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Friday Five – Yahoo bag Tumblr and Nikola Tesla pitches for VC funding

ChrisMayerElliotBentley
tesla

Our weekly off-beat look back at the week that was, in tech and beyond. Featuring John McCain’s important iPhone question to Tim Cook.

Welcome to yet another installment of the Friday
Five, JAXenter’s selection of stories which are slightly outside
the normal remit. Basically, stuff to put a smile on your face
going into the weekend. And for us, it’s an extended weekend! Shame
the London weather doesn’t want to cooperate with that.

Anyway, let’s get on with it. Here’s our picks from the last
seven days.

1. Nikola Tesla Pitching to Silicon Valley
VCs

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Hats off to those behind this excellent
Kickstarter video which takes aim at the VC scene. The premise is
simple – what would happen if one of the world’s greatest inventors
had to pitch his idea in today’s market. It’s clearly struck a
chord with some, with Om Malik writing a long response about what
the video tells about

the state of Silicon Valley
.

2. Yahoo buy Tumblr for $1.1bn

The big tech news this week was Yahoo’s purchase
of Tumblr, forking out a hefty $1.1bn for the blogging platform.
Understandably, many were sceptical of the huge outlay, especially
given Yahoo’s track record with acquisitions, such as Flickr and
Geocities.

Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer attempted to allay
fears, stating in a blogpost: “
We promise not to screw
it up.” It’s also probably the only acquisition blogpost to start
with its own specially crafted gif. Tumblr’s founder David Karp was
also quick to quell concerns,
writing
that Tumblr wouldn’t be “turning purple” before signing off
in typical Karp exuberance.
Curiously his
Twitter parody
account
has three times as many followers than he
does…

3. Xbox One

Following Sony’s unveiling of the PlayStation 4
earlier this year, Microsoft this week outlined their vision for
the next generation of gaming. And that future is… TV, if
the
hour-long
presentation
was anything to go by. And

photorealistic military dogs
,
apparently.

It’s what wasn’t said
onstage about the dismally-named Xbox One, however, that has

generated the
most controversy
. The Kinect camera will need
plugging in at all times, each game will be tied to a single user
account (effectively killing off the pre-owned market) and the TV
integration may be far less accomplished than the onstage demos
suggested.

Still, it’s too early to judge the “Xbone”, as
it has been affectionately named. These problems may be all but
forgotten once its game lineup is announced next month at
E3.

4. SAP’s autism recruitment drive

Some encouraging news from the German software
company
- they’re searching for software engineers
diagnosed with autism. SAP are teaming up with

Specialisterne, a foundation that helps find work for those
with autism, to fill data quality assurance roles. The big hope is
that by 2020, 1% of its entire workforce will be employees with
autism. Let’s hope other tech firms follow their lead.

5. John McCain asks the important
questions

Over in the UK, we’d not heard much of Senator
John McCain since his Presidential race with Barack Obama, so we
were relieved to see him pose an important question to Apple chief
Tim Cook. Next week, Joe Biden asks Steve Ballmer why Windows 8
doesn’t have a Start button.  

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ChrisMayerElliotBentley

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