Nobel-Winning Economist Calls Apple’s Irish Tax Arrangement ‘Fraud’

Posted on July 29, 2016 by Joe Rossignol.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Joseph-StiglitzJoseph Stiglitz, an economic professor at Columbia University and 2001 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, has described Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland as "a fraud" in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV.
"Here we have the largest corporation in capitalization not only in America, but in the world, bigger than GM was at its peak, and claiming that most of its profits originate from about a few hundred people working in Ireland -- that’s a fraud,” Stiglitz said. “A tax law that encourages American firms to keep jobs abroad is wrong, and I think we can get a consensus in America to get that changed."
Under current U.S. laws, Apple is able to shift billions of dollars in profits to Ireland, where it operates multiple subsidiaries, sheltering those earnings from up to a 35 percent corporate tax rate in the United States. Ireland has a much lower corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, but Apple is believed to have a sweetheart deal with Ireland that sees it pay less than 2 percent in exchange for creating jobs in the country.

Apple has been the subject of a European Commission probe related to its Irish tax arrangements since June 2014, with the executive body investigating whether the deal constitutes illegal state aid. Ireland's finance minister Michael Noonan recently said he expects a decision to be reached by September or October, and Apple could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes depending on the outcome.

Apple insists it is the largest taxpayer in the world and that it pays every cent of tax it owes under current laws. In a late 2015 interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Charlie Rose, Apple CEO Tim Cook described tax avoidance accusations against the company as "political crap," adding that the United States has a tax code that is "awful for America" and "made for the industrial age."

Apple-EU
Apple provided the following statement during its March 2016 meeting with the European Parliament's tax committee:
"Apple is the largest taxpayer in the world. In 2015 we paid 13.2 billion dollars in taxes worldwide, which is an effective tax rate of 36.4%", its representatives said when asked about the company's tax structures in Europe and the state aid investigation launched by competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. However, they were not prepared to disclose its EU and Irish tax figures. "Those are confidential. When country-by-country reporting will become mandatory, we will of course follow". Apple, like Google, pays most of its taxes in the US, where most of its employees are based and its research is done.
Apple is only one of several multinational corporations that have been scrutinized for possible corporate tax avoidance in Europe over the past few years, with others including Amazon, Google, IKEA, and McDonald's. Last year, the European Commission ordered Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to each pay up to €30 million in back taxes, after ruling that the companies benefited from illegal tax deals.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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Square Enix launches its Apple Watch-exclusive RPG Cosmos Rings

Posted on by John Callaham.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix has launched its Apple Watch-exclusive RPG Cosmos Rings in the App Store for the price of $5.99.

The game is designed to offer a different experience compared to other mobile RPGs. Here's a list of its features:

  • A dark and timeless world - The Goddess is gone and time has stopped. Now it's up to you to traverse the Rift and stand against those who would see its flow stilled forever. Regrettably, the path to saving the Goddess of Time is not an easy one.
  • The past and present meet - Retro pixel art and the Apple Watch's cutting edge graphics come together to tell an unforgettable story.
  • Simple, but engaging battles - While normal attacks are automatic, you must leverage powerful skills and strengthen your sword to make it through the Rift.
  • An Apple Watch experience - The power of time is in your hands. Simply use the Digital Crown to turn back the clock! Certain conditions may also earn you special messages.

Nest app’s new Apple Watch support lets you control your thermostat from your wrist

Posted on by Joseph Keller.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Nest has updated its app for iPhone and iPad, and amidst updates like spaces, which lets you group your Nest devices by room, or support for 1080p video from the Dropcam Pro, the company has added support for the Apple Watch. You can now control your Nest Thermostat right from your wrist.

Here's everything you can expect with Nest 5.6:

  • Spaces groups your Nest products by room and lets you see all your cameras at once. And if you're connected to Wi-Fi, shows you all of their live views.
  • Share a password protected live view of your camera. Now grandma can see what the kids are up to at video.nest.com.
  • 1080p support for Dropcam Pro.
  • Automatic video quality adjustment helps make sure you get a continuous, clear picture.

We've also added support for Apple Watch. You can now control your Nest Thermostat from your wrist.

You can grab the latest update to Nest for iPhone and iPad from the App Store now.

My search for the best iPad Pro accessories

Posted on by Jason Snell.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Jason SnellFormer lead editor at Macworld, Jason Snell has covered Apple and other tech companies for two decades. You can find him at Six Colors, and the The Incomparable, Upgrade, and Clockwise podcasts.

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The iPad Pro wouldn't be a good Apple product if it weren't surrounded by a universe of accessories.

One of the things I love about the iPad Pro is that when it's stripped down to its naked robotic core it's a powerful, useful device in a small, easily-carried package. But the iPad Pro wouldn't be an Apple product if it weren't surrounded by a universe of accessories.

Every accessory adds functionality to the core product, but also complexity and weight. It's a tricky balance, and here's what I've found best suits my lifestyle.

Case, cover, and bag

Let's talk protection. What you need depends on the lifestyle you lead. For me, an Apple Smart Cover has always been a must-have item — not only does it keep my screen from getting dirty or scratched, but it's a convenient way to automatically lock the device, and doubles as a stand. For my 12.9-inch, I've augmented this protection with the $79 Apple Silicone Case — but only when I'm taking the iPad out and about. At home, the case stays in a drawer, because (as is the case with almost every 12.9-inch iPad Pro accessory) it just adds too much bulk.

I don't use a dedicated bag for my iPad, because between my Smart Cover and any case I might choose to dress it in, I feel pretty comfortable dropping it in the laptop slot of my go-to messenger bag. But there are definitely bags out there that are dedicated to carrying iPad Pros (and the accessories, like the ones below, that we surround them with). For me, the most important thing is keeping things as light as possible. (Any case big enough to carry a 13-inch laptop will handle the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, of course.)

The Apple Pencil

I am not a pencil or pen aficionado. The moment my teachers in school began accepting typed homework, I was handing it in fresh off the dot-matrix printer.

As a result, the $99 Apple Pencil is not my personal favorite iPad Pro accessory, but it's a truly amazing piece of kit. Other than the cap (beneath which sits a male Lightning connector for quick charging), it's a device without an interface. Or, to put it more accurately, it's got the same interface as every writing implement since hands first picked up a stick and drew in the dirt.

Fast charging

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is big, with a big battery to match. It takes a very, very long time (basically overnight) to fully charge the battery with the stock cable and adapter that Apple supplies. But there's a way to get much faster charging — if you're willing to pay the price.

That price is a $49 Apple 29W USB-C Power Adapter — built for the new MacBook, but also entirely compatible with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a $25 USB-C to Lightning Cable. Other iPad models, even the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, don't have the circuitry to use the extra wattage that the USB-C Power Adapter puts out, but the big iPad Pro does. If you find yourself frustrated by the slow speed of charging, it might just be worth $74 to fix that.

Adapters are your friend

The iPad Pro's Lightning port is good for charging, yes, but it's also a way for the device to connect to other devices in ways we wouldn't blink twice about if we were connecting to a traditional desktop computer.

Despite its name, the $39 Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter is not just for cameras. Because it can itself be powered via Lightning, it allows you to connect other USB devices to the iPad, even if they require more power than the iPad itself could deliver. I've used this adapter to power high-quality USB audio interfaces, USB microphones, and even Apple's own $29 USB Ethernet adapter. (Yes, your iPad can use Ethernet.)

If you need to connect your iPad to an external screen, perhaps for a presentation, you should invest in a couple of video adapters — just as you would for a Mac laptop. For the iPad, your options are the $49 Lightning Digital AV Adapter — which has an HDMI port and supports up to 1080p video — and the $49 Lightning to VGA Adapter, because inevitably that place you're giving your next presentation will have a 10-year-old projector that only supports VGA.

Speaking of external video, the $149 Apple TV is actually a pretty great iPad accessory. You can use AirPlay to connect wirelessly to a TV with an Apple TV attached, freeing you from wired iPad adapter nonsense. There are also a lot of video sources that are still not available on the Apple TV, but have iOS apps that will let you use AirPlay.

A stand or an arm

There are many, many iPad stands out there — and even more stands meant for other purposes that end up working great as iPad stands. My friend Andy Ihnatko has, for several years, sworn by a simple art stand he bought at an art supply store for a few bucks. I often use a wooden stand meant for kitchen use that I picked up at Macworld Expo.

I do love a good iPad stand, though. The Smart Cover can be used as a stand, sure, but it's not quite as sturdy as a solid stand made for such a purpose.

As someone who often types on an iPad Pro using a Bluetooth keyboard, a stand is a great addition. The only problem is that, as with a laptop, the ergonomics of having your keyboard and display at similar heights are not particularly good. I wish someone made a mounting arm I could attach to a desk or table and then clip my 12.9-inch iPad Pro into, but I haven't found one. (There are some for the 9.7-inch model, though!)

The quest for the perfect keyboard

So it's come to this. In some ways, the ultimate iPad Pro accessory really is an external keyboard.

There are a bunch to choose from, especially if you throw Bluetooth keyboards into the equation; in all honesty, if you've got a spare Bluetooth keyboard around, it may be all you need. (I wrote this very article on an Apple Magic Keyboard, connected via Bluetooth to my iPad Pro.)

I do like Apple's Smart Keyboard more than I thought I would. On the 9.7-inch iPad Pro it's pretty fantastic, despite the shrunken-down key size. The 12.9-inch model is a decent keyboard, but it does add to the bulk of the device, so I prefer the Smart Cover most of the time.

There are other keyboard options if Apple's options leave you less than thrilled, however. The Logitech Create offers the typing experience of a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, though you have to clip the iPad into the case. iMore's own Serenity Caldwell said it's clunky and heavy, but she loves it — and I sure agree on the "clunky and heavy" part.

The new Razer Mechanical Keyboard case is less clunky, but even heavier.

I haven't yet tried the Zagg SlimBook Pro, but by most accounts it's less clunky than the Create (it's Bluetooth-based, so you can detach the keyboard from the case) but it also has a lesser keyboard.

In short, I'm not sure there's a perfect keyboard for the iPad Pro yet. The Smart Cover comes close, and so does a Bluetooth keyboard of your choice, coupled with a stand. Of all the accessories for the iPad Pro, it's funny that the most important one is also the one that hasn't really been solved yet.

Your picks

That about rounds up my adventures into iPad Pro accessory territory. What gizmos and gadgets are you using for your iPad Pro?

Snapchat’s Bitmoji integration shows the promise and problems when apps collide

Posted on by Oscar Raymundo.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Snapchat acquired Bitstrips, the startup that created Bitmoji, back in March, but it wasn’t until recently that the these two mega-popular apps collided.

On July 19, Snapchat confirmed the acquisition of Bitstrips and instantly allowed users to insert Bitmoji in their Snaps and chats. You can think of Bitmoji as your own personal cartoon character that you can customize to look just like you. These animated avatars can then be sent in messaging apps to express different feelings and sentiments, like “Yaaaassss,” “Bye, Felicia,” and “I Can’t Even.”

bye felicia bitmoji

Even though we saw it coming, Snapchat’s full-on integration of Bitmoji was an instant success. People on Twitter called the Snapchat-Bitmoji union “a match made in heaven” and “the moment we’ve all been waiting for.” It seemed like a win-win for both services.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How to Jailbreak iOS 9.3.3 Using English Version of Pangu Jailbreak And Cydia Impactor

Posted on by Ali Hassan Mahdi.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Just a few days ago, the team behind Pangu released the Chinese version of iOS 9.2 – iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak, which required a Windows-based software to be used to install and execute the jailbreak on iOS devices. Today, Pangu released the English version of iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak that takes advantage of Saurik’s Cydia Impactor tool. Continue reading

Hearthstone players can party hard on Aug. 11 with One Night in Karazhan expansion

Posted on by John Callaham.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Blizzard has announced the next single-player expansion for its collectible RPG card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. One Night in Karazhan, where players get invited to a big party, will be released on August 11.

Here's how Blizzard describes the plot of the expansion:

Karazhan, long a potent nexus of arcane energies, is about to become the focal point of a very different kind of cosmic force. The wizard Medivh has used every bit of magic at his disposal to set up the most lavish and extravagant party of all time, and your name is on the guest list alongside the crème de la crème of Azeroth and beyond! With such an eclectic mix of attendees, it's guaranteed that this party will be out of this world. But as you groove to the music and let the sights dazzle you, beware; one night in Karazhan, and even tough guys tumble. Keep your decks straight, your wits sharp, and above all, stay alive!

The new content and features of One Night in Karazhan include:

  • New Cards: Make your way through four wings chock-full of challenging bosses, unexpected twists, and mystical mayhem. Beat the bosses and earn their brand-new cards for your collection!
  • Legendary: Get ready for truly dazzling legendary cards such as Moroes and many more.
  • Class Challenges: As the evening progresses, you will unlock nine all-new class challenges that test your skills in surprising new ways. Succeed, and unlock their rewards!
  • New Game Board: When an archmage throws a party, nothing but the best will do. Prepare to be spellbound by the magic of Karazhan!
  • Never a dull moment: Your host may be a Guardian of Tirisfal, a vastly powerful magic user, and a fantastic dancer, but nobody's perfect. Some matters may transpire over the course of the evening that might require your… special attention. Come prepared!
  • Portals Everywhere: This party is so intense, it's warping the very fabric of space and time to bring in more guests! Use the new portal spell cards to unleash the magic and summon random minions to the field.

Hearthstone players will be able to access the first prologue mission in the One Night in Karazhan expansion for free when it is released.

Download Hearthstone for Mac

Download Hearthstone for iPhone and iPad

Day of the Tentacle Remastered review: LucasArts classic makes a comeback on iOS

Posted on by Chris Barylick.
Categories: Uncategorized.

The classic is back and better than ever. Day of the Tentacle, the seminal puzzle-solving game and sequel to Maniac Mansion, has been lovingly brought to iOS by Double Fine Productions in a “Remastered” format ($5 on the iTunes Store). If you have any doubts as to the conversion of another classic DOS game to iOS, you needn’t worry.

Sometimes evil mutant tentacles want to take over the world. These things happen.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Tune up your two-step Recovery Key

Posted on by Glenn Fleishman.
Categories: Uncategorized.

If you’re using Apple’s two-step verification system for logins, I have just one (not two) questions for you: do you know where your Recovery Key is?

A friend recently went through a multi-week set of interlocked problems when he was locked out of his Apple ID account on his iPhone, and couldn’t find his Recovery Key. He wasn’t ultimately able to get Apple to unlock his account. (During this period, his phone also locked up for a few days and he couldn’t receive texts or alerts, either.)

He had forgotten he’d enabled two-step verification, which is the older of Apple’s two methods of using a second piece of information to validate that you’re the accountholder. With the two-step system, Apple uses something akin to Find My iPhone to provide a code on your iOS devices or sends an SMS that you use to complete your login.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Download English Version of Pangu Jailbreak for iOS 9.3.3; Works on Mac, Windows and Linux with Cydia Impactor

Posted on by Ali Hassan Mahdi.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Pangu has just released the English version of iOS 9.2 – iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The tool supports 64-bit devices and comes just days after the Chinese version of the jailbreak was made available to users. Continue reading

Best Deals of the Week - Deal Alert

Posted on by DealPost Team.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Best Deals of the Week - Deal Alert

Check out this roundup of the best deals on gadgets, gear and other cool stuff we have found this week. All items are highly rated, and dramatically discounted.

53% off Universal Phone Mount for Bicycle and Motorcycle

Currently receiving 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon (read reviews), the 'Freedom' Handlebar Phone Holder from Tackform offers comprehensive protection for mounting your smartphone while riding your bike or motorcycle. The patented phone cradle provides full support for holding your phone, while providing full access to your screen and buttons while riding.  Amazon is currently showing a discount of 53% off the original list price of $39.99, allowing you to purchase the holder for just $18.99.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Fitbit won’t sync to your iPhone? Here’s the fix!

Posted on by Luke Filipowicz.
Categories: Uncategorized.

How do you fix a Fitbit tracker that won't sync to the Fitbit app on your iPhone? Like this!

You get back from an awesome workout — or, fine, Pokémon Go hunt — and you can't wait to check your Fitbit stats on your iPhone. So, you switch over to the Fitbit app, and... nothing! Rage. Sadness. Denial. Instead of your data, you have a whole lot of nothing. But don't despair! If your Fitbit is experiencing failure to sync — and it happens to every device at some point! — there are several things you can do to get it back up, and you running.

What is syncing?

Syncing is the term to describe the data transfer from your Fitbit tracker to your Fitbit app. It happens via Bluetooth connection, and it's what the causes the Dashboard on your phone to stay updated with all your daily stats.

Syncing also transfers data back to your Fitbit tracker, like newly set alarms, for example, so your tracker and your Fitbit app are always on the same page.

How often does my tracker sync to the Fitbit app?

Anytime you open the Fitbit app it will initiate a sync. You can also turn on the All-Day sync option which will allow your tracker to sync to the Fitbit app periodically through out the day. Fair warning, the All-Day sync option can cause your phone and tracker battery to drain more quickly.

Can I make a sync happen manually?

You sure can. Inside the Fitbit app you can tap the Sync Now button to initiate a sync anytime you want.

My tracker won't sync, what do I do?

If you find that your tracker won't sync to your app there are a few things you can try to try and get rolling again. The list below goes from the simplest fixes to the more drastic measures.

  • Make sure your tracker's battery is charged. If your tracker is dead it won't be able to sync with your phone.
  • Close the Fitbit app and then open it again. Every time you open the app it should initiate a sync.
  • Turn off Bluetooth, then on again, and then open the Fitbit app. This will temporarily stop the Bluetooth connection which will force it to reconnect and could help the problem.
  • Try turning your iPhone off and on again. This old faithful trick can sometimes snap your phone back to reality and fix mysterious problems.
  • Uninstall and re-install the Fitbit app. This could be especially crucial if you have recently updated the Fitbit app and that's why you started having problems.
  • Try resetting your tracker. This is an option for dire circumstances but in some cases can certainly help re-establish any connection issues. Restarting your tracker is different for every model and take take several minutes to complete.

Any questions?

If your Fitbit tracker wasn't syncing properly to your iPhone, let me know what you did to get it working again. And if you have any other questions, fire away in the comments!

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The mysterious methods to uninstalling Mac apps

Posted on by Kirk McElhearn.
Categories: Uncategorized.

A reader wrote in with a suggestion for a topic for this column:

Coming from a Windows environment I find that uninstalling a Mac OS application to be very difficult. My understanding is that in some cases you can simply remove the app from the Applications folder, but that is not always the case. There are other cases where the software vendor will provide an uninstall application. How can I easily uninstall apps on my Mac?

Uninstalling apps has never been easy on the Mac. You can sometimes just delete the app from your Applications folder, but that rarely deletes all the files that app has created. Or you can delete apps installed by the Mac App Store from Mission Control: click and hold on an app’s icon. When all the icons wiggle, you can delete any app with an X at its top left corner by clicking the X.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Save 50% on this clear iPhone 6s protective case today!

Posted on by iMore.com.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Want a clear case for your iPhone 6s that also adds a bit of protection? Seidio's Luma case is a great choice as it has protective bumpers built in for the sides, and a nice layer of safety for the back as well. Right now you can save 50% on the purchase, dropping the price to just $14.95.

Apple’s web of authentication

Posted on by Dan Moren.
Categories: Uncategorized.

As someone who seems to live most of his life on the Internet, I’ve always appreciated Apple’s thorough and thoughtful approach to security. The company realizes that we keep all sorts of important stuff in our devices, from our credit card numbers to our super-secret, handed-down-through-seventeen-generations French toast recipes. Hardly the kind of stuff we want plastered all over the world.

Like every other technology company, Apple has to weigh the fundamental tradeoff between security and convenience. In general, the higher the level of security, the less convenient it is—no surprise there, since making something more difficult for someone else to break into generally means making it more difficult for you, too.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Mass Fidelity Core and Core Sub review: Exceptional Bluetooth speakers

Posted on by Michael Brown.
Categories: Uncategorized.
The diminutive Core is one of the best Bluetooth speakers ever. The Core Sub is icing on that sonic cake.

Popular Multitasking Tweak Auxo 3 Updated to Support iOS 9.3.3

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Ali Hassan Mahdi.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Auxo 3 is undoubtedly one of the best jailbreak tweaks for multitasking. Fans of this tweak will be glad to find out that the team pushed an update today with support for iOS 9.3.3. Continue reading

Apple Launches a Spanish Language App Store Twitter Account

Posted on by Evan Selleck.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Apple has already launched Twitter accounts for its support arm, as well as providing help for Apple Music, and now there’s another channel to add to the list. Continue reading

The Week in iPhone Cases: Meet Popslate, a case with a second screen just for widgets

Posted on by Emanuela Corso, Marco Tabini.
Categories: Uncategorized.
New iPhone cases of the week

This week’s roundup of new iPhone cases introduces us to the Popslate, a case with a battery-powered black-and-white screen to give you quick info at a glance. Plus, a new leather wallet, colorful shells, and an option just for Lego fans. Read on!

Belkin

Not only does the Lego Builder Case (iPhone SE; $40 MSRP, select colors $24.33 on Amazon) look like a giant Lego brick—it’s functional, too, so you can stack your Lego blocks and figures on it.

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Apple Store app for iOS will feature recommendations

Posted on by Roman Loyola.
Categories: Uncategorized.

With the back-to-school and holiday shopping season coming sooner than you think, Apple is preparing an update to its Apple Store iOS app. According to Bloomberg, the Apple Store app will take a more active role in recommending products to you.

The update to the app will using your buying history in order to recommend products more products it thinks will interest you. Bloomberg reports that the app could showcase these recommendations in a new For You tab, and that the new app will be universal; currently, the Apple Store apps for the iPhone and iPad are two separate apps.

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