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Response to Airbnb’s Report on Discrimination

This month Airbnb released a report investigating discrimination by its hosts against guests (including racial minorities and others), assessing the evidence of the problem and evaluating proposed solutions. The accompanying announcement offers lofty p… → Read More: Response to Airbnb’s Report on Discrimination

DocuGram at DocEng

Teleconferencing is now a nearly ubiquitous aspect of modern work. We routinely use apps such as Google Hangouts or Skype to present work or discuss documents with remote colleagues. Unfortunately, sharing source documents is not always as seamless. For example, a meeting participant might share content via screencast that she has access to, but that […] → Read More: DocuGram at DocEng

Exploring and Assessing Google’s Practices in Mobile

Since its launch in 2007, Android has become the dominant mobile device operating system worldwide. In light of this commercial success and certain disputed business practices, Android has come under substantial attention from competition authorities. … → Read More: Exploring and Assessing Google’s Practices in Mobile

FXPAL at Mobile HCI 2016

Early next week, Ville Mäkelä and Jennifer Marlow will present our work at Mobile HCI on tools we developed at FXPAL to support distributed workers. The paper, “Bringing mobile into meetings: Enhancing distributed meeting participation on smartwatches and mobile phones”, presents the design, development, and evaluation of two applications, MixMeetWear and MeetingMate, that aim to […] → Read More: FXPAL at Mobile HCI 2016

Assessing Airbnb’s Prospects in its San Francisco Litigation

Last week the Internet buzzed with news of Airbnb’s lawsuit against San Francisco. Dissatisfied with a new ordinance updating and enforcing 2014 regulations of short-term rentals, Airbnb filed suit against the city, arguing that the new ordinance viola… → Read More: Assessing Airbnb’s Prospects in its San Francisco Litigation

Refunds for Minors, Parents, and Guardians for Purchases of Facebook Credits

My 2012 litigation against Facebook, as to kids’ purchases and Facebook’s denials of refund requests, has reached a conclusion — including improvements in Facebook’s process for granting refunds, and a court’s decision affirming that such refunds are … → Read More: Refunds for Minors, Parents, and Guardians for Purchases of Facebook Credits

Preventing Discrimination at Airbnb

In January 2014, Mike Luca and I posted a study finding that black hosts on Airbnb face discrimination — best understood as guests less willing to stay at their properties, forcing them to lower their prices to attract guests. More recently, Mike Luca… → Read More: Preventing Discrimination at Airbnb

How Uber Uses API Restrictions to Block Price Comparison and Impede Competition

For years, Uber has tried to use its API as a potential barrier against competition. Uber invites third-party developers to connect to its servers to get real-time information about vehicle location (how many minutes until a vehicle can pick up a passe… → Read More: How Uber Uses API Restrictions to Block Price Comparison and Impede Competition

FCC Comment on Expanding Consumers’ Video Navigation Choices

Today I filed comments in the FCC’s ongoing proceeding Expanding Consumers’ Video Navigation Choices. While I credit the FCC’s goal of increasing competition in cable television hardware, I flag serious side effects of the proposed regulation. For one,… → Read More: FCC Comment on Expanding Consumers’ Video Navigation Choices

Uber Overcharges, Spring 2016

While claiming price advantages over taxis, Uber overcharges consumers by withholding promised discounts and credits. In today’s post, I examine a set of Uber pricing guffaws — each, a breach of the company’s own unambiguous written commitments — tha… → Read More: Uber Overcharges, Spring 2016