Uber Hires Senior Target Executive to Lead Global Operations

Uber Hires Senior Target Executive to Lead Global Operations

  • Uber hired Jeff Jones to oversee the bulk of its global operations
  • The hire underscores efforts by Uber to bolster its reputation and brand
  • Global operations span dozens of countries and about 1.5 million drivers

Uber Technologies Inc has plucked a top executive from US retailer Target to help lead the growing ride-services company and reshape its image.

Uber said on Tuesday it hired Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer for Target, to oversee the bulk of its global operations. Jones will be president of ride-sharing at Uber, running local Uber services in every city, as well as marketing efforts and customer support.

The hire underscores efforts by Uber, which has become the dominant on-demand ride service, to bolster its reputation and brand. Since 2009, the company has aggressively expanded to more than 450 cities, at times steamrolling regulators and launching campaigns against local lawmakers.


Jones joined Target in 2012 to rejuvenate its brand and is credited with modernizing the retailer’s marketing efforts. He led campaigns including #MoreMusic, under which Target partnered with singer Gwen Stefani for a live video that aired during the Grammy Awards and released exclusive tracks from artists such as Adele, part of an effort to burnish Target’s cool image.

Prior to that, Jones led marketing for Gap and worked for Coca-Cola and advertising firm McKinney.

“Jones has a strong track record of driving the narrative around Target’s brand, and will now try to do the same for Uber,” said Mike Mannor, associate professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

“You can surely expect to see stakeholders responding positively to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick taking steps to upgrade his middling in-house talent with proven professional chops.”

Kalanick said in a blog post that he and Jones met in February and “within minutes we were debating how Uber could improve its reputation.”

Kalanick said he wants to align Uber’s marketing functions more closely with individual city operations and put more focus on customer service.

Uber’s global operations span dozens of countries and about 1.5 million drivers.

Jones’ hiring marks a change for Ryan Graves, who has been at Uber since 2010 and ran the company’s operations and global expansion. Graves will give up some of those responsibilities but continue to work on Uber’s delivery businesses, including UberEats and UberRush, as well as other projects, Kalanick said.

Jones’ exit is the latest in a string of executive departures from Target, which has made a series of management changes since last year.

Among other moves, the big-box retailer appointed Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan to the newly created role of chief operating officer. It has also added new hires as it focuses on higher-margin categories such as baby and wellness products and revamps online sales.


Delhi High Court Seeks Centre’s Response on WhatsApp-Facebook Data Sharing

Delhi High Court Seeks Centre's Response on WhatsApp-Facebook Data Sharing

  • WhatsApp updated its privacy policy earlier this month
  • It has, thus, stirred a controversy among the users
  • Delhi HC has asked govt. to submit replies by September 14

WhatsApp’s recent decision to share user data with parent company Facebook has reached the doorstep of the Delhi High Court, which sought the government’s response on the modification of the new privacy policy.

In a controversial move, the popular messaging platform has said it will begin “coordinating” accounts with Facebook by sharing users’ mobile phone numbers and device information with Facebook. It is, however, giving users a 30-day window to opt out of sharing their details.


The plans of WhatsApp – which has long promised to safeguard the privacy of more than 1 billion users — had rung alarm bells among privacy advocates.

Following a petition by two users, a High Court bench issued notice to the Centre, asking the concerned authorities to file their reply by September 14.

The petition had alleged that WhatsApp, Facebook Inc and Facebook India Online Private Limited’s new private policy “compromises the rights of its users”.

The current privacy policy is in “stark contrast” to the one from July 7, 2012, the petition read. The revised policy of August 25, 2016, “severely compromises the rights of its users and makes the privacy rights of users completely vulnerable,” the plea alleged.

The new policy, which is likely to come into force from September 25, has sought to change the “most valuable, basic and essential feature” of WhatsApp, the petition read.

It “unilaterally” threatened to “take away the protection to privacy of details and data of its users and sharing the same with Facebook and all its group companies including for the purpose of commercial advertising and marketing”.

Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocates Sandeep Sethi and Pratibha M Singh, called it a “very serious breach of policy”.

The manner of taking consent was “highly deceptive in as much as almost the entire community of users of WhatsApp in India are not equipped to even read, much less comprehend” the terms and conditions, they said.


What benefits do you get from professional home theatre installation?

If you have invested in purchasing several home entertainment items, and are looking to create a home theatre set-up, it is possible to do all of the installation yourself, if you understand considerations such as which cables to use and where to best position surround sound speakers. If you do not have a good understanding of all aspects of setting up a home theatre system then it’s a good idea to hire a professional audio visual consultant to do the work for you. If you do this you make sure that you get the best out a system that you have made a significant investment in.

It does not matter what sort of home theatre system you are looking to set up, or how many constituent parts there are, a professional will be able to help you with the work. We are going to take a look at why it makes sense to get professional help setting up a home theatre system and what you can expect this help to entail.

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Why getting a professional to help set up your home theatre system is a good idea

If you think about it, do you actually know the best position for your surround sound speakers or which cables you should use to hook up your TV and other video devices? The chances are that you are not an expert. If you wanted to set up your own home theatre system you would have to spend time learning how to get the best from it. Not only could this be really frustrating it would also greatly extend the average home theatre set up time of 1.5 hours. It’s far easier, and less stressful, to get some professional help setting up your system.

What can you expect from professional home theatre installation?

There is really no set answer to this question. The work that home theatre installers can carry out is varied, depending on the needs of the customer. You decide what you want them to do and they make sure you get the best audio and visual result possible. A professional will ensure that all the audio and video devices you have are installed and configured correctly so that all you have to do is switch on, use and enjoy.

It does not matter whether your main love is music, or whether you are a huge movie fan, a professional installer will make sure you get the best possible entertainment experience. Even if you do not need a complete home theatre installed that is not a problem; you can get expert help with whatever you need. Remember, you only pay for the service you get. You could pay $150 for a simple speaker set up, or you could pay $1,500 to have a complete home theatre system set up for you.

You can see the benefits of getting professional help with setting up a home theatre system. You do not have to spend valuable time learning about completing the set up yourself and you get the high standard of audio and visual entertainment you are seeking.

Dropbox Forces Some Users to Reset Passwords; Cites Leaked Credential Cache

Dropbox Forces Some Users to Reset Passwords; Cites Leaked Credential Cache

  • Users registered before mid-2012 will be asked to reset their passwords
  • Those who haven’t changed their password since then will also be asked
  • This is due to a hacked file obtained by its intelligence team

Dropbox has sent out password resets to all of its users that have signed up for the service prior to mid-2012, or not changed their password since that time. The company asserts that no accounts have been hacked, and the reset is being done as “purely a preventative measure”.

The cloud storage company elaborates that measure is being taken after its intelligence team obtained an old set of Dropbox credentials (email addresses as well as hashed and salted passwords that may have been leaked in an ‘incident’ in 2012, referring to the massive Linkedin hack that year. The usernames and passwords stolen in the Linkedin hack, were used to sign in to many Dropbox accounts as well at that time. This obtained file also links back to the LinkedIn hack, and Dropbox is taking preventive measures to stop it from reoccurring. This file was held quietly for many years, but as it surfaced again, Dropbox wants all of its old users to reset their passwords.

Our security teams are always watching out for new threats to our users. As part of these ongoing efforts, we learned about an old set of Dropbox user credentials (email addresses plus hashed and salted passwords) that we believe were obtained in 2012. Our analysis suggests that the credentials relate to an incident we disclosed around that time. Based on our threat monitoring and the way we secure passwords, we don’t believe that any accounts have been improperly accessed. Still, as one of many precautions, we’re requiring anyone who hasn’t changed their password since mid-2012 to update it the next time they sign in.

If you are a Dropbox user, we recommend you to change your password anyway, even if you’ve registered for the service post 2012. Users who joined Dropbox before mid-2012, or who haven’t changed their password since then, will get a password reset prompt automatically when they next sign in. Just follow the steps to change password, and ensure that you have strong password for added security (Dropbox has a password strength meter, use a mix of letters, numerals, and symbols). For users who haven’t received a prompt, head to this page, enter registered email ID, and click the link that you receive in email to enter your new password.

Dropbox even asks users to enable two-step verification for added security. In order to enable this, sign-in to Dropbox, and head to Settings > Security > Enable Two-Step Verification. This will add OTP as an added process every time you log-in. In 2014, Dropbox faced its first massive leak. An anonymous hacker got hold of roughly 7 million usernames and passwords and posted them all on PasteBin. However, Dropbox refused to acknowledge the leak, and claimed that the usernames and passwords were unfortunately stolen from other services and used in attempts to log in to Dropbox accounts.


Uber Said to Lose at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016

Uber Said to Lose at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016

The ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies is not a public company, but every three months, dozens of shareholders get on a conference call to hear the latest details on its business performance from its head of finance, Gautam Gupta.

On Friday, Gupta told investors that Uber’s losses mounted in the second quarter. Even in the U.S., where Uber had turned a profit during its first quarter, the company was once again losing money.

In the first quarter of this year, Uber lost about $520 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, according to people familiar with the matter. In the second quarter the losses significantly exceeded $750 million, including a roughly $100 million shortfall in the U.S., those people said. That means Uber’s losses in the first half of 2016 totalled at least $1.27 billion.

Subsidies for Uber’s drivers are responsible for the majority of the company’s losses globally, Gupta told investors, according to people familiar with the matter. An Uber spokesman declined to comment.

“You won’t find too many technology companies that could lose this much money, this quickly,” said Aswath Damodaran, a business professor at New York University who has written sceptically of Uber’s astronomical valuation on his blog. “For a private business to raise as much capital as Uber has been able to is unprecedented.”

 Bookings grew tremendously from the first quarter of this year to the second, from above $3.8 billion to more than $5 billion. Net revenue, under generally accepted accounting principles, grew about 18 percent, from about $960 million in the first quarter to about $1.1 billion in the second.

Uber also told investors during the call that it was changing how it calculates UberPool’s contribution to revenue in the second quarter, which had the effect of increasing revenue.

Uber’s losses and revenue have generally grown in lockstep as the company’s global ambitions have expanded. Uber has lost money quarter after quarter. In 2015, Uber lost at least $2 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Uber, which is seven years old, has lost at least $4 billion in the history of the company.

It’s hard to find much of a precedent for Uber’s losses. Webvan and Kozmo.com-two now-defunct phantoms of the original dot-com boom-lost just over $1 billion combined in their short lifetimes. Amazon.com Inc. is famous for losing money while increasing its market value, but its biggest loss ever totaled $1.4 billion in 2000. Uber exceeded that number in 2015 and is on pace to do it again this year.

“It’s hardly rare for companies to lose large sums of money as they try to build significant markets and battle for market share,” said Joe Grundfest, professor of law and business at Stanford. “The interesting challenge is for them to turn the corner to become profitable, cash-flow-positive entities.”

The second quarter of 2016, which ended in June, could represent a nadir for Uber. The company’s losses will likely fall. In July, it cut a deal with its largest global competitor, Chinese ride-hailing behemoth Didi Chuxing, washing its hands of its massive losses in that country. Didi gave Uber a 17.5 percent stake in its business and a $1 billion investment in exchange for Uber’s retreat. Uber lost at least $2 billion in two years in China, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in July. Uber won’t see any losses from China on its balance sheet after August, the company said on Friday’s investor call.

Uber’s backers range from venture capital firms like Benchmark Capital to the investment bank Goldman Sachs. Altogether, Uber has raised more than $16 billion in cash and debt. Its latest valuation is a whopping $69 billion. The company has effectively redistributed at least $1 billion to the Chinese working class in the form of heavy subsidies to drivers there. “Uber and Didi Chuxing are investing billions of dollars in China and both companies have yet to turn a profit there,” Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick wrote in a letter announcing the company’s departure from China.

Uber has been engaged in a fierce price war with Lyft this year, and that has also contributed to the enormous losses. Uber told investors on Friday’s call that it’s willing to spend to maintain its market share in the U.S. The company told investors that it believes Uber has between 84 percent and 87 percent of the market in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter.

Lyft said its market share in major U.S. cities is more than 20 percent and has grown substantially since last year. “Uber’s alleged market share is a misleading and skewed statistic given that they offer service in more markets than Lyft,” a spokeswoman for Lyft wrote in an e-mail.

One Uber investor said that he was expecting the company to continue losing money in the U.S. for the next quarter or two. But Lyft, a much smaller company by trip volume, looks to be losing more money than Uber in the U.S. Lyft has told investors that it will keep its losses under $50 million a month, Bloomberg reported in April. That would be about $150 million in a quarter. Uber’s U.S. losses totaled about $100 million in the second quarter of this year. In July, Uber delivered 62 million rides to Lyft’s 13.9 million. Uber’s subsidies were spread over more rides.

Uber has about $8 billion in the bank and will soon receive $1 billion in cash from Didi, according to a person familiar with the matter. Uber also has access to a $2 billion credit line and a $1.2 billion loan.

“I think what Uber is trying to do is, ‘Hey, look, we’re going to take the losses up front in order to get to disproportionate scale,'” said Robert Siegel, lecturer in management at Stanford’s business school. “The question is when they can get to profitability.” This fall, Bloomberg’s global technology team is launching a newsletter. Click here to be the first to get it.


A Comprehensive Guide to Weight Gaining Steroids

A Comprehensive Guide to Weight Gaining Steroids

Steroids are recognised to be the chemical compounds that play an important role for the change in the body process. This heavily influences the metabolism of the body and is also used in increasing the strength of the muscles. Steroids are those drugs which help in cutting the fat and some of the steroids help to grow the muscles .All the steroids will be having different properties depending on the ingredients that are involved in this.


Steroids and Weight Gain

Many steroids help in increase of the weight due to the food cravings. This helps to make a person eat more. Gaining weight is considered to be one of the side effects of Prednisone. The steroid amount and the weight that is gained depend on the dosage taken. In case of athletes, gaining the weight is not an issue as this helps in enhancing their performance. Anabolic steroids help in gaining weight and also help in retaining the muscle tissues. Next thing that helps in gaining the weight is retaining water. Anotherweight gain mechanism point that helps the steroids in gaining weight is through accumulating the fat in the body. This also helps in increasing the appetite and thereby increases the weight of the person. Athletes can benefit with this kind of steroids who do not concern with gaining weight.

Steroids can cause a negative impact on the body metabolism. The excess fat in the body get deposited in the stomach, backside of the neck and also on the face.

Steroids that help in Muscle Gain

There are many bulking stacks that help in gaining the muscles. Some of the bulking stacks are Dianabol, Sustanon, decadurabolin and trenbolon. This kind of bulking stacks helps to gain strength and also helps to improve the immunity and recovery capacity.

Dianabol is one of the powerful weight gaining steroids that helps in gaining weight and strength and power in a shorter period. This is one of the steroids that help in mass building specially designed for the athletes to improve their performance. Many reviews prove that 3-4lb of the weight is gained after consuming this steroid. This steroid helps the tissues of the muscle in retaining the nitrogen content in the body .This is one of the most essential part that is required for the building of proteins. But still there are many side effects caused by these steroids. This may cause high blood pressure, damage for the liver and baldness.

Some of the human growth hormones that are produced synthetically help in the stimulation of many metabolic processes. This also helps in the growth of muscle tissues. The fat that is developed in the body gets decreased due to HGH.

Steroids are consumed both in the form of injections and also orally. In spite of all these benefits these steroids also possess some side effects such as

  • It may sometime cause Osteoporosis
  • This may lead to hypogonadism
  • Weakness
  • This may lead to inflammation in the skin
  • Hypertension and many other physical problems.