NPR logo Tech Week: Uber Under Fire, The Vision Behind Google's Lollipop

The Industry

Tech Week: Uber Under Fire, The Vision Behind Google's Lollipop

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has apologized for comments made by Senior Vice President Emil Michael, who at a private dinner last week suggested uncovering personal details about journalists. Will Oliver/EPA/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Will Oliver/EPA/Landov

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has apologized for comments made by Senior Vice President Emil Michael, who at a private dinner last week suggested uncovering personal details about journalists.

Will Oliver/EPA/Landov

Uber's public-relations nightmare dominated the week's technology news. A senior executive at the ride-sharing firm suggested that Uber should dig up dirt about media critics of the company. The comments came after Uber faced negative press over a promotion in France featuring scantily clad female drivers.

ICYMI

Lollipop, Lollipop: NPR's Charles Pulliam-Moore said the newest version of Google's Android OS, codenamed Lollipop, is more than just an update — it's Google's vision of how we should use our smart devices.

'Spam Nation:' In an interview for his new book, investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs warns against downloading email attachments from spammers and explains how he learned the ins and outs of the organized spam industry.

Wearables Need To Stretch: As if the tech industry hasn't taken enough heat for its lack of diversity, the biggest criticism of the new field of wearables is that they are designed with men in mind.

The Big Conversation

Uber Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael put his foot in his mouth this week when he suggested that the company, with an estimated value of $18 billion, should hire a team of opposition researchers to dig up dirt on its critics in the media.

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith reported that Michael made his comments at a private dinner in New York. The Uber executive, who says he believed his comments were off the record, said he would like to uncover personal details about Pando Daily editor Sarah Lacy, who recently denounced an Uber promotion advertising "hot chick" drivers.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick issued a lengthy apology on Twitter Tuesday, and the company said in blog post that it want "to make very clear" its policy on data privacy. NPR's Laura Sydell highlighted the severity of Michael's comments, since Uber, like many tech companies, has ready access to a lot of customers' personal information.

Curiosities

Other reads we like this week:

Mashable: The Sexist Barbie Book About Women in Tech

The Wall Street Journal: Tech Companies' Lavish Perks Spawn New Job Category

Gizmodo: Startup Magic Leap Is Secretly Creating A New Alternate Reality

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