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French finance minister rules out Google tax deal, more firms could be targeted

A Google carpet is seen at the entrance of the new headquarters of Google France before its official inauguration in ParisBy Ingrid Melander PARIS (Reuters) - France will 'go all the way' to ensure that multinationals operating on its soil pay their taxes and more cases could follow after Google and McDonald's were targeted by tax raids, Finance Minister Michel Sapin said. Sapin, speaking in an interview with Reuters and three European newspapers, ruled out negotiating any deal with Google on back taxes, as Britain did in January. Dozens of French police raided Google's Paris headquarters on Tuesday, escalating an investigation on suspicions of tax evasion.

Google is giving away Chromecasts to YouTube Red subscribers

YouTube Red , the ad-free offline version of Google, hasn't been a tremendous hit since it first launched. It turns out that if you give people a choice between $10 a month or watching ads, they'll sit through four seconds of commercial ever time. But what if Google dangles a shiny new Chromecast in front of you? Well, that changes things a little. DON'T MISS:  The craziest new Android flagship you’ve ever seen does the one thing the iPhone 7 can’t According to numerous reports , YouTube Red subscribers are getting mysterious emails in their inboxes today, giving away a brand-new Chromecast as a thank-you for signing up to YouTube Red. The email gives no real reason: Thanks for being a part of YouTube Red Here’s a gift we hope you’ll love. Now through June 19, 2016, claim your very own Chromecast from YouTube Red. It’s on us! No strings attached, just a little treat for being one of the first people to join the party. With Chromecast, you get a bigger picture. Simply plug it in and stream any YouTube song or video directly from your phone, tablet, or computer to your TV. We hear YouTube Red members love being able to watch ad-free videos on TV, so we thought we’d help you get started.   It's unclear whether you'll get the email if you sign up for YouTube Red right now, but it might be worth a try. Thanks to a promo offer, the first three months only cost 99 cents, which is a pretty good deal if there's also a 5% chance you'll be getting a free Chromecast as well.

The Rock confirmed to play the Man of Bronze, Doc Savage

The Rock confirmed to play the Man of Bronze, Doc SavageWWE superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been confirmed to star as pulp hero Doc Savage in an upcoming film.

Mars and Earth cosy up with closest approach in a decade

Mars and Earth cosy up with closest approach in a decadeIt's an excellent time to take a look at the Red Planet as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 11 years.

Qualcomm announces new Snapdragon Wear 1100 processor for wearables

Qualcomm announces new Snapdragon Wear 1100 processor for wearablesUnlike the earlier Wear 2100 chip meant for multi-purpose devices, the new chip is designed for low-power performance and use in wearables with a more focused feature set.

Qualcomm’s new wearables chip is for fitness trackers and kids’ watches

Qualcomm's new wearables chip is for fitness trackers and kids' watchesQualcomm has announced a new Snapdragon processor at Computex as the chipmaker aims to extend its presence in the wearables market. The Snapdragon Wear 1100 complements the Snapdragon Wear 2100 announced a few months ago; while that processor was designed for smartwatches, the 1100 is intended for use in simpler "targeted-function" devices with less functionality like fitness trackers, smart headsets, and location-aware gadgets for kids and the elderly.

Iran orders messaging apps to store data in Iran

Iran orders messaging apps to store data in IranMessaging apps with data on Iranian users have been ordered by the Iranian government to store that data on servers in Iran.

Eric Holder: Edward Snowden performed a ‘public service’

Eric Holder: Edward Snowden performed a 'public service'The former US Attorney General who wanted to send whistleblower Edward Snowden to prison has tempered his view.

Samsung is adding new obtrusive ads to your old smart TV

Samsung is adding new obtrusive ads to your old smart TVIf you're Samsung and you want to wring additional cash out of your television business, what do you do? Add annoying advertisements to TVs that people already have in their homes, apparently. The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung is readying the European expansion of an initiative it started in the United States last June: adding interactive advertisements to the menu bars of its high-end smart TVs. The impact isn't going to be limited just to customers buying new Samsung televisions, either, as the company reportedly plans to use software updates to retroactively bring the ads to older models that people already have in their homes.

PlayStation E3 Experience showing live in movie cinemas

PlayStation E3 Experience showing live in movie cinemasSony is bringing its E3 briefing to cinemas across the US, Canada and Latin America, to be viewed live.

‘No Man’s Sky’ creator receives death threats after delaying game

After news began to spread that the release date for No Man's Sky had been pushed back from June 21st to August 9th, Hello Games managing director Sean Murray says he received "loads of death threats" from angry fans. DON'T MISS:  Here’s the exciting trailer for next week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ This is the tweet Murray posted on Saturday regarding the threats: Rumors of a significant delay for the highly anticipated space combat/planet exploration game were originally reported by Kotaku last Wednesday, at which point the internet promptly went into a frenzy. Many doubted the veracity of the report, but just two days later, the game's official page on PlayStation's site changed to reflect the new date and Sean Murray himself published a blog post explaining why the game had been delayed: "The game really has come together, and it’s such an incredible relief. As we sit an play it now, and as I watch playtesters every day, I can finally let myself get excited. We’re actually doing this. However, as we approached our final deadlines, we realized that some key moments needed extra polish to bring them up to our standards. I have had to make the tough choice to delay the game for a few weeks to allow us to deliver something special." Not an unreasonable explanation and not entirely unexpected, especially considering the overwhelming expectations that Sony and the gaming community at large have for this game. Nevertheless, it appears that a small subset of that community is incapable of expressing its disappointment in an appropriate manner. A depressing chapter in the long saga of the development of No Man's Sky .

Prepare for the headphone apocalypse by staring at this render

Prepare for the headphone apocalypse by staring at this renderOne day we will tell our children, "Phones used to come with a headphone jack and a charging port." They'll guffaw, but then they'll look deep in our somber eyes and know we tell the truth. "We will learn from your mistakes and become stronger," your children will say.

Drone footage of BASE Jumpers in Norway is positively insane

The proliferation of drones equipped with video cameras has provided us with a growing repository of awe-inspiring, incredible and -- let's be honest -- downright peculiar videos. From footage of an eagle attacking a drone mid-air to mesmerizing drone footage of the world's highest waterfall , drones today are continuously feeding us awesome new video footage taken from angles that would have been impossible to capture otherwise The most recent example of drones doing their thing comes to us from Kjerag, Norway where a group of BASE Jumpers recently employed a drone to capture footage of them as they jump off perilously high cliffs. DON'T MISS:  15 paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale today Uploaded over the weekend, the half the video shows us some incredible scenic shots of Norway. The real action, though, begins at about one minute and thirty seconds in. As a quick aside, drone enthusiasts might be interested to know that the footage was filmed using a DJi Phantom 3 pro. Thankfully, this video footage doesn't include any bizarre clips of men sunbathing in unexpected places a'la the drone footage of a man who was caught chilling on top of a 200-ft wind turbine in Rhode Island this past September.

A cat in a desert is your new optical-illusion obsession

A cat in a desert is your new optical-illusion obsessionThe brick wall is so yesterday. A perfectly coiffed cat is set to be the new king of Internet optical illusions.

Apple sued by Caltech for allegedly infringing Wi-Fi patents

Apple sued by Caltech for allegedly infringing Wi-Fi patentsApple is being sued by Caltech for using Wi-Fi chips that allegedly infringe on four of the university's patents. In a lawsuit filed last Thursday, Caltech argued that Apple knowingly used and advertised gains from patented technology in almost all of its major products from the iPhone 5 forward. Caltech is hoping to block sales of those products and to recover damages from the infringement.

Stephen Hawking bemused by Donald Trump’s success

Stephen Hawking bemused by Donald Trump's successTechnically Incorrect: In comments taped for British TV, the famed physicist has no kind words for the presumptive Republican nominee.

Chai stirred into Silicon Valley coffee culture

Jyothi Lakshmaiah (L) and Nithya Krishnan (R) take a break from their jobs to enjoy chai from a Chai Cart on Market Street in downtown San Francisco on May 26, 2016In a Silicon Valley culture known for brilliant ideas boiling up in coffee shops, Gaurav Chawla is pouring his heart into chai. Chawla said his friends at Microsoft have told him of the US software giant having people with chai-making skills come in to prepare the tea for employees.

Watch a time-lapse of Falcon 9’s third consecutive successful landing

Reusable rockets represent the future of space travel, with Elon Musk’s SpaceX being one of the companies that can pull off such tricks. Last week, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket landed successfully on a drone ship in the Atlantic. This was SpaceX’s third successful landing at sea, a huge success for the company that’s looking to make space travel more affordable, and potentially send humans to Mars for the first time . MUST SEE:  Game of Thrones is falling apart A time-lapse video showing the safe re-entry of the Falcon 9 video illustrates the maneuver from the rocket’s perspective. It’s not the most exciting space video you could be looking at, but it’s still a significant achievement that deserves recognition. The better SpaceX – and other companies – get at landing reusable rockets, the cheaper space programs will get in the future. SpaceX certainly appears to be getting better and better at landing rockets. This success follows the April 8th landing, which took place on a barge floating in the ocean. The company is also getting better and better at releasing media coverage detailing these SpaceX landings, such as the clip below. A time lapse video of the May 27th launch was posted on Instagram: For additional imagery and videos, you can check out SpaceX’s YouTube , Instagram , and Flickr channels.

Eric Holder, who really wanted to put Edward Snowden in jail, now says he performed a ‘public service’

Eric Holder, who really wanted to put Edward Snowden in jail, now says he performed a 'public service'Edward Snowden performed a "public service" by prompting changes to the US government's mass surveillance programs, says former US Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder still thinks that Snowden's decision to leak classified documents was "inappropriate and illegal," but — now one year out of office — Holder's view of Snowden seems to have shifted in a substantial way. "We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made," Holder said on the CNN-produced podcast The Axe Files.

Don’t take selfies with seals, NOAA says

Don't take selfies with seals, NOAA saysIt's Memorial Day weekend and the summer has officially kicked off — and it'll likely be scorching hot. If you're going to the beach to freshen up, there's something the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants you to know: don't take selfies with seals. The NOAA recently said in a press release that seal pupping season is underway in New England, but finding cute baby seals on the beach should not entice you to approach them and take a selfie.

AI startup taps human ‘swarm’ intelligence to predict winners

AI startup taps human 'swarm' intelligence to predict winnersAfter striking it big on the Kentucky Derby, Unanimous AI is unleashing its human-based artificial intelligence, UNU, to the masses to pick sports and politics.

This time-lapse video of the expandable habitat inflating on the ISS is awesome

This time-lapse video of the expandable habitat inflating on the ISS is awesomeOn Saturday, NASA successfully completed the deployment of the first expandable habitat on the International Space Station. With help from the ground, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams began inflating the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) at 9:04AM ET. Time in between allowed the BEAM to expand and stabilize, as the NASA and Bigelow Aerospace teams monitored the module's internal pressure.

Nvidia’s GTX 1070 might be the best value proposition in PC gaming history

Earlier this month, Nvidia unveiled two new graphics cards that were both surprisingly cheap and incredibly powerful. We've already seen plenty of praise for the new flagship GTX 1080 , but what about the more affordable GTX 1070 ? Can it provide a significant boost in performance at a fraction of the cost? MUST SEE:  Game of Thrones is falling apart According to PC Gamer , the answer is a resounding yes: "The full set of charts will be made available with the GTX 1070 review, but let me just say that on average frame rates, the GTX 1070 beats or exceeds the performance of the Titan X in every game, at every resolution we tested. Yeah, really." The Titan X, Nvidia's previous flagship GPU, launched at a price point of $1,000 just last year. The GTX 1070 will be available on June 10th for $379. That's a remarkable leap, which is why reviews for the GTX 1070 appear to be even better than those for the 1080. Basically, if you're looking to get the most value for your money when buying a new graphics card, the 1070 can't be beat. GameSpot says as much in its review of the 1070: "With a 12-23 percent delta between it and the GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 certainly isn’t as fast as its big brother, but it also costs roughly 36 percent less. When you compare it to the Titan X, it’s up to nine percent faster and up to 55 percent cheaper. That’s a crazy good deal." Polygon also raved about the 1070 , but provides the following caveat: "If you have the money, it's an easy call to upgrade from the 970 or even the 980 to the 1070, but things get a bit trickier if you own a 980 Ti or happen to have a Titan X. Our own tests show that the 1070's performance sometimes matches those older cards, but is sometimes beaten by them as well." In Guru3D's exhaustive review , there's an interesting discussion regarding who the 1070 might be best suited for. Worth reading if you're still undecided: "I would say that you'll need to look at your monitor first and foremost. A GeForce GTX 1070 would be perfect for Wide Quad HD Gaming at 2560x1440. It has plenty spunk and has the graphics memory to deal with it, even with the best quality settings and some niche AA levels." If you're in the market for a new graphics card that can handle 1080p and VR gaming without breaking a sweat, the 1070 is almost certainly the way to go. It's a significant upgrade over the 960/970 and beats the Titan X in nearly every benchmark. This is the card for PC gamers who don't want to break the bank, but still want their games to look better than they ever have before.

The Rock is making a superhero film with the director of Iron Man 3

The Rock is making a superhero film with the director of Iron Man 3Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has signed on to play one of the earliest superheroes: Doc Savage, who's said to be an inspiration for Superman. A film adaptation of Doc Savage was announced back in 2013, but apparently it's only now getting off the ground. Shane Black, the beloved action movie writer and director of Iron Man 3, is on board to direct.

Four people killed in flooding and storms in southwestern Germany

A man looks at the damage caused by the floods in the town of Braunsbach in Baden-WuerttembergThree people have been killed in floods in the southwestern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and a young girl was killed by a train as she took shelter from the rain under a railway bridge. A man who was around 60 years old died in an underground car park which filled with water before he was able to escape, said Carsten Dehner, a spokesman at Baden-Wuerttemberg's interior ministry. Elsewhere in Baden-Wuerttemberg, local police said a 13-year-old girl who was probably seeking shelter under a railway bridge was hit and killed by an Intercity train.

How did Acer make these convertible laptops so cheap?

Touchscreen convertible ultrabooks used to be the preserve of people with thousands of dollars to blow -- and hey, you can still spend three grand on a fancy Surface Book, if you really try. But for a little less than a tenth of that price, Acer will sell you something which, on the face of it, isn't all that different. The new Switch V10 and Switch One 10 are cute little 10-inch Windows convertibles that cost $250 and $200 respectively. They have some kind of magnetic hinge, so like the Surface Book, you can pull the screen off to use as a tablet, flip it around to use in "tent," or just do some old-fashioned laptop computing. DON'T MISS:  Asus has a Retina MacBook clone that’s thinner, lighter and faster than Apple’s There's been a few sacrifices to get down to that price point. The processor inside is Intel's cheap-and-cheerful Atom, which is a far cry from the Skylake-gen Core i5 or i7 you find inside higher-end devices. There's also no discrete GPU, and very little by way of ports. Just one USB-C port lives on the side, so you'll need to carry a bunch of adapters if you want to share video or use a USB drive. The Switch V10 is the more premium of the two devices, with that aforementioned USB-C port, and a Gorilla Glass panel covering the touchscreen. The Switch One 10 is a little thicker, ditches the Gorilla Glass, and has a couple more ports. Overall, there's some tradeoffs that you'd naturally expect when buying a Windows convertible for $200. But as a portable device for taking notes or doing email, it's a strong rival to the Chromebooks that have been dominating the $200 laptop space so far.

Watch: John Oliver needs these things to be invented immediately

In his regular HBO show that features “the fewest games and the least impressive thrones,” John Oliver has a segment in which he tries to understand why some things still exist, like daylight savings time or the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. But he’s now looking to figure out why some things that we desperately need haven't been invented yet. Last Week Tonight is on vacation for Memorial Day, so Oliver recorded a YouTube exclusive video to tell us some of the things he’d like to see invented to make our lives easier. MUST SEE:  Game of Thrones is falling apart “[While] there are many things in this world that should no longer be things, there are also many non things that should absolutely be thingified,” Oliver says. “Brought into thingsistence, if you will.” Some of the things Oliver wants to be invented include a universal safe word for getting out of small talk that’s run its course, a wink for proposing threesomes, Ambien but for getting through the day, a biodegradable treadmill that starts to break down after a month of misuse, bread pants, and a search engine that lets parents search for phrases like “the guy who’s on that show we like” and “oh, she’s married to what’s his face.” The entire segment follows below, and we can only hope it becomes a regular segment on  Last Week Tonight .

Tenants angry after apartment building orders them to ‘friend’ it on Facebook

Tenants angry after apartment building orders them to 'friend' it on FacebookTechnically Incorrect: The owners of a Salt Lake City apartment building change the tenancy agreement and give tenants five days to like the building on Facebook. Or else.

Game of Thrones is falling apart

May 29th, 2016. Remember that date. I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened, but I remember how sad I was when I finally came to terms with the fact that The Sopranos had gone from being one of the best television series the world had ever seen to being a disappointment. It might not have been until the show's final season, but the writers simply ran out of steam and the actors followed closely behind. Some would say that they pulled things together for the finale, which was certainly one of the most polarizing conclusions a popular show has ever seen. But no one would argue that The Sopranos wrapped up on a level that was nowhere close to where it began. With that in mind, let's have a quick chat about Game of Thrones . MUST SEE: 15 paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale today *Spoiler alert* HBO has always managed to separate itself from the pack using a few common threads that ran throughout all of its successful shows. Bigger budgets, better writing, better acting, more graphic sex and nudity, darker drama, and more over-the-top violence can all be listed among them. But in 2016, the gap between HBO and its rivals has never been narrower. Competing premium networks are stepping up their game. AMC continues to wow viewers with some of the best shows on television. Netflix is turning up the heat and luring pay TV subscribers and cord cutters alike with fantastic original series. HBO has never had more competition than it does right now, so there couldn't be a worse time for its most popular show to start heading south. And yet it looks like that might be exactly what's happening with Game of Thrones . Coincidence or not, season 6 marks the first time the writers of HBO's hit show have ventured off on their own. GoT is based on George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels titled  A Song of Ice and Fire , but the series is still a work in progress. Previous seasons of Game of Thrones have been based on Martin's books, but the timeline in HBO's series reached the end of the published books at the end of season 5. Now, the show's creators are traveling their own road. Martin is still working with the show and he has been helping guide certain storylines. For example, Hodor's heartbreaking death at the end of last week's episode and his back story were dictated by the author. But the writers have been left to their own devices in many areas and to be frank, things haven't been going very well. We have seen some earth-shattering moments so far in season 6. John Snow came back to life after being murdered by rogue members of the Night's Watch. Daenerys burned the khals alive and took control of their army. Hodor died tragically, saving Bran's life in the process. But these sky-high peaks are separated by valleys that grow deeper and wider with each passing episode. And then there's episode 6. Forget for a moment that "Blood of My Blood" was a painfully anticlimactic episode. We can certainly endure episodes dedicated solely story development here and there. But the lack of climactic moments to serve as peaks in episode 6 drew more attention to the quality of the writing, acting and plotlines in all those valleys. To be frank, last night's episode of Game of Thrones felt like a crummy soap opera. In recent episodes, GoT has grown increasingly predictable. This comes at an unfortunate time when the writing also seems to have taken a turn for the worse. The result is a schizophrenic viewing experience that typically varies wildly from one scene to the next. And since there was precious little action in this past Sunday's show, we were left with writing that was almost uncomfortable to watch at times. Tommen's terrible acting took a toll as he and Margaery were reunited in the early moments of last night's episode. Samwell, one of the most likable characters on the show, has now grown almost unbearably awkward. Cersei and Jaime's exchange nearly 45 minutes into the episode was terribly written to the point that it was embarrassing, like something right out of Days of Our Lives . And it hardly took a fortune-teller to know exactly how Margaery's walk of atonement and Arya's mission to kill Lady Crane were going to turn out. Last night's episode of Game of Thrones was shoddy, uninspired, predictable and for the most part, painfully boring. It was the low point of the season, and perhaps even the series. With the exception of last night's episode,  Game of Thrones season 6 has been pretty good so far. But "pretty good" isn't what GoT fans have come to expect and it certainly isn't what has given HBO a huge edge over the years. "It's not TV. It's HBO." was always more than just a slogan. My hope is that this downward trend is reversed as season 6 progresses, and as the show's writers continue to forge on without as much guidance from Martin's novels. May 29th, 2016 will either mark a major turning point for Game of Thrones as it continues to devolve into a fantasy soap opera, or it will be remembered as the base of a valley that ascends to new peaks and, hopefully, never looks back. In either case, it's a day Game of Thrones fans will remember.

BMW dumps investment capital into Scoop, yet another mobility company

BMW dumps investment capital into Scoop, yet another mobility companyThe Scoop app connects drivers and riders to carpool together for a more efficient commute, and perhaps listen to Salt-N-Pepa's "Shoop" on the car stereo.

The Crow and the Heron: An inside look at the legendary Himeji and Matsumoto castles of Japan

The Crow and the Heron: An inside look at the legendary Himeji and Matsumoto castles of JapanHimeji and Matsumoto are two of the most famous Japanese castles. One mostly white, one mostly black, and both are magnificent inside and out. Here's a tour of both, in photos and 360 video.

SAE International begins to set a standard for wireless EV charging

SAE International begins to set a standard for wireless EV chargingSAE TIR J2954, if accepted and implemented on a wide scale, will ensure wireless charging works on all vehicles that follow the standard.

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