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Read Now: India says Oppo’s local unit evaded customs duty worth $550 million – 101 Latest News

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India says Oppo’s local unit evaded customs duty worth $550 million

#India #Oppos #local #unit #evaded #customs #duty #worth #million

India’s Directorate Of Revenue Intelligence, part of the country’s finance ministry, said on Wednesday phone-maker Oppo’s India unit evaded customs duty of $550 million, following similar probes into local units of other Chinese giants Xiaomi and Vivo that prompted Beijing to issue a warning earlier this month.

The finance ministry said it has found evidence that Oppo India wilfully incorrectly declared description of certain items it imported, which allowed it to avail duty exemption benefits of $374.3 million.

The ministry said it searched the offices of Oppo India and members of its management team, who the ministry said, “accepted the submission of wrongful description before the Customs Authorities at the time of import.”

Oppo India also deals for other brands including OnePlus and Realme in the country, the ministry said. If the market share of all these units are to be combined, Oppo India is the largest smartphone vendor in the country. It did not immediately responded to a request for comment.

“During the course of investigation, searches were conducted by DRI at the office premises of Oppo India and residences of its key management employees, which led to the recovery of incriminating evidence indicating wilful mis-declaration in the description of certain items imported by Oppo India for use in the manufacture of mobile phones,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

Additionally, Oppo India also made royalty and licence fee payments of over $176 million to other companies, including some in China, and did not disclose those transactions in the value of goods imported by them, violating the country’s Section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962, the ministry added.

Oppo India has “voluntarily deposited” about $56.5 million as partial differential customs duty, the ministry added.

Wednesday’s announcement follows the Enforcement Directorate, India’s anti-money laundering agency, raiding dozens of phone-maker Vivo’s operations and production sites across multiple states in the country.

The Enforcement Directorate said last week that a firm associated with Vivo used forged documentation at the time of incorporation in India. The agency seized 119 bank accounts with $58.7 million linked with Vivo India, it added.

The ED’s move prompted China’s embassy in India to criticize the Indian authorities. The embassy said such “frequent investigations” into local units of Chinese firms “impede the improvement of [the] business environment” in India and “chills the confidence and willingness” of other foreign nation’s businesses to invest and operate in the South Asian market.

The embassy said China always asks its firms to follow laws and regulations overseas and “wishes” that the Indian side provides a “fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment” to Chinese firms.

Tension between the two nuclear-armed neighboring nations escalated in 2020 after a skirmish at the border. India has since introduced several restrictions on Chinese firms (without ever naming China in its orders.)

In the past two years, New Delhi has banned hundreds of Chinese apps including TikTok, UC Browser and PUBG Mobile, citing national security concerns. India also amended its foreign direct investment policy in 2020 to require all neighboring nations with which it shares a boundary to seek approval from New Delhi for their future deals in the country. Previously, only Pakistan and Bangladesh were subjected to this requirement.

India Cellular and Electronics Association, a lobby group that represents several tech giants including Apple and Amazon, in May urged New Delhi to intervene and alleged ED of lacking understanding of just how royalty payments worked in the tech industry.

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Read Now: No Man's Sky just landed on macOS with crossplay and cross-save support – 101 Latest News

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No Man's Sky just landed on macOS with crossplay and cross-save support

#Man039s #Sky #landed #macOS #crossplay #crosssave #support

These guys never quit: One of the hardest-working developers out there, Hello Games, has continued plugging away at its flagship passion project, No Man’s Sky, for nearly seven years. It’s remarkable for any developer to continue improving a game for that amount of time without involving microtransactions.

So far, the studio has subsisted on its initial sales on PlayStation 4, with the occasional bump from ports to Nintendo Switch, Xbox consoles, PlayStation 5, and PC. These boosts have helped the team deliver over 20 major updates, including two in the first part of this year – Fractal and Interceptor.

On Thursday, Hello Games surprised the community and everyone else by releasing No Man’s Sky on Mac! The studio announced the plans about a year ago at WWDC 2022 without a launch window. So the turnaround time was pretty quick. The game is already available on Steam, but Sean Murray said he is working with Apple to get it into the native Apple Mac Store as soon as possible.

As one might expect, the Mac version will contain all seven years of content – something the team struggled with on the Switch. It wasn’t a half-assed effort to quickly (and cheaply) port it to Mac hardware, either.

The team rebuilt the game from the ground up to take advantage of Apple silicon and the Metal 3 platform. However, to stem the FOMO Intel-based Mac users might feel about the news, the team went the extra mile to make the game compatible with older Apple hardware. So you won’t have to upgrade your 2015 iMac to enjoy NMS. It doesn’t even have to be a top-of-the-line Intel Mac, but there are some limitations we’ll point out in a moment.

“Expect fast loading times using the Mac internal SSD,” said Murray. “Consistent performance across the full range of Macs is possible through MetalFX Upscaling. Metal 3 support allows No Man’s Sky to achieve console quality graphics whilst maintaining battery life on laptops and lower end devices.”

Additionally, those who already purchased No Man’s Sky for PC through Steam can grab the Mac version for free. Players don’t even have to worry about losing their progress when switching from one platform to another since the save system is platform-agnostic between Windows and macOS.

“No Man’s Sky for Mac is free to millions of players who already own the game on Steam. And for users who use both PC and Mac, cross save is supported between both systems, allowing players to jump from a PC to a Mac laptop, or from a Mac mini to Mac Studio.”

While console versions don’t share this cross-save functionality, the macOS port is crossplay enabled, just like all other versions. So whether playing on a console or a computer, hooking up with friends on any system is still a cinch.

No Man’s Sky will run effortlessly on any Mac with Apple silicon, whether the most powerful desktop or the most modest M1 laptop, including the low-horsepower MacBook Airs. Intel Macs are a bit more picky. Users will need at least an Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 20GB storage, and a Radeon Pro 570X 4GB Graphics Card. That last spec disqualifies all Intel laptops since they use Intel Iris Plus iGPUs. It also requires macOS Monterey 12.3, but that shouldn’t be a problem for anything but some of the older Macs (pre-2017).

Murray closed out by teasing that another major content dump is coming soon. So the HG team truly has been busy churning it out this year.

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Read Now: Best Road Trip Camera Gear – CNET – 101 Latest News

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Best Road Trip Camera Gear     - CNET

#Road #Trip #Camera #Gear #CNET

$349 at Amazon

GoPro Hero 10 Black

Still the best action camera overall

Taking a road trip can be amazing, especially if you’re doing it with people you love. Whether you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an epic drive across the United States or just a quiet weekend getaway, you’re going to want the best camera to capture moments along the way. The best camera can elevate your photos and videos from the vacation with higher quality. It can also help you capture amazing slow-motion footage and, most especially, provide rugged waterproofing so your phone stays safely in your pocket. You don’t need to spend a fortune on high-end cameras either. Often a GoPro can do the trick.

I travel a lot, and I’ll be the first to admit I bring more camera gear than I need to. However, there are only a few things I use all the time, and those are what I recommend here. One of them will probably be all you need for your next road trip.

yt-firstlook-gopro-hero-10-b

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

You can’t go wrong with a GoPro. They have excellent image quality, are quite rugged and their app is pretty solid in letting you edit your photos and footage to look its best. The main reason I’m recommending the Hero 10 over one of the less expensive options is because of the . This lens swaps in and records an even wider angle of view. Plus, it improves the already excellent stabilization. 

I’ve been using it not only to capture scenic vistas, but also as a dash camera, as you can see in the video below.

The newer has a few improvements, but for most people the Hero 10 will look pretty much the same and will save you some money.

Read our GoPro Hero 10 Black review.

The Insta360 X3 along with its app in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Insta360

I’ve used 360 cameras for years. They’ve come a long way. This is the first I’d consider using without a backup action camera. 360 cameras capture everything in a sphere around the camera. Later, with the app, you can pick and choose what to show and how. So basically you record everything, and then crop to show just the interesting parts. 

One of the coolest tricks a 360 camera can do is automatically remove the selfie stick, so it looks like you have a drone following you. For more, check out:

Insta360 X3 Action Cam Uses 5.7K 360 Video, AI Smarts to Get All the Social Shots.

This is a unique and tiny action camera that I’ve been using a lot. It’s not really a main camera, but definitely an excellent secondary camera. It’s about the size of your thumb — and magnetic. You can hang it on your shirt while wearing an included magnetic pendant, or attach it to anything metal, or use one of the myriad clever mounts. The case that recharges and controls the camera even has a built-in tripod. The footage is wonderfully stabilized and looks far better than you’d expect for something so small.

Because of its size, it can record perspectives other cameras can’t, like the model train POV in the video below.

Read our Insta360 Go 2 review.

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gopro-hero-11-black-01

Josh Goldman/CNET

For most people the GoPro Hero 10 Black is all the action camera they’ll need. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, the newer Hero 11 improves on the 10 in a few minor ways. For one, there’s a new image sensor. The primary difference is it’s more square. So if you often post vertical content for, say, TikTok or Instagram, but still want to be able to post standard horizontal content to YouTube, this allows you to more easily do both without a significant loss in quality. 

You can read more about it here:

GoPro Hero 11 Black Hands-On: A Super-Sized Sensor Adds Value for Everyone.

dji-om5-reviewthumb2

DJI

If you don’t want to invest in a new camera or don’t want the bulk of one (fair), consider a gimbal. You can really improve the quality of your videos with a gimbal. They smooth out your hand’s movements while you’re walking around, and can do slick, professional-looking pans and tilts. They’re an absolute must-have if you’re primarily using your phone. I have the OM 3, but the 5 is the current model and is easier to connect to your phone.

Read our DJI OM 5 review.

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A hand holds the pocket-sized SanDisk Extreme portable 2TB SSD.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re recording a lot of video, your camera and phone’s storage are going to fill up fast. Cloud storage is one option, but if you’re bringing a laptop, consider a tiny portable hard drive. I have one of these and they seem impossibly small for how much they can store. They’re also reasonably rugged.

Read our list of the best external hard drive and SSDs.

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Selfie stick

I don’t have a strong recommendation for this one, other than to say selfie sticks are great (when you’re not in crowds, that is) and you should find one you like. Even I, who has what one friend describes as “freakishly long arms,” find great use in a selfie stick. They let me capture photos and videos that would be impossible any other way, especially with a 360 camera that automatically deletes the stick from the final image or video. 

Precariously perched over the Badlands, thanks to a 360 camera and a selfie stick.

Precariously perched over the Badlands, thanks to a 360 camera and a selfie stick.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I recommend getting one with tripod-mount screws on both ends, which gives you more options on what you can mount and how you can mount the stick itself. Similarly, make sure you get one that can hold all your cameras and phones. 

Camera remote

I find these to be super handy, though depending on how you’re recording, it might not be. It’s a simple Bluetooth remote that lets you control when the camera starts and stops recording along with changing modes, settings, and so on. True, you can use the camera’s app on your phone instead, but I feel like I spend half my life trying to get cameras to connect to their apps, so sometimes a remote is easier. Sometimes the remote won’t connect either. It’s a hassle either way. Oh well.

joby gorillapod

Joby

Tripods and other mounts

One last thing. Tripods and mounts. You probably don’t need a full-size tripod, few people do. A small bendable model can be super handy though, letting you mount the camera to just about anything and get a great shot with you in it. I’ve had good luck with Joby GorillaPods. I have an older version of this one.

Also check out suction-cup and dash mounts. I have a tiny dashboard and tiny windshield, so it was a lot harder to find something that worked. So what I’m using probably won’t work for you. Generally I’d recommend mounting the camera as high as possible, if you can, for a better view. 

I’ll end with my favorite, an antenna mount. Unscrew your antenna and install this mount. When paired with a 360 camera, it lets you get an exciting and unique view of your adventure. I got one of these and put a selfie stick on top of it, plus a 360 camera, to get the drone-like footage of me and my car in Grand Teton National Park. How well this works is going to depend on your particular vehicle, however.

Read more: Best Tripod for Photography and Video in 2023


As well as covering TV and other display tech, Geoff does photo tours of cool museums and locations around the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, epic 10,000-mile road trips, and more. Check out Tech Treks for all his tours and adventures.

He wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-size submarines and a sequel. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and his YouTube channel.


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Read Now: Gig workers in California to receive millions for unpaid vehicle expenses – 101 Latest News

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Gig workers in California to receive millions for unpaid vehicle expenses

#Gig #workers #California #receive #millions #unpaid #vehicle #expenses

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other app-based ride-hail and delivery companies will have to reimburse California gig workers potentially millions of dollars for unpaid vehicle expenses between 2022 and 2023.

The back payments come from a provision in Proposition 22, the controversial law that classifies gig workers as independent contractors rather than employees and promises them halfhearted protections and benefits. For example, gig workers get a minimum earnings guarantee, rather than a guaranteed minimum wage, for the time they spend “engaged” in a gig, and not the time spent between rides.

Part of Prop 22 stipulates that drivers making the bare minimum get a reimbursement for vehicle expenses. Starting in 2021, when Prop 22 went into effect in California, drivers began receiving $0.30 per mile driven while “actively engaged.” The law also states that the rate should be raised to keep up with the pace of inflation. So, 2022’s 6.8% inflation raise should have bumped those payments to $0.32 per mile; and in 2023 it should have gone up another $0.02 to $0.34 per mile.

A couple of cents may not seem like a big deal, but drivers clock thousands of miles every year, so it can really add up. Especially when you consider that there are roughly 1.3 million gig drivers in California, according to industry reports.

(By the way, in line with the lackluster benefits afforded to gig workers under Prop 22, their vehicle mileage deduction rate is half the standard rate for business owners and employees, which in 2023 is $0.655 per mile.)

Pablo Gomez, a full-time Uber driver since 2019, noticed that his payments never went up past $0.30, according to The Los Angeles Times, which first reported the discrepancy. Now we know that no drivers received the increased payments, because none of the app-based companies implemented the adjustment.

Uber, DoorDash, Lyft and Grubhub all told TechCrunch that they didn’t adjust driver reimbursement fees because they were waiting for the California treasurer’s office to publish adjusted rates. According to Prop 22, the treasury is indeed tasked with calculating and publishing the adjusted rate each year and failed to do so in a timely manner.

After studying the language of Prop 22, Gomez tried reaching out to the state treasurer’s office on April 13 and was brushed off. He then tweeted directly at Fiona Ma, the California treasurer, asking why the rate hadn’t been changed yet. Sergio Avedian, a gig worker and senior contributor at The Rideshare Guy, boosted the tweet. On May 10, Ma replied saying the rate adjustment had finally been published. Uber and DoorDash immediately started sending backpay to drivers, lest they face a class-action lawsuit.

For his part, Avedian said he was ready to file suit if the companies didn’t agree to retroactively pay. “I had the law firm ready, and I was gonna be the lead plaintiff,” he told TechCrunch.

Lyft told TechCrunch it has now begun issuing backpay. Grubhub said it will start retroactively paying drivers, and Instacart didn’t reply in time to comment.

The state’s treasury did not respond in time to explain why it took so long — 18 months for 2022’s rates — to provide adjusted vehicle reimbursement rates. According to Avedian, the treasury had been holding off due to the uncertain status of Prop 22. The ballot measure had been ruled unconstitutional in August 2021, but in March, a California appeals court overturned that decision. Industry experts say that despite the lower court ruling saying Prop 22 unconstitutional, it was still the law of the land, and the treasury should have treated it as such.

I asked the app-based companies if they had reached out to the department in the past year and a half to push for an updated rate. Uber said it reached out once in January 2022, and DoorDash said it had made repeated requests for updated mileage rates “dating back to January 2022.” Lyft also said it reached out to the treasury for information, but didn’t specify when or how many times. I also asked the companies if they had alerted gig workers to the treasury’s delay to reassure them that they’d be reimbursed eventually. None of them had.

And that’s not surprising. App-based gig companies have yet to achieve true measures of profitability, even as they find new and exciting ways to extract as much work for as little pay as possible from workers. (See: algorithmic wage discrimination, tip hiding and tip stealing.) When I asked an Uber spokesperson why the company didn’t just make its own calculations for workers, he responded that “it’s up to the treasurer’s office to mandate that rate.”

It’s not quite a “better to ask for forgiveness than permission” argument, but it’s along the same lines. Better to hope that no one notices you’re not paying workers properly, than to proactively pay them properly.

Not every driver will end up receiving backpay. Many ride-hail drivers exceed the minimum rate, so they aren’t eligible for vehicle reimbursement fees. However, those who mainly drive for Uber Eats, DoorDash and other food delivery platforms tend to rely more on tips for income, so they should begin to see payments show up in their accounts.

Avedian, who drives part-time and cherry picks his gigs, said he got around $85 from Uber. His wife, who also works part-time, got more than $200 from DoorDash.

But what about the workers who drive full-time?

“If you’re a full-time DoorDash, Uber Eats, GrubHub driver, you’re driving a solid 5,000 miles a month. There’s no doubt about that,” he said. “They’re gonna end up owing a few hundred million. It’s gonna be a lot of money.”

None of the companies I spoke to shared how much money they expect to doll out to drivers, but some back of the envelope math suggests that, collectively, companies could end up paying in the millions.

Aside from Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub and Instacart, other relevant companies that employ gig workers include Amazon Flex, Target’s Shipt and Walmart’s Spark.

Lack of transparency

Avedian has gathered screenshots of his own, his wife’s, and his podcast listeners’ backpay reimbursements. One of his major gripes is the complete lack of transparency from the companies regarding the calculation of these amounts. None of the companies provide drivers with a mileage breakdown.

Uber is the only company to even stipulate that the payment is a result of California Prop 22 benefits. DoorDash drivers just see a random payment appear.

“Everybody’s getting money, and these drivers are like, ‘Oh, I got 400 bucks. I got 800 bucks,’ but they don’t all know what it’s for.”

Avedian actually keeps a spreadsheet where he logs all his net earnings, miles driven, number of trips and Prop 22 adjustments. Per his calculations, Uber’s back payment to him was actually off by $3.

“I call this nickel and diming of the gig economy,” said Avedian. “$3 times a million people is 3 million more dollars. I mean, I’m not bitching and moaning that people are getting money, but all I’m saying is, why not be transparent?”

In May, a bill in Colorado that aimed to make gig worker platforms more transparent for workers was shut down.

“Millions of people are driving for these companies, and while they’re doing it, they’re getting ripped off because of a lack of transparency,” said Avedian. “You must have something to hide, otherwise you wouldn’t be afraid of transparency.”


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