By sheer coincidence, our final episode of The MacNN Podcast comes just before a scheduled break for the Canada Day/Fourth of July holiday. Yes, it is sort of true -- because the site will be shutting down (more on that in a bit, but you can read about it here), this will be the last episode under the MacNN banner. However, because Mike and Charles and others are still having too much fun with this, we'll pick up again on the week of July 11 with a new creation, Cranky Old Guys Generally Disapproving of New Things, or Project Keep Us Off the Streets, or whatever we're going to call it.
Apple has paid just £12.9 million ($17 million) in corporation tax in the United Kingdom last year, it has been discovered, an increase from £11.8 million in the previous year. The relatively low corporation tax payment revelation comes as the investigation into the company's tax minimization activities across the European union nears completion, with the UK corporation tax level also seeming to be fairly low in comparison to how much profit it generated in the country alone.
We're halfway through our year-long history celebrating Apple's 40th anniversary, and we've reached a milestone for the entire computer industry. These days, that really means a milestone for the world -- and yet, it's one that is barely remembered, hardly celebrated, and when you know what it is, our perspective from all these years later actually makes it hard to really comprehend how monumental it is.
For quite a while now, MacNN sometimes finds a deal that is too big or important to go into our other deal lists, and is deserving enough to be highlighted inside its own Big Deals post. Even though this writing team hasn't got much time left, we're still going to point out the deals we think you will enjoy like we always have. Like last summer, we've found one of the largest photography bundles deals available, with the aptly named The Big Deal 2016 from Foto Promos.
Fujifilm has released a new portable printer that is claimed to provide users with credit card-sized photographic prints within ten seconds, faster than its predecessor. As the name suggests, the Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2 is meant to receive a photograph from a smartphone or tablet and turn it into a compact printed image that users can keep, giving users an alternative way to create a copy of their favorite photos alongside the usual sharing of images with friends over social networks.
I'm not even supposed to be here. While, strictly speaking, I started my career in BBC local radio, I soon moved into computer magazines -- and then I left, from boredom. I'm only telling you this because it's you. Also because they were PC computer magazines: I struggled to get excited when this month's grey box was one percent faster or perhaps 10 percent greyer than the last. Yet by sheer number of hours alone, I think I've written more computer journalism on MacNN in the last 19 months than I have anything else.
Now AAPL Stock: 92.13 ( -1.28 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R