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Uber Drivers Hacking the System to Cause Surge Pricing
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From security expert Bruce Schneier:

Interesting story about Uber drivers who have figured out how to game the company's algorithms to cause surge pricing:
"According to the study. drivers manipulate Uber's algorithm by logging out of the app at the same time, making it think that there is a shortage of cars.

[..]

The study said drivers have been coordinating forced surge pricing, after interviews with drivers in London and New York, and research on online forums such as Uberpeople.net. In a post on the website for drivers, seen by the researchers, one person said: "Guys, stay logged off until surge. Less supply high demand = surge."
Passengers, of course, have long had tricks to avoid surge pricing.


I expect to see more of this sort of thing as algorithms become more prominent in our lives.
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Re: Uber Drivers Hacking the System to Cause Surge Pricing [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Uber Drivers Hacking the System to Cause Surge Pricing [Old Hickory] [ In reply to ]
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Old Hickory wrote:

I thought it was Algore? ;-)
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Re: Uber Drivers Hacking the System to Cause Surge Pricing [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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big kahuna wrote:


I expect to see more of this sort of thing as algorithms become more prominent in our lives.

"Algorithm" is just a hipster word for "sheepish", behaving like sheep, or cattle (if you are in the US).
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Re: Uber Drivers Hacking the System to Cause Surge Pricing [Old Hickory] [ In reply to ]
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Old Hickory wrote:

Of course it was named after him. He invented the algorithm.

How does Danny Hart sit down with balls that big?
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Re: Uber Drivers Hacking the System to Cause Surge Pricing [BLeP] [ In reply to ]
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BLeP wrote:
Old Hickory wrote:


Of course it was named after him. He invented the algorithm.

Without a doubt. ;-)
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Re: Uber Drivers Hacking the System to Cause Surge Pricing [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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Just a nit to pick. As mentioned in the article, Uber drivers are "gaming" the system, not "hacking" it. They are not breaking into the app to change anything, they are just logging in and out in a way to trick the algorithms.

The term hacking is being used and abuse too often.
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Re: Uber Drivers Hacking the System to Cause Surge Pricing [efernand] [ In reply to ]
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efernand wrote:
Just a nit to pick. As mentioned in the article, Uber drivers are "gaming" the system, not "hacking" it. They are not breaking into the app to change anything, they are just logging in and out in a way to trick the algorithms.

The term hacking is being used and abuse too often.

I think "hacking" in the sense of the Uber drivers is much like the word "hack" is used when talking about manipulating a system or giving someone a life hack (a piece of advice about something to do with getting by in life).

At the risk of even remotely alluding to politics, it's the kind of "hack" that's meant when people scream about the Russians "hacking" the election. ;-)
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