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2020 Lexus GS bids farewell with Black Line Edition

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The 2020 Lexus GS Black Line Edition is upping the ante with fresh styling updates. Based on the current fourth-gen GS 350 F Sport, the car is infused with blacked-out exterior elements, sportier interior trimmings, and an exclusive two-piece luggage set by Zero Halliburton. But on a rather sad note, the Japanese carmaker recently announced the end of production for the Lexus GS in August 2020.

With that being said, it seems the Black Line Edition series is the last hurrah for the Lexus GS in North America. Still, it remains a fitting sendoff to one of the best grand touring luxury sedans in the business.

For what it’s worth, Lexus wants to make sure the GS Black Line will make a lasting impression. It starts with a new set of F Sport wheels in a gloss black finish along with bright orange brake calipers for the RWD model. The Black Line Edition is also available in the GS AWD, but you don’t get orange calipers to go along with the new darkened wheels.

The new Lexus GS Black Line is only available in Ultra White or a dark brown ‘Caviar’ paint finish. However, the blacked-out exterior styling cues are common across the range. This includes black outer mirror caps, gloss black grille inserts, and a subtle ducktail spoiler – rendered in black, of course.

The interior receives the Black Line treatment as well. You’ll find red accents on the center console, steering wheel, and door panels. The seats are covered in black leather with contrasting red accents while the cabin is littered with carbon fiber trimmings for a sportier and racier look. Meanwhile, the instrument panel, armrests, and center console are decorated in fine Alcantara.

And for the first time, the 2020 Lexus GS Black Line will also come with a bespoke two-piece luggage set, which is also finished in black. Designed exclusively for Lexus by Zero Halliburton as part of the Edge Lightweight Collection, the kit includes a 26” medium travel case and a 22” Edge Lightweight Continental carry-on.

Both pieces are finished in black and are embellished with fine details like a laser-etched ‘Zero Halliburton for Lexus’ badge, embossed Lexus logos in leather, and posh interior compression panels.

Lexus is only producing 200 models of the GS 350 F Sport Black Line Edition. The first U.S. deliveries are expected to arrive this summer, but pricing will be announced closer to the intended launch date. Is the Black Line Edition the last GS model to arrive in the United States, or is there a replacement waiting in the wings? Nothing is official as of this writing, but we’ll keep you posted regarding this matter.

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Tesla Set To Deliver The First Semi To Pepsi

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In October, Tesla’s CEO revealed that the production of the Tesla Semi had begun, and it was bound to be delivered today. Tesla has already started the countdown, and we expect the unveiling event to go down at the Nevada factory. The electric truck will be dispatched to Pepsi, which had ordered 100 units. Investor reports that Tesla’s stock price increased by 7.7% on Wednesday, probably in anticipation of Tesla’s Semi first delivery.

Musk tweeted on Saturday that the “Tesla team just completed a 500-mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!” However, considering that Musk said that the company is dealing with supply chain issues and market inflation, it’s unclear if Tesla will stick to the original $180,000 price it intended to sell at when it was announced in 2017. Then again, Tesla offers a cheaper Semi that will be available for about $150,000 — but it can only achieve up to 300 miles at full load capacity. For now, we can only wait until it’s on the road to confirm if the specs match up to what was promised five years ago.  

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Coinbase Joins Elon Musk In Slamming The Apple App Store Tax

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Coinbase complained that Apple’s insistence on its cut unreasonably interfered with its business.

Coinbase’s argument was largely the same as Elon Musk’s, and the basis of Epic Games’ aforementioned lawsuit. According to all of the above, Apple was half of a duopoly: with Google, it controlled the global app marketplace. The “duopoly” part of the argument is pretty much incontrovertible: As of October 2022, both Apple and Google control 99.43% of the global smartphone market between them (via StatCounter). Both get a 30% cut of everyone’s action on its marketplace. From the perspective of Coinbase, that took too much money out of too many elements of its business.

Epic sued over that and, as noted above, won with an asterisk. Apple had restricted in-app purchases, and courts found that anticompetitive, but did require that Apple get a 30% cut of the profits, even though they took place in someone else’s app. In short, according to the Verge, the court said that if you’ve found a way to make money using iOS, you owe Apple 30%, period.

Epic thought in-app purchases should be exempted from the tax. Coinbase thinks elements of the NFT development process — in this case, gas prices to run the processing equipment necessary to mint NFTs — should be exempt from Apple’s app tax. Apple treats all user expenses on an app as in-app purchases and, per the Epic court decision, in-app purchases mean Apple gets a cut.

It’s not a simple problem, and it’s not likely to be solved anytime soon. Stakeholders and regulators have barely begun to integrate cryptocurrency and NFTs into the conventional marketplace. Who gets paid for what is likely to be a conversation for years on end. For now, all that’s certain is that conversation has begun.

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LastPass Security Breach Exposed Some Customer Data, But Details Are Still Slim

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LastPass’ new blogpost continues to be vague about the nature of the latest security incident that has affected the platform. What it does reveal, however, is that the company recently detected yet another incident of “unusual activity” within a third-party cloud storage service connected to LastPass. LastPass stopped short of revealing details surrounding the affected third-party cloud service. However, TechCrunch has hinted at the possibility of the cloud service being AWS. For those unaware, starting in 2020, LastPass began using AWS (Amazon Web Services) to store more than a billion customer records on Amazon’s cloud.

LastPass goes on to add that the security incident prompted an immediate internal investigation, following which they ascertained that the threat actor was able to access “certain elements” of LastPass’ customer information. Interestingly, LastPass has also confirmed that the unauthorized party used data from the August 2022 incident to gain access to LastPass’ systems.

While LastPass hasn’t revealed the exact nature of customer information that has been breached, they maintain that customers’ passwords have not been affected. LastPass also said it had engaged the services of Mandiant — a leading security firm — to help them with the investigation. The company has also notified law enforcement agencies about the same. The company has promised to share more updates surrounding the latest incident after they conclude an internal investigation.

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