Musk completes Twitter acquisition
On Oct. 27, Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter, bringing to a close a buyout that has had many twists and turns. Musk initially agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion in April, then threatened to terminate the deal and file a lawsuit shortly after, citing misrepresentations about the number of bot accounts, and then changed his mind again this month and promised to complete the acquisition at the original price. Twitter’s stock will cease trading on Nov. 8 and thus be delisted; the company’s stock has grown an average of 8.4 percent annually in the nine years it has been listed, below the double-digit increases in the S&P and Nasdaq over the same period.
Following the deal, Musk fired Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal, as well as several other executives, including the chief financial officer, head of legal and policy, and chief legal counsel, with no clear successor. According to The Information, Agrawal will receive $50 million in compensation, but is being characterized as a “for cause” departure, which eliminates the need for Twitter to pay him tens of millions of dollars in salary compensation and equity. In addition, Twitter reportedly began layoffs on the 29th, with the goal of completing them by the end of the month to avoid a vesting of equity in early November. Also according to internal employees quoted by Platformer, Twitter engineers were asked to print out code from the last month or two for review by Tesla engineers, but then asked to destroy the printed versions.
Musk also posted several tweets, including responding to advertisers’ concerns, explaining the motivation and vision for the acquisition, stating that Twitter will continue to strengthen its customers’ brands and drive their business to become “the most respected advertising platform in the world,” and that it will form a content review committee to discuss major decisions such as content review and account blocking with a wide variety of perspectives. Meanwhile, several EU officials and lawmakers responded, stating that “this bird will fly by our rules in Europe” and that “the need for rules and accountability is greater than ever”.
Adobe removes Pantone color cards from its software
On October 29, Adobe officially removed Pantone color cards from its Photoshop and other software after several delays due to the expiration of the license agreement. As a result, if a design file previously used a Pantone color card specified color, it will be automatically changed to black by Adobe software when opened. In its help documentation, Adobe says that users who need to continue using Pantone color cards can pay for a subscription to the Pantone Connect plug-in. Currently, Pantone has names and index numbers for more than two thousand colors and related printing characteristics (reflection angles, fluorescence, etc.) and has applied for intellectual property protection for them; if users specify colors using this proprietary information in their designs, they need to pay for a license.
Apple System Vulnerability Allows Unauthorized Recording of Siri Commands
Recently, the developers of AirBuddy, a Mac bluetooth assistance tool, published a blog post about a vulnerability they reported to Apple in August that was fixed. According to the article, because iOS and macOS use some private protocols to transmit voice data such as Siri commands and dictation with headphones equipped with H-series chips (such as the AirPods series and some Beats headphones), and the system does not treat this as access to the microphone, third-party apps can access the user’s voice commands without requesting microphone permissions; on the more relaxed interface of macOS, the vulnerability even allows the user to record voice commands without authorization. On macOS, which has a more relaxed interface, you don’t even need to get Bluetooth access. Apple has now fixed the vulnerability in iOS 16.1 and all versions of macOS, which was released on October 24, and paid the developer $7,000.
In a related development, Apple launched a dedicated Security Research Center website on Oct. 27 to centralize research bounty information, research device requests and related blog posts. apple said it has paid nearly $20 million to researchers in the two and a half years since the bounty program began.
Telegram CEO accuses App Store of suppressing startups
On October 28, Pavel Durov, CEO of the messaging app Telegram, said on his personal channel that Apple sent Telegram a notice prohibiting creators from paying for access to channels or content on the Telegram platform, bypassing the App Store’s inbound purchase mechanism. Durov said that because Apple controls the ecosystem, Telegram had no choice but to comply, but criticized the “App Store tax” as destroying dreams and stifling entrepreneurship. Previously, in August, Durov criticized the App Store’s obscure review rules, which delayed new features from hitting store shelves.
Similarly, the App Store rejected Spotify’s new version last week after it tried to direct users to buy audiobooks from outside sources, and Spotify later removed the copy before it could be released.
Qualcomm accuses ARM of damaging its relationship with its customers
On Oct. 27, Qualcomm filed a countersuit against ARM in the U.S. ARM originally sued Qualcomm in September for breach of technology licensing contracts and trademark infringement. Qualcomm countered in the filing that ARM’s motive was to use the technology as leverage to force Qualcomm to renegotiate the financial terms of the long-term licensing agreement. According to Qualcomm, ARM threatened Qualcomm’s OEM customers with future licensing fees based on sales unless they licensed directly from ARM, and said it was changing its business model so that it would only license to chip makers, not semiconductor design companies like Qualcomm. Qualcomm argues that ARM’s claims are false and designed to undermine the cooperation between Qualcomm and its customers, as it has the right to unilaterally renew its existing contract with ARM after 2025 and ARM has no right to charge Qualcomm’s customers additional fees.
Previously, in 2021, Qualcomm reported to national regulators that it opposed Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of ARM. In March of that year, Qualcomm completed the acquisition of server CPU startup NUVIA.
EU Plans to Ban Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles by 2035
On October 27, the European Council and the European Parliament agreed to pass legislation to significantly reduce carbon emissions from passenger cars by 2030 and to ban all sales of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035. Specifically, by 2030, CO2 emissions are to be reduced by 55% from 2021 levels for passenger cars and 50% for trucks. However, manufacturers with annual production of less than 10,000 (including Ferrari, McLaren, and Aston Martin) would be exempt. By 2035, all new production passenger cars and vans must be zero-emissions, with no exceptions. However, vehicles with internal combustion engines produced before then will not be required to be decommissioned by then.
Currently, EU emissions regulations are already among the most stringent in the world, requiring a carbon emission standard of 95 grams per 100 kilometers.
On October 27, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted that iPhone 15 Pro models could come with “solid-state” volume and power buttons, meaning that similar to the iPhone 7, the home button is non-pushable and instead simulates a physical press via the Taptic Engine. Ming-Chi Kuo describes this buttonless design and the USB-C port as the two main updates to the iPhone 15 lineup.
According to Bloomberg contributor Mark Gurman, Apple has decided to push back the release of new Macs like the M2-powered MacBook Pro to the first quarter of 2023. South Korean website Naver corroborated the story, saying that the supply chain work schedule suggests the new products are more likely to ship next year. Earlier in Friday’s earnings meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook said “the lineup is ready for the holiday season” and CFO Luca Maestri said “[last fiscal quarter] was challenging compared to the same period last year, when the new M1 MacBook Pro [supported sales]”; these statements were interpreted as indirect confirmation that there will be no new products this year. In addition, the iOS (iPadOS) version 16.2, which is currently in beta testing, is expected to be released in mid-December, which will add the previously skipped features such as the external expansion screen and the “Infinity Note” collaborative drawing board to the iPad.