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Google invests in Indian internet giant Jio and plans new ‘affordabl

Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73 percent stake in Jio Platforms, an Indian internet giant that offers broadband, mobile services, and online commerce platforms, the company announced today. The investment, which is pending regulatory review, is part of Google’s commitment to invest around $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years. It follows a similar move from Facebook to invest $5.7 billion for a 9.9 percent stake in the company earlier this year. Jio Platforms is the tech subsidiary of Reliance Industries.

As part of today’s announcement, Google says that it is working with Jio on an “entry-level affordable smartphone.” Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said this work will involve creating a customized...

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The antitrust case against Google is gathering steam

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Let’s spend a few minutes today catching up on the antitrust inquiries into Google. There are investigations related to competition underway against most of the biggest tech giants – Apple, Facebook, and Amazon face similar inquiries, and their CEOS are scheduled to join Sundar Pichai for a virtual hearing with the House of Representatives later this month. But there’s reason to believe the case against Google will land the soonest of any of them — in May, the New York Times reported that charges could come “as early as this summer.”

Scrutiny into the company’s business practices has since accelerated. Politico reported last week that California, which sat out an investigation led by 48 attorneys general, is preparing to mount its own...

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Apple wins appeal against EU’s $14.9 billion tax bill

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The EU’s second-highest court has overturned a ruling that ordered Apple to pay a record €13 billion ($14.9 billion) in back taxes to the Irish government.

The ruling was originally made by the European Commission in 2016 and was seen as a significant win for Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief. Vestager concluded that a “sweetheart deal” from the Irish government meant the iPhone-maker paid an effective tax rate of less than 1 percent, a uniquely preferential deal that counted as “illegal state aid.”

“Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies — this is illegal under EU state aid rules,” said Vestager in 2016. “The Commission’s investigation concluded that...

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Oppo announces 125W tech that charges phones in 20 minutes

Oppo has long been a leader in engineering fast-charging solutions — it developed the tech behind the Dash Charge system used in OnePlus phones, for example, and has achieved even faster results in many of its own devices. Today, the company is taking a further step forward with the announcement of a 125W system that it claims is the most advanced in the industry.

The headline figures of the system are that it can charge a 4,000mAh phone battery in 20 minutes and up to 41 percent in 5 minutes. If accurate, this would beat Oppo’s own record for fast-charging a battery of that size by around 10 minutes.

This isn’t simply a matter of building a big power adapter and plugging it into a regular phone — the charger, cable, and...

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British chip designer Graphcore unveils new AI processor more complex

Image: Graphcore Graphcore’s new 7nm GC200 IPU is the world’s most complex, with 59.4 billion transistors. | Nick Rochowski Photography

Graphcore, a well-funded and ambitious British chip designer that focuses solely on AI applications, has unveiled what it says is the world’s most complex chip: the Colossus MK2 or GC200 IPU.

The processor has 59.4 billion transistors and offers an eight times performance increase from the company’s Colossus MK1, says Graphcore. It boasts more than the 54 billion transistors found in Nvidia’s A100, which previously held the title as the world’s largest processor, and which the American firm announced earlier this year.

Each GC200 chip has 1,472 independent processor cores and 8,832 separate parallel threads, all supported by 900MB of in-processor RAM. Graphcore will be making the GC200...

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Sony reportedly boosts PS5 production by 50 percent

Sony is ordering at least 50 percent more PlayStation 5 consoles than it had originally planned to ship this year, according to reports in the Japanese press. While the company was expecting to produce around six million consoles in 2020, Nikkei says that the figure is now at about nine million, while Bloomberg says it could reach 10 million.

Both publications put the raised expectations down to increased demand for at-home entertainment in the age of the coronavirus. If Sony could sell anywhere near that total number of PS5 consoles through the end of the year, it would mark a major increase on its predecessor; the PS4 launched in November 2013 and had sold through 4.2 million units by the end of the following month.

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Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV unveiled with up to 300 miles of r

The Japanese automaker is turning over a new leaf with a new addition to its EV lineup

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Kobo’s $99.99 Nia is its new entry-level e-reader

Image: Kobo

Kobo is introducing a new entry-level e-reader to its lineup, the $99.99 Nia, which slots in beneath the $119.99 Clara HD model (which is sticking around). While both models have a 6-inch display, the Nia’s $20 savings come with slightly worse specs in a few areas compared to its slightly pricier sibling.

Specifically, the Nia has a slightly lower-resolution display (212 ppi, versus 300 ppi on the Clara HD), a standard backlight (versus the Clara HD’s color temperature-changing options), and weighs 8 grams (about a quarter of an ounce) heavier. The Clara HD also has a painted finish, while the Nia does not.

Image: Kobo

But the comparison to Kobo’s own products is less important than how the Nia matches up against...

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Austin approves tax breaks for Tesla in bid for Cybertruck factory

Photo by Sean O’Kane / The Verge

Officials in Austin have approved a total of at least $60 million in property tax rebates in an effort to bring Tesla’s next electric car factory to the Texas city. Austin is one of the two leading candidates for the factory, which is where Tesla will build the Cybertruck, along with Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Travis County Commissioner’s Court, the policy-making and administrative arm of the local government, approved an agreement on Tuesday that will save Tesla around $14 million in property taxes over the next 10 years. Late last week, the Del Valle school district, which is near where the factory would be located, approved an agreement that would grant Tesla close to $50 million in tax rebates over the same time frame.

The vote was preceded...

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White House reportedly orders hospitals to bypass CDC during COVID-19

Vice President Pence Leads Coronavirus Task Force Briefing Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

The Trump administration is now ordering hospitals to send coronavirus patient data to a database in Washington, DC as part of a new initiative that may bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a report from The New York Times published on Tuesday. As outlined in a document posted to the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), hospitals are being ordered to send data directly to the administration, effective tomorrow, a move that has alarmed some within the CDC, according to The Times.

The database that will collect and store the information is referred to in the document as HHS Protect, which was built in part by data mining and predictive analytics firm Palantir. The Silicon...

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