Re/wind: Apple’s Big Week, Netflix Drama and More
If you missed the big news in tech this week, don’t worry, we have you covered. Here are the stories that powered Re/code this week:
- The week kicked off with the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple’s dog-and-pony show where they unveil new products that set the stage for hardware to come later in the year. Check out Re/code’s rundown of winners and losers and write-ups of Apple’s new home automation kit, iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, among others. Also, Walt Mossberg weighed in with his view on Apple’s whole game plan.
- If Netflix was looking for drama, it found some this week with its message to some Verizon subscribers that Verizon was to blame for low-quality video streams. Verizon responded with a cease-and-desist and threatened legal action. Verizon denied responsibility, as did Comcast before it. Meanwhile, Comcast released a mind-bogglingly stupid ad geared at video gamers (which they have since pulled?).
- Uber’s valuation lived up to CEO Travis Kalanick’s Code Conference promise of a “record-breaking” funding round, raising $1.2 billion of what it expects to be a $1.4 billion round that values it at $17 billion.
- Lauren Goode tested two new “telehealth” apps that promise on-demand medical services.
- It just got a lot easier to get your llama-centric social network off the ground, now that new Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler threw out a lot of the rules and moderation restrictions, allowing the majority of people to start raising money whenever they want.
- Houzz, the home decorating startup, raised $150 million in Series D funding, which values the company at more than $2 billion. However, the company oddly declined to comment on the publicly filed documents.
- After 18 years serving as perhaps the most powerful communications exec in tech, Katie Cotton retired from Apple. Kara discussed working with Cotton and her public perception.
- John Oliver, comedian and host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” crashed the FCC website this week with his net neutrality monologue that went viral.
- As if to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the NSA surveillance revelations disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, Vodafone disclosed that some governments have direct access to eavesdrop on calls. In Washington, a group of senators took a look at a bill regarding the metadata collected by the NSA.
- In video game news, video game streaming site Twitch.tv released details of a study they commissioned to challenge conventional stereotypes of gamers. They’re not all overweight, anti-social dudes! As the video game megashow E3 approaches, here’s how Microsoft can regain momentum in the console wars.