Business

Uber and Lyft rides to be taxed under new Massachusetts law

Uber and Lyft rides to be taxed under new Massachusetts law

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed a new law that will impose a fee on every ride generated through ride-hailing apps like Lyft and Uber. The fee will only come in at 20 cents per ride, and the good news for consumers is that they won't see the fee tacked onto the cost of their ride, as this law bans the service providers from passing the cost of the fee onto consumers.

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Hugo Barra: Xiaomi still coming to the US, but not in a rush

Hugo Barra: Xiaomi still coming to the US, but not in a rush

In the Android smartphone market, few names outside of brands like Samsung, LG, and other international giants make it to headlines. China’s Xiaomi, of course, remains the exception, sparking interest and even demand in countries outside of its focus markets like China and India. Interest in Xiaomi’s smartphones in the US, however, might be waning as the company continues to drag its feet in a Western expansion. Company VP of International Hugo Barra, formerly a Google exec, reassures fans that Xiaomi still has the US in its sights. That said, it is in no rush to get there and wants to time things right or risk actually doing more harm than good to Xiaomi’s image.

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Lyft reported to have failed to find buyer in Apple, Uber, GM, others

Lyft reported to have failed to find buyer in Apple, Uber, GM, others

Just a week ago it was reported that Lyft, the US's second largest ride-hailing company, turned down an acquisition offer from investor General Motors. But new details from the New York Times say that Lyft has actually been looking for a buyer for several months now, holding discussions with a number of companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google, GM, China's Didi Chuxing, and even main rival Uber, but failing to make any deals.

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Android tablets endangered: searching for a new purpose

Android tablets endangered: searching for a new purpose

A few years back, analysts and market watchers loved picking on the PCs, by which they traditional meant desktops and laptops, as the underdogs of the consumer tech industry. These days, however, that status has befallen the tablet, whose sales have seen continuously plummeting numbers. But with the iPad Pro and the proliferation of Windows 2-in-1 hybrids, that is even more so the case with Android tablets, despite the strength of their numbers. Why has this once popular device class become so laid low? Is there a way to save them, or should we even bother trying? I'd say yes, but it's going to take some guts, which OEMs have unfortunately lost in the past years.

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Netflix deal brings service’s app to more in-room hotel TVs

Netflix deal brings service’s app to more in-room hotel TVs

Enseo, in case you’ve never heard about it before, is the source of the in-room entertainment you get at many hotels. Netflix has announced a new expanded deal with Enseo that will allow the latter company to bring the Netflix app to some of its devices for in-room enjoyment at any hotel in any country where Netflix is available. On the consumer end of things, this means you'll more frequently find the Netflix app provided on your hotel room's TV.

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Lyft lets riders set precise pickup and drop-off locations

Lyft lets riders set precise pickup and drop-off locations

Lyft has announced refined drop-off and pickup options in its app, allowing users to chose the precise places their Lyft rider lets them out or picks them up. Lyft says the drop-off locations can be as exact as a specific door at a specific airport terminal, eliminating the need to call the driver and tell them over the phone where exactly you are. These precise drop-offs aren't available at all places across the nation, though.

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Westin, Marriott, and Hyatt hotels hit with payment malware

Westin, Marriott, and Hyatt hotels hit with payment malware

HEI Hotels has issued a notice alerting its customers about a credit card breach. The company first became aware of the issue when its bank card processor told it there was a possible security issue at play. HEI Hotels initiated what it says was an “extensive forensic investigation,” which turned up malware installed on payment processing systems at certain hotels. The current list of affected locations includes hotels under the Marriott, Hyatt, and Westin chains, among others.

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Google Fiber looks for alternatives to building its own network

Google Fiber looks for alternatives to building its own network

If you've been disappointed by the rather slow roll out of Google Fiber, it would appear you're not alone. Alphabet Inc. seems a little frustrated as well, and as a result, the company will begin looking for alternatives to laying its own cable and building out its network at its current slow pace. These new initiatives would include testing wireless technologies, leasing existing fiber networks, and working with towns and municipalities to get them to lay the fiber networks Google would ultimately use.

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Lyft turned down an acquisition offer from General Motors

Lyft turned down an acquisition offer from General Motors

General Motors recently told Lyft that it is interested in acquiring the ridesharing company. Though Lyft at least briefly considered it — and went on to look into other potential acquirers, as well — it ultimately turned GM away. This is according to a pair of sources who cropped up recently; while they don’t know how much General Motors was looking to pay, it is worth pointing out that GM has already invested heavily in Lyft, having shelled out $500 million to get a 9-percent stake in the company several months ago.

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Facebook desktop ads return after Adblock Plus rolls out workaround

Facebook desktop ads return after Adblock Plus rolls out workaround

Well that was quick: yesterday we told you that Adblock Plus had rolled out new filters intending to stop Facebook's new desktop ads, but now just a few hours later, Facebook has hit back. Facebook has apparently implemented code to combat Adblock's workaround, striking back with a speed that even puts the Adblock Plus community's original answer to these desktop ads to shame.

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Russia fines Google $6.75M over pre-installed Android apps

Russia fines Google $6.75M over pre-installed Android apps

Google's antitrust headaches in Europe now seem to be spreading into Russia. The country's anti-monopoly regulator has fined the internet giant for $6.75 million over the requirement that manufacturers of Android-powered devices pre-install Google's own apps. The Russian Federation Antimonopoly Service (FAS)'s investigation was triggered after Yandex, the country's largest search engine, filed a complaint last year that Google was abusing its power and being anti-competitive.

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CVS Pay officially unveiled, dashing Apple Pay rumors

CVS Pay officially unveiled, dashing Apple Pay rumors

We've known for a few weeks now that CVS Pharmacy has been working on making mobile payments available in its stores, and all signs pointed toward those mobile payments involving Apple Pay. While CVS had confirmed in a roundabout way that it was looking into mobile payments, it didn't specify platforms one way or the other. Now, it turns out via an official announcement, CVS wasn't planning to launch Apple Pay: it was developing its own mobile payments platform called CVS Pay.

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