Boxing's heyday passed 30 years ago and its recent superstars have been out-of-the-ring disasters (Pacquiao excepted). But what if there was a clean-living boxing legend you never heard of, still winning title fights on the eve of this 50th birthday? Turns out, there is. And there can be no better introduction to the man—his name is Bernard Hopkins; remember it—than Carlo Rotella's stunning profile in Sunday's New York Times magazine. In this story we learn about this most successful, most mature fighter's boxing mastery, self control and unusual world view, and the curious lack of big-name advertisers who never seem to tire of overlooking him. (Edward Ericson Jr.)
LA Weekly let a young driver for the rideshare company Uber tell his story last week. Those who have been following the "sharing economy" drama will be unsurprised by the young man's experience, which includes making OK money for Lyft, being aggressively recruited by Uber (which is using its superior venture capital to try to put Lyft out of business), and becoming disillusioned with the company: "The money was good, but where was it coming from? How long could it last? And at what expense? The answers, respectively, are Google, not long and everyone's expense." Unsurprisingly, an Uber-affiliated PR flack pitched a less unhappy driver to the Weekly's editors the next day. Perhaps surprising: The flack posed as, uh . . . anything but a flack. Despite the PR flack's attempts to paint a rosy picture, other drivers are pretty unhappy with the company. Uber drivers in NYC are trying to organize to fight the company's confiscatory fees, "no-tipping" policy, and the fare cuts it's using to drive its rivals out of business. Uber has claimed its NYC drivers earn $90,000 a year on average but, alas, when a Slate reporter asked, they could not produce a single driver making that much.
The Uber disillusionment extends to Baltimore, with the $360 ride a CP contributor unwittingly took on Halloween night. Uber's "surge pricing" model multiplies the regular fare by two or three (or seven or eight) times when things are busy and people are too drunk to notice. Business Insider picked it up and the the customer—Gabby—managed to raise her fare with a now-deleted GoFundMe campaign, allowing her to pay her rent after all. Happily ever after and all that. (Edward Ericson Jr.)