WBEZ | technology http://www.wbez.org/tags/technology Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Futures guru reflects on the end of open outcry trading in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/futures-guru-reflects-end-open-outcry-trading-chicago-112321 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/mercweb_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213498822&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">Futures guru reflects on the end of open outcry trading in Chicago</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Monday July 6th is the last day of action for many of the trading pits at the Chicago Board of Trade. The S&amp;P futures and options pits will remain open, but the rest of the pits at the nation&rsquo;s oldest futures exchange are going dark as more trading moves online. Electronic trading has its benefits, but it will never match the sheer frenzy of a hundred traders in color-coordinated jackets flashing their hand signals and yelling to get a leg up on a competitor. Morning Shift talks with Leo Melamed, chairman emeritus of CME Group, formerly known as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange about his history with the pits.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="http://www.leomelamed.com/">Leo Melamed</a> is chairman emeritus of CME Group.&nbsp;</em></span></p></p> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 10:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/futures-guru-reflects-end-open-outcry-trading-chicago-112321 An anthropological look at Chicago's trading pits http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/anthropological-look-chicagos-trading-pits-112322 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/mercweb_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213497925&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">An anthropological look at Chicago&#39;s trading pits</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Monday July 6th is the last day of open outcry trading in many of the trading pits at the Chicago Board of Trade. In this interview with NYU cultural anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom, we take an anthropological look at the pits and ask the question: Why did Chicago come to define futures trading? Zaloom is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/caitlinzaloom">Caitlin Zaloom</a>, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University and author of </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Out-Pits-Traders-Technology-Chicago/dp/0226978141">Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London</a><em>.&nbsp;</em></span></p></p> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 10:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/anthropological-look-chicagos-trading-pits-112322 Week in Review: Second inauguration, millionaire tax bill and Wrigleyville rooftops http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-05-22/week-review-second-inauguration-millionaire-tax-bill-and <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4515317493_812fb5efcb_z.jpg" style="height: 374px; width: 620px;" title="(Photo: Flickr/ohn W. Iwanski)" /></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206765596&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Week in Review: Second inauguration, millionaire tax bill, and Wrigleyville rooftops</span></font></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">We wrap up this w<span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7d99-9bf6-40f3-9cf59a8124b3">We dig into the week&rsquo;s headlines including Mayor Emanuel&rsquo;s second inauguration; the end of the millionaire tax bill in Springfield; plus, Cubs owners&rsquo; acquisition of three more Wrigleyville rooftops. Our panelists are Kristin McQueary from the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board and Susy Schultz, president of the Community Media Workshop. </span><br /><br /><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul><li><em><a href="https://twitter.com/statehousechick">Kristin McQueary</a> is on the Chicago Tribune&rsquo;s Editorial Board.</em></li><li><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Susys">Susy Schultz</a> is president of the Community Media Workshop.</em></li></ul></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206765586&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Friday Mini-Mix featuring DJ Bizzon</span></font></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Every Friday we bring you a brand new mix from the Vocalo DJ Collective, curated by DJ Jesse De La Pena. Today&rsquo;s set comes from DJ Bizzon and features funk remixes.</p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7d9b-18a5-d007-26370faedd2d">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/djbizzon">DJ Bizzon</a> is a Milwaukee-based DJ.</em></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206768058&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Blackhawks battle against the Ducks, White Sox retire number 14</span></font></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7d9d-4a4a-73fd-ed54c71200f5">The Blackhawks took a tough loss Thursday night against the Ducks at the United Center, the White Sox expect a sold out house Saturday as they retire Paul Konerko&rsquo;s jersey, and this young Cubs team seems to be firing on all cylinders. Joining us to talk Chicago sports is WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye-Stout.</span><br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong><em> <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">Cheryl Raye-Stout</a> is WBEZ sports contributor.</em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206768190&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">How to deal with being stuck at Chicago airports</span></font></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr">Summer is coming and many of us are planning our vacations. While the vacation itself &nbsp;fun and exciting, dealing with flight delays before you get there can drain that enthusiasm pretty quickly. Especially at our airports - since O&rsquo;Hare and Midway both sit at the absolute bottom of the list for on-time departures. Chicago Magazine recently published a guide to help deal with those annoying delays and kill time. Rachel Bertsche is the author of that guide and she joins us with details.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7d9e-cfb6-03a8-465ff237d316">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/rberch?lang=en">Rachel Bertsche</a> is a Chicago-based writer and author.<span>&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206769018&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Tech Shift Week in Review: Everpurse, tech efforts in healthcare, and the Apple Watch</span></font></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7da1-a39b-2e01-cfa5ea638d2c">Questions about 1871&rsquo;s success - a big win for local company Everpurse - and Washington&rsquo;s working on helping modernize health care technology. It&rsquo;s Tech Shift Week in review.</span><br /><br /><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7da1-a39b-2e01-cfa5ea638d2c"><a href="https://twitter.com/scollens">Steven Collens</a></span> is CEO of Matter Incubator.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7da1-a39b-2e01-cfa5ea638d2c"><a href="https://twitter.com/ScottVold">Scott Vold</a></span> is CEO and CoFounder of Fibroblast.&nbsp;</em></li></ul></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206768319&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Parts of Chicago&#39;s Riverwalk set to open</span></font></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7da2-edc5-32f8-aaafe93f37e4">The first two blocks of Chicago&rsquo;s new Riverwalk opens May 23. The $100 million extension plan was announced back in 2012, and will eventually include six blocks of the riverfront. Joining us for more on the commercial development of the Riverwalk is Michelle Woods from Chicago&rsquo;s Department of Fleet and Facility. </span><br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/micwoods312">Michelle Woods</a> is project manager at Chicago&rsquo;s Department of Fleet and Facility.</em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206768504&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Memorial Day weekend weather forecast</span></font></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7da3-f2b2-3a7a-4f81727f8431">Want to know what you can expect weather-wise this Memorial Day Weekend? Gilbert Sebenste, meteorologist at Northern Illinois University, has you covered. </span><br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/Gilbert_S?lang=en">Gilbert Sebentse</a> is a meteorologist at Northern Illinois University.</em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206768657&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Memorial Day weekend traffic update</span></font></div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-12bd10bb-7da5-1360-befc-e8c480d0c2c6">Heading out of town for the weekend? Triple-A Chicago estimates that 1.7 million people in Illinois will take a road trip over Memorial Day weekend. That&rsquo;s more than a five percent increase over last year. WBEZ traffic reporter Sarah Engle joins us with an extended look at the roads.</span><br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/SarahEngelWBEZ">Sarah Engle</a> is a WBEZ traffic reporter.</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 22 May 2015 16:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-05-22/week-review-second-inauguration-millionaire-tax-bill-and Cook County to join cameras-in-court program http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-join-cameras-court-program-111240 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Illinois_Supreme_Court wikimedia.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Supreme Court has allowed the use of cameras and audio recording devices in Cook County courts on an experimental basis starting next month.</p><p>Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita Garman and Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans made the announcement Tuesday morning. Cook County is the largest and latest of dozens of counties in Illinois that have joined a state high court camera pilot program that launched in 2012.</p><p>Court officials say the program will begin Jan. 5 in the felony courtrooms at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. It&#39;s been the site of many high-profile trials. Bond hearings are excluded from the pilot project.</p><p>Illinois has allowed cameras to be present during Supreme Court and Appellate Court hearings since 1983.</p></p> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-join-cameras-court-program-111240 Cab, livery companies sue city over rideshare companies http://www.wbez.org/news/cab-livery-companies-sue-city-over-rideshare-companies-109655 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Rideshare lawsuit.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A group of mostly taxi and livery companies have filed suit against the City of Chicago, claiming that the city has tolerated, and even promoted, &ldquo;unlawful transportation providers&rdquo; to undermine their industries. Their case focuses on technology companies Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, which offer smartphone apps that allow people who need rides to find people with cars, for a fare. The suit claims that the city has denied the plaintiffs equal protection under the law, by forcing them to abide by rules and regulations that have not been applied to the technology companies.</p><p>At the heart of their complaint is the assertion that the companies, which call their services &ldquo;ridesharing,&rdquo; are de facto cab companies.</p><p>&ldquo;This isn&rsquo;t ridesharing,&rdquo; said Michael Shakman, an attorney representing the plaintiffs. &ldquo;They sell services 24/7 to the general public, they charge by time and distance, and they&rsquo;re an on-demand service. They&rsquo;re exactly a taxi service, not a rideshare.&rdquo;</p><p>At a press conference Thursday, Shakman accused the city of allowing a taxi &ldquo;caste&rdquo; system to emerge, whereby Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are allowed to focus only on passengers who have credit cards, smartphones, and live in high-income neighborhoods.</p><p>&ldquo;They are not available at all to the disabled or to people who pay with cash,&rdquo; Shakman said. &ldquo;This taxi &lsquo;caste&rsquo; system excludes large portions of the population on racial, economic and disability grounds, and it thereby violates the Illinois Civil Rights Act.&rdquo;</p><p>Also joining the lawsuit is Brad Saul, President of Chicago Disability Transit, a non-profit that provides paratransit options for people with special needs. Saul said on the occasions he attempted to get a car from ridesharing companies, they did not have any that were able to accommodate his wheelchair.</p><p>&ldquo;As a platform, we don&rsquo;t force drivers to use it a certain way,&rdquo; said John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft, &ldquo;but as a broad platform there&rsquo;s drivers who do support that.&rdquo; Zimmer said in many of the 20 markets where Lyft now operates, there are people who drive wheelchair-accessible vehicles.</p><p>But while Saul and other plaintiffs argue that the companies should have to serve people in all neighborhoods, and with disabilities, the lawsuit also dwells heavily on the economic injury they say they are suffering. Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber&rsquo;s ridesharing service, called uberX, typically are cheaper than taxis, although when demand is high, they use a surge-pricing model that can lead to steeper charges.</p><p>Additionally, there is a relatively low cost of entry for their drivers. Cabbies must have city-issued medallions, currently priced at roughly $350,000 each, as well as mandated insurance, worker&rsquo;s compensation, and vehicles that are no more than four years old. Taxi and livery drivers are also required to attend school and be licensed as public chauffeurs, neither of which are necessary for rideshare drivers.</p><p>Representatives from Lyft and Uber dispute the underlying characterization of their service as a taxi service &mdash; and argue that&rsquo;s why they shouldn&rsquo;t be regulated as cab and livery vehicles.</p><p>&ldquo;A taxi can hail someone from the street, and when you have something like a street hail, it creates different dynamics and different safety requirements,&rdquo; said Zimmer. &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t have choice over the company, you don&rsquo;t have information on the driver, you haven&rsquo;t agreed to a terms of service, and you have a lot less information. And with a service like Lyft, you&rsquo;re choosing to use Lyft, you see information about the driver, about the car, and there&rsquo;s many more differences.&rdquo;</p><p>The lawsuit comes a day after lines of disagreement surfaced at City Hall. Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s office <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/city-moves-regulate-rideshare-companies-109639">introduced an ordinance to create regulations</a> for the industry, designating a new category of transportation called &ldquo;Transportation Network Providers.&rdquo; The proposal would allow the ridesharing services to continue many of their operations, but would require them to register annually with the city, maintain minimum standards of general commercial and commercial vehicle liability insurance, pay the city&rsquo;s Ground Transportation Tax, and have drivers&rsquo; cars inspected annually.</p><p>Plaintiffs in the lawsuit say the proposal falls short, and they don&rsquo;t like the idea of a separate set of rules.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s bad public policy to create a second taxi system designed for the elite who happen to be fortunate enough to live in neighborhoods where taxi drivers are willing to take them,&rdquo; said Shakman.</p><p>At the same City Council meeting, Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th) and Edward Burke (14th) proposed a <a href="https://chicago.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&amp;ID=2902650&amp;GUID=AE467792-6BF2-425E-85C7-6C05D0CFBD3C">resolution </a>calling for the Police Superintendent and Commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to immediately apply the existing taxicab rules to the ridesharing services.</p><p>&ldquo;We need to make sure that the consumers are protected,&rdquo; said Beale, &ldquo;and so we need to take the steps on shutting them down and then work towards a solution to make sure they&rsquo;re regulated.&rdquo;</p><p>The resolution is not binding, but will go to a joint committee on Transportation and Finance, of which Beale and Burke are chairs, respectively. As such, they may ask enforcement officials to offer testimony as to why the city has not applied its rules on taxicabs and livery to the ridesharing services.</p><p>Representatives of Uber and Lyft say they expect there will be regulation of their service, and that they are in favor of measures to promote safety. But they say the push by cab and livery companies to have them adhere to the same rules that they do will stifle technological innovation.</p><p>&ldquo;Hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans rely on uberX precisely because it is a faster, safer, and cheaper way of getting around their city,&rdquo; wrote Andrew MacDonald, Midwest Regional Manager for Uber, in an e-mail. &ldquo;After years of neglecting Chicago drivers and passengers alike, the taxi industry has resorted to name-calling and frivolous lawsuits. While they spend time in court, we&#39;ll be working with Mayor Emmanuel (sic) to design a forward-looking regulatory regime that creates economic opportunity, prioritizes safety, and ensures access to the best, cheapest rides ever available in the city.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 20:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cab-livery-companies-sue-city-over-rideshare-companies-109655 City moves to regulate rideshare companies http://www.wbez.org/news/city-moves-regulate-rideshare-companies-109639 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 10.02.40 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>The days of Chicago&rsquo;s Wild West of ridesharing services may be numbered, if the city has its way. The Mayor&rsquo;s office introduced new rules at Wednesday&rsquo;s City Council meeting, aimed at bringing the technology companies into the regulatory fold. But the move is already angering some who say the city should use its existing regulations for taxicabs and livery vehicles, rather than create a new set of rules.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a new industry that&rsquo;s still in the early stages and we wanted to step in, create some requirements that provide for public safety and consumer protection, but do that without essentially regulating the industry out of existence,&rdquo; said Michael Negron, Chief of Policy to the Mayor.</p><p>The proposed ordinance creates a new category of commercial vehicle transportation, called &ldquo;Transportation Network Providers,&rdquo; meant for technology companies that connect people who need rides, to people who have cars. Currently, this would include companies like Lyft, Uber and Sidecar, which have operations in Chicago. Unlike taxi drivers, people offering rides with these services use their personal cars, which do not have to be registered with or inspected by the city. The drivers also do not have to undergo training or licensing as public chauffeurs.</p><p>&ldquo;Now that the industry&rsquo;s been up and running for a bit, we want to be able to step in and impose what we think are ultimately some common sense requirements,&rdquo; said Negron, &ldquo;that ensure that when people step into a rideshare vehicle they know that the driver has gotten a background check and the driver&rsquo;s been drug tested and that the vehicle has been inspected and that they&rsquo;re getting the fare disclosed to them.&rdquo;</p><p>The ordinance would require the companies to register with the city and pay an annual $25,000 licensing fee, as well as $25 per driver with their service. It would also subject the companies to the city&rsquo;s ground transportation tax &mdash; $3.50 per day, per vehicle, for each day that the vehicle is used in Chicago for ground transportation. Additionally, the vehicles would have to display signage or an emblem that identifies their ridesharing service, and would have to be inspected annually by the city.</p><p>But perhaps the most significant cost that the rules would require are general commercial liability insurance and commercial automobile liability insurance policies of $1 million per occurrence.</p><p>&ldquo;Uber&rsquo;s existing policy meets that requirement,&rdquo; said Andrew MacDonald, Regional Manager for Uber Midwest. &ldquo;The basic premise is our insurance policy, as designed with our carrier, does cover a driver on an Uber trip regardless of the personal insurance policy.&rdquo; The company, however, declined to share a copy of that policy with WBEZ.</p><p>Several drivers, some of whom asked not to be named because they still drive for&nbsp; UberX and Lyft, told WBEZ that they were offered little or no detailed information about the companies&rsquo; insurance policies when they went through their orientation sessions.</p><p>&ldquo;People asked about what to do if there were problems,&rdquo; one said, &ldquo;but the answer was always to call Lyft Support,&rdquo; a hotline that the service provides for its drivers. &ldquo;They verified my insurance,&rdquo; said another driver for UberX, &ldquo;but never explained anything about what would happen in the case of a very bad accident.&rdquo;</p><p>Lyft, too, claims to carry an insurance policy of $1 million per occurrence, but it is an &ldquo;excess policy&rdquo; that kicks in after the driver&rsquo;s personal insurance has been used. The proposed ordinance would no longer allow this.</p><p>&ldquo;For us, it&rsquo;s like we are completely on board with provisions that increase consumer safety,&rdquo; said MacDonald, referring to the idea of new regulations. &ldquo;But beyond safety issues, I think controls on pricing, overreach on information, limitations on where cars could operate &mdash; all of that stuff starts to be not about safety, but starts to be about protectionism, and doesn&rsquo;t benefit the consumer, and doesn&rsquo;t create jobs, so that&rsquo;s where I get really concerned,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The ordinance proposes that drivers with the services may collect fares determined by distance or time, or that are predetermined, or that are suggested donations. It would no longer allow the companies to apply formulas that calculate fares as a combination of time and distance. It also does not address &ldquo;price-surging&rdquo; or &ldquo;prime time tipping&rdquo; &mdash; a practice where Uber and Lyft hikes their fares when demand is high.</p><p>&ldquo;This ordinance is simply enabling an illegal activity which is a cab-like activity to take place,&rdquo; said Pat Corrigan, owner of The Yellow Group LLC, which operates Yellow Cab in Chicago. &ldquo;So this is not something the cab industry can stand by and see.&rdquo;</p><p>Corrigan and others from Chicago&rsquo;s cab and livery industries say they are prepared to file a federal lawsuit against the City of Chicago to compel the city to regulate ridesharing services the same way as their industries.</p><p>&ldquo;The public transportation system, which is the taxi system as you know it, has all these rules and regulations,&rdquo; he continued, &ldquo;including it can&rsquo;t charge more than the meter. UberX, Sidecar and Lyft, can charge basically anything they want.&rdquo;</p><p>Corrigan noted that cab companies must offer worker&rsquo;s compensation, use vehicles that are less than four years old, accept forms of payment other than credit card, and service all neighborhoods of the city &mdash; requirements that are not part of the proposed rules for ridesharing companies.</p><p>The arrival of ridesharing companies has certainly complicated the city&rsquo;s position. Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the city has touted itself as technology-friendly, and appears to have dropped early objections to Uber&rsquo;s taxi operations in the city. But at the same time, Chicago brings in tens of millions of dollars each year in taxes and fees from taxis &mdash; an industry whose value rests largely on maintaining the value of the medallions.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s certainly not good for the medallion system,&rdquo; added Corrigan, &ldquo;because you have another system that&rsquo;s competing &mdash; a private system of transportation &mdash; for some of the people in the city that can afford it, competing against the public system.&rdquo;</p><p>Taxicab medallion owners and lenders have been nervously watching the growth of ridesharing in the city, worried that it may undermine the value of their investments. Medallions, which the city issues in limited number to license taxis, are valued at roughly $350,000 apiece.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 09:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/city-moves-regulate-rideshare-companies-109639 Morning Shift: Artists work overtime to follow their dreams http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-22/morning-shift-artists-work-overtime-follow-their <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Flickr Muffet.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at the social barriers to accessing reproductive health services. And, we talk to the director of a film following people following their passions.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-artists-in-the-workforce-work-overti/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-artists-in-the-workforce-work-overti.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-artists-in-the-workforce-work-overti" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Artists work overtime to follow their dreams" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 08:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-22/morning-shift-artists-work-overtime-follow-their Morning Shift: Does interfaith dialogue do more than preach to the choir? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-30/morning-shift-does-interfaith-dialogue-do-more-preach <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Cover Flickr 1yen.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Religious leaders from around the city join us to discuss the state of interfaith relations in Chicago. We take a look at tech trends past and present. And, Chicago Mag&#39;s Dennis Rodkin checks in with the latest in housing issues.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-does-interfaith-dialogue-do-more-tha/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-does-interfaith-dialogue-do-more-tha.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-does-interfaith-dialogue-do-more-tha" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Does interfaith dialogue do more than preach to the choir?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 30 Dec 2013 08:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-30/morning-shift-does-interfaith-dialogue-do-more-preach Morning Shift: To code or not to code http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-20/morning-shift-code-or-not-code-109418 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Code cover Flickr QualityFrog.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Wired editor Brendan Koerner and tech writer Jathan Sadowski debate the merits of teaching computer science in public school. We examine Americans&#39; shifting belief in a higher power. And, Vic Miguel &amp; Friends bring their ukes down to Studio 6.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-to-code-or-not-to-code/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-to-code-or-not-to-code.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-to-code-or-not-to-code" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: To code or not to code" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 08:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-20/morning-shift-code-or-not-code-109418 The 311 on Chicago's early phone numbers http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/311-chicagos-early-phone-numbers-109135 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/151751087&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Phone numbers weren&rsquo;t always just numbers.</p><p>Jeffrey Osman of Chicago&rsquo;s Bucktown neighborhood is sure of it. He remembers calling his friend Richie, a Humboldt Park resident, by dialing HUmboldt 6-5127. Translation on the telephone keypad: 486-5127.</p><p>Before 1977, Chicago phone numbers were often listed as Jeffrey remembers. The letters, which signified longer words, had once stood for exchanges &mdash; places where operators directed calls by plugging cords into switchboards with electric jacks that corresponded to individual telephone numbers.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/osmun.jpg" style="height: 133px; width: 200px; margin: 5px; float: right;" title="Jeffrey Osman had a hunch that old Chicago phone numbers were somehow tied to geography. (WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" />Jeffrey&rsquo;s recollection was strong, but the backstory nagged him &mdash; enough that he sent Curious City this question:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>&ldquo;What is the history behind the old telephone exchanges? For example, how did they get names like HUmboldt 6?&rdquo;</em></p><p>What did we find after we dialed up the history of numbers and phone technology? Two big points. The first is that today&rsquo;s smartphone users &mdash; the most savvy of which rarely even use phone numbers &mdash; may not realize there was a time when dialing pals required a working list of phone numbers and perhaps letters. It was also best to have a mental map of where contacts were physically located!</p><p>The other takeaway is that Chicago&rsquo;s exchange names are more than interesting relics of an earlier time: They&rsquo;re part of the city&rsquo;s identity as a collection of neighborhoods.</p><p><strong>Operator, please</strong></p><p>Let&rsquo;s go back to the beginning. Chicago&rsquo;s first telephone exchange opened in 1878. Then, you actually told the operator the name and address you were trying to reach. Chicago&rsquo;s first switchboards were at the telephone company&rsquo;s central office downtown, and in two branches at Halsted Street and Canal Street.</p><p>Here&rsquo;re a few significant dates in the evolution of telephone numbers:</p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p>Until <strong>1923</strong>, a dialer would call an operator and ask for the person they wanted to reach by giving their exchange name or number. Phone numbers were just three or four digits, <a href="http://phone.net46.net/chicago/index.html" target="_blank">with an exchange name tacked onto the front</a>. Names were sometimes selected to be memorable or easily understood over the phone. &ldquo;CALUMET-555,&rdquo; for example, could be taken from local Chicago geography.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p>From <strong>1921-1948</strong>, dialers used three letters and four numbers. Operator-free dialing had also become common (<a href="http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/strowger-switch-purple-reign-redux/" target="_blank">the unlikely origins of the first automatic, operator-free dialing is the subject of an episode of 99 Percent Invisible</a>). Exchanges were given three-digit numbers and names that could be signified by the letters located on phone dials. CALUMET, for example, was 225 (CAL).</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p>Area codes were introduced in <strong>1947</strong>.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p>In <strong>1948 </strong>local exchange name codes shrunk to just two letters, making room for a fifth digit that would allow phone companies to meet growing demand for new numbers. When possible, the old exchange names were preserved &mdash; to continue the example above, Calumet became CAlumet 5. Some number combinations didn&rsquo;t spell much at all, let alone a name that happened to have local significance. AT&amp;T had national lists of recommended exchange names, so <a href="http://forgottenchicago.com/articles/old-telephone-numbers/" target="_blank">some of Chicago&rsquo;s old exchange prefixes have nothing to do with the region</a>.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p>In <strong>1958 </strong>Wichita Falls, Texas, <a href="http://www.privateline.com/TelephoneHistory3A/numbers.html" target="_blank">became the first U.S. city to institute &quot;true number calling&quot;</a> &mdash; seven numerical digits without letters or names.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p>But in Chicago, many subscribers were loath to give up their exchange names. It took until <strong>1977 </strong>to fully phase out the system, and exchange names showed up in some Chicago phonebooks into the 1980s.</p></li></ul><p><strong>Local calls only</strong></p><p>It&rsquo;s probably no surprise that history buffs are interested in anything having to do with changing technology, but you may not realize that some small groups are dedicated enough to maintain databases of the names. One group &mdash; <a href="http://rcrowe.brinkster.net/tensearch.aspx" target="_blank">The Telephone EXchange Name Project</a> &mdash; continues to accept new entries.</p><p><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/insert-images/1959 Cover Chicago Exchange Names_0.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1959%20Cover%20Chicago%20Exchange%20Names.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: left; height: 263px; width: 350px;" title="A Chicago phone book cover shows exchange names. Click for a larger size. " /></a>Exchange names are also of interest to pop culture mavens. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaCLxyvcKiU" target="_blank">Glenn Miller&#39;s 1940 hit &quot;Pennsylvania 6-5000&quot;</a> got its name from the phone number for The Hotel Pennsylvania in New York &mdash; 212-736-5000 &mdash; supposedly the city&rsquo;s longest continuously operational phone number. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/HCIXOcLtgicWQ" target="_blank">Elizabeth Taylor won her first Oscar for the 1960 movie &quot;BUtterfield 8,&quot;</a> The film was named for the telephone exchange used by its main character.</p><p>But for our questioner, Jeffrey Osman, exchanges&rsquo; local relevance is paramount.</p><p>&ldquo;It created an awareness, I think, of where you were,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;There are 77 distinct neighborhoods [in Chicago], and pretty much we&rsquo;re a very parochial people.&rdquo;</p><p>He still remembers several old numbers:&nbsp;&ldquo;I banked at Chicago Federal Savings, and that was&nbsp;Financial&nbsp;6-5000. We used to ride the Rock Island Railroad. The LaSalle Street station was&nbsp;Wabash&nbsp;2-3200.&rdquo;</p><p>So, in the sense that they were easy to remember, the geographical names worked.</p><p>The exchange names are gone, Jeffrey says, but Chicago&rsquo;s local pride endures.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s still that sense of neighborhood identity and awareness here.&rdquo;</p><p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/183687346/Chicago-Telephone-Exchanges" name="scribd" style="text-decoration: underline;" title="View Chicago Telephone Exchanges on Scribd">Chicago Telephone Exchanges</a></p><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_18822" scrolling="no" src="//www.scribd.com/embeds/183687346/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 13:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/311-chicagos-early-phone-numbers-109135