Apple | Anorak

Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Apple’s huge stash of cash is invested in the global financial system

Much financial illiteracy in the Guardian, wherein there’s talk of Apple and its billions. Writing beneath the headline “The tech giants will never pay their fair share of taxes – unless we make them” Guardian readers are told about Apple’s tax avoidance schemes and how they must be stopped. It begins:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and the accountants of Silicon Valley have proved Arthur C Clarke’s third law to be as true of tax avoidance as it is of tech.

Clarke’s third law features on the writer’s essay Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination, as seen in his book book of 1973 (originally published in 1962) Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible. The law states: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

But it’s nothing like magic what Apple does. Fortune has a decent take on how it works. And it can be argued that Apple has painted itself into a corner, albeit one of sublime luxury on small islands. “Apple and firms like it are hoist by their own petard,” says Professor Edward Kleinbard of the University of Southern California. “They have gigantic pools of cash that are the fruit of their tax-avoidance labour but they can’t enjoy it in the way they want because that is the deal. The way to look at the cash is not that it’s a problem but that it’s the result of the success US firms have had in generating stateless income.”

And so we get to this nonsense in the Guardian:

The most recent outrage is Apple’s $252bn offshore cash pile, as exposed by the Paradise Papers investigation. More valuable than the foreign currency reserves of the US or the UK, it represents all the money that the world’s most valuable company has siphoned out of the global financial system for the benefit of its shareholders.

Bizarre stuff indeed to view Apple’s billions as cash dumped in a treasure chest. There is sits, not being used for investment in bills, bonds, overseas goods and services, nor even earning interest in its host nation.

CNN helps us know how the money is used:

So Apple has actually been going into hock to help fund some of its stock buybacks and dividends. The company raised $10 billion in debt last quarter and now has about $47 billion in long-term debt overall.

Apple can use its cash reserves to buy unsecured debt, paid back at a much lower rate than 35%. As Bloomberg noted in May:

The iPhone-maker has $148 billion of its record $257 billion cash pile invested in corporate debt alone, according to a company filing from Wednesday.

Buy debt and wait for a tax window to repatriate the cash? If Apple moves the cash from overseas to the US, it’ll receive a gigantic tax bill.

…the Cupertino, California-based company invests in corporate bonds and other assets like money market funds and U.S. Treasuries.

With more than 90 percent of its war chest abroad, the company regularly issues bonds of its own to help fund programs like share buybacks and capital spending.

Shareholders and investors see that huge stack of cash and want some.

Apple said Thursday it’s selling what may be $7 billion of debt, and will use proceeds in part to support a 63-cent dividend and an increased stock-repurchase program.

The money is not siphoned out of the global financial system. It’s just in another part of it.

PS – if you have business idea and don’t live in a high-tax juristiction, call Apple.


Posted: 13th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Tim Cook and Apple beat the principal-agent problem

Apple shares are soaring. The iPhone remains the best and most desirable phone on the market. And with success comes money.

Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, has collected $89.6m as part of a 10-year deal that he signed as an incentive to keep the iPhone maker at the forefront of the technology industry after he took over the reins in 2011 from company co-founder Steve Jobs.

Nice one:

The stock package awarded to Cook in 2011 was originally valued at $376m, but is now worth much more because Apple shares have increased by six-fold since he signed the deal.

Apple Insider has more:

If Apple’s performance fell in the middle third of the S&P 500, Cook’s RSU award would have been reduced by half. Cook would have collected nothing if Apple stock finished in the bottom-third.

Apple and Cook are bound.

The principal–agent problem, in political science and economics, (also known as agency dilemma or the agency problem) occurs when one person or entity (the “agent”) is able to make decisions on behalf of, or that impact, another person or entity: the “principal”. This dilemma exists in circumstances where agents are motivated to act in their own best interests, which are contrary to those of their principals, and is an example of moral hazard.

Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, which repeats the story of Cook’s earnings from a newswire feed without mention of the penalties Cook faced for missing targets:

The Guardian has confirmed losses of £69m for the last financial year but said it was making significant progress in its membership scheme, with more than 50,000 people paying to sign up.

At least the newspaper now is trying to produce a viable business, asking readers to donate (no, not to pay, as the Times does):

The new editor of The Guardian is to be paid tens of thousands less than her male predecessor, according to figures published by the newspaper group.

Katharine Viner received a salary of £340,000 for 2014-15, putting her basic earnings well behind the £395,000 handed to Alan Rusbridger, whom she replaced last month as editor-in-chief of the paper.

Taking into account Mr Rusbridger’s other payouts from the group, where he was editor for two decades, the former newspaper boss took home £492,000 over the past year, £152,000 more than his successor.

And for his last seasons in charge:

The revelation of the pay gap came as Guardian News and Media, the publisher of The Guardian and The Observer, reported an underlying loss of £19.1 million for its latest financial year, a slight improvement on the £19.4 million it lost the previous year.

Performance-related pay can be perilous.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Here’s how you make Siri sing Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Sing “I see a little silhouetto of a man” into your iPhone and Siri will sing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody:


Posted: 3rd, August 2017 | In: Music, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

US tech titans mint millionaires as globalised business model pays off

When the web first boomed, the dream was to become a dotcom millionaire for running you own website. Now you can rich by working for someopne who built a website that went huge. The trick is to work for one that operates on a global scale and is based in the US. In “Tech titans pay $20bn in bonuses” The Times’ Danny Fortsun writes:

Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google’s parent Alphabet doled out a combined $20bn (£15.4bn) in share payouts last year, on top of the techies’ salaries, according to an analysis of stock market filings…

The $20bn bonanza equates to $29,850 for each of the quintet’s 670,000 employees. Last year Britain’s bankers and insurance workers took home £13.9bn in bonuses, an average of £13,400 per employee.

Well, quite. As Tim notes: “Global industry pays more in bonuses across the world than the one country sector of a global business.” If you’re tax efficient, the share price will rise leaving more money to dish out amongst friends and employees back at HQ.

What we don’t know is that bonuses the  Big Five’s UK-based workforce took home when compared to their colleagues in the USA, say, or Luxembourg?

Posted: 7th, May 2017 | In: Money, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

A Chinese clickfarmer at work on her apple iPhones

clickfarmer china iphone


If you’re too busy to tweet yourself, you can outsource the task and others to the woman above. She’s a clickfamer installing apps on a screen of Apple iphones. The more installs an app has the higher it ranks on Apple’s marketplace.

For a $11,000 one-off payment – plus  $65,000-a-week for upkeep – you too can ensure your crappy appy hits the Top 10 of free apps. You can hire a cheat / marketeer to game the system on China’s Taobao.

The original photo was tweeted on Weibo with the caption, “Hard-working App Store ranking manipulation employee.”

Apple tries to prevent PC-based iPhone emulation programs (bots) made for this purpose and bans apps that use them, so manual labor is the best way to ensure the closest simulation of actual users.

A search for “app store ranking manipulation” (刷榜 app store) on Taobao, China’s most popular C2C ecommerce site, reveals dozens upon dozens of vendors selling similar services. Their prices are listed as one yuan, but it’s more likely that the real negotiations take place through direct chat.

Can you hire out your iPhone for the day to do this? Asking for a friend.

Spotter: JWZ

Posted: 3rd, January 2017 | In: Online-PR, Technology, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Apple fans delighted a new range of Mac laptops costs less here than in America

If you use Apple computers you are an “Apple fan”, says the Daily Mail. You’re also a mug because the Apple stuff you buy in the UK is pricier than the same stuff you can buy in the US, the paper notes.

The Mail thunders: “That’s not how you convert from dollars to pounds, Apple! British fans outraged as new range of Mac laptops costs far more here than in America.”

Fans, of course, never mind paying a surcharge to support their touring idols. But Alexander Robertson has a spotted the outrage and is keen to report on it.

Apple fans in the UK are once again being hit in the pocket after the tech giant announced prices for its new laptop. The company’s latest range of notebooks were announced on Thursday, with the cheapest option coming in at £1,449 in Britain and $1,499 in the US.

That’s the kind of exchange rate only Brexit and the bureau de change on Times Square can recreate.

The pricing means customers in the UK will pay £218 more than their American counterparts after converting the two currencies.


apple mac new


What a rip off! The Mail sense the “fury”. And then readers get this:

The majority of American buyers will pay slightly closer to the UK price due to many states putting a sales tax on top of the price. In New York for example, where the sales tax is 8.875 per cent, customers would only be saving £50 compared to their British counterparts.

As Tim Worstall says, “US prices are quoted exclusive of sales tax, UK prices are quoted inclusive of VAT.”

Robertson fails to mention that. Apple does. Take this quote for one of its products:

2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
8GB 1866MHz memory
256GB PCIe-based SSD1
Intel Iris Graphics 540
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
Includes VAT of approx. £242.00.*

You can claim the 20% VAT back if you are VAT registered. So, yeah, the Apple stuff might be cheaper over here than it is in the USA!

Posted: 28th, October 2016 | In: Money, Tabloids, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Why I’m not buying an iPhone 7

Like millions of you, I’m not buying the New iPhone 7 because: a) they told me the iPhone 6s was the greatest phone ever and could not be beaten, and I beliveed them – still do!; b) the new cameras are so clear they force you see your own life as it really is; c) something about tax and stuff.

In the Guardian, you can read one man’s reasons for opting out:

….because they had pulled the Double Irish, the European commission has ruled, Apple deprived the EU of $14.5bn over the last 10 years. The EU ordered Apple to pay the taxes with interest at the end of August, a decision whose logic the company refutes.

No. The EU does not set tax rates.

This is hardly surprising: Apple is a massive multinational, and behaves like one despite its sanitized image. It has a long track record of looking the other way on suppliers’ human rights abuses, documented by the New York Times and other outlets. And it pays a tax rate lower than that of 99.99% of the human beings reading this story right now – and they clearly work harder at that profit margin and squeezing their supply chain now than they do on their actual technology. And in the last few years it is beginning to show.

d) They’re expensive.

Posted: 8th, September 2016 | In: Money, Reviews, Technology | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Hillary Clinton v Apple and The San Bernardino killers

Hillary Clinton versus Apple and the San Bernardino killers:


Hilary Clinton versus Apple and the Sat Bernadino killers


Posted: 22nd, February 2016 | In: Politicians, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Police hunt man who cyber-flashed London woman a photo of his penis

Analogue flashing

Analogue flashing


You can send anyone a photo of your penis via a feature “buried in Apple’s iPhone”, says the Indy. No need to download Snapchat or send an email. One iPhone user found the feature and sent a stranger a photo of his knob.

The woman received the picture during her journey on a train in South London, when she was sent it using Apple’s AirDrop feature. The technology is intended to let people easily share pictures between phones — but can be used by anyone in the immediate vicinity to send images to other people.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 13th, August 2015 | In: Reviews, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Apple rips-off record labels to launch its new streaming music service

Apple is alucning a new music streaming service. And it’s an utter rip off:

Apple is accused of attempting to launch its new Spotify rival, Apple Music, in a way that would leave Britain’s independent record labels “completely screwed” and struggling to survive. The Silicon Valley giant is demanding that record labels such as XL Recordings, the home of Adele, and Domino, the label behind the Arctic Monkeys, agree to a free three-month trial of Apple Music, during which they will receive no payment.

Free tials are great. But why should the service provider pay? Wonder if any Apple’s contract contains a clause stating that unless the record label members to ask for actual money for its service, Apple will continue to provide it for free?

Posted: 17th, June 2015 | In: Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Should Be Banned From Russia For Being Gay

So, at least, says a particularly repellent Russian commentator. That Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, should be banned from Russia after his recent public coming out as being gay. The reasoning being that he might bring Aids, or even Ebola, to Russia:

Hours after Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly addressed his sexuality for the first time, a St Petersburg politician has called for him to be banned from Russia.

According to a translation by Buzzfeed, anti-LGBT campaigner Vitaly Milonov, a member of the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg, drew on stereotypes of homosexuals to suggest Tim Cook could bring “Aids and gonorrhea” to Russia.

He told the FlashNord website: “what could he [Cook] bring us? The Ebola virus, Aids, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there. Ban him for life.”

Quite what the connection between being gay in San Francisco and Ebola is is uncertain. And the connection with Aids is truly absurd. For Russia has an HIV problem of immense scope. A toxic combination of no clean needles and rampant drug injecting has meant that an horrific percentage of young Russians is already infected. These days you’re actually more likely to get infected screwing around in Russia than you are in a gay bathhouse in SF. Which makes this contention, that Cook should be banned from Russia for being gay, ludicrous.

Posted: 31st, October 2014 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Losing the Double Irish Won’t Make Much Difference To Apple’s Taxes

There’s been a great deal of confusion over the years about Apple’s tax, what it pays, what it doesn’t and how it doesn’t. And there’s now been a change in the law that will impact, a bit, on one of the ways that it doesn’t pay tax. However, it’s not going to make all that much difference in the long run:

US companies including Apple and Google could be hit with demands for billions of dollars after Ireland yesterday unveiled plans to close the ‘Double Irish’ tax loophole.

However, a new tax break and pressure to tackle avoidance elsewhere in the world means US companies are unlikely to depart from the struggling eurozone economy.

Analysts and tax advisers predict that corporations which need access to the European Union’s 500 million consumers will find it difficult to set up equally effective schemes in other member states, as Brussels investigates other arrangements that involve paying minimal tax rates

No one’s going to move out of the EU over this, that’s obviously true.

But it’s worth thinking through what Apple used to do. The most important thing is that Apple hasn’t actually dodged any tax at all: it’s only delayed the date at which it might have to pay it. Yes, all the money they make in Europe ends up in Ireland and Ireland doesn’t tax it very much (the tax rate is about 2%) and the money ends up sitting in Bermuda, having paid very little tax at all.

But, and here’s the thing, Apple isn’t home and free, not just yet. Because in the end it wants to get those profits into the hands of the shareholders, the people who own the company. That’s what companies are for, to feed profits to the shareholders. and to do that Apple must move that money into the US: that’s just how the system works. And once it does that Apple will pay the 35% US corporate income tax, minus that 2% already paid. There is no way out of this: if Apple is to give the profits to the shareholders, which is what a company is form, then it will have to pay US corporate income tax.

So, the worst we can say is that Apple has delayed having to pay tax, it’s not got away without paying it at all.

This recent change does mean that Apple can’t use exactly the method it has been to do this. But there are plenty of other options (this is all about royalties for the use of the Apple name and technology, to add a bit of boring detail), for example, Holland has a 5% tax rate for royalties. So, instead of the Double Irish Apple could use the Dutch Sandwich instead. And that would mean a 5% tax rate, which is indeed higher than 2% but it’s still a lot less than 35%. So, we’ll still see those profits being parked offshore, just through a different network of companies this time.

Things will change, yes, but not very much.

Posted: 16th, October 2014 | In: Money | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Apple Screwed The Entire Finland Economy Claims Finnish Prime Minister

And to be fair to him there’s a certain amount of evidence that Apple did indeed screw over important parts of the Finnish economy. The invention of the smartphone did screw over Nokia and that paperless computing environment is at least partially here which doesn’t help Finland’s paper making industry all that much:

The prime minister of Finland has blamed Apple for the economic downturn his country is experiencing which saw it lose its AAA credit rating on Friday.

Alexander Stubb said the remarkable success of the California-based tech giant has had a negative impact on his country’s two biggest industries – technology and paper.

‘We have two champions which went down,’ Stubb told CNBC on Monday.

Not only has handset manufacturer Nokia suffered due to the success of smartphones such as the iPhone, but Finland’s paper industry has also fallen on hard times.

The country is a key production site for Europe’s biggest paper producers, UPM-Kymmene and Stora Enso, but Stubb said the success of tablet devices like the iPad had hit the sector hard.

‘A little bit paradoxically I guess one could say that the iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the Finnish paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,’ he predicted.

That’s always the problem with any new technology, there’s people happily making a mint out of the older technologies being replaced and they get screwed. There weren’t all that many buggy ship makers left after the success of the Model T Ford either.

However, I’m not entirely sure that the iPad killing the paper industry is all that important. Years back, Alan Coren, when editor of Punch, told of how he’d gone to Finland to meet their paper suppliers. And he’d pointed to some trees and asked if they were for the paper they printed Punch upon. The Finns all fell about laughing and said no, no, these trees were far more valuable than that, these trees were to be made into toilet paper.

So if loo paper is more valuable than printing paper then why’s the Finnish paper industry having problems? Surely no ones wiping their arse on their iPads are they?

Posted: 15th, October 2014 | In: Money | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Australia’s Going After Apple And Google’s Tax Payments

Or perhaps we should say that the Australian Parliament is going to look into the tax payments that Apple and Google don’t make in that country. I’m sure they’ll produce a lovely report and that they’ll complain mightily. But it’s very difficult indeed to see what they might actually be able to do about it:

The upper house yesterday supported a motion from Greens leader Christine Milne for the committee to examine and report on the “tax avoidance and aggressive tax minimisation by corporations registered in Australia and multinational corporations operating in Australia”.

Or as another report has it:

Milne suggested that by pulling up some of the largest businesses operating in Australia on their tax domestic commitments, the government could plug its revenue shortfall without removing funding from social services.

“Instead of pulling safety nets out from under people in our community who most need support, the Abbott government should look for ways to raise revenue from those who can afford to pay,” said Milne in a statement.

The inquiry, which will look at “tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation by corporations registered in Australia and multinational corporations operating in Australia”, is set to place in its cross hairs some of the biggest technology companies operating in Australia, including Apple, Google, and Amazon.

The federal government has previously called out companies such as Google and Apple for using the so-called “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich” method of funnelling money through countries outside of Australia to pay very low taxes domestically, despite significantly high revenue from Google’s advertising and Apple’s products sold in Australia.

The thing is that there’s really not very much at all that the Australian government can do about this. There’s something the US government could do, sure, but that wouldn’t change the amount of tax paid in Oz. There’s also something the Irish government could do but that would change the amount of tax paid in Oz. And whatever the Oz government decides to do isn’t going to change the amount of tax paid in Oz either.

For, what the two companies do, both Apple and Google, is to sell their products into Australia having manufactured them elsewhere. They thus pay whatever import duties there are (not very much if anything) and that’s it. All the profit they’ve made by making those things just isn’t made in Australia: thus there’s no profit tax paid in Australia.

And it really is that simple. Other than trying to increase import duties, thereby screwing up the entire world trade system, there’s just nothing Oz can do about it.

Posted: 3rd, October 2014 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Apple’s Fine From The EU Might Be As Much As …..Umm, 200 Million?

The European Commission has now released its document about why and how it thinks that Apple has been playing hooky with the Irish tax system. And it’s a real joy for connoiseurs of the intricacies of bureaucracy and taxation. Essentially, what the EU is saying is that the profits Apple made actually in Ireland were not properly taxed. And that, if they can prove that, then Apple must pay over to Ireland the tax that they should have paid.

The thing is, even if the EU manages to prove all of this then the likely amount that Apple will pay is $200 million or so. Yes, that’s all:

Apple set aside about $12 billion for U.S. federal and state income taxes in fiscal 2013, on sales of $62.7 billion in the Americas, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, which doesn’t break down revenue by country, set aside just $1.1 billion for foreign income taxes over the same period, on sales outside the Americas of about $88 billion. It reported foreign pretax earnings of $30.5 billion that fiscal year.

Apple could be asked to pay up to $200 million in back taxes, said Heather Self, a tax partner at Pinsent Masons LLP in London. She said the company could also agree to pay a smaller amount to settle—or pay nothing if Ireland offers a robust defense.

And another estimation:

Seamus Coffey, an economics lecturer at University College Cork, who has examined Apple’s Irish tax affairs, said: “The EC can demand back payments for 10 years, which would take it back to 2004.”

Figures in the commission’s calculation show that the relevant Apple subsidiaries – Apple Operations Europe and Apple Sales Europe – had annual profits of between €60m and €80m between 2009 and 2012, and annual revenues of between €500m and €680m.

“You’re taxed on profits, not revenues, but even if the EC said that all that revenue was pure profit, then over 10 years it would owe the Irish tax rate of 12.5% on about €6.8bn – that’s about €850m,” said Coffey. However, Coffey said a more likely figure would be 12.5% on total profits over the 10 years of perhaps €800m, amounting to €100m.

Well, the EU itself says back to 2003 but that’s trivia. The point being that over this same period of time Apple has made profits of around $150 billion (yes, that’s billion) and having to fork over another $100 million really isn’t going to be anything they’ll worry too much about.

As to why the sum is so small, it’s because the tax bill in Ireland is only on whatever profits come from actually doing business in Ireland. It’s a so called “territorial tax” system. So all of the vast profits Apple has been making by selling in the UK, and Germany, and Italy and so on and on don’t come into the Irish tax question at all.

This is, at worst, a pinprick, nothing more.

Posted: 1st, October 2014 | In: Money | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Apple’s Watch Could Earn You A £100 Fine

HERE’S a bit of a problem for Apple’s new Watch: looking at one while driving could earn you a £100 fine. And yes, that is even if it’s just a watch that you’re looking at. Because while you might just have it set up to show just a watch face the police aren’t to know that: and thus they can assume that you’re checking your emails or whatever. And that will be punished just like texting while driving will be: so this is all going to be most interesting really.

Here’s the proof:

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has warned that anyone caught using a justWatch when driving will be be hit with the same punishment as if they had been using a mobile phone.

This cautionary missive was backed up the Department for Transport, which said that anyone caught Apple wrist-watching while driving would be clobbered with three penalty points on their driving licence and a £100 fine.

The thing is that it’s a real problem. People being distracted by their mobile phone while driving killed some 110 people in the UK last year. And as that Apple Watch is more akin to a mobile than it is just to a watch then it’s going to get covered by those mobile phone rules, not the ones that say we’re allowed to glance at our watch while driving.

That’s a bit of a problem for the new product launch, isn’t it?

Posted: 30th, September 2014 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

iPhone Camera Testing: The Same Shot Taken With Every iPhone Model Ever Made


DO all iPhones take the same selfies? No. The newest models show your pores in better detail. Lisa Bettany shares with Snap Snap Snap readers her iPhone snaps taken with the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and the new iPhone 6 i. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 25th, September 2014 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Chinese iPhone Black Market

STOOD in the line outside Apple’s NYC emporium, Casey Neistat spotted Chinese resellers looking to resells the gadgets before they’re launched in China.

Apple limits each customer to two phones per person. Many faces in the crowd buy two with the Chinese resellers’ cash, earning a commission for standing around.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, September 2014 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The iPhone 6 Launch Is The X Factor For The Even Less Talented And Derranged: Photos Of Apple Fans At Large

THE iPhone launch has become a seasonal event. Like the X Factor auditions, it allows the sane the chance to look at the demented and desperate being wrangled by the rich and successful.

This highlights package of twattery, features the Grow-Yur-Own Apple fansboys sitting in a portable greenhouse, Glasgow’s saddest trio and two men jumping for joy at having spent loadsa money on a telephone.


Billy (surname not given) and Mike Roberts wait outside the Apple Store on Regent Street

Billy (surname not given) and Mike Roberts wait outside the Apple Store on Regent Street


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, September 2014 | In: Technology | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Apple Makes Security A Selling Point: Your iPhones Are Police-Proof

n this photo taken Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Silicon Valley pioneer and Silent Circle co-founder Jon Callas holds up Blackphone with encryption apps displayed on it at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Revelations about the NSA's electronic eavesdropping capabilities, with targets reported to include Chancellor Angela Merkel, have sparked anger in Germany, and a boom in encryption services that make it hard for the most sophisticated spies to read emails, listen to calls or comb through texts. “Snowden’s leaks were a real boon for us,” said Callas, whose company sells an encryption app which allows users to talk and text in private. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Ref #: PA.20591741  Date: 30/07/2014

n this photo taken Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Silicon Valley pioneer and Silent Circle co-founder Jon Callas holds up Blackphone with encryption apps displayed on it at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Revelations about the NSA’s electronic eavesdropping capabilities, with targets reported to include Chancellor Angela Merkel, have sparked anger in Germany, and a boom in encryption services that make it hard for the most sophisticated spies to read emails, listen to calls or comb through texts. ‘Snowden’s leaks were a real boon for us,’ said Callas, whose company sells an encryption app which allows users to talk and text in private. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

BAD news for spies. Apple will not comply with police orders to unlock your iPhones, iPads. Why? Because it can’t:

The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails and recordings. Apple once maintained the ability to unlock some content on devices for legally binding police requests but will no longer do so for iOS 8, it said in the new privacy policy.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

Just don’t use the company’s cloud software…

Posted: 19th, September 2014 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch And Titter As First iPhone 6 Buyer Drops His New Toy On Live TV

TO Australia, where an Apple fanboy who queued to buy an iPhone 6 is showing it off to the excited Press. His hand shakes as he touches the genuine cardboard box and peels the lid off:




Posted: 19th, September 2014 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Apple’s New Leukaemia Mystery

A NEW allegation about those massive factories in China that make all of Apple’s iKit. That the chemicals being used to clean the electronics have caused an outbreak of leukaemia among the workers. It should be said that there’s not likely to be much truth to the allegations: but then they’re coming from a “labour watch” group who seem not to have been all that interested in the truth in the past. It’s the same group who brought us the news of the high suicide rates in the same factories. When in fact that suicide rate was lower than it is in China in general:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 17th, September 2014 | In: Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

How To Erase U2 From Your Apple Cassette Player

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2014 file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, greets Bono from the band U2 after they preformed at the end of the Apple event on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. Apple unveiled a new Apple Watch, the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay and U2 offered iTunes customers a free download of their latest album, "Songs of Innocence." (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

 In this Sept. 9, 2014 photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, greets Bono from the band U2 after they preformed at the end of the Apple event on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. 


THERE’S been much chatter about Apple’s move to give away U2’s new album Songs of Innocence to 500 million iTunes customers in 119 countries to coincide with its iPhone 6 and Watch launch.

U2’s singer Bono (Mr G21) opined:

“People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library,”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 17th, September 2014 | In: Celebrities, Music, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Blame Apple For Seeing Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence In The Nude

WHO to blame for the naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence and, reportedly, 100 other stars leaked on the web? The hackers who took images from the star’s iCloud account? No. David Auerbach blames Apple:

Apple is currently delighted that people are talking about how you shouldn’t take naked photos of yourself in the first place, but make no mistake: Apple has been provably irresponsible with users’ security. It is currently unclear how the naked photos were gathered—most likely through a number of different methods and different servers over a period of months if not years. What isclear is that Apple has had a known security vulnerability in its iCloud service for months and has been careless about protecting its users. Apple patched this vulnerability shortly after the leak, so even if we’re not sure of exactly how the photos got hacked, evidently Apple thinks it might have had something to do with it. Whether or not this particular vulnerability was used to gather some of the photos—Apple is not commenting, as usual, but the ubiquity and popularity of Apple’s products certainly points to the iCloud of being a likely source—its existence is reason enough for users to be deeply upset at their beloved company for not taking security seriously enough.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 3rd, September 2014 | In: Celebrities, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Does Apple Deliberately Slow Down Its Old iPhones?

That’s the question that’s asked over in the New York Times, whether Apple deliberately slows down its old iPhones so that people will go out to buy a new model. And the answer is, well, you might think so, but probably not. For it’s true that there’s evidence that everyone complains about how slow their old phones are when a new one comes out: but that’s a function of technology, not active malevolence:

A new study is backing up long held suspicions that Apple slows down older models of its iPhones to encourage users to buy a new release.

The U.S. study analysed worldwide searches for ‘iPhone slow’ and found that the search term spiked significantly around the time of new iPhone launch.

It then compared those results with similar searches for the term ‘Samsung Galaxy slow’, and discovered the term was unaffected by new releases from Samsung.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 8th, August 2014 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0