clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Code/red: Deutschland Über Uber

Plus, the shadow of the iCloud hack and the demise of the sex geckos.


Programming Note: Code/red will not publish for the remainder of the week. I’m back on the 10th. Stay well.

Uber’s Newest Opponent: An Asshole Named Germany

“We’re in a political campaign, and the candidate is Uber and the opponent is an asshole named Taxi.”

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Looks like Uber’s ongoing disputes in Germany have finally resulted in a head-on collision with the country’s legal system. A Frankfurt court today imposed a nationwide ban on the ride-hailing service, ruling that the company lacks the necessary legal permits to operate within the country. An unfortunate turn of events for Uber — Germany is one of its fastest-growing markets in Europe — but one the pugnacious company plans to fight. “You cannot put the brakes on progress,” Uber said in a statement. “Uber will continue its operations and will offer Uberpop ridesharing services via its app throughout Germany.” Hope David Plouffe, Uber’s new SVP of policy and strategy, speaks decent German.

Should I Trust Apple With My Health and Payments Information? Hold On, Let Me Ask Jennifer Lawrence.

Ben Thompson, Stratechery: “Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter if the hack is or is not Apple’s fault; the damage has been done. The ‘iCloud’ name is associated with this mess, which is bad enough; what is more distressing is that Apple is allegedly unveiling a new payment capability with the iPhone 6. That, obviously, requires a high degree of security and consumer trust, and now, every article about said payments will likely mention this hack.”

That Ought to Bring the 2014 Android Fragmentation Report up to 18,800 Devices

Remember Android One? Google’s effort to make it easier for handset manufacturers to build affordable, high-end Android phones quickly? The company is likely going to kick it off on September 15. NDTV reports that Google has been distributing save-the-date messages to members of the Indian press, coyly promising an “exciting new announcement.” Onstage at Google I/O earlier this summer, Senior VP Sundar Pichai said the company would debut three Android One partnerships in India this fall. Presumably that’s what it will do on the 15th.

Quick, Get Grandma Out of the Yard! We’re Expecting a Package.

NASA’s Parimal H. Kopardekar on drone air traffic management: “One at a time you can make them work and keep them safe. But when you have a number of them in operation in the same airspace, there is no infrastructure to support it. If they are taken over by some rogue elements, how do you manage them? How do you have them safely land and take off in the presence of a grandma doing landscaping and kids playing soccer?”

No Pressure, Tim … It’s Only Your Legacy

Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note: “After three years at the helm, we’ll soon know in what sense Tim Cook ‘owns’ Apple. For having broken Steve’s creation, for having created a field of debris littered with occasionally recognizable remains of a glorious, more innovative, more elegant past. Or for having followed the spirit of Steve’s dictum — not to think of what he would have done — and led Apple to new heights.”

Alibaba to Finally Get Roadshow on Road

The largest initial public offering tech has seen in quite some time may be little more than a week away. Sources close to e-commerce giant Alibaba tell Reuters that the company is planning to launch its IPO roadshow the week of September 8.

If I Wanted to Be in a Loud, Stupid, Sad Place, I’d Go to Burning Man

Designer Frank Chimero: “My [Twitter] feed (full of people I admire) is mostly just a loud, stupid, sad place. Basically: a mirror to the world we made that I don’t want to look into. The common way to refute my complaint is to say that I’m following the wrong people. I think I’m following the right people, I’m just seeing the worst side of them while they’re stuck in an inhospitable environment.”

Presumably, the Halls of Uber HQ Will Echo With Wicked Laughter

Andrew Leonard, Salon: “The real question we should be asking ourselves is this: What happens when a company with the DNA of Uber ends up winning it all? What happens when the local taxi companies are destroyed and Lyft is crushed? When Uber has dominant market position in every major city on the globe? ‘UberEverywhere’ isn’t a joke. It’s a mantra, a call to arms, a holy ideology. … What happens when it rains and the surge-pricing spikes and there’s nowhere else to go?”

Well, at Least They Died Doing What They Love …

Russian space ministry Roscosmos on zero-gravity sex geckos: “It was established that while the Drosophila flies handled spaceflight well, developed and bred successfully, all the geckos, unfortunately, died. The date and circumstances of their deaths will be established by specialists.”

Off Topic

Veterinary Practice News: 2014 X-Ray Contest Winners (43½ socks???).

Thanks for reading. Send tips, comments and zombie hoodies to, @johnpaczkowski. Subscribe to the Code/red newsletter here.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.