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Netflix and Spotify will be taxed by the Philippine government

As well as other ‘digital service providers’

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Netflix and Spotify as well as other digital services you’re subscribed to might hike their prices following the latest move by the Philippine government.

The House Ways and Means Panel of the Philippine Congress has approved the bill that proposes the imposition of a 12% VAT (Value Added Tax) to companies, local and foreign, that engage in the exchange of goods and services for monetary value on digital platforms.

Netflix and Spotify were prominently mentioned but the bill will impose the 12% VAT on any digital service provider. It defines such as follows: “an entity which provides digital service or goods to a buyer through an online platform for purposes of buying and selling of goods or services or by making transactions for the provision of digital services on behalf of any person.”

This means most of your online subscriptions will likely be affected. Further expanding the definition, the following also fall under the “digital service provider” category:

  • third party that acts as a conduit for goods or services offered by a supplier to a buyer and receives commission therefore
  • platform provider for promotion that uses the internet to deliver marketing messages to attract buyers
  • host of online auctions conducted through the internet, where the seller sells the product or service to the person who bids the highest price
  • supplier of digital services to a buyer in exchange for a regular subscription fee over the usage of the said product or service
  • supplier of electronic and online services that can be delivered through an information technology infrastructure, such as the internet.

We’ve reached out to Netflix and Spotify inquiring how they will respond to this development. We have yet to receive a response as of writing.

Philippine debt climbing

The authors of the bill argue that this will level the playing field between local and foreign companies. The Philippines’ assistant secretary notes that the government could gain a PhP 10 Billion revenue from this measure.

This comes on the heels of another report noting that the Philippines’ debt has breached the PhP 9 Trillion mark. The borrowed funds have been earmarked for COVID-19 response.

However, there still has been no implementation of mass testing and proper contact tracing which have been proven to be effective in containing the spread of the virus. This, despite the Coronavirus cases in the country already breaching the 80,000 mark — well above the number in neighboring countries.

Source: GMA News

Apps

Apple launches the Apple Music Voice Plan

Cheaper and exclusive to Siri

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With voice technology today, using an interface feels less of a necessity now. The tech world can now control their favorite apps completely hands-free with only the power of their voices. Is it finally time to ditch the user interface? Apple seems to think so. Apple Music has launched a new plan, allowing users to control the app using only their voice.

Subscribed to the new Apple Music Voice Plan, users will have access to the streaming platform’s gallery of over 90 million songs and Apple Music Radio.

To complement the introduction of voice-centric features, Apple Music is also getting a boost of new playlist and mood functions. Subscribers can use Siri to play music customized to specific activities and moods. Apple specifically mentioned examples like “Play something chill” or “Play a playlist for hiking.” Though obviously optimized for voice, the new feature is available for every Apple Music subscriber.

 

Currently, the new plan will launch for only a selected slate of launch countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Apple Music Voice Plan will cost US$ 4.99 per month. The regular individual plan costs US$ 9.99. Finally, the family plan (available for up to six accounts) sells for US$ 14.99.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music could soon support HiFi audio streaming

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iShop: One-stop solution for Brother’s products

Get those printers, sewing machines, and cartridges!

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Fans of Brother, assemble!

Brother Philippines has just introduced iShop — a new feature on the brand’s Customer Plus App serving as a one-stop solution for all Brother products.

The new feature puts together Brother’s available products. From inkjet and mono laser printers, label makers, sewing machines, to consumables like an ink cartridge. You can access iShop by tapping the shopping cart icon on the Customer Plus homepage, which will allow you to purchase products through Brother’s authorized dealers and partners.

Moreover, you can shop for Brother products on other e-commerce channels, which is also accessible from the feature. Furthermore, you can opt to reserve or purchase products from physical stores. So you can pick it up on your preferred schedule.

The iShop feature is now available on Brother’s Customer Plus App. The app can be downloaded on Google’s Play Store and the App Store.

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Pixel 6 will reportedly have a Magic Eraser feature

It can erase strangers from photos

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Taking photos at a crowded location is usually a problem for most tourists. Most of the time, you’ll end up taking photos with unwanted strangers in the background. In worse situations, someone might even bomb your photos on purpose. Luckily, with artificial intelligence now, getting perfect photos is easier. To show its power in AI technology, the upcoming Pixel 6 series will reportedly have a Magic Eraser feature.

Accidentally shared by retailer website Carphone Warehouse (and preserved through Wayback Machine), the upcoming flagship series will sport a flurry of camera features. Though the series will have the standard array of photography improvements, the most notable feature is an upcoming Magic Eraser which will “remove strangers and unwanted objects in Google Photos.”

To anyone familiar with photography software, this is already possible especially through Adobe Photoshop’s healing tool. However, getting the feature natively in a smartphone is a big step especially for tourists who might not have access to Photoshop.

Besides the feature, the accidental webpage reveals a lot of details about the upcoming flagship series. Of course, it’s not a big reveal anymore. Google itself has already shared more about the Pixel 6 series more than the leaks. The series will officially launch on October 19 in a launch event.

SEE ALSO: Pixel Pass bundles a Pixel 6 with a subscription service

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