The Oculus Rift has gotten nothing but love as the future of virtual reality and VR gaming, and has even prompted Sony to create a similar VR technology for the PS4. And then today, out of the blue, Facebook announced it had bought Oculus VR for $2 billion. But why would Facebook want to pay so much money for the manufacturer or virtual reality goggles? Apparently, they’re hoping to eventually have virtual games, virtual videos and virtual classrooms as part of Facebook. Oh for fuck’s sake, get ready for Candy Crush VR.
By European standards, American cheese shouldn’t even be called cheese. But it’s not just the US that loves the stuff— Mexico has already been the biggest importer of American cheese for a while, but in recent years, people in South Korea and Japan have been on an American cheese binge.
Every day, it seems another company wants to get into the cloud storage business, but most of those companies are already in the business if data. Now battery maker Duracell wants to get into the game, with a clever plan to try and beat the likes of Dropbox. For $20 per month, you’ll get a 1 terabyte hard drive and unlimited cloud storage, the company says. Business-tier service starts at $199 and comes with a 2 TB local drive and unlimited cloud storage. To compare, Dropbox offers 2GB of storage for free. For $10 per month, their “Pro” plan gives you to 100 GB and $15 gets small businesses unlimited storage.
Not Nutella, sorry. Nadella. Satya Nadella, until now the VP of enterprise and cloud products, was named as Microsoft’s new CEO this morning. Bill Gates will also be stepping down as chairman of the board to return to a more active, hands-on role with the company. Mmm, Nutella.
The once mighty Nintendo, is for lack of a better term, is kinda circling the drain. Sales of the Wii U have been awful and every day, a kid picks an iOS or Android device over a Nintendo 2DS or 3DS. They’ve got to do something, and fast. So in a meeting with investors earlier this week, Nintendo laid out a bunch of new ideas, the two big ones being a new flex pricing structure, where the more games you buy, the bigger discounts you receive on future Nintendo games, and secondly (finally!), an openness to the possibility of allowing Nintendo characters in games for mobile devices.
Google is busy once again with the creepy Skynet-like acquisitions, this time buying London based artificial intelligence startup Deepmind. The startup’s placeholder site outlines its work on “general purpose learning algorithms,” with its first projects encompassing games, e-commerce and simulations.
Since Colorado and Washington have been engulfed in a cloud of pot smoke, that means a lot of people making lots of money selling legal weed. Problem is that not a single bank will touch that cash for anything— even though pot is legal in Colorado and Washington for full recreational use, banks are still regulated by the the federal government and marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Meaning any banks knowingly keeping money made from the sale of weed put this at a very real risk of gigantic federal fines, closure or both. So this means is a big problem for weed shop owners, who have to store and transport cash like it was the wild west— huge sums of cash with a car full of shotguns to prevent robbery.
Last night, Google announced its acquisition of smart, cool thermostat maker Nest for a whopping $3.2 billion. With Nest’s growing popularity and expanding product line, this puts Google in an amazing spot when the war for the smart digital home begins in earnest. That, or you can take the tack that since Google is in the data mining and selling business, this is one more step towards Skynet— that it’s bad enough that one day, your Motorola powered, Boston Dynamics built, Android brained robot overlords will be spying on you everywhere else, Google will also be peeking at you through your thermostat and smoke detector. But Nest insists its string commitment to privacy is intact, not that you would know if it wasn’t.
First it was flying drone delivery, now Amazon is ready to launch a chain of wholesale stores in the US called Pantry that would kind of compete with the likes of Sam’s, Costco and BJ’s, but kinda different. If you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you’re already a Pantry member. From there, you can buy groceries and household items in bulk or buy a bunch of stuff from Amazon, as much as will fit in uniform sized boxes and pick it up locally.
In the mid 90s, Wimamp was right there on the frontier of MP3 popularity, and for some time, was the “Uh, duh” choice for collecting and playing digital audio. But then AOL bought Winamp and like AOL is good at doing, it basically let Winamp wither and die due to not knowing at all what to do with it. In an interview with Ars Technica last year, Rob Lord, the first hire at Nullsoft and the first general manager of Winamp said that he believed that “there’s no reason that Winamp couldn’t be in the position that iTunes is in today if not for a few layers of mismanagement by AOL that started immediately upon acquisition.” And now, it’s gone.
Just as Facebook bought Instagram right before their own photo app launch, they also tried throwing a whopping $3 billion at Snapchat to get them out of the picture so Facebook could launch a very similar self-destruct messaging app. Unlike the Instagram deal however, Snapchat execs told Facebook to take their money and shove it straight up their ass. Or something to that effect. Shit, I’ll take three billion. Give me.