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The Switchboard: Uber’s aggressive playbook for recruiting Lyft drivers

File: An ad for Uber targeting Lyft in San Francisco in 2013. (Steve Rhodes / Flickr)

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

This is Uber's playbook for sabotaging Lyft. "Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors," reports Casey Newton at The Verge. Interviews with current and former contractors as well as internal documents obtained by the outlet describe the company’s strategy, known as "Operation Slog."

People are more likely to self-censor — on and offline — if others online disagree with them. "In the age of social media, it may seem like everyone has an opinion to share on the latest news of the day. But a new study released Tuesday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project has revealed that, in fact, there may fewer opinions on your feeds than you think," writes the Switch's Hayley Tsukayama. The report shows that people were more likely to self censor if their online networks disagree with them.

Washington’s using less than a percent of the power it has to boost federal tech pay. "Under U.S. law, federal agencies are allowed to pay above and beyond normal salary rates for would-be employees who are extraordinarily talented, especially in the fields of science and technology," reports The Switch's Nancy Scola. But although the law today provides for 800 job slots eligible for higher pay, just three of those slots were being used in 2011 according to a recent report from Institute for Defense Analyses.

Why the economics of the Internet look totally different in North America. A new report from Cloudflare shows "that more companies in North America pay for interconnection than in almost any other region of the world," reports the Switch's Brian Fung.

Why PACER removed access to case archives of five courts. Earlier this month, the public court records system PACER removed access to some archives of five courts. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts blames the removal on the changes to the technical architecture of the system that left the removed documents incompatible with the system.


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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