Tech Digest daily roundup: What will Elon Musk takeover mean for Twitter?


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has asked whether Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter will give China “a bit of leverage” over the platform. Twitter is blocked in China but Mr Musk‘s electric car business Tesla is dependent on the company’s plant in Shanghai and sales across the country for its global profits. Explaining the motivation behind his $44bn takeover, Mr Musk said: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.” But these free speech qualities have meant the platform has repeatedly clashed with the forces of the Chinese government, where open dissent can be brutally opposed. Sky News 

Twitter has blocked its junior staff from making changes to its website, amid reports the atmosphere at the social media giant is “absolutely insane” following Elon Musk’s $44bn takeover. Tweaks to the platform code will need approval from senior staff, according to reports, as the buyout by the world’s richest man sent some staff into despair. “I feel like I’m going to throw up,” one staff member told the New York Times, adding “I hate [Musk], why does he even want this?”. Telegraph 

Politicians, celebrities, actors and even a ‘cat’ were among those to have reacted on Twitter to Elon Musk’s agreement to buy the platform. The Tesla CEO – the world’s wealthiest person – has agreed to buy the social media site for around 44 billion US dollars (£34.5 billion). The move has divided users, including US senator Elizabeth Warren, who described the deal as “dangerous for democracy”. She tweeted: “Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else, accumulating power for their own gain. We need a wealth tax and strong rules to hold Big Tech accountable.” Yahoo!

Activision Blizzard may not be the last publisher to be bought by a larger company, as private equity firms take an interest in Ubisoft….Ubisoft is around half the size of Activision Blizzard, but still one of the biggest third party publishers in the business. The minute news of the Activision Blizzard acquisition broke though, they were busy fielding questions from investors as to what they were doing to make themselves seem more desirable to suitors. Whatever they did it seems to have worked, as reports suggest that multiple private equity firms are currently considering a purchase. Ubisoft

The Google Pixel Watch hasn’t even been announced yet, but we’re already hearing that it could get a sport-focused spin-off called the Pixel Watch Fit, which may or may not land at the same time. According to leaker @VNchocoTaco on Twitter, Google is either working on a separate model with this name, or possibly planning to call the standard Pixel Watch the Pixel Watch Fit. In any case, this wearable apparently has very thick bezels and could cost around $400 (roughly £315 / AU$555). For reference, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 starts at just $249.99 / £249 / AU$399, and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic starts at $349 / £349 / $549. Tech Radar 

Variable Refresh Rate — VRR for short — has been a much-wanted feature for many PlayStation 5 users since the console’s launch. The good news is that it’s finally happening; Sony has announced that VRR support will arrive via a PS5 update this week. A handful of games will be updated specifically to take advantage of the feature, including Insomniac Games titles. You will be able to toggle an option to apply it in “unsupported” games, too. Push Square 

Chris Price
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