This Week in Tech: Apple Tax Saga Continues, Tesla Has Competition, and Twitter Tweaks Tweets

Another week, another roundup. Here, we look back on the adventures and escapades of Apple, Spotify, Tesla, and more.

1. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, believes that augmented reality may be a more commercially viable technology than virtual reality. He says AR “gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present, talking to each other, but also have other things—visually—for both of us to see.” This more “present” nature of AR is the key, believes Cook.

2. Spotify now has more than 40 million paying subscribers. The streaming service has added 10 million since March. Spotify, with 100 million active users and 30 million songs, is the leading music streaming platform today. Apple Music is hot on Spotify’s tail, but at a growth rate of about one million users per month, it’s not going to catch up anytime soon.

3. Having a great idea for a business is one thing. Getting the financial backing to grow, scale and make it a success is quite another. Crowdfunding is a way for startups to raise small sums of money from a large amount of people. With equity crowdfunding, unlike the rewards-based kind, investors get a stake in the company. Their reward is the profit they expect in return for giving you their money. Is it right for your startup?

4. Tesla’s Model 3 isn’t even on sale yet and already a competitor is trying to suck the wind from its sails. Elon Musk’s next electric car model, slated to ship next year for $35,000, is designed to go 215 miles on a single battery charge. General Motors this week said its Chevrolet Bolt will be able to push 238 miles with a price tag under $40,00.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

5. Beginning September 19, Twitter will cut down on exactly which types of content count toward the platform’s 140-character limit. Media attachments such as images, GIFs, videos, polls and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count. The extra room for text will give users more flexibility in composing their messages.

6. The first official look at GoPro’s hotly anticipated—if controversial—drone just dropped. About half-way through the 25-second clip, a brief glimpse of the quad-copter drone is visible, and only for a second. This video is just one of a series of videos that GoPro has released in the last month leading up to the release.

7. What began in late 2007 as one of the most anticipated video games ever made, has since become the butt of jokes, the vision of daydreams, and the pinnacle of desires. This game—the spiritual successor to the cult clasics Shadow of the Collosus, and ICO—has been on our minds for almost a decade, yet remains out of reach. Not a soul outside of the development studios in Japan have even played the game. It was, this week, delayed again.

8. The plot thickens on the Apple-Ireland Tax debacle. Japanese tax authorities have ordered a Japanese Apple iTunes unit to pay 12 billion yen after under-reporting income. The tax bureau said the iTunes Tokyo unit should have paid taxes on some ¥60 billion in software profits from 2012 to 2014, which it transferred to an Apple subsidiary in Ireland that holds the software copyright.