reifman writes "Apple's not the only company to save billions in taxes through Nevada as The New York Times reported yesterday. Here's how Microsoft's saved $4.37 billion in tax payments to Washington State and how it's led indirectly to $4 billion in K-12 and Higher Education cuts since 2008. 18% of University of Washington freshman are now foreigners (because they pay more) up from 2% six years ago. Washington State ranks 47th nationally in 18-24 yo college enrollment and 48th in K-12 class size. This hasn't stopped the architect of the company's Nevada tax dodge from writing in The Seattle Times: 'it's [Washington] state's paramount duty to provide for the public education of all children. Unfortunately, steady declines in public resources now threaten our ability to live up to that commitment.' Yes, indeed."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
redletterdave writes "While downloading and storing digital media with online service providers has become commonplace — more so than purchasing DVDs and CDs at physical retail stores — it's not very easy to transfer digital files from one individual to another, usually because of copyright laws. Some digital distributors have systems for limiting usage and distribution of their products from the original purchaser to others, but often times, transferring a copyright-protected file from one device to another can result in the file being unplayable or totally inaccessible. Apple believes it has a solution to this issue: A gift-giving platform where users have a standardized way for buying, sending and receiving media files from a provider (iTunes) between multiple electronic devices (iPhones, iPads). The process is simply called, 'Gifting.'"
An anonymous reader writes "More bad news comes from Apple's iDevice manufacturing partner Foxconn that is sure to ruffle the feathers of Apple fans. From the story: 'Factory workers at a Foxconn plant in Jundiaí, Brazil are complaining of overcrowded buses, poor food and a lack of water and have threatened to strike unless the issues are resolved by May 3. According to a report by Brazil's Tech Guru (Google Translation), over 2,500 Foxconn employees have complained about conditions at the factory. Workers reportedly met last Monday to raise the concerns and have given the company 10 days to address them.'"
An anonymous reader writes "An article at the NY Times explains the how the most profitable tech company in the world becomes even more profitable by finding ways to avoid or minimize taxes. Quoting: 'Apple's headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company's profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains. California's corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada's? Zero. ... As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world. ... Without such tactics, Apple's federal tax bill in the United States most likely would have been $2.4 billion higher last year, according to a recent study (PDF) by a former Treasury Department economist, Martin A. Sullivan. As it stands, the company paid cash taxes of $3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $34.2 billion last year, a tax rate of 9.8 percent."
rtfa-troll writes "Tomi Ahonen reports that Samsung has become the largest manufacturer of smartphones (overtaking Apple) and of mobile phones (overtaking Nokia). During the first quarter of 2012 Samsung sold 93.5 million phones, with 44.5 million (48%) of those being smartphones. Apple would still lead on 'smart mobile devices' with 52 million sales including iPads, but not iPods. The last time the lead in mobile phone sales changed was in 14 years ago, in 1998, when Nokia overtook Ericsson. Ericsson never recovered and began leaving the mobile phone market three years later, creating Sony Ericsson, later Sony Mobile. It looks like the mobile phone market is going to be brutal, with Apple and Samsung crushing everybody else except possibly HTC, which is still rising, and Motorola (which has Google to look after it)."
New submitter eetc writes "This article surveys the sorry state of car makers' stereo and navigation systems: 'It's clear that most of the auto companies that offer more than a car stereo want to lock you into their interface and services — as awful as they are. The rest don't care. The aftermarket stereo and nav systems are no better. Stuffed with even more buttons and light-show gewgaws, they're sure to keep your eyes off the road and may not work easily with your stuff. Add to that mix the split focus of also having to use a separate GPS unit in most vehicles, and you have to wonder what keeps our roads so relatively safe.' The answer in one word: iCar. This is just the sort of broken market that Apple specializes in taking over."
First time accepted submitter a90Tj2P7 writes "Apple is building a 21,468 square foot private restaurant in Cupertino so employees can talk shop over lunch without being overheard. Apple's director of real estate facilities, Dan Wisenhunt, stated that: 'We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research and whatever project they're engineering without fear of competition sort of overhearing their conversations.'"
milbournosphere writes "It looks like Steve drew up an idea for an ad-supported OS. A patent was filed back in 2009 detailing how it was done. From the article: 'Rather than charge the normal upgrade price, which in those days was $99, he was thinking of shipping a second version of Mac OS 9 that would be given away for free — but would be supported instead by advertising. The theory was that this would pull in a ton of people who didn't normally upgrade because of the price, but Apple would still generate income through the advertising. And any time an owner of the free version wanted to get rid of the advertising, he or she could simply pay for the ad-free version. Steve's team had worked out the preliminary numbers the concept seemed financially sound.'"
storagedude writes "Google could go the way of the dodo if ultra intelligent electronic agents (UIEA) make their way into the mainstream, according to technology prognosticator Daniel Burrus. Siri is just the first example of how a UIEA could end search as we know it. By leveraging the cloud and supercomputing capabilities, Siri uses natural language search to circumvent the entire Google process. If Burrus is right, we'll no longer have to wade through '30,000,000 returns in .0013 milliseconds' of irrelevant search results."
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's current legal battles with Samsung encapsulate a large number of patents, innumerable suits and counter-suits, and have resulted in legal motions in 11 jurisdictions across the globe. As you may remember, Steve Jobs in his biography was quite vocal about his intent to go thermonuclear on Android, vowing to spend every last dime in Apple's coffers to destroy Google's mobile OS. But Tim Cook is a bit more level headed about things, expressing during Apple's earnings conference call yesterday that he has has always hated litigation and would much rather settle than to battle in court. The caveat, of course, is that Cook doesn't want Apple to 'become the developer for the world.'" It may not be what Jobs would do, but as zacharye notes, it doesn't seem to be hurting earnings. "Despite early-morning jitters on Wall Street, Apple on Tuesday reported yet another blow-out quarter. The Cupertino, California-based company managed the second most profitable quarter in its history, posting a net profit of $11.6 billion on $39.2 billion in sales. Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones into channels last quarter, along with 11.8 million iPads, 7.7 million iPods and 4 million Mac computers. While the firm continues to dominate the technology industry — Apple is currently the most valuable company in the world — several analysts think Apple is just getting started."
tlhIngan writes "This week is Motorola's lucky week; they've won twice in two separate patent suits. First, an ITC judge has ruled that Microsoft's Xbox 360 has violated 4 of 5 patents related to h.264. This is just a preliminary ruling (PDF) and both Microsoft and Motorola will face an ITC panel later this year. In the other case, the ITC judge has ruled Apple violates a 3G patent, one that a German court ruled that Apple didn't violate earlier this year. "
suraj.sun writes with news that a new patent suit has been filed against Apple over all of the company's touch-based products. From the article: "According to the complaint (PDF), Professor Slavoljub Milekic conceived a system that used a touchscreen that allowed children to move virtual objects around the screen, which he used to build interactive displays for the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY, in 1997, and filed for a patent on his design that same year. The patent in the suit, U.S. Patent #6,920,619 named 'User interface for removing an object from a display,' was issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in 2005. According to the lawsuit, Milekic formed FlatWorld Interactives in 2007 to 'promote and commercialize' his invention. Curiously, FlatWorld was incorporated on January 2007, just weeks after Apple announced the original iPhone at Macworld Expo. In July 2007, just after Apple shipped the original iPhone, FlatWorld filed a reissue request for the patent, which appears to have been done in order to modify some of the patent's dependent claims."
With more on the Flashback malware plaguing many Macs, beaverdownunder writes with some explanation of how the infection grew so quickly: "Alexander Gostev, head of the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky, says that 'tens of thousands of sites powered by WordPress were compromised. How this happened is unclear. The main theories are that bloggers were using a vulnerable version of WordPress or they had installed the ToolsPack plug-in.'"
beaverdownunder writes "Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel have been accused of maintaining an agreement not to poach each other's staff, thus restricting increases in salary and restricting career development. California District Judge Lucy Koh has found that the plaintiffs have adequately demonstrated antitrust injury. Sparked by a request from the late Steve Jobs, from 2005 to 2007 the defendants had a 'no cold-call' policy of staff recruitment amongst themselves. Jobs is also alleged to have threatened Palm with litigation for not entering into a 'no cold-call' agreement with Apple." Besides the companies named above, Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm are also involved.