So the rumors were true: Microsoft bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. Original fans of the game are buzzing with concern that their beloved indie game is destined for ruin — as they are wont to do — and major tech publications are no doubt preparing their lengthy analyses of the business implications. But the man who should be at the center of attention has chosen to bow out completely.
Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson published a farewell letter on his personal site yesterday called “I’m leaving Mojang.” In it, he anticipates the post-buyout community firestorm, and says that’s he’s done being a “symbol of some perceived struggle” for the soul of indie gaming. Yes, he may have an enormous pile of money now, but Mr. Persson was never asking for meteoric fame, or to belong to a cause. He just wanted to make a cool game.
Tech has a serious diversity problem — so General Assembly (GA), the New York City private vocational school for programming and engineering, is now opening an “Opportunity Fund” to give scholarships to women, veterans, African-Americans and Latinos.
The first contributors to the fund are Google, Microsoft, Hirepurpose and Nas. Read More
Snapchat has added another 4000 square feet to their L.A. offices, which are located a block from the beach. How nice for them. [The Hollywood Reporter]
In a collision of nerd culture comparable to Sean Parker’s LOTR-meets-Game of Thrones-meets-Harry Potter wedding, Warner Brothers and Microsoft Advertising have teamed up to create 3D printer templates of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug props, PSFK reports.
If you have a Google Chromebook on your holiday shopping list, Microsoft is trying its best to Scroogle-shame you from buying one. The computer company released a new television ad yesterday with the stars of something called Pawn Stars that tries to convince the public that Chromebooks are crap.
Microsoft, a company allegedly run by adults, has opened an online shop dedicated to anti-Google products. The ‘Shop Scroogled’ outpost contains a variety of interesting and not dorky gifts decked out with slogans lambasting the search giant’s privacy practices.
Sometimes, people have a hard time understanding how to leave you the Christ alone when you’re in a crappy mood. But since technology is constantly striving to be better than people, a new pair of earbuds can not only detect your bleak mood, but lift you out of the mean reds through the power of pop ballads.
Without texting or snapping, operating a motor vehicle down a highway at 70 miles per hour is pretty boring. What else is there to do aside from be on your phone? Well, the brain trust at Microsoft believes that you should pay attention to the road, so in all three dozen of its Windows phones sold, it’s installing a feature that turns off all the useful parts of your phone.
Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft want Bill Gates gone as chairman. They worry he’s blocking the company from evolving and limits the power of the new CEO to make “substantial changes.” [Reuters]
Lines like “I found myself pressing the skip button on iTunes Radio more often than Pandora,” doesn’t bode well for Apple’s fledgling service. [Wall Street Journal]
The Washington Post is officially under Jeff Bezos’ control. [Washington Post]
Zynga founder Mark Pincus is “pretty bored with all games.” At least he acknowledged playing Running with Friends? [WSJ]
Sam Biddle shows how easy it is pretending to be a venture capitalist and gamed AngelList for fun. Hopefully this is just funding a second season of Start-ups: Silicon Valley. [Valleywag]
Last month, longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that he would be leaving the company within a year, and so the goodbyes began. The Verge reports that yesterday Mr. Ballmer held his final company meeting as CEO, and it sounds like he went out playing the role of Steve Ballmer, Tech Industry Character, to the hilt.