Technology firms, like bankers, are starting to earn a bad name for themselves. The practice of funneling profits from different branches of a company through countries that have favorable rates of tax is nothing new -- far from it -- but it's becoming far more prevalent. Apple was recently asked to pay back $14.5 billion in unpaid tax in Europe, and this is not an isolated incident.
Small businesses understandably feel that they are getting a raw deal when the big players have the clout and resources to play the system to their advantage. But it doesn't always work out. In addition to the $14.5 billion in Ireland, Apple has just paid back $118 million in Japan for 'under-reporting income' and Google is also facing investigation in Indonesia over possible unpaid taxes.
Gmail was designed to be a cross-platform email tool, but even Google recognizes the fact that it is far from perfect. With this in mind, Gmail -- and Inbox by Google -- are undergoing a redesign to improve things.
With the redesign, Google says that it is focusing on adjusting the formatting and general look so that it better suits the device emails are being viewed on. You may well have thought that this should have been the case from the beginning, but it seems that an update is in order.
Between the rather contentious USA presidential election, natural disasters, terrorism, gun crimes, and other terrible things reported in the news, it is a wonder that people get out of bed in the morning. With that said, positive news just doesn't get as much coverage, making the negativity seem overly prominent. There is plenty of good in the world, folks. Be happy.
Today, Google launches its 2016 'Doodle 4 Google' contest with a focus on fun and good. If you aren't familiar, it invites children across the USA (grades K-12) to use art skills to 'doodle' the Google logo, focusing on a certain theme. It is fun, educational, and quite frankly, makes me smile. It is a refreshingly light annual reminder that enjoyment is alive and well. This year, the theme is "What I see for the future".
Google's dream of bringing virtual reality to the masses just took another big leap forward. The popular Cardboard Camera app is now available for iOS, giving iPhone users the chance to capture and share VR photos.
For many people Google Cardboard has been all about finding a cheap way to enjoy virtual reality experiences that other people have created. Cardboard Camera gives you the chance to create your own.
YouTube was criticized recently for preventing content-makers from monetizing videos that covered certain topics. But this is far from being the only complaint levelled at the video site. British music industry body UK Music says that artists are not receiving enough in the way of royalty payment from YouTube.
UK Music's 2016 report, Measuring Music shows that YouTube remains the most popular way for people to consume music in the UK. Despite this, the report says that the effective 'per-stream' payment rate fell from $0.0020 to $0.0010.
Google has announced that it will acquire the cloud software company Apigee Corp in a move that will likely help boost its own cloud offerings.
The deal is valued at around $625 million and Google has agreed to pay Apigee shareholders $17.40 for each share of the company's stock which amounts to a 6.5 percent premium on its closing price the day before the announcement.
During BoxWorks 2016, the annual Box conference taking place in San Francisco, the enterprise content platform announced it is teaming up with Google to make working and collaborating in the cloud simpler and easier.
Box will become third-party content repository for Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides, it was unveiled during the conference. Once the new offering is available, it will enable Box users to create and edit Google documents directly from its cloud services.
Google's regular Transparency Reports make for interesting reading for those with an interest in how the company operates. As well as revealing how Google responds to government requests for data, they also show how it deals with copyright removal requests.
Now the company has updated its reports to make the data easier to read and easier to interpret. It also shows more information about the sites and companies associated with removals.
Uber is considered the king of ride-sharing in the USA by many. Why is this? There are many likely factors, but ultimately, its brand got an early boost. There is definite name recognition, and the company's marketing keeps the brand on consumers' minds. In other words, "Uber" is to ride-sharing, as "Band-Aid" is to bandages. Many people do not consider alternatives.
But what if consumers did not need to be aware of the alternatives? What if they were instead shown multiple brand options -- including pricing -- next to Uber? This would not be good for Uber. There would be very visible alternatives -- with potentially lower prices -- which could take business from the aforementioned leader. Today, Google Maps is slowly enabling this very thing by expanding on its initial ride-share options, adding some significant choices when searching for a ride -- Lyft nationwide, and Gett in NYC. While Uber should be worried, consumers should be absolutely thrilled.
With Chrome, Google is on a mission. A mission to make the internet a safer place. Its ultimate goal is to display a warning that HTTP sites (rather than HTTPS) are insecure, but this is a long-term plan and there are many stages to go.
Starting at the beginning of next year in Chrome 56, the plan moves to its next stage. As of January 2017, any HTTP sites that transmit passwords or credit card details will be flagged up as being insecure.
Google has released a new Android security fix that deals with the final two flaws in the Quadrooter set of vulnerabilities that was discovered last month.
Quadrooter refers to four undiscovered security vulnerabilities found in Android phones and tablets containing Qualcomm chips. These vulnerabilities are particularly troubling as they were found on every version of Android and affected at least 900 million devices.
Cash is dumb. No, I do not necessarily mean stupid; I mean it is not "smart" from a technology standpoint. Understandably, some folks like the idea of paper money as it allows their honest transactions to occur below the radar, and for a privacy standpoint, I understand that. However, cash also assists people that commit crimes, such as drug dealers -- and that is not cool. Once all monetary transactions are digital, and cash no longer exists, law enforcement will have an easier time tracking illegal transactions, while honest folks can more easily track and budget their finances.
Digital payment systems, such as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are paving the way for a cashless society. Google's Android pay is also part of the push, and today, it is getting even better. Not only is it adding many new banks to the program, such as Chase, but it is also adding support for mobile Google Chrome and Uber's Payment Rewards program.
Chrome has long been held up as an example of software being battery hungry. It's something that Google has been working to address with the Android version of the browser; now the company has turned its attention to the desktop build.
In a new video that highlights the improvements that have been made in recent months, Google compares a Vimeo video running in Chrome 46 to the same video running in Chrome 53 on identical hardware -- a Microsoft Surface Book, since you ask. The results are impressive.
Android 7.0 Nougat may be making its way out to Nexus devices, but this accounts for only a tiny proportion of Android users out there. Owners of other handsets are starting to wonder when they will get their hands on Nougat, but rather than waiting for an official rollout, OnePlus 3 users can run Nougat right now thanks to an unofficial Cyanogenmod 14 build.
As this is an unofficial build there are -- as you will no doubt have gathered from the headline -- a few issues to bear in mind. The bad news is that battery life is described as 'horrendous', but the good news is that developers are beavering away trying to improve things. So if you decide to slap this build on your OnePlus 3, what can you expect?
Google's Project Ara -- a modular smartphone that let users customize their handsets with a range of plugin modules -- has been killed before it even got off the ground. Having started life as a Motorola venture, the first Project Ara smartphone was expected to launch later this year.
As recently as May, Google was talking about shipping a developer version of the phone this autumn, but now it seems that this is not going to happen.