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Tech giants front Australia Senate tax avoidance inquiry

The Australian Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance continues this week, and today will welcome tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Google to expand on their previously supplied written submissions and grilling by the six Senate Standing Committees on Economics members.

 

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In 2013, Google paid just $7.1m AUD in corporate tax on revenues of $358 million, while Apple paid $80 million to government on $6b in revenue. Both companies remain adamant that they fully comply with all Federal tax obligations in their written submissions which can be viewed here.

 

Last year, a report by the Australian Financial Review detailed Apple Corporations tax minimisation strategy, which is alleged to be responsible for funneling up to $9B in profit to the Ireland based tax haven over a number of years.

Crowdfund campaign aims to save endangered Aussie parrot species

One of the more recent offshoots of e-commerce, crowdfunding campaigns have willed some excellent products to existence thanks to the web, with notable success stories including the Pebble Smartwatch, Oculus Rift and Ouya. Now, a philanthropic campaign has been launched to save the future of a incredibly endangered Australian parrot species.

 

 

Scientists and conservationists from The Australian National University have launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform Pozible to save the swift parrot from extinction. With less than 1000 breeding pairs in the wild in the Australian island state Tasmania (yes - the same place made famous for the Tasmanian Devil), it's incredibly important to rescue the species before they become extinct, thanks to threats posed by the natural and developing world. The campaign aims to raise $40,000 AUD to trial a range of breeding boxes that prevent the parrots threat, the Sugar Glider from entering.

 

The campaign is off to a good start, with over half of the target funds already raised - although more is still needed. The campaign will be supported by us here at TweakTown.

Continue reading 'Crowdfund campaign aims to save endangered Aussie parrot species' (full post)

HP Australia 500 million AUD in the red over three years

Reporting almost half a billion dollars (AUD) in losses over the past three years, iTnews has told us that "with its latest financial results revealing the company does not expect things to look up any time soon."

 

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With a $152 million AU loss in its 2014 financial year ending October 2014, this follows a greater $270 million loss in fiscal 2013 and a $58 million loss in 2012. If you're wondering if things were ever looking up for HP, they did post a $134 million profit in 2011 - but this has now all been blown away.

 

After writing off $161 million in deferred tax assets in 2014, they were hit with a $165.9 million tax bill. As explained to us, a company will generally undergo this process when they don't expect to make a profit in the next few years.

 

Looking on the brighter side of things, their revenue did grow slightly to $3.6 billion in fiscal 2013 from $3.3 billion posted previously, however, their costs were raised from $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion - reportedly due to increased cost of inventory.

Continue reading 'HP Australia 500 million AUD in the red over three years' (full post)

Hewlett Packard is securing Wi-Fi network device maker Aruba Networks

Hewlett Packard (HP) is about to spend $2.7 billion on an acquisition of Wi-Fi specialist company Aruba networks, reportedly "in an effort to help boost its share in the wireless local area network market" as claimed by iTNews.

 

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In a bid to catch up to Cisco Systems, HP is hoping this purchase will bring them a little closer and help them with the development of bring your own device (BYOD) structures worldwide. This market is expected to grow by 40 percent to $13 billion by 2019 as according to Dell'Oro Group and HP wants a larger portion of this to be theirs.

 

Aruba currently services large-scale clients such as California State University and the Dalian Wanda Group, who are responsible for controlling China's largest property developer and cinema chain.

Nutella creator Michele Ferrero passes away

Nutella addicts, put down your chocolaty spread for a moment and tip your hat to the creator of the delectable treat, Michele Ferrero, who has passed away at the ripe old age of 89.

 

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Ferrero's father Pietro Ferrero established the company that carried his name in 1946, Pietro Ferrero created the recipe for a creamy hazelnut and cocoa mix which was later tweaked and sold to market as Nutella when it was launched by Michele Ferrero in 1964. Since then, it's gone on to be the highest selling chocolate nut spread, beloved by millions. Under Michele's leadership Ferrero expanded its range of products exponentially, including Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello, Mon Chéri and the Kinder chocolate line, including the egg-favorite Kinder Surprise.

 

At the time of his death, Ferrero was the richest man in Italy, with a net worth of $30 billion.

Citrix cuts 900 workers - claimed as a 'defensive' action by analysts

Expecting to save between $90 - $100 million per year as a result of job cuts, Citrix has just announced through their restructuring plan that 900 of their employees will be cut in the near future.

 

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Including a total of 700 full-time and 200 contractor positions, Citrix investors are reportedly positive about this decision. As a result, the companies stock has risen as high as $63.27 per share, seeing a 7 percent rise in just 24 hours.

 

Charles King, principal analyst from Punt-IT has commented that he thinks "Citrix's plans qualify as what might be called defensive layoffs," further explaining that their results beat analyst expectations, "but only barely."

 

These defensive cuts are reportedly due to recent economic trends that include lower oil prices and a strengthening dollar - seeing numerous vendors make "cautionary statements about business performance, particularly for the latter half of the year," as according to PC World and King.

Continue reading 'Citrix cuts 900 workers - claimed as a 'defensive' action by analysts' (full post)

Apple just recorded the largest quarterly profit in mankind's history

A little over fifteen years ago Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy. In a final convulsion, the company decided to bring back its exiled founder Steve Jobs who, as we all know, went on to revolutionise the company to the powerhouse it is today. Still, not many industry analysts called today's profit result for the company, which has just broken the record for the largest quarterly profit in history.

 

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According to the release from the company, up until the quarter ending quarter ending December 27 2014, Apple earned $74.6 billion in gross revenue and recorded quarterly net profit of $18 billion, primarily off the back of strong strong sales of iPhone and Mac products leading into the Christmas period.

 

To put the revenue result in context, this is more than Microsoft and Google combined, with the latter making less than what Apple did in this quarter in all of 2014. Apple shares closed last night at just under $110 dollars.

Australian PM Tony Abbott says social media is 'Electronic Graffiti'

Yesterday was Australia day, often known as 'the day of the drunk bogan' but also a time to celebrate and reflect on everything that is Australia. 'The Land Down Under's' Prime Minister Tony Abbott celebrated this occasion by awarding Prince Philip with an Australian Knighthood, seeing major backlash among global social media.

 

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Mr. Abbott dismissed the haters, labeling social media as "electronic graffiti," disregarding members of the public and their opinions as slander.

 

When addressing the issue at a press conference, Mr. Abbott dismissed the online opinions and scolded the media for publishing them by stating "I'll leave social media to its own devices. Social media is kind of like electronic graffiti and I think that in the media, you make a big mistake to pay too much attention to social media. You wouldn't report what's sprayed up on the walls of buildings."

Continue reading 'Australian PM Tony Abbott says social media is 'Electronic Graffiti'' (full post)

Some Australian trade trainees to use 3D simulators for schooling

TAFE SA have teamed up with a technology company from Adelaide, South Australia, to develop and revolutionize the way 'tradies' are trained down under.

 

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ETRAIN interactive has developed a 3D training simulation software, matching the courses offered through your general education platforms - spanning popular trades such as construction, carpentry, plumbing and minerals drilling.

 

ETRAIN's founder and managing director, Mathew Balic, has explained that these simulations are ideal for visual learning for students of which struggle with open-book style projects and learning activities - allowing them to easily visualize the task at hand and simulate 'on-the-job training'. He went on the explain that "it's a multi-platform delivery looking to replace textbooks, particularly in trades areas where you get a lot of students with low level literacy and numeracy. Those kids don't engage with traditional book learning, but they do engage with this," furthering "the motivation is there because it's a fun thing to do."

Continue reading 'Some Australian trade trainees to use 3D simulators for schooling' (full post)

SkyMall has fallen from grace - Bankruptcy filing is in progress

If you're after some weird and wacky objects, they might be a little harder to source in the near future as Xhibit Corp. has filed for bankruptcy - we're not talking about the rapper.

 

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Skymall has blamed exterior sources, stating in their announcement that this shut down is apparently due to "the increased use of electronic devices on planes, fewer people browsed the SkyMall in-flight catalogue. [This] resulted in additional competition from e-commerce retailers and additional competition for the attention of passengers, all of which further negatively impacted SkyMall's catalogue sales."

 

Down but not out, SkyMall Chief Executive Scott Wiley states that he's "extremely disappointed in this result and are hopeful that SkyMall and the iconic 'SkyMall' brand find a home to continue to operate as SkyMall has for the last 25 years."

Continue reading 'SkyMall has fallen from grace - Bankruptcy filing is in progress' (full post)

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