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Tech News: Big Tech Gets Bigger

2022-02-01 | 🔗

Acquisitions are in the tech news this week, from updates on Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard to the New York Times scooping up a viral online game. We also look at how hackers made more than 80 million bucks from insider trading and a group of engineers who proved da Vinci's flying machine could work.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey there, I'm Jes Milady confetti. Here I am psyche than I am hey shady lady, and welcome to boss level podcast refit your conversations with gas to levelled up bringing an experienced to the table. We pick the brains of professionals, creators and bosses and industries across the globe, the hope our listeners achieve their own boss devil. We are not just creating a podcast but a game, a fight and engaged community. This into boss level. On I hurt radio at Apple podcast or ever you got your pockets. there's a recipe for getting your car running just ride and Ebay motors dot com as all the ingredients you need. They have over a hundred and twenty two million car parts and accessories in stock all at the right prices. Now that's too, the Ebay Motors dot com, let's ride whether you upgrade your car, because you need to or because you want to Ebay Motors, has all the car parts you need over a hundred and twenty two million of them from new rims to cede cushions all at the
prices Ebay, dot com. Let's ride, welcome to tax, a production from I heart, radio, the hey there and welcome to tech stuff. I'm your host Jonathan Strickland, I'm an executive producer with Iheart Radio and how the tech aria. It is time for the tech news for February. First, twenty twenty two and I've got an update on the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the video game Company and the update is that the United States, federal trade, Commission or FTC will review the deal to determine if, in fact, the deal would negatively impact competition within the video game. Industry. Microsoft is no stranger to antitrust investigations. Having been the focus of several of them over the last several decades.
at one thing that does make this one a little odd. Is that only the! U S, Justice Department will not review the deal, and typically you see the deal J work with the F tc on these things. Together now I want to stress that it's way too early to conclude what effect this investigation will have on the deal it's possible, the FTC will just approved the acquisition. That's also possible that it might require certain concessions before allowing the deal to go RO, a part of the deal, might look at whether or not Microsoft plans to continue releasing Activision Blizzard Games for, Non Microsoft platforms. You know, like the Sony Playstation like if Microsoft said, yeah from now on call of duty is going to be pc and Xbox exclusive. That could be an issue
but in the early statements that I have seen around this deal, it seems to me that Microsoft is at least indicating that it's not going to shut out playstation, at least not in the near term. So that might not be an issue at all. In fact, to my soft, will end up owning a former play station mascot. Should this deal go through talking about crash band acute which at one time was kind of a mass, got further Sony play station and now? Well, that's why the properties owned by Activision Blizzard so should Microsoft's deal go through crash band. Acute the former play station mask It will be a Microsoft property anyway. We knew that the deal would fall under scrutiny, but equally right now because govern around the world are tightening up regulations on mergers and acquisitions in business. In general, like any big company
A lot of governments around the world are really looking more closely. It proposed mergers and acquisitions, but there definitely doing that big time in the textile sector. Now, if I had to make a prediction, I'd say this deal squeaks through, I don't foresee any obvious red flags, at least not from a regulatory standpoint. I don't think it's always great to see consolidation in a market in general, I am Egypt you're talking about a decrease number of choices and decreased choice. Typically, not benefit the end consumer. So I dont I'm not a huge van of it, however, are not sure, there's a real case to be made that Microsoft would have an unfair advantage in the industry. A Microsoft itself points out quite eagerly. They both Sony and ten cent.
Still be larger: video game companies, at least by revenue, so we'll see if the FTC pushes back on this. I I would be surprised to see that, but stranger things have happened, and obviously I'm not privy to all the details of the deal it could be that their stuff in there I just don't know about that- would be an issue. Speaking of Sony and acquisitions. The japanese company is me: king, a purchase of its own. It is buying Bungie studios, current gamers problem leave think of bungee as the studio this behind the destiny games, but I will always think of bungee as the game company that originally brought us halo Bungie, handed HALO off to Microsoft. Three forty three industries in two thousand and seven so bungee not involved in HALO any more that happened after bungee left the Microsoft Fold and became an independent studio? Also fun fact, but
originally started developing HALO worthy MAC platform in mind. There was supposed to be a MAC game before it made its way to become an Xbox exclusive, at least are initially, anyway, Sony is acquiring bungee for a three point: six billion dollars, that's a fraction of what the Microsoft Activision Blizzard Deal is, but the nets to be an expected bungee is is no small studio but it's definitely smaller than Activision Blizzard. The company has already released a statement saying that Future Bungie Games will continue to be available on multiple platforms, so in other words, this does not appear to be a move to make destiny a playstation exclusive franchise, though we're probably going to continue to see Playstation exclusive content for the games and just the game itself will be available on multiple platforms. Reportedly Sony plans to take a hands
off approach when it comes to overseeing bungee and allow bungee to continue to operate as if it were a fully independent studio. We might also see some moves to adapt, bungee intellectual property into other formats, like movies, No considering the trailer I saw recently for the live action HALO project. I think they should just take their time, throwing a little shade early today and round out our trilogy about acquisitions. Let's talk about word all now. If you're not familiar with the game, it's a simple online were guessing game, so the standard version requires players to guess a five letter word and after you submit your guess, you will see which, if any of the law,
you chose are correct. A letter, that's highlighted and yellow means that you have guessed a correct letter, but it's in the wrong place in the word alone. in green matches, that tells you that you matched by the letter and where it appears in the word and that that should be locked into place, and you get six guesses before you lose around and it's kind of like the Old Board game mastermind. I don't know how many of you out there have played that he used to be one of my favorites as a kid very simple to play and an interesting to kind of develop strategies for it, and I loved it End of year is, of course, you're using letters instead of little pegs mastermind use, pegs had different colors you and try to guess I. I think it was a sequence of four. If maybe six, I can't remember
they are. I love that game anyway. What helped to propel word all into viral popularity is that you can share your results of each round on social platforms and typically those those results. Just show your guests sequences, doesn't show the actual letters you guess, but instead shows solid blocks that represent the letters and so I remember seeing it on twitter several weeks ago being stopped as to what the all the great yellow and green Blocks- man like you'd, see one line that was mostly gray, maybe there's a yellow or maybe a green block in there. Then then, a couple of other blocks until you got one solid, of green. I had no idea what it was until I looked further into it and really It was a brilliant little game mechanic because it got a lot of folks. Like me, he into the game just saying what the heck are. All these blocks that are showing up on my twitter and now the Times has purchased that game from its creator, a guy named Josh Wardle
Wardle is a software engineer who built the game as a gift to his partner, who loves word games and the deal is reportedly in the quote: low seven figures in the quote, so we're done at least a million bucks so way to go Josh Wardle. That is awesome for you, however, for fans? The game well, allow them are a little nervous that eventually the New York Times will put words behind a pay wall. For the moment at least the time says, it will keep word all free to play, but it will be interesting to see the word. All community continued strong or, if the association of a once, how scrappy little independent game
now being owned by a media company, is going to be enough to turn folks off of it. Like there's some people who are who are going to probably say I'm going to bounce, because I'm not interested now that it's a corporate asset but we'll see, I I kind of hope that it stays free to play and sticks around, because I think I really like the community, that's kind of built up around Wurtzel and I enjoy playing the game, I'm I'm I'm decent at it, but then I think most people are so it's kind of a fun bonding experience. Alright, let's go back to some antitrust talk into the financial times. Several big tech companies, including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, are trying a slightly different approach, while funding lobbyists to train stave off some of the recent trends. The. U S, government has followed, regarding you know, curbing big tech, acquisitions and mergers and power,
So, for example, apple and Google have both been trying to sway lawmakers to allow the companies to continue to force app developers to use the app store payment systems, something that various lawmakers and courts have been pushing back on. The new tactic appears to be an attempt at framing these conversations, as if you regulate big tech companies here the United States. Then China wins now I'm over simplifying but yeah. The argument is essentially that the? U s you know if it beefs up antitrust regulations that will give China the opportunity to capitalize on this. Patient. Now, I'm not sure how realistic that argument. Really I mean, on the one hand, China certainly is big on pouncing on opportunities that much is absolutely true but on the other hand, the Regime in China has also shown that
it has grown suspicious of big businesses within China and has started to restrict companies and pushed back against them at potentially that's to make certain that no company accumulates enough influence and power to threaten the governments absolute control over the nation. Of course, whether or not an argument is logically sound doesn't really matter. If the argument just works right, you don't have to make a good argument for people to believe it see also all the anti Vax and coded denial stuff, so we'll just have to see if lawmakers buy into this premise. Alright, we're going to take a quick break, but we'll be back with some more news after this, I I I I I I hey there, I'm just emulating confetti here, hi, I'm vikki- and I am a shady lady and welcome to boss level. Podcast, where we feature conversations
gas, tube leveled up bringing in x p priests to the table. That was always my response was like I'm like a unicorn here like because there's not a lot of like out of the closet, female gamers to say: there's not, I know a lot like it was like a battlefield, cool boys club here, no sorry, honey the very dark corner and our a lot of light. The brain. We pick the brains of professionals, creators and bosses and industries across the globe to help our listeners achieve their own boss level. We are not just creating a podcast, but a game of hide and engaged community doesn't Abbas level on I heart, radio up apple pie, past or ever you got your past. This episode of text up is broad. You by state form, if you're a small business owner
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well to California and look at where he lives. You just see a big blurry mess. Now cook has been the target of some pray disturbing, stalking activity in recent months. This is likely a move to help avoid future issues along those lines First, I was thinking man must be nice to be able to remove yourself from folks just being able to look at your stuff, but then I found out that actually anyone can submit a report to have their home blurred out and maps applications, both apple and Google have a process for that. So if, for any reason, you would rather folks not have the opportunity to be nosey, looky lose on street view, do you can apply to have your home blurred out? So I retract my snooty statement test what is issuing a recall, a software recall on more than fifty thousand vehicles manufactured between two thousand and sixteen and two thousand and twenty
because of a rolling stop feature that, frankly, I'm shocked was even a thing in the first place. So here's the deal Tesla incorporated a mode in its full self driving beta, which, as I always have to point out, is not really driving mode. Even though the company calls it that- and this particular little feature was called the assertive mode and one of the things that cars would do while in assertive mode is, they would not come to a complete stop at stop signs. Certain conditions. Instead, the cars would slow down and then roll through the intersection. The company stress this would only happen if the car verify there were no other vehicles or any pedestrians, Oreo obstacles detected within the intersection before doing it, but even so a rolling stock is, you know, illegal
states here in the? U S, drivers are obligated to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, even if it seems obvious that there are no cars are pedestrians or anything else in the way that some basic rule of the road. I found it shocking that Tesla would just ignore that I mean I get the fact: the tonnes of human drivers b that way, but that doesn't make it legal or right anyway. Tough, what is rolling back the software update that allowed cars to be this assertive a lot about how hackers of use their skills to make money, but now more off the not we're talking either about white. Had hackers who discovered vulnerability and they report it and they claim a juicy bug bounty for their efforts or we talk about hackers who target a company with like brutal ransomware but in this case I'm talking more about good ol insider trading, then
not familiar with that term? Insider trading describes a situation in which a person who has knowledge inside knowledge about a company's performance acts on that knowledge in the stock market before the information goes public so. For example, let's say I was working for Microsoft and I heard about the Activision Blizzard Deal before it had actually been announced to the public. So I decide to buy up some stock and activision thinking. Well, the price going to go up once this news goes live and that's insider trading, and it's a big. No, no. I would be in huge trouble
folks discovered. I had done that or even if I had just given a stock Tipp to someone, I know so that they could do it for me by proxy or whatever. While a group of hackers, allegedly including the head of a russian cyber security, firm, managed to intercept reports, various publicly traded companies had been filing with the. U S, securities and Exchange Commission or Essie, see. Now, investors always pay close attention to these reports, which companies file quarterly. If a company posts incredible quarterly results, it can lead to a big jump in stock prices.
So these hackers were intercepting reports and scouring them before the scc would make them public and then they would move to make stock trades in advance of the reports becoming public information and they made money. This way the scc said that the trades were so on point that it would be a trillion to one chance to manage to make all those advantageous trades without insider information. Any way the group targeted to companies that serve as sort of a liaison between publicly traded companies and the scc which is pretty smart, they didn't have to touch Scc itself and they didn't have to target each individual company. They went with you know, kind of a a sort of a sorting company in a way. It's it's the company that files on the
half of others. There are like three big ones in the US that do that and they targeted two of them, I'm not sure. What's going on with the hackers right now, but since the scc is aware of the scheme, I imagine this particular well has dried up for them, but yeah. I I don't know how The same is whether their walking free or not. They did make off with more than eighty million dollars in the process that a big Jaska, oh you know What about playstation earlier and additional playstation news discord? The messaging platform most associated with gaming is rolling out support to the Playstation family of consoles right now, this comes several months after the initial announcement that discord would be coming to playstation consoles. So p S, four and PS. Five owners with a discord account can connect that alt to their consoles and then those players, activities on their playstation will show up in discord. Discord is a very The communication system, again largely associated with games so welcome. Playstation players did this
Neil, usually, I had the cake for harmony, but when the harmony of the seas, a cruise ship in the road. caribbean line sailed into the hazard zone for a space ex launch. It was hard to be on harmony site. This happened just that's some day when a scheduled Falcon nine launch had to be scrapped. When this giant cruise ship moved into the vehicles. Downrange hazard zone that launches take place at Cape Canaveral. and the nearby port Canaveral is a popular departure port for various cruise ships before every launch at Canaveral pilots and mariners and mariners people flying planes of people piloting boats, they are supposed to check for notice is notices to airline in the case of pilots and notices to mariners for the case of a boat people to make no of the hazard zones- specific dates and then avoid those owns. Now the Spacex launch scrub meant that the payload,
an italian whether satellite would be delayed for the fourth time in a row because the planned launches, but Thursday, Friday and Saturday all fell through due to bad weather. Fortunately, Spacex was able to hold a successful launch yesterday that is Monday and the payload no telling. Yet what if any repercussions royal Caribbean will face for its ship moving into the hazard I imagine that, at the very least, the captain of the vessel is going to have a rough time of it in the near future and finally, some in nears at the University of Maryland outfitted, a drone with we is modeled after the air screw as designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, the drone, the crimson spin has four propellers in that Ariel screw shape, so dimension propose the aerial screw as a one person flying vehicle. That was really more of a thought exercise about lifting the shape you need in order to generate lift those, never something that actually took flight and.
there has been debate about whether or not you could achieve flight using that design, the engine team using modern day materials and a basic quad captor proved that it in fact does work. They submitted their findings at the trend formative, vertical flight. Twenty twenty two conference, which I did not realize was a thing and while their demonstration used a small quadcopter drone, they suspect that you could actually scale this up to work on a human sized aircraft. You so desired now. This is all thanks to our modern access to rigid lightweight materials, she would have had to rely on stuff like leather and wood and rope, and these materials are there too dense and too heavy for craft to generate enough lift to counter it's weight, but was stuff like aluminum and plastics. It's a different story, It's not exactly going to lead us to a new approach to aircraft design, but I think it's pretty awesome that we can say Da Vinci was really onto something here
and there is your tag news for tuesday- if every first twenty twenty two- if you have suggestions- were topics, I should cover on text of reach out to me on Twitter to handle for the show is taxed stuff h. As w and I'll talk to you again releases. text stuff. Is it heart radio production for more pod. From my heart: radio visit the eye, A radio apple podcast Wherever you listen to your favorite jobs, he there I'm just milady confetti here I am psyche than I am hey shady lady and welcome to boss level. Podcast refute her conversations with gas to have levelled up bringing an experienced to the table. We pick the brains of professionals, creators and bosses and industries across the globe to help our listening to choose their own boss. Double we are
just creating a podcast, but a game of hide and engaged community listened Abbas level on I hurt radio at Apple podcast or ever you got your pockets. the Wilmer Valderrama and I've got a new podcast, essential voices. Each week I'll, be in conversation with an essential worker. Afterwards, our team there's a little deeper round table discussion between, sadly listen to essential voices with me, Wilma about the Roma on the eye heart, radio or wherever you get your pockets. Brought to you by water purity.
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-19.