WP Engine, a popular managed WordPress hosting services company, has today announced the acquisition of 5 WordPress plugins from Delicious Brains.

The plugins have a total installed base of approximately 4 million users and are widely adopted by WP Engine’s customers. The acquired software includes Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), WP Migrate, WP Offload Media, WP Offload SES, and Better Search Replace.

Over the last few years, WP Engine has been snapping up a number of products, aiming to level up their offering from developers. This includes Flywheel and Local, as well as StudioPress and the Genesis framework. Interestingly, it was exactly a year ago on June 2nd, 2021 that Elliot Condon — the original developer of Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) announced that Delicious Brains had acquired the plugin from them.

I’m currently using a number of these WordPress plugins on many of my websites, so I’m curious to see where WP Engine takes them.

Also read: The announcement by Delicious Brains.

ExpressVPN has just announced that they will be removing their physical servers located in India, refusing to comply with India’s new VPN law.

With a recent data law introduced in India requiring all VPN providers to store user information for at least five years, ExpressVPN has made the very straightforward decision to remove our Indian-based VPN servers.

Rest assured, our users will still be able to connect to VPN servers that will give them Indian IP addresses and allow them to access the internet as if they were located in India. These “virtual” India servers will instead be physically located in Singapore and the UK.

Under the new VPN law that is set to come into effect on Jun 27, 2022, the company states that they will be “required to store users’ real names, IP addresses assigned to them, usage patterns, and other identifying data” which effectively “is incompatible with the purpose of VPNs, which are designed to keep users’ online activity private.

The law is also overreaching and so broad as to open up the window for potential abuse. We believe the damage done by potential misuse of this kind of law far outweighs any benefit that lawmakers claim would come from it.

ExpressVPN refuses to participate in the Indian government’s attempts to limit internet freedom. As a company focused on protecting privacy and freedom of expression online, we will continue to fight to keep users connected to the open and free internet with privacy and security, no matter where they are located.

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services in the market today and I had been a customer for a while, only switching to Mullvad because I wanted the flexibility in billing. I am certain that other VPN companies are going to follow in the same steps. Any company that doesn’t, is a company worth staying away from.

Pradip K. Saha has a fantastic article up on The Morning Context about the issues plaguing Ola’s Electric Scooters:

At least 10 people The Morning Context spoke with complained of the scooter switching off with more than 20, 30 even 50 km range left. “You will never get the last 10-20 km. No one gets it,” says Karthik Varma from Visakhapatnam. “I am part of multiple Ola owner groups and I haven’t found a single person who hasn’t faced this issue.” 

These are not experiences any automaker worth its salt would want its customers to go through. But barely two months since deliveries have started, Ola Electric is bursting at the seams. Multiple groups on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram are packed to the brim with complaints from aggrieved consumers. There are obvious issues around range—many customers complain that they aren’t getting even 100 km per charge, compared with the promise of 181 km—and delays in delivery, registration and insurance processes.

I have heard similar things from a few different customers. Almost every single customer I’ve spoken to has mentioned the issue where the range available displayed on screen is never in sync with how much juice is left in the scooter itself. Ola’s handling of the release of its S1 Pro has really put a dent into how prospective customers are going to perceive the EV market, with many already calling it “not ready for practical use.”

Meanwhile, I have to give major props to Ather. I’ve owned the 450X (in the form of a Series 1) for about 14 months now and I’ve never had an issue with the battery or range. If it says 25km on the display, it’s what I’m roughly going to get. The only real annoyances I’ve had are with its software stack, which thankfully works independent of the scooter. I’ve ran into a couple of instances where the display would go off and the screen would restart, but the scooter continues to run without issues. You don’t get to this behavior without having tested and re-tested for months in a row.

The WordPress News website has just gotten a beautiful new design, which was led by designer Beatriz Fialho.

My favorite thing about this redesign isn’t just the boldness of the design with that striking shade of blue, it’s that the design uses the beautiful Inter family for the body text, combined with EB Garamond for the headings.

Akamai Technologies have announced that the company will acquire Linode, one of the most popular Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms today.

Under terms of the agreement, Akamai has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding equity of Linode Limited Liability Company for approximately $900 million, after customary purchase price adjustments. As a result of structuring the transaction as an asset purchase, Akamai expects to achieve cash income tax savings over the next 15 years that have an estimated net present value of approximately $120 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

I’ve been using both Digital Ocean & Linode for a few years now and only recently made the decision to switch all my US-based nodes from DO to Linode because they have slightly better performance there. I don’t know how I feel about this acquisition yet, but I’m going to put my node transfers on hold.

Ian King, Giles Turner, and Peter Elstrom reporting for Bloomberg:

Nvidia Corp. is quietly preparing to abandon its purchase of Arm Ltd. from SoftBank Group Corp. after making little to no progress in winning approval for the $40 billion chip deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nvidia has told partners that it doesn’t expect the transaction to close, according to one person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. SoftBank, meanwhile, is stepping up preparations for an Arm initial public offering as an alternative to the Nvidia takeover, another person said.

Someone at Intel is surely breathing a sigh of relief.

Switching from Hoefler&Co’s Cloud.Typography to Commissioner by Kostas Bartsokas

Typography

For the last 6+ years, this site has featured typography from the house of Hoefler&Co. When I redesigned the site in 2015, I was using the beautiful Whitney typeface, but ultimately switched over to Ideal Sans a few years later. Hoefler&Co.’s Cloud.Typography service that offered web fonts was priced starting at $99/year (up to 250,000 page views a month) and came with up to 5 typefaces that you could choose from the collection. This was later upgraded to allow the entire library of fonts. I was pretty happy with the service, especially considering I was able to use beautiful fonts on my websites.

A few months ago, Hoefler&Co. was acquired by Monotype. Weirdly enough, the article linked from that tweet has been deleted from the official blog. As part of the acquisition, Jonathan Hoefler was going to step away from the company “to explore new creative endeavors.” That’s never a good sign.

Fast forward to a few days ago, I got an email from Hoefler&Co that my subscription had ended. I also noticed that the web fonts on my website had stopped loading. Wanting to fix this, I logged into my account looking to renew my subscription, but couldn’t find any option that’d let me renew it for another year. There was only the option to “Start” a new subscription at $199/year. I emailed support asking for help, but after a couple of emails, got a reply saying, “We have updated our pricing and we’re sorry to say that we wouldn’t be able to offer the subscription under the old price going forward. We ask for your understanding!”

Essentially, Monotype has raised doubled the pricing of the base plan from $99/year to $199/year and even though I emailed them within a day to renew my subscription, they want me to pay the doubled amount of the new plan to continue using the service. Ha! Needless to say, I have ditched the service.

Nuclear Bits now features the gorgeous Commissioner family designed by Kostas Bartsokas.

Commissioner is a low-contrast humanist sans-serif with almost classical proportions, conceived as a variable family. The family consists of three “voices”. The default style is a grotesque with straight stems. As the flair axis grows the straight grotesque terminals develop a swelling and become almost glyphic serifs while joints become more idiosyncratic. The volume axis transforms the glyphic serifs to wedge-like ones.

Commissioner is a variable typeface and is available for free via GitHub or Google Fonts, licensed under the SIL Open Font License.

I think it looks stunning, especially here on Nuclear bits. What do you think? Lemme know on Twitter: @preshit.

Kev Quirk writes about how he broke macOS by deleting a single folder on his M1 MacBook Air.

I go through my usual routine – boot my M1 MacBook Air, plug it into my dock so it connects to my screens and peripherals, then head into my first meeting of the day.

But something is wrong…

The panel at the top of the MacOS screen is missing, and the MacBook feels really sluggish; which isn’t like an M1 machine at all – these things are rocket ships.

Spoiler! It’s not his home or user folder.

I wonder if this is related to a certain macOS feature that backs up your data into the cloud to free up storage space locally.