Re/coders spent a lot of time on TV screens this week, partly because our friends at CNBC* set up shop at the Code Conference to capture all of the action and invited us to drop by.
Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher kicked off the week with a video preview of what to expect at Code, the first one produced since the Revere Digital team split away from The Wall Street Journal. “This is our first conference with our new company, but it’s the twelfth conference that we’ve done,” Mossberg said.
Arguably the biggest news of the week came Wednesday, when Apple announced it had sealed a $3 billion deal to buy Beats Music. Kara went on CNBC to explain why she thinks Apple bought Beats. “They felt they needed a music service and this one was attached to a headphones company,” she said. “It fit for them. I think the people [are] what’s most important.”
Liz Gannes weighed in, too, talking about whether this was the right move for Apple and what role music industry legend Jimmy Iovine might play there.
Lauren Goode talked about the new real-time translation feature that Microsoft unveiled for its Skype video calling software Tuesday night. The ability “to translate different languages in real-time is something we haven’t seen before,” she said.
Ina Fried noted that Microsoft’s new Skype translating service isn’t designed to help businesspeople close some high-value deal where “you can pay for a translator.” Instead, she said, it’s more about social conversations.
Lauren also talked about the new driverless car that Google co-founder Sergey Brin unveiled at the conference. It’s still a few years away from deployment, but the prototype represents “the first time we’ve seen a truly driverless car,” she said.
Ina noted that Google didn’t necessarily unveil this prototype because it wants to compete with Detroit. “They’re investing in making this go from a research project to a real idea and the car companies aren’t yet investing in it,” she said. “Car companies will have Google to thank if this works.”
Finally, back in Washington, Amy Schatz joined PBS’ NewsHour for a look at a new Federal Trade Commission report on data brokers that suggested Congress needs to pass a law to regulate the industry. Not surprisingly, data brokers don’t agree.
* CNBC’s parent company, NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Revere Digital, Re/code’s parent; the companies have a content sharing agreement.