Tax is the primary source of revenue for most countries, allowing governments to fund social security, healthcare, and infrastructure for their citizens.Unfortunately, the countries that need these the most are also often the ones where the gulf between the taxes levied and the actual amount of money collected from taxpayers is the widest.Indonesia is a poor performer when it comes to tax collection, losing as much as US$7.48 billion – or 0.85 percent of its GDP – in unpaid taxes in 2013, according to a United Nations study.While the situation is improving, Indonesia’s tax-to-GDP ratio remains far below the 15 percent that the International Monetary Fund suggests is needed to stimulate growth in middle-income economies.There’s still plenty that can be done to improve tax collection across the island country, and Jakarta-based OnlinePajak is leading the charge.It has just raised US$25 million in a series B round led by Warburg Pincus.
iFixit has announced a new partnership with Motorola, a win in its campaign for RightToRepair legislation.Together, the two companies are making fix kits using OEM parts.Now if Moto owners have a broken display or a bad battery, they can order a kit and replace everything themselves.In addition to tearing apart new pieces of technology and writing repair guides, iFixit actively tries to convince companies to make devices user-repairable.In a major step forward, iFixit has announced a new partnership with Motorola has resulted in the release of “fix kits.” With these customers can buy everything they need to repair a good number of Motorola smartphones.iFixit is selling two different types of kits: battery replacements and LCD screen and digitizer assembly.
Watching the flames devour the wing of a World War II-era aircraft that crash-landed on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles, a few questions come to mind.How’d he manage not to whack any cars as he came down around 2 pm on Tuesday?Why was the plane, a T-6 Texan, dressed up like a German fighter aircraft (sans swastikas)?That last one, at least, is easy enough to answer.It’s a beautifully handling aircraft, it’s extremely well built, very powerful, and it’s just a lot of fun,” says Dave Whitcomb, a professional pilot who has logged about 500 hours in the T-6 while working with a group called History Flight, which takes members of the public out flying in old-timey planes.The crashed plane, a North American T-6 Texan, currently belongs to Condor Squadron, KTLA reports.
Chinese phonemaker Huawei has made strong inroads into Europe in the last couple of years, which we can see in steadily rising brand awareness and opinion data.YouGov BrandIndex data shows that far more people are familiar with Huawei in the UK than just two years ago.Its awareness score has jumped from 45 per cent to 66 per cent.Read more: The latest Huawei is the best phone you can buy for under £200It will be hoping that its latest model, the Mate 20 Pro, can continue that trend.Choosing to launch it in London on the doorstep of every European technology journalist was certainly no accident.
For the second year, YouTube TV will be taking over the World Series with a partnership that is likely to ignite another heated debate among viewers, as it did in 2017.The live TV streaming service is once again the presenting sponsor of the “World Series presented by YouTube TV,” which kicks off Tuesday night and will be blanketing the telecast with a number of in-game spots, traditional ads and in-stadium branding.Last year’s YouTube TV-World Series partnership was groundbreaking, but controversial: NBC Sports called the “presented by” arrangement the moment when “the advertising Rubicon was crossed,” but YouTube TV said it resulted in big signup increases and brand awareness lifts.So the company doubled down on it in March, signing an expanded two-year deal with Major League Baseball under which it would “present” the World Series through 2019.During this year’s matchup between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, Fox will insert augmented reality ads for YouTube TV that will appear onscreen before the the first pitch and around the seventh-inning stretch.In both instances, the YouTube TV spot will appear to be broadcast from the stadium’s video screen.
Lyft is working to take the development of self-driving vehicles to the next level with the acquisition of an augmented reality startup called Blue Vision Labs, according to TechCrunch.Blue Vision will work closely with Lyft's Level 5 autonomous car division.Why would Lyft, the rideshare company, acquire the London-based augmented reality firm for self-driving car tech?Blue Vision Labs' technology allows it to use smartphone-grade cameras at street-level to build interactive augmented reality layers.In the future, this tech could be used by a self-driving car to better perceive the world around it.Lyft's Level 5 division is also using Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans as test mules, not surprising since the not-long-for-this-world four-door seems to get used by a lot of companies in that way, though TechCrunch points out that this doesn't seem to have anything to do with the partnership that Ford and Lyft announced in 2017.
Facebook today announced it was overhauling Messenger, updating the interface and cutting down on the embarrassing amount of clutter that has plagued the app for ages.Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Messenger, describes Messenger 4 as a “new, simplified” version of the app.It’s shaving what has, up to now, been about eight or nine different tabs down to three.It’s a much needed change, as Messenger has become ever more crowded over time.What started out as a dedicated app for Facebook‘s chat service has since become a behemoth in its own right, and it now offers games, bot integration, video calls, and Stories.As each new feature has been added, it’s essentially just been bolted onto the client with a new tab or bar.
It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with your favourite festive films as the holidays arrive, staring with Halloween.What’s your favourite spooky flick?A classic horror movie, or something lighter?Leslie Wai clearly has an infinity for the latter, as he’s created a wonderful tribute to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas by performing “This is Halloween” using nothing but sounds recorded from spooky decorations.We never realised that something as simple as pouring candy from one bucket to another had so much musical potential--but we can’t help feeling a little disappointed that Wai wasn’t able to incorporate that cheesy but iconic electronic wailing sound effect that so many animated Halloween figures use.
HTC just announced actual specs for its much-hyped blockchain phone, the Exodus 1, and is letting people sign up for preorders.The phone contains a wallet that’s kept in a secure area “protected from the Android OS,” according to a press release, which can be used to hold the keys to your cryptocurrency and tokens like CryptoKitties.The phone was first announced back in May as one of the company’s more intriguing projects.Back then, HTC’s chief decentralized officer Phil Chen said each Exodus phone would act as a node to facilitate bitcoin trading among users.He also stated that the phone would allow you to “own your own identity.” But none of that is happening now.HTC made a social key recovery mechanism in case your phone is lost, stolen, or you misplace your key information.
The idea is simple: By keeping and aggregating records throughout the government’s various ministries and departments, Chinese officials can gain insight into how people behave and develop ways to control them.According to the planning outline released by the State Council, China’s cabinet, in mid-2014, the system’s objective is to encourage individuals to be trustworthy under the law and dissuade against breaking trust to promote a “sincerity culture.”Even so, an intricate web of social credit systems is coming to China—only perhaps not in the way, or at the speed, that’s generally expected.The concept of a system of social credit first emerged in 1999 when officials aimed to strengthen trust in the country’s emerging market economy.However, the focus quickly shifted from building financial creditworthiness to encompass the moral actions of the country’s enterprises, officials, judiciary, and citizens.Lower-rated citizens had a harder time accessing social welfare and government housing.
Beijing Traffic Management Bureau announced on October 22 that it will add Alipay and WeChat Pay, two of China’s most popular mobile payment tools, to its online traffic security management platform, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting.Since October 22, Beijing citizens in seven districts including Mentougou, Daxing, Shunyi, Huairou and Miyun will be able to pay their public transportation fines by scanning QR codes on the new fine bill through either Alipay or WeChat Pay.Paying for traffic fine in China usually involves long queues at traffic departments or bank outlets or complicated payment through online banks.Over 68.2% of the traffic fines are being paid through offline channels, local media reported.Automobile drivers can pay by scanning QR code on the fine bill within four hours after the bill is issued.The QR code will be disenabled once the payment is achieved.
YES, says Leon Emirali, an entrepreneur and investor.Stifling regulation, immense political upheaval, and very deep pockets have created the perfect environment for a politics/tech merry-go-round.For the Silicon Valley giants, it makes perfect sense to use their sizeable lobbying budgets to lure experienced political operatives who can help them navigate the intense scrutiny they have been facing from legislators and regulators worldwide.Politicians and their advisers, meanwhile, will relish the opportunity to get their teeth stuck into some of the biggest policy discussions of the time and help shape the future.Oh, and the weather is pretty nice in California.While it too early to tell whether former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg’s move to Facebook will signal the start of a political brain drain, the temptation of prestige, power, and big pay packets could prove tempting for many.
Time and time again over the past few months, we’ve heard prominent figures in the retail world call for a special sales tax on online companies to help prop up their struggling sector, from the Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis, to the New West End Company that represents Selfridges and Marks & Spencer.Chancellor Philip Hammond has stated his openness to introducing such a “Digital Services Tax” on sales, possibly as soon as next week’s Budget.It is of course undeniable that the global tech giants, including Amazon, Ebay, Google and Facebook, use clever accounting tricks to minimise their profits – and subsequently corporation tax payments – in the UK and elsewhere.What is ultimately needed, as the OECD argues, isn’t for individual countries to act unilaterally, but to work together towards a new international system for taxing profits that reflects the complex nature of value creation in a digital economy.This essentially amounts to tax-code cronyism, and would set a dangerous precedent by encouraging other sectors to seek special protection from disruptors.Ultimately, getting the tech giants to pay their fair share of tax – though desirable in itself – is not going to save our high streets from oblivion.
Ofo founder replaced as bike-sharing firm’s representative amid rash of lawsuits —SCMPWhat happened: Founder and CEO of bike-rental platform ofo Da Wei has removed himself from its position of legal representative of the firm.The role was taken over by Chen Zhengjiang, head of the firm’s hardware supply department.The move comes amid mounting lawsuits from unpaid suppliers including Shanghai Phoenix Bicycles and Tianjin Flying Pigeon Cycle Manufacturing.The former is suing ofo for a total of $10 million.Why it’s important: Ofo has been in a lot of trouble for the past few months, retreating from international markets amid a cash crunch.
What happened: Chinese ride-hailing company Banma Kuaipao (斑马快跑) is now rebranded as “Banma Ride-hailing” (斑马网约车).Banma recently completed a new round of funding, raising RMB 300 million from QJY Capital.The company also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Zotye Auto, under which Zotye Auto will provide Banma with new energy and gasoline vehicles.The company plans to move its R and operation headquarter to Beijing from Wuhan in the near future for the purpose of recruitment.Why it’s important: Banma has obtained 125 licenses in China—more than Didi Chuxing and many other competitors have.The company said it has been focusing on obtaining licenses in second and third-tier cities, while other competitors like Didi Chuxing, Shenzhou, Shouqi focus on first-tier cities.
Telecoms.com periodically invites third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues.In this piece Bengt Nordstrom of Northsteam explains how regulation, M and consolidation in the European telecoms market have divided opinion over the industry’s future direction.They contend that fewer national operators can devote more resources to better networks and services for their customers, including 5G.They maintain that four-player national markets promote competition and therefore guarantee low prices and high service quality for consumers.Both markets have already consolidated to three operators, but regulators are still prepared to offer spectrum to new players.However, the overwhelming cost of building an entire nationwide network from scratch along with gaining access to suitable mast sites is the reason why we shouldn’t expect new players to enter the fray in Germany and Belgium.
JPMorgan signed an agreement with financial technology company Plaid that will give its customers better control over their personal data.Plaid connects bank accounts with fintech apps like Robinhood, Venmo and Acorns.The deal marks an important development in how JPMorgan is thinking about fintech companies and the financial data they touch.JPMorgan on Monday signed an agreement with Plaid, a technology company that connects bank accounts with fintech apps like Robinhood, Venmo, and Acorns, that will give its customers better control over their personal data.Plaid will access JPMorgan's customer data through a secure application programming interface or API, allowing customers to share their financial information more easily and safely.Banks including JPMorgan have pushed back against so-called screen scraping, another way for fintech apps to companies to access customer data that generally is viewed as less secure.
At a big corporate event in Hong Kong Qualcomm took the opportunity to whip up the 5G hype one more time.While we have seen some of the first green shoots of 5G in the wild this year, 2019 will be when the roll out of 5G in real life will explode.Judging by the endless stream of 5G test announcements, each one claiming its own infinitesimally incremental ‘first’, 5G is ready to go.Qualcomm has spent most of this year, when not engaged in corporate warfare with the likes of Broadcom and Apple, talking up 5G and this Hong Kong event represented the culmination of that effort.5G is a pretty big deal for a variety of tech sector stakeholders, many of which made an appearance at the event, but it’s fair to say 5G is critical to Qualcomm.The whole point of 5G is to bring cellular connectivity to pretty much everything.
But those who made the trip on Sunday got a view of a very different set of locales: Cuba, then the eastern coast of the United States and the southern tips of Greenland and Norway, finally reaching the Turkish city by way of Poland and Romania.“From an air traffic control perspective, it’s not unusual,” says Sid McGuirk, chair of the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.As the plane tracked north along the Eastern Seaboard, it was flying around 540 mph, its standard cruising speed.When it caught the wind, however, its speed surged, peaking at 700 mph—without burning any more jet fuel than usual.“Sometimes we go way out of the way, for one reason or another,” says says Doug Moss, a commercial pilot and aviation consultant.Airlines operate on thin profit margins, so letting wind do the work usually done by expensive jet fuel is a no-brainer.
Telemarketers suck, it’s just a fact of life.Thankfully Google’s new Call Screening feature will let Google Assistant answer your phone so you don’t have to deal with the hassle.Call Screening is built into the Pixel 3 phone app and will roll out to the Pixel and Pixel 2 family this November.If you receive a call and have no clue who it is, simply hit the call screen button and Google Assistant will pick up the phone for you.The caller will hear the following:“Hi, the person you’re calling is using a screening service from Google, and will get a copy of this conversation.