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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’
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November 4, 2016

Tech Inclusion: the Diversity of an Open Mind

Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts was born out of an Exhibition intent on demonstrating that San Francisco had rebuilt itself. So the fact this year’s Tech Inclusion conference was held in the neighboring Innovation Hangar (previously the Exploratorium) is quite appropriate. In a sense, the goal here is to rebuild SF’s crown jewel: Tech. Young and not so young white guys hold a majority stake at present, but in the years to come, it seems to me that the tech sector is going to incur some well-deserved growing pains of a different variety. We’re not talking 4-5x the national GDP growth rate, no, this is something more like [...]

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May 22, 2015

Microsoft Reportedly Tried To Buy Salesforce For $55 Billion

Microsoft came close to making one of the biggest acquisitions in tech history earlier this spring.

Talks between Microsoft and Salesforce got serious when Microsoft offered to buy the cloud-computing company for $55 billion, according to CNBC. But Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff wanted as much as $70 billion. The talks reportedly fell through as a result of cost roadblocks.

Salesforce has a market valuation of more than $49 billion. Microsoft has more than $95 billion in cash and cash-equivalents.

Rumors of acquisition talks between the two companies first surfaced last month. Both Microsoft and Salesforce have declined to comment.

Had Microsoft acquired [...]

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February 2, 2015

Tech Companies Have Set A Dangerous Precedent By Paying Adblock To Whitelist Their Ads

Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Taboola have reached a deal with the makers of Adblock to prevent the service from blocking ads on their sites, Financial Times reports. These companies’ ads are currently slipping through Adblock Plus’s filter, and FT has confirmed that it’s the intentional result of a paid deal between the makers of Adblock and the companies in question.

More specifically, the companies are paying Eyeo—the maker of Adblock Plus—an undisclosed sum of money to be added to an official whitelist, which allows their ads to bypass the plugin.

This really confirms what I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for years: Adblock is a very [...]

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November 14, 2014

Skype Introduces Skype For Web, Bringing Calls And Instant Messages To Your Browser

Skype today announced a beta version of Skype for Web, which allows you to use the service from your browser—no addons or plugins required.

Currently, you can make voice and video calls from your browser, but it does require a plugin. That won’t be the case for much longer, though, as Skype plans to support plugin-fee calling with the WebRTC standard.

The company says it is “making Skype for Web available to small number of existing and new users to begin with, and gradually rolling out worldwide in the coming months.”

Skype for Web currently supports Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

Keep your eyes out for an invite [...]

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October 20, 2014

VentureBreak Weekly #58: Productive Playground

Mission Playground, Facebook Safety Check, Twitter Audio Cards, Microsoft Wearable, Gmail 5.0, Monica Lewinsky, AMPY, PillPack, and productivity tips.

Panel: Brad Merrill, Will Reynolds Young

Show Notes Mission Playground Shows it’s Time for a Change at Rec and Park Facebook ‘Safety Check’ Will Help You Tell Friends And Family You’re Safe During Natural Disasters Twitter Introduces ‘Audio Cards’ To Add Music To Your Timeline Microsoft To Launch A Fitness-Focused Wearable In The Next Few Weeks Gmail 5.0 For Android May Handle All Your Email Accounts In One App A sampling of tweets Monica Lewinsky has received since joining Twitter Power Your Devices With Your [...]
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October 20, 2014

Microsoft To Launch A Fitness-Focused Wearable In The Next Few Weeks

Samsung Gear S

It looks like Microsoft is taking a dive into the wearable market with a fitness-focused device expected to debut in the coming weeks. According to Forbes’s insider sources, the device is described as a smartwatch rather than a fitness tracker, though it does track heart rate and other health metrics.

The device will reportedly have a battery life of around two days—which beats most Android Wear watches, but falls short of the 7+ days that most fitness bands can handle. Jawbone’s UP24, for example, can run up to 14 days on a single charge.

Leaks indicate that Microsoft’s wearable will offer cross-platform [...]

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October 2, 2014

Windows 10 May Have Gotten Its Name Because Of Lazy Code

If you’re wondering why the new version of Windows is 10 instead of 9, a note posted to Reddit could provide an answer. Reddit user cranbourne claims to be a Microsoft developer, and cites rumors that early testing with the name “Windows 9” revealed problems with code from third-party developers used as a shortcut to detect when apps are running on Windows 95 or 98. You see, the shortcut was written to check for versions that start with “Windows 9” to catch 95 and 98 in one swing.

A simple search reveals just how many apps are guilty of this, so it’s entirely possible that Microsoft went with Windows 10 to avoid breaking all of [...]

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September 15, 2014

VentureBreak Weekly #56: Comcastic Apples

New iPhones, Apple Pay, Apple Watch, the free U2 album, Yahoo’s $250,000/day fine from the U.S. government, Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft, and more.

Panel: Brad Merrill, Will Reynolds Young

Show Notes iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Apple Pay Apple Watch Say Hello To The Apple Watch Apple Gave Me Something For Free And I’m Outraged! Yahoo Faced $250,000 Per Day In Fines For Opposing Surveillance Request Microsoft Is Buying Minecraft Developer Mojang For $2.5 Billion Minecraft Creator Markus Persson Set His Price At $2 Billion In 2012 Will’s Comcast Story App of the week: Litz

The VentureBreak Weekly theme music is courtesy of Derek K. Miller.

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September 15, 2014

Confirmed: Microsoft Is Buying Minecraft Developer Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Microsoft today confirmed that it will be purchasing Mojang, the developer of the popular Minecraft game, in a deal worth $2.5 billion.

This is a notable move for the company as it struggles to break into the mobile market.

Minecraft has been purchased more than 16.5 million times by Mac and PC users alone. It’s also available on a number of consoles and other platforms, and it has sold more than 54 million copies in total.

As part of the deal, the Mojang team will work under Microsoft Studios, where other exclusive franchises including Forza Motorsport, Halo, and Fable are managed.

For those worried about the cross-platform future of [...]

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September 14, 2014

Microsoft's $2.5B Purchase Of Minecraft To Be Announced Monday

Microsoft is expected to announce its $2.5 billion acquisition of Mojang—the company behind Minecraft—on Monday, according to a report by Reuters. The report notes that Microsoft will use Minecraft to super-charge its struggling Windows Phone franchise, which holds just 2.5 percent of the global smartphone market.

This follows last week’s report from the Wall Street Journal that Microsoft was in serious talks to acquire Mojang for more than $2 billion, making it one of the company’s largest gaming acquisitions.

Minecraft creator Markus Persson had some not-so-positive things to say about Microsoft last year. Most notably, he said Microsoft’s mobile [...]

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