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.
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 raiseddoubled 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.
This is how the desktop on my M1 Mac mini looks like, as of January 2022.
[Click to view the full-size PNG]
The wallpaper is called “Campfire” and is created by my colleague Denys. He once designed two versions — one for daylight and one for nighttime. I quickly turned it into a Dynamic macOS wallpaper that automatically changes based on the time of the day. I think I’ve had this for over 8 months now, I love it!
I have long been using Safari as my default browser, but recently had to switch to Microsoft Edge (and for some parts, Brave) because of the memory leak issue in Safari on macOS Monterey. Both Edge and Brave are good browsers, so much better than Google Chrome, but still have some minor annoyances & miss features that I’ve been so used to in Safari. So this week, I figured I’ll use Safari Technology Preview till Apple releases a fix for the memory-leak issue. Thankfully, STP hasn’t been suffering from that issue yet.
Google has announced that starting May 1, 2022, its G Suite legacy free edition — the original version of what is now rebranded as Google Workspace, will no longer be available. This means that everyone who signed up for a free “Google Apps” account as it was known back then and continues to use it for free will have to switch to a paid Google Workspace account.
If you have the G Suite legacy free edition, you need to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to keep your services. The G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available starting May 1, 2022. Starting May 1, Google will seamlessly transition you to Google Workspace, which you can use at no cost until July 1, 2022.
I’m surprised that it took Google this long to come to this decision. The legacy free edition already lacks several features that the company now offers in the Workspace offering, but it was perfectly fine if you just wanted to use the basic Gmail/Email features. I personally have about 5-6 different legacy accounts that I still use for Gmail, something I’ll have to switch away from very soon.
As some of you may have probably guessed by now, I’d be switching over to Fastmail — a service I’ve been using to host my personal email account. It’s a fantastic service, and I highly recommend them. It costs just $5/inbox/month and comes with an amazing set of features. This is also cheaper than Google’s base plan “Business Starter” which costs $6/user/month.
For those in India, Google does offer regional pricing starting at ₹ 210/user/month, which is further discounted to ₹ 125/user/month for the first 20 users added, for 12 months.
If you sign up on Fastmail using this link, you get 10% off your entire first year.
The latest Internet outage, in the South Pacific country of Tonga (with 169 islands), is still ongoing. It started with the large eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai, an uninhabited volcanic island of the Tongan archipelago on Friday, January 14, 2022. The next day, Cloudflare Radar shows that the Internet outage started at around 03:00 UTC (16:00 local time) — Saturday, January 15, 2022 — and is ongoing for more than four days. Tonga’s 105,000 residents are almost entirely unreachable, according to the BBC.
Like many island nations, Tonga relies on just a single undersea cable, about the thickness of a garden hose and filled with fragile fiber-optic filaments, to get citizens online. But on Tuesday, the government of Tonga said “communications both international and domestic were severed due to damage sustained by the submarine cable.”
According to the BBC, repairs coule take upto two weeks.
“It could take up to two weeks to get it repaired. The nearest cable-laying vessel is in Port Moresby,” he added, referring to the Papua New Guinea capital, more than 4,000 km (2,500 miles) from Tonga.
Microsoft is acquiring Activision, the troubled publisher of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Diablo. The deal will value Activision at $68.7 billion, far in excess of the $26 billion Microsoft paid to acquire LinkedIn in 2016. It’s Microsoft’s biggest push into gaming, and the company says it will be the “third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony” once the deal closes.
One has to wonder how Microsoft plans to deal with all the issues & controversies that have plagued Activision Blizzard in recent times.
Apple is inching close to launching the country’s first Apple Stores, with the first one opening soon in the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, followed closely by a second one opening in New Delhi. Apple India has been working on bringing its stores to Indian shores for a really long time now — as early as 2014 — and some of the recent developments indicate that the launch could happen very soon, as early as January 2022. The company already launched the Apple Online Store in India a little over a year ago.
The company has begun hiring for a number of roles in Apple Retail, such as Store Leader, Genius, Specialist, Technical Special, Senior Manager, Manager, Operations Expert, Market Leader, Expert, Creative, Business Pro, Business Expert, etc. All of these Apple Retail roles are available in Mumbai, Maharashtra as well as in New Delhi.
It’s important to note that for many of these roles, Apple is seeking individuals interested in working part-time or contractual-basis, in addition to full-time. The job listings indicate that candidates can even apply to work only for a few hours on weekends, giving a few hours every week towards the role.
It’ll be interesting to see what strategy the company chooses to follow in India, where its product-line has always been seen as “overpriced” and yet has seen an upward trend in adoption, especially iPhones. I’m also curiously excited to see what changes the company brings to its hardware repair & support experience, which is currently offered through third-party resellers and is generally considered disappointing.