Apple Back to School promo returns to Australia & New Zealand, offers Beats or iPad discounts — Apple has launched the Australian and New Zealand editions of its annual Back to School sale, offering either Beats headphones or iPad discounts to qualifying shoppers buying a new Mac.
From today through March 21, university students, their parents, and/or educational staff buying a Mac will receive instant credit towards a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones, or else a discount when buying an iPad. People can also choose to upgrade to Solo2 Wireless headphones, but will have to pay the remaining price gap, which is NZ$180.
Prime Minister of the Netherlands meets with Apple, other tech execs — Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands and Neelie Kroes, special envoy for Startup Delta, are in San Francisco and have met with a number of California companies with operations in the Netherlands, including Apple, Facebook, Tesla, Cisco, Uber and Planet Labs. (Startup Delta is an organisation that collaborates with more than 10 Dutch tech hubs to make the Netherlands the largest startup ecosystem in Europe.)
Apple, other companies to be taxed on digital sales in Russia starting in 2017 — Taxes on digital sales by Apple, Google Play and Netflix has been approved by the Russian government and is expected to be implemented as of 2017.
Environmental concerns slow progress on Apple’s new Irish data centre — Progress on Apple’s new €850 million data center in Ireland is reportedly at a standstill as the Irish government continues to sort out complaints about the project’s potential to harm local wildlife.
Walt Mossberg notes quality decline in Apple’s core apps; can Phil Schiller turn things around? Veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg, now an executive editor at The Verge and editor-at-large of Re/code, says that in the last couple of years, he’s noticed a “gradual degradation in the quality and reliability of Apple’s core apps, on both the mobile iOS operating system and its Mac OS X platform.” Many think he’s right, but Apple seems to be addressing the issue. [Criticism of Apple from Mossberg? Whatever next?!]
Apple hires firmware security experts who worked on Thunderstrike 2 exploit — Apple recently added a pair of firmware security experts to its ranks when it hired the team behind “deep system security” startup LegbaCore in November, an apparent effort to bolster platforms like iOS and OS X.
Elmedia Player Pro review: Better, stronger, faster than QuickTime Player— Elmedia Player is available in two flavours: a free version supporting nearly every media format under the sun, along with an entirely optional paid upgrade that adds the ability to download YouTube content, control audio playback settings, or grab still images from video files. I tested the paid version, although they otherwise look and perform the same; with the free version, you’ll see PRO next to locked features.