Western governments are set to target a range of tax loopholes used by technology giants including Apple, Amazon and Google, reports Reuters. The news agency has seen a draft document drawn up by the the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which has been charged by the G20 group of countries with drawing up measures that can stop big companies moving profits into tax havens. According to Reuters, the OECD is now due to present an "action plan" highlighting areas where tax changes will be discussed at a G20 meeting of leaders later this month. The preliminary draft refers to "profit shifting" from one country to another. It says, "Domestic and international tax rules should be modified in order to more closely align the allocation of income with the economic activity that generates that income." The draft plan aims for OECD members and non-OECD G20 members to agree on specific changes to international tax rules that can be applied in one to two years.
Nokia's credit rating has fallen, following its acquisition of Siemens' 50 per cent stake in Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN). Ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has downgraded Nokia's score from BB- to B+, well below investment level and one step deeper into junk territory. S&P also expressed fears that the firm's "strong balance sheet" will suffer as a direct consequence of the €1.7 billion (£1.5 billion) deal. "We have lowered our estimate of Nokia's net cash to €1.3 billion or above at end-2013, from €3 billion or above previously," said S&P. Nokia swiftly responded to S&P's ratings change with a statement from its executive VP and CFO. "With a strong positive gross and net cash position, Nokia was able to take advantage of an opportunity to fully own Nokia Siemens Networks and, we believe, create meaningful value for Nokia shareholders," said Timo Ihamuotila. "We will continue to prudently manage our cash resources post-transaction."
We've seen a number of supposed leaks for the next iPhone in the last month. Plastic backs, gold trim, and even a phablet-sized redesign have been bandied about, but we're starting to see some interesting trends. Most recently, the idea of a cheap and colourful iPhone has really taken off. At this point, it's a pretty safe assumption that we'll see at least one plastic iPhone launch this year. Nowhere Else, a French tech blog, recently posted a few pictures of a supposedly leaked iPhone 5S shell. The lime green monstrosity features an all plastic back with what looks like a metal framework on the inside. The introduction of whacky colours has been rumoured for years, and it fits neatly with Apple's modus operandi for product line expansion. After the iPod line saw so much success from the fashion-conscious, it was only a matter of time before the iPhone received similar options. When you look at the supposed iPhone 5S logic board and these gold-trimmed buttons, it's clear that the rumours are converging on the idea of a colourful iPhone 5S with a small footprint. Just last year, the iPod touch line expanded to five different colour options, and that is par for the course at Apple. Frankly, a line of colourful iPhones with matching trim is just the next logical step.
Finally, Andy Murray's arrival on the professional tennis scene some eight years ago may not have brought instant devotion from the British public, but data collected on social media during his historic Wimbledon campaign suggests the triumphant Scot has finally won our hearts. US giant IBM, now in its 24th year as Wimbledon's technology partner, has been meticulously gathering data via its analytics systems throughout the tournament, and logged Murray as the most talked about player on Twitter with an overwhelmingly positive sentiment in the public's tweets. With 1.1 million mentions on the social network, Murray unsurprisingly attracted more attention than his peers. But whereas bygone years would have seen a fair amount of negativity dished out at the British number one for his dour personality and big-game disappointments, a huge 93.3 per cent of Murray tweets were deemed positive by IBM's sentiment-tracking systems. Only home-grown women's starlet Laura Robson surpassed Murray in the sentiment stakes at this year's Wimbledon, with 94.7 of her tweets ranked positive.