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Friday Five: 10/10 – 10/14

Jared Landsman


TGIF! Here's a look at the top tech news from this week:

The rise and fall of the Galaxy Note 7 - TechCrunch

It has been a rough week for Samsung. Their flagship product, the Galaxy Note 7, is no longer being produced or sold. Released in August, it was not long before reports started surfacing of the phones sizzling and in some cases catching on fire. One of the largest phone manufacturers in the world is now in full brand-repair mode. It's even likely that the "Note" brand name will be dropped. Major financial losses aside, the question is now whether Samsung will ever be able to recover.

No one wants to buy Twitter - The Verge

The major news media has been all over talks of a possible sale of Twitter. The publicly-traded company saw its stock surge and then fall as the news went from good to bad. Their most promising suitor was Salesforce, until their CEO announced Friday they were no longer interested. Twitter’s discussions with other possible buyers, rumored to be Google and Disney, amongst others, were entirely uneventful. The major social media network’s slowing user growth and trouble generating revenue has caused investors to worry, but their current CEO and founder Jack Dorsey remains confident in the company’s success. Their upcoming Oct. 27 earnings update will likely address acquisition talks.

Uber Drivers Secure Unemployment Benefits - The Wall Street Journal

Uber is another major tech company stuck between a rock and a hard place. The ride sharing giant has been growing fast, but also continues to encounter problematic legal issues. Uber’s drivers are contracted workers and not technical employees of the company, thus not eligible for benefits. But the New York State Department of Labor ruled Friday that a driver who had been terminated by the company has the right to receive unemployment insurance. This is the second time they have made this ruling, which is addressed on a case by case basis. The decision will be appealed by Uber, but this incident sheds some light on what might be a complex legal future for the company and its presence in New York.

Facebook Workplace Tries to Muscle In on Your Job - WIRED

Facebook will soon be invading the office in a much more productive form. The social media giant announced a paid service designed for business communication this week, taking aim at other enterprise-level software companies like Slack and Quip. Facebook might not be the first site employees turn to for workplace communication, but the numbers are hard to argue with; over two billion people already know how to use their product very well.

How Amazon’s new music-streaming service compares to Spotify, Apple, and Google (VentureBeat)

Amazon announced its answer to Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play. The streaming wars are heating up, with Amazon looking to pair the service with their popular Prime offering. The price point is comparable to the current market, but it will take some time to see where the service could go, particularly as its availability is limited to certain markets and the catalog won’t match Apple or Spotify’s anytime soon. But we all know integration is key for services to become popular, and Amazon’s popular Fire and Echo devices will provide it. It will be tough to enter the already crowded arena, but Amazon is relentless when pursuing a goal. 

Did you come across anything interesting in the news this week? Tweet us @WalkerSands!