Hashtag Trending Feb. 2 – Apple and Google Maps hide Tim Cook’s house; right-to-repair for farmers; Sony buys Bungie

Files from Tom Li

Apple and Google Maps hide Tim Cook’s house, a new bill introduced to the senate aims to improve right-to-repair for farmers, and Sony purchases Bungie for $3.6 billion.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Wednesday, February 2, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

Apple Maps erects gigantic digital wall to hide Tim Cook’s house from technology

Apple and Google Maps have concealed Apple CEO Tim Cook’s house behind a giant pixelated wall. The change was spotted by tech publication Cult of Mac, which also noted that Apple has recently received a restraining order against a stalker, who claimed to be Cook’s wife and threatened him. It’s unclear whether the two events are related, but according to the publication, the stalker, a 45 year old Virginia woman, was caught trespassing on Cook’s property. She’s now prohibited from owning a gun and must stay 200 yards away from all Apple employees.

Senate introduces bill to allow farmers to fix their own equipment from technology

The right-to-repair movement is starting off strong this year with a new bill being introduced into the U.S. senate. The new bill would give farmers the right to repair their equipment independently. NBC News reported that the new bill would mandate equipment manufacturers to provide spare parts and instruction manuals. Additionally, it would also require manufacturers to make software codes publicly available. Farmers have long complained about the proprietariness of farming equipment. Repairs are often costly and often require certified specialists from the manufacturer, who may take days to arrive on scene to diagnose the issue.

In what appears to be a direct counter-play against Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Sony has purchased game studio Bungie for $3.6 billion. Although Sony’s deal can’t compare in scale to Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition, it’s significant in that Bungie was the creator of Halo, which is now one of Xbox’s biggest franchises. Through purchasing Bungie, Sony has snagged up the Destiny franchise. Ironically, Bungie was briefly owned by Activision before spinning off into an independent studio. Had it stayed with the publisher, it would’ve reunited with Microsoft.

A YouTuber has created a massive power bank with an equivalent output of 27 million mili-amp hours (mAh). The YouTuber Handy Geng pulled out the battery designed for an electric car and outfitted it with 60 power sockets. He even encased his creation in a power bank shell. For reference, a smartphone typically has between 3000 to 5000 mAh of charge. Geng demonstrated the usefulness of his creation by watching TV and running a washing machine next to a river bank. It’s all done in good humour, but it does show the potential for auxiliary power.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, if you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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