It’s no secret that car companies routinely buy (and tear apart) each other’s vehicles on a regular basis, either to gain intel or just for the sick pleasure of wanton destruction. So if Apple has two brand-new Model Xs sitting outside a building that’s been linked to its self-driving car division, that means Apple’s building a Model X competitor, right? Not so fast.
It’s no secret that Apple keeps billions of dollars in cash offshore, using legal loopholes to avoid bringing that money into the US, or paying any significant taxes on it. Whether you see the scheme as morally bankrupt or just sound financial planning tends to vary, but a Nobel-winning economist who is advising Hillary Clinton has a strong opinion on the matter.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz described Apple’s use of the transfer pricing system as “a fraud,” while also hitting out against the “obviously deficient” US law that enables Apple to do so, while still remaining technically legal.
Movie critics have a difficult job. Remaining objective and viewing a film through the target audience’s eyes is no easy task, because we all inherently have biases when it comes to matters of opinion. In the case of big-budget blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, critics by and large seem to have failed pretty miserably. The movie was panned by pros, earning it an abysmal 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While their terrible reviews may very well have impacted audience sentiment, they did precious little to actually dissuade anyone from seeing the movie — it racked up nearly $873 million globally at the box office, making it the 46th highest grossing film in history.
And speaking of history… history is now repeating itself and giving us another gentle reminder that movie critics are pretty much useless. More →
Anything called a “Gigafactory” being built in the Nevada desert was always going to be big. (There’s no other reason to build something in the Nevada desert, for one.) But a new behind-the-scenes video from Wired shows the speed and ambition that Tesla is applying to building
Elon Musk’s new supervillain lair the factory where the Model 3 will be made.
The Gigafactory is under construction in Sparks, Nevada. When it’s finished, it will be the biggest building in the world by footprint, and will churn out batteries for 500,000 Model 3s per year. But first, Tesla needs four walls and a roof.
What goes up must come down, and Apple is in the midst of a tough lesson in gravity at the moment. The company’s second-quarter earnings report this past April marked the first time Apple had ever reported a decline in iPhone sales. Of course, the decline was expected by anyone who was paying attention — after astronomical iPhone 6 sales fueled by pent-up demand for iPhones with larger displays, there was simply no way Apple was going to be able to keep pace with an incremental “S” upgrade. What was unexpected, however, was how dramatic that sales decline would be.
With the second quarter behind us and serious questions surrounding the future of Apple’s core business swirling, all eyes were still fixed on the iPhone ahead of Tuesday’s fiscal Q3 earnings report. More →
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in a cave in a fallout shelter (got extra space?), you’ve probably heard of popular gaming app/dystopian plot line Pokemon Go. It’s mind-blowingly popular, as seemingly confirmed by Apple: Pokemon Go had the most downloads in its first week of any app ever. Candy Crush, eat your heart out.
Downside of going to Rio for the Olympics: you might get Zika. Plus side of going to Rio (at least if you’re a T-Mobile customer): free data for the duration of the games.
The carrier-that-isn’t-a-carrier announced on Thursday that any customers heading to Rio for the Olympics will get free data, free calls back to the US, and free worldwide texting. Given that you can pick up a pre-paid SIM for less than my monthly plan, might be worth buying if you’re heading to Rio this August.
The reviews system is one of the things that makes Amazon good. Thousands of crowd-sourced, supposedly unbiased reviews take the guesswork out of buying sight unseen.
But a new study is shedding light on the dark underbelly of incentivized Amazon reviews. Those are reviews where the reviewer has received an item for free, which according to the results of the study, introduce bias into the system. A lot of bias.
Pokemon GO has rolled out in more than 30 countries and it is now two weeks since its US launch. The data around the usage patterns is becoming ever more mindboggling. New numbers AppAnnie has shared with BGR defy belief. Most apps would be deliriously happy to top 20 minute average daily engagement. But each Pokemon GO users spends more than an hour on the app every day. What makes this number stunning is the fact that more than 10% of all American smartphone users play the game.
It has the broadest user base of any mobile game, but also gets those users playing every day. This combination is completely unprecedented.
Apps that get their average user to spend an hour a day tapping the screen tend to appeal to small core of rabid fans. Whatsapp, a universally popular app is regarded as exceptionally addictive because it has managed to get to 27 minute daily average usage time.
Elon Musk’s master plan: part two is here, and it’s a doozy. Rather than set out a short-term vision, he’s setting out a plan for how Tesla will save the world. No, actually.
In the plan, he’s outlining how Tesla as we know it is going to change. Forget fast sports cars: the future Tesla will feature pickup trucks, semi trailers and urban buses, with those concepts to be unveiled next year.
Netflix just released numbers from the second quarter of 2016, which gives us our first look at how customers are responding to a price hike for older Netflix members. Prices are up from $7.99 to $9.99 for many people, and Netflix has seen its slowest growth ever in the US, adding 340,000 fewer subscribers than expected.
As you’d expect, the news has seen Netflix’s stock price tank, but the streaming giant is sticking to its guns.
Samsung is well known for spreading its bets in the smartphone industry. Doesn’t matter if the future is curved displays, built-in projectors or your own operating system, because Samsung has researched them all.
The biggest name in Android phones is now diversifying its holdings outside consumer electronics, by purchasing a stake in Chinese car maker BYD. There may be some benefits to be gained by both companies — Samsung can bring its experience making semi-waterproof smartphones to in-car entertainment systems, and BYD gets something better than Apple CarPlay.
It’s no secret that Google and the EU’s anti-competitive practices department have a rocky relationship. Google has been accused of abusing its monopoly power to keep competitors out of the business in the past, and now regulators are doubling down.
The European Commission today issued a “statement of objections” against Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The main complaint is the contract Google signs with third-party websites that use its advertising service, which forces websites to put Google’s ads front and center, and prevents them from using ads from non-Google services.
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