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Month: August 2017

➡️ Newley’s Notes 103: Page 1 Uber Story, Amazon v. SoftBank, Tito the Raccoon

2017 05 13water

Edition 103 my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out yesterday.

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Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, a newsletter in which I share my Wall Street Journal stories, posts from my blog, and links about tech and life.

NN returns today after a two week hiatus. A and I are back in New Delhi now after a fantastic holiday in Greece 🇬🇷 .

We caught up with some close friends, swam in the Aegean Sea, consumed incredible food, read books, took in incredible views, and generally recharged the old mental batteries.

(I’ve been posting some images from the trip on my Instagram feed, and will likely post a round-up all the pics on Facebook later.)

On to this week’s NN!

📝 What I Wrote in The WSJ

📰 1. Smoke, Then Fire: Uber Knowingly Leased Unsafe Cars to Drivers – this story ran just before we left, and you may have seen it as I mentioned it on social media. It’s a page one story with my colleagues about how the world’s most valuable startup bought Honda SUVs in Singapore – that were subject to a recall – and rented them out; one caught fire.
Our exclusive was followed by news outlets around the world, including Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC, USA TODAY, CNN, Axios, Quartz, and more.

🛒 2. Amazon, SoftBank Battle for One of Last Untapped Internet Markets – Jeff Bezos is pouring $5 billion into his company’s operations here. Now he’s facing off against SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, who’s injecting some $2.5 billion into India’s Flipkart, Amazon’s biggest rival in India.

📲 5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

1. Here are some of the best #SolarEclipse2017 photos, courtesy of NASA.

2. What new features will the iPhone 8 introduce? According to this Bloomberg run-down, the device, due out this fall, could include a facial recognition sensor, wireless charging, and new cameras.

3. Book publicists are now pitching Instagram stars. A pic from an “influencer” may now be better than a blurb from a bestselling author.

4. “The Death and Life of Helicopter Commuting.” An eye-opening video about the ill-fated New York Airways of yesteryear, and how we could be using a new breed of choppers to get around in the future.

5. Check out the configuration of New York City subways with these cool x-ray maps of various stations.

💫 1 Silly Thing

1. Video: Tito the pet Raccoon goes swimming with a canine pal. More Tito goodness is available on his (owner’s) YouTube channel. Happy Friday.

What’d I miss? Send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else. Thanks for reading, amigos, and please do forward this email to friends or mention it on Facebook or Twitter.

Fist bump 👊 from New Delhi,

Newley

Uber Rented Defective Cars in Singapore: Our Page 1 Story

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I’m late in mentioning this as I’ve been on the road for a few weeks — and if you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook this may be old news — but I wanted to link to a page 1 story I wrote with colleagues that ran earlier this month.

The headline: “Smoke, Then Fire: Uber Knowingly Leased Unsafe Cars to Drivers.” And the dek: “Chasing breakneck growth, the ride-hailing giant bought Honda SUVs in Singapore subject to a recall — then one caught fire.”

The piece begins:

Uber driver Koh Seng Tian had just dropped off a passenger in a residential neighborhood in Singapore when he smelled smoke in his Honda Vezel sport-utility vehicle. Flames burst from the dashboard, melting the interior and cracking a football-sized hole in his windshield.

Mr. Koh walked away unhurt, according to the accident report filed with authorities. But the fire this January caused panic at Uber Technologies Inc.

The ride-hailing company had rented the Vezel to Mr. Koh after Honda Motor Co. recalled the model in April 2016 for an electrical component that could overheat and catch fire.

Uber managers in Singapore were aware of the Honda recall when they bought more than 1,000 defective Vezels and rented them to Mr. Koh and other drivers without the needed repairs, according to internal Uber emails and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with people familiar with Uber’s operations in the region.

Click through to see some images and read the rest.

The story was followed by news outlets across the globe, including Bloomberg, Reuters, USA TODAY, CNBC, CNN, Quartz, Axios and more.

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