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Google’s founders step down from parent company

Sundar Pichai will take over as Alphabet CEO

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Today’s world is dominated by personalities. Facebook is already completely synonymous with Mark Zuckerberg. Apple is already completely synonymous with Tim Cook. Unsurprisingly, technology’s biggest leaders are dominating the discussion surrounding their respective companies. However, amidst today’s cults of personalities, one big company is keeping it relatively lowkey: Google.

Even since the company’s inception, Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have traditionally shied away from the limelight, letting the products speak for themselves. In fact, in 2015, the founders stepped down from their leadership roles at Google, surrendering the reins to incumbent CEO Sundar Pichai. Meanwhile, Page and Brin restructured (and headed) the entire corporation under a larger parent company, Alphabet. Still, despite the restructuring, the duo kept to their shadows.

Now, Page and Brin are taking an even larger step back. In a sudden farewell letter issued today, the duo is stepping down from Alphabet’s top seats. Once again, Pichai will take over as CEO of both Alphabet and Google.

“And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President. Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet,” the letter said. However, the duo will still “remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders.”

On the other side of the board, Pichai is taking a confident approach to the new leadership role. “I will continue to be very focused on Google and the deep work we’re doing to push the boundaries of computing and build a more helpful Google for everyone,” Pichai said.

Pichai’s promotion comes at an interesting time. For one, Google is currently under negotiations with Huawei to resurrect the latter’s Android-powered products. Who knows where Alphabet and Google will go from here?

SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 3 saved a man from a bullet

Enterprise

Facebook faces British privacy lawsuit worth billions

For allegedly selling its users’ data

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The hits just don’t stop coming. Since being called out for alleged manipulation during the 2016 elections (and arguably before that), Facebook has endured hit after hit from privacy pundits, security firms, and global courts. Now, after much deliberation, criticisms and lawsuits against the platform are finally coming to roost. In Britain, for example, Facebook stands to lose billions in a privacy lawsuit from Britain.

As reported by Reuters, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority senior adviser Liza Lovdahl Gormsen filed the huge lawsuit to represent British citizens who used the platform between 2015 and 2019 — which approximates 44 million people. The suit alleges that Facebook used unfair terms and conditions to force users to give up their rights to their own information. The entire lawsuit is worth GBP 2.3 billion (or approximately US$ 3.15 billion). Though Facebook is worth over US$ 100 billion now, such a lawsuit likely isn’t insignificant to the company.

But, of course, it doesn’t come without precedent. Last year, the company was scrutinized extensively because of whistleblower Frances Haugen’s revelations. According to the former Facebook employee, the platform knowingly creates ruptures in societies everywhere in the world. Besides its effect on mental health and geopolitics, Facebook was also criticized for selling personal data and treating its users as marketable products.

While Britain’s claim is already extensive, it is far from the only country looking to break the company up. The platform is also facing issues in its own home turf for the same charges. The year is just starting, and this likely won’t be Facebook’s last trip to the legal battlefield.

SEE ALSO: Facebook will force at-risk users to use two-factor authentication

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Samsung inexplicably delays Exynos 2200 launch

No new date set yet

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Before launching the next Galaxy S flagship series, Samsung often unveils the attached Exynos processor ahead of time. However, this year’s Exynos 2200 is still suspiciously absent. According to sources, Samsung was initially set to launch the new chips on January 11. Since it’s already February 12, the chip’s launch is obviously delayed for an inexplicable reason.

The delay did not come with any warning. The Exynos 2200’s launch date came and… nothing. No word from Samsung on a delay reason or even a new launch date. Even Ice Universe, one of the most knowledgeable sources for Samsung, is scratching their head, wondering why Samsung suddenly backed out of the date.

It isn’t Samsung’s first delay, though. Since the start of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the world is going through a massive semiconductor shortage. Several devices have been delayed or are undergoing stock problems. Samsung had already pushed back dates in the past. However, this is a rare last-minute delay.

Of course, despite the delay, Samsung still has time to release the Exynos 2200 before the Galaxy S22’s launch. According to a recent source, Samsung is set to launch the next flagship series on February 8. The upcoming chipset will reportedly perform at par with the recently launched Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Amid inexplicable delays, Samsung still has several launches up its sleeve.

Postponements likely won’t mean much in the grander scheme of things, but it will be an interesting tale to hear why Samsung had to back all of a sudden.

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveils 2022 sustainability initiatives

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Tencent reportedly acquires Xiaomi’s Black Shark division

For 3 billion yuan

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The gaming smartphone market is thriving with a few companies building their own divisions dedicated to the niche segment. With the market’s success escalating, more companies want to join in on the fun. Unfortunately, despite their desire, some brands don’t really have any smartphone assets to begin with, leading to buyouts and takeovers. An example of that, Tencent is reportedly buying Xiaomi’s Black Shark gaming arm.

Revealed on his Twitter, tech leaker Abhishek Yadav unveiled the upcoming plans. Chinese gaming company Tencent will acquire the gaming smartphone brand for a staggering CNY 3 billion. However, the leak did not reveal any additional details surrounding the acquisition. Of course, there are a lot of possibilities with such a deal.

Though the company is known for its varied gallery of games, Tencent has also dabbled in other markets. For example, the brand has previously partnered with gaming smartphones to either promote itself or build a phone with the brand’s games packed in.

On the other hand, Black Shark is Xiaomi’s take on the gaming smartphone market. Several Chinese smartphone makers created separate brands to delineate their flagship arm from their forays into mobile gaming. Last year, the brand released its latest flagship, the Black Shark 4.

Given their profiles, a Tencent x Black Shark partnership is either a match made in heaven or an unlikely pairing. A gaming company acquiring another gaming brand does make sense, but Tencent doesn’t have much experience creating smartphones besides the occasional partnership. Once confirmed, the leaked deal will have a lot to prove in the gaming community.

SEE ALSO: Black Shark 4: Price and availability in the Philippines

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