There’s a ton of tech news to get to! Maybe you didn’t get to it all, because who’s got time for that? Well, that’d be us — here are a handful of stories from the week that was that might affect you!
In the middle of the week, reports were circulating that talks between the parent companies of Sprint and T-Mobile about a possible merger had fallen apart. We even did a whole failed mergers thing to…celebrate?
Might have to put the cork back in the champagne. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that T-Mobile CEO John Legere has restarted talks with Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, someone Legere has frequently dissed on Twitter over the years (to be fair, Claure’s far from the only one). Somehow, with the billions of dollars that are on the table, I doubt that the Twitter disses are going to come up too much.
Even if the two sides do agree to the deal, it’ll have to get regulatory approval. That might not be easy, as it would narrow down nationwide carriers in the U.S. to just three — AT&T, Verizon, and whatever Sprint and T-Mobile decide to call themselves. Smobile.
Next page: The Pyramids still hold secrets
No matter how much we discover about the past, we’ll never be close to being finished. Even heavily studied sights like the Pyramids of Giza still hold secrets! This week, a group of physicists discovered that a large empty chamber exists within the Great Pyramid. It’s near the top on about the same level as the King’s Chamber, and it’s totally closed off from the other rooms in the pyramid!
So, is there a bunch of cool ancient stuff in there? As scientists do, Aidan Dodson, an Egyptologist at the University of Bristol, UK, played the no-fun-haver, saying, “There’s zero chance of hidden burial chambers.” Having found the king’s and queen’s chamber, he thinks it unlikely there’d be anything else of importance in the pyramid. That would be in line with one super boring theory that the empty space is a practical feature to make the pyramid lighter, so there’s less pressure on those inner chambers where the royalty was laid to rest.
If you want to get into the nitty gritty about how the physicists made their discovery, you should check out the article published to Nature!
Next page: That one Apple phone you might have heard about
Even more latest and greatest than latest and greatest, the iPhone X is finally upon us — well, upon anyone who braved the lines or managed to get a preorder in. The new $1,000+ phone is the first iPhone to have an OLED display (better color contrast!), and has a slightly better camera array than the one found on the iPhone 8 Plus. It also uses Face ID instead of Touch ID, ditching the fingerprint scanner for facial recognition (that, by most accounts, works pretty well).
It’s an iPhone launch, so you can expect the return of one tradition for sure — a lot of people are flipping those suckers on eBay for ridiculously high prices. The folks who bought the phones to, you know, use them have discovered something far more valuable than money — Animoji karaoke.
Next page: Someone had a mischievous last day at work at Twitter
Regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on, you’ve probably dreamed at least once of leaving a job by sticking it to someone representing The Man. Someone lived that dream this week. A Twitter contractor (who as such doubtless wasn’t getting those hefty Silicon Valley paychecks) decided to delete President Trump’s Twitter account on their last day. For 11 minutes on Thursday, what might be the most famous Twitter account in the world went silent.
From the sounds of it, things weren’t silent at Twitter HQ. The company was hit by a deluge of messages helpfully pointing out that the president’s Twitter account was gone. But, getting the account back up was the easy part — the harder part is explaining why a contractor even had the ability to do something as powerful as deleting an account in the first place. It’s yet another question Twitter will have to answer, alongside all the questions Congress lobbed at them this week regarding how Russian agents were able to create accounts and pump out content designed specifically to inflame tensions within the United States.
Next page: Hey enough with the mergers already
The numbers make my head hurt. Reports this week say that Broadcom is poised to make an offer north of $100 billion to buy Qualcomm, better known as the people who make the chips that go in almost all the Android phones. It would be the biggest tech merger ever if it goes through — pending regulatory approval, of course!
Broadcom is a lesser known name, but they’re important in the world of networking chips, designing a lot of widely used Wi-Fi chipsets. Bringing Qualcomm into the fold would add Qualcomm’s expertise in cellular modems, most importantly their early work in 5G. It would also give them Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets, which are found in most Android phones these days.
Oh and by the way, Qualcomm is in the middle of acquiring a company themselves! They’re trying to buy NXP for $38 billion — a big chip company when it comes to autonomous cars. Basically, Broadcom wants to own all the chips, and we’re seriously moving toward a future where there’s like five companies, total.