Light Start: Oracle’s TikTok win, OnePlus Buds in US bin, Apple’s Epic sin and Japan’s 8K Mars mission

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Oracle beats Microsoft in TikTok bid to acquire it in the US

Because 2020 wasn’t insane enough, US companies have been bidding to take over the US operations of the Chinese short-format video app TikTok. Just because the governmental bodies don’t trust the country where the app originated. On the list of possible buyers were big names like Microsoft, Oracle and even Wallmart. 

Now, reports suggest that Oracle’s offer was too good to pass up. “Oracle had been rumoured to be part of the bidding process to acquire TikTok, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has been selected as a “trusted tech partner” instead,” The Verge reports. Although this doesn’t mean that an outright sale has been made, it does mean that Oracle can now aid in the US operations of the app using its own cloud technologies. This also came just as Microsoft announced that it has pulled out of the TikTok deal after the bid was rejected by TikTok parent company ByteDance. Honestly, we’re not convinced that Microsoft would have been the best fit for the social platform, but we’ll have to see how the newly partnered US-based TikTok pans out. 

How does this affect us, as South Africans, you ask? It really doesn’t. TikTok’s US partnership means that Oracle will only help run the app in the US and adjacent countries. If you use TikTok in South Africa, the Chinese company still runs and manages it. Do with that what you will. 

Source: The Verge

US customs seize OnePlus earphones, saying it’s counterfeit AirPods

Counterfeit tech has always been a problem, and will continue to be a problem. Living in a country where most of the flagship tech is unattainably expensive, we understand the prevalence of counterfeit tech and people opting for cheaper, fake, options. 

But the trick is to correctly label said counterfeit tech, unlike what the US Borders and Custom Protection did over the weekend. The bunch went ahead and seized 2,000 “counterfeit Apple AirPods on Aug. 31”, the press release read. The supposed counterfeit Apple AirPods came straight from Hong Kong into JFK Airport, which obviously means that it’s likely fake (because of the source country). Well, it turns out it was never counterfeit, fake or even close to AirPods — they were OnePlus’ Buds. According to the press release, “If the merchandise were genuine, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) would have been $398,000.” Which is a complete miscalculation. Because. They. Aren’t. AirPods. According to Cnet, “… the actual value of the cargo is $158,000. How do we know? Because that’s how much 2,000 OnePlus Buds cost.”

What makes this incident far worse, is the fact that the CPB proudly posted the haul on social media, with a picture clearly displaying the OnePlus branding and logo. Good job US border control, hope you’re proud of yourselves. 

Source: Cnet

Apple wants Epic to pay for damages from Fortnite debacle

Even if you want it to be, the Apple/Epic fight is pretty far from over. The Fortnite developer took a big leap and tried to face Apple’s legal team. Now, it looks like Apple has good grounds to seek damages from Epic’s breach of contract.

So basically, Epic wanted to sidestep Apple’s App Store payment system within Fortnite, then Apple banned Fortnite, and now Epic’s claiming Apple is an unjust monopoly. Now Apple is hitting back. Hard. “The filing it entered earlier this week seeks damages for Epic breaching its agreement by instating its own payment system, and asks that Epic be kept from further unfair practices,” TNW reports. Which means that Apple believes that Epic’s intention is less-than honourable. Apple believes that the developer wanted free access to ll of its tools for its own gain. See, if you publish things on Apple, Apple gives you access to all of its iOS and Mac dev tools, in exchange for listing on its app store. Epic would essentially be stealing then. Which is grounds for Apple to go to court for damages. 

So, without going into too much detail, this saga is far from complete, and we’re bound to see a range of back-and-forths in a variety of court cases following this injunction. 

Source: TNW

Japan is sending an 8K camera to Mars and its moons

In some slightly less depressing news, Japan is working on a working on a camera to send to Mars to document it in glorious 8K footage. Which, honestly, doesn’t sound like a bad idea if you’ve seen the Mars footage in like… ever. 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and broadcaster NHK are collectively working on both 4K and 8K cameras that will capture images of the red planet and the bodies surrounding it. The footage of Mars and both its moons (Phobos and Deimos) will be used for the upcoming Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) mission that is only slated to launch in 2024 and get to Mars in 2025. “The mission will regularly take pictures and partially transmit them to Earth to “create a smooth image,” while the originals will be stored in a return capsule headed back to Earth,” Engadget reports. “This should also help visualize the spacecraft’s behaviour by combining camera info with flight data. It could help operate the spacecraft, JAXA said.”

This is particularly exciting seeing that the MMX will be the first craft to capture ultra-high definition footage of the red planet and its moons. It’ll even go as far as land on the surface of said moons and capture some footage. 

Source: Engadget

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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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