Uber battles D.C. regulators over the size of its cars

Just as Uber got its UberX taxi service up and running in Washington, D.C., it's now being shut down. Why? Because its cars are too small.

UberX is the car-sharing app's answer to taxicabs. The service is low cost and charges by the minute or mile, like a taxi, but doesn't use a meter. The cars UberX uses are also smaller, such as the Prius and Toyota Camry -- and that's where the rub is.

The D.C. Taxi Commission (DCTC) passed new regulations this week that only allow for the use of larger sedans … Read more

Google Maps boosts live transit in NYC, D.C., and Salt Lake City

Working to keep an edge on the mapping front, Google announced today that it's boosting Google Maps' live transit feature. Now, users can see several subway and bus live departure times in New York and Salt Lake City and service alerts for Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail.

"We want to make sure you have access to the most comprehensive, accurate, and useful information when you're on the go -- and that includes public transportation," Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, Google Maps partnership development manager, said in a blog post today. "With these updates -- part of the millions … Read more

Uber on the road to reconciliation in D.C. with new legislation

Embattled private car service Uber appears to be making inroads in Washington, D.C.

After a series of conflicts with regulators in the nation's capital, the quickly growing startup that lets people request rides via their smartphones scored a victory yesterday when the city council unanimously approved a legislative framework for "digital dispatch" transportation services.

The "Public Vehicle-for-Hire Innovation Amendment Act" (PDF) amends the D.C. Taxicab Commission Establishment Act of 1985 -- the rules under which taxis operate in the city -- to include a separate class of for-hire vehicles and sedans that operate … Read more

D.C. chief allows citizens to record and photograph police

Cell phone videos and photos have increasingly brought law enforcement activities to the public eye, such as the killing of Oscar Grant in Oakland, Calif., and crowd control tactics during the Occupy Wall Street protests. But this has also meant that police are more wary of camera-toting citizens.

However, Washington D.C.'s police chief, Cathy Lanier, recently announced that cops are going to have to learn to live with people recording and snapping photos of them, according to DCist. In a six-page General Order, Lanier outlines specific do's and don'ts that her staff must adhere to when … Read more

Uber fights proposed D.C. taxi commission fare increase

In a brewing D.C. cab war, Internet-based Uber feels the city is trying to drive it out of town.

Uber, a quickly-growing startup that lets people request private car service in select cities via their smartphones, is once again battling the D.C. Taxicab Commission, which is reportedly considering legislation that would require sedan car services like Uber to charge at least five times the minimum fare charged by cabs, according to a copy of the amendment Uber posted.

"Sedans would be required to charge a minimum fare of five times the drop rate for taxicabs.[And] sedans … Read more

Apple's iOS 6 Maps app can do 3D, says report

Apple's 3D Map app for iOS 6 may have received a sneak peek, courtesy of Boy Genius Report.

Obtaining details and photos of the new app from a "trusted source," BGR said that Apple's new in-house Map program is currently being tested in the latest build of iOS 6.

The main photo on BGR's site is mostly a mockup based on the information received from the source. Additional photos that are large but blurry show different screens of the app. But one in particular reveals an option to switch to 3D mode.

To jump into … Read more

D.C. court to hear challenges to Net Neutrality rules

Challenges to the Federal Communications Commission's Net neutrality rules will be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a situation supporters of the rules had hoped to avoid.

On Thursday, the D.C. Circuit was chosen at random to be the court where challenges to the new rules, which prohibit broadband Internet providers from deliberately slowing or blocking subscribers' network traffic, will be heard. The rules were passed by the FCC in 2010. And they were officially registered with the government last month, opening up the process for legal challenges before the rules … Read more

Wireless CEOs go to Washington, D.C.

Next week, CEOs from some of the nation's largest wireless companies will be testifying on Capitol Hill for and against the proposed $39 billion megamerger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA.

On Wednesday, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm will argue in favor of the merger in front of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing titled "The AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Is Humpty Dumpty Being Put Back Together Again?"

Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse and regional carrier Cellular South CEO Hu Mena will be there to testify against the merger. … Read more

The 404 767: Where lady, you're scaring us (podcast)

Today's show title comes from the Sloppy Joe scene in "Billy Madison" and continues our weeklong tribute to Adam Sandler's comedic repertoire. We know how you kids like 'em shloppy!

Jeff uses the first bit of the episode to bemoan the Washington, D.C., legal system for its use of traffic-ticketing speed detectors in deserted 40 mph stretches of road.

Take a look at the video and let us know if you think Jeff's ticket is warranted, taking into consideration his admission of guilt on a live, recorded podcast that is definitely admissible in a court of law. Cool story bro!

Now onto the first of today's stories: game company THQ is organizing an anti-North Korean rally in San Francisco to protest the country's dictatorship and abhorrent human rights violations.

The walk from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Yerba Buena Gardens will feature speeches by economic experts, musicians, and the launching of 10,000 balloons.

But the other side of the story is that THQ is also throwing the rally to promote its upcoming shooter game called Homefront that puts the player in control of an American soldier challenging North Korean forces in a dystopian occupied United States. Keeping with last week's discussion of the violent realism in Call of Juarez, could this be another case of too real, too soon?… Read more

Voter uses hand stamp on touch screen

Oh, yes, you all take your iPads everywhere with you. You love them. They are so simple even a child can use them without a manual.

But not everyone is familiar with touch screens like the iPad's.

You may be moved to democratic howling when I tell you that a voter in Washington, D.C., walked up to a touch-screen voting machine yesterday and didn't use his or her fingers.

No, instead, he or she thumped down a hand stamp bearing the name of Adrian Fenty, the current mayor of D.C., who lost his re-election bid in … Read more