Ireland is not allowed to use the 14 billion euros ($15.1 billion) in disputed back taxes it collected from Apple to help boost its economy during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
Yesterday, the leader of the opposition Sinn Féin party, Mary Lou McDonald, said the Irish government could “right this minute” reach into the escrow account where the funds are held and use them to help workers. However, Taoiseach politician Leo Varadkar says that simply isn’t the case.
Disney has delayed the launch of its Disney+ streaming service by two weeks in France. This is as a result of a request by the French government.
Disney has also agreed to a European Union request for streaming video providers to scale back streaming quality by “at least” 25%. This is to “ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure” at a time when the internet faces the strain of more heavy traffic while people are stuck home due to the coronavirus crisis.
Following a request to streaming services to switch from high definition to standard in an effort to reduce the strain on the internet, indications were Friday that Apple has followed suit of other major services and slowed down its Apple TV+ streaming service.
Cult of Mac has confirmed through two Apple TV users – one in Great Britain and one in southern France – that the quality of content on Apple TV+ has been lowered. Subscribers described the differences as primarily fast-moving content that is slower to refresh, heavily compressed and more pixelated.
Quarantine and chill is about to get a noticeable quality drop for Netflix users in Europe.
Netflix announced Thursday it would begin to reduce bit rates on all streams in Europe starting today. The move came shortly Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called a European Union official to discuss how to stop the internet from getting congested as more people are being told to work from home.
Apple today argued against the European Union’s demands for standardized charging cables for smartphones and other devices.
New regulations being considered by the EU could force Apple to ditch the iPhone’s familiar Lightning connector for an industry-wide alternative. Apple said the move “stifles innovation” and hurt smartphone buyers.
“Apple stands for innovation and deeply cares about the customer experience,” Apple said in a statement to Cult of Mac. “We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole.”