The Real-Enough Edition Sunday, September 4, 2016

Life In Apple’s Ireland, by Jennifer Duggan, Foreign Policy

Apple’s European headquarters sit in an industrial park just outside the southern city of Cork. The sprawling campus of brick and glass seems real enough. So do the people who work there: Apple is a major employer in the area, with 6,000 employees. From here, Apple almost seems like a normal, if very large, company — not the sprawling, tax-evading corporation of subsidiaries, holding companies, and affiliates we’ve heard about this week.

Apple is just one of many multinationals based in Ireland — a result of the country’s deliberately low corporate tax rate, a propensity for making special tax arrangements with the right businesses, and an English-speaking, well-educated workforce. These companies have brought with them very real benefits: Apple, in addition to the people it employs directly, has helped attract other multinational tech giants since it first set itself up there in the 1980s; Facebook and Google both have large offices in Ireland. In total, foreign multinationals now employ one out of every five Irish workers.

Apple Tax Ruling Not An Attack On US, Says European Commission Chief, by Tom Phillips, The Guardian

“This is not a decision against the United States of America,” Juncker told reporters. “It would be absurd to choose this territory of state taxation to attack the USA,” he added, according to AFP. “We are applying the rules … We are basing our decisions on facts and on the legislation.”

Marketing The Tock

Apple’s Self-inflicted Naming Dilemma, by Ken Segall's Observatory

It’s a head-scratcher. One would think that every new iPhone would be presented as “the next breakthrough in iPhones,” period. There’s simply no need to dilute that message with a disclaimer—which is exactly what the S has become. It’s a strange form of self-flagellation. [...]

It’s interesting that Apple so boldly does away with popular ports on a laptop or iPhone, but seems unwilling to make a simple change in iPhone naming.


Game Day: Gemini, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Some games are as much about art and the experience they create as they are about gameplay. Monument Valley comes to mind for instance. Gemini – A Journey of Two Stars is a beautiful new game from Echostone Games that falls into the same category and succeeds by being simultaneously stunning and engrossing.


These Are All Of Apple's Official Twitter Accounts, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

We're keeping a running list of them here, so you can follow any and all that you find interesting.

Before The Computer, There Was Something Almost As Complex: The Chinese Typewriter, by Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times

The tinkerers and inventors who struggled for decades to develop a Chinese typewriter were taking on a fascinating engineering puzzle, Mullaney said. The various solutions they came up with — even those that never won commercial popularity — may hold valuable lessons for today’s IT engineers.

“With the Chinese typewriter, there was a constant process of optimization, and some of the most brilliant and penetrating analysis of human-machine interaction, data structuring,” he said. “This is a machine whose history is a repository of design inspiration.”