AWT News Update: August 24, 2016

In our Apple news headlines for this afternoon:

  • Be sure to join Team AWT and enter into our giveaway for a Drobo 5Dt by clicking this link.
  • Apple wants some new "professional" emoji to be added to Unicode
  • Code hidden inside the latest macOS Sierra beta shows that future Macs may support second-generation USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3
  • Tim Cook unlocked a big, big bonus for himself today
  • The US Treasury Department chastised the European Commission's Competition Directorate in a white paper issued today, based on the directorate's pursuit of back taxes from Apple

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Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for August 24, 2016. Here are some of today’s Apple news highlights.

Just a reminder; if you’re a listener who isn’t a member of Team AWT and would like an opportunity to enter our members-only giveaway of a Drobo 5Dt and five 2TB disk drives, you have just one more week. The details can be found in this video.

Apple’s been working with the Unicode Consortium on all sorts of very important things lately, like replacing the gun emoji with a water pistol. Well, the company has asked to add professional emoji as well, including an artist, astronaut, firefighter, judge and pilot, in both male and female versions. Personally, I think the artist emoji is quite stereotypical, with the artists holding a paint palette and a brush, and wearing a beret. What artist wears a beret?

Code in the latest beta of macOS Sierra has hinted that future Macs will support not only second-generation USB 3.1 transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, but also support Thunderbolt 3. Should this happen with future Macs, we’d expect that they will support both connections through one port type — the USB Type C port found currently on the 12-inch MacBook. Although that laptop doesn’t provide Thunderbolt 3 support, the Type C port can be used interchangeably on properly set-up Macs to work both as a USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3 port. A new MacBook Pro with a thinner body, OLED touch panel and support for Touch ID authentication is expected to be released before the end of the year, and would be the most likely Mac to support both 10 Gbps USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3.

In games and life, there’s a saying — “Achievement unlocked” — that means that you’ve accomplished a goal. For Apple CEO Tim Cook, his fifth anniversary in his position just unlocked a heck of an achievement. By reaching five years in the position and reaching specific shareholder return goals, Cook now gets previously awarded stock bonuses. How much are they worth? Given today’s Apple share price and the number of shares he’ll get, Cook just unlocked $106.7 million. That’s a nice bonus.

Finally, the US Treasury Department issued a white paper today, threatening that it may “consider potential responses” if the European Commission demands that Ireland collect billions of Euros in back taxes from Apple. This is as a result of a deal made years ago between Ireland and Apple, where the Irish government agreed to give Apple preferential treatment in order to attract jobs and investment. Apple’s tax rate as a result was about 2 percent, below the usual 12.5 percent tax rate. However, the Treasury Department is backing Apple on this one, saying that “This shift in approach appears to expand the role of the E.U. competition directorate beyond enforcement of competition and state aid law into that of a supranational tax authority.”

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.