POLITICS/BUSINESS (National, International): Uber, France, managers arrested: "Uber managers arrested in France after can drivers' violent protests"; "2 Uber executives ordered to stand trial in France"; also, commentary (Michael Hiltzik), "What the New Yorker magazine misses about the Uber protests" ....
* Los Angeles Times (Michael Hiltzik): "What the New Yorker magazine misses about the Uber protests" - From the LAT:
The veteran tech analyst, writer and entrepreneur Om Malik weighed in last week for the New Yorker magazine with some thoughts about Uber, the ride-summoning service that is one of the most destructive of paradigm-destroying new companies in existence. In his post, which was published online Friday, Malik links ongoing protests against Uber--which include demonstrations by taxi drivers in Paris and lawsuits brought by Uber drivers in the U.S.--to those of the Luddites, the English protesters who destroyed job-killing mechanized looms at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
"It was skilled workers raging against the influx of unskilled labor," he writes. He also suggests that the success of Uber and other such services reflects our "need for instant gratification...Why wait for a cab to come along when you can order up an Uber?"
Old-economy cab drivers are "stuck," he writes. "Their industry is controlled by outdated regulation and now they face ruthless free-market competition. Meanwhile, the habits and the expectations of their customers are changing." He concludes that "that’s not something that protests in the streets... are likely to change."
This is a peculiarly narrow view of what animates the protests against Uber and the "sharing economy" in general. More to the point, it's a very Silicon Valley-centric view, in that it treats the middleman--Uber and its app linking drivers and passengers--as the most important player in the game.
Uber certainly sees it that way. But it leaves out quite a few important elements of the sharing economy .........................
* Los Angeles Times: "2 Uber executives ordered to stand trial in France"