Your Favourite Tech Company Just Got Acquired by Facebook

When I woke up this morning, I checked Facebook as usual. It just happens that Mark Zuckerberg just posted an announcement on his wall that Oculus VR will be joining Facebook. The reaction from so many people are really bad. This Reddit thread from a month ago is now full of people swearing at Facebook and Zuckerberg.

Somehow, I feel quite confident about Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR. We all have been traumatised by tech companies acquiring other small startups and then making them stop doing cool stuff. Remember Sparrow, Tweetie, and Bump?

But the last few years has been quite different. Especially for startups that are not controlled by the investors to maximise profit and minimise unprofitable products. Sometimes, getting acquired is the best option. If Yahoo did not buy Tumblr, I don’t know what things they would do to get enough revenue to pay their employees. Maybe sooner or later they’ll have to display ads, but it’s good that Yahoo can take care of them for now. What we don’t know is what’d happen to them if they didn’t get acquired, and we always think that this scenario is better than getting acquired.

I would also love for startups like Everpix to get acquired by someone else. If Apple or Facebook acquired Everpix before they shut down, I’m pretty sure they will have enough to go on before they can be profitable by themselves. Now there’s no more Everpix, we just can’t use the product at all. If this happens to Oculus VR, I would be more disappointed than if Facebook apps are developed for Oculus Rift1.

Now, look at what Facebook has acquired over the past few years. Look at Parse. Look at Instagram. Are they still the products you want to use before they got acquired by Facebook? I think so. In fact, I think Facebook’s track record is much better than Google at this point. Google shut down companies they acquire very fast. We’ll see what they’ll do with Nest and Waze, but history says they’ll shut it down. That’s not the case with Facebook.

  1. Or God forbid, Facebook login is now required to use Oculus products. 

Quick Note on iOS 7.1

A few days ago, Apple released iOS 7.1. So far I think it’s really awesome. All the animations in iOS 7.01 are now made faster. I really welcome the change. It’s not just faster animations, but I heard from a lot of people that it made their phone faster, especially on iPhone 4. As always, Apple does a really good job supporting their older hardware. I’ve only heard from one of my friends who has an iPhone 4S that his phone isn’t any faster.

Second, a lot of people are confused about the shift key. I actually don’t find it too confusing. The reason why is because the delete key which would be on where your right thumb is has the same colour scheme with the shift key. The delete key does not have a permanent pressed button so I know that it is the off state of the key. Simple, right?

Third, as tweeted by Sam Page, I do find that sometimes the slide to unlock animation sometimes revert back to the iOS 7.0 style. I’m still not quite sure how to trigger that. Page said it will revert back to iOS 7.0 style if you try to unlock but you sleep the device and wake it up again immediately. I haven’t been able to reproduce it right away.

Also, the springboard crashes that I experienced every week in iOS 7.0 hasn’t happened to me anymore so far. I think it’s looking good so far.

Lastly, if you are a developer and you’re used to deploying your apps to the beta testers or clients over the air on your own server, this wouldn’t work anymore unless your server is on https. If you use TestFlight or HockeyApp, which I recommend, I don’t think you’d have this problem.

  1. Which I really love. 

Much of This Ado is About Nothing

This morning, Leah McGrath Goodman from Newsweek reported that she revealed the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin:

I’d come here to try to find out more about Nakamoto and his humble life. It seemed ludicrous that the man credited with inventing Bitcoin - the world’s most wildly successful digital currency, with transactions of nearly $500 million a day at its peak - would retreat to Los Angeles’s San Gabriel foothills, hole up in the family home and leave his estimated $400 million of Bitcoin riches untouched. It seemed similarly implausible that Nakamoto’s first response to my knocking at his door would be to call the cops. Now face to face, with two police officers as witnesses, Nakamoto’s responses to my questions about Bitcoin were careful but revealing.

Tacitly acknowledging his role in the Bitcoin project, he looks down, staring at the pavement and categorically refuses to answer questions.

“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,” he says, dismissing all further queries with a swat of his left hand. “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”

Up to this point, I am not truly convinced that he is the Satoshi Nakamoto. If he wants to be anonymous in the first place, why would he be using his real name, and why would he be saying that he is no longer involved in bitcoin? For a man as smart as Nakamoto, he would be very careful not to say that if he wants to stay anonymous. If he wants to come forward, then he would’ve done that a long time ago.

But then how McGrath Goodman got into this point is really interesting, and I think it’s borderline creepy (emphasis mine):

Two weeks before our meeting in Temple City, I struck up an email correspondence with Satoshi Nakamoto, mostly discussing his interest in upgrading and modifying model steam trains with computer-aided design technologies. I obtained Nakamoto’s email through a company he buys model trains from.

So let me get this straight: she got Nakamoto’s email address from a company that he buys model trains from. If I was her, I wouldn’t even mention this fact. Obtaining an email from a mailing list without the subscriber’s concern is just wrong. I don’t think it’s legal for the model train company to give out this information, and I wonder why Newsweek does not prohibit their journalists to get email addresses by soliciting companies for their mailing list.

It gets even creepier. After she sent him the emails, she continues to contact his immediate family members and ask the about Nakamoto’s history. She then found this information that I think is very personal and she have definitely went through a lot to get this:

For the past 40 years, Satoshi Nakamoto has not used his birth name in his daily life. At the age of 23, after graduating from California State Polytechnic University, he changed his name to “Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto,” according to records filed with the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles in 1973.

Descended from Samurai and the son of a Buddhist priest, Nakamoto was born in July 1949 in the city of Beppu, Japan, where he was brought up poor in the Buddhist tradition by his mother, Akiko. In 1959, after a divorce and remarriage, she immigrated to California, taking her three sons with her. Now age 93, she lives with Nakamoto in Temple City.

If you decided to read the whole Newsweek article, you’d also learned that she dig up all of Nakamoto’s work history.

But here’s the interesting thing. Just hours after she published that article, Satoshi Nakamoto posted a comment on the p2p foundation forum right below his original proposal of bitcoin:

I am not Dorian Nakamoto.

Simple and straight. He wants McGrath Goodman to fuck off and leave Dorian Nakamoto alone. He also clearly doesn’t want her or anyone else try to reveal his identity. If he wants to come forward, he’ll do it. If he doesn’t want to come forward, then you are basically trying to reveal the identity of a man who created a digital currency to transact anonymously. You might as well try to play chess with the Deep Blue.

Later, Dorian Nakamoto appeared in a video with AssociatedPress saying that he has nothing to do with bitcoin. I really love his last quote:

Leah wrote all this? Psssh.

It’s clear that he’s really unhappy with what McGrath Goodman did.

Now to put this simply, which one do you believe: a piece of conclusion that is stitched together by a journalist that gets all these information from third party sources and confrontation of the alleged fake Satoshi, or a comment from the man himself made from his account where he posted the original bitcoin paper?

Remember that this man is one of the world’s best cryptographer, if not the best.