Talking tech since 2003

It’s that time again, folks; we’re now entering Weekend Wrap-up territory, where we go over the biggest stories in tech from the past week. Check out our video below, and then dive into our quick summaries and consider yourself all caught up.

Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $19 Billion

If you can’t beat ’em, acquire ’em; that seems to be the motto at Facebook, these days. The company couldn’t seem to shrink the mobile messaging marketshare of WhatsApp, a platform with over 450 million users, so Facebook instead spent $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp outright. Much as Facebook promised to do with Instagram, the company plans to let WhatsApp remain independent. It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook makes its money back from the acquisition, though; WhatsApp’s founders have been averse to any form of advertising, which is Facebook’s bread and butter.

FCC Will Continue to Fight for Net Neutrality

net-neutrality-hands-tiedA court decision from a few weeks ago essentially wiped out net neutrality, but that’s not going to stop the FCC from trying to keep the policy in place. We reported this past week that the agency won’t look to appeal the court decision, but because of the reason behind the court’s ruling — that the FCC was using the wrong justification for enforcing net neutrality — it seems that the FCC could simply apply net neutrality under some other code. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler seems intent on taking that route, and he outlined his plans to do so. If the FCC can get net neutrality to stick, it’s a win for consumers and many companies that rely on the Internet to do business.

Amazon’s Android-Powered TV Box Could Drop in March

Amazon has been a big player in digital media, selling music and movies for multiple platforms, as well as apps for its Android-powered Kindle Fire platform. One area the company hasn’t chosen to enter is the streaming set-top box business, where competitors like Apple, Roku and Google are already present. Next month, that could change; reports claim Amazon will release its own TV box that can do the typical streaming media stuff plus play some games. Amazon video and music apps are already cross-platform, so getting them on an Amazon box won’t rock the boat that much, but gaming is another story entirely. Who will be affected by Amazon’s home gaming play? We’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

Microsoft’s OneDrive Launches Worldwide

From the ashes of SkyDrive comes Microsoft’s second cloud storage product, OneDrive. After the company dropped the SkyDrive name following a court battle with broadcaster BSkyB, it decided to rebrand the product and offer customers a little something extra; if you were quick enough to the sign-up page last week, Microsoft added an extra 100 GB of storage to the 7 GB all customers get for free. In addition, Microsoft is also updating its OneDrive mobile apps — the Android app has already been revised, and the iOS app will get an update in the near future. If you give OneDrive a try, let us know what you think of it.

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