EU Says Apple Owes €13B in Back Taxes, and the Fight is On

· · Analysis

EU wants €13 billion for back Apple taxes

The European Union says Apple owes €13 billion (about US$14.5 billion) in back taxes because Ireland gave the iPhone and Mac maker illegal and unfair tax advantages. Apple and Ireland have both condemned the ruling maintaining they acted within the country’s laws, and are planning to appeal the ruling.

Apple Music's Carpool Karaoke Will Feature Broader Range of Celebrities

· · Cool Stuff Found

BusinessInsider has a piece on the Carpool Karaoke series Apple is working on for Apple Music. According to Ben Winston, co-founder of series producer Fulwell 73 Productions, the show is going to open up guest spots to celebrities who aren’t musicians. He also said the deal came together because of Jimmy Iovine, and that CBS will limit Carpool Karaoke‘s exposure on The Late Late Show with James Corden to keep it fresh. Carpool Karaoke could be a breakout hit for Apple. For context, the episode featuring Adele (below) has 124.6 million views on YouTube. Mr. Corden is executive producer of the Apple Music spinoff, but won’t be hosting it. There’s more in the full BI piece.

MOS Pack Backpack Charges Multiple Devices with One Plug

· · Cool Stuff Found

Here’s something cool for techies on the go, especially the back-to-school crowd. It’s called MOS Pack, a backpack with a built-in portable charging station for all your gadgets. It has pockets for iPhones (or other smartphones), iPads, your passport, and a spot for a water bottle. On the charging side, the MOS pack doesn’t have a built-in battery—which you’d have to lug around—but instead has a charging station that distributes power to all your gadgets from one plug. Inside it has a cable management system you feed to each gadget in each pockets, and you’re charging everything without having to pull them out. I thought it quite clever at $99.

MOS Pack Backpack Charges Multiple Devices with One Plug

FresheTech Splash Tunes Bluetooth Shower Speaker: $19.99

· · Link

FresheTech Splash Tunes Bluetooth Shower Speaker

Check out the FresheTech Splash Tunes Bluetooth Shower Speaker. The name tells you what it is, but if you look at the image you’ll see a suction cup you can use to stick it to a mirror or even the wall in your shower. It has a nine-hour battery life, and you recharge via an included microUSB cable. You can get it through our deal for $19.99.

Apple Might Destroy the EU

· · Devil's Advocate

Could Apple Destroy the EU?

It looks like the European Commission (EC) will rule against Apple and Ireland’s tax arrangement. If the European Union (EU) bullies Ireland (via the EC or other proxy) and basically rules that Ireland doesn’t have the sovereign right to set its own tax rates, there is some chance it could be a wedge issue that pushes Ireland to decide to leave the European Union.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Omni Group Software Engineer Liz Marley

· · Background Mode Podcast

Liz Marley

Liz Marley is a software engineer for the Omni Group. Early in life, there never was a time when Liz didn’t have computers. At age four, she started with her dad’s Apple IIGS, and she was encouraged to use it freely. Later, she majored in Computer Science at Harvey Mudd college and soon thereafter landed a job as a software tester. Over the years, her career has taken a series of interesting twists. From software coding to testing to being a product manager and then back to coding. In fact, her work with App Camp For Girls led her to a remarkable career decision and turn of events at the Omni Group. This is must listening for everyone interested in computer programming as a career.

Apple Media Event Officially Set for Sept 7

· · News

Apple September 7 media event

Apple has been expected to host a special media event on Wednesday, September 7th, and now it’s confirmed because invitations are arriving in the media’s in boxes. The company isn’t saying what it’ll announce, but the smart money is on new iPhones.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-08-29: Apple Watch 2 Battery, Microsoft's Smart Surface Pro 4 Ad

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

New photos show what looks like the battery for the Apple Watch 2, and it seems to support John Martellaro’s premise that the next model won’t be any thinner. Today John and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet for a little gloating at Bryan’s expense because he’s been championing a thinner Apple Watch 2. They also look at Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro 4 ad and dive into why slamming the MacBook Air was a smart move.

Philips Adds Motion Sensor to its Smart Home Lineup

· · Cool Stuff Found

Philips is adding a motion sensor to its Hue smart bulb product line that’ll turn on your lights when you walk into a room. The Hue Motion Sensor runs on two AAA batteries so you can place it anywhere that works for you, can pair with specific light control scenes for day and night, has adjustable sensitivity, and is smart enough to leave the lights off when it’s still light out. The Hue Motion Sensor will be available in October for US$39.95.

Philips Adds Motion Sensor to its Smart Home Lineup

MGG 620: Backups Deep Dive

· & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Mac Geek Gab Logo

It’s time for a Deep Dive! This time, Backups. Local backups, online backups, remote backups, paid backups, free backups. Just promise us one thing: no matter what you choose after listening to this episode, please make sure you’re backing up your data!

WhatsApp's New Privacy Policy is a Big Trust Killer

· · Analysis

Facebook WhatsApp data collection

When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, the WhatsApp team promised nothing would change for its users. Fast forward to today where WhatsApp changed its privacy policy to start sharing some information with Facebook. That feels like a betrayal to at least some users, and at a minimum it sure sounds like Facebook—the company with a reputation for playing fast and loose with our privacy—is about to have a link into our WhatsApp data.

Soundjump Bluetooth Speaker Has Built-In Portable Charger: $104.99

· · Link

Soundjump Bluetooth Speaker

Check out the Soundjump Bluetooth Speaker , a portable speaker that can serve double duty as a portable battery for your mobile devices. As a speaker, this device has dual custom 45mm drivers and a machined aluminum body. Its rechargeable battery has a capacity of 6,000mAh, plus you can pull it out and use it to recharge your mobile devices. You can get the Soundjump Bluetooth Speaker for $104.99 through our deal.

How to Opt Out of WhatsApp's Facebook Data Sharing

· · Quick Tip

WhatsApp open padlock

WhatsApp changed its privacy policy so it can share information with Facebook. The idea is that by sharing some information about you, Facebook can display more relevant ads. If that doesn’t sound like anything you’re interested in, don’t dispair because WhatsApp lets you opt out. Read on to learn how.

Get Your 80s Synth on with the Stranger Things Soundtrack on Apple Music

· · Cool Stuff Found

Now that we’ve all had enough time to watch all of Stranger Things on Netflix it’s safe to check out the soundtrack on Apple Music without worrying about spoilers. Stranger Things Volume 1 includes is loaded the show’s decidedly 80s synth tracks from Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein like the show’s theme, Eleven’s theme, and the creepy The Upside Down. The playlist has 36 tracks, and there’s a volume 2 for when you’re ready for even more Stranger Things music. And if you haven’t seen the series yet, clear your schedule now and start watching.

Get Your 80s Synth on with the Stranger Things Soundtrack on Apple Music