could then identify an iPhone and prevent itself from being fooled even after the device was erased of its contents.

There was one problem: Fingerprinting iPhones broke Apple’s rules. Mr. Cook believed that wiping an iPhone should ensure that no trace of the owner’s identity remained on the device.

而 Uber 的搞法是針對蘋果總部所在地點屏蔽這個功能:

So Mr. Kalanick told his engineers to “geofence” Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., a way to digitally identify people reviewing Uber’s software in a specific location. Uber would then obfuscate its code for people within that geofenced area, essentially drawing a digital lasso around those it wanted to keep in the dark. Apple employees at its headquarters were unable to see Uber’s fingerprinting.

然後被蘋果工程師抓到,於是 Tim Cook 把人叫來喝咖啡:

The ruse did not last. Apple engineers outside of Cupertino caught on to Uber’s methods, prompting Mr. Cook to call Mr. Kalanick to his office.

另外提到了 Uber 從 Unroll.me 買來 Lyft 的帳單資料當作分析:

Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyft’s business. (Lyft, too, operates a competitive intelligence team.)

而更精彩的在 Hacker News 上的這串爆了不少料,提到 Unroll 會把所有信件掃下來,丟到 S3 上面:

I worked for a company that nearly acquired unroll.me. At the time, which was over three years ago, they had kept a copy of every single email of yours that you sent or received while a part of their service. Those emails were kept in a series of poorly secured S3 buckets. A large part of Slice buying unroll.me was for access to those email archives. Specifically, they wanted to look for keyword trends and for receipts from online purchases.

The founders of unroll.me were pretty dishonest, which is a large part of why the company I worked for declined to purchase the company. As an example, one of the problems was how the founders had valued and then diluted equity shares that employees held. To make a long story short, there weren't any circumstances in which employees who held options or an equity stake would see any money.

I hope you weren't emailed any legal documents or passwords written in the clear.

而在 FAQ 的「If I delete my Unroll.Me account, what will happen to all of my previously rolled up emails?」裡則是說我們沒有存你的信件:

這爆米花要多買一些了...

LibreTaxi:Uber 的替代方案

應該是因為 #DeleteUber 的關係而冒到排行榜上的「LibreTaxi」(關於 #DeleteUber 的事情,可以參考「What You Need to Know About #DeleteUber」這邊的說明)。

看了官網的說明覺得還蠻特別的,看了 GitHub 上的 ro31337/libretaxi 說明才對於他運作方式稍微有感覺:

系統跑在 Firebase 上,用 Telegram 當溝通工具,用這樣的架構來建構系統... 然後專案從 2016 年四月開始做的。

看到 zmx 貼了之前的連結,更確信 Uber 的問題不是技術問題了...

Twitter 上看到 zmx 提了一個連結,講 Uber 年初時貼的「How We Built Uber Engineering’s Highest Query per Second Service Using Go」這篇文章的問題:

對照最近的事情還蠻有趣的,尤其是這篇文章後面提到的,酸~爆~了~XDDD:

It is clear to me that the team at Uber under-engineered this problem. Thoughtfully designing this service could trim down the number of nodes by an order of magnitude and save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. That may sound like pittance to a company valued at more than the GDP of Delaware, but in my eyes that’s the salaries of a few engineers and a few good engineers can go a long way. Maybe even further than the few extra Mercedes-Benz S-Classes they could add to their fleet from the money they could be saving...

先不提政治問題,上面提到的 Quadtree 算是簡單易懂的結構,好久沒看到這個資料結構了:

最近討論 Uber 的 MySQL 換 PostgreSQL 後又換回 MySQL 的文章...

先把兩份連結丟出來,一份是 PyPgDay 2013 時由 Uber 的 Evan Klitzke 給的「Migrating Uber from MySQL to PostgreSQL」,原 PDF 連結已經失效 (看起來已經被刪除),但這個網路年代什麼都可以找到備份... 可以在「Migrating Uber from MySQL to PostgreSQL」取得,但這個網站怪怪的,我另外丟了一份到 Google Docs 上

另外一份則是同一個人 Evan Klitzke 在 2016 年發表於公司的官方網站上:「Why Uber Engineering Switched from Postgres to MySQL」。

2013 年描述了從 MySQL 換到 PostgreSQL,2016 年同一個人出來則描述了從 PostgreSQL 換到 MySQL 的理由,有種臉腫腫的感覺。

先抓 2013 年的重點,當時分享的目標是要用 PostGIS

在 2016 年的文章絕口不提 PostGIS,而是提到各種效能問題:花了很長的篇幅講 Non-clustered Index 與 Clustered Index 的設計,以及 Replication 時的頻寬效能差異。

先不管 PostGIS,如果真的是 UPDATE 造成效能問題,那麼不是要朝 sharding 解決嗎,怎麼是換成 MySQL?換到 MySQL 後還是會遇到效能問題啊,你還是要在 application 層上面找出方案啊。

這篇文章看起來更像是內部技術與政治問題掛勾在一起談,因為政治原因而換 MySQL,然後找出技術原因說明換的理由 XDDD

Wal-Mart 與 Uber/Lyft 合作迎戰 Amazon

Amazon 透過各種技術整合的比較好 (像是先前發表無人機空運的技術 Amazon Prime Air),而 Wal-Mart 則是跟 Uber/Lyft 這樣的公司配合:「Wal-Mart Plans to Test Grocery Delivery Through Uber, Lyft」。

不過可以看到運費不算低,如果買的東西不多的話:

The move steps up competition with Amazon’s burgeoning grocery-delivery service and provides a potential new avenue of growth for Uber and Lyft. The idea is to let Wal-Mart customers pick out groceries online and then have employees fill the order and give it to one of the ride-hailing companies’ drivers. Shoppers will pay a $7-to-$10 delivery charge to Wal-Mart to have the groceries brought to their door.

Uber 這類服務在北美的商務交通支出超越一般租車

Bloomberg 上看到的新聞,Uber 這類服務在北美的商務交通支出的佔有率已經超越一般租車了:「Uber Overtakes Rental Cars Among Business Travelers」。

資料來源是來自 Certify,北美第二大的雲端管理服務。所以這份資料其實還是有 bias 存在,但還是可以看出大趨勢:

所以不只有一般計程車行業受到影響,在商務客也受到衝擊。

Uber 在泰國曼谷提供 UberMOTO 服務:機車載客

Uber 在泰國曼谷推出 UberMOTO:「Uber launches its first motorcycle service」,官方的英文新聞稿:「Bangkok, UberMOTO is arriving now!」。

可以用現金或是信用卡付款:

At the end of your trip, you can pay with either cash or credit, depending on what you chose before requesting the ride. You’ll also receive an electronic receipt.

各種新嘗試 XD

印度的 Uber 將會有「Panic Button」提供給乘客

在「Uber has a panic button in India. But don’t expect it to come to the U.S.」這邊看到印度的 Uber 將會有 Panic Button 給乘客使用,馬上想到這種按鈕 XDDD

不過實際讀了文章以及官方的說明「Uber Upgrades In-App Safety Features in India」後,發現是 app 裡面的緊急通報:

這應該是因應先前印度發生好幾起 Uber 司機犯罪事件所做的改變 (參考「India Uber driver guilty of rape」)。

安倍政權打算規範民宿,使得 Airbnb 變成非法

日本市場是 Airbnb 成長最快的市場 (參考「Airbnb to Boost Japan Listings, Its Fastest-Growing Market」),也使得日本的旅館業者想透過立法手段打擊 Airbnb 這類服務:「Airbnb Faces Major Threat in Japan, Its Fastest-Growing Market」。

Under pressure from the hotel industry and a populace concerned with the surge of foreigners in their neighborhoods, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has released guidelines for home sharing -- called minpaku in Japanese -- that could make most Airbnb rentals in the country illegal.

不過 Airbnb 的手腕感覺上比 Uber 來的軟一點 (雖然比起其他企業還是很硬),應該會試著以遊說的方式阻擋?