Good Morning, RVA: It’s the last weekend of the rest of your life

Bye summer, you were pretty OK I guess.

Photo by: sandy’s dad

Good morning, RVA! It’s 77 °F, and guess what? Today serves up another helping of the weather du week: highs in the low-90s, some sunshine, and scattered storms this evening. Things cool off after tonight, leaving us with a pretty wonderful weekend (despite some chances for scattered showers).

Water cooler

Monday is Labor Day, a holiday that I must look up on Wikipedia every year to remember its deal. Historically, it celebrates the US labor movement from the late 19th century (read this wiki on the Pullman Strike), these days it marks the end of summer, the beginning of fall sports, and the opportunity to gather with friends and cook food over fire. Although, with a possibly major lawsuit pending against Uber over whether their drivers are employees or the independent contractors, maybe it’s a great time to celebrate the 19th century labor movement?

Related to the calendar and changing of seasons! Public school children: This is your last weekend of summer vacation–at least it’s a long one! Parents of public school children: Don’t pull anything doing your celebration dance–the dreaded no-contact injuries are always the worst.

This Michael Paul Williams piece about a Patrick County Judge taking down a portrait of J.E.B. Stuart from his courtroom (in the town of Stuart, no less!) should give you hope that our conversations about Confedeate monuments are not over.

Some Northern Virginia lawmakers are planning to introduce, as they do every year, stricter gun control laws. The General Assembly will most likely kill those laws, as they do every year, in a subcommittee. Meanwhile, this is the actual reason the president of the pro-gun Virginia Citizen’s Defense League gives for not needing these laws: “…if someone who is not legally allowed to possess a gun wants one, it’s easy enough to arrange a straw purchase or buy one on the black market.” Cool. Maybe we should start there then?

Related: the father of one of the journalists who was shot and killed on live TV in Virginia last month has dropped out of the Henry County supervisors race to focus on lobbying for gun control.

Sports!

The Miami Heat have signed VCU stealmaster Briante Weber. He’ll get a chance to make the roster or, possibly, he may end up in the NBA’s D-League.

  • After last night’s win over Harrisburg, the Squirrels return for their final regular-season home series. They’ll face Reading at 7:05 PM. Tickets are available online.
  • Kickers too are nearing the end of the season and will play their penultimate regular-season game on Saturday against the Rochester Rhinos. Get your tickets here.
  • Spiders travel to College Park and face Maryland on Saturday at 12:00 PM. That game will be televised on ESPNU.
  • Hokies host the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes on Monday at 8:00 PM on ESPN. Gobble, gobble!
  • Wahoos open their season against #13 UCLA out in the Rose Bowl on Saturday at 3:30 PM on FOX. Wahoo’s have had an excellent out-of-conference schedule the last couple of years.
  • Nats scored early and often, dominating the Braves 15-1. The series resumes tonight at 7:05 PM.

This morning’s longread

Uber 2.0: Human Self-Driving Cars

This would be a clever stopgap solution for Uber while they wait on true self-driving cars.

Here’s the thing, though: Uber could have self-driving cars within a year! It just depends on how you define a self-driving car. To a private car owner a self-driving car is a car that, well, drives itself, and as I noted above, the technology is several years off at best.

Uber, though, has a different definition; look again at Kalanick’s comment to Swisher: “The reason Uber [is] expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car, you’re paying for the [driver] in the car.” In other words, from Uber’s perspective, a self-driving car is a car where they don’t have to pay for a driver; the implementation details don’t matter.

With that in mind, think again about the commute problem: right now approximately 75% of Americans drive alone to work. Every one of those solo commuters is a potential UberPool driver, and not just that: because they are making the trip whether they are an UberPool driver or not, they are, from Uber’s perspective, self-driving cars. They are drivers Uber would not need to pay for. This, I believe, will be Uber 2.0: human-powered self-driving cars primarily focused on commutes.

This morning’s Instagram

https://instagram.com/p/7MigUqwiAl/

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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