Microsoft buys Activision, telcos fight simjacking, EVs conquer the Australian desert: Vertical Hold Ep 362

Microsoft’s spending up big to buy Activision Blizzard, but will it get value for money? What are telcos doing — or should they be doing — to protect us from Simjacking? And what does chip oil have to do with crossing the Australian outback in an EV? Special guests the Age/SMH’s Tim Biggs, Finder Editor in Chief Angus Kidman and BiØfil’s Jon Edwards!

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Microsoft spent up big to make the OG Xbox a thing… but it’s not done spending big money yet.

Microsoft stunned the gaming world this week, announcing that it was spending US$68.7 billion to buy Activision Blizzard, makers of Call Of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater… the list goes on and on. But is the deal good business for Microsoft, good news for gamers or a final blow in the console wars against rivals Sony and Nintendo? We chat to Tim Biggs from the SMH/Age about the implications of Microsoft’s latest big money gaming acquisition.

You probably get SMS codes when you need to make a big bank transfer online these days… but that’s not all that secure, with simjackers quietly and subtly taking over phone accounts to funnel your funds into their offshore accounts. What can you do about it? What are telcos doing about it? We chat to Finder’s Angus Kidman about the ins and outs of simjacking.

Finally, when anyone thinks of EVs (especially if they’re not an EV driver) the phrase “range anxiety” comes to mind, thanks to Australia’s less-than-stellar EV charging infrastructure. But what do you do when you’ve got a 700km gap in your electric highway? You get creative with chip oil.

No, really — we chat to BiØfil’s Jon Edwards about how innovative Australian technology is making it possible to cross from Adelaide to Perth along the Nullarbor!


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Award-winning Australian technology news podcast Vertical Hold: Behind The Tech News dives into the big stories of the week. Joined by Australia’s leading tech journalists every Friday, co-hosts @adam_turner and @alexkidman channel-surf through the headlines in search of the big picture. About/Contact us

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