#Apps, #Elections, #Headlines, #politics, #ScienceTech, #TheNewz

Uber will offer free rides to the polls on Election Day

Uber no longer wants the barrier to transportation to be a deciding factor between voting and not voting. On Election Day, Uber is going to make it easy for people to find their local polling places and then get them a ride there for free.

On Nov. 6, 2018, Uber will offer U.S. riders the ability to quickly find their polling place and then book a free ride. Lyft is similarly offering half-priced and free rides to polling places on Election Day.

“Decisions get made by those who show up,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in a blog post. “This Election Day, Uber will be doing what we can to make it easier for people to do just that.”

In the 2016 election, 35 percent of youth surveyed cited a lack of transportation as the reason why they didn’t vote.

Uber is also working with non-profit organizations to help get both riders and drivers registered to vote before state deadlines. Between today and Election Day, Uber will also host voter registration drives at its 125+ driver hubs throughout the country.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/TXq690U4oLc/

#Apps, #DataBreach, #Hacked, #Headlines, #pch3lp, #Russia, #TechNews, #TheNewz, #Trending

People&apos;s Instagram accounts are being mysteriously taken over by Russians, and they can&apos;t get them back


‘The support service I’ve received from Instagram has been shockingly poor,’ one affected user told The Independent

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/instagram-hack-accounts-russia-breached-take-over-accounts-how-locked-2018-a8553776.html

#Apps, #DataBreach, #Hacked, #Headlines, #pch3lp, #Russia, #TechNews, #TheNewz, #Trending

People&apos;s Instagram accounts are being mysteriously taken over by Russians, and they can&apos;t get them back


‘The support service I’ve received from Instagram has been shockingly poor,’ one affected user told The Independent

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/instagram-hack-accounts-russia-breached-take-over-accounts-how-locked-2018-a8553776.html

#Apps, #Employment, #Headlines, #ScienceTech, #TechNews, #TheNewz

Uber drivers and other gig economy workers are earning half what they did five years ago

More people are working for ride-sharing and delivery companies but on average they’re making less.

The gig isn’t as good as it used to be for people working through online transportation apps in the U.S.

On average, drivers who transport people (Uber or Lyft) or things (Uber Eats or Postmates) through an app made 53 percent less in 2017 than they did in 2013, according to a new study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute that looks at online gig economy payments into Chase checking accounts.

The average monthly payments to those who worked for a transportation app in a given month declined to $783 from $1,469. Meanwhile, people working for leasing apps — Airbnb, Turo, Parklee and other apps that let you rent assets like your home, car or parking space — saw their incomes from those platforms rise 69 percent to $1,736 on average.

This is happening as online gig work has become more popular, thanks in large part to the growth in the number transportation jobs.

The share of the working population that has participated in the online gig economy at any point in a year rose from less than 2 percent in 2013 to nearly 5 percent in 2018. That’s about the same share of people employed in the public administration sector.

About half, 2.4 percent, worked in transportation jobs this year, up from a tiny fraction of a percent in 2013.

There are a number of potential reasons why the average pay for gig economy drivers has gone down.

It could be any or all of the below, according to JPMorgan:

  • Drivers on average are working fewer hours.
  • Demand hasn’t increased to meet the increased number of drivers.
  • Trip prices have fallen.
  • Platforms are paying drivers lower rates.

A spokesperson for Uber, which is the most prominent transportation platform included in the study, chalks it up to growth in drivers who choose to drive part-time.

“The study’s findings reinforce what we and many others have said for some time: That the growth in on-demand work is driven, in large part, by people who use platforms like Uber on the side,” the Uber spokesperson said. “Given the growing share of people who use platforms like Uber only occasionally, a more appropriate metric to focus on would be average hourly earnings, which have remained steady over time.”

In the U.S., more than 50 percent of drivers work less than 10 hours a week, according to Uber, whose previous research found that although trip prices have declined, the number of trips per hour has increased, offsetting changes in wages.

Note: The JPMorgan data does not observe wages and hours separately, just overall earnings in a given month.

The JPMorgan research is further evidence that online gig economy jobs supplement regular nine-to-five jobs rather than serve as full-time employment in their own right, as traditional employment alone is no longer enough to make ends meet for many Americans. Of those who worked for an online platform in any sector at any point in a given year, those wages represented no more than 20 percent of their total observed income on average, according to the JPMorgan study. Most accounts that generated revenue had earnings in three or fewer months of the year.

The gig economy is notoriously difficult to measure, including anywhere from 5 percent to 40 percent of the population, depending on the parameters. This JPMorgan study focuses on jobs that are mediated through online platforms — what many of us think of when we think of the gig economy — while other studies often include freelance and contract work arranged by traditional methods. Its findings are also more reliable than that of other studies such as those from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since it measures objective data rather than subjective survey responses.

For this data, JPMorgan looked at 39 million Chase checking accounts between 2012 and 2018. When it first began this study, 42 platforms were included; now there are 128.

The data, though, could be higher than the national average because Chase account holders skew younger and are more likely to live in the West than the population at large. The data could also be lower than it should be since it’s only including 128 online platforms — there may be more — and only observes payments that go into checking accounts, not into, say, PayPal.

Source: https://www.recode.net/2018/9/24/17884608/uber-driver-gig-economy-money-pay-lyft-postmates

#Apps, #Headlines, #music, #ScienceTech, #TheNewz

Spotify will now let indie artists upload their own music

Spotify today is taking another step that may make record labels uncomfortable. Fresh off reports that the streaming service is cutting its own licensing deals with independent artists, the company this morning announced it will now allow indie artists to directly upload their music to its service, too.

The upload feature is today launching into beta on Spotify for Artists, the online dashboard that arrived publicly last year. This dashboard and its accompanying mobile app allow artists to track metrics surrounding their streams and their fan base demographics.

Through the new upload tool, artists will now be able to add their own tracks to the streaming service in just a few clicks.

Explains Spotify, artists will upload the music, preview how things will appear, then edit the music’s metadata, if need be. They’ll also be able to choose when those new tracks “go live” on Spotify. (No more new music Fridays, perhaps.)

Most importantly, Spotify says that artists are paid as usual for their uploaded music – the royalty payments will simply be direct deposited to artists’ bank accounts every month.

Another new report in the dashboard will detail how much the uploaded streams are earning and when they can expect to be paid.

The upload option is free, and Spotify says it won’t deduct any fees or commissions of its own.

The move is likely to concern labels, who have traditionally acted as gatekeepers between artists and fans. But through digital media platforms, artists have been exploring new ways to build their audience.

For example, on SoundCloud – a service Spotify once considered acquiring –  indie musicians, DJs, bands and other performers have been able to attract followings. Similarly, YouTube has often served as a discovery vehicle for unknowns.

Both services will be impacted by this move, as it’s one of the reasons they’re used by artists. Now, they’ll be able to point fan bases directly to their Spotify tracks.

Those who are able to gain fans on their own may be able to route around the need for a label, and subsequently keep more of their earnings in the process.

“Artists receive 50% of net revenues from the songs they upload, and Spotify also accounts to publishers and collection societies for additional royalties related to the music composition,” said Kene Anoliefo, the Senior Product Lead for Spotify’s Creator Marketplace, confirming the payout structure.

Meanwhile, according to a recent report by The NYT, artists working with labels may see much smaller percentages. The report said that Spotify typically pays a record label around 52 percent of the revenue generated by each stream. The label, in turn, then pays the artist a royalty of anywhere from 15% to as high as 50%.

If artists are dealing directly with Spotify, they could be making more money.

Labels suggested that they could retaliate against Spotify for overstepping. The NYT had also said. They may do things like withhold licenses Spotify needs for key international expansions, like India, or not agree to new terms after existing contracts expire.

They could also offer more exclusives and promos to Spotify’s rivals, like Apple Music, which has surged ahead in the U.S. and is now neck-and-neck here with Spotify for paid subscribers. (Some reports, as well as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, have claimed Apple Music is ahead in North America.)

Spotify has historically downplayed these concerns to investors, saying that it’s building a two-sided marketplace, and that it’s always licensed music from creators both “large and small” and will continue to license music from whomever owns the rights.

A music upload feature also means artists who own their own rights could break out big on Spotify if they catch the attention of playlist editors – something that Spotify now makes it easier for them to do, as well.

In addition, having indies upload music directly means Spotify could better compete against Apple Music by attracting more artists and their fans to its platform.

The upload feature is debuting in beta on an invite-only basis in the U.S., Spotify says.

A small handful of independent artists are already on board, including Noname, Michael Brun, VIAA, and Hot Shade. They provided Spotify with some initial feedback in earlier testing ahead of the beta launch, the company says.

“We started off by working with artists who are both deeply engaged in our platform – so they use Spotify for
Artists often –  and they also release music often,” said Anoliefo, adding that music upload has been one of artists’ most requested features.

“We used the test with them to shape the tool and make an upload process that we think is really easy, transparent and flexible. It’ll enable artists to use the tool to upload music through Spotify for Artists whenever they like. There are no barriers or constraints. And they can upload as often as they’d like. And as many times as they like,” she said.

Over the next few months, Spotify will email other artists to ask them to try out the feature, as well.

Initially, it will open up access to a few hundred more, before rolling it out publicly to the over 200,000 monthly active users of the Spotify for Artists platform.

At launch, music upload will be a web-only feature. The company wouldn’t comment on its plans to bring the feature to mobile.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/3C4okBczl9s/

#Apps, #Headlines, #Internet, #Memes, #ScienceTech, #TheNewz

Why are people pretending to be dead on Instagram?

instagramriplede.jpgAhmed Simrin, 15, is one of the millions of teenagers who uses Instagram. He doesn’t post pictures on his page every day (there are two total), yet somehow he’s managed to get nearly 3,000 people to follow it. That doesn’t make him a social media inf…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/09/19/instagram-rip-comments-prank/