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Google agrees nearly $1.07 billion tax settlement with France

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US internet giant Google has agreed a settlement totalling 965 million euros ($1.07 billion) to end a tax dispute in France under an agreement announced in court.


The company will pay a 500-million-euro fine for tax evasion, as well as a further 465 million euros to settle claims with French tax authorities.



In a statement, Google confirmed the settlement and hailed the fact it had put an end to fiscal differences that it had had with France for numerous years.


The settlement on Thursday follows similar out-of-court agreements reached by Google in Italy and Britain in recent years, though the French agreement is much larger than the previous ones.


Google said it now wanted to see a coordinated reform for a clear international taxation framework.


French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet and Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin welcomed the “definitive settling” of all the contentious issues, adding in a statement that it was the result of two years of intense work by the French authorities.


“This outcome is good news for the public finances and fiscal fairness in France,” their statement said.


Belloubet said the settlement showed that the French authorities have the tools to ensure an equitable tax system.


“It is a historic settlement both for our public finances and because it marks the end of an era,” Darmanin said. “By normalising Google’s situation in France, (the settlement) responds to our citizens’ demands for fiscal fairness,” he said.


The settlement comes as France and its European allies seek to find common ground with the United States in a long-running dispute over the taxation of digital giants.


Google, like several other big American tech companies, has its European headquarters in Ireland, where the government has set the corporate tax rate at just 12.5 per cent in a bid to attract big companies.


But leading EU states like France argue that this is allowing tech giants to avoid paying sufficient taxes on the huge profits and sales they accrue in big countries outside where the tech giants are headquartered.


The French parliament in July passed a law taxing digital giants on their French operations, drawing an angry response from US President Donald Trump and threats of retaliation.


The British government is now planning a similar move, at a time when it also hopes to build on its relationship with Washington as it exits the European Union.


But French President Emmanuel Macron said alongside Trump at the G7 summit in August that leaders had reached an agreement on the taxation of tech giants, though the precise details remain to be worked out.


Macron has said it will scrap its digital tax once a new international levy being discussed among the 134 OECD countries is in place, which Paris hopes will happen next year.


Pascal Saint-Amans, who is leading the negotiations as head of tax policy at the OECD, said after the G7 that progress is being made but several key issues still need to be hammered out.


The Google investigation in France was first opened by anti-fraud prosecutors in 2015 and was followed by searches at its Paris headquarters in 2016, an operation codenamed “Tulip” that mobilised a hundred police and experts.


In 2016, Google paid $160,000 in a settlement with the British authorities and in 2017 agreed to pay 306 million euros to settle a tax dispute in Italy.




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HP Pavilion Gaming 15 2019 review: A home machine for casual gaming

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HP’s Omen series has some great models for serious gamers. The Pavilion Gaming 15, however, is a machine designed for work and play in unequal parts. The updated DK series is stealthily designed to incorporate features of both a heavy-duty work machine and a gaming device. It fairly succeeds at both. It’s overall a good buy if you can navigate a few challenges. Here’s how it looks and performs.


Design (4/5)



The machine has a 15.6-inch display with a screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, which isn’t spectacular but sufficient for daily entertainment and casual gaming. The starting models, priced from Rs 69,990, come with a refresh rate of 60Hz, which will prove insufficient for people looking for a gaming-first device and should instead opt for a higher model (priced around Rs 1 lakh) with a 144Hz refresh rate — unless, of course, gaming for you means Counter Strike after work.


The laptop comes in ‘shadow black’ and ‘ultra violet’, and the back of the screen has a matte finish with an HP logo at the centre. The sheen does look good but the fingerprint smudges can get to you. Keep a lint-free cloth handy.


The rectangular screen is attached to the rest of the machine from the centre and is free along the edges for an overall sharp-looking design. The screen borders have standard thickness with no innovation applied there.


While the laptop looks like any other machine from the outside, the backlit RGB keyboard is a nice touch for the gamer usually in a suit-and-tie. Above the keyboard is a wide speaker grille and a noticeably big trackpad sits at the bottom.


I would have actually liked the design more if the laptop did not weigh 2.25 kg. That is just medium-heavy in the gaming universe but not suitable to be lugged around to office and back. But if a few extra grams don’t bother you, the good stuff is coming up.


Performance (3.5/5)


HP Pavilion Gaming 15 is among the few machines that come with high-end gaming features at this price point. Apart from a design that supports a statement, the top-end variant, which I reviewed, comes with Intel’s 9th-Gen Core i7 processor, 12 GB RAM, and — more impressive — a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU, a step up from the previous generation GTX 1060.


The laptop performed sufficiently well throughout my two-hour session of Fortnite while I occasionally multi-tasked to answer work emails. The frame rate was consistent without stutters. The machine did, however, heat up pretty quickly and I was forced to eventually place the laptop on a table. The other issue was the battery, which drained within two hours. The battery lasted about four hours during my non-gaming productivity hours, which isn’t great, either. The trackpad could have also been more responsive in the default settings.


Back to the good stuff, the Bang and Olfsen speakers are well-tuned with clear vocals for watching a movie or casual gaming. But you will need headphones for serious gaming sessions because they aren’t too loud.


Verdict (3.5/5)


The HP Pavillion Gaming 15 is slightly bulky for an everyday machine that mostly stays in a bag but is good for working and gaming from home. The design, specifications and performance are good for a starting price of Rs 69,990 (with i5 processor and 60Hz refresh rate) if you can navigate the challenges of a mediocre battery life and a bit of heat.




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Facebook Dating App: Release Date and Complete Features

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Facebook Dating App Features

Facebook is making its own dating app. This overwhelmed the dating market; such a large number of hypotheses and desires are coasting near, however, which are valid?

The app is as yet not prepared, yet inside the organization, it is now being effectively tried. Obviously, without going past work obligations. No solid release date has been confirmed so far by any sound insider source.

It is no secret how big Facebook is: there are around 2,4 billion users currently registered on the site; 10% have “single” as their marital status. So, Facebook Dating will start with a virtual user base of 200 million people. What a start. It will not be a separate app but rather a feature that will be available via Facebook’s app or website.

Facebook Dating App

Facebook Dating App

A user’s profile in the service will be mostly separated from their social network profile; they will be able to indicate all the information that they consider to be important, pick a gender, sexual orientation, place of work, etc. All of the other information may be directly imported from Facebook. It goes without saying that the service will be available to people that are 18 or older.

The first screenshots of the future service were posted by blogger Jane Manchun Wong on her Twitter account. She has shown the current look of the service. Jane notes that she wasn’t able to use all the features of the service since she is not a Facebook employee. The service is currently being tested in Colombia.

Facebook won’t adapt the dating administration, yet it isn’t known when it will work outside Colombia. It was there that the organization chosen to dispatch it due to its uplifting demeanor to online associates and an enormous number of clients: in Colombia, 30 million individuals use Facebook.

Facebook Dating can be arranged with the goal that it doesn’t demonstrate your profile to those clients who are your companions. This implies you can maintain a strategic distance from disagreeable experiences. Be that as it may, you will have the option to meet outsiders enrolled on the informal organization or the individuals who have basic contacts with you.

The Facebook Dating administration isn’t out yet; meanwhile, here is an extraordinary dating site where you will have the option to meet ladies on the web.

Back in May, Facebook author Mark Zuckerberg said that clients will have the option to turn on Facebook Dating and turn it off freely.

Likewise, there are multiple sexes to look over in Facebook Dating. Truth be told, there are five of them. You can likewise tweak what sexual orientations you might want to be shown in your profile.

As TechCrunch notes, only those users who applied for Facebook Dating will be shown to other users. This means that you won’t receive any spam from the dating feature if you are not interested in it.

Facebook Dating App Release Date

Facebook Dating App Release Date

The feature will identify potential partners based on information that Facebook knows about you. If two people are interested in each other, they will be able to chat with each other by using Messenger or WhatsApp.

There are some other features that you should know about. Among other things, Facebook is considering the possibility of limiting the number of people you can like to avoid spamming and quick approval of everyone you see. Also, if you block someone in Dating, it does not mean that they will not be able to contact you in the old-fashioned way through Facebook.

Facebook Dating will be different from Tinder and apps alike; you will not be able to swipe people left and right, there are only two buttons that you are going to have, whether you like a person or not.

Messages got from different clients can be found in the “intrigued” tab. On the off chance that the client chooses to answer to a message, it is moved to the “discussions” tab. You can’t send pictures by means of Facebook Dating: this is the way the organization needs to keep individuals from sending spontaneous sexual photographs.

Right now, Facebook doesn’t plan to present paid memberships or premium highlights in Dating. This doesn’t imply that there will be no alternative to evacuate advertisements, the truth will surface eventually.

Just individuals beyond 18 years old that are residents of the United States will be permitted to utilize the Dating highlight. In different nations, Facebook will be administered by nearby laws.

TechCrunch notes that Facebook Dating has every chance to beat its competitors when it comes to the dating market. The main reason for this is that there is the biggest online user base and Facebook’s brand recognition simply cannot be rivaled with. The same, as it seems, will go for its maintenance, support, moderation, the frequency of bug fixes and patches. This is also fueled by all of the scandals that Facebook got into over the past few years, which means that a user’s privacy and security are their main priorities.

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iPhone 11 series, Watch available for pre-booking; get Rs 7,000 cashback

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Ingram Micro, a China-based distributor of IT products, said on Friday it will offer pre-bookings of Apple’s newly launched iPhone 11 smart phones and Apple Watch from September 20 in India. Sales will start September 27 at online and offline stores.

The pre-orders of the iPhones will be accepted by e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall.


Customers planning to buy the much-awaited smart phone series — iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max — can get ‘No Cost EMI’ options on both HDFC debit and credit cards.

ALSO READ: Want an iPhone 11? You can pre-order on Amazon, Flipkart from September 20

You can now get up to Rs 7,000 cashback on iPhone 11 Pro, while Rs 6,000 on iPhone 11. An instant Rs 4,000 offer is also available on Apple Watch Series 5 via HDFC Bank offer iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max specifications

  • The iPhone 11 will be available with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB internal storage in six colours – purple, green, yellow, black, white and PRODUCT (RED).
  • The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max feature a 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with 4GB RAM/3,969 mAh battery and 4GB RAM/3,046 mAh battery respectively.

    It can be ordered in midnight green, space gray, silver, and gold. Both the devices are powered by A13 Bionic Chip, which is said to be the fastest processor in any smartphone. The Apple 11 Pro will have three cameras on the back for telephoto, wide and ultrawide purpose.

Apple Watch Series 5 The Apple Watch Series 5 comes with aluminium body and 40mm screen. Priced at Rs. 40,900, the watch will have an always-on display with 18-hour battery life. Here are the key announcements of Apple iPhone event 2019




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