Last month, Boris Johnson, the U.K.’s prime minister, delivered a speech in the industrial town of Dudley about his plan to lead the country out of the pandemic with large-scale investment projects. The most noteworthy feature of the speech was his mantra-like repetition of “build,” a word that appeared no fewer than 32 times in his speech and, for good measure, three times on a sign on his lectern.
The prominence of the word was no coincidence. Johnson’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings, had picked it up from a couple of influential essays written by his favorite Silicon Valley thinkers, according to a person close to Johnson.
One of them was an April essay entitled “It’s Time to Build” by venture capitalist Marc Andreessen—a critique of the West’s lack of preparedness for the coronavirus—in which he repeated some version of the word 41 times. A few days later, Ben Thompson, the influential analyst behind the Stratechery blog, took Andreessen’s ideas a step further in his own essay,“How Tech Can Build,” laying out a plan for putting the venture capitalist’s ideas into practice.
Microsoft’s Talks to Buy TikTok Follow Headwinds for Investor Plan
Microsoft is in serious talks to acquire TikTok, the hugely popular Chinese-owned video app, The Information has confirmed, after separate talks for a U.S. investor group to buy the app ran into headwinds on both political and business grounds.
Senior ByteDance executives see Microsoft as more able to afford Tiktok, which could be worth $30 billion or more, and to have a management team that could absorb the app more easily than if it was a standalone company. ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming also has ties to Microsoft, having worked there early in his career. TikTok’s global general counsel Erich Andersen also has a strong Microsoft connection: he joined TikTok in January after 20 years at the software giant.
Microsoft Talks to TikTok: The Information’s Tech Briefing
News that Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok raises all sorts of fascinating questions. Microsoft in recent years has been much more focused on selling to business customers than individuals; TikTok would take them in the opposite direction. The closest fit within Microsoft’s business would be its Xbox gaming division, although it isn’t that close.
It also would raise Microsoft’s exposure to the advertising business, which isn’t ideal for Microsoft shareholders. One reason why Microsoft has skated through the pandemic largely unaffected is its lack of dependency on ad revenue. One big question is whether antitrust regulators would approve the deal. True, this is a new area for Microsoft. But one of the concerns expressed by politicians in recent days is the influence of big tech. A TikTok acquisition wouldn’t reduce a big tech company’s power.
It would, however, create a formidable rival to Facebook and Google’s YouTube, both of which compete with TikTok. For that reason alone, antitrust regulators may be happy.—Martin Peers
The Information’s 411 — Cyberpunk Barons
It was a big week for tech and politics as the four leaders of the major U.S. tech companies testified in front of the House Antitrust subcommittee. We spoke to Alex Heath and Chris Stern about which CEOs weathered the questions from lawmakers best and where the antitrust investigations go from here. Then Cory speaks to Anissa Gardizy about delivery startup GoPuff and the problems its skyrocketing growth has caused for its neighbors.
Gnomes & Goblins to be Wevr’s Biggest Production, 10x Larger Than the Preview
Is It Worth Investing in a Website Builder?
How to Create a Cloud-connect AR Experience in 15 Minutes or Less
Mortal Blitz: Combat Arena’s PlayStation VR Open Beta Begins Next Week
AvidXchange Announces New “Tech Rising” Initiative to Remove Barriers to Technology Education
Swipe Is the Latest Project to Integrate Chainlink’s Price Oracles
Craig Wright Won’t Need to Pay Hodlnaut $60K Until Appeal Is Over, Says Counsel
Bitcoin a Hedge Against Elon Musk Mining Asteroid Gold, Say Winklevoss Twins
Solaris Offworld Combat has Been Delayed to September
Mastercard Announces Global Commercial Partnership With Pollinate
Oculus Social VR App ‘Venues’ to Get Overhaul in Preparation for ‘Facebook Horizon’
Thailand’s Central Bank Eyes DeFi Use Cases for Its Digital Baht
Bitcoin Proceeds of COVID-19 Business Support Scheme Fraud Seized
VR Giants’ Co-op Kickstarter Achieves Funding Success
Huntington Bancshares picks BillGo for faster payments
Banco Ripley goes live on Temenos Transact
OakNorth’s UK bank has approved £600m in loans since March
How a “Chad” minted Curve tokens early and briefly surpassed BTC’s market cap
Diplomatic ties Between Israel and UAE :Donald Trump
As the pandemic persists, New Zealand considers negative interest rates
Stock futures rise slightly after S&P 500 struggles to reach February record high
ABN Amro to slash size of investment bank after losses
Weed memes, explained
The $150 billion video game industry grapples with a murky track record on diversity
Cas & Chary Present: Top 10 ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Mods So Far
J.B. Hunt’s 1st Delivery With Fully Electric Freightliner eCascadia
Sabesp anuncia resultados do 2T20
CarParts.com Announces Pricing of Public Offering of Common Stock
Four of the Top Five South Korean Banks to Offer Crypto Services
SABESP Announces 2Q20 Results
Alt Lending – week ending 14th August
Brussels Airport Company has selected Ecolog to perform COVID-19 Tests at the Brussels Airport
Coronavirus live updates: Congress leaves without passing relief bill; Fauci concerned with U.S. outbreak
Is Chainlink Poised for a Sell Off After Reaching New ATH?
China may never catch up with its commitments to the U.S. in ‘phase one’ deal, expert says
Danke Partners with Leading Chinese Media to Release 2020 College Graduate Housing Blue Book
$12K Bitcoin Price in Sight as Retail, Institutional Traders Turn ‘Greedy’
$99 Gas Fees on Ethereum Are Crippling DeFi’s Growth
UK’s Federation of Small Businesses Says Next Budget Must be “Most Pro-Business Ever” to Combat Negative Effects of First Recession in 11 Years
Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson: I’m increasingly convinced that COVID-19 is a creation of the media/technology complex. (NO – I do not mean it’s not real or was bioengineered)
Gaming1 week ago
Server status – Is Fall Guys down?
Esports1 week ago
The best loadouts for the ISO in Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare
Esports1 week ago
Stuck on loading screen error in Fall Guys explained
AI1 week ago
AI Machine Learning Efforts Encounter A Carbon Footprint Blemish
Esports1 week ago
The best Standard Hearthstone decks to try for Scholomance Academy
Mobility1 week ago
Photos: A first look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Esports1 week ago
The best loadouts for the AN-94 in Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare
Cannabis4 days ago
An in-depth look at the study that discovered THCP, a cannabinoid more potent than THC