Just how much money do tech companies shelter from taxes? Quite a lot, according to the Dutch. Newly published Netherlands regulatory filings show that Google shielded €15.9 billion (about $19.2 billion) in 2016 using the popular “Dutch Sandwich” tax trick, saving it about $3.7 billion in taxes. The maneuver involves shifting revenue from an Irish subsidiary to a Dutch firm with no staff, and promptly moving the funds to a Bermuda mailbox owned by another Ireland-listed company. And this practice isn’t slowing down — Google moved 7 percent more cash through this approach in 2016 than it did a year earlier.
Google.org is investing $50 million to alter how we think about work. From throwing money at training in in-demand fields like coding, to simply making life easier for people in low-wage positions, Mountain View is looking to the future. For example, the internet juggernaut knows that college isn’t for everyone, so it’s working on a tool so people can easily compare vocational and technical training programs. Google hasn’t specified how such a system will work, or how many training providers will be included, but in theory it’d put tech-ed programs alongside one another so you could find out which would suit your needs or offer the skills needed to land a job in your current city.
Google’s artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, has developed an AI that has managed to learn how to walk, run, jump, and climb without any prior guidance. The result is as impressive as it is goofy.
After former President Obama reopened America’s diplomatic relations with Cuba, businesses started looking for opportunities to make inroads to the island nation. Google was one of these, with Obama himself announcing it would come to help set up WiFi and broadband access there. Cuba’s national telecom ETECSA officially inked a deal with Google back in December, and today, they finally switched on the service, making the search giant the first foreign internet live on the island.
Diversity (or the lack thereof) at Silicon Valley companies like Google has been a hot topic in the tech industry of late — just about every major tech company out there now is publishing diversity numbers and pledging to make their workforces more than just white men. Google today has just announced a new partnership with Howard University to help improve its own diversity. As Google VP Bonita Stewart (herself a Howard alum) writes, the new “Howard West” program is a residency at Google’s Mountain View campus for black computer science majors.
If you’re an American history buff, you’re in luck. To celebrate President’s Day, Google arts and culture team has just kicked off a monumentalhistorical project focusing on our country’s top office with the American Democracy program.