Cab app sparks $1M suit; Accused of unfair competition


By: Sherri Zickefoose, Calgary Herald

Crying “unfair competition,” the city’s top taxi companies are suing a local entrepreneur for $1 million over a smart-phone application allowing passengers to bypass dispatch to hail cabs faster.

According to the statement of claim, filed in Court of Queen’s Bench last month, Mayfair, Associated and Checker cab companies are calling the FastCab phone app “unfair competition.”

It’s the latest wrinkle in the local taxi industry saga. On Friday, the city’s taxi and limousine advisory committee is debating a city report about smartphone “e-hail” apps.

In the report, the city said its review finds the taxi app is operating simply as an electronic form of hailing a cab, and not acting as a broker.

However, taxi companies disagree. The Jan. 29 statement of claim obtained by the Herald accuses FastCab of operating as a taxi broker without a brokerage licence.

“They market their services as a ‘tech-savvy’ product that will allow the travelling public greater access to taxicabs, when in fact all they create is a queue-jumping system for people with smartphones in a position to pay an incentive,” reads the five-page statement of claim.

Since launching FastCab late last summer, 3,200 users have signed up, and 250 are cab drivers, founder Jeff Doepker said.

But he fears industry bigwigs may be working against him.

“We suspect there’s a lot of pressure on the drivers not to use us,” said Doepker, who declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The goal of the taxi hailing app is to bypass dispatchers so customers can skip the busy signal and order cabs directly.

The app, available for iPhone format and Google Android, sends a request to registered drivers.

For now, cab companies are saying little about the lawsuit but are preparing to speak up at Friday’s meeting.

“It’s inappropriate for me to comment when it’s in the hands of the court,” said Kurt Enders, owner of Checker Transportation.

Enders is making a presentation to the committee on Friday.

“We don’t agree with the city’s position. We have some concerns,” he said.

Cab drivers appear mixed on the issue.

Some said Tuesday they don’t see a need to replace dispatchers.

One driver, who didn’t want his name used, said safety is a concern.

“It’s not safe. I don’t know who’s calling me,” he told the Herald.

The city’s taxi bylaw does not prohibit any form of hailing of a taxi.

The city report says that through communication and enforcement of existing bylaw provisions, it’s confident the issue can be sorted out.

But the taxi industry might have the final say.

While there is no prohibition on the use of smartphone applications to facilitate electronic hailing of taxis, the bylaw does not restrict brokers, as a matter of private contract, from prohibiting affiliated drivers from using ehail applications.

Meanwhile, the city continues working with the committee to hammer out details about using GPS to track cabbies’ whereabouts.

The taxi crunch in Calgary has become so regular, the city took the unusual step of issuing a warning to citizens last Halloween.

The city released 55 new, non-transferable accessible taxi plate licences that went to drivers, not brokers.

They come with conditions, including that cabs must be accessible and available to the public Friday and Saturday nights until 4 a.m.

The city also wants cabs to report their whereabouts through GPS, so it can better monitor where taxis are and at what hours.

It was the first change to the city’s 1,411-cab fleet in about five years, when independent drivers were given the city’s first 100 accessible taxi plates.

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© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Soprano Anca Boieru mobile app for Android


anca_boieru_android_mobile_app_calgaryAnca Boieru is a singer and songwriter from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and this is her Android artist application.

Anca Boieru has been passionate about music ever since she was a child and she is continuing her studies even today, taking Classical Voice/Theory Training, class of the British dramatic, coloratura Soprano and Pianist, Ms. Carla Bagley. Anca performed in various festivals and competitions, and in her early years, she also did ballet and drama, as well as Contemporary vocal training.

She was introduced to the new vocal works, as well as performing in Ms. Carla Bagley Master Classes and Recitals, from pop to musical theatre, right through to Classical and operatic arias and duets. Anca was also invited to sing along with a well known Romanian folk band, touring across Canada, in April 2009. She has been constantly working in the 2Access Studio Music production, where the third album called “Believe” has been finalized. This one is a continuity of the previous two albums, “Underground” and “ What Is Life?”, that develops elements of pop/rock opera, power ballad and theatrical. It’s about continuing the dream, believing in ourselves and living our lives at the maximum.

Download this app on your Android Smart Phone.

The Disadvantages of Free Websites


Perform a internet search with any search engine for “free website” and quite literally thousands of hits will be returned. Providing free websites and blogs is obviously very lucrative for the companies that supply them, but do they really offer anything for the end user, the person who wants to create their own website?

By definition free websites come with no initial charges and fees and they offer software that typically allows the user to put content on the Internet very quickly. However, that is where the advantages typically stop. Far too many free websites simply vanish from the Internet because, according to the free website provider, that site was violating their terms of service, had uploaded too many images, was too big or was simply getting too much traffic.

And here is the real rub. The system’s users might own the content of their websites, but as far as the free websites are concerned they essentially have no other rights at all. The software and the hardware that runs the end user’s website is completely owned by the provider. Website creators are dependent on the good graces of the providers to keep their website running and the system providers can pull the plug on any content whenever they like. It is possible to spend months or even years building a website and then, ‘poof’, it is just gone and there is absolutely no recourse to the system provider.

The Problems with Free Websites:

  • Available web space will be limited so it is not possible to add a significant amount of content (particularly images).
  • The system’s capabilities cannot be extended beyond what is offered in the basic package (this means that it is not possible to add features such as forums, article directories, movie streaming, interactive games, chat rooms etc).
  • Website creators will often have ads and banners imposed on their sites (this is how the owners of the system make money).
  • There are no guarantees as to how long a site will be on the web (it can be removed at any time).
  • Help and support may be non-existence or of very poor quality.
  • Website address will be defined by the system and is often difficult to remember.
  • It is not possible to use easy to remember (and user defined) web address (eg
  • It is not possible to have email addresses associated with the website’s domain (eg no simple [email protected] style email addresses).
  • Sites such as this are classed as subdomains and search engines give them low priority or even ignore them completely (sites will not be indexed by the search engines).
  • Sites may often either not be free forever, or a site expands to a pint where it requires more disk space or special features that the webmaster needs to pay for.
  • No traffic logging. It is not possible to find out who visits a site or where the traffic come from (this makes it hard to increase a site’s traffic or to target a site’s content to what web searchers are looking for).
  • There will often be no control over the look and feel of a site, except to chose between a small number of existing web templates.
  • The software running a site is often old and not frequently updated. This leaves sites open to being hacked and getting banned for distributing malware.
  • A given site will be associated with a number of other websites sharing the same web name. The website’s on-line credibility will suffer as a consequence and if a site in the same cluster is defined as a ‘bad neighbour’ other sites associated with it by sharing similar web addresses will suffer as well.

Free Websites Do Not Make Money:

Yes, the subtitle given here is correct. Free websites only make money for those people who actually run them and even then many such companies fail. Which is why it’s typical to see free website companies around for a couple of years. But after this period the majority of them vanish completely.

To be successful on the Internet requires a professional attitude and outlook. The look and feel of a website has to be professional and part of that is having an URL that looks professional as well. Unfortunately, free websites do not project professionalism in any way. Typically a given site’s web address is cumbersome and hard to remember. Moreover, and people know it’s on free hosting and increasingly web-savvy surfers recognize that such a site may disappear at any time. Large and serious websites simply will not link to sites like this. And if a website gets no in-bound links it will not be indexed by search engines and even if indexed has not hope of ranking well.

The look and feel of free website are often dated and can well be swamped by the banners and popups that the free website hosters use to try and make money. Consider this: have a look at all the large company websites out there (or even just some of the well known websites).

Do they use free web hosting?
No they do not.

Do they have their own domain name that’s related to their business?
Of course they do.

Think about it. Which seems more trustworthy, a domain that reads: ‘’ or one that says: ‘’? The first one looks cheap and low-rent. The second one looks professional and is more likely to be associated with a real company that has a long-term future on the Internet.

There is a simple lesson here. There is no point even thinking about using a free web hosting service for any serious website. Buy a domain name (the name of this should be based on the product or service that the website will provide), pay for proper hosting and build a website from scratch. This way the webmaster owner remains in control of everything and the website becomes an expression of the site’s aims and aspirations. This is what makes websites stand out from the crowd. It gets the message across as to who the website is owned by and that the service they are providing is worthwhile and is worthy of being checked out.

If you do not want to hurt your business by using a FREE website service then please contact us today for a FREE estimate and we will build a website that works and generates leads.

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