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European Union could force all smartphone manufacturers to use USB-C charging – MobileSyrup

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Europe could soon require all smartphone manufacturers to use USB-C charging, according to a new EU Commission ruling proposal.

The commission says the proposal aims to reduce e-waste and the “consumer inconvenience” resulting from different chargers. The commission also mentions that it wants manufacturers to stop selling chargers alongside electronic devices to minimize e-waste further.

“With today’s proposal… USB-C will become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles,” reads the report.

The report then says that it has reduced the number of mobile chargers in Europe from 30 to just three, with Apple’s proprietary Lightning port part of the smaller list. The report states that roughly 20 percent of devices sold in Europe feature the Lightning port, but that the EU wants to change this — possibly by forcing Apple to adopt USB-C.

EU executive vice president Margrethe Vestager made the following statement in the report:

“European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger. This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions.”

As you may have already guessed, Apple has resisted the shift to USB-C in the past concerning the EU’s efforts. For example, last year, when the organization voted on the concept of a standard charger, Apple released a statement stating that adopting USB-C would “stifle innovation.”

In a statement to the BBC, Apple said, “We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world.”

With the release of the iPhone 12, Apple stopped including a charging brick in the box of its smartphones, citing environmental concerns related to materials and shipping costs. This move also likely saved the tech giant a lot of money. The company has also shifted to USB-C charging with several of its other devices, including Macs, most iPad models and its accompanying ecosystem of accessories. Some Android devices from companies like Samsung, for example, also no longer include chargers in their boxes.

It’s unclear if this law will go through, given it’s still in the proposal stages and must first be passed by lawmakers and several governments. However, it’s possible that in a few years, Apple could be forced to adopt USB-C for the iPhones it sells in Europe.

Source: European Union, BBC Via: Engadget

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Poll: What do you think about the new MacBook Pro having a notch on the screen? – 9to5Mac

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Along with AirPods 3 and new colors for the HomePod mini, Apple introduced the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro this week. In addition to a new design and the superpowered M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the new MacBooks feature a rather controversial addition: a notch at the top of the screen. Now we want to know your opinion on the notch coming to the Mac.

The cutout at the top of the screen on some devices is popularly called the “notch.” Apple first adopted the notch in 2017 with the iPhone X, as it was the first iPhone to have an edge-to-edge display. Although the notch is now present in pretty much every iPhone model, Apple had kept the notch limited to its phone until now.

Just like the iPhone, the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro feature an edge-to-edge display. As a result, Apple has added a cutout at the top of the screen to house the new 1080p front-facing camera. Interestingly, the new MacBook Pro doesn’t have a TrueDepth camera for Face ID, so it’s unclear why the company opted for such a large notch.

As we covered on Monday, developers can choose whether they want to take advantage of the notch area on these new Macs, or whether the app should run with a black bar on top. It’s worth noting that by default, non-updated apps will run in a “compatibility mode” with the black bar at the top when in full screen.

Apple also pointed out that it made the screen taller in order to place the macOS menu bar in the notch area, so the user will end up having more area to view content.

Of course, some users didn’t seem to like the idea of having a notch on a Mac, while others agreed with Apple. Whether you like it or not, I can definitely see the notch coming to other Mac computers in the future.

With that in mind, what do you think about having a notch on the MacBook Pro – and possibly other computers? Let us know in the poll and also in the comments section below.

Take Our Poll

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

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PayPal in $45 billion bid for Pinterest – sources

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PayPal Holdings Inc has offered to buy digital pinboard site Pinterest Inc for $45 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, a combination that could herald more tie-ups between financial technology and social media companies in e-ecommerce.

The deal talks come as internet Shoppers increasingly buy items they see on social media, often following “influencers” on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Buying Pinterest would allow PayPal to capture more of that e-commerce growth and diversify its income though advertising revenue.

PayPal has offered $70 per share, mostly in stock, for Pinterest, one of the sources said. The online payments provider hopes to successfully negotiate and announce a deal by the time it reports quarterly earnings on Nov. 8, the source added.

The sources cautioned that no deal was certain and terms could change. They asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

PayPal and Pinterest did not respond to requests for comment. Bloomberg News first reported on the PayPal-Pinterest talks on Wednesday.

PayPal’s offer represents a 26% premium to Pinterest’s closing price of $55.58 on Tuesday. PayPal’s shares fell over 4% on the news, while Pinterest rose more than 14% to $63.51.

“(The) combination would be a significant positive for PayPal’s ongoing monetization initiatives on both sides of its merchant and consumer platforms, especially if Pinterest’s social commerce platform gets integrated with Honey’s AI into PayPal’s destination app,” Wedbush analysts wrote in a note.

The payments behemoth was among the big winners of the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people used its services to shop online and pay bills to avoid stepping out. Its shares have risen about 36% in the last 12 months, giving it a market capitalization of nearly $320 billion.

Pinterest also saw a huge spike in users looking for crafts and DIY project ideas, as lockdown curbs kept people at home.

As lockdowns eased, Pinterest has warned about slowing user growth, especially in the United States, its largest market.

Pinterest was valued at about $13 billion when it went public in 2019.

The company is at a crossroads after co-founder Evan Sharp announced last week he would step down as chief creative officer to join LoveFrom, a firm led by Jony Ive, the designer of many Apple Inc products.

Sharp founded the online scrapbook and photo-sharing platform with Ben Silbermann, who is the San Francisco, California-based company’s chief executive officer, and Paul Sciarra, who left in 2012.

PayPal had been looking to boost its e-commerce offerings in recent years through acquisitions. It bought online coupon finder Honey Science in 2019 for $4 billion and Japanese buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) firm Paidy for $2.7 billion earlier this year. It acquired return-service provider Happy Returns in May.

SOCIAL MEDIA-DRIVEN COMMERCE

Social media platforms that have not pursued mergers with fintech firms have been working on ways to allow consumers to buy directly from their platforms.

TikTok, for example, is testing a way for users to buy products directly on its short video app. It has partnered with ecommerce giant Shopify and in August began allowing retail brands to link their product catalogs to the app.

Analysts said the PayPal-Pinterest deal talks highlight the potential for other social media and fintech companies to join forces to capture swaths of the e-commerce market.

“Social/interactive commerce is growing in the United States and no one has won it yet. So rather than going against Amazon, PayPal is making a bet on a different kind of shopping model,” said Marketplace Pulse e-commerce analyst Joe Kaziukėnas.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Arriana McLymore in New York; Additional reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Krystal Hu and Sheila Dang in New York; Writing by Anirban Sen; Editing by Maju Samuel and Richard Chang)

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Facebook ‘planning to rebrand company’ with new name – Al Jazeera English

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at its annual conference on October 28, but it could be sooner.

Social media giant Facebook Inc is planning to rebrand itself with a new name next week, American technology blog the Verge reported on Tuesday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28, but it could be unveiled sooner, the Verge reported.

In response, Facebook said it does not comment on “rumour or speculation”.

The news comes at a time when the company is facing increasing government scrutiny in the United States over its business practices.

Legislators from both parties have excoriated the company, illustrating the rising anger in Congress with Facebook.

‘A metaverse company’

The rebranding would position Facebook’s social media app as one of many products under a parent company, which will also oversee groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more, the Verge report added.

It is not uncommon in Silicon Valley for companies to change their names as they bid to expand their services.

Google established Alphabet Inc as a holding company in 2015 to expand beyond its search and advertising businesses, to oversee various other ventures ranging from its autonomous vehicle unit and health technology to providing internet services in remote areas.

The move to rebrand will also reflect Facebook’s focus on building the so-called metaverse, an online world where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment, according to the report.

Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and intends to connect its nearly three billion users through several devices and apps. On Tuesday, the company announced plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to help build the metaverse.

Zuckerberg has been talking up metaverse since July when he said that the key to Facebook’s future lies with the metaverse concept – the idea that users will live, work and exercise inside a virtual universe. The company’s Oculus virtual reality headsets and service are an instrumental part of realizing that vision.

“In the coming years, I expect people will transition from seeing us primarily as a social media company to seeing us as a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg said at the time. “In many ways, the metaverse is the ultimate expression of social technology.”

The buzzy word, first coined in a dystopian novel three decades earlier, has been referenced by other tech firms such as Microsoft.

The Verge report said a possible name for the company could have something to do with Horizon. Recently, Facebook renamed its in-development VR gaming platform named ‘Horizon’’to “Horizon Worlds”.

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