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Lyft files for IPO, says it ‘represents freedom at your fingertips’ – CNET

Lyft Lyft is the first US ride-hailing company to be heading to the stock market. Filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for its initial public offering, Lyft said it plans to “revolutionize transportation” and be the “defining brand of our generation.” It’s unclear what the pricing of Lyft’s shares will be…

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Lyft files for IPO, says it ‘represents freedom at your fingertips’     – CNET

Lyft
Lyft is the first US ride-hailing company to be heading to the stock market.
Filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for its initial public offering, Lyft said it plans to “revolutionize transportation” and be the “defining brand of our generation.”
It’s unclear what the pricing of Lyft’s shares will be when it finally does go public. But it’s estimated the company will come in at a valuation of as much as $25 billion. Listing on the Nasdaq and using the ticker symbol LYFT, the IPO could arrive as soon as April.
“We believe that our brand represents freedom at your fingertips: freedom from the stresses of car ownership and freedom to do and see more,” Lyft wrote in the filing. “We believe that cities should be built for people, not cars.”
The move puts Lyft ahead of its rival Uber in the race to Wall Street. Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has publicly said the company is focusing on going public in the second half of 2019, but it’s looking like that timeline may be flexible. Uber submitted paperwork to the SEC for an IPO in early December. 

While Uber and Lyft offer the same service, hailing a ride with a smartphone app, it’s expected each company will point potential investors to different aspects of its business. Uber will reportedly showcase itself as a global company with diverse features such as food delivery and flying cars. Lyft, much smaller, with services only in the US and Canada, is focusing on being a stable company that hasn’t experienced the same kind of turmoil as Uber.
“Unsurprisingly, Lyft advocates that its key success factors include founder leadership, culture and values, and a singular focus on transportation,” Rohit Kulkarni, senior vice president of research for investment firm Forge. “Arguably, Lyft is taking a jab at Uber’s miseries and general lack of exclusive focus on ride-sharing over the past couple of years.”
Lyft’s good guy personality is front and center in its SEC filing. We combed through the 220-page document for all the interesting tidbits. Here’s the breakdown:
What is Lyft? First and foremost, Lyft is a ride-hailing service that created an app where passengers can push a button to hail a ride. But, according to Lyft’s filing it’s much more: “We are laser-focused on revolutionizing transportation.” Lyft was incorporated in 2007 under the moniker Bounder Web, and then changed its name to Zimride in 2008. It officially morphed into Lyft as we know it in 2012. Since then it’s launched several initiatives outside of the ride-hailing space, like carpool rides, bikes and scooters for rent, and self-driving cars.
The “defining brand of our generation”? Lyft said it aims to build the “defining brand of our generation.” To do this it’ll promote a company culture based on core values, like “authenticity, empathy and support for others,” as well as a commitment to social responsibility. “We believe that our brand represents freedom at your fingertips,” Lyft wrote.

Lyft
LYFT. Lyft will list on the Nasdaq using the ticker symbol LYFT. It’s not clear yet how Lyft’s pricing will work out, but it’s been estimated that the company will be valued somewhere between $20 billion and $25 billion. Its latest valuation came in at $15 billion during its last funding round in 2018. Its IPO could come as soon as early April. 
The money. As far as financials go, the company said it garnered $2.2 billion in revenue in 2018 on $8.1 billion in bookings, showing year-over-year growth of 103 percent in sales and 76 percent in bookings.
Not so fast. What about money loss? Lyft lost $911.3 million in 2018, up from a net loss of $682.8 million in 2016 and $688.3 million in 2017.
Where you can catch a Lyft. Lyft is only in the US and a few cities in Canada, for now. That said, the company has a far reach across the US with its service reportedly in more than 300 markets, covering 95 percent of the population.
Riders. Lyft said it handled more than 1 billion rides in 2018. Broken down, it said it served 30.7 million riders in the US and Canada last year. “Almost half of our riders reported that they use their cars less because of Lyft, and 22 percent reported that owning a car has become less important” to them, the company said. It added that its active riders increased by 47 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

Lyft

Lyft
Drivers. Lyft’s service hinges on its contract drivers. It said more than 1.9 billion people drove for the company last year. Since it launched in 2012, Lyft said it’s paid drivers a total of $10 billion in earnings.
Drivers get a piece of the pie. As a bonus for drivers in good standing, who’ve completed at least 10,000 rides as of the end of this month, Lyft said it’d pay drivers as much as $10,000. That money could be used to buy shares in the company at the IPO price, Lyft said. 
Lyft goals. The company said it’s going after the $1.2 trillion that US consumers spend on personal transportation every year. “On a per household basis, the average annual spend on transportation is over $9,500, with the substantial majority spent on car ownership and operation. Yet, the average car is utilized only 5 percent of the time and remains parked and unused the other 95 percent.”
Wait, ski racks? Passengers can request cars that accommodate wheelchairs and car seats in several cities where Lyft operates, but in a few “select” markets people can also ask for a car with a ski or snowboard rack.
Let’s talk self-driving cars. Lyft is building its own autonomous vehicle system at an engineering center it calls Level 5. In the filing, the company said its goal is to ensure “access to affordable and reliable autonomous technology.” Since January 2018, Lyft said it’s given 35,000 rides in autonomous vehicles accompanied by a safety driver.
So much data. Lyft has conducted more than 1 billion rides and it’s collected data from those rides along the way. So what’s it doing with that data? Using it to “inform our machine learning algorithms and data science engines.”
Partnerships. To spread its reach into cities, Lyft said it created relationships with more than 10,000 organizations, cities and municipalities to facilitate rides for their employees, customers and constituents. It also created exclusive marketing partnerships with brands like Delta Air Lines.
This is a developing story…

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Miss out on PS5 preorders? There was one for sale on eBay for $25,000 – CNET

Preorders for the PlayStation 5 appeared to sell out shortly after they began on Wednesday. Sony When Sony announced the $400 entry price for its PlayStation 5 video game console Wednesday, it said preorders would start the next day. Many large retailers decided to start sales early, surprising fans who quickly surfed to websites only…

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Miss out on PS5 preorders? There was one for sale on eBay for $25,000     – CNET

Preorders for the PlayStation 5 appeared to sell out shortly after they began on Wednesday.
Sony
When Sony announced the $400 entry price for its PlayStation 5 video game console Wednesday, it said preorders would start the next day. Many large retailers decided to start sales early, surprising fans who quickly surfed to websites only to learn the device had already sold out. But not at eBay. The popular auction site was filled with listings for PlayStation 5 consoles ready to sell  on Thursday promising the seller had secured a preorder and would ship the device immediately after it arrived.

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“This is ** CONFIRMED PREORDER**,” one eBay seller wrote. “Updates will be provided all the way!” wrote another. The ordeal was an unusual hiccup for Sony, whose PlayStation 5 launch has been built on carefully planned slow reveals of various features like 3D audio, faster game loading times and the design of the device.Sony took to Twitter on Saturday to apologize to fans over the ordeal, though it appeared to be caused by retailers jumping the gun on preorders a day early, and promised more supplies would be made available.
Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that. Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder – retailers will share more details.  And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/h1TaGsGBun— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 19, 2020

Still, sellers on Sunday were attempting to offload preorders on eBay for between $750 and $1,000, about double the $400 starting price of the console without a Blu-ray drive, or double the $500 starting price for the PS5 that has it.  This eBay listing may set a record for the most expensive PS5. But that’s only if the buyer pays.
eBay
One seller’s auction though had risen to $25,100, after 11 bids and a starting price of $800 on Thursday afternoon.The eBay listings aren’t likely to last though. The auction site’s listing policies on pre-sale items require that the item must be delivered within 30 days of purchase on eBay. “Our Trust teams are aware of this issue and we are taking the appropriate action,” an eBay spokeswoman said.The buying and selling frenzy is one of the first public signs of how in-demand Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s $500 Xbox Series X and $300 Xbox Series S will be when they land on store shelves this November. 

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Technology

2020 Porsche Macan GTS review: Emphasis on performance – Roadshow

The GTS looks great in Carmine Red. Steven Ewing/Roadshow At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any 718, 911, Cayenne or Panamera.…

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2020 Porsche Macan GTS review: Emphasis on performance     – Roadshow

The GTS looks great in Carmine Red.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow
At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any 718, 911, Cayenne or Panamera. I’ve driven the S and I’ve driven the Turbo, but the GTS is the Macan I’d park in my garage.

LikeOutstanding chassis balanceSports car-like steeringSonorous sport exhaustRobust infotainment tech

Don’t LikeTwin-turbo V6 lacks characterGets expensive in a hurry

The GTS uses a detuned version of the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Macan Turbo. Here, the engine produces 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque — noticeable reductions compared to the Turbo’s 434 hp and 405 lb-ft. But on the road, you’d have a hard time noticing the difference. This engine lacks visceral drama, though I think that’s less egregious when the associated output numbers are lower. The GTS at least makes up for this somewhat with a standard sport exhaust, which adds some sonority to the powertrain’s buttoned-up demeanor.Porsche says the GTS can accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package, which is 0.4 seconds slower than the Macan Turbo. I genuinely don’t believe that less-than-half-a-second discrepancy is something anyone can feel during daily driving on public roads. And since the engine’s torque is fully available from just 1,750 rpm, there’s never a lack of urgency to the GTS’ acceleration, whether pulling away from a stoplight or just trying to shoot the gap between slower cars on the highway.

The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is always up for an impromptu downshift via the steering wheel-mounted paddles, and the Sport and Sport Plus modes — the latter is part of the $1,360 Sport Chrono package — alter the throttle and transmission programming just enough to liven up the Macan’s character. You could drive the GTS in Sport mode all day, every day without it ever feeling high-strung, while Sport Plus is best left for tighter sections of winding roads where you’ll want to take advantage of its tendency to hold gears up near the engine’s redline.The GTS’ powertrain is fine, but the chassis, steering and brakes really make this Macan feel special. Porsche’s adaptive air suspension comes standard and can lower the Macan by 10 millimeters in Sport and Sport Plus modes. Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers are a perfect match to the air-ride system, delivering a smooth ride on broken pavement while keeping the GTS taut and composed on smooth stretches of canyon roads. Even with my tester’s upsized 21-inch wheels and staggered 265/40 front and 295/35 rear tires, the Macan never feels too stiff or too floaty for any given scenario. Honestly, the ride quality might be the GTS’ single best attribute.

These 21-inch wheels and low-profile ties don’t ruin the GTS’ ride.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow
Porsche always gets its cars’ steering right, and the Macan GTS is no exception. The weight and communication on offer are more akin to that of a 718 Cayman than any other compact SUV, with a right-sized steering wheel adorned with only a few redundant controls. My tester has Porsche’s Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB), which were kind of bad when they first launched on the Cayenne, but have since been reworked with new pads, better pedal feel and a more progressive stopping experience. Now, these brakes are quite good and reduce dust buildup on the wheels. Whether they’re worth the $3,490 upgrade over the perfectly fine standard steel brakes, though, is hard to say.

One option worth adding is Porsche’s brake-based torque-vectoring tech, for $1,500. This ability to modulate power from side to side at the rear axle improves the Macan’s cornering reflexes, making this already-sharp little crossover even more entertaining. You’ll never feel it working, but you’ll find it easier to keep up with smaller, more powerful sports cars on mountain roads.Going for the GTS gets you the Sport Design exterior treatment, with black-painted exterior accents, LED headlights and a darker tint to the rear taillight bar. Inside, you get sport seats wrapped in leather, though you can have the whole cabin done up in Alcantara suede with Carmine Red stitching as part of the $4,790 GTS Interior Package. Like all Macans, the GTS is plenty comfortable for driver and passenger up front, but the rear seats are awfully small, even by compact SUV measurements.The PCM infotainment tech is new but the rest of the interior is showing its age.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow
The Macan got a welcome tech upgrade as part of a refresh in 2018 and now runs Porsche’s Communication Management infotainment software on a 10.9-inch touchscreen. PCM continues to impress with its quick responses to inputs, online search tools, bright graphics and reconfigurable home screen. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay are standard, but Android Auto is still a no-go. Too bad.Look below the touchscreen, though, and you’ll find a sea of controls on the console — a reminder that the Macan is a bit older than Porsche’s other models. Sure, the rows of buttons are clearly labeled and easy to use, they just look outdated, especially compared to the flush, backlit designs of Porsche’s newer products.I’d love to tell you about all of the Macan’s standard driver-assistance features, but as is the case with every Porsche, all the good stuff costs extra and is available a la carte. A surround-view camera is $1,200. You can buy lane-change assist and lane-keeping assist for $700 apiece, or just spend $1,380 and get them as part of a bundle. Adaptive cruise control comes in for an additional $1,170, and if you want freaking keyless entry, that’s an extra $800, too. Sheesh.The Macan is hands-down the best-driving compact luxury SUV.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow
There are myriad options available for the Macan GTS, so its $73,450 starting price (including $1,350 for destination) is just that: the start. My Carmine Red tester is a German-spec model that Porsche flew over for testing, so I don’t have an exact price for the SUV you see here. Playing around to the best of my ability on Porsche’s configurator, I’m going to guesstimate an as-tested price of $94,000 out the door, give or take a few Benjamins.If you compare price tags, the Macan GTS is sort of a hard sell against competitors like the BMW X3 M40i or Mercedes-AMG GLC43, both of which can be nicely equipped for less than the Porsche’s starting MSRP. But the Macan — especially the GTS — is the best-driving, best-balanced SUV of the bunch and handily punches above its weight. If performance is a priority, you definitely get what you pay for. 

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Google Home: Two settings to achieve max smart home privacy – CNET

Keep your personal information private by setting up Voice Match on Google Home. Josh Miller/CNET Some things Google Home knows about you are obvious — what music you like, how bad you are at math — because those are the things you rely on it for the most. But Google Home ($130 at QVC) knows a…

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Google Home: Two settings to achieve max smart home privacy     – CNET

Keep your personal information private by setting up Voice Match on Google Home.
Josh Miller/CNET
Some things Google Home knows about you are obvious — what music you like, how bad you are at math — because those are the things you rely on it for the most. But Google Home ($130 at QVC) knows a lot more about you than you might realize. That’s because your smart home speaker is tied to your Google account, so it’s also connected to a deep well of personal information, like your email address and debit or credit card number. That means privacy and security settings are just as important with Google Home as with your Gmail account.A lot of the same steps you should take to protect your Gmail account, like using a strong password and checking your recovery contact information, will help secure Google Home as well. But you may not know how to get to those settings using the Google Home app, which may be the only Google app you have on your phone or tablet.

Our newsletter sends you the best tips for your Google Home smart speaker.

Here’s how to find and set the two most important privacy and security settings using the Google Home app.Facial recognition technology has come under fire from privacy advocates, but it can also be used to help secure your data.
James Martin/CNET
Secure your privacy with voice or face recognitionWhen you set up a Voice Match profile on Google Home, your smart speakers will listen for your voice and use it like a fingerprint to identify you. That way, only you can check your calendar, add to your shopping list or watch your YouTube playlist on Nest Hub smart displays. Other people can still use Google Home and can even set up voice profiles with their own Google accounts, but only you will have access to your information.That said, turning on Voice Match means possibly giving Google data about what you sound like. Google says that information is stored on your devices themselves and not in the cloud, although it may be “temporarily sent to Google to better identify” you. If you’re not OK with that, this feature is not for you.Here’s how to set up Voice Match with Google Home (the process is the same for Face Match, only it uses your device’s camera and your face rather than its microphone and your voice):1. Open the Google Home app, then tap your personal icon in the upper-right corner, then tap Assistant settings.2. On the horizontal menu bar, tap Assistant and then scroll down and tap Voice Match.3. Tap Add a device. The Google Home app will scan your current Wi-Fi network for compatible devices. Once it does, tap Continue. 4. Under Activate Voice Match on this device tap the box labeled I agree, then scroll to the bottom of the next screen and tap the next box with I agree.5. Follow prompts to teach Google to recognize your voice.Two-factor authentication isn’t foolproof, but it does add a layer of security that makes breaking into your online accounts more difficult.
James Martin/CNET
How to set up two-factor authentication on Google HomeTwo-factor authentication, aka two-step verification, isn’t a completely foolproof means of securing an online account, but it’s miles better than nothing at all. Having two-factor set up on Google Home means if anyone were to try to, say, set up a Google Home smart speaker using your stolen login info, they’d likely be thwarted unless they had also lifted your smartphone. The point is that it won’t hinder nor degrade your experience using Google Home, so there’s really no reason not to set it up.The first thing you need to do is different depending on your phone:Android: make sure you’re signed into the account you use for Google Home by opening Settings, then tap Accounts and then Add Account. Choose Google and sign into your account.iPhone: Download the Gmail app from the App Store, if you don’t already have it, and sign in with the account you use for Google Home, then Allow notifications when promptedTwo-factor authentication won’t impact how you use your Google Home smart speaker once you’ve set it up.
Chris Monroe/CNET
The rest is the same for every phone:1. Open the Google Home app, then tap your personal icon in the upper-right corner, then tap Assistant settings.2. Beneath the You menu, tap Your data in the Assistant then scroll to the very bottom.3. Under More option to manage your privacy, tap the box labeled Google Account.4. Scroll the horizontal menu bar at the top (the one that has Home, Personal info, Data & personalization) over and tap Security.5. Under Signing in to Google, tap Use your phone to sign in. On the next screen tap Set It Up then enter your password and tap Sign in.6. The screen should now say What you need with Your phone (with your phone listed) and Touch ID checked. Tap Next.7. Beneath Try it you should see the email address for your Google Account. Tap the button labeled Next beneath it.8. You should immediately get a notification on your phone asking Trying to sign in? (if you’re on an iPhone this notification will come from the Gmail app). Tap the notification and select Yes.9. If your phone asks if you want to use either facial recognition or fingerprint identification (whichever your phone has) select Yes.10. Go back to the Google Home app, which should now say It worked! Turn it on? and tap the box that says Turn On.Check out our full guide to shoring up your Google Home privacy and security settings here, or our even broader guide to securing your overall Google account here. For email-specific privacy settings, here are four Gmail settings to change right away.

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