TM 17: EU mobile networks consider 'bomb' on Google ads
This podcast is an episode of Tech's Message, a weekly audio download from London-based technology journalists Nate Lanxon and Ian Morris. Hear a discussion based on the week's most interesting UK technology news, and other irreverent takes on tech issues deemed important for British ears to hear.
Stories discussed this week
Uber causing decline in London black cab application
London’s famous black cabs are in danger of being run out of town by upstart Uber
Data obtained by Bloomberg from Transport for London, the transit authority, show black-taxi license applications are down 20 percent so far this year, with the blame being laid squarely at Uber’s door.
At the same time, the number of budding cabbies looking to take “The Knowledge” -- the notoriously difficult test that all black-taxi drivers must pass -- has fallen more than two-thirds at one of the main examination centers.
'Dr Now' promises London medication delivery within 4 hours
An app that promises users a video doctor consultation within one hour, and medication delivery to London addresses within four, is due to launch in the next month.
Dr Now has been created by doctors to plug the gap in care left by an overstretched NHS. It also follows the 2014 launch of Babylon, a similar remote consultation subscription service setup by former Goldman Sachs banker Ali Parsa.
Dr Now is targeting the portion of the population that have to have time off work to attend doctor's appointments.
iPhone 3GS about to become ‘obsolete’ in June, losing Apple repair support
Apple is about to sunset support for a number of iPhones, Macs, and other products as it plans to switch several models to “Obsolete” or “Vintage” status in June, according to internal documents.
When a device receives Obsolete status from Apple — Vintage status only applies to California and Turkey, where the company is required to continue offering support — it no longer offers service or repair support through its own Apple retail stores or authorized service providers. It typically begins the process for models 5-7 years after manufacturing has been discontinued and maintains a list on its website here.
EU carriers plan to block ads, demand money from Google
Multiple mobile operators in Europe plan to block advertising on their networks, with one of them planning to target Google's ad network to force the company to give up a cut of its ad revenue, according to a report yesterday in the Financial Times."An executive at a European carrier confirmed that it and several of its peers are planning to start blocking adverts this year," the newspaper reported. "The executive said that the carrier will initially launch an advertising-free service for customers on an opt-in basis. But it is also considering a more radical idea that it calls 'the bomb', which would apply across its entire network of millions of subscribers at once. The idea is to specifically target Google, blocking advertising on its websites in an attempt to force the company into giving up a cut of its revenues."
Blocking ads "just for an hour or a day" might be enough to bring Google to the negotiating table, the executive told the newspaper.
While such a scheme might violate net neutrality rules in the United States, Europe doesn't have anything comprehensive on the books despite years of discussion.
"There are no clear rules on net neutrality today at EU level, leaving 96 percent of Europeans without legal protection for their right to access the full open Internet," the European Commission said.