Lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice has called out Apple, Google and Microsoft and others for what it described as “accounting tricks” in which companies “pretend” to be based overseas for tax purposes. The claims were made in a report entitled Offshore Shell Games 2015.
Many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.
The group said that Apple has paid “a miniscule 2.3 percent tax rate on its offshore profits,” many of which have been entered into Apple’s books in Ireland. CTJ says that if Apple paid U.S. tax rates on those profits, it would owe $59.2 billion.
The controversy over the legitimacy of Apple’s overseas tax arrangements is not, of course, anything new … expand full story
Update: While Google has not commented directly on Porsche’s reported rejection of Android Auto, the company made a statement to The Verge in which it denied that it currently collects any of the data mentioned in the original report. It does not go as far as saying that it has not requested access to such data.
“We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp, and coolant temp,” Google said in a statement to The Verge. “Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS.”
As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, certain pieces of data must be collected and [sent] back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs—basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto …
During the announcement of Google’s Chromecast Audio yesterday, the company made sure to mention that music subscription leader Spotify will soon be one of the many music streaming services supported by the platform. With many Apple Music subscriptions renewing (or not renewing) and Google unveiling a $35 dongle that retrofits our existing home speakers with Wi-Fi, some are rightfully wondering: What about Apple Music?
According to statements from one Googler (via TrustedReviews), Google has no bar on any platform joining in on supporting Chromecast, and the Mountain View company has already directly asked Apple to play along… expand full story
Google is hosting its big fall event today with the company officially taking the wraps off a new lineup of Nexus smartphones from various manufacturing partners, its new second-gen Chromecast that we revealed previously, a revamped Google Photos experience, and much, much more. expand full story
Google today has released a major update to its Wallet app on iOS, completely redesigning and repurposing it. Similar to an update released to the Android version of the app earlier this year, the update gives the app a focus on sending money between users, rather than paying for goods from merchants.
Sure, technically Apple’s first Android app was the now discontinued Beats Music which it picked up through acquisition last year and it’s developing Apple Music for Google’s platform, but it’s very fitting that Apple’s first in-house app is called Switch to iOS from Android. Apple first announced the new Android app this year alongside iOS 9 at its developer conference, and today with iOS 9’s official launch the Move to iOS app is officially available on the Google Play Store. Here’s how it works: expand full story
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, has made a thinly-veiled attack on Apple Music in a BBC op-ed on artificial intelligence. He described human-curated music selections as a decade out of data and an elitist approach.
A decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music.
Today, you’re much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world – what actual listeners are most likely to like next – and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be …
Early tests of Verizon‘s 5G technology show that it can achieve connection speeds 30-50 times faster than 4G/LTE – above the speeds offered by Google Fiber’s gigabit wired broadband. Even better, the company expects to have “some level of commercial deployment” by 2017, some three years earlier than expected, reports CNET.
To put that speed difference into perspective, the movie Guardians of the Galaxy would take around six minutes to download over a good LTE connection – while 5G would have it downloaded to your device in just 15 seconds … expand full story
Reuters reports that Apple is working on significantly increasing the number of artificial intelligence specialists it employs as it works to make Siri smarter, but that the company’s commitment to user privacy imposes constraints.
As part of its push, the company is currently trying to hire at least 86 more employees with expertise in the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning, according to a recent analysis of Apple job postings. The company has also stepped up its courtship of machine-learning PhD’s, joining Google, Amazon, Facebook and others in a fierce contest, leading academics say.
Machine learning relies heavily on large-scale data-crunching to figure out what users are likely to want to know. But while Google analyses the data of Android users en-masse, Apple’s approach to privacy means that far less data is sent from the iPhone to its servers, making it more challenging to increase Siri’s intelligence … expand full story
One of the standout features of Google Maps that other mapping apps just can’t compete with is Street View, Google’s feature for viewing imagery that gives you an immersive, 360-degree, street-level view of roads and retail stores. Now, Google is launching a standalone app for Street View that will let you access and contribute imagery without having to go through Google Maps: expand full story
A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.
After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.
Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded … expand full story
Google has good news for iPhone users curious about Android Wear and the diverse design selection of smartwatches running the OS. Starting today Android Wear watches will work with the iPhone for the first time. Just like Apple Watch, Android Wear watches is compatible with iPhone 5 or higher with iOS 8.2 or higher required. The slight catch is that not all current Android Wear watches will be compatible with iOS… expand full story
One of the backend improvements in iOS 9 is a strengthening of app security when accessing data from webservers. The new App Transport Security (ATS) feature ensures that only connections encrypted using HTTPS are permitted. There’s just one problem with that: not all advertisers use HTTPS, so ATS will stop some ads appearing in apps.