EU Set to Probe Ireland’s Tax Arrangements with Apple

Ireland’s taxation laws allow multinationals to set up subsidiaries that effectively turn them into stateless entities whose revenues are subject to no jurisdiction. It’s the definition of entirely legal tax avoidance, and Apple has been among the most successful companies in routing much of its international revenues and earnings through its Irish subsidiaries.

via EU Set to Probe Ireland’s Tax Arrangements with Apple – The Mac Observer.

Apple rejects Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans & Russians as “enemies”

In case you think you’ve read that wrong, I’ll summarise: a World War II-themed game that depicts fighting between two countries that actually fought in WWII breaks the rules. And apparently Drive on Moscow, Panzer Corps, and every single one of Hunted Cow’s other Tank Battle games don’t.

via Apple rejects Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans & Russians as “enemies” UPDATED.

Apple loses bid for U.S. ban on Samsung smartphone sales

A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected Apple’s request for a permanent sales ban in the United States against some older Samsung smartphones, a key setback for the iPhone maker in its global patent battle.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled that Apple Inc had not presented enough evidence to show that its patented features were a significant enough driver of consumer demand to warrant an injunction

via Apple loses bid for U.S. ban on Samsung smartphone sales – chicagotribune.com.

Apple Underwhelms in China, Too

At 4,488 Yuan Renminbi (US$734) for the 16GB version, the iPhone might be within reach of well-heeled consumers in Beijing and Shanghai but is unlikely to win over punters in so-called third-tier cities and beyond, who have never owned a smartphone.

via Apple Underwhelms in China, Too | Light Reading.

In another online poll (again in Chinese, naturally), more than 80 percent said the price was too high.

Chic marketing may be wearing off the Apple brand.

After patent loss, Apple tweaks FaceTime—and logs 500,000 complaints

Before the VirnetX case, nearly all FaceTime calls were done through a system of direct communication. Essentially, Apple would verify that both parties had valid FaceTime accounts and then allow their two devices to speak directly to each other over the Internet, without any intermediary or “relay” servers. However, a small number of calls—5 to 10 percent, according to an Apple engineer who testified at trial—were routed through “relay servers.”

Both sides in the litigation admit that if Apple routes its FaceTime calls through relay servers, it will avoid infringing the VirnetX patents. Once Apple was found to be infringing—and realized it could end up paying an ongoing royalty for using FaceTime—the company redesigned the system so that all FaceTime calls would rely on relay servers. Lease believes the switch happened in April.

via Report: After patent loss, Apple tweaks FaceTime—and logs 500,000 complaints | Ars Technica.

Apple, betrayed by its own law firm

FlatWorld Interactives sued Apple in April 2012, naming just about every gadget in Apple’s arsenal as a product that infringed its two related patents, said to cover swiping gestures on a touch screen. Over the next three months, the company filed similar lawsuits against LG Electronics and Samsung, against a wide array of smartphones made by those companies.

via Apple, betrayed by its own law firm | Ars Technica.

Steam Box’s biggest threat isn’t consoles, it’s Apple

That’s Valve’s goal for the Steam Box, its own Linux-based gaming hardware which will bring Steam’s Big Picture mode to living room televisions at an affordable price point. Valve is also teaming up with several hardware manufacturers, who are also trying to put together the most attractive hardware at the most attractive price, in order to make the PC platform’s jump to the living room as painless as possible.

via Gabe Newell: Steam Box’s biggest threat isn’t consoles, it’s Apple | Polygon.

I’d like to see more numbers.  Having Apple at the high end and Linux at the low end seems like an OK solution and everyone makes money.

Got an iPhone? You probably pay over $100 on your monthly bill

When it comes to monthly bills for various smartphone platforms, iPhone users are paying the most, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. In a recent analysis shared with AllThingsD, 59 percent of iPhone users are paying more than $100 per month for calls, texts, and data.

via Got an iPhone? You probably pay over $100 on your monthly bill | Ars Technica.

Errata Security: Apple’s secret “wispr” request

The reason Apple does this is because you may be using an app other than the web browser. For example, the only thing you might be doing is syncing your e-mail. In such situations, you would never see the portal page, and your app will mysteriously fail to connect to the Internet.

Therefore, before your app has a chance to access the network, Apple does this for you. It sends out a request to the above URL. If the request gets redirected, then Apple knows there is a portal. It then launches a dialog box, containing Safari, to give you a chance to login.

via Errata Security: Apple’s secret “wispr” request.

At my local Starbucks, all web surfing is free. But, Windows presents a captive logon page where you must accept the Terms of Service, but the iPhone doesn’t. I assume the portal detects this URL, and automatically opens up the access-point without doing a redirection. I need to test witha Linux distro in order to figure out what’s going on.

We’ve passed peak Apple: it’s all downhill from here

Why do I think Apple has passed its peak? There are a number of signs. The most visible recent one is the Maps debacle. Replacing Google Maps with an obviously inferior experience shows how much Apple has changed. Apple’s success had been all about offering users the best possible experience; suddenly it is willing to give users a clearly worse experience to further its corporate interests – in this case its long-running dispute with Google. We might expect this sort of behaviour from Microsoft, but we don’t expect it from Apple.

via We’ve passed peak Apple: it’s all downhill from here | Technology | guardian.co.uk.