Microsoft In Talks to Acquire TikTok

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Microsoft In Talks to Acquire TikTok
Number 1195
Broadcast Date AUGUST 3, 2020
Episode Length 5:37
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

Microsoft continues negotiations to acquire TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, the Content Authenticity Initiative publishes a white paper outlining a standard for authenticating media, and Google launches the Ads Transparency Spotlight Chrome plugin.

Headlines

Microsoft announced that following negotiations between CEO Satya Nadella and President Trump, the company would continue discussions about a potential acquisition of TikTok's operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand from ByteDance, setting a deadline of September 15 to complete negotiations. The President had previously stated he planned to ban TikTok in the US over national security risks. Reuters reports that, according to sources, the negotiations will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States that has the right to block any agreement. Microsoft says it may invite other American investors to take a minority stake in the company, and does not plan to provide further updates until negotiations are complete.
Bloomberg's sources say Softbank is in advanced talks with Nvidia to buy Arm in a deal possibly worth $32 billion. Softbank bought ARM in 2016 for $31 billion. The source says Nvidia is the only company in concrete discussions and a deal could be done in the next few weeks. Nvidia mostly makes GPUs, but its Tegra mobile chips, used in the Nvidia Shield and Nintendo Switch, are based on Arm designs.
The Content Authenticity Initiative, whose members include Adobe, Twitter and the New York Times, published a white paper outlining an open standard for a photo and video authentication systems. This standard would be built in hardware like cameras and phones, as well as in editing software like Photoshop, creating a digital signature when media is initially captured, and a new signature after each edit. This signature could optionally include the creator's name and location information. The group will now work on prototyping the system. There is no timeline for when this standard might become available.
Google launched the Ads Transparency Spotlight plugin in the Chrome web store. This shows data collected by Google's Ad Disclosure Schema API, and shows how many ads are on a page, a list of ad providers serving the ads, why the ad was shown on that page, and provides links to each ad company's privacy policy. Google hopes other advertisers will expose similar ad APIs to make the extension more usable.
In an interview with the New York Times' Ben Smith, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is considering new rules regarding premature claims of victory in the upcoming US presidential election. He said the Facebook Election Center will rely on wire services to report results. Regarding the large number of mail in ballots expected in the election, Zuckerberg said Facebook is planning an education campaign to get "people ready for the fact that there’s a high likelihood that it takes days or weeks to count this — and there’s nothing wrong or illegitimate about that.”
Microsoft will end support for third-party Cortana skills on September 7th, 2020. And in early 2021, Microsoft plans to discontinue the Cortana apps on iOS and Android, and remove the current Cortana functionality from the first-generation Surface Headphone and give users a $25 gift card. Microsoft will also remove it from the Invoke speakers and give those users a $50 gift card.
YouTube will discontinue its community captions feature that let viewers add subtitles to videos on September 28th due to low usage, plus spam and abuse. However, deaf and hard-of-hearing creators and those who used it to translate videos into other languages say this hurts accessibility, and those who can't pay to make their own captions. YouTube told The Verge it would provide creators who have used the feature on at least 3 videos in the past 60 days a free six-month subscription to subtitling service Amara.
Google announced it will invest $450 million in ADT, buying a 6.6% stake in the home security company. This will see ADT using Google's Nest devices to enhance the company's security monitoring, and each company will invest $150 million on co-marketing, product development, and investment in technology and employee training.
Netflix is rolling out playback speed controls on its Android app. The speed controls are available on downloaded titles saved for offline viewing. You can choose to stream at 0.5x, 0.75x or go faster with 1.25x or 1.5x. Pitch correction will keep voices sounding normal and captions will keep time. And you have to choose it for each video you watch. The feature launches August 1 and will roll out to everyone worldwide over the coming weeks. Both the National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation of the Blind commended Netflix on adding the playback features. Netflix plans to test the feature on iOS and the Web but not on TV versions of the app.
A report from the research firm Qimai shows that Apple removed 29,800 apps from the App Store in China, including over 26,000 games. This comes as Apple stepped up enforcement of Chinese game licensing rules, which requires a government-issued license number to make in-app purchases. Apple previously set a deadline of June 30 for developers to submit a license number. Previously Apple allowed titles on the App Store if the developer was waiting on license approval from the government.
Sony confirmed that the PS4 DualShock 4 controller cannot be used for upcoming Playstation 5 games. The DualShock 4 can still be used to play PS4 games on the new console, and Sony says that peripherals like "licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks", as well as the PlayStation camera, headsets, and VR controllers will be forward compatible with PS5 games.

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Preceded by:
"Week in Review for the Week of 7/27/20"
Microsoft In Talks to Acquire TikTok
Followed by:
"Microsoft Announces Project xCloud for Android"