October 7

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iFixit’s 2015 Chromecast + Chromecast Audio teardown

Two years after the original Chromecast HDMI streaming stick, Google decided it was ready last week to unveil the sequel with a redesigned and more capable 2nd-gen Chromecast as well as an entirely new product for streaming audio to old speakers called Chromecast Audio. Readily standing by, the folks over at iFixit have already picked up and torn apart both new streamers. Both look remarkably similar on the inside at first glance, and iFixit has some praise for how Chromecast handles HDMI this year… expand full story

With the debate over ads and the speed of the mobile web growing every day, many web companies like Apple and Facebook have pushed for publishers to hand over their content in the name of a better experience for users. But content creators — for the most part — don’t want to do that, and Google knows that. So today, the Mountain View company has announced the Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative, a plan it’s leading to make the mobile web faster… expand full story

Lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice has called out Google, Apple and Microsoft and others for what it described as “accounting tricks” in which companies “pretend” to be based overseas for tax purposes. The claims were made in a report entitled Offshore Shell Games 2015.

Many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.

Google’s overseas tax arrangements came under fire in the UK back in 2013 when it was revealed that the company paid just £6M ($9.4M) on a UK turnover of £395M ($620M), claiming that all its advertising sales were made by staff in Ireland (a claim later challenged) …

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Early this summer, Sony announced a new Concept for Android software testing scheme in which it invited owners in specific markets, and with specific handsets, to test out new concept software. Seemingly it went well for Sony, as it announced this morning that it’s opening up a similar program for Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Users with the Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact in a number of countries will be able to apply to join the program. This news comes just a day after the manufacturer released its long list of devices which should receive Marshmallow over the coming months.

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There’s good news and bad news for Samsung today. The good news: the company has forecast a reversal of its seven-quarter decline in profits, suggesting an impressive year-on-year hike of almost 80%.

The bad news is that, while the company itself hasn’t released any details on where the profit is coming from, analysts cited by the WSJ and elsewhere put it down to strong growth in sales of chips and displays – not phone sales. This suggests that Samsung is making its money by helping other manufacturers, like Apple, sell their phones …  expand full story

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