The Gateways-To-Gatekeepers Edition Friday, May 5, 2017

European Tech Lobbies For Action Against Apple And Google, by Duncan Robinson, Financial Times

Spotify and a host of European internet businesses have called on Brussels to crack down on what they see as troubling practices by the likes of Apple and Google.


Although the letter to the European Commission does not cite the Silicon Valley giants by name, it complains that some mobile operating systems, app stores and search engines have evolved from “gateways” into “gatekeepers” — effectively hindering rivals from competing with their own services.

Dozens Of Popular iPhone Apps Are Still Leaking Your Login Details, by Zack Whittaker, ZDNet

Strafach disclosed the names of dozens of low-risk apps, but held off on disclosing the banking and medical apps in order to privately disclose the issue to each app developer.

Time has passed -- three months specifically, the standard time in any disclosure process -- and while some of the affected apps have been fixed, many have not.

The Baffling Icons Behind Apple’s First Ever Singapore Store, by Joon Ian Wong, Quartz

One of Singapore’s monikers is the “little red dot,” a title derisively bestowed on the tiny nation, which measures just 50 km at its widest, by then Indonesian president BJ Habibie in 1998 as the region was in the throes of a currency crisis. [...]

Singaporeans have self-deprecatingly embraced the term. The current premier, Lee Hsien Loong, then a deputy prime minister, said in a 2003 speech: “The little red dot has entered the psyche of every Singaporean, and become a permanent part of our vocabulary, for which we are grateful.”


Why Capital One Bought Hundreds Of Apple Watches And Gave Them To Employees, by Julie Bort, Business Insider

"Before using the watches, the ambassador would either stand in line with the customer, hand the customer a free coffee card, or leave the customer's side to order the coffee," the spokesperson told us.

By using the Apple Watches, they can order coffee while chatting with customers anywhere in the cafe, and the drink is delivered.


How Stripe Teaches Employees To Code, by Ella Grimshaw, Stripe

Last year, we decided to take another step and to start a coding class for any interested employees. The goal of this class wasn’t to help people become full-time engineers. It was instead to help people get deeper insight into how modern software development works so that they could better understand how problems get solved at technology companies. We hoped it could also provide a foundation that would make it easier for participants to continue to self-teach if they found it enjoyable—getting started is often the hardest part.

Based on the success of the class, we realized that the experience might be interesting for people at other companies to read about and perhaps replicate. So here’s a blog post about how we did it.


Qualcomm Said To Seek U.S. Import Ban For iPhones, by Ian King and Susan Decker, Bloomberg

Qualcomm is preparing to ask the International Trade Commission to stop the iPhone, which is built in Asia, from entering the country, threatening to block Apple’s iconic product from the American market in advance of its anticipated new model this fall, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. [...]

The ITC has the advantage of speed, judges with experience in patent law and the ability to get an import ban, said Alex Hadjis, a patent lawyer with the Oblon law firm in Alexandria, Virginia, who specializes in cases before the agency.

Imagination Technologies Can’t Resolve Apple IP Spat, Opens Formal Dispute, by Kelly Fiveash, Ars Technica

Imagination Technologies has placed its patents row with Apple on a formal footing, confirming to the City that it has opened a dispute resolution process because—it says—attempts to settle a licence and royalty deal with the iPhone maker remain at a standstill.

Bosch Said To Win Some IPhone Orders In Blow To InvenSense, by Alex Webb and Ian King, Bloomberg

Robert Bosch GmbH has won orders from Apple Inc. to supply the next iPhone with some of its motion sensors, according to a person familiar with the deal, a potential blow to InvenSense Inc., currently the main supplier of those smartphone components.

Apple Buys More Company Debt Than The World's Biggest Bond Funds, by Claire Boston, Bloomberg

Like many technology companies, Apple has resisted transferring the money it earns abroad back to the U.S. to avoid triggering corporate income taxes on the earnings. Instead, the Cupertino, California-based company invests in corporate bonds and other assets like money market funds and U.S. Treasuries.

With more than 90 percent of its war chest abroad, the company regularly issues bonds of its own to help fund programs like share buybacks and capital spending. Apple said Thursday it’s selling debt in as many as six parts to support a 63-cent dividend and an increased stock-repurchase program.

The Long Fight For The Future Of The Internet, by Victor Luckerson, The Ringer

At a time when health care, immigration policy, and environmental regulations are all facing drastic change, convincing people they need to care about complex internet laws may prove tougher this time. And the iconic tech companies that have played key roles in generating public awareness about threats to internet freedom are increasingly positioning themselves as too big to fail.