Tag - Ireland
Apple is being criticized for trying to justify its placement of a data center in Ireland, by keeping it as far away from nuclear facilities as it can. According to one document, Apple chose to construct the data center at Athenry, County Galway as the best possible location, despite an apparent requirement for it to be at least 320 kilometers (198.8 miles) away from the nearest nuclear facility, though complaints suggest this to be not only a made-up detail to justify the location, but that the chosen plot is also within the supposed range of one nuclear site.
Apple's Irish data center plans are vital for the company's future expansion across Europe, according to a document detailing Apple's response to objections over the center's construction. An "opening statement" from Robert Sharpe, senior director for global data center services, to an oral hearing advises the center is needed to keep up with the huge demand for Apple services, including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud.
Apple has defended its plans to construct a data center in Ireland, over concerns about its energy usage. Environmental concerns were brought up early in an oral hearing about the center with An Bord Pleanala, a regulator that deals with planning decisions made by local authorities, but the main issue brought up concerns the center's energy demands, which critics suggest could impact the electricity prices of consumers across the country.
Apple will remain "committed to Ireland," regardless of the outcome of its tax investigation by the European Union, the vice president of the company's European operations. Speaking to a panel of European Parliament lawmakers the day before Apple and other companies were scheduled to testify about their tax affairs, Apple's Cathy Kearney argues that the iPhone maker pays all due taxes in the country, and it does not receive any unfair advantage from local authorities for operating in the region.
A government planning regulator in Ireland has asked Apple to provide more detail about its data center plans, a report claims. According to leaked documents, An Bord Pleanála has delayed the decision it was going to make this month over a planning decision appeal in favor of one that will take place in May, with a letter from the regulator sent to Arup Consulting Engineers, the team working on the project on behalf of Apple, requesting extra information.
Apple employees are often targets of hackers wanting to gain access to their company credentials, but it is claimed staff are being offered bribes to share their account details. According to a report, hackers are offering high prices for account passwords, with bribes to some staff exceeding $20,000, all in the name of acquiring precious internal information and data that could be sold online to interested parties for far higher figures.
A billion-dollar Apple data center in Ireland is currently on hold due to delays by the local environmental review board over concerns about the impact of the construction on local wildlife. Although the company received permission to build up to eight "data halls" or server buildings (approximately 263,000 square feet each) on the site, local residents registered concerns that the construction of the center will harm the local population of badgers, bats, and other animals. Local activists have called Apple's original environmental impact assessment (EIS) "inadequate," but the board (An Bord Pleanála) has been delaying a decision on the matter.
Following a meeting by Apple CEO Tim Cook with the head of the antitrust investigation against Ireland on behalf of the European Commission, Apple's CFO has told London's Financial Times that should Ireland be found guilty of giving companies like Apple "special state aid," Apple should owe nothing in back taxes. The crux of remarks by Luca Maestri is that Apple did not receive any special deal from Ireland, but if Ireland illegally lowered its tax rate to benefit corporations, it is the state -- and not the companies that benefitted from the lower rate -- that should pay any penalties.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spent the past couple of days in Europe, where he met with the head of the European Commission's antitrust division as well as Pope Francis at the Vatican in a brief private meeting. On Thursday, Cook met with Margrethe Vestager, the antitrust chief, presumably to reiterate the company's innocence in the Irish tax scandal that could conceivably result in Apple owing billions in back taxes, despite the fact that Ireland's politicians appear to be the guilty party. Cook also met with some Italian developers as Apple opened a new development center in the country.
An Apple production facility in Ireland has been evacuated after it became the target of a bomb threat earlier today. The Cork facilities, which include premises on Lavitts Quay, Hollyhill, and Model Farm Road, were cleared of all 4,000 staff as a precautionary measure, following after the company received a number of threatening emails that it and local security forces considered to be credible enough for an evacuation.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE