Huge Apple leak could just as well be someone’s vivid imagination

Apple, as a rule, never says what its upcoming products will look like, be like, or even what they’re called. But months and even years before a new Apple product is scheduled (or expected to) arrive, numerous rumors shape these objects into a vague but somewhat coherent picture. This is how we “know” that the next iPhone will come in three versions, one of which will (likely) have a near bezel-less screen with an under-the-glass fingerprint sensor and a glass back.

These rumors mostly originate from the elusive “sources in Apple’s supply chain,” which usually means either workers at Foxconn, the Chinese company that builds the iPhone for Apple, or various secondary sources such as workers at companies that make iPhone cases and thus have limited prior knowledge of what the upcoming devices will look like. 

Now, the mother of all leaks has appeared on Reddit, where a group of alleged — and verified, to a degree, by Reddit’s moderators — Foxconn insiders is divulging all the secrets about a number of Apple products, including the next iPhone, the MacBook, and even the rumored Apple virtual reality glasses. 

This is suspicious, because it doesn’t usually happen. People who have some knowledge about an upcoming product share it with an analyst for a fee or as a token of trust for cooperation down the line. I’ve seen photos of odd-looking Apple device prototypes; these partially concealed, poorly photographed things are sometimes shown amongst tech journalists as badges of honor.

Leaks do exist, but the leakers don’t have much to gain from freely posting photographs, schematics, and specs sheets on the internet. They do have a lot to lose, though: Their jobs, and possibly their freedom, as it’s against the law to peddle corporate secrets in China. 

And fake leaks exist, too. It’s not that hard to conjure a spec sheet for an upcoming device out of thin air: It’ll have a faster processor, more memory, better camera. Of course it will. The back and forth on Reddit, especially given the original poster’s history — AppleInsider warns that the same person was probably wrong about Apple products before — could very well be based on someone’s imagination. 

There are other indications that the entire thing is at the very least suspicious. Many answers are vague, and the poster, named Foxconninsider, claims several people are behind the keyboard, adding to the confusion. Check out these replies to a question on whether the iPhone 8 will have an under-the-glass fingerprint sensor or not. 

Not the clearest of answers, but it does seem to indicate that the iPhone 8 likely won’t have an under-the-glass fingerprint sensor. Replies to the same thread are equally vague.

A reply in another thread appears to be far more definitive. So which is it?

Even if some of this information is genuine, a lot of it’s confusing, contradictory, and doesn’t leave us much smarter than before. 

It’s no different with regards to news on other Apple products. The MacBook Air is “discontinued,” but “it may be recycled.” The MacBook is apparently getting the MagSafe connector (in “12-18” months) and the glowing Apple logo back (no timeline). The 15-inch variant of the MacBook Pro will have a 32GB RAM option, but no timeline is given (previous rumors said it might be launched at WWDC). When asked about the MacBooks in another thread, the leakers says they “haven’t had significant exposure on 2017 MacBooks.”

Some info on possibly upcoming or canceled products reads like a wish list from an Apple fan. Project Ashnazg — an Apple smart ring — is mentioned; apparently it had “compelling specs.” And there’s a 65% (how do they come up with these percentages) chance Apple Glasses, which by the way have “very unique design,” will be cancelled. 

And one product, Apple home speaker, will be launched at WWDC but it was delayed into “late 2017,” as Foxconn lost the contract to build it and it will be built by another manufacturer. This is an interesting leak which we haven’t seen elsewhere; if it turns out to be true it will speak a lot about the veracity of its origin. 

Some info reads like a wish list from an Apple fan.

The Reddit discussion is a cool read for an Apple fan, or anyone interested in technology; check out this overview on Reddit for all the important bits. Without any visual evidence, and given its overall vagueness, I remain skeptical about the whole thing. It’s quite possible that these people are close to Foxconn and have some info about some Apple products, but are also making up things as they go along. 

Diving a bit deeper into Foxconninsider’s history, you’ll find at least one promise that wasn’t kept. In 2016, the user bragged about a “massive story in wearables for an entire new line which we will close later this year”. 

Shaky as it is, the “leak” strikes me as important. My instinct was to merely skip it, but such a large trove of info about Apple products, on the eve of WWDC, is hard to ignore. The demand for Apple-related news is enormous; people want to know about the next big thing and they want to know now, even if it’s still just an idea in an Apple engineer’s mind.

So I point to the leak, cautiously, and advise you take it with a large chunk of salt. Because if an anonymous someone with very little solid evidence on his/her claims can get basically every major media outlet to publish a detailed report on their words, then at one point there will be an anonymous someone who will do that just for fun. 

We’ve contacted Apple for comment and will update this article when we hear from them. 

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f80168%2fd02df940 c56f 4e4a afff 97b964954c0f

New Jersey may give you the right to repair devices in your chosen manner

Why it matters to you

If this legislation passes, it could mean a cheaper repair for that cracked iPhone screen.

The Founding Fathers of the United States couldn’t have possibly known that in addition to our rights to exercise free speech, bear arms, and peacefully assemble, Americans would one day be asking for the right to have their electronics repaired at a shop of their choosing — or do it themselves. And yet, that is indeed the position in which we now find ourselves, as New Jersey assemblyman Paul Moriarty announced Friday the introduction of the “Fair Repair Act.”

The move makes New Jersey the 12th state to consider such legislation, and would basically force electronics makers to sell replacement parts and tools to both the public and third party repair companies. Furthermore, these manufacturers would need to make repair guides publicly available. That means that if you were to drop your iPhone and shatter its screen, you would be able to buy a replacement screen from Apple and figure out (theoretically) how to fix it yourself.

Needless to say, big tech companies are none too pleased with this concept, and lobbyists have already caused the defeat of right to repair bills in Nebraska and Minnesota. Motherboard also reports that Apple, IBM, Verizon, and other such companies have increased their own lobbying efforts in neighboring New York.

But as Moriarty told Motherboard, this could be a huge win for customers. “When there’s a monopoly on who can fix a device or make repairs, the cost of those repairs is very high,” he said. “Anyone who takes an iPhone to an Apple store can attest to that.”

This wouldn’t be the first time that right to repair legislation is pushed through at the state level. Massachusetts actually has an automotive right-to-repair law, and now, a number of states have adopted this legislation in what’s considered a “de facto nationwide” standard (which is to say, most states now ask automakers to do the same thing). So who knows, friends. The cost of fixing your electronic devices could soon be a lot lower than it is today.

Stop putting ‘Stories’ in every friggin’ app

This needs to stop. Please make it stop.

I’m not just talking about Trump making idiotic moves like pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. (There seems to be no stopping Mr. Tiny Hands from flipping the bird to everything that we hold dear.)

No, I’m talking about apps shamefully ripping off Snapchat Stories.

As I’ve said many times before, this is all Facebook’s fault.

When Instagram (a Facebook-owned company) cloned the crap out of Snapchat Stories a year ago, we all shook our heads, pointed our fingers, and laughed at how scared it must have been to copy one of Snapchat’s core features.

And then everyone caved in and started using it. Whether that’s because Instagram is a larger platform or Instagram Stories is easier to use than Snapchat Stories — it doesn’t matter. People love Instagram Stories and it’s destroying all of Snapchat.

I admit, I tried my best to resist Instagram Stories — I already used Snapchat Stories, so why would I want to use a copycat? — but I gave in a few weeks ago, and now I rarely post anything to Snapchat Stories. Like my colleague Damon Beres wrote: I’m starting to love Instagram Stories more than Snapchat because I’m incredibly thirsty. I’m glugging down what Instagram is serving and I don’t care anymore.

Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom said he doesn’t think of Instagram Stories as just cloning Snapchat Stories, but considers “Stories” to be a desirable format for storytelling. It’s like messaging. There are tons of messaging apps, but they’re all fundamentally the same: you type out messages and they appear as bubbles.

I guess that’s true, but it doesn’t change the fact that Instagram ripped Snapchat off.

Nobody’s hanging on Skype waiting for things to get lit.

No doubt, the success of Instagram Stories gave Facebook the confidence to paste “Stories” into its other apps. In January the Facebook app added Stories. Then, in February, Facebook-owned WhatsApp got its own Stories in the form of an updated “Status.” And in March, Facebook Messenger also got Stories with “Messenger Day.”

Despite seemingly nobody using Facebook Stories — WhatsApp’s Status has 175 million daily users and it’s not clear how many people are using Messenger Day — others are now following in Facebook’s footsteps of copying Snapchat Stories.

The latest app to rip off Snapchat Stories is Skype with its “Highlights” — yeah, Skype, the app that ushered in VoIP to the masses and is about as cool as Microsoft Word. That is, they’re both still widely used, but come on, nobody’s hanging on Skype waiting for things to get lit. Skype is a utility, like the telephone, and you log in to chat with a person and then you log off.

Fine, Skype’s trying to reinvent itself to court the youngs. There’s nothing wrong with that except I fear that this is only the beginning. By the end of the year, I expect more apps to add a “Stories” feature. What’s next? Twitter Stories? Uber Stories? Apple Maps Stories? Apple Music Stories? 

Product designer Rafael Conde perfectly visualized the Stories-fication of apps a few months ago:

LMFAO. Seriously, just LMFAO.

I cracked up when my colleague Stan Schroeder tweeted this last month:

He’s not alone. Look at all these jokesters.

Stories may be the hot new thing at the moment, but you can’t just force it into every app and expect people will jump onboard and lap it up. It needs to make sense. Stories, I’m sorry, Highlights, don’t make any sense on Skype. Skype is not a damn social platform. It’s a tunnel for connecting you to other people directly, not a nightclub like Snapchat or Instagram.

So, app developers. Look at your app. Does it need a Stories feature? The answer is probably no. OK then, stop it before I delete your app. be01 2409%2fthumb%2f00001

We want to limit use of e2e encryption, confirms UK minister

The UK government has once again amped up its attacks on tech platforms’ use of end-to-end encryption, and called for International co-operation to regulate the Internet so that it cannot be used as a “safe space” for extremists to communicate and spread propaganda online.

The comments by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, come in the wake of another domestic terrorist attack, the third since March, after a group of terrorists used a van to plow down pedestrians in London Bridge on Saturday evening, before going on a knife rampage attacking people in streets and bars.

Speaking outside Downing Street yesterday, May swung the finger of blame at “big” Internet companies — criticizing platform giants for providing “safe spaces” for extremists to spread messages of hate online.

Early reports have suggested the attackers may have used YouTube to access extremist videos.

“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet – and the big companies that provide internet-based services – provide,” May said. “We need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.”

“We need to deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online,” she added.

Speaking in an interview on ITV’s Peston on Sunday program yesterday, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd further fleshed out the prime minister’s comments. She said the government wants to do more to stop the way young men are being “groomed” into radicalization online — including getting tech companies to do more to take down extremist material, and also to limit access to end-to-end encryption.

Rudd also attacked tech firms’ use of encryption in the wake of the Westminster terror attack in March, although the first round of meetings she held with Internet companies including Facebook, Google and Twitter in the wake of that earlier attack apparently focused on pushing for them to develop tech tools to automatically identify extremist content and block it before it is widely disseminated.

The prime minister also made a push for international co-operation on online extremism during the G7 summit last month — coming away with a joint statement to put pressure on tech firms to do more. “We want companies to develop tools to identify and remove harmful materials automatically,” May said then.

Though it is far from clear whether this geopolitical push will translate into anything more than a few headlines — given tech firms are already using and developing tools for automating takedowns. And the G7 nations apparently did not ink any specific policy proposals — such as on co-ordinated fines for social media takedown failures.

On the extremist content front, pressure has certainly been growing across Europe for tech platforms to do more — including proposals such as a draft law in Germany which does suggest fines of up to €50 million for social media firms that fail to promptly takedown illegal hate speech, for example. While last month a UK parliamentary committee urged the government to consider a similar approach — and UK ministers are apparently open to the idea.

But the notion of the UK being able to secure international agreement on harmonizing content regulation online across borders seems entirely fanciful — given different legal regimes vis-a-vis free speech, with the US having constitutional protections for hate speech vs hate speech being illegal in certain European countries, for example.

Again, these comments in the immediate aftermath of an attack seem mostly aimed at diverting attention from tougher political questions — including over domestic police resourcing; over UK ally Saudi Arabia’s financial support for extremism; and why known hate preachers were apparently allowed to continue broadcasting their message in the UK…

“Blaming social media platforms is politically convenient but intellectually lazy,” tweeted professor Peter Neumann, director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. “Most jihadists are now using end-to-end encrypted messenger platforms e.g. Telegram. This has not solved problem, just made it different.”

Responding to the government’s comments in a statement, Facebook’s Simon Milner, UK director of policy, said: “We want to provide a service where people feel safe. That means we do not allow groups or people that engage in terrorist activity, or posts that express support for terrorism. We want Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists. Using a combination of technology and human review, we work aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it — and if we become aware of an emergency involving imminent harm to someone’s safety, we notify law enforcement. Online extremism can only be tackled with strong partnerships. We have long collaborated with policymakers, civil society, and others in the tech industry, and we are committed to continuing this important work together.”

Facebook has faced wider criticism of its approach to content moderation in recent months — and last month announced it would be adding an additional 3,000 staff to its team of reviewers, bringing the global total to 7,500.

In another reaction statement Twitter’s UK head of public policy, Nick Pickles, added: “Terrorist content has no place on Twitter. We continue to expand the use of technology as part of a systematic approach to removing this type of content. We will never stop working to stay one step ahead and will continue to engage with our partners across industry, government, civil society and academia.”

Twitter details how many terrorism-related accounts it suspends in its Transparency Report — the vast majority of which it says it identifies using its own tools, rather than relying on user reports.

On the controversial topic of limiting end-to-end encryption, a report in The Sun newspaper last month suggested a re-elected Conservative government would prioritize a decryption law to force social media platforms which are using e2e encryption to effectively backdoor these systems so that they could hand over decrypted data when served a warrant.

The core legislation for this decrypt law already exists, aka the Investigatory Powers Act — which was passed at the end of last year. Following the General Election on June 8, a new UK Parliament will just need to agree the supplementary technical capability regulation which places a legal obligation on ISPs and communication service providers to maintain the necessary capability to be able to provide decrypted data on request (albeit, without providing technical detail on how any of this will happen in practice).

Given Rudd’s comments now on limiting e2e encryption it seems clear the preferred route for an incoming Conservative UK government will be to pressure tech firms not to use strong encryption to safeguard user data in — backed up by the legal muscle of the country having what has been widely interpreted as a decrypt law.

However such moves will clearly undermine online security at a time when the risks of doing so are becoming increasingly clear. As crypto expert Bruce Schneier told us recently, the only way for the UK government to get “the access it wants is to destroy everyone’s security”.

Moreover, a domestic decrypt law is unlikely to have any impact on e2e encrypted services — such as Telegram — which are not based in the UK, and would therefore surely not consider themselves bound by UK legal jurisdiction.

And even if the UK government forced ISPs and app stores to block access to all services that do not comply with its decryption requirements, there would still be workarounds for terrorists to continue accessing strongly encrypted services. Even as law abiding users of mainstream tech platforms risk having their security undermined by political pressure on strong encryption.

Commenting on the government’s planned Internet crackdown, the Open Rights Group had this to say: “It is disappointing that in the aftermath of this attack, the government’s response appears to focus on the regulation of the Internet and encryption. This could be a very risky approach. If successful, Theresa May could push these vile networks into even darker corners of the web, where they will be even harder to observe.

“But we should not be distracted: the Internet and companies like Facebook are not a cause of this hatred and violence, but tools that can be abused. While governments and companies should take sensible measures to stop abuse, attempts to control the Internet is not the simple solution that Theresa May is claiming.”

Meanwhile, asked about his support for encryption back in September 2015 — given the risks of his messaging platform being used by terrorists — Telegram founder Pavel Durov said: “I think that privacy, ultimately, and our right for privacy is more important than our fear of bad things happening, like terrorism… Ultimately the ISIS will always find a way to communicate within themselves. And if any means of communication turns out to be not secure for them, then they switch to another one. So I don’t think we’re actually taking part in this activities. I don’t think we should feel guilty about this. I still think we’re doing the right thing — protecting our users privacy.”

Apple WWDC 2017: live stream, start time, and schedule for today’s keynote

WWDC 2017 is finally here, and it’s almost time to see what Apple has in store for this year, with everything from a new version of iOS to brand-new hardware possibly making an appearance.

Google and Microsoft had their turns in the past few weeks to show their visions of the future of computing, and now it’s Apple’s turn. As has become tradition, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage to kick off the conference with a keynote that will highlight what the Cupertino company has planned for your Apple hardware and software.

On the software side of things, expect to get our first look at iOS 11 and macOS 10.13, along with whatever California locale Apple decides to dub the latest version of desktop OS as well as the annual updates to the tvOS and watchOS platforms. While the rumor mill has been quieter than usual when it comes to Apple’s software revisions this year, the word is that there might be an updated user interface in store for the iPhone, along with some more minor updates to Apple’s other operating systems. Of course, all eyes will be on Siri this year. As Amazon, Google, and even Microsoft are focusing attention on their own AI assistants, Apple is in danger of falling behind.

That brings us right to the hardware side of the rumors, which are centered on the introduction of a new “Siri speaker” that would bring Apple’s digital assistant on a level playing field with devices like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. There are conflicting reports as to what the device would actually look like, but if Apple can bring itself to open up Siri to developers like it has for watchOS or tvOS, it could be a powerful platform connecting the various components of Apple’s ecosystem together.

Along with a smart speaker, we could see some spec-bumped MacBooks, and maybe a new screen size for the iPad Pro. Plus, astute observers have noted that June 2017 is the actual 10th anniversary of the original iPhone launch… and while new phones this early in the year seem highly unlikely, anything could happen.

As always, The Verge will be on the ground in San Jose to bring you all the latest news as it happens. Here’s how you can follow along:

Starting time: San Francisco: 10AM / New York: 1PM / London: 6PM / Berlin: 7PM / Moscow: 8PM / Beijing: 1AM (June 6th) / Tokyo: 2AM (June 6th) / Sydney: 3AM (June 6th).

Live blog: Tune into The Verge live blog for up-to-the-second updates, commentary, and pictures directly from the venue.

Keynote live stream: Apple’s live stream is available on the company’s own website, though it requires either Safari or Microsoft Edge on the desktop.

Live tweeting: Follow @verge on Twitter for the latest headlines and details as they emerge.

How to Watch Apple’s WWDC Keynote

Later this morning, Apple lifts the lid its Worldwide Developers Conference, the annual showcase for all the new and shiny things churned out of Cupertino. The event kicks off at 10 am Pacific (1 pm Eastern) with a keynote speech, where we expect to hear all about Siri, updates to iOS, and some new products to play with. Oh, and dongles. So many dongles.

Can’t make it to Cupertino? No problem. Tune in here for the livestream. You can also stream the two-hour keynote to your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV through a dedicated WWDC Live app. And of course, you should also follow along with our liveblog, where we’ll give you all the news in real time plus our own commentary and analysis.

Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.

Microsoft leak reveals new Windows 10 Workstation edition for power users

It’s been more than 20 years since Microsoft used the Workstation branding in its Windows 4.0 Workstation edition, but it appears the company is ready to bring it back. Twitter users @AndItsTito and @GrandMofongo have discovered references to a new edition of Windows 10 in a build Microsoft accidentally released to testers last week. Described as “Windows 10 Pro for Advanced PCs,” the new version appears to cater for significant hardware demands.

In a leaked slide, Microsoft describes the edition as “Windows 10 Pro for Workstation” with four main capabilities:

  • Workstation mode: Microsoft plans to optimize the OS by identifying “typical compute and graphics intensive workloads” to provide peak performance and reliability when Workstation mode is enabled.
  • Resilient file system: Microsoft’s file system successor to NTFS, dubbed ReFS, is enabled in this new version, with support for fault-tolerance, optimized for large data volumes, and auto-correcting.
  • Faster file handling: As workstation machines are typically used for large data volumes across networks, Microsoft is including the SMBDirect protocol for file sharing and high throughput, low latency, and low CPU utilization when accessing network shares.
  • Expanded hardware support: Microsoft is also planning to allow Windows 10 Pro for Workstation on machines with up to 4 CPUs and a memory limit of 6TB. Windows 10 Pro currently only supports 2 CPUs.

Microsoft is clearly targeting this new edition of Windows 10 to power users who are processing mass amounts of data each day. This will likely be used mostly in enterprise scenarios, and the software giant appears to still be working on the exact feature set and naming.

London’s Rooks Nest Ventures is a new early-stage fund to bridge media, entertainment, and tech

London has a new VC in town. Officially launching today, having already made a number of investments, is Rooks Nest Ventures. The VC firm is described as an early-stage, evergreen fund targeting tech startups that are innovating in and around content, along with companies creating “highly licensable intellectual property”. Its founder is investor and film producer Michael Sackler, producer of indie hit films like The Witch and Obvious Child. He is also behind film studio Rooks Nest Entertainment.

With £28 million to invest initially, the VC firm has already backed Doodle Productions (creator of the international hit animated series Messy Goes To Okido), Disruptor Beam (creator of popular mobile games such as Game of Thrones Ascent and Star Trek Timelines), PunchDrunk (immersive theatre company), and The Rights Xchange (a digital TV rights marketplace which also includes Sky and Channel 4 as investors).

The broader Rooks Nest Ventures pitch is that, based on its network and industry knowledge, it is well-positioned to “bring innovative media & entertainment companies together with impactful technology businesses”. Though the VC is London-based, it says it will also invest in companies outside of the U.K.

Brief Q&A with Rooks Nest Ventures founder Michael Sackler follows:

What kind of companies are you looking for? e.g. specific areas of tech/sector…

We’re looking for a couple of things. Firstly, media & entertainment companies that are building globally licensable brands — this includes Kids Entertainment, Gaming (particularly mobile) and Sports. Secondly, early stage tech companies which are relevant to content and content creators. That can be deep tech (streaming technology), hardware (VR, motion capture etc), and software (platforms, industry-specific SaaS)

What stage, size of cheque are they planning to write?

Up to £400,000 at Seed, and up to £1 million at Series A. Can follow on through to Series C.

Who are the fund’s LPs?

It is a single LP structure, with myself as the sole LP. This has allowed us to get going very quickly, whilst being completely aligned with our portfolio companies – we are looking to help our companies with their long term health, and not looking to force through decisions in the pursuit of the quickest exit possible.

Why would a startup choose Rooks Nest?

Our depth of experience in both media & entertainment, and technology is our big point of difference. Having run a successful entertainment production and finance company that made consistently successful films in a difficult climate I know what it takes to develop, execute and finance a commercially viable creative project. We plan to make the most of this experience in ways people wouldn’t typically expect from venture capitalists.

Similarly, my team and I have been actively involved in the tech ecosystem for a number of years as investors, board members and founders. We know the industry well, have worked with some incredible people, and understand what it takes to get a startup off the ground and truly flying. We consider ourselves to be a very active bridge between media & entertainment and tech; industries that are completely synergistic but very often don’t talk to each other in the engaged way that they should be.

Apple’s ‘Files’ app for iOS 11 appears on App Store ahead of WWDC

Apple’s big Worldwide Developers Conference keynote kicks off in just over ten hours, and the company itself may have let slip a major piece of news. As spotted by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, the iOS App Store currently has a placeholder listing for an Apple-developed app called Files. The listing doesn’t have many details, but the app apparently requires the as-yet unannounced iOS 11 and its icon is unmistakably that of a macOS-style folder.

The obvious reading here is that Apple is overhauling iOS’s approach to file management. Ever since the original iPhone was released in 2007, Apple’s mobile devices have abstracted away files wherever possible, leaving the handling of documents to individual apps and cloud services.

The current iCloud Drive app gives some semblance of a file structure, but the files themselves have to be stored on iCloud, whereas Android allows for traditional on-device file management and integration with various cloud storage providers. Apple is widely expected to make improvements to iPad productivity in particular this year, and iOS file management is certainly an area with room for improvement.

We’ll have to wait a little longer for the WWDC keynote to find out exactly how far Apple plans to go. But it might not necessarily be a huge philosophical reversal for the company — Steve Jobs told Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher in 2005 that “eventually, the file system management is just going to be an app for pros and consumers aren’t going need to use it.”

More drama for Uber as taxi drivers in Spain stage a strike

Why it matters to you

Uber was only recently readmitted to Spain, and with limited functionality, but now that the company is trying to gain more ground, taxi drivers aren’t happy.

Another week, another strike against Uber. The latest drama unfolded in Spain last week, where taxi drivers took up metaphorical arms against various ride-hailing apps like Uber. Drivers in Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia participated in the demonstrations, marking the second show against the contentious services offered by the Silicon Valley-based startup.

While Uber was previously expelled from Spain, it slowly re-entered the market in Madrid with a version of its services that depends upon licensed drivers. Those without the proper paperwork, however, are still unable to offer rides. That means that Uber, although back in Spain, is still operating under a probation of sorts, with limited service that also does not include UberPool.

But Uber isn’t just rolling over and admitting defeat. Rather, part of the motivation behind last week’s strike was Uber’s attempt to change Spanish legislation that would remove the limits on the number of licenses available for private hire vehicles. As it stands, Spain only allows one such license for every 30 taxis, but Uber wants to up this number to allow for more drivers. Needless to say, cab drivers with the necessary documentation are none too pleased about this development.

Uber recently published a post on its Spanish blog, noting that more available licenses would “reduce urban transport prices, create thousands of jobs and favor more sustainable cities.” But it could also put other taxi drivers out o business.

One taxi driver who participated in the strike told TechCrunch that he deplored Uber’s “exploitative labor practices,” and further alleged that the company misrepresents potential earnings figures.

But Uber seemed unperturbed, with a spokesperson telling TechCrunch, “We respect the right of the taxi sector to demonstrate. But it is undeniable that urban mobility is changing very quickly across the world. We want to address a fair transition process with the public administration and taxi sector that promotes a new model of mobility in our cities, but also ensures that no one is left behind.”