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Apple’s billion dollar antitrust fine in France cut to $366 million October 7, 2022

It’s a big discount. | Kristen Radtke / The Verge An appeals court in France has slashed Apple’s antitrust fine from €1.1 billion to €372 million (about $366 million), calling the original penalty “disproportionate” and saying that the new amount was “sufficient” to dissuade the company from bad behavior, according to reports from Reuters and […]

Solar Cells As Art Form

When most of us approach a project, we have a certain problem to solve. 3D printing, microcontrollers, batteries, and all kinds of technologies are usually tools to accomplish some task. This is not necessarily true in the art world, though, where the intrinsic nature of these tools can be explored for their own sake rather than as a means to an end. The latest one that came across our desk is this light-powered sound generator.

The art piece looks a bit like a mobile with rotating arms, holding various small solar cells each connected to a speaker. As the arms pivot, the light falling on the cells changes which drives a specially-designed circuit connected to a speaker. The circuit acts as an oscillator, passing the changing voltage from the cell through various capacitors and transistors to produce changing tones in the speaker.

The effect of the rotating solar panels is not only oscillations from the speakers as the light changes, but oscillations in the sound of the speakers as they rotate towards and away from the observer. It’s a unique project and perfect for the art show it was in. It’s also not the only sound-focused art installation we’ve ever seen before, be sure to check out this one based on an ESP32.

Zendrive spinout Fairmatic, which develops AI-powered risk and pricing models for commercial auto insurance, raised a $42M Series A led by Foundation Capital (Meir Orbach/CTech)

Meir Orbach / CTech:
Zendrive spinout Fairmatic, which develops AI-powered risk and pricing models for commercial auto insurance, raised a $42M Series A led by Foundation Capital  —  The company, co-founded and headed by Israeli Jonathan Matus, has developed AI-powered risk and pricing models that have been trained …

Sources: Disney explores a membership program similar to Amazon Prime, bundling streaming, theme parks, and merchandise, and adding commerce features to Disney+ (Wall Street Journal)

Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Disney explores a membership program similar to Amazon Prime, bundling streaming, theme parks, and merchandise, and adding commerce features to Disney+  —  Entertainment giant looks to package streaming, parks and merchandise offerings together; aims to add commerce feature to Disney+

Stockholm-based Mavenoid, which offers human- and AI-enabled product support and troubleshooting tools for hardware companies, has raised a $30M Series B (Paul Sawers/TechCrunch)

Paul Sawers / TechCrunch:
Stockholm-based Mavenoid, which offers human- and AI-enabled product support and troubleshooting tools for hardware companies, has raised a $30M Series B  —  Mavenoid, a Swedish company that provides both human- and AI-enabled support and troubleshooting tools for hardware companies …

An interview with Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine: writers with subscribers should be paid more and thinking “Medium was going to shine” in journalism was a mistake (Casey Newton/Nieman Lab)

Casey Newton / Nieman Lab:
An interview with Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine: writers with subscribers should be paid more and thinking “Medium was going to shine” in journalism was a mistake  —  Sometimes as a reporter you write a piece that is critical of a company and the company decides not to talk to you again for a long while, or ever again.

The Cheat Way To Perfectly Split an Oreo

Believe it or not, much research has been done in how to perfectly split Oreos with an even amount of cream on both sides. Early studies suggested it simply wasn’t possible, with one side always getting the majority of the cream.  However, [Ian Charnas] has now found a sneaky workaround.

First attempts involved heating in a microwave or chilling the cookies in the freezer. Neither helped in the slightest. A vacuum chamber only served to delaminate the cream from both sides of the cookie entirely, while water jet cutting made an awful mess.

[Ian] ended up realizing that crack propagation could be used to prepare Oreos for a perfect split. A knife was used to score a groove all around the cream layer, right down the middle. The Oreos were then frozen, turning the cream effectively solid. When the Oreo is then twisted, the groove serves as a starting point for a crack that propagates across the surface, splitting the cream neatly between both halves.

[Ian] took things further by building a 3D-printed lathe that grooves Oreos using a sterilized scalpel blade. This allows cookies to be quickly prepped for a perfect split. However, you are left eating frozen Oreos at the end of it, with some sacrifices to freshness.

It’s a neat way to approach the Oreo splitting problem, even if it’s only one step removed from simply using a knife. We’ve seen [Ian]’s work before, too, in the form of the radioactively-powered Game Boy. Video after the break.

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED hands-on: There’s real potential here

Credit: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Folding-screen laptops were not something I thought I could be excited for, but after seeing Asus’ new Zenbook 17 Fold OLED at IFA, I am beginning to change my mind. Somewhat implausibly, Asus made a functional, practical even, 17-inch tablet that folds in half and becomes a portable 12-inch laptop. It’s eye-wateringly expensive, but after four generations of pricey Galaxy Folds, would you expect anything else?

The incredible shape-shifting Zenbook

The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a decent piece of kit as a laptop, but its huge folding screen sets it apart from almost everything else out there. The sole exception is the Lenovo X1 Fold, first announced in 2019, which features a similar, if smaller form factor.

Nvidia and AMD say the US imposed export restrictions on chips used for AI applications to Russia and China, affecting chips like Nvidia’s A100 and AMD’s MI200 (Max A. Cherney/Protocol)

Max A. Cherney / Protocol:
Nvidia and AMD say the US imposed export restrictions on chips used for AI applications to Russia and China, affecting chips like Nvidia’s A100 and AMD’s MI200  —  The U.S. has begun to impose fresh restrictions on exports of advanced chips necessary for AI-related applications to Russia and China …

iPhone 14 Pro’s new pill and hole design could display camera and microphone privacy indicators

Apple may be moving the camera and microphone privacy indicators into the new hole and pill notch design.

Meta is planning more paid features for Facebook and Instagram

Nick Barclay / The Verge

Meta is setting up a product organization to identify and build “possible paid features” for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, according to an internal memo sent to employees last week that was obtained by The Verge.

The new division is Meta’s first serious foray into building paid features across its main social apps, all three of which boast billions of users. It’s being set up after Meta’s ads business was severely hurt by Apple’s ad tracking changes on iOS and a broader pullback in digital ad spending. The group, called New Monetization Experiences, will be led by Pratiti Raychoudhury, who was previously Meta’s head of research.

In an interview with The Verge, Meta’s VP of monetization overseeing the group, John Hegeman, said the…

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Roomster sued by the FTC and six state AGs for fake listings and fake app store reviews

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with six states, filed a lawsuit against John Shriber and Roman Zaks, owners of the room renting and roommate finder platform Roomster, for allegedly defrauding consumers, accusing them of paying people for fake reviews and listings on their site. The agency says that the “deceptive tactics” violated the FTC Act and state laws.

In a complaint filed by the FTC and the attorneys general of New York, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts, the group alleges that Roomster released “tens of thousands of fake positive reviews to bolster their false claims that properties listed on their Roomster platform are real, available, and verified.” They also allege that Roomster would post…

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Behind Google Worker Protests of an Israeli Government Cloud Deal

Ariel Koren and fellow Googlers feared the company’s technology could be used against Palestinians. She says pressure from managers forced her to resign.

Internal memo: Meta is setting up a New Monetization Experiences division to identify and build “possible paid features” for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp (Alex Heath/The Verge)

Alex Heath / The Verge:
Internal memo: Meta is setting up a New Monetization Experiences division to identify and build “possible paid features” for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp  —  A new team will be tasked with building paid experiences across Meta’s apps  —  Meta is setting up a product organization …

Qualcomm’s server and laptop ambitions may be in trouble

The issue stems from its 2021 startup purchase. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Arm is suing Qualcomm and Nuvia, a startup the chipmaker acquired in 2021, claiming that the companies violated the licenses they have to use Arm’s processor designs and architecture (via Reuters). Arm’s argument is that the licenses it gave Nuvia before it was acquired aren’t valid now that it’s under new ownership. If Arm wins its suit, Qualcomm could be forced to destroy any work it’s done with the particular licenses in question — a significant setback for its ambitions to create desktop and server chips using Nuvia’s technology.

Qualcomm hasn’t been quiet about its goals, or the role that Nuvia’s acquisition plays in them. Earlier this year, Cristiano Amon, its CEO, told The Verge: “As soon as I got named CEO, I made the acquisition…

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iPhone 14 Pro might not feature a pill and hole notch design after all

An anonymous tipster says that the iPhone 14 Pro’s new notch design may come in the form of one big pill.

Apple drops the official trailer for Sago Mini Friends ahead of September debut

Apple TV+ has released the official trailer for Sago Mini Friends ahead of its premiere on September 16.

Ticketing service SeatGeek raised a $238M Series E at a ~$1.2B valuation after terminating a SPAC deal with Forbes in early June (Amrith Ramkumar/Wall Street Journal)

Amrith Ramkumar / Wall Street Journal:
Ticketing service SeatGeek raised a $238M Series E at a ~$1.2B valuation after terminating a SPAC deal with Forbes in early June  —  Created with sketchtool.  —  SeatGeek has raised $238 million privately from investors including Wellington Management after recently terminating a merger …

LG’s fancy new shoeboxes pamper your sneakers

The ShoeCare cleaner will take the stench out of your sneaks. | Image: LG

If you’ve browsed around the Container Store looking for the perfect sneaker storage, you’re looking in the wrong places. Maybe what you really need is LG’s new Styler ShoeCase — a shoebox with a window that’s currently being displayed at IFA. The enclosure can keep your shoes safe from moisture and has filters to protect them from UV light.

Oh, then you went to Ikea to get stackable shelving for all your kicks? Well, I’m happy to report that the Styler ShoeCase lets you stack up to four of these bad boys on top of each other. And each has a built-in Lazy Susan that can be rotated to show off your Jordan VII’s best angles — and hide that one scuff mark from when homie moved the chair over it.

LG’s also presenting its new Styler ShoeCare…

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Sources: Netflix seeks to charge brands ~$65 for 1,000 viewers on its ad-supported tier, more than most other services, with an annual $20M brand spending cap (Suzanne Vranica/Wall Street Journal)

Suzanne Vranica / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Netflix seeks to charge brands ~$65 for 1,000 viewers on its ad-supported tier, more than most other services, with an annual $20M brand spending cap  —  Streaming giant aims for Nov. 1 launch of ad-supported tier, ad buyers say  —  Netflix Inc. NFLX 1.32%▲ …

Arm sets up legal showdown with Qualcomm and Nuvia

Chip tech company Arm has filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm and Nuvia.
Arm asserts that the two companies violated license agreements and committed trademark infringement.
In its suit, Arm is seeking the destruction of certain Nuvia designs, an injunction against trademark infringement, and compensation.

SoftBank’s British semiconductor and software design company, Arm, has thrown down the legal hammer accusing Qualcomm and Nuvia of breaching license agreements and committing trademark infringement.

In a blog posted on the company’s website, Arm states that it has filed a lawsuit to the US District Court for the District of Delaware. The lawsuit is against Qualcomm and two of its subsidiaries, as well as Nuvia — a semiconductor and processor developer. Arm’s lawsuit actually stems from Qualcomm’s recent acquisition of Nuvia which happened back in 2021.

MH-Z19-like NDIR CO2 Sensor HC8 Found And Explored

While on the search for an alternative to directly buying the fairly expensive MH-Z19 CO2 sensor, [spezifisch] came across a ‘BreeRainz’ branded gadget (also found under other brands) that claimed to use an NDIR (Non-Dispersive Infrared) sensor for measuring CO2 levels, while costing only €25. This type of sensor allows for CO2 levels to be measured directly, rather than inferred, making them significantly more precise.

The BreeRainz DM1308A device cracked open.

After cracking the gadget open (literally, due to the hidden screws), the CO2 sensor is clearly visible. While superficially identical to an MH-Z19, the NDIR sensor is actually called ‘HC8’, is produced by 广州海谷电子科技有限公司 (Guangzhou Haigu Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.). While being pin-compatible with the MH-Z19, its UART protocol is not the same. Fortunately there is a datasheet to help with implementing it, which is what [spezifisch] did.

This raises the question of whether harvesting NDIR CO2 sensors like this is worth it to save a few Euros. A quick look on German Amazon shows that the device in question currently costs €35, while a genuine MH-Z19 can be bought for €25 or less. There are also many MH-Z19 models (B, C and D), which cover an even wider price range. All of which points to finding an NDIR sensor-containing device can be interesting when it’s on sale, but if all you care about is the sensor itself, it’s probably best to just buy them directly.

How to use iOS’s App Library to organize your apps

Samar Haddad / The Verge

If you’re an organization junkie and an iPhone user, then iOS has provided you with a useful tool: the App Library, which organizes your apps in labeled groups to make them easier to find. Introduced with iOS 14, all your current apps can be found there, and any apps you download are placed there as well. (You can decide whether you want the apps to also be visible on your homescreen; we’ll tell you how later in this article.)

If you haven’t paid any attention to the App Library up until now, here are some ways to begin.

Automatic groupings

The App Library appears as a separate page on your homescreen. Wherever you are on your homescreen, just keep swiping left — the App Library will be the last page you hit.

It automatically organizes…

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Apple releases iOS 12.5.6 with security updates for older devices

Apple has released a new update to a number of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models that look to address a few security issues.

Curved or flat gaming monitor? LG’s new TV lets you decide on the fly.

Credit: LG
Today LG announced its new 42-inch LG OLED Flex TV.
The LG OLED Flex is the company’s first bendable OLED TV screen.
The display can switch from being completely flat to curved (900R).

Curved displays work great as gaming monitors because you’re usually sitting up close, allowing the screen to wrap around you, which creates a more immersive experience. However, they don’t work quite as well as just normal TVs when you’re usually sitting farther back. Normally, you’ll want a flat screen if you’re going to watch a show or movie. Aiming to give buyers a great gaming and TV viewing experience, LG has created a TV that wants to give you the best of both worlds with its newly announced LG OLED Flex (model LX3).

Sony and Tencent’s Sixjoy acquire a combined 30.34% of Elden Ring game company FromSoftware; FromSoftware’s parent Kadokawa retains the remaining 69.66% (Chris Scullion/Video Games Chronicle)

Chris Scullion / Video Games Chronicle:
Sony and Tencent’s Sixjoy acquire a combined 30.34% of Elden Ring game company FromSoftware; FromSoftware’s parent Kadokawa retains the remaining 69.66%  —  FROMSOFTWARE SAYS THE INVESTMENT MAY HELP IT PUBLISH GAMES GLOBALLY  —  Elden Ring studio FromSoftware has announced that it’s selling shares …