Mercedes will unlock your $100,000 electric car’s full power — for an extra $1,200 per year

Let’s say you’re tired of hitting 60 mph in only 5.3 seconds and want to get to highway speed a smidge faster. Is that worth a $1,200-per-year subscription to you?

Mercedes-Benz hopes the answer is yes.

Mercedes will unlock your $100,000 electric car’s full power — for an extra $1,200 per year

H/T: Steve Lehto

At least you can get an EV tax credit on your 2023 Mercedes EQS SUV!

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A tiny company with a UPS Store address could help the government get around browser security

A report from The Washington Post has raised doubts about a root certificate authority used by Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and other tech companies with ties to US intelligence. The company in question, called TrustCor, works as a root certificate authority to validate the trustworthiness of websites — and while the report found no concrete evidence of wrongdoing, it raised significant questions about the company’s trustworthiness.

A tiny company with a UPS Store address could help the government get around browser security

Related:

[04-27-2021] Shadowy DARPA-Linked Company Took Over ‘Chunk’ Of Pentagon’s Internet

Yet Another Study Shows Apple’s Hyped Privacy Standards Are Often Empty Theater

For the last few years Apple has worked overtime trying to market itself as a more privacy-focused company. 40-foot billboards of the iPhone with the slogan “Privacy. That’s iPhone” have been a key part of company marketing for years. The only problem: researchers keep highlighting how a lot of Apple’s well-hyped privacy changes are performative in nature.

Yet Another Study Shows Apple’s Hyped Privacy Standards Are Often Empty Theater

Russia demands Apple explain after VK apps removed from App Store

Russia demands Apple explain after VK apps removed from App Store

These apps are being distributed by developers majority-owned or majority-controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government,” said Apple spokesperson Adam Dema in a statement given to The Verge. “In order to comply with these sanctions, Apple terminated the developer accounts associated with these apps, and the apps cannot be downloaded from any App Store, regardless of location. Users who have already downloaded these apps may continue to use them.

Related:

Apple Removes Russian VK Apps From App Store in Response to UK Sanctions

The U.S. Lost the 5G Race…after an Immigrant was Forced to Leave

The U.S. Lost the 5G Race…after an Immigrant was Forced to Leave via Newsthink

Related:

The U.S. Needs a Million Talents Program to Retain Technology Leadership (archived)

It’s not just a matter of enticing new immigrants but of retaining bright minds already in the country. In 2009, a Turkish graduate of the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Erdal Arikan, published a paper that solved a fundamental problem in information theory, allowing for much faster and more accurate data transfers. Unable to get an academic appointment or funding to work on this seemingly esoteric problem in the United States, he returned to his home country. As a foreign citizen, he would have had to find a U.S. employer interested in his project to be able to stay.

Back in Turkey, Arikan turned to China. It turned out that Arikan’s insight was the breakthrough needed to leap from 4G telecommunications networks to much faster 5G mobile internet services. Four years later, China’s national telecommunications champion, Huawei, was using Arikan’s discovery to invent some of the first 5G technologies. Today, Huawei holds over two-thirds of the patents related to Arikan’s solution—10 times more than its nearest competitor. And while Huawei has produced one-third of the 5G infrastructure now operating around the world, the United States does not have a single major company competing in this race. Had the United States been able to retain Arikan—simply by allowing him to stay in the country instead of making his visa contingent on immediately finding a sponsor for his work—this history might well have been different.

Apple Supplier Pegatron Denies Reports of China Blocking Shipments

Apple supplier Pegatron has denied media reports claiming shipments to and from its factories in China were being held for scrutiny by Chinese customs officials, following a Pegatron executive’s meeting with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (via DigiTimes).

Pegatron is the second largest Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer and ‌iPhone‌ assembler behind Foxconn, while TSMC is the sole supplier of Apple’s custom silicon chips and the world’s most valuable semiconductor company. All three firms operate plants in China.

Update: Nikkei reports that Apple on Friday asked suppliers to ensure that shipments from Taiwan to China strictly comply with Chinese customs regulations, which state that Taiwanese-made parts and components must be labeled as being made either in “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei,” language that indicates the island is part of China.

Apple Supplier Pegatron Denies Reports of China Blocking Shipments

TSMC To Become NVIDIA’s Sole GPU Supplier In 2022 + TSMC celebrates the near completion of its 5nm Chip Manufacturing facility in Arizona

TSMC To Become NVIDIA’s Sole GPU Supplier In 2022

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is set to rapidly grow its market share by the end of this year according to a fresh report from Korea. TSMC is the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, as it is responsible for supplying semiconductors to most of the world’s largest technology firms. This list includes the Cupertino, California consumer electronics giant Apple, Inc along with chip designer Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (AMD). Additionally, TSMC is also in partnerships with Intel Corporation and Qualcomm Incorporated, both crucial players in the modern day semiconductor industry.

Now, it appears as if the Taiwanese company might soon be responsible for supplying NVIDIA Corporation with all of the latter’s graphics processing units (GPUs). NVIDIA already has a partnership with TSMC for some of its products, but purported problems at the company’s other chip supplier, the Korean firm Samsung Foundry, will force it to switch sides completely to TSMC according to Business Korea.

The complete switch to TSMC, if true, is ironic since NVIDIA had originally intended to retain some power over suppliers by diversifying as much as it could. TSMC and Samsung are the only two companies in the world that manufacture and sell chips built through advanced technologies (below 7nm) to other firms. NVIDIA is rumored to have agreed to pay as much as $10 billion to TSMC for jumping to the 4nm ship, and the company is also reportedly in talks with Intel Corporation for the latter’s Intel Foundry Services (IFS) plans that will mark Intel’s entry as another player in the contract chip manufacturing industry.

Heard someone say that NVIDIA doesn’t rely so much on TSMC, anymore, but it turns out not to be true. Maybe they meant that they didn’t rely on Samsung, anymore?! On another note, looks like Pelosi dumped some Apple stock before she bought and sold Nvidia.

Related:

TSMC celebrates the near completion of its 5nm Chip Manufacturing facility in Arizona

The company’s Arizona facility would begin mass production in the first quarter of 2024, according to TSMC Chairman Mark Liu’s announcement from the previous year.

The chips made in Arizona are likely purchased by Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Apple. The new Arizona facility should theoretically enable Apple to produce its 5nm bespoke silicon chips for the first time in the country.

The Arizona facility will be the business’s second production location in the United States. Although TSMC’s primary factories are in Taiwan, the company also has a factory centre in Washington, a design centre in Austin, Texas, and two design centres in San Jose, California. For more updates, follow TechGenies.

CHIPS Won’t Help China

Third, the CHIPS Act actually has provisions designed specifically to restrict investments in China. These so-called “guardrails” require that companies taking federal dollars for American projects must also agree not to invest in state-of-the-art technology in China—not just with the federal dollars, with any dollars. Good-faith critics have raised fair concerns that these guardrails should be broader, tougher, and firmer. But any guardrails at all represent unprecedented restrictions on what U.S. companies can do in the People’s Republic. It’s one thing to say an ideal bill would hurt China even more; it’s quite another to try and claim that less-than-perfect restrictions count as “help.”