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More News From Earlier This Month, Lost in the Quarantine Shuffle: ‘Uber Cuts 3,000 More Jobs, Shuts 45 Offices in Coronavirus Crunch’

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Preetika Rana, reporting for The Wall Street Journal back on May 19 (Apple News+):

Uber Technologies Inc. is cutting several thousand additional jobs, closing more than three dozen offices and re-evaluating big bets in areas ranging from freight to self-driving technology as Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi attempts to steer the ride-hailing giant through the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Khosrowshahi announced the plans in an email to staff Monday, less than two weeks after the company said it would eliminate about 3,700 jobs and planned to save more than $1 billion in fixed costs. Monday’s decision to close 45 offices and lay off some 3,000 more people means Uber is shedding roughly a quarter of its workforce in under a month’s time. Drivers aren’t classified as employees, so they aren’t included.

Why does Uber even have 45 offices to close and so many employees? What exactly were the ~7,000 people they’ve laid off so far doing? Last I heard, Uber had 400 iOS engineers. I get it that some of that work isn’t visible just by looking at the Uber app, because there’s a lot of unseen work that goes into making an app like Uber work worldwide. I don’t know what the right number of iOS engineers at Uber is, but I do know that 400 is bananas. Too many cooks spoil the stew; 400 cooks don’t even fit in a kitchen.

The basic idea behind Uber is both sound and genius: smartphones made possible a revolution in ride hailing. But ride hailing is inherently a low-margin business. Companies like Uber and Lyft can make ride hailing better for everyone — drivers and passengers alike — but there’s nothing they can do to change the fact that it’s by definition a low-margin business and always will be.

The best treatise I’ve read on this whole aspect of our society is Matt Stoller’s “counterfeit capitalism”, which I linked to back in September.

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rtreborb
8 hours ago
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Completely agree. Money spending gone wild.
San Antonio, TX
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Websites Conducting Port Scans

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Security researcher Charlie Belmer is reporting that commercial websites such as eBay are conducting port scans of their visitors.

Looking at the list of ports they are scanning, they are looking for VNC services being run on the host, which is the same thing that was reported for bank sites. I marked out the ports and what they are known for (with a few blanks for ones I am unfamiliar with):

  • 5900: VNC
  • 5901: VNC port 2
  • 5902: VNC port 3
  • 5903: VNC port 4
  • 5279:
  • 3389: Windows remote desktop / RDP
  • 5931: Ammy Admin remote desktop
  • 5939:
  • 5944:
  • 5950: WinVNC
  • 6039: X window system
  • 6040: X window system
  • 63333: TrippLite power alert UPS
  • 7070: RealAudio

No one seems to know why:

I could not believe my eyes, but it was quickly reproduced by me (see below for my observation).

I surfed around to several sites, and found one more that does this (the citibank site, see below for my observation)

I further see, at least across ebay.com and citibank.com the same ports, in the same sequence getting scanned. That implies there may be a library in use across both sites that is doing this. (I have not debugged into the matter so far.)

The questions:

  • Is this port scanning "a thing" built into some standard fingerprinting or security library? (if so, which?)
  • Is there a plugin for firefox that can block such behavior? (or can such blocking be added to an existing plugin)?

I'm curious, too.

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rtreborb
1 day ago
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Yikes.
San Antonio, TX
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I’ve got bad news. There is literally no size of company you can rise to where the config files are not horribly indented messes from 12 years struggling against darkness of the fiber.

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I’ve got bad news.

There is literally no size of company you can rise to where the config files are not horribly indented messes from 12 years struggling against darkness of the fiber.




278 likes, 23 retweets
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rtreborb
2 days ago
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If people would just use tabs...
San Antonio, TX
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Opinion: God of the pale blue dot

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On February 4th, 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft finally left our Solar System. It had taken Voyager almost 13 years to get to this point, a distance of 3.7 billion miles from where she had started on a launchpad in Cape Canaveral Florida. On this day at the request of American Astronomer Carl Sagan, the Voyager turned its camera around one last time, to take its final photograph of Earth.

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rtreborb
2 days ago
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I love things that remind me of the scale of the universe.

"Consider the nearest star to us besides the sun, Proxima Centauri. If you were to pack up the family van and travel there at highway speeds, never once stopping for gas or a bathroom break, it would take you 6 times longer than the age of the universe to arrive there. That's our next nearest star. And there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone.

But our galaxy isn't alone either. If you were to put a grain of sand on your finger and hold it out to the sky in front of you at arm's length, the portion of the sky obscured by that grain of sand is inhabited by 10,000 galaxies, and that's just the ones that are visible to us."
San Antonio, TX
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U.S. Navy successfully tests powerful laser designed to destroy aircraft

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In a move the commanding officer of the USS Portland says is part of "redefining war at sea," the U.S. Navy has conducted a successful test of a high-energy laser weapon designed to destroy drones and other aircraft mid-flight.

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rtreborb
3 days ago
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Cool.
San Antonio, TX
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A La Carte (May 25)

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I know I’ve got quite a number of readers from Nova Scotia and wanted to thank you (and your province) for showing up en masse to pay tribute to Capt. Jennifer Casey yesterday. You did the rest of the country proud.

If you didn’t check in on Kindle deals over the weekend, you should probably do that today since there were some good ones. I’ve also added some new ones today.

Anderson Cooper and the New Normal

John Stonestreet: “The speed at which our culture is able to normalize a behavior thought just yesterday to be somewhere between questionable to unthinkable is stunning. To not mention any shred of ethical hesitancy around the decision to purchase procreation, particularly by a couple who chose an intentionally sterile union in the first place is one thing.”

Fingerprints

Pastors will benefit from this one. “For the last 22 years I served the Village Church of Lincolnshire in the northern suburbs of Chicago with Sunday attendance of about 175. In all those years that number didn’t change much. That, for me, was a problem because I could not escape the sense that my success as a pastor depended on our church getting bigger.”

The Coming Pastoral Crash

Speaking of pastors, John Dobbs writes about what he sees as a coming crash for pastors.

Peacemaking in the Church: Covid-19 and Conscience

Here are some good thoughts on the necessity of understanding conscience during the age of COVID-19. “I’m a big fan of helping Christians dwell together in peace and unity with a love for the truth. What do we do when Christians disagree about how to handle coronavirus? In seeking the peace of the church in this time, I’ve been thinking about the role of our conscience in Covid-19. What does conscience have to do with peacemaking and coronavirus? I’ll explain.”

Pray for What Matters Most Globally (With a Tribute to Joyce Lin)

“There are great concerns about our nation, but let’s keep the Great Commission on our mind, and the Glorious Christ’s concern for all nations. It’s been my burden in these times to keep missions before us, as a pastor but also as a person who grew up on the mission field in the Philippines. This week, even major media news stories put missions before us in the death of Joyce Lin, a missions pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship who died while bringing COVID-19 resources and other supplies for a school and clinic in a remote village of Papua, Indonesia. She was known personally to one of our missionaries (more on that below) and is now known to many more.”

Recipe for a Grocery Revolution

WORLD: “Grocery shopping nowadays can feel like a game of Capture the Flag: Get in, get what you need, get out as fast as possible. No doubt, the grocery game has changed in the wake of the pandemic. The fog of coronavirus appears to be lifting as states begin to reopen what had been considered “nonessential” businesses. Grocery stores have remained open throughout the crisis, but it has been far from business as usual, and experts say COVID-19-spurred buying behavior will have a long-term impact on the industry.”

The Economy Is Tanking. So Why Aren’t Home Prices Dropping?

Here’s an answer to a question I’ve been asking: Why aren’t home prices dropping?

Flashback: 5 Warnings to Those Who Merely Pretend To Be Godly

Hypocrisy is an ugly sin and one that God despises. Yet still there is hope for the hypocrite…

Holiness is nothing else but the beauty and character of God displayed in our everyday lives. Holy living means more than victory over sin; it also means growth in character so that we become more like Jesus Christ. —Warren Wiersbe

alt

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rtreborb
3 days ago
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The Coming Pastoral Crash.
San Antonio, TX
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