TechSummit Rewind 079

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn for $26B

MS-Linkedin-2016-06-12-1-c-768x512

Microsoft is set to acquire professional social network LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, in an all-cash transaction.

According to Microsoft, LinkedIn will continue to operate as normal with Jeff Weiner serving as its CEO, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works.”

-Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO

The transaction has been approved unanimously by both LinkedIn and Microsoft’s boards.

“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business.”

-Reed Hoffman, LinkedIn chairman

OSVR wants new headset to be cheaper Oculus Rift

OSVR HDK2

OSVR, the open source virtual reality initiative that launched early last year, is announcing the HDK 2, a headset that it hopes can rival the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

On the exterior, the HDK 2 looks fairly similar to the previous-gen HDK, it’s bolstered with two higher-quality screens that combine for a 2160×1200 resolution that’s comparable to the Rift or Vive. The new headset will launch in July for $399, while the old one will continue to sell for $299.

The HDK 2 will support games and software from the Steam library, and OSVR has its own VR experience portal online. The headset doesn’t come with its own controllers, but an ordinary gamepad or compatible accessory can be used instead.

Experiences that require lots of 360-degree movement, which are common on the Vive, make things more complicated. Because the HDK 2 only has one camera, its field of view is limited to what it can see. According to Razer product marketing manager Jeevan Aurol, the team is working on room-scale VR.

Alongside the HDK 2, OSVR is announcing a $5 million fund for developers that support the platform. According to Aurol, the fund can be used for anything that “showcases a kickass VR experience that would sell VR to the mainstream,” and OSVR will distribute the money by buying lots of keys once the games are released, potentially using them in giveaways or other promotional efforts.

Blue Coat sells to Symantec for $4.65 billion

A fountain operates outside the headquarters building of Symantec Corp. in Mountain View, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010. Intel Corp.' $7.68 billion purchase of McAfee Inc. may put pressure on rival Symantec Corp., the largest supplier of security software, to build hacker-thwarting technology inside corporate computers and forge new alliances to stay competitive. Sales will reach $16.5 billion this year in the global security software market according to Gartner Inc. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A fountain operates outside the headquarters building of Symantec Corp. in Mountain View, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010. Intel Corp.’ $7.68 billion purchase of McAfee Inc. may put pressure on rival Symantec Corp., the largest supplier of security software, to build hacker-thwarting technology inside corporate computers and forge new alliances to stay competitive. Sales will reach $16.5 billion this year in the global security software market according to Gartner Inc. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cybersecurity company Blue Coat has agreed to be acquired for approximately $4.65 billion by Symantec.

As part of the deal, Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark will become CEO of Symantec. Former Symantec CEO Mike Brown stepped down in April.

Bain Capital, which owns Blue Coat, has agreed to purchase $750 million worth of convertible notes in Symantec at an initial conversion price of roughly $20.41/share. Moreover, Bain Capital managing director David Humphrey will join Symantec’s board of directors.

Existing Symantec shareholder Silver Lake has also agreed to invest another $500 million in two percent convertible notes and double its overall investment in the company. Interim president and COO Ajei Gopal will leave the company.

“With this transaction, we will have the scale, portfolio, and resources necessary to usher in a new era of innovation designed to help protect large customers and individual consumers against insider threats and sophisticated cybercriminals. Together, we will be best positioned to address the ever-evolving threat landscape, the massive changes introduced by the shift to mobile and cloud, and the challenges created by regulatory and privacy concerns.”

-Dan Schulman, Symantec chairman

Blippar launches visual browser

Blipparsphere

Blippar has launched Blipparsphere, a virtual browser that uses machine learning to recognize real-world objects.

To use it, users fire up the Blizzar app for iOS or Android and point their camera at any object.

The app then uses Blippar’s knowledge graph to analyze the object and suggest what it might be, based on its previous performance of recognizing similar objects, and then offer additional useful information about it from the web.

The suggestions appear in a circle on the middle of the smartphone screen, while other words related to the characteristics of that object or other similar objects buzz around it.

The aim of the machine learning database is to build a visual catalog of every object in the world – from animals and people that move around, to plants that often change their characteristics on a daily basis, to logos, landmarks, and millions of mundane objects.

The algorithm will also learn the user themselves, suggesting a cluster of objects that are likely relevant to that individual person, based on the things they have pointed their phone at before.

A final note…

Stay tuned to Paw Print for a special edition of the TechSummit Rewind on Apple’s WWDC conference, and tune into GameSentral for our continuing coverage of E3 2016.

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