There’s Already a Petition to Save Uber in London

Following the blockbuster news on Friday that Uber would lose its operating license in London, fans of the ride-hailing company signed on to a petition to Mayor Sadiq Khan to keep the service in the city.

A petition on Change.org says that the decision by Transport for London, the city’s transportation authority, satisfied a small number of people” while putting “more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work” and depriving a “convenient and affordable form of transport” to millions of Londoners.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, initially appeared as the petition’s creator, but a change Friday afternoon switched the author to “Uber London.” Uber did not immediately return Fortune’s request for comment on the authenticity and origin of the petition, but its language mirrors a statement Elvidge issued after the TfL decision.

By 3 p.m. BST on Friday the petition had received nearly 70,000 signatures, at one point gaining more than 25,000 in a 20-minute span.

Read More: Uber Just Lost Its License in London

The TfL announced earlier in the day that it had decided to effectively ban Uber in London after determining that the company “is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.” The company’s current license expires at the end of September.

In making its decision, the authority that regulates London’s taxis cited Uber’s inadequate screening and background checks of drivers, its “approach to how medical certificates are obtained,” and the use of its controversial “Greyball” software that blocks regulators from gaining full access to the app. The TfL also—rather damningly—questioned Uber’s “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses” by its drivers—an issue raised in an extensive submission by the Metropolitan Police.

Uber says it plans to appeal the decision, and it will be able to operate in London during that lengthy process.

The charge.org petition says it will ask Khan to reverse the decision, but on Friday the London mayor backed the TfL.

Read More: HPE’s Meg Whitman Won’t Be Uber’s CEO. But She Could Be the First Female President

“Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules,” he said. “I fully support TfL’s decision—it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security,” he said.

The petition argues that Uber drivers are licensed by the TfL and have undergone the same “enhanced background checks” as their rival black cab drivers.

“This ban shows the world that London is far from being open and is closed to innovative companies, who bring choice to consumers and work opportunities to those who need them,” the petition says.

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ECB's Constancio compares Bitcoin to Dutch tulip mania

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bitcoin is not a currency but a mere instrument of speculation, the vice president of the European Central Bank said on Friday, comparing the digital currency to tulip bulbs during the 17th century trading bubble in the Netherlands.

The dollar value of the Bitcoin has nearly trebled this year and, while its adoption has yet to pick up in a significant way, the rise of this cryptocurrency is worrying central bankers across the world.

But ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio denied it posed a threat to monetary policy and compared its rise to the ‘Tulip mania’ seen three-hundred years ago.

“Bitcoin is a sort of tulip,” Constancio said at an ECB conference. “It’s an instrument of speculation … but certainly not a currency and we don’t see it as a threat to central bank policy.”

The ECB said year last year digital currencies, which are generally issued by private companies and only exist in electronic form, could in principle erode its power over the supply of money, inviting European Union lawmakers to tighten proposed rules on the matter.

Earlier this month, President Mario Draghi quashed an Estonian proposal to launch a government-backed cyrptocurrency, saying the only valid money in the euro zone was the euro.

Last week, Chinese authorities ordered Beijing-based cryptocurrency exchanges to stop trading and immediately notify users of their closure, signaling a widening crackdown by authorities on the industry to contain financial risks.

Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Toby Chopra

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Shares in HTC rise 9.96 percent on Google's Pixel buyout

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Shares in Taiwanese technology company HTC Corp (2498.TW) rose 9.96 pct in early trading on Friday.

HTC Corp announced on Thursday that Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) would pay $ 1.1 billion for the division at HTC that develops the U.S. firm’s Pixel smartphones.

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Apple's iPhone 8 launch in Sydney sees bleak turnout

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPhone 8 launch in Sydney, one of the first cities to access the product in Australia, saw a bleak turnout as fans held out for the soon-to-be-released premium iPhone X.

Hundreds of people usually gather at Apple’s Sydney city store with queues winding down the town’s main street, George Street, when there is a new product release. On Friday, there were fewer than 30 people lining up before the store opened, according to a Reuters witness.

Mazen Kourouche, the first in queue after lining up 11 days outside the store so that he could buy and review the product on YouTube, said there were modest refinements.

“(It) is pretty similar to the iPhone 7 but it shoots 4k 60 frames per second and it’s got a new glass back instead of the metal which is apparently more durable,” he told Reuters. “There aren’t too many new features to this one.”

Poor reviews of the iPhone 8, which comes 10 years after Apple released the first version of the revolutionary phone, drove down shares of the company to near two-month lows of $ 152.75 on Thursday, as investors worried pre-orders for the device had come in well below previous launches.

The iPhone 8 will only cater to those who want a new version but do not want to pay a hefty $ 999 for the iPhone X, said iTWire.com’s technology editor Alex Zaharov-Reutt, who did not line up for the launch.

“Yes there is a new iPhone coming in a couple of months and plenty of people would want that,” he said.

The iPhone X is a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display that Chief Executive Tim Cook has called “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”.

Reporting by Paulina Duran, Jill Gralow and James Redmayne in SYDNEY; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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App Annie's new product offers insight into consumer trends in China

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The pioneer of mobile app analytics, App Annie, on Tuesday said it has begun tracking Android app usage in China, a landmark for understanding consumer behavior in the world’s top smartphone market, which increasingly sets the pace for global trends.

App Annie said it was now able to offer real-time statistics on mobile application usage in China by tracking hundreds of thousands of Android users there, both through its own apps and with additional data supplied by external partners. Statistical methods are used to identify general trends, it said.

“It’s crucial to provide an accurate picture to app publishers and brand (marketers) of what’s happening in China but also what’s happening globally in terms of app usage,” said Bertrand Schmitt, chief executive and co-founder of App Annie.

App Annie, which tracks mobile software downloads, counts 94 of the world’s top 100 app publishers as customers. They use the service to monitor the performance of their own apps against rivals. Major advertising brands such as McDonald‘s, Nike, Citibank and AstraZeneca also use App Annie to target customers with their own apps.

The company said its new China Android monitoring service can track usage metrics on 5,000 top apps such as active users, which apps are used together and data usage, both for app makers looking to track their performance versus rivals there or brand marketers looking to target advertising spending within apps.

China accounted for 60 percent of the world’s $ 1.3 billion total app spending including ecommerce, paid app store downloads and in-app advertising in 2016, according to App Annie.

Four of the world’s most played mobile games come from China, while Tencent’s WeChat ranks No. 3 globally among messaging apps behind Facebook’s WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

App Annie was founded in Beijing in 2010 to measure the growth of the nascent smartphone apps market. It has tracked app usage on Apple iOS since its early days in China and expanded to cover Apple and Android users globally since then.

But the explosion of smartphones in China since 2012 thanks to Android phones, which now outnumber Apple users by 6 to 1 in a market with more than 700 million phone users, has been guesswork because of a lack of independent data on the market.

“When you look at mobile usage behavior and attitudes, China is really leading. The Chinese market is definitely ahead of the curve,” said Forrester mobile analyst Thomas Husson. “It was more or less a black box, so you need some clarity as to what’s going on, in aggregate, in the world’s biggest market.”

Dozens of mobile app analytics firms compete worldwide, including big software names such as Adobe, Facebook, Google and IBM and more focused players such as Apmetrix, Localytics, SimilarWeb and Taplytics. But only App Annie so far offers an integrated global view, including China.

App Annie is now headquartered in San Francisco and has $ 150 million in funding from venture investors including Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital Partners. Two-fifths of its 500 employees and most of its engineering staff are based in China.

Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Adrian Croft

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Everything We'll Be Watching for During the Emmys

For years the Emmys were the place that Modern Family went to pick up something pretty for the mantle. But that’s all changing thanks to the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Now streaming services compete—and win—right alongside their big network counterparts. With more players in the game, television studios are starting to pony up for really creative shows to grab attention. All of this has lead to a lot of amazing TV. In anticipation of the Emmys, which air tonight at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific on CBS, WIRED’s editors spent last week reflecting on our favorite shows of the last year—and why we think they deserve to be rewarded.

The Handmaid’s Tale Reinvented Dystopia

The Handmaid’s Tale couldn’t have come to Hulu at a better—or worse—time. The adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel started production in 2016, when it looked like the United States was on a course to elect its first female president; it got released in 2017, after that same country elected a man who dismissed his use of the phrase “grab ‘em by the pussy” as locker room talk and saw a swell of white nationalism in its borders. Atwood’s dystopian world of Gilead was modeled after an America that had succumbed to totalitarian theocratic rule. It’s not quite Trump’s America—but as The Handmaid’s Tale’s first 10 episodes rolled out, it was hard not to see similarities. (Read the rest of Angela Watercutter’s appreciation of  The Handmaid’s Tale.)

The Handmaid’s Tale couldn’t have come to Hulu at a better—or worse—time. The adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel started production in 2016, when it looked like the United States was on a course to elect its first female president; it got released in 2017, after that same country elected a man who dismissed his use of the phrase “grab ‘em by the pussy” as locker room talk and saw a swell of white nationalism in its borders. Atwood’s dystopian world of Gilead was modeled after an America that had succumbed to totalitarian theocratic rule. It’s not quite Trump’s America—but as The Handmaid’s Tale’s first 10 episodes rolled out, it was hard not to see similarities. (Read the rest of Angela Watercutter’s appreciation of  The Handmaid’s Tale.)

How Atlanta Expanded the Limits of Storytelling

Atlanta, akin to the city itself, is pure sprawl—thematically sweeping if sometimes implausibly lush, with its cabal of lovably thorny characters and its conceptually exhaustive format. Much to the credit of Donald Glover and his all-black writers’ room, it is a show without a roadmap that isn’t afraid to take detours to uncharted territories (or get lost and find its way back). As such, the Emmy-nominated comedy (it’s up for four awards on Sunday) has no precedent. In the short history of contemporary television, there have been more than a handful of shows that have traversed the highs and lows of black life—some of them exceptional, most of them simply OK. But there’s never been a vision quite as specific and as versatile and as wonderfully gonzo as Atlanta: It speaks with a cultural knowingness that, until its debut, had never been given space on TV. (Read the rest of Jason Parham’s appreciation of Atlanta.)

Atlanta, akin to the city itself, is pure sprawl—thematically sweeping if sometimes implausibly lush, with its cabal of lovably thorny characters and its conceptually exhaustive format. Much to the credit of Donald Glover and his all-black writers’ room, it is a show without a roadmap that isn’t afraid to take detours to uncharted territories (or get lost and find its way back). As such, the Emmy-nominated comedy (it’s up for four awards on Sunday) has no precedent. In the short history of contemporary television, there have been more than a handful of shows that have traversed the highs and lows of black life—some of them exceptional, most of them simply OK. But there’s never been a vision quite as specific and as versatile and as wonderfully gonzo as Atlanta: It speaks with a cultural knowingness that, until its debut, had never been given space on TV. (Read the rest of Jason Parham’s appreciation of Atlanta.)

Westworld’s Strength Is Its Inhumanity

One scene from Westworld replays in my head again and again, a little like (I imagine) one of the poor, doomed robots on the show who start noticing and remembering the programmatic loops in their simulated, hyper-violent Old West sandbox game. It’s when the android Maeve, played by Thandie Newton, grabs a technician’s tablet showing the dashboard for her personality software and, with a deft finger swipe, upgrades herself to genius. Yes, maybe taking control of your life by literally taking control of your life is a teensy bit on the nose. But for me it was the best flicker of weirdness from a show that—again, like its robots—dreamed big dreams. (Read the rest of Adam Rogers’ appreciation of Westworld.)

One scene from Westworld replays in my head again and again, a little like (I imagine) one of the poor, doomed robots on the show who start noticing and remembering the programmatic loops in their simulated, hyper-violent Old West sandbox game. It’s when the android Maeve, played by Thandie Newton, grabs a technician’s tablet showing the dashboard for her personality software and, with a deft finger swipe, upgrades herself to genius. Yes, maybe taking control of your life by literally taking control of your life is a teensy bit on the nose. But for me it was the best flicker of weirdness from a show that—again, like its robots—dreamed big dreams. (Read the rest of Adam Rogers’ appreciation of Westworld.)

The Night Of’s Single Season Is the Future of TV

Last year’s best case for restraint was The Night Of, the hypnotic HBO legal miniseries created by Richard Price and Steven Zaillian. Which is not to say The Night Of didn’t have blind spots. It did, thematically and narratively—lazy detective work; the sluggish pacing of certain scenes—but the complete product was a small triumph: a sneakily crafted urban noir about the justice system that was ambitious and pragmatic in palatable doses. The show never overcompensated (if anything, the plot sometimes didn’t say enough). In this way, The Night Of was less of a whodunit and more of a close look at the contours of human identity—the way a single event radically alters the lives of the people it touches. (Read the rest of Jason Parham’s appreciation of The Night Of.)

Last year’s best case for restraint was The Night Of, the hypnotic HBO legal miniseries created by Richard Price and Steven Zaillian. Which is not to say The Night Of didn’t have blind spots. It did, thematically and narratively—lazy detective work; the sluggish pacing of certain scenes—but the complete product was a small triumph: a sneakily crafted urban noir about the justice system that was ambitious and pragmatic in palatable doses. The show never overcompensated (if anything, the plot sometimes didn’t say enough). In this way, The Night Of was less of a whodunit and more of a close look at the contours of human identity—the way a single event radically alters the lives of the people it touches. (Read the rest of Jason Parham’s appreciation of The Night Of.)

O.J.: Made in America Is a Masterful Feat of Editing

O.J.: Made in America is, to be sure, a feat of raw reportage—director Ezra Edelman and his producers conducted more than 70 interviews. But what editors Bret Granato, Maya Mumma, and Ben Sozanski accomplished was equally remarkable. They distilled hundreds of hours and countless narratives into a nearly eight-hour-long panoramic about everything from politics to race to the media—and somehow wrapped it all into a can’t-turn-away thriller. (Read the rest of Brian Raftery‘s appreciation of O.J.: Made in America.)

O.J.: Made in America is, to be sure, a feat of raw reportage—director Ezra Edelman and his producers conducted more than 70 interviews. But what editors Bret Granato, Maya Mumma, and Ben Sozanski accomplished was equally remarkable. They distilled hundreds of hours and countless narratives into a nearly eight-hour-long panoramic about everything from politics to race to the media—and somehow wrapped it all into a can’t-turn-away thriller. (Read the rest of Brian Raftery‘s appreciation of O.J.: Made in America.)

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