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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Uber drivers in Denmark could face fines for every ride they offered

The Danish Supreme Court has upheld large fines issued to several Uber drivers for operating without a taxi license, at a time when the ride-hailing giant was still running its non-licensed p2p driver UberPop service in the market.

The decision could mean more than a thousand additional Uber drivers who sold rides in Denmark could also be faced with a big bill.

The four drivers had appealed fines issues by the national court — of between DKK 40,000 (~$6,270) and DKK 486,500 (~$76,200) — but the Supreme Court judged the amounts to be appropriate.

The level of fines is based on the number of Uber rides each driver carried out. In the case of the largest fine the unnamed individual had apparently run up 5,427 Uber rides.

Uber drivers in Denmark have also faced demands for unpaid taxes this year, after Danish tax authorities found tax avoidance among almost all of them.

Meanwhile Uber pulled out of Denmark early last year, blaming a new taxi law which includes requirements such as mandatory fare meters and seat sensors. Though it says it continues to engage with local authorities to lobby for the kind of tech-friendly reform which would enable it to return.

When it left Denmark the company said it had more than 2,000 drivers in the market and 300,000 users.

According to AP, today’s Supreme Court judgement paves the way for fines to be issued against a further 1,500 people who had also driven for Uber without a taxi license. A spokesman for the Copenhagen police told Reuters it would assess the verdict and decide how to proceed next week.

At the end of 2016 Danish prosecutors sought to bring a test case against Uber’s European business, seeking to indict it on charges of assisting two drivers of breaking local taxi laws — likely contributing to Uber’s decision to shut up shop there.

In November of the same year the Danish Supreme Court also ruled Uber to be an illegal taxi service, rather than a ride-sharing platform as the company’s lawyers had sought to argue.

Since then Europe’s supreme court, the ECJ, has cemented that view of the business in the region, ruling at the end of last year that Uber is a transport company, not a platform — and locking the company into a new era of needing to work with local authorities to try to reform taxi laws, rather than just burning rubber over their rulebooks.

Under its current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber is certainly trying to put founder Travis Kalanick’s legacy way of doing business behind it — dispensing apologies and emollient words.

And seeking to enact a pivot to become a multi-modal transport platform — to be able to offer cities something other than just more traffic and congestion on already clogged and polluted roads.

This week it also debuted a new streamlined brand look, after hiring a new CMO Rebecca Messina, who spent two decades selling sugared water at Coca-Cola.

But even as Uber seeks to carve out a new, more progressive looking path its past practices keep coming back to bite it in the boot.

It’s not only the company’s ambitions being dented either; In Denmark, for example, it’s thousands of people who put their faith in its platform to sell driving services now faced with being on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of fines apiece.

Commenting on the Supreme Court ruling an Uber spokesperson told us: “We are very disappointed for the drivers involved and our top priority is to support them during this difficult time.

“We are changing the way we do business and are operating in line with local laws across Europe, connecting with professionally licensed drivers. Drivers who used the Uber app were key in providing a safe, reliable and affordable option to help hundreds of thousands of Danes get around Copenhagen.”

We also asked whether Uber would be paying fines issued to drivers in Denmark as a result of them offering an unlicensed service in the market. The company did not respond directly to our question, saying only that it is in the process of reviewing the Supreme Court ruling and its implications.


Source: TechCrunch

Hybrid cloud data specialist Datrium nabs $60M led by Samsung at a $282M valuation

Cloud services — where our data, apps and computing power are all being managed in servers owned by others, many miles from where we are sitting — have taken off like a rocket in the decade with the rise of smaller devices, but in the business world, hybrid solutions — mixing cloud with on-premise architectures — remains the order of the day. And today, a provider of hybrid cloud services has raised a round of funding to capitalise on that. Datrium, a provider of back-up and other services for businesses that store and use data in hybrid environments, has raised $60 million in a Series D round of funding.

The company is not disclosing its valuation — we’re asking — but PitchBook estimates that it was at $222 million pre-money, putting it at $282 million post-money. This was an upround compared to previous raises, but it’s also playing on a more modest field than some of its competitors. As a point of comparison, another notable hybrid cloud back-up and data management startup, Rubrik, raised $180 million at a $1.3 billion valuation last year.

Interestingly, Datrium and Rubrik share an investor. This latest round was led by Samsung’s Catalyst Fund, with Icon Ventures, NEA and Lightspeed Venture Partners also participating. Lightspeed (whose investing partner founded and leads Rubrik) also backs Rubrik.

Large enterprises are gradually making the move to the cloud, but they are doing so while also continuing to use their legacy services and architectures — in part to continue sweating those assets, and in part because if something isn’t broken, it’s tempting fate to try to fix it. As a result of that, hybrid cloud services have been a big business up to now, with estimates that it will be a $44.6 billion market this year, and growing to $97.6 billion by 2023.

“As a world leader in memory and storage technologies, we’re always looking for novel and innovative ways to advance datacenter technology,” said Shankar Chandran, senior vice president and managing director, Samsung Catalyst Fund, in a statement. “At this unique moment in time—when data is powering the economy—cutting-edge infrastructure, like Datrium’s hybrid cloud platform, will help enterprises overcome major obstacles in data analysis and storage. We are excited to be an investor in their future.”

And with a market of that size, startups are not only ones targeting it. Google has gone all-in on hybrid; VMware is also interested; and HPE has made some acquisitions to expand its hybrid computing business, as has Microsoft (at least twice), and Cisco.

Datrium — with its flagship DVX platform — has been one of the hopefuls in providing a specific area of data services to enterprises operating hybrid environments: data management and data backup, with customers ranging from large players in healthcare and finance through to media and entertainment. Interestingly, it’s doing so at a time when others like Rubrik have gradually been building more cloud-only solutions to expand beyond hybrid environments customers relying on these.

With this round Michael Mullany of Icon Ventures — formerly a VP of marketing and products for VMware — is joining the board of Datrium.

“We are thrilled to partner with Samsung and Icon Ventures to expand our technical and geographical momentum,” said Tim Page, CEO of Datrium, in a statement. “Enterprises globally have the same problems in simplifying compute and data management across on-prem and cloud. Where SANs don’t even have a  path to cloud, traditional HCI has too many tradeoffs for core datacenters – backup requires separate purchasing and administration, and cloud DR automation is seldom guaranteed. Larger enterprises are realizing that Datrium software offers them a simpler path.”


Source: TechCrunch

Is Apple planning an all-Mac keynote later this fall?

Apple’s September keynote was all about the iPhone, leaving Mac fans feeling left in the dust. Yet hope springs eternal. What if Apple is leaving the door open for a Mac-focused October keynote?

The post Is Apple planning an all-Mac keynote later this fall? appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Wild Icelandic Landscapes As You've Never Seen Them

Charlotta Hauksdóttir developed her own visual vocabulary to represent the natural beauty of her native country.
Source: Wired

'The Americans' Deserves an Emmy For Its Look Inside Putin's Mind

For five seasons, the spy drama gave American viewers a grasp of Soviet thinking—one that’s shockingly relevant today.
Source: Wired

A Behind the Scenes Look at Rothy's New Sneaker

The company made its name on a line of footwear made of yarn spun from plastic. Today, it adds a new sneaker with a customizable fit to its offerings.
Source: Wired

Nintendo Labo Review: Which Kit is Best? (Vehicle, Variety, Robot)

We review every Nintendo Labo kit for Switch: the Vehicle Kit, Variety Kit, and Robot Kit. Which should you buy?
Source: Wired

WIRED25: Welcome to Our Robot Petting Zoo

The four-day WIRED Festival features art, science, and even a pun competition. And smart conversations with technological pioneers too.
Source: Wired

How to Ride a Bike at 168 MPH

Guts, legs of unobtanium, a friend with a drag racer, and a keen sense of aerodynamics are all key to Denise Mueller-Korenek’s mission: setting the bike land speed record.
Source: Wired

Lyft's Bid to Rule the Streets Now Includes Public Transit

Starting with Santa Monica, users can now check transit routes and times in the Lyft app—part of the ride-sharing company’s strategy to move beyond cars.
Source: Wired

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