Wi-Five is a collection of five notable, eye-catching social media, pop culture and/or tech-related stories from around the Web.
- Uber continues to find itself going toe-to-toe with municipalities around the world with respect to its ride-sharing business. Uber's most recent battle is with Portland, where Uber rolled out its UberX service this past Friday, December 5th. Uber's decision to start offering its OberX service followed Portland's threat that it would fine anyone that drove for the service. Portland's main issue with Uber isn't its interference with established taxi businesses throughout the city (at least officially), but rather that Uber's vehicles don't offer accessibility for those with disabilities. In connection with its position, Portland has issued a cease and desist order that will likely result in fines to UberX drivers that continue to operate in Portland. Portland shouldn't hold its breath because, last year, California issued a similar order, which Uber summarily ignored. Uber has found its path to changing the ride-sharing industry a difficult one, but has continued down the road nonetheless. It will be interesting to see where this one ends up.
- Microsoft has filed a lawsuit in federal court (in Washington) accusing various individuals of activating various pirated copies of Windows 7 and Office 10. This is notable because, until now, software companies like Microsoft tended to go after the parties that distributed illegal copies of software and the hacked keys used to active the programs rather than the individuals activating the software. The complaint itself is interestingly worded and could be interpreted not to go after someone who is an average user, but rather someone selling a computer containing preloaded and pirated software. The lawsuit was brought against various "Does" and Microsoft is seeking information from AT&T regarding the identity of the subscribers associated with the IP addresses used to activate the software.
- Amazon continues to make news in various ways as it branches out into new industries and looks for ways to shake up industries that it is established in. In connection with its online marketplace, Amazon will now be offering consumers the ability to barter and negotiate prices with sellers (on 150,000 items). It's not a traditional auction method used by the likes of eBay, but rather a private discussion that will only ever result in a consumer paying asking price or less. In delivery news, Amazon has told the Federal Aviation Authority that if it does not relax its attitude toward drone regulation that the company, that it will move its research teams out of the country. It slightly less hi-tech news, Amazon is apparently testing bike couriers for some deliveries in Manhattan.
- In the latest Apple trial news (see yesterday's top story), lawyers for Apple are now fighting to keep footage of a deposition of Steve Jobs (taken six months before his death) from being made public. The Associated Press, Bloomberg, and CNN are fighting to publicize the footage that was used at the trial, but Apple's attorneys have argued that there is simply no justification for publicizing the testimony and that the company would not consent to the request to make public the testimony footage.
- Google has acknowledged that half of its online ads are never seen, which the company has explained as meaning that 50% of its ads are not n the screen for even one second. Google explained this by saying that it happens when a user scrolls right past the ad, the ad isn't properly delivered, or it was delivered the ad but the viewer was a software bot and not a human user.
- Matt Campobasso