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    Report: Apple buys every 3 nm chip that TSMC can make for next-gen iPhones and Macs / ArsTechnica · Monday, 7 August - 20:35 · 1 minute

Silicon wafers from a TSMC factory.

Enlarge / Silicon wafers from a TSMC factory. (credit: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)

It's been rumored for several months now that Apple will be using a new 3 nm manufacturing process from Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) for its next-generation chips, including M3 series processors for Macs and the A17 Bionic for some next-gen iPhones . But new reporting from The Information illuminates some of the favorable terms that Apple has secured to keep its costs down: Apple places huge chip orders worth billions of dollars, and in return, TSMC eats the cost of defective processor dies.

At a very high level, chip companies use large silicon wafers to create multiple chips at once, and the wafer is then sliced into many individual processor dies. It's normal, especially early in the life of an all-new manufacturing process, for many of those dies to end up with defects—either they don't work at all, or they don't perform to the specifications of the company that ordered them.

Normally, chip designers would have to pay for each individual die whether it worked or not; that's a major reason why companies sell cut-down or "binned" chips that run at lower clock speeds or have parts switched off. That way, they can recover some money from a defective die instead of none. Apple's orders with TSMC are apparently large enough that TSMC can afford not to charge Apple for defective dies.

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    Judge denies Amazon’s, Apple’s motions to dismiss class action price-fixing suit / ArsTechnica · Friday, 9 June, 2023 - 18:58 · 1 minute

Amazon logo on an iPhone, held in silhouette of Apple logo

An antitrust-based lawsuit accusing Amazon and Apple of colluding to keep Apple products priced higher in Amazon's store is moving forward after a judge declined to dismiss the case on the companies' motions. (credit: Getty Images)

A federal judge has rejected Apple's and Amazon's motions to wholly dismiss a consumer antitrust lawsuit, one that accuses the tech giants of colluding to eliminate all but the highest-price Apple products in Amazon's online store .

Writing in Seattle (PDF), Judge John C. Coughenour noted that Apple and Amazon do not dispute the existence of their agreement, which was publicly touted by the companies in November 2018 . Nor do they argue that it had an "effect on interstate commerce," as required by a lawsuit making a complaint under the Sherman Act . The issues pushed in the defendants' motion for dismissal is whether the Global Tenets Agreement (GTA) signed by the companies has an impact on "a relevant market" and whether it "imposes an unreasonable restraint of trade."

Coughenour dismissed one aspect of the plaintiff's lawsuit. He disagreed with Apple's and Amazon's positioning of themselves as competing to sell Apple products "at a horizontal level." Instead, they are, under their GTA, "vertically situated" as a manufacturer and distributor. But, given the "complex nature of the business relationships between the parties," Coughenour wrote, and the fact that the plaintiffs agree that not all resellers of Apple products were removed from Amazon's marketplace, a "per se" finding of antitrust violation could not be sustained.

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    Lawsuit accuses DoorDash of charging iPhone users more for identical orders / ArsTechnica · Monday, 22 May, 2023 - 17:29

Bike rider delivery DoorDash in Manhattan

Enlarge / A class-action lawsuit claims that DoorDash makes it seem to customers like the distance and effort of a delivery change its fees, when the company's algorithm—and their phone choice—allegedly have more of an impact. (credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty)

A class-action lawsuit claims that DoorDash uses hard-to-pin-down delivery fees to systematically charge the delivery service's iPhone users more than others.

The lawsuit (PDF), filed May 5 in the District of Maryland, came in hot. Plaintiff Ross Hecox, in addition to his two children and a presumptive class of similarly situated iPhones, briefly defines DoorDash as an online marketplace with 32 million users and billions of dollars in annual revenue.

" Yet, DoorDash generates its revenues not only through heavy-handed tactics that take advantage of struggling merchants and a significant immigrant driver workforce, but also through deceptive, misleading, and fraudulent practices that illegally deprive consumers of millions, if not billions, of dollars annually," the suit adds. "This lawsuit details DoorDash’s illegal pricing scheme and seeks to hold DoorDash accountable for its massive fraud on consumers, including one of the most vulnerable segments of society, minor children."

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    Doom II RPG is what it says on the label, and it’s ready for PC 13 years later / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 9 May, 2023 - 17:00 · 1 minute

Chainsaw held up by player character

Enlarge / Doom II RPG isn't exactly like Doom , but you can't accuse it of lacking chainsaws. (credit: id Software)

"Mobile games" were something else entirely in 2005, a time in which Windows Mobile was a viable platform, the only Apple phone was a Motorola ROKR , and none of them had a shot at running Doom , let alone its sequel. That's why id Software made Doom RPG , the weirdest official Doom game that is also still a bit fun. A group of fans known as GEC.Inc ported that game to modern PCs, and they've finally gotten around to its sequel.

Doom II RPG , the iOS version from 2009, is playable the same way Doom RPG was: with an understanding that you, a person in 2023, will somehow have access to the original, potentially still copyrighted assets of the game. The instructions lead you through setting up OpenAL , then loading in an .ipa iOS file (the Internet Archive has a copy). You can use a touchscreen, most modern game controllers, or just your keyboard and mouse. You'll then get to play a Doom II that's not quite like what you're thinking of when you think of Doom II.

How does it play? A bit awkwardly, unless you're used to the turn-based, grid-moving, RNG-dominated RPGs of earlier eras. With each turn, you can move in one of four directions, attack with a weapon, or perform some other action, like ripping a toilet fixture off the wall for later throwing (if you're strong enough). If you end up face to face with an imp, there's not much else to do except trade blows, hoping the random hit/miss mechanics are in your favor or that you have enough health packs or snacks to hold out.

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    Burglars tunnel through Apple Store’s neighbor, allegedly steal $500K in iPhones / ArsTechnica · Friday, 7 April, 2023 - 18:36

The store recently burgled is in Lynnwood, Washington. The one pictured is in Palo Alto, California, but last year was infamously robbed.

Enlarge / The store recently burgled is in Lynnwood, Washington. The one pictured is in Palo Alto, California, but last year was infamously robbed. (credit: Getty Images )

Breaking through an Apple Store's secured doors sounds like a tall order, even for ambitious burglars. But what if you didn't have to get through the Apple Store's doors after hours and could instead break into the unassuming store next to it? Tunneling into an Apple Store to steal an alleged $500,000 worth of iPhones sounds like something out of a (not particularly exciting) heist movie. But as the gaping hole in the espresso machine store Seattle Coffee Gear's bathroom will tell you, this is no Ocean's Eleven .

As reported by Seattle's King 5 News on Tuesday, two people allegedly broke into Lynnwood, Washington's Seattle Coffee Gear before creating a large opening in the store's bathroom wall, which connects to the neighboring Apple Store's backroom.

Mike Atkinson, CEO of Seattle Coffee Gear, said on Twitter that surveillance footage shows the two perpetrators getting in and out "in under 15 minutes."

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    Apple Pay Later turns Apple into a full-on money lender / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 28 March, 2023 - 22:29

With the limited launch today of a new service called Apple Pay Later , Apple will now lend money directly to users through the Wallet app on devices like the iPhone.

We first  heard about the service in 2021, and it was officially announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2022. It faced several delays, though, as iOS 16 began to roll out last September.

Now Apple is "inviting select users to access a prerelease version of Apple Pay Later." The service will roll out to everyone "in the coming months."

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    8BitDo makes the Mac great for retro games—iPhone? Not so much / ArsTechnica · Monday, 20 March, 2023 - 21:41

The 8BitDo SN30 Pro is now supported on Apple platforms.

Enlarge / The 8BitDo SN30 Pro is now supported on Apple platforms. (credit: 8BitDo )

The 8BitDo SN30 Pro has repeatedly been called one of the best controllers for playing retro console games, particularly those originally made for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)—which makes sense, since its design is based on the SNES controller.

Now that controller works much better on Apple platforms like the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV thanks to new firmware updates from 8BitDo. That's great news for folks who want to play 16-bit classics on their Macs, but the lack of retro console emulators on the iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV makes it a bit of a waste on those platforms.

Granted, the firmware update applies to more than just the SN30 Pro. 8BitDo's Ultimate Controller 2.4g, Pro 2, and Lite SE also got the firmware update—as well as the SN30 Pro variants, the SN30 Pro Plus and the SN30 Pro for Android. The Ultimate Controller, Pro 2, and Lite SE aren't so much meant as retro controllers as just good all-arounders, and so that's welcome for folks who enjoy games on Apple Arcade and the like.

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