Apple Reviewed and Alibaba Scores
If you didn’t catch all the news of the past week, don’t worry — Re/code has you covered:
- You might have heard about the new iPhones. You weren’t the only one! Check out these horrifying, long lines for the new iPhones. Well, we reviewed both of those — the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus — as well as the new iOS and the different, new keyboards you can use on your phone.
- Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison, one of the wealthiest people on the planet and a legend of Silicon Valley, disclosed this week that he would be stepping down from the CEO position, to take on the CTO job. Two longtime Ellison lieutenants, Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, will be splitting his old job, a move designed to keep them within the organization, sources told Re/code on Friday. Read this retrospective by Arik Hesseldahl for more on Larry Ellison’s legacy, or check out some of his most entertaining live interviews. Oh, and here’s a guest column from a former Oracle exec on Ellison the “Genius Leader, Terrible Copywriter.”
- Chinese commerce giant Alibaba Group held its IPO this week, the largest in tech history, opening shares at $92.70 and raising $21.8 billion total. Its shares spiked 38 percent after the IPO, so we also checked out the company’s lavish Manhattan celebration on Friday. For a bit more on the origins and aims of Alibaba, check out the story behind this photo of Alibaba CEO Jack Ma and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, andthis piece on Alibaba’s goals in the U.S. And if you’re interested in learning how the New York Stock Exchange landed the biggest IPO in tech history, here’s an interview with the guy who made it happen.
- We also went down to Los Angeles for virtual reality company Oculus’ new conference, Oculus Connect. First, of course, Eric Johnson had to sign a motion-sickness waiver. Then, we got a sneak peek at Oculus’ new prototype, Crescent Bay, and heard from Oculus CTO John Carmack about the company’s pivotal partnership with Samsung.
- Joe Green, the head of the often maligned lobbying advocacy organization FWD.us, was pushed out of his job this week. The group is primarily backed by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, along with a coterie of other Silicon Valley leaders, but failed to really get any traction since its launch in April 2013 on its key issue of immigration reform.
- As part of previously announced plans to lay off around 18,000 employees worldwide,Microsoft laid off another 2,100 employees on Thursday, including workers at the company’s elite Silicon Valley Research Group. Also, on the heels of the Alibaba IPO and the Apple Pay announcement, Microsoft snagged Amazon payments product leader Iain Kennedy and plans to show off the next iteration of Windows at an event on September 30.
- Although Comcast and Time Warner (among other telecom leaders) are thought of as the biggest players in the ongoing net neutrality fight, wireless carriers like Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile are now on watch, as the former announced that it plans to slow speeds for some subscribers during periods of heavy use.
- Tim Cook, CEO of the company whose most high-profile users had very personal information stolen from accounts with said company recently, said in an interview with Charlie Rose that the U.S. government has yet to get privacy right.
- It has a been a few weeks since Facebook split their mobile app into two — Facebook mobile and Messenger — and the results haven’t been pretty. But, given that mobile is a rapidly changing environment all the time, Facebook will likely be okay.
- Most press releases are bad. Like, nails on a chalkboard in hell bad. After Microsoft announced it was purchasing Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 billion, Mojang released this excellent statement — informative, incisive and funny. More people should do it like them.