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经济学人:智能手机应用软件 反社会网络

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Smartphone apps

The antisocial networks
A bunch of new apps test the limits of the sharing economy
Hurry up and vacate that parking spot!
PARKING can stir intense passions, especially inSan Francisco, where demand for public spaces often exceeds supply. Hence the outcry over apps that let occupants of slots on streets make money by alerting other drivers that they are about to drive away. As we went to press, one of the apps, MonkeyParking, was seeking an understanding withSan Francisco's city attorney, Dennis Herrera, who had given it until July 11th to cease operating on the city's streets or face a lawsuit. Another app, ParkModo, which also attracted Mr Herrera's attention, is not currently operating inSan Francisco, though it says it intends to roll out nationwide in future.
停车可以激发强烈的热情,特别是在公共空间供不应求的旧金山。因此强烈抗议的应用软件使得街道上停车位的占用者通过向其他司机发出他们正要离开的提醒信息而赚钱。在本文发表时,其中一个应用软件,MonkeyParking,正寻求旧金山市府的律师Dennis Herrera的理解,他已经责令其6月11日前停止操控城市街道否则将面临起诉。另一个应用软件,ParkModo,也引起了Herrera的注意,这一软件目前还不能在旧金山应用,虽然它声称它打算在将来席卷全国。

At the heart of the dispute over these services is whether apps should be able to use a public asset to make a profit. Users of MonkeyParking's service bid between 5 and 20 for spaces about to be liberated by other users. The firm has also launched the app inRome, another city where parking is scarce.San Francisco's authorities point to a local law banning efforts to sell or rent public parking spaces. The app firms say it is not spaces that are being sold, just information about their availability, which thus reduces the number of cars circling the streets searching for them.

MonkeyParking wants its app to be seen as part of the “sharing economy”, like those of Airbnb, which lets people rent rooms or houses to others, and Lyft, a ride-sharing service. These also help maximise the use of existing assets. The difference, however, is that the homes and cars are privately owned. Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies, which advises firms on the sharing economy, thinks apps that monetise public assets are “not in the spirit” of the sharing movement.
MonkeyParking希望其应用软件被视为“分享式经济”的一部分,像空中食宿Airbnb和Lyft一样,Airbnb可以让人们出租房间或房屋给他人,而Lyft提供驾乘分享服务。这些服务也有利于最大限度的利用现有资产。然而不同的是,那些房屋和车辆是私有的。Crowd Companies的Jeremiah Owyang对公司就分享式经济提出过建议,他认为使公共资产货币化的应用软件与分享运动的精神存在出入。
Even trying to monetise private assets is proving controversial in some cases. Another outfit in San Francisco, ReservationHop, has come under fire for making fake bookings at hard-to-get-into restaurants and then selling them via an app. Buyers are given the false names to use when they turn up to dine. The worry here is that restaurants could lose out if no one buys the fake reservations. Ticket Scalpr is an app incarnation of the age-old business of reselling tickets for popular events, though it says its aim is to cut out conventional touts and let fans swap surplus tickets directly.
甚至在某些情况下,使私有资产货币化的尝试也已发了争议。旧金山的另一家机构ReservationHop,因假装预订那些很难订到位子的餐厅并通过一个应用软件出售这些预定机会,而遭受谴责。在就餐时,买家使用其提供的虚假姓名。这里令人担心的是如果没人购买这些假预订,餐厅将蒙受损失。Ticket Scalpr是一个用于转卖流行赛事门票—这一古老业务的应用程序版本,尽管其声称其目的是为了减少传统的票贩子而让粉丝直接交换剩余门票。
There has been a heated debate on Twitter about such arguably antisocial networks, using a new hashtag, JerkTech. What the apps seen so far have in common is that their creators have identified things that are regularly being priced below their market-clearing level, ie, that at which demand equals supply. And, inSilicon Valley's spirit of “move fast and break things”, they are conducting a rapid test of the public's, and regulators', appetite for shifting the boundaries of what is acceptable business practice. Uber, a taxi-hailing app which has no doubt been called a jerk and worse over the “surge pricing” it imposes at times of high demand, agreed this week withNew York's attorney-general that it would curb its peak rates.
重点单词   查看全部解释    
shifting [ʃiftiŋ]


n. 转移 adj. 不断改换的 动词shift的现在分

surge [sə:dʒ]


n. 汹涌,澎湃
v. 汹涌,涌起,暴涨

debate [di'beit]


n. 辩论,讨论
vt. 争论,思考

supply [sə'plai]


n. 补给,供给,供应,贮备
vt. 补给,供

cease [si:s]


v. 停止,终止
n. 停止

rubbish ['rʌbiʃ]


n. 垃圾,废物,废话
v. 贬损

availability [ə.veilə'biliti]


n. 有效,有用,有益;可得到的人(或物)

stir [stə:]


n. 感动(激动,愤怒或震动), 搅拌,骚乱

trousers ['trauzəz]


n. 裤子

conventional [kən'venʃənl]


adj. 传统的,惯例的,常规的