In this week’s Clicked, we cover Github’s acquisition by Microsoft, Apple’s WWDC and the shade they gave Facebook and the expensive split from Facebook by the WhatsApp founders among other tech stories that trended from last week.
Microsoft Buys Github
Github was acquired for $7.5 billion. The rumours had been flying around so the acquisition didn’t come as a surprise to many. Github was also in talks with Google but instead went with Microsoft. It is Satya’s embracement of open software that drew Github’s founder and since his vision for Github aligned well with Microsoft’s, Chris Wanstrath decided to go ahead with the Redmond-based company.
280-char FAQ: GitHub is not git. They were losing money and having trouble finding a CEO. They had raised a shitload of money based on ideas that didn't pan out. So it was inevitable that they'd sell, but admittedly most developers, including myself, were caught by surprise.
— scripting.com (@davewiner) June 4, 2018
The developer community had mixed reactions. Some feared Microsoft will look into their repositories or make Github become less open sourced as it had done with previous buys.
If Microsoft actually buys GitHub. pic.twitter.com/GcicxrJVYW
— Daryl Ginn (@darylginn) June 2, 2018
Others were happy that under the new leadership from CEO Satya, the company is becoming more customer-focused and cross-platform while stepping up its open source presence(Microsoft’s a top Github contributor)
I often sit and think Microsoft missing the mobile era was the best thing that ever happened to it. Microsoft is far more customer focused, competitive, and embracing other platforms / open source now. The old Microsoft was, let’s face it, a bit of an asshole. Culture has changed
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 3, 2018
— Larry Dignan (@ldignan) June 3, 2018
In a blog post, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin eased developers’ fears after Microsoft purchase, saying that this is ‘good news’ for open source as the firm has the means to improve the platform.
GitHub users don’t need to be concerned about certain open source code being at stake, because it is licensed in a way that protects it from corporate tampering.
Microsoft was probably the best place for GitHub to land, if you’re looking for a win-win situation. Microsoft needs to attract more developers, and GitHub should help with that. Also, GitHub needs to scale its business (likely by developing and selling more of its enterprise product), and Microsoft can help with that.
good news for @gitlab though, we should support them to keep Microsoft honest, even if they turn out to be a great steward of the acquisition
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) June 3, 2018
Here’s other views from other publications
- Microsoft + GitHub = Empowering Developers – Microsoft |”Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation,” Satya Nadella
- So pigs do fly: Microsoft acquires GitHub – Redmonk
- The cost of developers – Stratechery
- Everyone complaining about Microsoft buying GitHub needs to offer a better solution- Ars Technica
- Developers and cloud rivals will be watching Microsoft’s plans for Azure and GitHub very closely – GeekWire
- GitLab sees huge spike in project imports – Hacker News
- GitLab’s high-end plans are now free for open source projects and schools -TechCrunch
Microsoft’s future CEO of Github Nat Friedman had a reddit AMA to try to answer developer questions and allay fears about Microsoft’s plans for the service and spoke out on Atom and keeping Github independent. If anything, Microsoft wants GitHub to get even better at being GitHub, Friedman said.
The problem left for now isn’t seeing how Microsoft will integrate its services with Github but trying to get developers to forget about its past history(Steve called Linux a “cancer” and the company’s attempts to threaten open source vendors with patent lawsuits) and win over the critics. Only time will tell.
Also, Andreessen Horowitz is pocketing a huge win in the $7.5 billion GitHub acquisition as the firm returns more than $1 billion in the Microsoft deal.
Andreessen Horowitz and Github:
2012: $100 million investment
2015: Some follow-on investing
2018: Pockets $1 billion+
Meanwhile, go watch this fun video of Windows Mojave that was released 10 years ago.
The Wall Street Journal report on behind the scenes drama about the expensive split between Facebook and WhatApp founders.
When they departed Facebook, both WhatsApp founders( Brian Acton and Jan Koum) gave up $900million and $400m reSpectively citing issues with Facebook over their efforts to monetize the messaging service.
— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) June 5, 2018
But that’s not the only thing they clashed over with. Workplace culture like desk sizes,bathroom doors and noisy Facebook employees made the list too. And now, with Koum and Acton successfully managed out of the company, Facebook can monetize WhatsApp at long last.
The world's smallest violin is playing for the ad-hating WhatsApp founders who sold out to Facebook, an ads-based company, for billions and act surprised that FB wanted to run ads. WhatsApp users are the real victims https://t.co/4Tu87HxF1i
— Brian X. Chen (@bxchen) June 5, 2018
The centre couldn’t hold and things fell apart
Nice @WSJ deep dive into the tensions between the WhatsApp founders and their Facebook acquirers/overlords. It was all about advertising, but divisions over office noise, desk size, and bathroom layouts didn't help https://t.co/zdsWGrFpWp via @dseetharaman @kirstengrind
— Scott Thurm (@ScottThurm) June 5, 2018
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) June 5, 2018
This year’s event shifted from it being a media-focused one to one that gave all the attention to the developers. The conference was a little boring but this is good since it now became more about refinements and improvements than earth-shaking hardware headlines.
This winter, Apple will roll out iOS 12 for hardware back to the iPhone 5s generation. MacOS will tick up to a new version, Mojave, which will see some early-stage steps on the developer back end toward making it easier to make apps jointly for both iOS and macOS. And tvOS and watchOS are getting a host of feature updates — such as the addition of Dolby Atmos support to tvOS and auto-detection of workout-like activity on Apple Watch — to make sure you get credit for every extra stride you jog and drop of sweat you drip. A direct-communication “Walkie-Talkie” mode is also coming to Apple Watch.
The new dark mode, though a small aesthetic, looks like a great feature. The desktop will have an optional “time-sensitive” aspect, transitioning the desktop background from a morning to night theme, giving you a subtle sense of the passage of time through the day as you compute.
Apple didn’t shy away from trolling Facebook at this event. They took a few shots at Facebook data and privacy practices. Also this
— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) June 5, 2018
Apple highlights new notifications features in iOS 12 by showing someone turning off Facebook. Brutal. pic.twitter.com/Ji8K208jxK
— Mike Rundle (@flyosity) June 4, 2018
Apple got a bit selfish here to be fair. They seemed to want its users to take a break from their phones(they’ll be fast as hell) but only when that applies to third-party apps it thinks are not good. Its own apps – they are getting a whole lot of new”use me” features. This creates a paradox.
Facebook execs also commented on this but pointing the finger to the other tech giant as if it wasn’t them being shamed.
Facebook's security exec says Apple's moves were more anti-Google than anti-Facebook https://t.co/C3a83g52gR
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) June 5, 2018
Relationships between tech giants have always been contentious and will likely remain so in continuance. Apple can’t ban Facebook from the App store but the measure it has put in place via the new Safari features will work well. Though users will always be reminded everytime they browse using the iOS browser. In technical terms, the change has to do with how Safari loads content, and how much information it gives to the site it’s loading. The Verge broke it down in a nice explainer here.
Windows 10 and MacOs both have a dark mode (the latter will come later this year)Most websites are super bright. This Chrome and Firefox extension changes that for you as it adds a dark reader mode. the extension inverts the colours but you can customise.
After looking at iOS 12 screen time pic.twitter.com/OzmzYDDXws
— Gabriel Lewis 🦆 (@Gabriel__Lewis) June 12, 2018
Quartz went ahead and pointed out that privacy has become a luxury and apple is the biggest luxury brand out here. A counterpoint was made though.
This, of course, is utter nonsense. Privacy ain't a luxury.
Whether you're a tech billionaire or Joe Shmoe, whether you're logged-off from or totally unaffiliated with Facebook/Google/etc, your privacy will be violated whether you like it, hate it, paid for it or not. pic.twitter.com/Jtde95C4r9
— Kontra (@counternotions) June 9, 2018
All Things Facebook
Let me start with the good news.
CNN, Fox News, ABC News, Univision and Mic are pivoting to Video. But seriously, they’re embarking on a summer series of original new shows in partnership with Facebook for its video section, Facebook Watch.
Pivot-to-video v2.0. https://t.co/X7oma6lMnp
— The Splice Newsroom (@splicenewsroom) June 7, 2018
The social media giant has tried(remember Instant Articles and commissioned live video content)and failed to come up with a working business model that rewards publishers. With this new initiative, Facebook will pay the media companies to produce the shows, and some of them will run mid-roll ads, a.k.a. commercials, to help publishers (and Facebook) make some extra money.
congrats to ABC, CNN, Fox News and Univision on their pivot to video https://t.co/MO1Jtbnf3J
— Paul Blumenthal d/b/a Pravda LLC (@PaulBlu) June 6, 2018
“The problem historically is that none of Facebook’s efforts has delivered enough revenue to publishers to counterbalance the time and effort that goes into producing the work,” Recode’s Kurt argues.
"Facebook is believed to be paying publishers for a year, proposing budgets that range from $5m to $10m annually for daily news programming and $1m to $2m for weekly shows" https://t.co/4lbJ56HGIQ
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) June 6, 2018
But will people watch
If my Facebook news feed is anything to go by people only share content that's either cute or crazy. So good luck with the sensible news https://t.co/o4K5Ew69eH
— James Bareham (@Happicamp) June 6, 2018
- Instagram is in competition with Youtube and Snapchat’s Discover feature as it enters their tuff. The social photo sharing giant is reportedly preparing a dedicated hub for long-form video that will go from five minutes to an hour in length.
That Instagram long-form video thing? It's not about user uploads. It's a Snapchat Discover competitor slated for June 20th. My report: https://t.co/lmFJLpo94T
— Josh Constine (@JoshConstine) June 6, 2018
- Last week couldn’t end on a bad note for Facebook as they screwed up again on privacy. The company says millions of users who thought they were sharing privately with their friends may have shared with everyone because of a software bug.
- On their blog, they said that they’re fixing it and will notify anyone who’s been affected.
Facebook again botched a data crisis. They acknowledged that it had formed alliances with device makers including Chinese electronics companies that gave them deeper access to user’s personal info even when not using the app. Bloomberg’s Shira Ovide wasn’t impressed by Facebook’s explanations to the Times over its data sharing with device manufacturers and explains why here.
Facebook’s newest drama is a reminder of one of the company’s big failures: It never owned the phone. And now we’re seeing why that was a problem.
Here’s one good deed Facebook has done despite all these scandals – it has cut down on those annoying “now connected on Messenger” alerts. Late last week, Buzzfeed’s Katie in her article had complained about how annoying the “you are now connected on Messenger” is a notification no one needed. Looks like they listened and they responded and they’ve now cut down the alerts using machine learning, so from now on when you get added, you’ll see few of those.
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) June 7, 2018
Yep. This is according to a survey done by Julie. She reports that the Facebook is operating on significant trust deficit. Posts are getting less personal as people get cautious of what they post and some even deleting the app.
This line from The Onion will make you laugh regarding everything going on with Facebook.
“The class of 2018 is a resilient lot, exemplified by graduates like Jordan, who maintained a 3.9 GPA despite losing his grandmother to kidney failure soon after Jamie cheated on him over homecoming weekend, irreparably damaging their three-year relationship,” said the best-selling author of Lean In.
But CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will keep working with the military in other areas
The feature will appear within job postings on LinkedIn and will become a part of how LinkedIn surfaces job opportunities in its search feature for its 500 million-plus users.
After ramping up the hype for the Z5, Lenovo revealed the goods, and they weren’t as advertised. Its new phone, teased since May, landed with a bit of a chin at the base — and a notch at the top. So, that’s the worst of both worlds? Now, we’d make less of a fuss if the company hadn’t already coaxed out teaser images of a phone with a screen that appeared to truly stretch to the edges. It turns out that the render was just that: A render and nothing else.
Is Lenovo’s new Z5 smartphone truly “all screen?”
I’m notch sure.https://t.co/m8YQNFfjVo
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) June 5, 2018
The consumer group that took Samsung to court wants it to update phones for 4 years.
— Android Central (@androidcentral) June 4, 2018
Republic of Gamers, computer and tech company Asus’ gaming label, announced a game-centric Android smartphone Monday during the kickoff of Computex 2018 in Taipei, Taiwan.
all the worst parts of gaming laptops, now in your phone! https://t.co/XqAdpViTgE
— dan seifert (@dcseifert) June 4, 2018
Nearly every femme-identifying person has wrestled with tall bar stools, director’s chairs, and the dreaded microphone dance.”What gives? Tons of people wear skirts and dresses. Why do conferences seem to forget they exist?”
This! Where to put a mic pack is one of the worst issues—if you're wearing a dress, techs often suggest clipping it to the back of your bra. Recently a sound guy installed one like this while breathing down my neck and saying "God, I love my job." (ugh) https://t.co/qqTGK3QeIU
— lex.txt (@lex_is) June 6, 2018
Kevin Abocsh, an Irish conceptual artist who is intrigued by blockchain tech began to think himself as a cryptocurrency coin. He created 10 million tokens digitally connected to his body and people buy this stuff. A former tech executive paid almost half a million dollars for a neon sculpture that the artist had made – that’s more than the price of a real Lamborghini. This guy used his own blood as the ink to stamp the addresses of his self-made cryptocurrency IAMA coin. Says he “successfully connected my physical body to the virtual works…”
- If you think you’re the biggest bitcoin nerd of all, you’re wrong.
Billionaire VC Tim Draper in his signature bitcoin tie rapped about bitcoin at #TNW2018 after speaking at the conference. In his interview with Bloomberg’s Justina Lee, He whipped up his phone and to the amusement of the audience, he started spitting some fire rhymes.
Watch the video here and decide if Draper’s performance qualifies as rap or noise.
- Someone once took a photo of a box bearing the message “DO NOT USE BLADE TO OPEN,” in which the person is opening the box with a DVD of the movie Blade.
People will not stop sending this picture to Wesley Snipes and he would like you to stop
For everyone that sends me this photo 300 times a day … I SEENT IT!!! I SEENT IT! I SEENT IT! 😂 pic.twitter.com/u7vumefgO9
— WS (@wesleysnipes) June 4, 2018
- This napkin holder that is also a USB charging dock looks like fun
You know there's a phone addiction problem when they're putting USB charging ports into napkin holders. pic.twitter.com/OoJqFDOaVM
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) May 30, 2018