Tech News of the Day Dec 13, 2012

Google is under public pressure to pay more taxes as the news of it “funneling” $9.8B of its revenue to Bermuda helped it halve its tax bill. The pressure is coming from the US and Europe. I find it ironic that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is such an ardent Obama supporter as our President seems to be singularly focused on getting anyone who can afford it to pay more taxes. Before you get bent out of shape regarding what Google has done, remember that every company has to do its best to maximize profit and this means looking for every legal way possible to minimize taxes. Google has done nothing wrong – as long as they followed the rules.

But what I do find morally questionable is how the employees of this company use the proceeds from this extreme tax minimization strategy as salaries which are contributed 98% of the time to Democrats. This is the party who is forever trying to increase taxes on what they call wealthy people. In reality increased taxes on any group ripples through the economy and affects everyone in it.

Be careful how many iPhones you buy as it can get you Tasered – like this lady. Yes, it is true, a woman was told she wastaser-iphone.png buying too many iPhones at an Apple store in a New Hampshire mall. Apparently they are really strict about this sort of thing in New England as the woman was injured during the Tasering incident. She had over $10,000 in cash on her and the store suspected she was illegally selling these iPhones.

Unpaid bloggers for Huffington Post still not getting paid – now owe legal bills. If you worked for Arianna Huffington for free and got no money for it and were somehow surprised when you also didn’t get a cut of the $315Mthe company received when AOL purchased it – you are out of luck. Not only will you not pass go, you won’t even collect 200 cents – let alone dollars for your efforts.

The freedom of the Internet is being decided in the middle of the night in the Middle East. My family left the Middle East in-part because of a lack of freedom. Now it seems one of the most democratizing inventions ever is under threat of regulation in Dubai of all places. Seriously –it’s like determining the future of fine global cuisine at a Jack-in-the-box in Tijuana.

John McAfee back in the US: Perhaps this is the weirdest story in the world of tech as the man synonymous with antivirus has been on the run internationally for weeks and finally landed in Miami. Apparently he left everything behind in Belize – $20M in investments and 15 properties. I’d love to get him as a keynote speaker – I am sure it will be fascinating.

Government precision strikes again: A car standing still was issued a speeding ticket in Baltimore. Once the police were alerted to the error I am sure they reduced the charge to a parking ticket. Gotta make the monthly quota after all.

Google Maps is now available on iOS again but there is limited integration with Siri. Great news for those who missed Google Maps on their iDevices. You can’t seem to speak directions into it though.You must go to Google Maps and type in an address or if you use the Google App for iOS you can speak a name and have the map brought up but it isn’t integrated with the new mapping app. You can speak a location to Siri and then specify transit or walking directions however and then have the routing accomplished by Google. What Apple needs to do (yeah like they’re great advice takers) is to allow the user to choose Google Maps as the default map for the phone. With all the flack over this issue they may just actually take this suggestion.

The courts are trying to decide who owns your Twitter followers: You worked for a while to build a following at work – the question now is who owns them. This piece delves into the issue a bit.

Transparent Speaker.png 

A new gadget from Kickstarter is an entirely transparent speaker. While transparency may be good in relationships (then again…) it may not be the best thing in the audiophile world as you can see the wires. It was Steve Jobs who fussed so much about things like what the wires look liked in the NeXT computer that the company went under. Even then, the wires were hidden. If you are going to show the wires you better make them look like something Apple would use.

Other tablets gaining on iPad: While Parks Associates put out a release about how the iPad will beat the Kindle Fire this holiday season, this is pretty much a given and no surprise to anyone. The real news is 44% of those surveyed will buy an iPad 2 while 24% will purchase a Kindle Fire and 21% will purchase a Microsoft Surface. The Google Nexus was on the list as well at 12%.

My takeaway is Apple may be losing its near-monopoly in the tablet space. But then again the iPad Mini is all the rage these days and somehow isn’t on the chart. This makes the whole survey questionable or at least incomplete IMHO.

It is worth pointing out this statement from the release which isn’t really that clear:

“The iPad mini launch could cannibalize some iPad sales,” Barrett said. “When presented with this new product option, 40% of iPad intenders opted for an iPad mini.”

I say “unclear” because I would imagine some purchasers would buy a Mini instead of one of the other choice but an iPad 2.

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