Amazon Uncontrollably Twitching | Tech Talk Today 49

Amazon Uncontrollably Twitching | Tech Talk Today 49

Is Amazon’s purchase of Twitch the first big move in the new Amazon vs Google war? We discuss the big acquisition from all the angles.

Huawei says Tizen is dead, the guy in charge of Cyber Security for Obama doesn’t know how to use a computer & more!

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Amazon Buys Twitch, and Why it makes sense for Amazon to buy Twitch | The Verge

The company has since confirmed the news, and a press release states Amazon will pay $970 million in cash.

Amazon is clearly very keen to get into gaming. It created its in-house gaming studio back in 2012 and has made a few lightweight Facebook and mobile games since then. It signaled it was getting more serious with the acquisition of Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games and hiring of Kim Swift, the designer behind the classic Portal game. The company’s new Fire TV offered a selection of games created by Amazon’s in-house team and even has a Amazon joystick you can buy separately, hinting at aspirations to compete with consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation.

For Twitch, being acquired was always about finding a partner that could help it keep up with its massive growth. As The Verge reported back in May, Twitch was being offered hundreds of millions in new funding from its previous investors, but felt that it simply couldn’t scale with capital alone. It needed a company with global infrastructure already in place that it could piggyback on. YouTube certainly fit the bill. But Amazon, with its Amazon Web Services (AWS), also has the kind of international presence to ensure Twitch can stream live video to millions across every continent. Twitch in turn could be the live-streaming platform that powers everything from gaming to concerts to sporting events that play on Amazon’s family of Fire devices.

Why would Twitch choose Amazon over Google? It wasn’t the money, with Amazon’s purchase price being equal or less than Google’s reported offer. Shear wouldn’t answer that question directly, but did provide detail on why Amazon was the best fit. “One of the things that really stood out about Amazon was their approach to acquisitions. We will be a wholly owned subsidiary and and I will remain CEO,” said Shear. “They have a long term vision about how to create big opportunities in the future by investing today.”

Reading between the lines a little, it sounds like Twitch felt at Google, it would have always been YouTube’s little brother. At Amazon, it has the chance to build something from scratch, as Amazon has no user-generated or live video offerings yet. A source familiar with the deal suggested Twitch felt Amazon would give it more autonomy and bigger role in growing the gaming business.

Amazon Pounces On Twitch After Google Balks Due To Antitrust Concerns

Google was unable to close the deal, said sources familiar with the talks, because it was concerned about potential antitrust issues that could have come with the acquisition. The Mountain View, Calif. company already owns YouTube, the world’s most-visited content streaming site, which competes with Twitch to broadcast and stream live or on-demand video game sessions. One source noted that because of the concerns, Google and Twitch could not come to an agreement on the size of a potential breakup fee in case the deal did not go through.

White House cybersecurity czar brags about his lack of technical expertise

Michael Daniel is the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator, the man who “leads the interagency development of national cybersecurity strategy and policy” for the president. And in a recent interview with GovInfoSecurity, he argued that his lack of technical expertise gave him an advantage in doing that job.

“You don’t have to be a coder in order to really do well in this position,” Daniel said, when asked if his job required knowledge of the technology behind information security. “In fact, actually, I think being too down in the weeds at the technical level could actually be a little bit of a distraction.”

“You can get taken up and enamored with the very detailed aspects of some of the technical solutions,” he explained, arguing that “the real issue is looking at the broad strategic picture.”

As Princeton computer scientist Ed Felten points out, it’s hard to imagine senior policymakers with responsibility for other technical subjects making this kind of claim. Imagine a White House economic advisor arguing that experience in the weeds of economic research would be a distraction, an attorney general making that claim about time in a courtroom, or a surgeon general bragging about never having set foot in an operating room.

Huawei’s Head of Business Group Sees no Future in Tizen

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business group, talked about the future of the global smartphone industry and how Huawei will compete against Samsung and Apple.

Mr. Yu: We have no plans to use Tizen. Some telecom carriers are pushing us to design Tizen phones but I say “no” to them. In the past we had a team to do research on Tizen but I canceled it. We feel Tizen has no chance to be successful. Even for Windows Phone it’s difficult to be successful.

We have no plans to build our own OS. It’s easy to design a new OS, but the problem is building the ecosystem around it.

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