Author: Natasha Lomas

Uber loses its license to operate in London

TECHCRUNCH In a huge blow to Uber in the UK London’s transport regulator has rejected its application to renew its license to operate in the city. In a statement today TfL said it has concluded that Uber is “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence”. “TfL’s regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety.  Private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, in order to operate.  TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a licence,”...

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Tax on Internet ads among Europe’s proposals to plug digital tax gap

TECHCRUNCH Europe’s executive body has revealed more of its thinking on reforming taxation rules to reflect how digital businesses operate, issuing details of proposals it’s considering ahead of another meeting of EU ministers next week. Options on the table for EU countries to discuss are a turnover tax, a levy on Internet ads or withholding money on Internet transactions, the EC said today. Last week a group of European Union finance ministers, led by France, called for a turnover tax on tech giants — aka what’s also referred to as an “equalization tax” — which would seek to avoid...

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CCleaner supply chain malware targeted tech giants

TECHCRUNCH Malware that piggybacked on CCleaner, a popular free software tool for optimizing system performance on PCs, appears to have specifically targeted high profile technology companies and may have been an attempt to harvest IP — perhaps for commercial or state-level espionage. In an update on its investigation into the malware, which was revealed to have affected 2.27M users of CCleaner earlier this week, Avast the security company which owns the London-based maker of the software, said the attack was an APT (advanced persistent threat) program that specifically targeted large technology and telecommunications companies. So while the malware infected a...

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Citymapper ties with Gett to launch shared taxi commuter route in London

TECHCRUNCH Urban transport navigator app Citymapper is experimenting with creating another transport service based off of analysis of the journey data its users generate — and using software it built to identify underserved transport routes. Today it’s announced a tie-up with Gett‘s UK black cab hailing app to run two commuter lines of shared taxis in London, morning and evenings, between Highbury in North London and the Waterloo transport hub in the south. It’s calling this “Project Black Bus” — black being the typical color of London’s traditional taxis. The Citymapper-Gett partnership presumably involves a revenue share between the pair...

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Tech giants told to remove extremist content much faster

TECHCRUNCH Tech giants are once again being urged to do more to tackle the spread of online extremism on their platforms. Leaders of the UK, France and Italy are taking time out at a UN summit today to meet with Google, Facebook and Microsoft. This follows an agreement in May for G7 nations to take joint action on online extremism. The Guardian reports the UK government would like to see the time it takes for extremist content to be taken down to be greatly speeded up — from an average of 36 hours down to just two. The European leaders...

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HTC stock suspension adds fuel to Google acquisition rumors

TECHCRUNCH HTC is to suspend trading of its stock on the TWSE tomorrow, ahead of what it says will be the release of “material information” pertaining to its business. The news was reported earlier by the FT.  The move has spiked speculation about a potential sale of HTC’s mobile division, with the Taiwanese device maker struggling for years to try to turn around its fortunes in the fiercely competitive smartphone market. In recent years loss-making quarters have become the norm for HTC, which posted its first ever loss making quarter in Q3 2013. And despite management changes, portfolio trimming and even...

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Amazon is working on smart glasses to house Alexa AI, says FT

TECHCRUNCH Amazon is working on building a pair of smart glasses to house its Alexa voice assistant, and a home security camera that could be linked to its existing Echo connected devices to further expand their capabilities, according to a report in the FT citing people familiar with the company’s plans. The newspaper says one or both of these products could be launched before the end of the year, alongside updates to existing Echo devices. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment, saying company policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation. According to the FT, the smart glasses...

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Twitter claims tech wins in quashing terror tweets

TECHCRUNCH In its latest Transparency report, which covers requests it’s received from governments pertaining to content on its platform, Twitter has reported a big decline in the proportion of pro-terrorism accounts being reported over the past six months, saying this is down 80 per cent since its last report, as well as reporting a drop in the number of accounts it removed for terrorism-related content during this period. Twitter claims pro-terrorism account reports have shrunk by a fifth in the past six months. It also reports that the vast majority (95 per cent) of account suspensions pertaining to the...

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