Uber has settled a lawsuit involving a woman raped by one of its drivers in India and allegations that the company had obtained and mishandled her medical records.
Court documents filed Friday said the case would be dismissed in January. The terms of the settlement weren’t revealed.
The lawsuit (PDF), filed this past June in the Northern District of California, alleged intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts and defamation. It said executives at Uber believed the woman was “fraudulently claiming that she had been raped” in collusion with one of the company’s rivals.
The subsequent lawsuit, about the medical records, followed reports in Recode and The New York Times about the records and their handling.
Last month, Uber was hit with two separate lawsuits alleging rape by Uber drivers. The legal actions followed a number of scandals this year, including the revelation, in November, that Uber waited a whole year to reveal a data breach that exposed information on 57 million users and drivers.
Those lucky enough to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” before its official opening next week shared impressions on social media Saturday night after the world premiere in Hollywood.
And Star Wars fans, you can breathe again. First reactions are crazy-good.
Let’s start the roll call with CNET’s own Ashley Esqueda, who gets right to the point.
Those who saw the film praised it on multiple levels, with kudos for the action and “gorgeous” shots. But bring some Kleenex, as the excitement reportedly melds with the kind of emotional depth fans expect from such an epic franchise. This is all good news for fans who long to feel the disappointment of the prequels recede further and further into outer space.
Star John Boyega, who plays Finn, almost didn’t make it to the LA premiere due to bad weather in Atlanta. He ended up making it in time (minus his luggage), but the events led to some fun tweets between Boyega and other Star Wars cast and crew.
“The Last Jedi” opens worldwide Dec. 14. Look for CNET’s full review on Dec. 12.
Android creator and Essential Products CEO Andy Rubin has reportedly returned to Essential after a short leave of absence. The leave followed a report that he’d engaged in an improper relationship during his time at Google.
Rubin’s return was reported Friday by Recode, which cited two people familiar with his activities and said the nearly two-week leave was taken so Rubin could deal with personal issues.
The absence came immediately after a November report by The Information that said Rubin left Google after an internal investigation found he’d had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee. At the time, Rubin’s spokesperson said any relationships he’d had while at Google were consensual.
Neither Essential nor Google immediately responded to CNET’s request for comment.
Rubin’s leave of absence and his return come amid an avalanche of news around sexual harassment and misconduct. On Thursday, Sen. Al Franken, a champion of net neutrality, resigned his post following accusations of inappropriate behavior. And on Wednesday, Time magazine collectively named the “Silence Breakers” of the #MeToo movement its Person of the Year.
Essential made a splash when it announced the Essential Phone, but on release the device was greeted by mixed reviews. The company has since cut the gadget’s price by $200, making it $499 in the US (about £370 and AU$665).
The holidays are upon us! And that means you’ve got gifts to buy and questions that need answers — and the clock is ticking!
The CNET Holiday Buyer’s Guide Live is back again to help, streaming live from our New York studios. We have gift-giving advice, tips on finding hot deals and answers to readers’ questions — live, with a cast of CNET experts!
I’ll admit it up front: I’ve never seen “Jumanji”.
Yes, I know, I’m a charlatan. I’ve (largely) managed to conceal my abject lack of qualification to review movies until this point, but the charade is over: A sequel to the beloved 1995 Robin Williams adventure is almost here, and I don’t know whether anyone can enjoy it without knowing anything about the original.
Luckily, you can! “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is really “Jumanji 2” only in spirit. It gives a light and respectful nod to the original, then gets on with doing its own thing. And to my surprise, despite a few problems, it’s a lot of fun.
After a 1980s kid discovers a game called “Jumanji” half-buried on a beach, we flash forward to the present day. Four teenagers go from blackboard jungle to actual jungle when they discover a bizarre game console and find themselves sucked into the video game. Arriving in a cursed rainforest, they must fend off villains and angry animals to complete the game and find a way out, while of course learning a little something about themselves along the way.
The fun is in the casting. The disparate “Breakfast Club” of squabbling teens is teleported not just into a strange game world but also into strange new bodies: exaggerated games characters, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart and Jack Black. The teens — a jock, a timid nerd, a vapid social media junkie and er, another timid nerd — find themselves in the least likely body, and chucklesome gags flow like the Amazon. The stars doing the jungle boogie play entertainingly against type — Johnson is a hoot, flexing his comic muscles as the brain who’s nervous about his newly discovered brawn.
The body-swap concept also teaches the characters important lessons, about looking beyond the appearances of others and understanding themselves. In the jungle — the mighty jungle — there’s an emphasis on problem-solving and teamwork rather than on violence, as the characters draw on strengths they didn’t know they had. So while the selfie-taking air-head is the butt of a few jokes aimed at the pernicious stereotype of a teenage girl, she’s also the first to figure out some of the obstacles they face and frequently helps others to overcome their issues when they can’t see the metaphorical jungle for the trees.
Generally, “Welcome to the Jungle” is a pretty upbeat and positive experience, but it still has some odd lurches into clanging tone-deafness. For example, there’s a big fight scene that escalates quickly from amusing cartoon slapstick to the Rock straight-up snapping some dude’s neck with an audible crack. It’s pretty jarring in itself, but it’s perhaps worse that there are no consequences and no one mentions it again.
Similarly, the movie just can’t help ogling former “Doctor Who” star Karen Gillan in her skimpy outfit. Fans were up in arms when the first picture of the stars revealed Gillan’s cropped top and hot pants, prompting the filmmakers to insist there’s a good reason in the story for the outfit. And I can reveal that, yes, there is a good reason for the outfit: So we can ogle Gillan.
Maybe it’s a comment on sexualised female characters in video games and movies. Maybe it’s meant to be body-positive and empowering. But the film can’t help undercutting itself: At one point, in a scene that really feels like it was hastily added after the fan reaction, Gillan’s character asks for a jacket to cover her skimpy outfit … then pretty much never wears it. Worst of all, her character’s story builds to a big scene that’s supposed to be the culmination of her journey to empowerment — and ends with a loving, lingering close-up on her short-shorted behind.
A jaunt to a vaguely ethnic bazaar is also a bit uncomfortable. And the fact that we’re supposed to overlook that one of the black characters is literally a servant to the others is frankly appalling.
The video game concept provides a neat twist on each adventure sequence, having fun with non-player characters, giving our heroes a finite number of lives and creating obstacles that level up in difficulty. The CGI animals are OK, but as the main menace, Bobby Cannavale is a hair-raising villain. You can bet today’s kids will look back on his character with a shudder the way yesteryear’s kids look back on the scariest films of the 1980s.
Does the sequel surpass the original? I couldn’t tell you, for reasons I mentioned earlier. But “Welcome to the Jungle” is a diverting comic caper with plenty of laughs even for viewers new to the world of “Jumanji”. And when it comes to a rib-tickling combination of action and comedy, it proves Dwayne Johnson is king of the jungle.
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” lands in theatres in the US and UK on 20 December and Australia on 26 December.
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