Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 to Feature Faster CPU, Graphics

Today's topics include Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon mobile chip, Dropbox's warning that users need to reset their password because of a 4-year-old data breach, Dell's preparations to close its $63 billion acquisition of EMC and the European Union's demand that Apple pay Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes.

Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 821 mobile processor will offer improvements in CPU and graphics speeds, support the chip maker's virtual reality technology and will likely begin appearing in new smartphones later this year. Company officials first unveiled the Snapdragon 821 in July, saying the new system-on-a-chip would be more of a complement than a replacement for the popular Snapdragon 820.

In a post on the company blog Aug. 31, Qualcomm Marketing Director Mark Shedd released more details about the chip, including the improvements in CPU performance and support for Google's upcoming Android "Nougat" mobile operating system.

Dropbox warned its users last week that if they haven't updated their passwords since 2012, they would be prompted to update them. The password reset is related to a system breach originally disclosed in 2012, which risks exposing the log-in credentials of approximately 68 million Dropbox users. For its part, Dropbox is emphasizing that it has contained the risk and is taking the appropriate steps to protect users.

"This is not a new security incident, and there is no indication that Dropbox user accounts have been improperly accessed," Patrick Heim, head of Trust and Security at Dropbox, said in a statement sent to eWEEK. "Our analysis confirms that the credentials are user email addresses with hashed and salted passwords that were obtained prior to mid-2012."

Dell Technologies is set to complete its $63 billion acquisition of EMC on Sept. 7 after Chinese regulators gave their approval for the deal. The two companies will close what is the largest deal in tech industry history and will create a massive company that Dell officials expect will be in a better position to compete with other top-tier enterprise IT vendors like IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise while giving it greater capabilities in such fast-growing areas as converged data center infrastructure and cloud computing.

In a ruling that could have vast business and tax repercussions across the globe, the European Union has ordered Apple to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland after the agency said the company was given "undue tax benefits" in the past. In an Aug. 30 announcement, Margrethe Vestager, the EU's antitrust chief, said that EU "member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies."

The violation allegedly occurred years ago when Ireland "granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, enabling it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years," Vestager said.

An EU investigation that began in June 2014 recently determined that the violations occurred and that "this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014," according to the agency. That amount was "substantially less than other businesses" and now must be recovered by Ireland, the EU ruled.

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