[cryptome] UBER and the coming physical war against technology and technologists

  • From: Chien Fume <chien.fume@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2015 12:44:44 +0300

NOTE: This is from Greg Aharonian's patent law newsletter containing many
items of OSINT interest for those in professional realms, or personal

​!20150824 Uber: Increasing contempt for the law in Silicon Valley?

Personal Note: Between now and October, you might hear of a "Greg
Aharonian" doing something outside the patent world. Until October, please
ignore - until then, that is not me.

3D printing with glass. Before we talk of non-technological
innovation, some cool technological innovation. A group at MIT has
developed a way to do 3D printing with glass. Glass has always been an
elegant construction material, but constrained by its manufacturing
techniques. This innovation will take glass in new directions. Nice.
Article at: http://3dprint.com/90748/g3dp-glass-3d-print/.

A pool in the air. And not so much innovation, but just a good
photograph, two high-end apartment buildings are being built to be
connected at their upper levels by an all-glass pool - 10 stories in the
air. See:

Longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge. Not impressed with these
two developments in glass? Check out the images here:

Another great sarcasm of the Supreme Court's tech ignorance. Monday's
Dilbert ( http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-08-24), is a great sarcasm of the
Supreme Court's technological, logical and semantic ignorance - which also
explains 100 years of 101 caselaw that ended with the vomit of Alice/CLS:

Robot News: The Supreme Court ruled that engineers cannot be
found guilty of murder
Robot News: Lawyers argued that any good engineer knows how to
get away with murder. So getting caught is proof of innocence
Robot News: The ruling was unanimous because no one could
figure out which side was the liberal one

Is this any less silly, even hypothetically, than the comedic logic of

The coming cloud patent wars. Intel has just announced that it is
investing $100 million in cloud computing software, $75 million in a
startup, Mirantis, and $25 million in its own resources. Geesh - what a fun
patent war to watch: Intel/Google/Amazon/Microsoft/HP versus IBM. Article

The coming physical war against technology and technologists.
Business wars, whatever their stakes, are often boring shuffling of
paperwork. Including patent war. Look at the docket of a patent lawsuit -
BORING. But those left out of these games are starting to get mad. Is the
following the Tea Party of the revolt against technology? (from below):

[In Costa Rica] a group of taxi drivers pursued, Friday night,
a taxi driver affiliated with Uber until they cornered and destroyed the
vehicle, including using a baseball bat.

"When I [the taxi driver] saw that (the client) was seated, the
[first] taxi driver began to chase me. Then appeared two other [taxis],
then three. Towards the commercial center of Guadalupe, they were coming
more and more [taxis].

Baseball bats? Taxis chasing taxis? People are being pushed to that
extreme? Many years ago, I was doing some work for a human artificial
chromosome company, which made eugenics as simple as a iPhone app. I asked
them how they were preparing for when the implications of their work
filtered into the small minds of the crazies. "Greg, all of our buildings
are bulletproof." Word to the wise.

--- Uber: Increasing contempt for the law in Silicon Valley?
On Friday, without Costa Rican government permission, Uber
launched its service in the San Jose region (the country's capital). Costa
Rica is a country where many struggle to live, their jobs highly important.
No surprise that in the first day of operation, the Costa Rican government
declared Uber to be illegal:
(in Spanish), and will be seizing the cars of Uber drivers. And sadly, but
predictably, registered taxi drivers (those that obey the law), on the
first day of Uber operations, hunted down an Uber driver and destroyed his
vehicle. Article at:
(in Spanish). I sadly quote from the article:

Un grupo de taxistas persiguió, la noche del viernes, a un
chofer afiliado a Uber hasta acorralarlo y destruirle el vehículo, incluso
con un bate de béisbol.
A group of taxi drivers pursued, Friday night, a taxi driver
affiliated with Uber until they cornered and destroyed the vehicle,
including using a baseball bat.

“Cuando vio que se montó (el cliente), el taxista se acomodó
para empezar a perseguirme. Luego, aparecieron otros dos, luego tres. Hacia
el centro comercial de Guadalupe, iban saliendo más y más."
"When I [the taxi driver] saw that (the client) was seated, the
[first] taxi driver began to chase me. Then appeared two other [taxis],
then three. Towards the commercial center of Guadalupe, they were coming
more and more [taxis].

Is this the Tea Party of the revolt against technology that holds the
law in contempt? Some thoughts on our return to the Coliseum (other than
the one at Amazon's offices :-) And these people are not Luddites. The
Luddites were protesting completely legal, new technologies of the time.

Below are two articles from Costa Rica on Uber launching their
service there, before the government has given them permission to do so.
Uber is deliberately breaking the law. The laws may be idiotic, the laws
may frustrate innovation, but until the law is changed, to ignore the law
is to violate the law - to be a criminal. Uber is acting criminally. And
what does this say about the state of ethics in the tech world if Uber is
celebrated for huge valuations, much based on breaking the existing laws?
As the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Ministry puts it simply: "Is
Uber's service legal? No." And as many other people ask, "Is Uber's service
profitable? No." And what is one roadblock to profitability? Oh, those
pesky little things called laws. As Salon put it last year,
If you induce victims to beat each other up with bats, so be it I guess.

It is the misanthropic legacy of Napster - chase profits at the
expense of law. Never forget - there was nothing technologically innovative
about Napster - had they tried to patent their system, it would have been
rejected under 35 USC 102, as there were previous systems that did the same
exact thing. Napster's "innovation"? Inducing infringement (a criminal
crime under the copyright statutes). And some Napster people went on to
infect other "innovators" with this contempt (such as Sean Parker's
involvement with AirBnB and legal drug trafficking - e-cigarettes).

Side note: Securities litigators are wondering who will be the
first to sue Apple:
A lot of people shorting Apple aren't happy right now. As a securities
lawyer was quoted in the New York Times today: "I can see here that Cook is
literally dancing on the edge of a razor,” he said. “At the end of the day
it’s one of the largest companies in the world telling one reporter via a
private email that our ongoing quarter is actually going to surprise
people, and I consider that material.” Please sir, don't be so low class as
to mention laws. I am not worried about Apple, they can always hire, to
defend themselves, .... (you guessed it) ... Randall Rader.

Intellectual Venture's extortions, AirBnB, the whole pervertedly
labelled "sharing" economy, arbitraging human jobs and privacy, etc. None
of this has anything to do with technological innovation. Their
"breakthroughs" are violating the law just small enough to make the big
bucks, before the real legal battles begin. But technological innovation?
That's not them, outside of their PR departments.

But to be so pathetic as to play these criminal games in small,
lovely, developing countries such as Costa Rica (which if you haven't
visited you should - the Tabacon hot springs are the perfect cure for
reading 101 caselaw and law review articles), should be an embarrassment to
the technology world. What's next Uber, facilitating cocaine deliveries,
reinventing the street dealers with Uber drivers?

And don't be deluded. There will be deaths around the world due
to Uber's actions. And AirBnB's sloppy security. I know Uber's management
is misanthropic, to be so cavalier to destroy people's livelihoods for more
billions. Bashing taxis with baseball bats is the beginning. So don't be
surprised when those people strike back. The age old battle between lawyers
and guns.

I will repeat until I die - the United States must return to real
technological innovation, especially innovation that creates jobs, not
destroys them or turns workers into serfs. And one important element of
this return is to overhaul the entire USPTO, so we can go from 80% of the
patents being invalid to 80% of the patents issuing being of high quality.
We need to eliminate the need for IPRs - admissions that the USPTO screwed
up the first time around. We need much higher patent quality, which needs
much higher technological innovation. Anything less is a risk to the U.S.
economic national security. The recent stock market crash is evidence of
what happens when you risk the country's economy on non-innovation.

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--- Uber to launch in Costa Rica at 4 p.m. today, officials say
drivers face vehicle impound
Inside Costa Rica News, 21 August 2015


The controversial “driver-for-hire” smartphone app, Uber will launch in
Costa Rica today (Friday) at 4 p.m., the company announced online.

Uber said that new users can use the code “PuraVida” to receive two
free rides worth up to ¢5,000 each.

The launch of the service comes despite the fact that Uber has not
received permission from Costa Rica’s transport officials to operate here.

Uber announced its pricing earlier this week, saying that its service
would cost ¢300 per kilometer versus the ¢610 per kilometer passengers
currently pay for “red,” or licensed taxis.

For his part, Deputy Transport Minister, Sebastian Urbina said that
Uber drivers who lack public transport permits face a fine of ¢110,000 and
risk having their vehicles impounded by traffic police.

Still, dozens of drivers have signed up and received training as Uber
drivers, according to reports. Uber began registering drivers last week.

Backlash from licensed taxi drivers expected

Costa Rica’s largest union of licensed taxi drivers, known as the
National Taxi Drivers Forum, said late last month that they were “declaring
war” against Uber.

The union said it has established alliances with other groups in
opposition to the service in Colombia, Panama, and Mexico with the singular
goal of keeping the service out of Costa Rica.

Late last month, some one hundred taxi drivers gathered outside the
Colombian embassy in San Jose to express their solidarity with taxi drivers
in Colombia, who were protesting in Bogota.

Opposition to San Francisco-based Uber has been strong in other parts
of the world, including other Latin America countries where strikes and
demonstrations have ensued.

--- Uber up and running in Costa Rica despite red light from
Transport Ministry
TicoTimes, 21 August 2015


Uber Costa Rica gleefully flouted the country’s laws governing taxis
Friday afternoon when the ride-hailing service went live at 4:00 p.m. While
the basic UberX service started accepting riders, the Public Works and
Transport Ministry (MOPT) said the company is operating here illegally.

Uber Costa Rica’s General Manager Humberto Pacheco told Channel 7 TV
News he was confident that the service was within the bounds of the law.
MOPT disagreed. “Is Uber’s service legal? No.”

That’s the first line of a news release posted on MOPT’s Facebook page
Friday afternoon. The post says — in no uncertain terms — that the
government considers the ride-hailing service in violation of pubic
transportation law in Costa Rica.

In its statement, MOPT acknowledged that the ministry and Uber met
Thursday to discuss how the company could operate legally in Costa Rica,
but said they hadn’t come to an agreement. Uber then decided to launch
operations Friday afternoon anyway, just in time for the weekend rush.

Pacheco told Channel 7 News that he believed the company could operate
legally under a decision from the Comptroller General’s Office that says
communities can provide their own public services, including
transportation. That legalese is reflected in the app’s terms of service
message. By using the app, users agree to join the — take a deep breath
before you say this out loud — "Club de Colaboración para la
Autosatisfacción de Necesidades de Movilidad en Común, S.A." (Club for the
Collaborative Self-Fulfillment of Common Mobility Needs). The name would
sound more kumbayah if Uber weren’t valued at $50 billion.

Licensed red taxis wasted no time expressing their opinion of the new
competition. Friday afternoon red taxis met in front of Casa Presidencial
in Zapote in protest and carried out a traffic slowdown from there to
MOPT’s offices in Plaza Víquez south of downtown San José, according to
Waze Costa Rica and Ruta Alterna.

MOPT warned on Facebook that drivers could be fined 110,000 colones
(about $200) and lose their license plates if caught driving for Uber.
There was no mention of how the ministry would enforce this rule in a city
where unlicensed taxis are already an everyday occurrence. The ministry
condemned the service for going live and effectively washed its hands of
any responsibility, saying that it would not hear complaints about Uber’s

Uber’s apparent response to the government? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (note: the
emoticon of someone shrugging).

Greg Aharonian
Internet Patent News Service
Your "Judicial Counter-Errorism Expert"
In U.S. – 415-981-0441
For a comprehensive collection of patent quality statistics, see:
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