Files from Tom Li
Microsoft buys one of the biggest game publishers, Mozilla pauses accepting crypto for donations, and Ericsson sues Apple over patent infringements.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, January 19, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.
Microsoft made a splash yesterday when it purchased video game publisher Activision Blizzard for an astounding US$68.7 billion. This is the biggest acquisition Microsoft has ever made. The sum far exceeds the amount the company paid for LinkedIn, GitHub, and Nuance combined. Its plan is of course to add Activision Blizzard’s games to its Xbox games pass, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also said that the acquisition will help Microsoft’s competitiveness in the cloud and mobile gaming markets.
Mozilla has put a pause on accepting cryptocurrency as a form of donation. When it promoted to users that it’s accepting cryptocurrency for donations, it received massive backlash from its now-retired cofounder. Jamie Zawinski, the Mozilla co-founder who stopped working for Mozilla in 1999, shamed the company on Twitter for partnering with “planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters”. His message, along with many others who shared his sentiment, clearly got across. The company is putting a pause on crypto donations as it evaluates its impact on the environment.
Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson has filed another patent lawsuit against Apple. The company has had a running feud over royalty payment for 5G technologies in iPhones. Ericsson first sued Apple in October, alleging the company of improperly cutting down royalty fees. Apple soon fired back with its own lawsuit, claiming that the company strong arms its customers into renewing patents. Ericsson’s latest set of patent lawsuits continues to ramp up the tension between the two companies.
Here’s another reminder to check the conditions of a deal before paying for it. An NFT group learned that lesson at a terrible cost when they realized that they didn’t purchase the copyright for Dune. The group, called SpiceDAO, apparently believed that a rare copy of Dune it had purchased for €2.66 million Euros granted them its copyright. It had originally wanted to make an animated series inspired by the book and sell it to a streaming service. Unfortunately, they soon realized that it was legally impossible because all they had bought was the book, not the right to reproduce it in any capacity. Rubbing salt on the wound was the price they paid: it was more than 100 times the market value of the book.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, if you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.