Semiconductors soaring, NYT buys Wordle, Facebook floundering, & more!

February 11, 2022 by
Semiconductors soaring, NYT buys Wordle, Facebook floundering, & more!
Matthew Almendinger

The Lighthouse IT Podcast - February 11th, 2022

This week, Matt & Griff discuss how New York Times buys Wordle, Apple allowing unlisted apps, Facebook's first ever slump in its userbase, Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and much more!

Listen here!

News

New York Times buys Wordle

Which actually kind of makes sense...

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Apple now allows unlisted apps on the App Store

  • Apple has added a new feature for app developers that should prove useful for internal tools and other kinds of applications that are meant for a specific set of users but not for the wider world: unlisted apps.
  • Making an app unlisted means that it won't show up "in any App Store categories, recommendations, charts, search results, or other listings," according to Apple. The only way to get to the app is with that linkβ€” or through Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager.
  • Developers must submit a request to receive a link that can point to their app. Apple's documentation on the feature goes a little deeper for each of the possible cases:

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Facebook lost daily users for the first time ever last quarter

  • Since its inception, Facebook's user growth has essentially been up and to the right. But on Wednesday, it reported its first-ever quarterly decline of daily users globally, along with lower-than-expected ad growth that sent its stock plunging roughly 20 percent.
  • The massive stock drop, which instantly wiped out roughly $200 billion in market value, shows that Facebook's corporate rebrand to Meta isn't enough to distract investors from the problems in its core business of social media.

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Intel selects Ohio for 'largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet'

  • Intel will spend at least $20 billion on a new chip manufacturing site in New Albany, near Columbus, Ohio.
  • The 1,000-acre location will initially play host to two chip factories, and is set to directly employ at least 3,000 people and "tens of thousands" more across suppliers and partners.
  • Construction is reportedly due to kick off this year, with the site becoming operational in 2025.

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Semiconductor industry tops nearly $600Bn after 50 years; but on track to be a trillion dollar industry in less than 10.

  • 25% growth last year alone (2021).
  • Many manufacturers are operating with a 5 day supply of chips, over the normal approximately 40 days average just a few years ago.
  • Growth could cause up to a 15% increase in pricing

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Peloton to halt production of its Bikes, treadmills as demand wanes

  • Peloton is temporarily halting production of its connected fitness products as consumer demand wanes and the company looks to control costs, according to internal documents obtained by CNBC.
  • The company said in a confidential presentation dated Jan. 10 that demand for its connected fitness equipment has faced a "significant reduction" around the world due to shoppers' price sensitivity and amplified competitor activity.
  • Peloton plans to report fiscal second-quarter results on Feb. 8 after the market closes.
  • LOCAL NEWS:
    • Peloton pulls plug on Wood County factory; CEO steps down as company restructures
    • READ MORE

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Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion

  • Microsoft is acquiring Activision, the troubled publisher of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Diablo.
  • The deal will value Activision at $68.7 billion, far in excess of the $26 billion Microsoft paid to acquire LinkedIn in 2016.
  • It's Microsoft's biggest push into gaming, and the company says it will be the "third largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony" once the deal closes.
  • Microsoft now expects the Activision Blizzard deal "to close in fiscal year 2023," which means we might not see this deal approved for up to 18 months.

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Microsoft Teams' Walkie Talkie feature is now widely available

  • Walkie Talkie lets Microsoft Teams users turn smartphones or tablets into a walkie-talkie that works over cellular data or Wi-Fi.
  • Microsoft has primarily pitched this at frontline workers, employees who are customer facing and run day-to-day operations inside companies.
  • Remember Nextel?

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Canon can't get enough toner chips, so it's telling customers how to defeat its DRM

  • To enforce the use of first-party cartridges, manufacturers typically embed chips inside the consumables for the printers to "authenticate."
  • But when chips are in short supply, like today, manufacturers can find themselves in a bind. So
  • Canon is now telling customers how to defeat its printers' warnings about third-party cartridges.

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Pinephone gets an upgrade

  • Linux only phone gets an upgrade. Still awful