Lyft's rewards program will offer perks for choosing Lyft over Uber

Racking up those rewards.
Racking up those rewards.
Image: Lyft

When you’re hailing a ride, you probably flip between the Uber and Lyft apps to see which one will give you the best deal. But what if one of them offered you rewards in exchange for your loyalty?

Lyft is banking on that idea with its forthcoming rewards program. 

The company will soon let users earn points for all the money they spend in the app on Lyft rides. Once a user has earned enough points, they can redeem them for Lyft Rewards, such as a ride in a more luxurious car or discounts on future rides. Points will be tracked in the app as part of a user’s profile.

The Lyft loyalty program will launch next month to select riders in certain cities before rolling out to more people early next year. If you’re one of the lucky few chosen customers, you’ll receive an email or in-app notification to sign up. It will work in a similar fashion to the company’s business rewards program for business trips. 

Lyft and its chief rival Uber have been increasingly competing for each other’s customer base. Both companies recently launched subscription plans: Lyft has its All-Access Pass, while Uber late last month started Ride Pass, a discounted ride program for a set monthly amount. It is unclear whether either has been a major success.

Lyft’s new reward program comes shortly after Uber offered a rewards program for drivers. This seems to be one of the rare instances where each company is honing in on different sides of the ride-hailing business.

Uber has high turnover and split loyalties from drivers, so a way to encourage drivers to stick to its app makes sense. A Stanford University gender pay gap study from earlier this year found that 68 percent of Uber drivers stop driving within six months. A Rideshare Guy blogger said he will consider switching to Uber instead of Lyft because of the new reward system. He wrote, “If you are like me, a Lyft driver, then this new offering provides an opportunity to reevaluate my driving options and make an educated decision.”

Lyft is hoping passengers will reevaluate their riding options with its new incentives program — and pick Lyft over Uber. It’s hard to resist a good deal. And Lyft knows that.

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Leftovers season is here, so it's time to upgrade your food container situation

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Your sandwich deserves better than your old takeout containers.
Your sandwich deserves better than your old takeout containers.
Image: Shutterstock / NatalyaBond

Leftover season is upon us, which means that now is the time to invest in some solid Tupperware. 

You may be thinking that the mix-matched menagerie of lids and plastic containers you have tucked away in your kitchen will do the trick, but I regret to inform you that it will not. 

Come the end of your Thanksgiving meal, as you try to fit your leftovers into whatever food storage containers you have, you’ll wish you’d invested in some sturdy containers worthy of storing the meal you spent hours—days, even!—creating.

Beyond the holidays, the right food containers can make a hell of a difference when you’re packing your lunch, meal prepping, or storing things in the freezer for a later date. So, why not take this opportunity to invest in some food storage that will actually serve your needs rather than those flimsy plastic containers that came with your last Seamless order?

With so many options available, wading through the vast food container selections can be exhausting, so we’ve broken down the most vital information to consider before clicking buy.

Glass vs. plastic

Food containers often fall into one of these two categories. Plastic containers are lightweight and easily transportable, while glass tends to be sturdier and best for reheating leftovers. But which is actually better? It depends on what you intend on doing with your containers.

Typically, glass container is reserved for meals stored in the freezer or the fridge that can easily be transferred to the oven for heating up, while plastic containers are ideal for packing your lunches, Kim Kimbriel, a Container Store buyer told the Washington Post.

When it comes to plastic containers, there has been some concern over materials containing BPA  (bisphenol-A) and phthalates, which may be “endocrine disrupters” (meaning that they can mess with your hormones,) according to Harvard Health Publishing. Now it’s easier than ever to find plastic containers that are BPA free, but there are still looming concerns over whether or not it’s ever really OK to microwave plastic containers. If you’re really worried about any potential side effects of using plastic containers, it’s probably best to stick with glass.

Containers for all occasions

The vast array of container options available is enough to make anyone’s head spin. They come in so many different shapes and sizes that it can be difficult to navigate which package or container is right for your particular set of needs.

If you’re a meal prepper or desire to become one, you’ll probably want to invest in a set of rectangular, medium-sized glass containers like Bayco’s 8-piece set available on Amazon for $31.99. 

Bayco/amazon” data-credit-provider=”custom type” data-caption=”Perfect for prepping all your meals.” title=”Perfect for prepping all your meals.” src=”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/cjybrftwmld4OP6QwelwgvvbnkE=/fit-in/1200×9600/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F881401%2Fa6ba7e62-b8a1-45b3-8817-612b172360a6.png” alt=”Perfect for prepping all your meals.” data-fragment=”m!294d” data-image=”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/BDsnESysz00aI-AMmua_eIDpDww=/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F881401%2Fa6ba7e62-b8a1-45b3-8817-612b172360a6.png” data-micro=”1″>

Perfect for prepping all your meals.

They’re easy to stack, heat, and fill with food for the entire week. 

But if you plan to eat salads primarily or foods that don’t require reheating, these deli-style plastic containers from DuraHome might be a worthwhile investment. They’re also perfect for freezer storage or holding dry goods.

durahome/amazon” data-credit-provider=”custom type” data-caption=”Endless options.” title=”Endless options.” src=”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/35jZz8ywVgX4Y9uZ-32cFrk-MWk=/fit-in/1200×9600/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F881393%2F42ca78ea-061b-4d2b-8af1-698a71cf6f59.png” alt=”Endless options.” data-fragment=”m!4aec” data-image=”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/fPPfIxc-ELk8oUjdN1lGiRQ9Lcw=/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F881393%2F42ca78ea-061b-4d2b-8af1-698a71cf6f59.png” data-micro=”1″>

Endless options.

Oh, and if you’ve been bringing a lot of soups or pastas to work with you, you may want to check out Zojirushi’s Stainless-Steel Food Jar.

Remaining ingredients

While glass tends to be ideal for most food storage situations, I find that mini plastic containers are perfect for storing those last couple of onion slices, leftover dressing, or herbs in the fridge or freezer.

Greenco’s mini food storage containers make it easy to hold on to your leftover ingredients without taking up much space. They’re BPA-free and freezer safe, but unfortunately they’re not microwave compatible.

greenco/amazon” data-credit-provider=”custom type” data-caption=”You can store an infinite number of sauces in these bad boys!” title=”You can store an infinite number of sauces in these bad boys!” src=”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/-upX9dj9uGuxqwVs3ZUCoqni3_Q=/fit-in/1200×9600/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F881413%2Feb4dbb93-f6bc-49a9-8445-1dbb66131dc0.png” alt=”You can store an infinite number of sauces in these bad boys!” data-fragment=”m!98d7″ data-image=”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/eUwOcFGl8acob00yK7oMzKwTGoA=/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F881413%2Feb4dbb93-f6bc-49a9-8445-1dbb66131dc0.png” data-micro=”1″>

You can store an infinite number of sauces in these bad boys!

General leftovers

For all your general leftover needs, a nice set of glass containers that range in size should do the trick. 

We recommend the 30-piece glass Snapware set, available on Amazon for $$49.99. It may seem like more than you need, but I promise you’ll find use for all of it.  

snapware/amazon” data-credit-provider=”custom type” data-caption=”You’ll be thankful you invested in this 30-piece set.” title=”You’ll be thankful you invested in this 30-piece set.” src=”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/GFaPS3uJEdpmKQeYnqYsTnNHA_Y=/fit-in/1200×9600/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F881348%2F13e8e1eb-6bdb-480e-b7dd-5582a21d1b30.png” alt=”You’ll be thankful you invested in this 30-piece set.” data-fragment=”m!a25c” data-image=”https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/-5bptT4VI6i86YqLNpi-sqR8zAE=/https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F881348%2F13e8e1eb-6bdb-480e-b7dd-5582a21d1b30.png” data-micro=”1″>

You’ll be thankful you invested in this 30-piece set.

But, if you’re convinced it’s just too much for you, you can invest in Snapware’s six- or eight-piece sets instead.

Once you’re fully equipped with an arsenal of food containers, you’ll be ready for pretty much any leftovers situation.

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Image: SHUTTERSTOCK / NATALYABOND

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What your favorite home assistant command really says about you

No matter what kind of home assistant or smart speaker you’re on a first name basis with, chances are you’ve reached co-dependent status with it — because no one wants to physically do things when you can yell at a piece of plastic to do it instead. Playing actual board games? It’s not 1984. Jotting down things for your to-do list? Uh, pens are practically an endangered species. Knowing things? Please, there’s the internet for that. 

Our go-to commands get us through the day, but when you really think about it, your favorite requests actually reveal a lot about your character. Here, we take a closer look at what your choice commands could be saying about you. 

“Set a timer”

When you ask your home assistant to set a timer, you feel like the boss of your domain. Heaven forbid you should have to take out your phone to manually do it on some digital app. No, you have things to do! You are clearly a precise, punctual, and to-the-point person, which means you are efficient with your time and can’t waste precious seconds on anything beyond asking a timer to be set for you. We’re talking as little effort as possible — just a shout, if you will — because you’re too busy multitasking or trying to get in a 6-minute cat nap to worry about an alarm, too. 

“Read the news” 

If you ask a smart speaker to read you the news, you’re mildly interested in what’s happening around you and want the anyone who’s tracking your digital footprint to think that you’re smart. Optics are important to you, and how are you to keep up appearances if you don’t have a loose grasp on current events? A firm grasp might require actually picking up a newspaper or scrolling through a news site — but the former would get ink on your fingers and the latter would put you at risk for carpal tunnel, so you respectfully decline and prefer to consume your news aurally. It’s eco-friendly and efficient, and everyone loves a twofer.

“What time is it?”

We all need to know what time it is, but our phones, clocks, or watches aren’t always nearby. Asking for the time is a natural question for a hands-free assistant, especially when you, well, have your hands full. Now, if you’re the type to ask what time it is multiple times, that’s just peak laziness. Get quiet, dig deep, and ask yourself: Are you happy with this sloth life? You also may be suffering from acute lethargy and should consider consulting a physician.

“Play [song]”

Sometimes you have a song in your head and you just need to hear it in real life. Other times you just need to fill the deafening silence in the room. Either way, you’re a fantastic human being because you like music and everyone knows that music is awesome and makes the world go ‘round. Also, if you have friends who don’t like music, they’re probably robots and you should excise them from your social circle immediately. 

“What’s the weather?”

No longer can you make it through more than five waking minutes of the morning without knowing what the weather is. How will you decide what to wear? What if you’re too hot or too cold? Do you need an umbrella? Ultimately this says you’re the type who likes to be prepared for anything. Not only do you ask what the weather is, you also try to mine additional information by posing your question in other clever ways: What’s the temperature? Is it going to rain today? Fear not, A-types. To ensure you’re always primed for the elements, wear layers. And remember: If it’s fall or winter, it’s always sweater weather. 

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Comcast should be investigated for antitrust violations, say small cable companies

An industry group wants antitrust regulators to investigate whether Comcast-NBCUniversal is abusing its power to hurt smaller television and internet service providers. The American Cable Association (ACA), which represents over 700 small and medium-sized cable operators, has asked US Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim to “immediately” open an investigation into Comcast’s practices. Comcast denied that the claims have merit, and the Justice Department hasn’t publicly responded. But the ACA has found a potential supporter in President Donald Trump — who tweeted about its claims this afternoon.

The ACA claims Comcast has a uniquely powerful hold on the US cable industry because it controls a large chunk of “must have” programming like NBC’s regional sports channels. The group argues that the Comcast “has shown a willingness to harm rivals” in the past, even while bound by a 2011 consent decree that expired earlier this year. The letter is dated November 6th but was published today, after Fox Business Networks reported on its existence last week.

Trump appears to have caught a follow-up Fox Business segment today, prompting a tweet about the ACA:

Contra Trump’s description, the letter doesn’t seem to describe “routine” violations of antitrust law. It’s primarily arguing that there’s a huge risk of Comcast abusing its market position, while explaining just how much damage could result if Comcast did so. The ACA has put forward more concrete claims in the past, though — like a 2017 complaint that Comcast was forcing smaller cable providers to bundle unwanted NBC-owned channels into TV packages, driving up their costs.

ACA communications VP Ted Hearn says companies will only disclose Comcast’s alleged misbehavior as part of a confidential Justice Department investigation. “ACA member providers have extensive ongoing dealings with Comcast-NBCU and are naturally concerned that the media giant will engage in retaliatory actions should they publicly disclose information about how Comcast-NBCU has unreasonably disadvantaged them,” Hearn tells The Verge. “This process will enable the Department to conduct a thorough examination of the facts, and the Department can then disclose its results at the appropriate time.”

Comcast provided The Verge with a statement denying any wrongdoing. (Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in The Verge’s parent company, Vox Media.) “At Comcast NBCUniversal, we are competing in this dynamic environment the way we always have — by continuing to innovate and conducting our business in compliance with antitrust laws and other legal requirements,” writes senior vice president Sena Fitzmaurice. “We believe that ACA’s letter is without merit and constitutes an inappropriate attempt to gain leverage in the commercial marketplace.”

The Justice Department is currently trying to stop a merger between AT&T and Time Warner, and the ACA strategically argues that Comcast is more dangerous than those companies combined. But the department may already have its sights on Comcast. In August, Delrahim warned Comcast that it would continue monitoring potential antitrust threats even after the consent decree expired. Last month, Delrahim also said the Justice Department would investigate whether Comcast was using its 30 percent share in Hulu to undermine the streaming video service, which competes with traditional cable.

The ACA’s letter also raises concerns involving Hulu, suggesting that Comcast could effectively hold the service hostage. “We have heard from ACA members that they fear that ComcastNBCU may restrict, if it is not already restricting, their ability to access Hulu and make it available to their customers as an alternative to their cable offerings,” reads the letter. (Hulu is generally found on the web, but cable operators can add it as a “channel” for more traditional TV viewing.) However, Comcast only holds a minority share in Hulu, and it will have even less influence after a Disney-Fox merger gives Disney control over 60 percent of the service.

Trump has vocally denounced monopolistic behavior among increasingly consolidated tech, media, and telecommunications companies; he also opposed the AT&T-Time Warner merger. But his complaints often look like outgrowths of unrelated personal grudges — Time Warner owns CNN, a network Trump loathes, for instance. Trump once called the NBC news network “worse than even CNN” and implied that NBC should have its broadcasting license revoked, so it’s not surprising he’d promote a complaint about its parent company.

President Trump has a history of attacking companies and never following up. But regardless of how seriously he takes this complaint, the ACA is tapping into some existing concerns by the Justice Department.

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All of the Stan Lee cameos from Marvel movies, and why we love them

Stan Lee is the godfather of modern comics, and his death at age 95, although extremely sad, is a chance to celebrate exactly how much he gave to the world of pop culture. Today, the internet has been flooded with eulogies of his work, life, and his immense impact on comics and film. Many fans fondly recalled the cameos that Lee regularly made in Marvel films over the years, including the pre-Disney Marvel movies, the new Sony Spider-Man Universe, and, of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s an Easter egg that never fails to prompt cheers, but it also inspired one of the most powerful moments I’ve ever experienced in a movie theater.

It’s rare to witness the personal effect that an icon like Lee has on people. It’s easy to gauge someone’s celebrity in the comics or entertainment world based on the enormous gatherings and lines they inspire at San Diego Comic-Con. But bearing witness to that profound, often intimate impact that a creator like Lee has on people’s lives isn’t as common. I was lucky enough to witness one such moment first-hand earlier this year.

It happened during AMC’s 31-hour Marvel movie marathon, which led up to the debut of Avengers: Infinity War. Along with my Verge colleague, Megan Farokhmanesh, I decided to sit through the entire marathon in the name of content. I’d attended movie marathons before and expected more of the same: trouble keeping my eyes open at some point, friendly conversations with other die-hard fans, drinking a ludicrous amount of coffee.

Those things certainly happened, but the highlight of the 31-hour endurance test came from the crowd’s seemingly uncontrollable reaction to Lee’s cameos in every film. Nothing — not Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, or any other hero’s debut — could match the voracious appreciation and love the audience had for Lee. No matter how exhausted people became, everyone mustered up the energy to give Lee his due whenever he appeared on-screen.

Then, right before Infinity War kicked off, something wonderfully unexpected happened. One fan, outfitted in a superhero T-shirt and wearing Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet, stood up before an excited crowd and asked for one thing: silence during Lee’s cameo. It wasn’t that he was tired of everyone’s cheers, hollering, and hooting, but he wanted to spend a moment to really listen to what Lee had to say.

The request had a sad undertone: at the time, Lee was reportedly sick and in and out of hospitals, and we didn’t know how many more Stan Lee cameos we were going to get. The fan just wanted a chance to really experience another Lee cameo in silence and pay homage to him with other fans.

The audience honored his request. When Lee appeared on screen during Infinity War as a bus driver, no one said anything, everyone was quiet. It was only after Peter Parker escaped the bus that people cheered. There’s almost no way to describe the heady sensation of that moment as I looked around and realized just how much of an impact Lee’s work and his creations had — not only on the few hundred people in an AMC theater in midtown Manhattan, but for millions of people around the world.

That’s the clearest memory I have now of Stan Lee and his legacy, but it’s one that left me moved and grateful for everything he created and inspired — including the legion of incredible fans he left behind.

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eBay and Airbnb will end mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims

eBay and Airbnb will both allow sexual harassment victims to take their cases to court, rather than requiring private arbitration, the companies told BuzzFeed. They’re the latest companies to drop forced arbitration clauses for sexual misconduct, following Facebook and Google — which promised changes after a massive employee protest. Several other companies told BuzzFeed that they did not have such clauses, and two others — Slack and Tesla — declined to comment.

Airbnb issued a detailed statement about the change, which applies to discrimination claims as well as sexual harassment. “We are a company who believes that in the 21st Century it is important to continually consider and reconsider the best ways to support our employees and strengthen our workplace. From the beginning, we have sought to build a culture of integrity and respect, and today’s changes are just one more step to drive belonging and integrity in our workplace,” it reads.

eBay was less specific, but it told BuzzFeed that it had ended mandatory arbitration as well: “We’ve adjusted our existing employee policy regarding sexual harassment claims to better reflect and encourage eBay’s values of being open, honest and direct.”

Many companies require employees settle disputes through arbitration, but the system can suppress stories of sexual misconduct by keeping them out of court. Backlash against forced arbitration has been building for years, and some state and federal lawmakers have attempted (unsuccessfully, so far) to end the process. Microsoft, Lyft, and Uber all dropped their policies before the Google protests, and Microsoft supported a federal bill that would ban it.

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Snapchat's head of content steps down


Snapchat

Nick Bell, Snapchat’s vice president of content, is leaving the company according to The Hollywood Reporter. Bell, who has been with Snapchat for the last five years, posted a memo to staff confirming his departure, but did not offer any specific reasoning behind the announcement. He will be replaced by Jared Grusd who was appointed in October as Snapchat’s new chief strategy officer.

Bell’s role at Snapchat was to help media partners produce original content for the platform via the Discover section of the app. Since its inception it’s been unclear exactly how successful Discover has been, and it’s been hard for analysts to pin down exact viewer numbers. Bell’s departure may be a sign that Discover hasn’t been as popular as hoped.

Another problem for the company is a recent backlash against the app’s redesign earlier this year. In October, Snapchat unveiled “Snap Originals,” a series of homegrown programming that includes 12 new shows. Snap seems to be hopeful that the new programming might undo some of the damage done by the redesign, but Bell’s departure leaves the future of that unclear.

Bell isn’t the only high-profile Snapchat executive to leave the company recently. Imran Khan, who Grusd was hired to replace, departed in September. In the last few years, Snapchat seems to have been floundering when it comes to innovation and user retention, a sentiment fueled by poor stock performance and celebrity influence. The high turnover of Snapchat execs could be an effort by CEO Evan Spiegel to right the ship and boost the app’s public standing.

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Apple says T2 chip can limit third-party repairs for recent Macs


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Yes, the reports were true — Apple’s T2 chip can potentially restrict third-party Mac repairs. The company confirmed to The Verge that the co-processor can limit third-party repairs for certain components on recent systems, likely including the iMac Pro and MacBook Air. Apple didn’t provide a full list of affected parts or say which machines were covered, but the T2 could regulate repairs for the logic board (aka motherboard) and Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

A leaked document from October indicated that the T2 regulates repairs on the 2018 MacBook Pro’s display, logic board, top case and Touch ID system, and exerts similar control over the logic board and flash storage from the iMac Pro. In theory, you would need to run a special configuration software suite to successfully complete a repair, limiting repairs either to Apple stores or to authorized service centers.

Theoretically. iFixit didn’t encounter any lockouts when repairing a MacBook Pro, suggesting the T2’s enforcement isn’t necessarily active or covers a narrower set of circumstances than some suspected (used parts may work, as an example). The majority of repairs won’t need the tool, Apple said.

There are practical reasons why Apple might use the T2 chip to limit third-party repairs. The T2 processes secure boot keys and Touch ID fingerprint data, and Apple likely doesn’t want thieves or spies installing parts that could harvest that information. It’s why you can’t easily replace the Touch ID sensor on iOS devices. There’s also quality to consider: this could prevent a sub-par unofficial fix from creating headaches for technicians.

Still, the confirmation isn’t likely to please either unofficial repair shops or users willing to fix Macs themselves. They’re concerned that this will both limit where you can go for repairs and potentially lead to paying more than necessary for crucial fixes. There’s also the question of how this might clash with right-to-repair laws. Wouldn’t it effectively break those laws by forcing you to turn to Apple or its partners for a fix? Whatever reasons Apple might have for its approach, it may have to compromise in the future.

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