Clicked: Alphabet Joins the Trillion-Dollar Club Plus More ICYMI Tech Stories


It has been a rollercoaster this past week in terms of what tech giants have been up to and Clicked is here to break it down and make sense of it all. Alphabet is now the latest tech giant to join the four comma club. Other tech giants that have hit the $1 trillion market cap include Apple, Microsoft($1.27 trillion) and Amazon(current valuation – $931 billion). Investors like Sundar Pichai who was the CEO of Google and now heads them both.

According to a recent SEC filing, Pichai will receive $2 million in salary per year, but he’s poised to earn much more — at least $150 million — if the company hits certain performance targets this year, next year and in 2022. It is interesting that Alphabet took nearly two years to rise from a company with an $800 billion market cap to a $900 billion market cap and then took several months to jump to $1 trillion.

This week in tech giants


Microsoft made new commitments to address climate change. The initiative is to not only be carbon neutral but also carbon negative with commitments to continue driving the creation and advancement of technology solutions that minimize the company’s environmental and social impact. Microsoft plans to become carbon negative by 2030, remove their historical carbon emissions by 2050 and launch a $1B climate innovation fund.

Other tech companies doing the same include Stripe and Shopify.

This announcement though welcome had critics share their opinions too.

Interesting Read: The Truth About Apple’s ‘100% Renewable’ Energy Usage


On Monday this week, the United States attorney general went in front of reporters on Monday and pushed Apple to break open two locked iPhones that belonged to a dead terrorist – remember in 2016, the FBI had a high profile clash with Apple over a different dead gunman’s phone.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump criticized Apple for refusing to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements. The tweet was in reference to a locked iPhone that belonged to a Saudi airman who killed three U.S sailors in an attack on a Florida base in December.

Interesting reads: Does the F.B.I. Need Apple to Hack Into iPhones?The US government should stop demanding tech companies compromise on encryption

This week in streaming


Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer which founded by former ESPN commentator Bill Simmons and has a podcast network that made over $15 million in 2018. Spotify thinks podcasting could be really big. Bill Simmons built a podcast empire, and now he could cash in.

Wise, if you think about it

In other Spotify news, the streaming giant announced playlists for your pet – well, except for rabbits. They also signed a global licensing agreement with Warner Music’s publishing firm, making its music available in India, ending a year-long dispute.

  • NBC Peacock is launching on July 15th with three different price tiers plus have a ton of ads.

  • Disney+ was downloaded more than 30 million times in Q4 2019 — according to a new report from SensorTower, that’s more than double the downloads for the runner-up, TikTok.

This week in Social media

  • Pelosi slams Facebook’s ‘shameful’ behaviour and says execs ‘schmooze’ the Trump administration

  • This Is the Guy Who’s Taking Away the Likes: Adam Mosseri, chieftain of Instagram, wants to keep the platform a safe, special space. That means learning from the mistakes of its parent company: Facebook.

  • In a Q&A, Joe Biden says Section 230 should be immediately revoked for Facebook and other platforms and that Zuckerberg should be submitted to civil liability

  • Study finds the worlds’ biggest brands, including Samsung and L’Oreal, are unknowingly running ads inside climate misinformation videos on YouTube.

  • Following a BBC investigation, Twitter apologized for letting ads be micro-targeted using keywords like “transphobic”, “white supremacists”, and “anti-gay”

This week in gaming

  • New report finds Twitch viewership dropped 9.8% in Q4 compared with Q3 after its top streamers left; YouTube Gaming Live hours watched increased 46% over 2019

  • Kan Liu, the Director of Product Management for Chrome OS, says Google is working to bring Steam support to Chrome OS

This week in smartphones

  • The latest panic that the EU may force Apple to abandon Lightning is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of both the EC’s intent and how charging works

  • Renders of Huawei’s P40 Pro show a camera bump with Leica branding that has five lenses at the back and two selfie cameras at the front, but no headphone jack
  • Sources: Samsung Galaxy S20 5G, S20+ 5G, S20 Ultra 5G will have 6.2″, 6.7″, 6.9″ displays respectively; S20 Ultra gets 108MP camera and 10X optical zoom camera
  • POCO, a sub-smartphone brand that Xiaomi created in 2018, is spinning off a standalone company

Don’t close that Tab

A collection of interesting tech articles including long reads:

  • CES is slowly, but steadily, starting to take robotics more seriously.
  • A look at tech catering to the needs of the elderly showcased at CES
  • CES 2020 show notes: a look at 12 technologies/categories, the raw materials of the primordial soup of innovation that the show has become over the years

  • A look at Islamic fintechs, which adhere to halal finance rules, but still face challenges, like convincing people to switch from traditional to digital banks
  • Tile accused Apple of acting anti-competitively at a House antitrust hearing on Friday, while Sonos testified against Google, and PopSockets against Amazon

  • Leaked white paper: European Commission is considering a 3-5 year ban on the use of facial recognition technology by private or public actors in public spaces

Parting Shot/Tweet

Read previous editions of Clicked here.

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George Kamau
I brunch on consumer tech | first.last at techweez dot com