A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Uber cover-up: In the latest of its cascade of 2017 disasters, the ride-hailing giant disclosed yesterday that hackers had stolen 57 million driver and rider accounts—a breach the company concealed for more than a year after paying a $100,000 ransom. For Uber’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who arrived after the incident, this marks another blow in his uphill climb to play “turnaround artist,” Bloomberg reports:
The hacking fallout has already begun. Within hours of the disclosure, a customer filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation. More states and the Federal Trade Commission, which had settled with Uber over another privacy matter in August, will probably pile on, said Jeremiah Grossman, chief of security strategy at SentinelOne Inc., which aids companies with cyber-defense. “I’m sure they’ll get another call from the FTC,” he said.
NYC’s dead zones: A plague of empty storefronts afflicts high-rent Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, and the New York Times has had enough. In an op-ed, the Times’ editorial board calls for tax tweaks to address this imminent threat to “the economic and psychic well-being of neighborhoods.”
- In other NYC news, Politico shares FOIA-obtained emails revealing the cozy relationship New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio once enjoyed with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump—before the mayor became known as a fierce critic of the Trump White House.
Hyperloop suckers? Streetsblog laments that Colorado seems to be succumbing to “the Hyperloop fantasy,” as the state transportation officials devote money and time to not only the Rocky Mountain Hyperloop, which would hurtle passengers from Pueblo to Cheyenne, Wyoming, but also a second hyper-expensive novelty transport project: a magnetic levitation track from a startup called Arrivo, promising “the end of traffic.”
A turnaround in the desert: In an “unprecedented experiment in economic development,” one nearly broke Nevada county managed to lure big names—Tesla, Google, Walmart, eBay, and more—to an industrial park that now hosts three times the number of jobs than there are residents. The secret, Governing shares: “an exceptional absence of local regulation and a speed of permitting that rivals any business development in the U.S.”
Food desert fixes: For tackling the scarcity of fresh groceries in low-income areas, D.C. might be wise to borrow solutions from its neighbors in Baltimore, where food desert mapping, tax credits, and a “virtual supermarket” program are helping to feed residents in grocery-store-deprived areas. (Greater Greater Washington)
Fighting the floods: The “Miami Forever Bond,” which voters approved this month, gives city leaders a chance to invest nearly $200 million in staving off impacts from rising seas and urban flooding through both manmade and nature-based solutions. (Miami Herald)
- See also: Still reeling from Harvey, one Houston-area community is converting a shuttered golf course into retention ponds, as the city plans a five-mile ring of parkland to absorb stormwater. (Business Insider)
The urban lens