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.

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.

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.

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.

[Via 9to5Google]

João Tomé, writing on the Cloudflare blog:

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.

James Vincent, writing for The Verge:

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.

Tom Warren, writing on The Verge:

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.