The Smart car goes electric before it plans its autonomous future

Look at some of the autonomous vehicle concepts, predicting a future of us being able to treat a car as a lounge or work area when we don’t want to actually drive, and you’ll notice one thing: space. By that, I mean the space they take up on the road. Everyone seems to be designing a large, autonomous SUV because that’s what people want.

Mercedes-Benz is guilty of the same thing, with its vast F105 Concept it showed a few years ago. Sleek, spacious and lounge-like, it’s one idea for a self-driving future. But its tiny Smart division has other ideas. Last month, transportation reporter Sean O’Kane got a “ride” in Smart Vision EQ Fortwo concept — Daimler’s idea of what a self-driving urban car should be. At CES in January, Smart CEO Dr….

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Essential Phone’s new ‘Halo Gray’ color goes on sale exclusively at Amazon

The Best Guide To Selling Your Old Phones With High Profit

 The Essential Phone is currently in the midst of being rolled out in a range of new colors, including three that will be released excessively on Essential’s own website, with a staged release schedule that began Thursday. On Friday, however, Essential revealed a surprise fourth new color, “Halo Gray,” which will be exclusive to Amazon and which is now available to… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

How Chrome’s built-in ad blocker will work when it goes live tomorrow

The Best Guide To Selling Your Old Phones With High Profit

 Chrome’s built-in ad blocker will go live tomorrow. It’s the first time Google will automatically block some ads in Chrome, but while quite a few online publishers are fretting about this move, as a regular user, you may not even notice it. Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Alto’s Odyssey for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV goes on pre-order ahead of February 22 launch

Following a recent delay because “it takes longer to build things right,” Toronto-based developer Snowman confirmed today that Alto’s Odyssey, the official sequel to the award-winning endless snowboard game Alto’s Adventure, will be launching in App Store on Thursday, February 22…. Read the rest of this post here


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Apple Goes to Court With French Tax Activist Group That Paints Company as The Empire From Star Wars

Last month, Apple sued French tax activist group “Attac” for occupying its flagship Parisian store during a protest of what Attac called “wide-scale tax evasion.” Today, Apple has asked the court in Paris to ban the group from its French stores and prevent any further stunts from happening.

In response to the court filing, Attac today mobilized in front of the court in further protest, sporting a Star Wars theme that equates Apple to The Empire and Tim Cook to Emperor Palpatine (via The Guardian and MacGeneration).

Image via @attac_fr

The court will rule later in February on the case, and Apple is said to hope for a full ban to prevent any Attac members entering or being near its Apple retail locations. Apple said the group “vandalizes” its stores and potentially “endangers” staff and customers. One protest in November 2017 saw Attac write “Apple pay your taxes” on a window at Apple Aix-en-Provence. Following Apple’s claims, the group said its protests are “good natured.”

At the height of the Christmas shopping period last December, about 100 Attac volunteers arrived at Apple’s Paris store at Place de l’Opéra. Some danced the conga, others unfurled a huge banner saying “We’ll stop when Apple pays” and some brandished huge cardboard cheques in reference to the European commission ruling in August 2016 that the iPhone maker must reimburse the Irish state a record €13bn (£11.5bn) to make up for what it considered to be unpaid taxes over a number of years.

In the case filing, Apple said that it has “a long tradition of supporting individuals and groups that peacefully express their opinions,” but the company believes the vandalism of its stores and potential danger to its customers are steps too far. In addition to the ban, Apple France has asked the court to fine the activist group 150,000 EUR, and 3,000 EUR in commercial damages “if they break the ban.”

Images via @attac_fr and @Soltrumbo

An Attac spokesperson denied the vandalism reports from 2017 and said the group “simply went into Apple shops in a festive and good-natured way with music and theatre.”

Attac’s lawyer Julien Pignon told France Info: “These demands are totally out of proportion with regard to the superior principle of freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate which is guaranteed by French law and the European convention on human rights.”

Attac’s ire is focused on tax avoidance claims lodged at Apple over the past few years. In August 2016, the European Commission ruled that Apple must repay 13 billion euros ($15.46 billion) in back taxes dating between 2003 and 2014, which it reportedly avoided with the help of sweetheart tax deals from Ireland. Now, Apple will begin paying the back taxes owed to Ireland around March, expected to continue through September.

The French court is expected to announce its decision on the case on Friday, February 23.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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