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FTC proposes new ‘Click to Cancel’ requirements for managing subscriptions

Cancel subscriptions on iPhone

The Federal Trade Commission in the United States has proposed a handful of changes that it says will make it easier for consumers to cancel recurring subscriptions and memberships. The FTC believes that its “Click to Cancel” provisions “would go a long way to rescuing consumers from seemingly never-ending struggles to cancel unwanted subscription payment plans.”

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How TikTok's algorithm works

TikTok algorithm to be more transparent, after concerns about harmful recommendations [U]

Update: TikTok says it is today launching a new tool to provide greater transparency on how videos are added to a user’s feed. For any video, you can tap the Share panel then the question-mark icon called “Why this video?”. So far, it appears only very generic reasons are being offered – like “This video is popular in the United States” – but the company is promising greater granularity later

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Smartphone slump will continue into 2023, says Apple supplier, but high-end phones may be okay

Smartphone slump | iPhone in colored lighting

Maruta Manufacturing – which makes components for a wide range of companies, including Apple – says it expects the current smartphone slump to continue into 2023.

It predicts that consumers will hold onto their existing phones for even longer periods than they do now, though suggests that high-end phones may be the exception …

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Long-range wireless charging a reality in new smart-lock – using infrared

Long-range wireless charging | Alfred infrared-powered smart lock

Long-range wireless power has been a long-term dream, where a single charger in a single location in our home, can beam power to all of our portable devices. That simply isn’t possible given existing technologies, but smart lock company Alfred has now turned one small part of the dream into reality.

However, rather than use RF energy – which has been the main approach to date – the company has instead turned to infrared …

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CHIPS Act details revealed: ‘Biggest investment in US industrial policy in 50 years’

CHIPS Act details | US flags in DC

While we knew that around $50B was being made available to promote US chip fabrication, it’s only today that we’re learning the actual CHIPS Act details. The bill itself did not specify how the money would be split.

Specifically, we now know that a little over half the total will be made available to help produce advanced chips in the US, while the rest of the money is being divided between two further initiatives …

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Kids’ Code bill passed in California, apps must be child-safe by default

Kids' Code | Close up of iPhone with teen photo

A Californian bill colloquially known as the Kids’ Code has been unanimously passed by the State Senate, following earlier approval by the State Assembly. It now requires the signature of Gov. Gavin Newsom to take effect.

The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act addresses a key loophole in the equivalent federal law, the much weaker Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 …

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50¢ chip shortage is one bottleneck for $600B chip industry, says TSMC

Chip industry | Circuit board without chips

There have been conflicting reports in the chip industry on when we might expect an end to the global chip shortage, but Apple chipmaker TSMC says that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

The growing number of low-end chips used in everything from smartphones and cars means that production can be held up by a lack of mundane chips costing as little as 50 cents …

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Apple ahead of the game as it tackles discrimination based on India’s caste system

Apple halts all hiring outside of R&D as it cuts costs amid economic uncertainty

A report today says that Apple is ahead of most large companies in tackling a form of discrimination which originates in India but has affected employee recruitment in Silicon Valley: the caste system.

Although the caste system is in part reflected in attitudes to skin color, discrimination on the basis of caste is not made explicitly illegal by current US law …

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CHIPS Act could see Intel take lion’s share, with TSMC Arizona plant a lower priority

TSMC Arizona plant | Phoenix skyline at sunset

The scale of subsidies for the TSMC Arizona plant are in doubt as it becomes clear that the $52B CHIPS Act grants won’t go far, and Intel is angling to take the largest slice of the pie.

TSMC has previously said that the subsidy for American chip manufacturing was “vital” to its Arizona plant, which has been expected to begin US production of Apple’s A-series and M-series chips from 2024 …

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CHIPS Act | A pile of $100 bills

CHIPS Act passes Senate vote, after $52B became $280B to fund scientific research too

The CHIPS Act, originally designed to provide $52B in incentives for chipmakers to open US plants, has now passed a Senate vote, with bipartisan support. It is expected to pass a House vote as early as next week, but has gained weight in its journey through Congress.

Apple lobbied in favor of the original plan, stating that it was vital to the construction of a TSMC plant in Arizona, which is expected to make chips for the Cupertino company …

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US chip subsidy bill ‘vital to TSMC Arizona plant’ passes new Senate vote

US chip subsidy bill | Capitol building at twilight

A $52B US chip subsidy bill has convincingly passed a new Senate vote, with 64 in favor and just 34 opposed. Apple has said that the subsidy is ‘vital’ to the construction of a TSMC chip-making plant in Arizona, which is expected to make chips for the Cupertino company.

The latest vote had been described as a test of whether there was sufficient backing to include additional funding for science and defense research …

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Canon and Nikon announcements show that, in time, iPhones will replace DSLRs

iPhones will replace DSLRs | Nikon D6, the company's last ever DSLR

I know, the idea that iPhones will replace DSLRs seems pretty crazy today. But already a little less crazy than yesterday, and that’s because Nikon has joined Canon in abandoning work on future DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex cameras).

Canon announced in December that the 1DX Mk III would be its last pro body. (It says that it is, for now, continuing to develop consumer DSLRs, but nobody expects that to last for long.) And today, Nikon is reportedly ceasing development work on DSLRs altogether …

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Life before iPhone: A look back at early smartphones and PDAs

Life before iPhone | Two Psion 5mx PDAs on chessboard, one open, closed

For anyone who was born this century, the idea that life before iPhone even existed would probably be hard to imagine. Fifteen years after the first iPhone went on sale, we’ve all grown used to having the ubiquitous device in our lives.

The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone – but it was the first smartphone to appeal to ordinary people. Of course, I’m not ordinary people: I’m a geek who owned a whole bunch of the digital devices which preceded the iPhone …

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Apple interview questions range from the technical to the philosophical

Apple interview questions | Candidate sat across table from interviewer

A piece on how to land a job with the most desirable tech company in the world provides some interesting examples of Apple interview questions.

It outlines the soft skills the company looks for, warns what not to do on your resume, walks you through the interview stages, explains the STAR method for discussing your accomplishments, and provides examples of the sorts of questions you may be asked …

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