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Give up now: New Dunkin' Donuts flavors make dieting impossible

Get out those chunky sweaters and leggings now because Dunkin' Donuts has two new fall flavors

America's best-known donut chain is going orange with its new limited edition fall flavors, including pumpkin cheesecake and, in collaboration with The Hershey Company, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup donut, reports Refinery 29.

See also:
Beyonce Parody Sends a Love Letter to Dunkin' Donuts

Pumpkin cheesecake in donut form.

Image: Dunkin Donuts

The Pumpkin Cheesecake Square pairs sweet pumpkin cheesecake filling with a plain donut topped with graham cracker crumbs, a white drizzle and orange colored icing.

Peanut butter perfection.

Image: Dunkin Donuts

The Reese's Peanut Butter Square is filled with Reese's peanut butter and topped with chocolate icing and an orange-hued drizzle.

The Hershey Company told Mashable, "Our last collaboration with Dunkin' Donuts was over six years ago in 2009.... 'Toffee for your Coffee' featured chopped pieces of milk chocolate and English toffee from one of Hershey’s iconic brands, Heath."

Both creations will be available nationwide Aug. 31 through Oct. 2015.

The collaboration isn't just exciting because a representative from Dunkin' Donuts revealed to Mashable that "the new Reese's Peanut Butter Square was so good we had to introduce it as soon as possible." It's an absolute thrill to be introduced to a pumpkin item that doesn't include the term "spice latte" in the title.


You go, Dunkin' Donuts.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. More about Dunkin Donuts, Donut, Fast Food, Lifestyle, and Health Fitness

Don't panic, Instagram's app icon isn't changing

Think of Instagram and you likely think of its iconic app icon, which has remained largely unchanged through the company's history.

That came into question Friday — just one day after the company revealed it was abandoning its signature square photos — when images surfaced of what appeared to be a beta version of the photo-sharing app, showing a redesigned colorless app icon

See also: Move over, squares: Instagram now supports landscape and portrait modes

The image was posted to Twitter Friday by user Jad Limcaco, who claims he got the screenshot from his cousin who said what appears to be a beta of the Instagram app "just popped up on his phone." Read more...

More about Facebook, Tech, Instagram, Apps Software, and Apps And Software

Nightmare Fuel: Terrifying Zombie/Werewolf Dog Muzzle

That has to be the most terrifying dog muzzle of all time, and yes, you can actually purchase it online for about $30. Just the perfect thing for your pug! :) [Source: Zveryatam | Alexey Kurulyov | Via Laughing Squid]

The post Nightmare Fuel: Terrifying Zombie/Werewolf Dog Muzzle appeared first on Geeks are Sexy Technology News.

Gunman in on-air deaths remembered as 'professional victim'

Roanoke City Council member Anita Price, right, is comforted by friend Jan DeVries as they gather at a candlelight vigil in front of the WDBJ-TV station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, a day after reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast. Vester Flanagan filmed himself gunning down the journalists and posted the video on social media after fleeing the scene. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The man who was news director during Vester Flanagan's rocky tenure at Virginia station WDBJ-TV described him as someone who constantly saw himself being victimized by others.

Idaho police search for promposal vandal's date named Destiny

Police near Boise, Idaho are determined to catch the perp who defaced a culturally significant rock formation with a spray-painted promposal message.

The concise message, which simply reads, "DESTINY, PROM?" has led sheriffs to interview more than a dozen girls named Destiny in the area.

See also: 21 Clever Promposals You'd Never Turn Down

Police say that the tag, which is in a difficult area to reach in the Black Cliffs — a culturally significant area for Native American Tribes — will be costly to remove. The perpetrator could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Image: Patrick Orr/Associated Press

More about Watercooler, Conversations, and Promposal

Sarah Palin flies off the rails in bizarre Facebook rant against ESPN

Sarah Palin had some things to get off her mind about ESPN, of all targets. So, like your crazy aunt, she took to Facebook to air her grievances in a post of Tolstoyan proportions

It all starts with the Nazis

See also: Why Super Bowl 50 could be a San Francisco poop-ocalypse

Major League Baseball legend and ESPN analyst Curt Schilling tweeted a meme comparing Muslim extremists to Nazis on Tuesday. He deleted it soon after, but earned himself a disapproving corporate statement from ESPN, which also removed him from his gig calling the Little League World Series games on the network

So, naturally, Palin stepped in late Thursday night by penning a 389-word Facebook screed with a nuanced title: "ESPN IS A JOURNALISTIC EMBARRASSMENT." Read more...

More about Espn, Mlb, Entertainment, and Sports

Manson associate may be paroled
Charles Manson associate Bruce Davis is again a step closer to being freed from prison, but a review board or California Gov. Jerry Brown must approve before the convicted murderer can be paroled.

Legionnaires' fears in San Quentin
Inmates' time in San Quentin State Prison just got a little harder: The prison's water has been turned off, and porta-potties have been brought in, because of a case of Legionnaires' disease.

'Walking Dead' web series: Zombies on a plane

Get ready for mile-high zombies

AMC reportedly has plans for a new 30-minute online special that will feature a Walking Dead first: a zombie attack on an airplane.

See also: In 'Fear The Walking Dead' premiere, family drama doesn't stop for zombies

Installments of the full special will air during Walking Dead commercial breaks during the upcoming Season 6, which starts in October and introduce a character that will be featured on Fear the Walking Dead Season 2.

EW first reported the news.

The special, which will be a standalone, will be set in the pre-apocalypse period, similar to what is currently being portrayed in Season 1 of Fear Read more...

More about Television, Amc, Entertainment, Tv, and The Walking Dead

Teen jailed for supporting ISIS on Twitter

A 17-year-old Virginia resident has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison by a U.S. federal court after he used Twitter to provide financial and recruiting support to the extremist Islamic group known as ISIS.

The sentence handed down Friday shows how wide a net officials have cast in prosecuting online activities related to ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

While this case focused on the defendant's use of Twitter, he also used messaging apps like WhatsApp and Tox for ISIS-related communications, one of his attorneys said in an interview.

The defendant, Ali Shukri Amin, also provided instructions on how to use Bitcoin to contribute funds to ISIS.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Is traffic congestion hopeless?
Most of us who live or work in major urban areas are confronted with traffic congestion challenges every day. Recently, the Urban Mobility Scorecard estimated there is an average congestion delay of 52 hours per year per car commuter in the top 101 urban areas in the United States. This bottleneck wastes precious time and energy, raises our level of stress and causes our vehicles to emit more pollutants than if traffic flowed freely.

The place where miracles happen

An extravagant symbol of a man who can't hide his true nature
A brief history on Spats, a mostly obsolete fashion accessory

Apple Watch is disrupting the ‘Interruption Economy’

GUEST: If the Apple Watch has taught me anything, it’s that all smartwatches are going to require us as product developers, marketers, and publishers to fundamentally reconsider our notion of interruptions and the role they play in how we communicate and engage with consumers. For far too long, interruptions have formed the currency of digital marketing. […]

Ease Into a Night of Drinking Beer by Starting with Lighter Varieties

You might think it’s better to start your beer quest with hoppy, flavorful beers that have a higher alcohol content, but you’re doing a disservice to your taste buds for the rest of the night.


U.S. names hostage negotiator
President Barack Obama will name a former State Department official who served as a top negotiator during the Bosnian War as the first special envoy for hostage affairs.

DARPA wants to launch and land Gremlins on moving planes
DARPA wants to transform airplanes into drone carriers. Last year, the agency invited technical ideas and business expertise to help create a reusable airborne system. Today, it announced the launch of the Gremlins program that's designed to make t...

Uber hires two security researchers to improve car technology

By Joseph Menn and Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber has hired two top vehicle security researchers, the company said on Friday, high-profile additions that come as the ride-hailing service ramps up its work on technology for self-driving cars. Charlie Miller, who had been working at Twitter Inc, and Chris Valasek, who worked at […]

Kickstand Pump does quadruple duty

The Kickstand Pump, folded up and serving as a tail light

When most of us think of a cycling multi-tool, we picture something that goes in a jersey pocket or saddle pack. Seoul-based company Leeman, however, is looking at things a little differently. Its Kickstand Pump mounts on the bike, and serves not only as a kickstand and pump, but also a tire lever and tail light.

..Continue Reading Kickstand Pump does quadruple duty



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Google to app developers: iOS 9 privacy feature that forces HTTPS can break ads, so add an exception to allow ads to be delivered over HTTP (Mark Bergen/Re/code)

Mark Bergen /

Google to app developers: iOS 9 privacy feature that forces HTTPS can break ads, so add an exception to allow ads to be delivered over HTTP  —  Google Tells Developers How to Get Around Apple's New Security Rules So They Can Keep Selling Ads  —  Apple says it cares a lot about privacy.

Man who shot Virginia journalists identified with 9/11 attacks: sheriff

Alison Parker and Adam Ward are pictured in this handout photo from TV station WDBJ7

The gunman who killed two Virginia television journalists on air carried out a well-planned assault and identified with mass murderers and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, authorities said on Friday. The shooter, Vester Flanagan, gave no sign of his destination or next move when he fled after gunning down the journalists from Roanoke station WDBJ7 on Wednesday, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "It is evident that Wednesday morning's attack was well-planned and premeditated" and Flanagan apparently acted alone, the statement on the shooting investigation said.

Volunteers undergo rigorous training to join Kiev's police force
Volunteers for Kiev's new police force were drilled on marksmanship, basic surveillance protocol and more aggressive tactics including how to ambush a target. Deborah Gembara reports.

Jeep hackers get new jobs at Uber's autonomous-car lab
Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have made a habit of getting the attention of the automotive world with their vehicle hacks. This year, the team showed an exploit that would allow hackers to remotely hijack a Jeep. That hack r...

Get More Out of Boring Lectures by Imagining You're the Teacher

With lectures, you only get out of them what you’re willing to put in. You might be bored by the slides, but that information is still important. If you spend that time thinking from the teacher’s perspective, you might get a better grasp of the material.


Watch the skies
North Dakota becomes the first state to legalize weaponized drones. "Less than lethal" weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are now permitted on drones, thanks to the actions of a lobbyist representing law enforcement.

Drones previously.

Ube Goldberg
New Uber Service Sounds Suspiciously Like a Bus — New Uber "Smart Routes" feature offers passengers fare discounts in exchange for pick-ups along predetermined high-ridership routes. Rather than trying to compete with public transit, FiveThirtyEight points out that Uber and public transit can complement each other. Meanwhile, the yellow cab industry is trying to fight back against Uber with an Uber-like smartphone app for NYC passengers.

U.N. chief 'horrified and heartbroken' by migrants crisis
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is "horrified and heartbroken as refugees and migrants are losing their lives in the Mediterranean, Europe and beyond." Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

The legacy of Hurricane Katrina
Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and the Gulf coastline, leaving behind the costliest disaster in U.S. history and a deeper tragedy of poverty and inequality.

Playdate: Exploring a galaxy far, far away in 'Disney Infinity 3.0'
If you wondered what would become of Lucasfilm after 'ol George sold the firm back in 2012, you're looking at it: Disney Infinity 3.0. Yes, that game -- the best possible example of just how many of the franchises you know and love belong to Mickey...

France Taps IBM OpenPOWER for Supercomputing
IBM and France's GENCI high performance computing agency team up to bring supercomputing closer to exascale.

Facebook ramps up video piracy fighting technology
Think of video piracy, and talk of BitTorrent probably isn’t far away. While torrented movies and TV shows account for a large proportion of pirated material, it is far from being the end of the story. Even sites as seemingly innocuous as Facebook can be part of the problem. The social network is not really used as a way to share the latest blockbuster movies, but it is home to a lot of 'recycled' content, the rights for which are not necessarily owned by the uploader. Responding to growing complaints from video publishers, Facebook is ramping up its fight against… [Continue Reading]

The Wait For HTC's Vive VR Headset Just Got Longer

From the beginning, HTC’s promise of delivering a consumer-ready virtual-reality headset by the end of the year seemed fantastical (in all senses of the word). How is the Taiwanese company, which announced the Vive early this year, going to release its VR system so quickly?

The answer: It’s not. While a few devices will make their way to the public, the broader launch apparently will get pushed back to 2016. In a statement given to Engadget Thursday, HTC said, "We'll have a limited number of units by the end of the year, with more to come in Q1 2016.”

See also: 6 Ways The HTC Vive Will Freak Out Virtual-Reality Geeks

A joint collaboration with gaming giant Valve, the Steam OS-powered system has been in the hands of developers for a couple of months. Those who have been hustling to meet the short timetable now suddenly get a little more breathing room, which may thrill some gaming developers, VR filmmakers and other creators. But it could pose problems for entrepreneurs who were depending on a fast release.

It may also pose extra problems for HTC.

The Real Race Driving Virtual Reality

This sprint to the finish line was one of the most intriguing aspects of HTC’s surprise unveiling of the Vive. The new timeframe now puts it on par with the Oculus Rift’s launch.

See also: The Oculus Rift Will Ship In Early 2016

That's still impressive, considering the Rift has been in development for at least a couple of years. (More, if you count Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s previous research projects at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, which informed his later work.) But the Vive looks like it may lose its first-to-market advantage.

Fortunately, it’s not the only thing HTC has going for it. The Vive’s user experience is deeply impressive, offering one of the best visuals and interactivity experiences in the VR sector. 

As a system of devices, it works with handheld remotes and room-situated hardware, which knows the location of the user in space and can calibrate the virtual environment accordingly. The system worked very well, at least in a controlled demo setting. (We’ll see how it measures up in the hands of users in the real world.)

In contrast, Oculus primarily relied on third parties to flesh out its universe of accessories until last June, when it took the wraps off of its own Oculus Touch wireless controllers

See also: Oculus Will Let You Grab Virtual Reality With Both Hands

Other projects and software features are likely in the works as well. (We may know more at the Oculus Connect 2 developer conference in Los Angeles next month.) 

There’s also increasing competition from VR hardware startups and other (bigger) competitors eyeing virtual and augmented reality—including Sony, Google, Samsung and Microsoft. Apple may also be pursuing virtual and augmented reality behind closed doors.

All of which makes HTC’s decision to delay the Vive’s consumer release rather risky—especially if the company is relying on this initiative to make up for its flagging smartphone business. For end users and developers, however, the scenario points to something else: Next year is going to be absolutely huge for all realities virtual. 

Photos by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

Because the Internet needs more
Rice University Fondren Library maintain a guide to cat videos on the web. But what do they think? Meanwhile, in the UK Labour Party leadership contest, socialists cannot vote, but cats can. And people like watching cat videos on TV. And as for Tinder for cats? There's an app for that. But, why so popular? And why does Larry Ellison like them? So do you want more? Why not go on a cat holiday, or run away and join the cat circus?

Microsoft Surface 3: Interesting but flawed [Review]
"You can't get there from here". That's how many customers must feel as they ponder the broken Windows 10 upgrade path for first-generation Windows 8 hybrid PCs. With Intel refusing to update the Atom z2760 video driver, and with existing Windows 8.1 drivers providing spotty compatibility, these early adopters are at a crossroads. Do they stick with Windows 8.1 and watch while the bulk Microsoft's development effort goes into Windows 10 (leaving them clinging to an all but abandoned OS platform)? Or do they bite the bullet and begin vetting potential replacements for their still functional HP Envy x2s, Lenovo… [Continue Reading]

Marvel’s Civil War – The Complete Story [Video]

With Marvel set up to be facing off heavy with DC movies next year, Marvel’s Civil War seems like the one movie that may have the potential to stand among the DC heavies movies of next Summer (Suicide Squad, Dawn of Justice) and outside of Deadpool, Civil War will be the ace up their sleeve. […]

The post Marvel’s Civil War – The Complete Story [Video] appeared first on Geeks are Sexy Technology News.

Google Container Engine for Docker Now Generally Available
Google announces general availability of Container Engine; Intel invests $60 million in a drone maker; Yahoo says mobile apps rule, browser is bygone; and there's more.

FAA starts testing its drone safety app
Back in May, the Federal Aviation Administration announced plans to test an app for drone hobbyists that'll ensure they're flying in approved airspace. The mobile software appears to be on schedule as B4UFLY is now in closed beta for iOS. Up to 1,0...

Google’s App Search Results Now Look More Like An App Store
 Google has been working for some time to improve how it highlights mobile apps, and the data they contain, in its search results. And now, Android users performing Google searches for apps outside the Play Store will notice a big change in how apps are being presented in search results.Where before, apps were listed one-by-one with each app on its own line followed by a link to see… Read More

Currys/PC World could be first major third-party retailer to carry Apple Watch in UK
Electronics vendor Currys -- in some places branded as Currys/PC World -- may be the first third-party retail chain to sell the Apple Watch in the U.K., a report indicated on Friday.

The Top 5 Technologies That Have Changed Sports

This post is sponsored by The Wearable Tech In Sport Summit, an event taking place in San Francisco on September 9–10. It reflects the views of the sponsor, not ReadWrite's editors.

Athletes today use increasingly complex technologies to enhance performance.

We have seen considerable leaps forward in sporting performance as a direct result of technology either used during competition or in training. The big question is which technology has had the biggest impact on its respective sport?

Attend The Wearable Tech In Sport Summit, September 9-10 in San Francisco, California—use discount code "World20" to save 20%!

Below, we have listed the top five technologies that, in our view, have had the profoundest effects.

Video Technology

Several sports have adopted in-game video analysis and video refereeing.

This includes rugby, football, tennis, and even soccer. It has meant that decisions can be made quickly and accurately, allowing correct decisions to be made in more instances as these games become increasingly fair.

Many believe that this has taken some of the fun out of sports, but the truth is that it simply makes it fairer and creates a situation where players know that should they break a rule, they are far more likely to be caught.

Having several cameras around a pitch has also had a major effect on the way that players are analyzed after competition across almost every sport. The ability to look at a performance on a screen and make judgements on it has allowed coaches and analysts to look at individual elements of a performance and make decisions based on what they can see. This is then filtered into the training regimes of the athlete, allowing for better performances and better chances of success.

Portable Sensors

Cycling used to be very much a sport of feel and arbitrary judgement, riding a certain distance or climbing up a particular hill so many times was enough to prepare people for a race. Along came heart-rate monitors and people could train within particular heart-rate zones, but this was still only analyzing what the effort was doing to the body, rather than what the effort was doing for the actual performance.

When power meters came along, it allowed cyclists to train in accordance with how much power they were pushing through the pedals. Having the ability to train at a consistent level with the readings appearing on a screen in the handlebars meant that consistent power could be achieved, something that is vital in the modern day peloton. 

Team Sky may not have been the first team to use power meters, but the way they utilized them changed the way that every professional team trains and has totally changed the landscape of cycling from a sport based on feelings to arguably the most number intensive sport in the world.

See ReadWrite CEO Redg Snodgrass speak at The Wearable Tech In Sport Summit—register now!

Similarly, we can see the use of GPS sensors that have allowed rugby, football, and soccer coaches to see exactly where a player is at any point during a match, then look at their movements and see how these can be changed to improve the athlete.

These kinds of sensors are also constantly evolving and getting smaller, making even more impact on performance whilst being able to pick up the most minute information. It has been predicted that soon they will be embeddable within everyday clothing, allowing for complex measurements to be taken constantly and improving analysis even further.

Since inventing the VS racket string, Babolat has changed the game of tennis. Its most renowned invention to date allows players to track and share data to improve performance through an app. Speaking at the Wearable Tech in Sport Summit on September 9 and 10 in San Francisco, hosted by Innovation Enterprise, Daniel Becker, the company's senior marketing manager, will discuss new technology and what else they’re doing to help improve performance in sport.

Drug Testing

Tests to detect illegal drugs aren't an individual technology as much as a collection of technologies that has changed almost every sport in the world.

Until 1999, there were small-scale, uncoordinated drug tests across individual sports, but these were fairly easily bypassed. In many sports, drug abuse to improve performance was endemic.

Since then, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has helped to push forward the use of drug-testing technologies to help fight the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport. This has levelled the playing field in many sports and helped to weed out some of the biggest drugs cheats in world sport, from Lance Armstrong to Dwayne Chambers.

It has given faith in performances back to the athletes too. Before, when an outstanding individual performance occurred, many treated it with a degree of suspicion. Today, thanks to this technology, people may have doubts, but athletes can point to reliable drugs testing to show that it is a clean result.

Aerodynamics And Hydrodynamics

When elite athletes in sports that require speed and stamina perform in competition, they need to be able to do so with minimum resistance. This has been recognized across several sports today. From the materials used in swim outfits to the curves on a Formula 1 car, the understanding of aero- and hydrodynamics has allowed the performance of athletes to minimize air resistance and increase speed.

The use of aerodynamics as a decider between winning and losing was shown emphatically in the 1989 Tour de France final time trial where Greg LeMond sat in second place 50 seconds behind Laurent Fignon. He adopted aerodynamic handlebars and helmet, while Fignon did not. LeMond eventually beat Fignon by 58 seconds, winning the three-week event by only 8 seconds. Later analysis through wind-tunnel data showed that the use of the bars alone gained LeMond 1 minute and the helmet 16 seconds. Essentially if Fignon had adopted this new technology, he would have won the event.

Data Analytics

The ability to analyze millions of data points has meant that sports teams and athletes can look at the tiniest successes or failures within any performance and either recreate or remove particular conditions.

It has meant that everything that an athlete does can be interconnected and assessed to divide a performance into its individual elements, rather than as a simple whole. It has been the basis of the current obsession with marginal gains that coaches are interested in. If they can find a 0.1% improvement in any part of a performance, then this will give them a slight advantage, but if they can find this number in several areas then they can add up to a significant improvement. It was this philosophy that led the British Olympic team to much success during the past three Olympics.

This philosophy is only made possible through the use of data analytics, as it allows for the tiniest details of an athletic performance to be studied, seeing where small improvements can be made and how athletes can improve their chances of success. 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

This post is sponsored by The Wearable Tech In Sport Summit, an event taking place in San Francisco on September 9–10. It reflects the views of the sponsor, not ReadWrite's editors.

Add AirPlay Mirroring to Any TV with a Raspberry Pi

AirPlay Mirroring, the tech that allows you to display your iOS device’s screen on your Apple TV, it great, but you need an Apple TV to use it. Instructables user edyboy12 shows how to use a Raspberry Pi instead.


Kraftwerk takes techno pop into the third dimension
Not to be undone by bands that release artwork via fax machine or by albums released in sheet music form, German electronic mainstay Kraftwerk's next record will be available in a 3D format. It's a fairly unusual approach to making music as you can...

Chrome embraces HTML5 and tells Flash ads to eff off
The writing has been on the wall for Flash for some time now. A web technology loathed for countless reasons -- not least the security issues -- the death knell is now tolling loudly as HTML5 is more widely embraced. Back in June, Google announced that Chrome would pause Flash ads in its browser by default, helping to eliminate a major online annoyance. Now the company has outlined when this will happen -- and there are only a few days to wait. As well as killing a blight of the internet, Google says that the decision to kill Flash is… [Continue Reading]

F.lux for Mac Adds "Backwards Alarm Clock" to Show How Much Sleep You're Missing

Mac: F.lux is a great app for changing the temperature of your display when you’re working late at night , but working late at night also tends to mean you’re skipping sleep. The Mac version of the app now has a new “Backwards alarm clock” that counts down the time until your alarm goes off.


Taxicab Industry Has A New App To Compete With Uber

This post appears courtesy of the Ferenstein Wire, a syndicated news service. Publishing partners may edit posts. For inquiries, please email author and publisher Gregory Ferenstein.

The tech sector has shaken up innumerable industries, and whenever that happens, some enterprising types wonder if there's some opportunity in helping established players stave off the inevitable. But beating back the forces that threaten to destabilize their businesses is even harder than it looks, and few succeed. 

The taxi industry is no different. Would-be tech partners and investors sometimes ask me if they should design for, or invest, in this industry. My response: It’s not as simple as just jumping in, whipping up an app for ye olde cabs, and then sitting back to watch it vanquish the new strain of competitors, like Uber. 

See also: I Tested The Cutting Edge Of Taxi Innovation, And Things Went Awry 

Not that the industry doesn't keep trying. Another high-profile attempt just emerged to conquer the taxi business' arch nemesis. The upcoming Arro, like many of its predecessors, is an app for hailing and paying for taxicabs, similar to other ride-hailing companies out of Silicon Valley.

Partnering with cab companies can be tempting, since many have the resources to pay for a pretty app that apes those of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. But there are issues fundamental to the taxi industry that make it hard to compete with Silicon Valley startups. In fact, every like-minded taxi app thus far has utterly failed to slow the rise of Uber, often completely shutting down shortly after launch. Here’s why.

Cars Are Capped, And Riders Are Impatient.

Thanks to apps like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, user expectations are changing, as riders get more impatient. "In some cities, if users see the nearest Uber is more than even 2 to 3 minutes away, they are far less likely to request a car, while in other cities wait times as long as 10 minutes are perfectly acceptable," Uber's data team wrote in a blog post.

The longer Uber and Lyft serves a city, the less likely its residents will be willing to wait for a ride. 

See also: What Google Got Right With Its Carpooling Service 

The taxi industry, by design, limits the number of cars on the road to maintain a stable income for drivers. (Too many drivers would reduce income on an individual basis.) The logical result is that riders have longer wait times. Meanwhile, one 2014 study found that 92% of ride-hailing cars arrived in under 10 minutes. Only 16% of taxis did.

Uber And Lyft Can Innovate Quickly

It's one thing to design a fancy smartphone app; it's quite another to be on the cutting edge of features and have all of your workers immediately adopt the changes.

Lyft is just $6 per ride nearly anywhere in San Francisco, thanks to its carpooling feature. New prices and features change pretty frequently in the Bay Area, as Lyft (and Uber) rapidly test out new pricing models to see what customers like best.

Taxis have a metered pricing system that's overseen by various bureaucratic agencies. They just aren't equipped to rapidly innovate.

Moreover, cab drivers seem to have difficulty getting their innovations to work, even when it finally rolls out. Last spring, I was asked to demo a new feature for San Francisco taxis from Flywheel, another smartphone app. It claimed to automatically recognize when a rider stepped into a cab, but the feature failed (multiple times). That was largely because the driver had insufficient technical training, and the app had difficulty integrating with the existing way that taxis operated.

Innovation means being flexible and connected, and as a developer or entrepreneur, you may have plenty to spare. But that doesn’t mean a would-be partner in the taxi business does. Government-controlled, unionized industries aren’t used to making innovation core to their business models, which is why Arro will have a tough time competing against—or working with—Silicon Valley.

For more stories like this, subscribe to the Ferenstein Wire newsletter here.

Lead photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Large bitcoin-mining firm BitFury backs BIP 100 block-size proposal, which now has 35% of the network's total hash rate (Grace Caffyn/CoinDesk)

Grace Caffyn /

Large bitcoin-mining firm BitFury backs BIP 100 block-size proposal, which now has 35% of the network's total hash rate  —  BitFury Backs BIP 100 Blocksize Proposal  —  The best-capitalised mining firm in bitcoin has waded into the block size debate - stating it must be resolved by consensus.

Hurricane Katrina's Stark Changes Endure in Images from Space
Louisiana's dramatically enlarged lakes and inundated marshes — stark reminders of Hurricane Katrina’s ferocity 10 years ago — are prominent in a new satellite image.

Chrome will block obnoxious Flash ads starting September 1st
Back in June, Google shared the good news that the Chrome browser would soon be smart enough to "intelligently pause content that aren't central to the webpage" that you're visiting. It's a welcome change that should help to continue marginalizing...

Vive VR Headset Full Consumer Launch Slips To Q1 2016 (Natasha Lomas/TechCrunch)

Natasha Lomas /

Vive VR Headset Full Consumer Launch Slips To Q1 2016  —  You wait years and years for virtual reality to become a thing, and then suddenly a truck load of VR headsets pile into the tech hype cycle almost at once (thanks Oculus).  But if you're a consumer wanting to get eyes into this next …

Google to kill single most annoying thing about browsing the Web - CNN

Google to kill single most annoying thing about browsing the Web

New York (CNNMoney) — You know that panicked feeling when you've got a zillion browser tabs open, and one of them starts blaring music? Google is about to put an end to that – the single most annoying Web browsing feature. In a soon-to-be-released ...
Google sounds the death knell for Adobe Flash The Daily Telegram
Chrome will block obnoxious Flash ads starting September 1st Engadget
Google Chrome puts a stop to background tab noise Las Vegas Review-Journal
BetaNews  - Gizmodo Australia
all 209 news articles »

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