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The Tumblr fiasco, and more tech news you need to know today

Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Tuesday, August 13, 2019!


1. Verizon is selling Tumblr to the owner of WordPress, still not NSFW

Tumblr

Remember when Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo! for $1.1 billion in 2013? And then was part of the Yahoo-to-Verizon deal, which promptly removed a large chunk of what made Tumblr interesting and different, its adult community?

  • Yeah. That didn’t work: Verizon has decided to sell off Tumblr after already writing it down substantially.
  • It’s bad: Axios reports the deal with Automattic Inc., owners of WordPress, was for as little as under $3 million for the blog site. We don’t exactly know what Verizon got paid by the WordPress owners, but safe to say hundreds of millions have been lost on the Tumblr purchase between Yahoo and Verizon.
  • What?!

Here’s Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan doing his best to explain:

  • “Tumblr is a marquee brand that has started movements, allowed for true identities to blossom and become home to many creative communities and fandoms,” said Verizon’s Gowrappan in a statement.
  • “We are proud of what the team has accomplished and are happy to have found the perfect partner in Automattic, whose expertise and track record will unlock new and exciting possibilities for Tumblr and its users.”
  • Replace “perfect partner” with “thank god this particular company paid us to rid ourselves of this continuing embarrassment.”
  • And replace “marquee brand” with “thing we didn’t know how to manage”.
  • Still, 200 people get to keep their jobs at Tumblr, which is not an insubstantial payroll.

But Automattic isn’t exactly going to take things back to the good old NSFW days, either:

  • Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic Inc., told the Wall Street Journal the company intends to uphold the adult content ban.
  • Tumblr and WordPress will be integrated in some fashion.
  • “It’s just fun,” Mullenweg told the WSJ. “We’re not going to change any of that.”

Here’s hoping we eventually get a tell-all. In the meantime, this graph via @somospostpc tells us enough: 


2. Deal: Get a $450 Raspberry Pi 3B+ complete starter kit, including 37 hardware sensor modules, plus online learning kits, for $139.99 (TechDeals). (The hardware kit alone is $150.)

3. Samsung launches Galaxy A10s: A rival to low-end Redmi, Realme phones in India for 8,990 rupees (~$130) (Android Authority).


4. Samsung Galaxy Fit review: Worth the price compared to the Xiaomi Mi Band 4? (Android Authority).


5. Original Google Pixel and Pixel XL owners could get up to $500 after a claims settlement, if you’ve had microphone issues. There’s also $20 for anyone with a pre-January 2017 Pixel, for some reason (Android Authority).


6. DxOMark: Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G steals best camera crown from Huawei P30 Pro, and this review looks pretty good after the OnePlus 7 Pro/DxOMark score problems we noted a week or two ago (Android Authority). But reviewing the 5G model of the Note 10 is problematic – it’s not available anywhere yet. Also! Don’t fall for the 100MP camera hype (Android Authority).


7. If you lose your iPhone, you can’t pay your Apple Card bill on the web (BuzzFeed).


8. A cure for Ebola seems close (NY Times).


9. Is cleaning your ears with cotton swabs really that dangerous? (Lifehacker)


10. Nothing to see here, just someone with a TV for a head leaving TVs on porches at night (Gizmodo).


11. “Why am I willing to do a lot of work in video games to achieve my goals, but not willing to do any hard work in real life where I achieve my real life goals?” (r/nostupidquestions).


DGiT Daily: Your Tech Resource

In case you don’t know, the DGiT Daily delivers a daily email that keeps you ahead of the curve for all tech news, opinions, and links to what’s going down in the planet’s most important field. You get all the context and insight you need, and all with a touch of fun, and the daily fun element that you otherwise miss.

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