The Switchboard: Lyft and Uber are bickering — but their real rival is the taxi industry.

Washington, DC, taxi drivers park their cars and honk the horn in protest on Pennsylvania Avenue, bringing street traffic to a stop as they demand an end to ride sharing services such as Uber X and Lyft on June 25, 2014, in Washington, DC. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of hand-picked stories from the Switch team.

Lyft’s complaints about Uber drivers reveal a fractured, multi-front war over rideshare. "The fight for dominance among rideshare companies is intensely competitive, no matter how cuddly those pink Lyft mustaches may seem," reports the Switch's Brian Fung. "But the war among Uber, Lyft and other comparable startups has mostly been overshadowed by a larger fight with traditional taxi operators."

Facebook’s security chief on the Snowden effect, the Messenger app backlash and staying optimistic. The Switch talked with Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan about how the Snowden leaks have led to greater collaboration between technology companies on security -- and greater user engagement on the issue.

As data overflows online, researchers grapple with ethics. Vindu Goel at the New York Times explores the delicate balance academic and commercial researchers must achieve as they increasingly deal in massive amounts of automatically collected data.

Google tweaks Gmail to make ‘global e-mail’ less spammy. "Last week, Google announced that it was becoming the first major e-mail provider to adopt the Internet Engineering Task Force's standards for accepting e-mail addresses that contain non-Latin characters," the Switch's Nancy Scola reports. But Tuesday, Google announced that it has begun rejecting some e-mail addresses with strange letter combinations in them in order to prevent spammers from taking advantage of the new options.

Tech giants at odds over Obama privacy bill. Microsoft is supporting big data regulations, but the Internet Association — “the unified voice of the Internet economy,” which includes Facebook, Google and Yahoo -- is calling for a more "flexible" and "self-regulatory" framework, Kate Tummarello at the Hill reports.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.



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Nancy Scola · August 12, 2014