Sony creates limited edition Xperia Z3 series for Germany

Sony has launched a limited edition series of the Xperia Z3 devices, including the Z3, Z3 Compact, Z3 Tablet Compact. The devices feature an exclusive etched pattern on the glass back.

Three
designers were chosen for the job, who each chose a city of their
choice to etch on the back of these devices as part of the Stadt Talente
peoject. Vesa Tapani Sammalisto chose Berlin to etch on the back of the
Z3, Shinpei Hasegawa chose Tokyo for the back of the Z3 Compact, and
Jan Feliks Kallwejt chose Warsaw for the Z3 Tablet Compact.

The devices are available as limited edition, with 33 being made of each and sold only in Germany.

Source (German)Via

Sony creates limited edition Xperia Z3 series for Germany – reader comments

  • Smile

To all the people posting here about LIMITED EDITION, saying its a PR
Gimmick, or its Cheapstake or whatever….

I am sure they a Samboys or Isheeps..coz if tomorrow SameSung or ICr*p
does the same thing it will be nice & new design & wh…

  • Smile

Mahn..dont you read earlier comments before posting, how many times do I need to tell the meaning of “LIMITED EDITION”??

  • pccwtmoasoab

Only 33 pcs? Cheapskate LE, no wonder only sold in German.

 – GSMArena.com news

via Blogger http://technoeck.blogspot.com/2014/12/sony-creates-limited-edition-xperia-z3.html

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Microsoft is building a new browser as part of its Windows 10 push

There’s been talk for a while that Microsoft was
going to make some big changes to Internet Explorer in the Windows 10
time frame, making IE “Spartan” look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox.

win10whatsnext.jpg

It
turns out that what’s actually happening is Microsoft is building a new
browser, codenamed Spartan, which is not IE 12 — at least according to
a couple of sources of mine. Thomas Nigro, a Microsoft Student
Partner lead and developer of the modern version of VLC, mentioned on
Twitter earlier this month that he heard Microsoft was building a brand-new browser. Nigro said he heard talk of this during a December episode of the LiveTile podcast.

Spartan is still going to use Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript engine
and Microsoft’s Trident rendering engine (not WebKit), sources say. As
Neowin’s Brad Sams reported back in September, the coming browser will look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox and will support extensions. Sams also reported on December 29 that Microsoft has two different versions of Trident in the works, which also seemingly supports the claim that the company has two different Trident-based browsers.

However, if my sources are right, Spartan is not IE 12. Instead, Spartan is a new, light-weight browser Microsoft is building.

Windows
10 (at least the desktop version) will ship with both Spartan and IE
11, my sources say. IE 11 will be there for backward-compatibility’s
sake. Spartan will be available for both desktop and mobile
(phone/tablet) versions of Windows 10, sources say.

Spartan is
just a codename at this point. My sources don’t know what Microsoft
plans to call this new browser when it debuts. The IE team hinted during
a Reddit Ask Me Anything earlier this year that the team had contemplated changing the name of IE
to try to get users to realize the much more standards-compliant IE of
today is very different from older, proprietary versions of IE.

Microsoft may show off Spartan on January 21 when the company reveals its next set of Windows 10 features.
But my sources also aren’t sure if Spartan will be functional enough
for inclusion in the Windows 10 January Technical Preview and mobile
preview builds that are expected to be available to testers in early
2015. It may not show up in the test builds until some point later, they
say.

Will Microsoft end up porting the Spartan browser to
Android, iOS and/or any other non-Windows operating systems? I’m not
sure. The IE team said a few months back that Microsoft had no plans to port IE to any non-Windows operating systems.
But Spartan isn’t IE. And these days, Microsoft is porting much of its
software and services to non-Windows variants. So I’d say there’s a
chance that this could happen somewhere down the line ….

 | ZDNet

via Blogger http://technoeck.blogspot.com/2014/12/microsoft-is-building-new-browser-as.html

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

This year, we saw Google introduce a sweeping new design language to
overhaul is long list of products. We saw independent designers building
their own hardware. And more than anything, we saw experimentation on a
huge scale—resulting in one of the most eventful and interesting years
for UI and UX design in recent memory.

End-of-year reflection is tough: Our poor, fallible human brains aren’t so hot at longer time scales. So
every year we
take it upon ourselves to look back at all the design posts from the
past twelve months and pull out a few threads that wind the entire way
through the year—check ’em out below.


Buttons, Buttons Everywhere

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

This year, the interactions once imprisoned inside of the bezels of your phone started to migrate outside of it. There was
Fuffr,
an iPhone case that turns the space around your phone into useable
“screen,” like a tiny Leap Motion for your phone, by interpreting them
with a motion sensor that communicates with Bluetooth LE.

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

The same idea informed a project from Carnegie Mellon’s Future Interfaces Group called Skin Buttons.
Designed in response to the conundrum of the smartwatch—how to control a
complex, very small screen UI with our fat fingers?—the interface
projects light beads onto the skin of the wrist when needed, acting as a
secondary interface when a tiny screen just won’t do.


Make Your Own Interface

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

Beyond big-name programs developing modular devices like Google’s Ara,
there were independent designers working towards easily-reconfigurable
hardware.
Florian Born, for example, designed a system around an iPad
that created a cohesive set of controls including knobs, buttons, and
sliders, all of which click together in new configurations. Depending on
what he needs at the moment, Born can rearrange the set to suit it.

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

The same thread ran through other projects—especially musical ones—like a
custom MIDI controller screenprinted in conductive ink onto a scrap of plain cotton, or Ototo, a tiny synthesizer that lets you turn virtually any object into a musical instrument.


Real-World Physics For Screens

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

One thing we saw again and again this year was the shedding of extra,
unnecessary shadow and other brashly skeuomorphic details—once used to
communicate depth and perspective in 2D screen space. We saw more subtle
design affordances take the lead to teach users how to interact with an operating system.

In June, Google introduced us to its brand-new design standard,
Material Design,
which will govern how all of its numerous platforms, apps, and services
will look—including how to show users what’s possible within a given
interface. Rather than shadow or clutter, Material Design uses “consistent choreography,”
like animation, layering, and realistic physical interactions between
objects.”The fundamentals of light, surface, and movement are key to
conveying how objects interact,” Google told us in its design manifesto.
“Realistic lighting shows seams, divides space, and indicates moving
parts.”


Touch Everything (or Nothing)

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

With an ongoing project that’s made our list two years in a row, MIT’s
Tangible Media Group unveiled a new prototype of its morphing tangible
interactive table
called Transform.
The system reads your gestures and reacts to them with physical, not
optical, responses—these are very, very tangible bits. The idea is to
develop a rough, larger-scale version of the kind of tangible
interactivity that might one day be embedded in all sorts of static
objects around us, from tables to walls to entire apartments.

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

Similarly there was
HaptoMime,
a University of Tokyo prototype display that uses ultrasound to create a
touchable “screen” in midair. Rather than poking at a piece of glass,
users can “push” buttons and pull objects simply by feeling for them in
midair while the device reads their gestures.


1,000 Ways To Use a Smartphone

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

Rather than a world unto itself, we saw developers using smartphones as mere pieces of broader ecosystems. Look at
THAW, an MIT Media Lab software that turns your smartphone into a controller for a larger screen, for example. The idea isn’t
just to make your phone into a glorified mouse, but to explore how the
phone’s screen can actually interact with a larger screen as it moves
across it. As more spaces are composed of bigger screens, this is an
interaction we’ll be seeing more often.


Smarter, Safer Screens

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

It’s been years since automakers and helmet-makers began trumpeting the
safety benefits of heads-up displays on the road and slopes, but the
technology still has yet to come into its own. Still, this year we saw
it get much closer in an exclusive trial of the world’s
first HUD helmet for motorcycles.

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

Likewise, we saw designers taking on the problem of in-car interactions in new ways. A designer named
Matthaeus Krenn gave us perhaps the coolest: A UI that doesn’t require the driver to look away from the road,
thanks to a complete lack of traditional grids and buttons. Rather, you
just put your grubby meathooks on the screen and perform whatever
interaction you’re looking for—regardless of where you touched down, or
the scale of the gesture.


Better Fonts For Smaller Screens

The 7 Most Important UI and UX Ideas of 2014

The
arrival of San Francisco,
Apple’s first new typeface in years, heralded a broader trend of more
responsive type designs for smaller screens. San Francisco—which is free
and is very easy to install as
a system font if you hate Helvetica—was designed by the company
specifically for use on the Apple Watch. It’s adaptive to context, so if
you’re looking at a message with a small font size, San Francisco
leaves more space between letters and bigger apertures.

via Blogger http://technoeck.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-7-most-important-ui-and-ux-ideas-of.html

Review: IPhone user tries to go back to BlackBerry

By Scott Mayerowitz

Blackberry Classic

The BlackBerry’s blinking red light used to haunt me. Just when I
thought I could relax, enjoy a nice dinner or go for a run, my
BlackBerry would start blinking again, signaling a new message. I was an
addict. Typing with one hand, hiding the BlackBerry under the dinner
table? No problem. Walking down the street while composing messages?
Easy. That was four years ago.

Today, I’m a loyal iPhone user, having just bought my second
phone from Apple. I get my personal and work email on it. I also use it
to tweet—maybe too much—and share photos of my travels on Instagram. My
airline boarding passes and hotel reservations live on my phone. As a
travel reporter, it’s an indispensable tool for my work—not so much for
the email but for all the apps that help me manage my trips. It feels
like a mobile office for me.

This past week, I went back to my BlackBerry ways to test the company’s latest model, the Classic.

For BlackBerry, this device is a return to its roots: It’s made for
those heavy corporate users who love the physical keyboard and have
resisted the touch screens adopted by millions of iPhone and Android
users. The Classic has strong security features, restores the beloved
navigation row and sports a battery that won’t be drained by lunch.

I can see how the Classic is a great device for loyal BlackBerry fans.

My friend Heather Montminy practically jumped out of her chair to try
the Classic when she saw me testing it during dinner last week with our
respective spouses. Montminy is a lawyer who has been using a
BlackBerry for 12 years and carries two phones: an iPhone for her
personal use and a BlackBerry for work.

“I’m excited for any new BlackBerry. I was really concerned that they
were going to phase out the keyboard,” Montminy says. “I feel like I
can get a business email done much faster and more efficiently.”

She says she’s not great at typing on a touch screen and often finds
herself making mistakes and having to go back and fix them. That might
be fine in a message to friends but not on an important work email.

But after four years on the iPhone, I don’t think the Classic is for
me. I also don’t believe it’s going to sway back anybody who has
abandoned the BlackBerry.

To be honest, I’ve become very good at typing emails on my touch screen. And I’m no casual user.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

I send and receive a whopping 500 emails a day. Many are public
relations pitches that only require a word or two in reply. But for many
others, I will easily respond with a few paragraphs on my iPhone. In
fact, I will often write large sections of my stories on my iPhone while
riding the subway or sitting on planes prior to takeoff. The only big
downside for me is copying and pasting.

Going back to a physical keyboard this past week turned out
to be cumbersome. Yes, I liked that while in another program, the
BlackBerry gave me a little banner up top announcing the sender of a new
email. And, to be honest, that blinking red light was, in a strange
way, comforting. But I wasn’t typing any faster with the physical
keyboard.

Beyond that, photos aren’t as good as what I can take with the
iPhone. Both phones produce 8 megapixel pictures, but images taken with
the Classic weren’t as sharp.

More importantly, BlackBerry lacks several apps I’ve come to depend
on. The Classic will run some Android apps through Amazon’s app store,
but it’s a subset of what’s available for Android. It doesn’t even run
everything that would run on Amazon’s Fire phone. Apps need to be
tweaked for the phone’s 3.5-inch screen (The display is smaller than
most phones because the physical keyboard takes up much of the bottom).

There’s no Instagram, no Uber car service and no ability to easily
pull up my airline boarding pass. With my iPhone, I can get my boarding
pass and add it to Passbook. It’s there as I get to the security
checkpoint—no fumbling around email folders or hoping there is a strong
enough cell signal to download the image fresh.

Maybe if I never got a taste of the iPhones and all the apps
available for it, I’d be first in line for a Classic. But BlackBerry
took too long to modernize its system, and in that time, I’ve gotten
used to the touch screen.

Explore further:

BlackBerry launches Classic in last-ditch effort

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

via Blogger http://technoeck.blogspot.com/2014/12/review-iphone-user-tries-to-go-back-to.html

Why passwords won’t die next year (or the years after that) | ZDNet

By John Fontana

for Identity Matters

|
December 26, 2014 — 21:26 GMT (05:26 GMT+08:00)

$8.65 billion.

That is the estimated cost
it will take to convert the current U.S. credit card system to EMV
chip-and-pin — roughly $27 per U.S. citizen.

What does that have
to do with passwords? Killing the password won’t come without its own
hefty price tag for corporate and cloud service providers —
back-end/front-end technology replacements/transitions, integration,
maintenance, end-user training and support costs.

In the EMV world the costs are wrapped up in new point-of-sale (POS) terminals, ATM card-reader upgrades, and issuing new cards.

With
authentication, the other important factor is liability, who pays when
things go wrong, a question the credit card industry is answering next
year.

These are transitions that take years not months.

Six Clicks

How do you keep track of all your passwords?

If you have just one password for
everything it’s easy to remember, but we all know that isn’t safe. So
how do you keep track of a large number of them – and not have to worry
about it?

Cloud providers like Google and Yahoo bristle
at the potential support costs and user angst that would come if
passwords were to die — it’s the virtual entry point to their
services. The bigger the service, the greater the costs.

Corporations
have millions of dollars sunk in identity and access management
infrastructure. In many cases, authentication changes will be grafted
onto technology such as single sign-on, which still requires a password.

Innovation won’t seek to kill passwords, only contain them
within a broader equation around authentication type plus value of
resource. (i.e. you’ll face more authentication challenges on your bank
access than your Flickr account).

For authentication changes, liability is the true sticking point just as it has been with EMV.

The
reason merchants haven’t plunged into card changes that are projected
to reduce fraud by up to 40% is because merchants aren’t on the hook for
fraud.

So why the EMV conversion?

On October 2015 a shift
in liability will go into effect and for the first time merchants who
do not have EMV-enabled POS readers will be liable for fraud and not
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and their banking partners.

The stat that broke that camel’s back was $7.1 billion in fraud in 2013, a 29% increase over 2012.

A billion anything is a powerful motivator.

On
the password side, the incentive to move to more sophisticated
authentication options is in play. How the Targets, Sonys and lawyers of
the world resolve breach issues will factor prominently in strong
authentication options for the masses.

One major prediction I made
in January is that the discussion around passwords will semantically
shift to authentication. Access control will be defined by specific or
combined forms of authentication applied at specific times to specific
classes of devices, access and transactions.

We’re talking
everything from security questions to capchas, passwords, biometrics,
tokens, gestures, behaviors, and other innovations. Passwords will
become authentication’s failed 1.0 implementation.

Risk mitigation
will define use cases, and liability will be off-loaded whether to a
single identity and access management cloud provider or across a number
of services.

Privacy concerns also will influence these
decisions, especially around techniques such as continuous
authentication, which raises the tracking flag.

Passwords will be
used to signal that you would like to access a service, much like
lining up in front of a popular nightclub. But it will take another
authentication credential (a government-issued ID in the night club
example) or more to gain access authorization.

There will be a range of credential options to ensure a “level of assurance” to “grade” authentication, such as in-person verification for Level of Assurance 4 credentials.

I
know of one U.S. military installation that uses a neutral “pod”
(accessed with a PIV card) that sits between two rooms. The pod has a
built-in scale to check the persons weight (against a database; plus or
minus five pounds margin of error) followed by an iris scanner
authentication. All this happens after the door to the pod is shut and
before the door opens to the next room.

So don’t look (or wait)
for passwords to die, look at authentication as a whole, as a layer to
be architected or inserted via a service provider. Think about use cases
and combinations of authenticators.

Things at first may look a
little more complex (especially as authentication is integrated with
other risk-based tools/strategies), but innovation should eventually put
most of that complexity in the background.

It’s going to be a process. But given recent events, the alternative looks much worse and the costs much higher.

 | ZDNet

via Blogger http://technoeck.blogspot.com/2014/12/why-passwords-wont-die-next-year-or.html

Oppo N3 review: Motor head

IntroductionClose window
The formula for the smartphone to top all others is the industry’s
elusive philosopher stone. Being complete newbies, but keen as a bean,
Oppo’s take is perhaps the weirdest. Yet it seems to work.

The standard ingredients include the latest chipset, a robust screen,
and a high-megapixel camera. But why not try something crazy like a
rotating camera that can do the best selfies in the industry? That
seemed to be last year’s brief. This year the module is motorized and
can rotate all by itself. The camera has also seen a substantial
upgrade.

Oppo N3 official photos
Last year’s Oppo N1 had a rotating 13MP camera, a 5.9″ 1080p display
and a CyanogenMod ROM, as an alternative to Oppo’s very own Color OS.
This year the camera is 16MP, the sensor and pixel size have gotten
bigger but that’s about it as far as bigger goes. The phone is tangibly more compact, which has a simple explanation: a slightly smaller 5.5″ 1080p IPS display.

There’s no CM this time but Color OS is in at version 2.0 bringing
Android KitKat and this time there is no longer an app drawer.

Among the other things that make the N3 a better phone is a new
chipset (Snapdragon 801 over the S600 of old) and a fingerprint scanner
on the back where the O-Touch pad used to be.

Key features

  • Optional Dual-SIM (micro SIM resides in microSD card slot)
  • 5.5″ IPS LCD display of 1080 x 1920px resolution, around 403ppi
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Color OS 2.0 on top
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, quad-core 2.2GHz Krait 400 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM
  • Motorized 206-degree rotating lens, 16MP 1/2.3″ sensor, Schneider Kreuznach certified, 1.34µm pixel size, dual LED flash
  • 1080p video recording at 30fps and 60fps, 720p slow motion video at 120fps
  • Fingerprint sensor doubling as a trackpad and button
  • O-Click Bluetooth remote comes in the bundle, can control the camera and locate the device
  • 32GB of built-in storage; microSD card slot
  • Cat. 4 LTE (150/50Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS/GLONASS; microUSB, USB On-The-Go
  • 2,000mAh battery with Oppo’s proprietary VOOC rapid charging tech (75% battery in 30min)

Main disadvantages

  • No 4K video recording yet
  • Comparably large and heavy for the screen size
  • QHD resolution would have been nice
  • No FM radio or IR blaster (we’re nitpicking because of the high asking price)
  • Hard to get in brick-and-mortar stores outside of Asia

What was good about the Oppo N1 is even better here – the body is
still a lovely blend of high-quality matte plastic and aluminum. The
frame that runs around the phone breaks for a bit toward the bottom
where a notification LED forms what Oppo likes to call Skyline
Notification 2.0.

Oppo did well with the successor, building on the strengths of the
N1, and ditching some of the things that were a little over the top (the
huge footprint and 5.9″ aren’t everyone). Can Oppo finally step out of
Asia with a global winner?
Well, for one, the N3 is yet to be available on the shelves of
walk-in stores around the world. You do get shipping to most locations
outside Asia and an international warranty to go along. But most people
don’t feel comfortable buying their phone from outside the country, let
alone across continents.
Then there’s the issue of carrier subsidies – many people get their
phones on multi-year deals from their carriers without worrying about
pricey upfront obligations – this isn’t an option with the Oppo N3.
Another thing to note is the asking price of $649, which sure looks
steep. Most of the points above are valid for pretty much every
smartphone to come out of China these days – few of which can match
Oppo’s vision and creativity.

Oppo N3 at HQ

In and of itself, the Oppo N3 is a great smartphone with a quirky but
potent-looking camera propped on its forehead. As a successor, it’s all
an Oppo N1 user can ask for – the screen is smaller but we think it
suits the device better, the chipset has seen a big improvement, and the
camera (the focal point of the package) has improved the most.
OK, the N3 has our full attention. Off to unboxing and a hardware checkup after the break.

 – GSMArena.com

via Blogger http://technoeck.blogspot.com/2014/12/oppo-n3-review-motor-head.html

The hackers who say they took down gaming networks are now going after Tor

(REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files)

A hacking group that calls itself Lizard Squad claimed it was behind
Christmas Day outages on Sony and Microsoft’s gaming networks. And now,
it says, it has turned its eyes toward anonymous browsing tool Tor.

Tor is relied on by journalists, activists, whistleblowers and everyday
people who want to keep their online activities private. It works by
routing traffic through nodes known as “relays” that are operated by
individuals and organizations around the world — essentially
volunteer-run servers that keep anonymity functions working.

But earlier Friday, thousands of new nodes appeared on the network featuring
labels starting with “LizardNSA.” A Twitter account associated with the
group indicated that it was behind the new relays.

This is
potentially problematic because theoretically the operator of a
significant proportion of nodes could compromise the anonymity of users
by tracking traffic that exited through their system — and 3,000 some
nodes would represent a substantial number of total relays. Earlier this
year, the Tor Project reported that an unknown attacker had used malicious relays to potentially capture data using far fewer nodes.

But it’s not clear that the apparent Lizard Squad nodes are currently a threat. According to an explanation posted
on a Tor blog last year, new relays go through an approval process that
lasts several days during which their bandwidth is restricted.

Messages posted on a Tor e-mail list indicate that some node operators suggest flagging the new relays as malicious.
But it’s unclear how the Tor Project will respond to the situation —
it did not respond to a Washington Post inquiry on the subject.

In an interview conducted over an online chat program, a person claiming
to be associated with Lizard Squad told The Post that the group now
controlled half of the nodes on the overall Tor network, but conceded
that only a very minimal amount of traffic was being routed through
those nodes.

The person demonstrated that he controlled the main
Twitter account associated with Lizard Squad but declined to identify
himself.

The point of the project, the person said, was to
demonstrate structural weaknesses in how Tor operates. While this influx
was clearly marked and thus easy to block, the person argued, there
might be ways to do it surreptitiously if they used randomized
information for the volunteer servers.

“Add the nodes to the
network over the period of a month or so and there’d be no practical way
of identifying our [nodes],” the person said.

Update: In an e-mailed statement, Tor Project volunteer Kate Krauss told the Post that the organization is addressing the new relays:

This
looks like a regular attempt at a Sybil attack: the attackers have
signed up many new relays in hopes of becoming a large fraction of the
network. But even though they are running thousands of new relays, their
relays currently make up less than 1% of the Tor network by capacity.
We are working now to remove these relays from the network before they
become a threat, and we don’t expect any anonymity or performance
effects based on what we’ve seen so far.

Andrea
Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an
emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance
and open government.
Brian Fung covers technology
for The Washington Post, focusing on telecom, broadband and digital
politics. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent
for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.

– The Washington Post

via Blogger http://technoeck.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-hackers-who-say-they-took-down.html

Kodak will unveil a range of Android devices at CES

Kodak will unveil a range of mobile devices with Android OS. The
first smartphone from the new product gamily will be unveiled in less
than two weeks, during CES in Las Vegas.

Kodak’s family of smartphones and tablets will be aimed at customers
looking for high-end, yet simple user experience. There is no word on
specs just yet – all we know is that the devices “will come pre-loaded
with bespoke image capture, management and sharing features to offer a
rich user experience.”

The storied imaging brand will partner on the venture with the
England-based Bullitt Group. The latter is also behind the rugged CAT smartphones.

It has been a while since the Kodak name was associated with a mobile
device. We will be covering CES live from Las Vegas, so be sure to tune
in for more on the subject.

 – GSMArena.com news

via Blogger http://ift.tt/1JSNPMn

Uber CEO Kalanick Indicted as Asian Authorities Crack Down on E-Hail Service – Skift

TechCrunch  / Flickr

Uber Technologies Inc.
Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick was indicted in South Korea and
Chinese police raided a company training site in the latest instances
of government scrutiny of the car-booking company.

Kalanick, Uber’s Korean unit and car-rental partner MK Korea were
indicted yesterday by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office for
flouting a local transportation law prohibiting rental cars from
operating as cabs, according to an official at the department, who asked
not to be named citing internal policy. The official declined to
comment on whether prosecutors expect Kalanick to appear for
questioning.

In the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, police raided a site
that Uber used to train drivers after receiving information that private
vehicle owners were signing up to provide transportation services
without the required permit, the China News Service reported on Friday.
The company is “actively communicating and seeking clarification” from
the Chongqing government, it said in an e-mailed statement.

Uber became the most highly valued U.S. technology startup after a
fundraising round this month valued it at $40 billion. The San
Francisco-based car-booking company is coming under increased scrutiny
worldwide as governments step up regulation of its car-sharing service,
which licensed taxi operators call unfair competition.

In Asia, the company’s screening practice was criticized after
allegations that one of its drivers raped a woman in New Delhi, while
Vietnam and Taiwan have declared its services to be illegal.

Korea Indictment

Evelyn Tay, Uber’s Asia Pacific spokeswoman, didn’t answer two calls
to her office or immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment
on the indictment in South Korea, which was reported earlier by Yonhap
News.

The company said in August it had sought a legal opinion and that its
Seoul service obeys the law. Paid transportation with unregistered
vehicles is “clearly illegal activity,” South Korea’s Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure and Transport said later that month.

Separately in Korea, Yonhap News reported that prosecutors plan to
seek an arrest warrant for Heather Cho, daughter of Korean Air Lines
Co.’s chairman, after she forced an employee to deplane over the service
of macademia nuts. Phone calls to the prosecutors’ office weren’t
answered.

 – Skift

via Blogger http://ift.tt/1zxz5iO