WTT Weekend News Summary

WTT Weekend News Wrap – 4 June 2018 Edition

Sadly, the weekend is over yet again, and the weekly grind begins. In case you missed it, here are some of the more interesting stories to have arisen in science and technology in the last few days. Welcome to this week’s edition of WTT’s Weekend News Wrap.


WTT Weekend News – Microsoft might buy Github



Github is a big name in terms of storing, access and sharing programming code. Sadly, its present and future is a bit shaky, given it has no CEO. It seems that another tech giant might seize the moment. Microsoft is reportedly looking at acquiring Github, following what began as a marketing deal.


Whether Github is gobbled up, or if Microsoft isn’t willing to pay that price isn’t clear yet. Neither company is commenting, and fair enough too. This sort of stuff is commercial-in-confidence. If Microsoft does buy up Github, it would be helpful in its quest for a resource to further develop its software.


UPDATE – Bloomberg is now reporting that Github and Microsoft have indeed reached an agreement on this deal. It might be announced later this week.


WTT Weekend News – California to spend big on electric car infrastructure



One of the chicken-and-egg problems with electric cars is the charging infrastructure required to encourage more uptake. California is one of the world’s most progressive states in terms of energy policy.


The Washington Post reports that Californian utility companies will be investing US$768 million in expanding the electric car charging points across the state. There are currently about 350,000 vehicles that would benefit from this new infrastructure in the state, not to mention any others that might be travelling into and out of California.


WTT Weekend News – macOS leak points to dark mode



It looks like macOS is finally getting a dark mode in the upcoming macOS, numbered 10.14. It’s unclear what this iteration of Apple’s desktop operating system will be called. The dark mode screen shots originate from a video showing an upcoming upgrade to the Mac App Store which will support video.


It looks like the macOS dark mode will help create a new and different mood for users.


WTT Weekend News – Quick thoughts on Amazon’s decision



Amazon might have made a lot of Expanse fans very happy. But it has also presumably made a lot of Australian customers mad by saying it will block all Australian customers from its US store from 1 July 2018. It cites difficulties meeting the Australian government’s GST regime. Sadly, What The Tech doesn’t believe this is the reason for one second.


First, the United States already has complex, state-by-state sales tax regimes. Amazon seems to cope fine. Europe also has disparate GST rates. Plus, Amazon spends in the vicinity of AU$30 billion on research and development. It doesn’t make sense.


This might be a long term move to try to shift Australian customers on to the (lacklustre) Australian Amazon store and the rumoured launch of an Aussie version of Amazon Prime. Other international sellers like eBay and Aliexpress have not yet said they would do the same. eBay is unlikely to do so, and Aliexpress might already be compliant. It will be interesting to see what Amazon’s next moves are.

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