Tech Digest daily round up: Silicon Six inflated tax payments


The giant US tech firms known as the “Silicon Six” have been accused of inflating their stated tax payments by almost $100bn (£70bn) over the past decade. As Chancellor Rishi Sunak called on world leaders to back a new tech tax ahead of next week’s G7 summit in the UK, a report by the campaign group Fair Tax Foundation singled out Amazon, Facebook, Google’s owner, Alphabet, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft. It said they paid $96bn less in tax between 2011 and 2020 than the notional taxation figures they cite in their annual financial reports. The six firms named handed over $149bn less to global tax authorities than would be expected if they had the paid headline rates where they operated, Fair Tax Foundation said. Guardian  

Wednesday will be a big day for Huawei and not because it’s announcing new phones. Actually, it might tease some new phones but the focus of its event will be on the software that will run on those phones. It will be HarmonyOS that will be taking center stage, figuratively and literally, and it will finally show to the world Huawei’s vision for a Google-less world. Of course, its success will depend on how many phones it will be available on and it seems that the company will be pushing it hard even on Huawei phones already out in the wild. HarmonyOS is, of course, expected to be pre-installed in future Huawei devices. These include the still-absent Huawei P50 series as well as the recently rumored MatePad Pro 2. Those, however, will only be a fraction of the phones under Huawei’s command and it seems that the phone maker really wants to push its new OS to everyone. Slash Gear

It’s been an interesting week on the Nintendo front, with a Bloomberg report suggesting the rumoured “Switch Pro” will be revealed before E3 begins. According to the same source, it’s expected to be in the hands of consumers by September or October. If this wasn’t already enough excitement, adding fuel to the fire is the discovery of a new retailer listing for the rumoured device, this time by Amazon Mexico on Friday. The website’s page mentioned a “New Nintendo Switch Pro”, but it wasn’t long before it was taken down. It’s still unclear if this listing was legitimate or not, but the fact it was removed not long after its discovery also raised some questions. As highlighted on social media, Amazon Mexico has been responsible for past leaks such as the Spyro Reignited Trilogy ahead of schedule. Nintendo Life 

Nasa has released an extraordinary new picture showing the explosive energy at the heart of the Milky Way.The picture is composed of 370 images taken over the past two decades by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which orbits Earth around 86,500 miles away. Billions of stars and countless black holes are depicted in the image, and Nasa said astronomers have used it as reference for a new study of galactic space weather. Daniel Wang, astronomer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said on Friday he spent a year working on the image while stuck at home during the pandemic. “What we see in the picture is a violent or energetic ecosystem in our galaxy’s downtown,” Wang said. Independent 

While there are loads of Xiaomi phones possibly coming soon – the Mi Note 11 and Mi 11T spring to mind – the Xiaomi Mi 12 will be the brand’s next true flagship phone. The Mi 12 follows the Xiaomi Mi 11, the brand’s 2020 flagship, which also had a premium sibling in the Mi 11 Ultra and a mid-range one in the Mi 11 Lite 5G. While we gave the ‘vanilla’ Mi 11 a very good score, there’s always things a successor could do better. We’ve listed all the new things we want to see in the Xiaomi Mi 12 below, based on what we liked (and didn’t) about the Mi 11 series, and looking at other Xiaomi phones as well as handsets made by other companies. There aren’t many leaks about the Xiaomi Mi 12 so far – it’s likely too early to be hearing those – but you’ll find what we have heard below, and when more start cropping up, likely in the last few months of the year, we’ll report on them all and share them on this page. So stay tuned for that. Tech Radar 


Chris Price
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