Why Shutting Uber Down is Poor Regulation by India’s Central Bank:

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Originally posted on Quartz:

When you finish a taxi ride, between two to ten minutes are wasted in dealing with the payment. You could pay cash, he might fumble on change, you could swipe a credit card, after an interminable delay the device does not work, and so on.

A few years ago, there was an important innovation in this business by a firm named Uber. Their process flow works like this. The customer goes to the Uber website (or app) and submits credit card details (as is done with any E-commerce website). Now he undertakes a ride in a taxi. At the destination, the customer steps out of the taxi and walks away without doing anything on the question of payment. The payment is effected using the pre-stored credit card details. A bill is sent to the customer by email. This saves two to ten minutes for customer(s) and the taxi drivers.

If…

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How to Read Moby-Dick:

Originally posted on The Stake:

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by Bethany Taylor

While out walking my dog very early one morning I ran into a frantic woman, beseeching directions to Starbucks.

My reflexive internal response was, “I’m sorry to tell you this, ma’am, but he went down aboard the Pequod,” but I kept the joke to myself, stifled my giggles, and directed the woman towards the coffee shop.

For the most part, everything I’ve ever read about Moby-Dick has been either beautiful and solemn like a dull sermon, or dismissive of it as a baggy boring relic of bygone days. The book invites comparisons to the whale itself: the sheer size and density, a brick of over 600 page, as though its treasures must be gleaned from crosshatched ink scars carved in white slabbed pages.

For many, it is A Book To Be Read, almost a Jonahian duty that cannot be shirked lest the gods be angered, an…

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Fall 2014 Music Preview: 20 Albums to Get Excited About

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

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With the Song of the Summer debate finally fading in the rearview (it was a tie between Iggy and Ariana, right?), it’s time to look ahead to fall’s musical promise. Autumn always feels like a time to get weird, to invest in albums after a sunny singles-filled season.

This fall, we’re seeing a few trends: indie/alt rock staples searching for reinvention (Weezer, Wilco, Interpol, even Karen O); the adventurous new sounds of English pop, whose players are looking to prove themselves beyond promising debuts (SBTRKT, Jessie Ware, alt-J, Charli XCX); and bold departures from mid-level experimentalists several albums in (Perfume Genius, Flying Lotus, Zola Jesus). Also, Taylor Swift.

Nicki Minaj may not let the season pass without putting her Pink Print all over it, and I guarantee it’ll be one of the year’s most exciting mainstream pop records. But for now, let’s focus on the albums that have been announced…

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an ode to new york city

Originally posted on Nowhere To Go But Everywhere:

I find myself wandering down the Chelsea Highline as the sun falls over the Hudson, turning the city a peculiar shade of orange.

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Maybe it isn’t the sunset that’s particularly eerie tonight, though. Maybe, just maybe, it is the realization that washes over me as I watch my city fade into darkness…

In a few weeks, this place will no longer be my home. 

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My two best friends and I look at each other knowingly.

Nostalgia. Heartsickness. Excitement and worry about the future. The mixture of emotions fills our guts as the sun finally dips below the skyline of Hoboken.

But tonight is about celebrating the city that has given us so much, not about mourning the end of an era.

We grab a couple beers, find a secluded spot, and stare up at the Manhattan sky as stars begin to pop up, competing for attention with the sparkling lights of…

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The Story of Elon Musk & GM’s Race to Build the First Mass-Market Electric Car

Originally posted on Quartz:

One of the hottest clashes in technology pits two pathmakers in the new era of electric cars—Tesla and General Motors. Both are developing pure electrics that cost roughly $35,000, travel 200 miles on a single charge, and appeal to the mass luxury market.

The stakes are enormous. Most electrics have less than 100 miles of range. Experts regard 200 miles as a tipping point, enough to cure many potential electric-car buyers of “range anxiety,” the fear of being stranded when their battery expires. If GM and Tesla crack this, sales of individual electrics could jump from 2,000 or 3,000 vehicles a month to 15 to 20 times that rate, shaking up industries from cars to oil, which were until now certain that large-scale acceptance of electrics was perhaps decades away.

It is a substantial gamble for both companies. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has more or less bet his company on the contest. GM’s existence is not…

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The 25 Greatest Songs About City Life

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

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Most big cities with any sort of history have a song. If that city’s New York, it has about 1000 of ‘em. But to be a classic of the genre, the song has to speak to bigger themes about city life, be it the hustle, the danger, or the beauty below the filth.

Here, we go beyond Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” to look at songs about New York and other cities that feel universal to city dwellers everywhere. Nas, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder give voice to the gang violence and systematic racism of inner-city living. Talking Heads and Arcade Fire bemoan small-town existence. The Pretenders and Sufjan Stevens ache over poorly planned Midwest sprawl branded as urban revitalization. Many more simply get swept up into the charms of city life.

Click through for all 25 — unranked — on the following pages, and a Spotify playlist.

Sufjan Stevens — “Detroit…

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‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2, Episode 7: “Asterion”

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

In 1970, the real-life Masters and Johnson were on the cover of TIME Magazine. Last week’s episode of Masters of Sex took place in 1958. If you’ve ever seen a photo of Dr. William Masters, you already know that a certain amount of fictionalization has gone into Masters of Sex. With all due respect, Michael Sheen he is not. Recognizing they must loosely stick to historical accuracy while still creating entertainment, the showrunners have come with a clever way to speed up time on Masters of Sex.

This week’s episode ends in 1961. It’s disorienting at first, since roughly half of the episode takes place in 1958, just five months after Johnson is fired from his post at Buell Green. But something shifts: the work gets done and the drama gets pushed aside. Three years of Bill and Virginia funneling their sexual tension into arguments over study participants…

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