Hi Guys! It’s the end of another busy week. Many interesting things happened across the tech space during the week. From stories of acquisitions to the launch of new products, fundraising and expansions.
Here is a quick roundup of some of the major stories around the globe you might have missed during the week.
Elon’s new Neuralink device
Elon Musk‘s neuroscience startup, Neuralink has unveiled a new simplified design for an implant that will allow people to control a machine with thoughts (brain-to-machine interfaces).
The Neuralink device was simplified from the wearable bean-shaped device that would sit behind the ear to the size of a large coin that will be implanted in the skull.
Musk unveiled the device alongside the robot that will perform the task of inserting it and a live demo of several pigs that have the device installed.
According to Musk, the in-brain device could enable humans with neurological conditions to control technology such as phones or computers with their thoughts. He also claims that with time the device will be able to solve neurological disorders from memory, hearing loss and blindness to paralysis, depression and brain damage.
India bans more Chinese apps
The Indian government is continuing its purge of Chinese apps. The purge began back in June when the government had initially banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok.
According to the country’s communications ministry, the ban is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.
PUBG is the most popular app that was banned with more than 40 million monthly active users.
The banned apps include search engine Baidu, business collaboration suite, WeChat Work, cloud storage service, Tencent Weiyun, and the game Rise of Kingdoms.
Netflix makes some movies free for Non-subscribers
Netflix has made some of its best-known Originals free for everyone. As a trial phase, the company has already been making select titles free in certain markets but today, it expanded that test across the globe.
Netflix content, like award-winning “Stranger Things,” “Bird Box,” “When They See Us” “Murder Mystery,” “Elite,” “The Two Popes,” “Our Planet” and “Grace and Frankie” are now available and free to non-subscribers. However, in the case of series, only the first episodes can be accessed for free.
To watch these movies you do not need to create an account. It is accessible through web browsers and mobile browser for Android users but it is not available for iOS users.
TikTok sale placed on hold over algorithm questions
The hotly contested sale of TikTok to an American company is reportedly on hold as interested parties try to figure out if the app’s secret algorithm will be included in the deal.
The sale was initially expected to be acquired as soon as this week but the Chinese government, angered by the sale efforts, has created a red tape that has significantly muddied the waters.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce last week added 23 items to a list of technologies that require Beijing’s approval before they can be exported. The list reportedly includes artificial intelligence technology that plays a key role in serving users personalized videos on their TikTok feeds.
Without the algorithm, acquiring TikTok would be like buying “a fancy car with a cheap engine,” a source familiar with the negotiations told the Wall Street Journal.
As the September deadline for the sale of TikTok approaches, the question of whether the algorithm will be part of the deal or whether any US company will be willing to buy TikTok without it will be answered.
Jeff Bezos ex-wife is now world’s richest woman
MacKenzie Scott, a novelist and philanthropist who recently divorced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is now the wealthiest woman in the world, with a net worth of over $66 billion.
Her wealth rose after the pandemic-fueled tech stock surge since the beginning of the year.
As part of her divorce, Scott got a 4% stake of Jeff’s Amazon. Its share price has risen from nearly $2,000 to $3,500 since January.
On the billionaire list, Tesla CEO Elon Musk similarly overtook Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to become the third-richest man in the world with a net worth of $115 billion.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!