California rules that Uber driver is actually an employee

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uberpool-iphone-5s

Uber’s business plan may have just received a big blow from the California Labor Commission today as it ruled that one of the ride-hailing service’s drivers is actually an employee, not a contracted worker.

Uber was ordered by the court to reimburse San Francisco-based driver Barbara Ann Berwick $4,000 for work-related expenses she accrued while driving for the service. The ride-sharing company has maintained that it’s drivers are merely contractors, however the court ruled that Uber acts much more like a traditional employer than it claims.

Apple almost signed Uber to handle its same-day deliveries

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Uber failed to win over Apple as a partner for its delivery business.
Uber failed to win over Apple as a partner for its delivery business.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple nearly made a deal with Uber for its new same-day delivery service, before ditching them in favor of startup courier service Postmates Inc., according to a new report.

Apple allegedly considered adopting Uber’s new delivery project, known internally as UberEverything. Starbucks also entered into negotiations with the taxi company, before settling on the same delivery service as Apple.

Uber’s new video game puts you behind the virtual wheel

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Is it really this glamorous and fun?
Is it really this glamorous and fun?
Photo: Uber

Uber, the disruptive (and controversial) ride-sharing service, has a real problem. If you want to corner the market on the backs of a global workforce of what are essentially freelancers, how do you ensure that they all know how to use your system? And, more importantly, how do you replenish your supply of willing Uber drivers.

The San Fransisco company thinks that a video game may be the answer. Called UberDrive, it will be available on the App Store for anyone who wants to take a virtual trip as an Uber driver.

“UberDRIVE is a compelling representation of what it’s like to be an Uber driver-partner on the platform,” said Mike Truong, a senior product manager at Uber, in a statement. “Through the course of playing the game you can get a sense of how much money you can make using your own car and driving on your own time. With the sign-up flow embedded directly into the game it makes it really easy to start the sign-up and screening process right then and there.”

Your Uber could be paying for others to ride

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Uber failed to win over Apple as a partner for its delivery business.
Dark web sites are reportedly selling Uber usernames and passwords for as little as $1. Photo: File/Cult of Mac
Photo: Cult of Mac

Your Uber account is handy for catching a ride. It may also be handy for someone else to get around town on your dime.

Stolen Uber customer accounts have turned up for sale on the dark web for as little as $1, according to a report by the website Motherboard.

One seller claims to have “thousands” of user logins for sale.

Uber just dropped off an iPhone charger and NFL star at my door

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andreellington
NFL running back Andre Ellington surprised me on my Uber ride today. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Tourists are invading Phoenix like locusts this weekend thanks to the Waste Management Open and a little football game called the Super Bowl. And while all the snowbirds are running around the valley watching golfers, snapping pics of gridiron superstars and taking in the unbelievable Arizona weather, Uber has a secret plan to lure fans into its black sedans.

Starting today, Uber is partnering with Mophie to deliver free JuicePacks to riders across the Phoenix valley, and they might just throw in an NFL superstar to go with it.

This afternoon I tested out the Mophie giveaway and wasn’t surprised how quickly an Uber SUV pulled up to my apartment. But when my driver opened up the passenger door to reveal Arizona Cardinals’ running back Andre Ellington, chilling like this is just what he does in the off season, I nearly lost my cool.