Global Tech Roundup: Elon Musk Joins UFC Board of Directors


The month of April started with a big bang. From Amazon’s acquisition of Perpule to Microsoft $22 billion US AR contract, the week was packed with lots of explosive news and surprises.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the major stories around the globe you might have missed.

Microsoft gets US govt $22 billion AR Contract

Microsoft has announced that it has won a contract to outfit the United States military with 120,000 augmented reality headsets based on the company’s HoloLens tech.

According to Microsoft, the contract could be worth as much as $21.88 billion over 10 years. The contract builds on the two-year $480 million contract that Microsoft won back in 2018 to outfit the U.S. Army with augmented reality tech.

Global Tech Roundup: Elon Musk Joins UFC Board of Directors

The new order, however, modifies and upgrades the design and capabilities of the HoloLens 2 for the needs of soldiers in the field. According to Microsoft’s Alex Kipman, the program will deliver enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios.

Elon Musk Joins UFC Board of Directors

Endeavor Group Holdings has entered into an agreement to obtain 100 percent controlling interest over the UFC as it officially moves towards taking the company public.

The deal was revealed as part of a 300-page prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday.

Global Tech Roundup: Elon Musk Joins UFC Board of Directors
Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk

As part of the prospectus, Endeavor also announced that Tesla CEO, Elon Musk will join the board of directors at the company.

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, explained that being a public company “will enable us to accelerate this mission and further the vision we set out in 1995 to build a company for where the world was headed.”

Spotify launches its own Clubhouse competitor

Spotify has joined the long list of companies building a Clubhouse rival. The company has announced that it is looking to host live audio conversations after acquiring Betty Labs, the company behind the live sports audio app Locker Room.

Spotify Finally Arrives Africa, Begins Music Streaming in South Africa

Although, Spotify didn’t disclose how much it spent on the purchase. it revealed that Locker Room will stay live in the App Store but will be rebranded with a different name in the future with a broader focus on music, culture, and sports content.

It added that it sees live audio as ideal for creators who want to connect with audiences in real-time, whether that’s to premiere an album, perform or host a Q&A session etc.

Gustav Söderström, chief R&D officer at Spotify revealed that Spotify will let anyone host conversations once it launches.

Brazil’s Central Bank Finally Okays WhatsApp Payments

After months of negotiations, WhatsApp has finally gotten approval from Brazil’s central bank to let users send and receive payments in Brazil.

The news comes months after a failed attempt to launch WhatsApp Pay, the messenger’s payment arm in the country.

In June 2020, WhatsApp was deemed by the central bank to be damaging to Brazil’s existing payment system for completion, efficiency and data privacy.

Global Tech Roundup: Elon Musk Joins UFC Board of Directors

However, the company has now obtained all the licenses requested by the central bank and is now permitted to allow users send and receive money to each other on the Visa and Mastercard networks, according to Reuters.

Part of the license WhatsApp received is the instant payments system, Pix, in November 2020.

With the approval, Brazil becomes the second country that WhatsApp payment is launching in after India last year.

Instagram & Twitter add new Features

Instagram has added a new Remix feature which sounds very much like TikTok’s Duet to its short-form video section Reels. Now, you can interact with another user’s reel by sharing your own video alongside it.

To remix someone else’s reel, just tap the menu icon. You can record a new video in the Instagram app or upload a pre-recorded one from your camera roll.

There are also editing options for audio, effects and playback speed. The feature is enabled by default on new Reel uploads and you can also switch them on for older videos.

Twitter on the other hand has announced the addition of stickers to its ephemeral, Snapchat-like stories, Fleets.

Now, you will be able to add stickers by tapping the smiley face icon on the bottom row of your screen when making a Fleet. The company also says users will now have access to the collection of Twitter-made animated stickers and emoji (the latter of which Twitter calls “Twemoji”).

It also says there is access to GIFs from Tenor and Facebook-owned Giphy if you search for it.

Stickers are available for users on both Android and iOS.

You can check out other news that happened during the week here. Have a nice Easter Holiday!!

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