Posts Tagged ‘google’

Factory reset of Google Nexus 7 2012

April 21, 2017

A couple of years ago, I bought a Google Nexus 7 version 2012, one of the best tablets around, still is.

At the time I wished for the later 2013 version, but 2012 was all I had.

There was not a lot of difference in the specification, main difference was a higher resolution screen, a much higher resolution screen.

I later handled the 2013 version, it was not as good, I was therefore happy with what I had.

Th Android operating system wished to upgrade, I allowed, but then regretted, it was slower.

But then, a year or so later, I allowed it to update. It took all night, no sooner had it updated, than it wished for the next update.

It was a huge mistake, I ended up with a tablet that was so slow, it was unusable, an expensive piece of junk.

Why oh why does Google offer an Android operating system update that renders a Google Nexus 7 tablet unusable.

Not I noticed, a problem with 2013 version.

I asked around, no one knew what to do.

The only option appeared to be, implement a factory reset, but first, try this idea of clearing the cache. It seemed sort of to work.

This was a year ago, I had not used my tablet since the beginning of the year.
A long wait whilst 120 updates to apps.

But, any relief was short lived, I was back to square one, useless tablet, and the clearing of the cache no longer seemed available.

No choice other than a factory reset. This clears all apps, all data.

First screen shots of all apps, then Google back up.

Then go into settings and follow the procedure for factory reset.

But, not as I expected, it did not reset Android to original factory settings, I was still back to where I was Android 5.x.x but, I now had a very fast responsive tablet.

I was going to add apps one by one, as they were on the screen, but first Avira as it scans each downloaded app.

Android took over, automatically started download of apps.

I did not take note of how long this process took, other than it took most of the afternoon.

Google did warn connect tablet to power supply.

Some of the apps I would not have re-installed, as crap, but all were downloaded. Had I thought, I should have deleted before starting.

Maybe something to do later.

Also I would have preferred to download and install one by one.

I would then at least have discovered which was causing the problem.

Or maybe corrupted data.

Or could have been malware. Though I have periodically scanned the device.

Android 5.1.1

Google tax deal rapidly unravels

January 29, 2016

A tale of two taxes.

Top investor turns on Google over tax 'sham' - Times 28 January 2016

Top investor turns on Google over tax ‘sham’ – Times 28 January 2016

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Last week we had the unpleasant spectacle of a smug George Osborne at Davos bragging of the amazing tax deal he had negotiated with Google.

Since Davos, a tax deal that has rapidly unravelled.

A tax deal so amazing, it was jaw dropping. Following a six year investigation of Google by the tax authority HMRC (cost of investigation, details of investigation, unknown), Google was to ‘voluntarily’ pay £130 million in tax, for a period covering ten years. This works out at a jaw dropping tax rate of somewhere around 2 to 3 percent.

A good deal for Google, a very poor deal for long suffering taxpayers, who would be only too happy to negotiate with HMRC a tax rate of 2.5%.

The current rate of corporation tax is 20%. Osborne wishes to lower to 18%.

The lax tax regime means corporations have amassed a massive £750 billion cash pile, dividends are at a record high. There is very little investment, as the corporations are risk averse, and see no future prospects.

Earlier in the week, Osborne was called by John McDonnell to appear before the House of Commons to explain himself.  He lacked the courtesy to turn up, instead sending a clueless junior minster.

On Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn wiped the floor with David Cameron, who unable to explain the tax deal, shouted infantile insults. Of what relevance the tax under the last Labour government? We know Alistair Darling was as useless as George Osborne.

The list of those challenging this tax deal grows by the day.

Rupert Murdoch, himself a serial tax dodger, has attacked the deal.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has attacked the deal.

James Anderson,  major investor in Google, has attacked the deal.

A German Green MEP has attacked the deal.

The European Commission has said that if they receive a complaint they will launch an investigation.

In Italy, in France, Google pay a higher rate of tax.

On buying goods and service, people pay 17.5% VAT.

People pay higher personal income tax.

The HMRC investigation into Google should be published.

The tax returns of Google should be published, as should of any company with a turnover in excess of a million pounds.

The tax returns of Members of the House of Commons (and of the Lords) should be published.

In parallel with the Google tax scam unravelling, two people won their Appeal at the Court of Appeal against paying Bedroom Tax on Human Rights grounds. One a lady who has a secure room to which she can retreat if in danger of being attacked, the other a disabled man who looks after his severely disabled grandson. What can only be described as evil, the government is to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. What can only be described as bizarre, their statement that the Appeal Court contradicted the ruling of the High Court. Not true, as a superior court, the Appeal Court overruled the Supreme Court.

People, who could do without the stress, are to be put through more stress by the Evil Doers.

The number of people this ruling will effect, is small. It will probably cost more in legal fees.

The government points out the disabled man receives a discretionary payment, thus does not have to pay the Bedroom Tax. This entirely misses the point. He should not be forced to claim, and if discretionary, could be terminated at any time.

It was not ordinary people who caused the banking crash in 2008, that took down the economy. It was the criminal activity of bankers and lax banking regulation. And yet, not a single banker is in prison. The banks were bailed out, the bankers draw their obscene bonuses.

Austerity is a political choice, it is an excuse for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, cuts to libraries, benefits, an excuse to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich.

The Bedroom Tax is a tax on the poor.

If we need a Bedroom Tax, then levy on those with more than five bedrooms and a household income in excess of £100,000.

It is not the just the tax dodging and avoidance. We have, as Mariana Mazzucato   highlighted on Channel 4 News last night, companies like Google holding meetings with ministers to determine tax policy.

Senior Tories met Google chiefs twenty-five times in run-up to their  shameful tax deal.

Please sign the petition calling upon the European  Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to investigate the Google tax scam.

Google ‘voluntarily’ pay £130 million ‘tax’

January 24, 2016

For small businesses and ordinary people, tax is compulsory, for tax dodging corporations like Vodafone, Starbucks, Facebook and Google, it is voluntary.

Google tax dodging

Google tax dodging

It’s unbelievable that big companies like Google ‘negotiate’ the amount of tax they pay. They should be told how much to pay, and made to pay up. Like everyone else. — UK Uncut

A smug George Osborne at Davos said Goggle only paying £130 million tax showed the success of his tax policies.

If an individual or a small business fail to pay tax, they will be prosecuted, forced to pay the tax owed. A small businesses may be forced into bankruptcy by the tax authorises to recover unpaid tax, may face a prison sentence.

One rule for ordinary people, small businesses another rule for the wealthy and global corporations.

From the viewpoint of George Osborne, it is a major success of his tax policy, aiding and abetting the rich and greedy corporations to dodge tax.

HMRC staff who aided and abetted, should be prosecuted for misconduct in public office, a criminal offence that attracts a prison sentence.

A six year investigation into the tax affairs of Google. How much did it cost, has it been published?

And the result, Google ‘voluntarily’ pay £130 million ‘tax’ for ten years of tax dodging.

For small businesses and ordinary people, tax is compulsory, for tax dodging corporations like Vodafone, Starbucks, Facebook and Google, it is voluntary.

Tell tax dodger Google to pay its taxes

May 2, 2014
Google tax dodger

Google tax dodger

Google isn’t paying its taxes. The multi-billion dollar corporation has been under scrutiny for using shell companies in Bermuda, Ireland and elsewhere to shelter at least $33 billion of revenue.

It’s the same old story of a corporation avoiding taxes to maximize short-term profits and CEO pay-outs, while ordinary people are left to foot the bill for critical services — our children’s schools, fire and police services, teachers, roads and hospitals — which directly benefit the company.

This week Google’s shareholders are proposing a comprehensive tax policy at the shareholder meeting. If enough of us support them we could get Google to pay the $2 billion it owes in taxes around the world and ensure it complies with national laws that benefit Google’s customers, employees, suppliers and society as a whole.

Can you join Google’s brave shareholders and ask it to pay taxes?

Google is one of the most notorious multinational corporations exploiting cross-border tax loopholes across the world:

  • In the UK, Google only paid £11.6 million despite making a £5.5 billion profit, channeling its profits through Ireland to Bermuda where no taxes are levied.
  • In the US, Google has been investigated by US Senator Carl Levin for deferring taxes on over $24 billion of revenue.
  • In Italy, the company is being audited by the Tax Police for its tax avoidance strategies — even its offices have been searched.
  • In France, Google’s tax avoidance prompted the government to institute policies to prevent tax evasion by internet giants like Google.

Across the globe, cash-strapped governments are imposing austerity. Governments are cutting essential public services and corporate tax avoidance means ordinary people have to pay the price for massive profits being funnelled away into tax havens. What is more, tax avoidance severely exacerbates growing inequality around the world.

This shareholder season we are sucessfully mobilizing investors to hold corporations to account. We supported Kellogg’s shareholders pressuring the company to report human right abuses; we have floodded Vanguard and Fidelity’s facebook walls urging them to vote for Duke Energy to disclose political contributions; and we asked these big mutual funds to stop overpaying CEOs at fast food companies while workers make $9 an hour.

That is the power we have when we come together and we can do more — we can get Google to pay its taxes.

Please join Google’s shareholders and tell the company to pay its taxes.

Google: We are proud to be tax dodgers

December 14, 2012
Google tax dodgers

Google proud to be tax dodgers

I am very proud of the [tax dodging] structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate. — Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman

For Eric Schmidt to say that he is ‘proud’ of his company’s approach to paying tax is arrogant, out of touch and an insult to his customers here in the UK. — Margaret Hodge, chairman House of Commons Public Accounts Committee

In an interview in New York Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, bragged that Google had no intention of paying more to the UK exchequer. Documents filed last month show that Google generated around £2.5 billion in UK sales last year but paid just £6 million in corporation tax.

The Californian based search giant has also been revealed to have sheltered nearly $10 billion of its revenues in Bermuda allowing it to avoid some $2 billion worldwide taxes in 2011.

What Eric Schmidt has failed to grasp is that the public is thoroughly sick of companies like Google, Starbucks, Amazon thinking their sheer financial size and monopoly or near monopoly position means they can do as they please as paying taxes is only for the little people and those companies that cannot afford the accountants and lawyers to get way with not paying taxes.

Contrast what the arrogant Shit, oops sorry, Schmidt, has to say on the matter

There are lots of benefits to [being in Britain]. It’s very good for us, but to go back to shareholders and say, ‘We looked at 200 countries but felt sorry for those British people so we want to [pay them more]’, there is probably some law against doing that.

with what Margaret Hodge had to say

Ordinary people who pay their taxes unquestioningly are sick and tired of seeing hugely profitable global companies like Google use every trick in the book to get out of contributing their fair share.

Google should recognise its obligations to countries like the UK from which it derives such huge benefits, and pay proper corporation tax on the profits it makes from economic activity here. It should be ashamed, not proud, to do anything less.

What Schmidt seems to have failed to notice, is that Starbucks is now a toxic brand that drinking shit coffee in Starbucks is now akin to associating with known criminals, that a boycott of Amazon is growing, that we do not have to use Google Chrome as our web browser, we can use Firefox (downloading as I write), that if we do use Google to search or youtube to watch videos (there is vimeo) we do not have to click on any of the annoying adverts.

Please sign the Google tax avoidance petition and pass to all your friends.

38 Degrees seeks your help in tackling tax dodgers

November 23, 2012
£4.1bn: the true cost of tax avoidance

£4.1bn: the true cost of corporate tax avoidance

Starbucks, Google and Amazon: they’re all at it. These super rich big businesses were recently dragged up in front of MPs and exposed for using tax havens and other scams to pay little or no corporation tax.

There’s big talk from our politicians but not much action. Google even recently admitted “We could pay more tax but we would have to do so voluntarily”.

But together we have the numbers, track record and imagination to tackle tax dodging and win. And it’s the perfect time to work together to take it on. It’s all over the news and lots of people seem to want real change. These are the best ingredients for a great 38 Degrees campaign.

We’ve got the right moment – but we need the right next move to force a change. 38 Degrees members have voted time and time again to prioritise tackling tax-dodging. Can you fill out a few questions to decide together what we do next to tackle tax dodging?

Businesses based in the UK aren’t playing on a level playing field. From our local bookshops, right up to big names like John Lewis they’re being undercut and put out of business by tax dodgers. Something needs to change.

Alongside this, scores of high profile business people and celebrities have been dodging tax on their incomes. Our public services are being cut and we’re being asked to tighten our belts whilst others are being let off scot free.

We’ve shown before that when we act together we can push corporations and politicians to do the right thing. We’ve taken on companies like McDonalds and embarrassed them into not dodging tax around the Olympics.

If we focus our people powered movement on the right next move – we could force the change we need to see. It takes a couple of minutes to fill out the survey.

And please do not forget to join the occupation of Starbucks on 8 December 2012. If there is no action organised near you then organise one.

Lifeline live at Google Zeitgeist 2012

June 23, 2012
Imogen Heap - Zeitgeist 2012

Imogen Heap – Zeitgeist 2012

Imogen Heap - Zeitgeist 2012

Imogen Heap – Zeitgeist 2012

Google Zeitgeist, invite only, brings together some of the leading thinkers and intellectuals.

Google Zeitgeist 2012 had the emphasis on women.

Imogen Heap talks about then performs Lifeline live at Google Zeitgeist 2012.

Web freedom faces greatest threat ever

April 16, 2012

The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

In an interview with The Guardian, Brin warned there were “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world”. “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.”

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

The 38-year-old billionaire, whose family fled antisemitism in the Soviet Union, was widely regarded as having been the driving force behind Google’s partial pullout from China in 2010 over concerns about censorship and cyber-attacks. He said five years ago he did not believe China or any country could effectively restrict the internet for long, but now says he has been proven wrong. “I thought there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but now it seems in certain areas the genie has been put back in the bottle,” he said.

He said he was most concerned by the efforts of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict use of the internet, but warned that the rise of Facebook and Apple, which have their own proprietary platforms and control access to their users, risked stifling innovation and balkanising the web.

“There’s a lot to be lost,” he said. “For example, all the information in apps – that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can’t search it.”

Brin’s criticism of Facebook is likely to be controversial, with the social network approaching an estimated $100bn (£64bn) flotation. Google’s upstart rival has seen explosive growth: it has signed up half of Americans with computer access and more than 800 million members worldwide.

Brin said he and co-founder Larry Page would not have been able to create Google if the internet was dominated by Facebook. “You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive,” he said. “The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open. Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation.”

He criticised Facebook for not making it easy for users to switch their data to other services. “Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for many years,” he said.

Brin’s comments come on the first day of a week-long Guardian investigation of the intensifying battle for control of the internet being fought across the globe between governments, companies, military strategists, activists and hackers.

From the attempts made by Hollywood to push through legislation allowing pirate websites to be shut down, to the British government’s plans to monitor social media and web use, the ethos of openness championed by the pioneers of the internet and worldwide web is being challenged on a number of fronts.

In China, which now has more internet users than any other country, the government recently introduced new “real identity” rules in a bid to tame the boisterous microblogging scene. In Russia, there are powerful calls to rein in a blogosphere blamed for fomenting a wave of anti-Vladimir Putin protests. It has been reported that Iran is planning to introduce a sealed “national internet” from this summer.

Ricken Patel, co-founder of Avaaz, the 14 million-strong online activist network which has been providing communication equipment and training to Syrian activists, echoed Brin’s warning: “We’ve seen a massive attack on the freedom of the web. Governments are realising the power of this medium to organise people and they are trying to clamp down across the world, not just in places like China and North Korea; we’re seeing bills in the United States, in Italy, all across the world.”

Writing in the Guardian on Monday, outspoken Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei says the Chinese government’s attempts to control the internet will ultimately be doomed to failure. “In the long run,” he says, “they must understand it’s not possible for them to control the internet unless they shut it off – and they can’t live with the consequences of that.”

Amid mounting concern over the militarisation of the internet and claims – denied by Beijing – that China has mounted numerous cyber-attacks on US military and corporate targets, he said it would be hugely difficult for any government to defend its online “territory”.

“If you compare the internet to the physical world, there really aren’t any walls between countries,” he said. “If Canada wanted to send tanks into the US there is nothing stopping them and it’s the same on the internet. It’s hopeless to try to control the internet.”

He reserved his harshest words for the entertainment industry, which he said was “shooting itself in the foot, or maybe worse than in the foot” by lobbying for legislation to block sites offering pirate material.

He said the Sopa and Pipa bills championed by the film and music industries would have led to the US using the same technology and approach it criticised China and Iran for using. The entertainment industry failed to appreciate people would continue to download pirated content as long as it was easier to acquire and use than legitimately obtained material, he said.

“I haven’t tried it for many years but when you go on a pirate website, you choose what you like; it downloads to the device of your choice and it will just work – and then when you have to jump through all these hoops [to buy legitimate content], the walls created are disincentives for people to buy,” he said.

Brin acknowledged that some people were anxious about the amount of their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google’s servers. He said the company was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.

He said: “We push back a lot; we are able to turn down a lot of these requests. We do everything possible to protect the data. If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to US law, that would be great. If we could be in some magical jurisdiction that everyone in the world trusted, that would be great … We’re doing it as well as can be done.”

Originally published in The Guardian.

I could not agree more with what Sergey Brin is saying, this creation by facebook of a net within the net, a walled garden, the only way to sample the delights within is to sell your digital soul at the gate.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. If it is free, it is because you are the product on sale.

Watch carefully the next time you click a link from within facebook. You are diverted elsewhere, before going to the site you wish to visit.

Facebook deposits software on your computer which track what you do.

Activity within facebook is walled off from the outside world, forcing others to sell their digital soul at the gate. It is you who creates the content, not facebook. Facebook is merely the platform, but it is not a neutral platform.

There is a partial way around, little tunnels under the wall and into the garden.

If you use facebook for sharing photo albums, set those albums to public, and post the links outside facebook where they can be found and followed.

Sharing of data between facebook and third parties

Facebook, Instagram, Google, and the Monopoly Fallacy

April 13, 2012

Ah yes. The Net is abuzz with the sound of a billion dollars (I’m refraining from the “Dr. Evil” references with great effort) landing in Instagram’s lap, courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. And whatever the associated mix of cash and Facebook stock turns out to be, that’s one hell of lot of moolah for a firm that’s only been around a couple of years, has a grand total of 13 employees, and zero income (not to mention nada profit).

They don’t even have their own infrastructure — they use Amazon Web services array of servers, though one might assume now that at some point those functionalities will be assimilated into Facebook’s farm.

But what really fascinates me about this acquisition is how it puts another nail firmly in the coffin of false arguments that Google, twitter, or various other large Web services firms are monopolies in their operational spheres, potentially or currently in need of antitrust enforcement.

What is Zuckerberg really buying with Instagram?

The entire management and staff of the company can be counted on three hands, with fingers to spare. Good people to be sure, but probably not worth a billion dollars.

What of Instagram’s core technology — letting people take photos, pretend to be artists by applying various filters (a capability provided by innumerable other programs and apps), then sharing the results with their so-called friends and followers — is there a billion dollars of value there?

Some 30 million or so Instagram users come along (like it or not!) with the deal, who will almost certainly find themselves intimately entwined with Facebook’s existing 800-odd million users at some stage. A significant collection of warm bodies, but a billion bucks worth? Hmm.

So again, what is Zuckerberg really getting for that billion dollar price tag?

Peace of mind.

My gut feeling is that Facebook saw the shadow of a significant potential competitor forming in cyberspace, and decided to nip it in the bud — while it was still practical to do so just by throwing a chunk of money in the appropriate direction.

But how could Instagram — no infrastructure, no income, hardly any employees — be a threat to the 800-pound gorilla of social networking that is Facebook?

Zuckerberg isn’t my idea of a good role model, but he’s nobody’s fool.

He knows full well what many of us have been saying for years — that disruptive competition on the Web can appear and grow quickly at any time, and will usually be essentially just a single click away for your current users.

The Cadillac that is Facebook looked in its rear-view mirror, and realized that the little Nash Rambler of Instagram was pulling up with surprising speed.

With users increasingly able to easily extract their data from existing services if they want to switch — Google has long supported Data Liberation, and Facebook is now moving in a similar direction — that “one click away” competitive reality is now even more the order of the day.

And the counterexamples are equally instructive.

Where effective competition does not exist, cannot be easily created, or where users cannot move between competitors without pinning the hassle meter in the red zone, we see complacency and often abusive behaviors that indeed do call for regulatory approaches.

Microsoft’s antitrust problems were fundamentally the result of their unwillingness to play fair, by their maneuvers to lock PC manufacturers and users into Windows environments whether they wanted to be there or not.

The giant ISPs in the U.S. who control most Internet access have spent decades manipulating the regulatory and political environments to purposely limit effective competition, to make it as difficult as possible for subscribers to switch services where any competition did exist, and to utterly control the “road” that connects subscribers to the Internet itself.

There was no “one-click” escape from Microsoft’s anticompetitive behavior, and there isn’t one today for users in the increasing concentrated, restrictive, and manipulative world of the immensely powerful major U.S. ISPs.

So perhaps we owe Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg some gratitude after all.

They have helped to illustrate the fallacies of accusations claiming evil monopolistic behavior by Google or other major Web services firms where users are free to easily switch between competitors, while also pointing us toward a better understanding of why regulatory oversight of the dominant ISPs is so badly needed.

The key to understanding Internet competition is in the click.

Facebook has provided us all with a billion dollar lesson in why this is true.

Just please don’t send us the bill.

— Lauren Weinstein

facebook smears google

May 14, 2011

facebook has been engaged in a systematic campaign to smear google. False stories have been planted in the media which the gullible media has happily regugurgitated as news.

The agent for this activity has been PR firm Burson-Marsteller. The involvement of PR firm Burson-Marsteller will come as no surprise to activist as PR firm Burson-Marsteller has a long history of running smear campaigns.

facebook is worried that google will move into social networking. Were it to do so, it would wipe the floor with facebook and facebook would become yet another has been internet bubble.

Users need to wake up to what these companies are really about. They are about acquiring personal information on you. And yet still users put personal information on the facebook profile, play games, do quizzes and other scams that exist to tap into their personal information.

Only a few days ago Symantec higlighted a security flaw that is leaking profile information from facebook.

Facebook profile access ‘leaked’ claims Symantec
Facebook exposed in Google smear campaign
Disruption Talk
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