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Re/wind: Dell After the EMC Deal, Major Tech and Politics Drama and More

Also, acquisition talks and layoffs in online retail.

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The reverberations from the pending $67 billion Dell-EMC merger are still being felt weeks later, politicians and the government continue to slam encrypted messaging and the Democratic presidential race quickly got ugly after a software glitch led to accusations of data theft. Here are the headlines that powered Re/code last week:

  1. FBI Director James Comey publicly dumped cold water on a New York Times report indicating that San Bernardino attacker Tashfeen Malik publicly pledged allegiance to ISIS prior to the mass shooting earlier this month. Like a growing number of politicians, Comey also took time to pooh-pooh tech companies for encrypting their messaging services, an issue that also prompted a (temporary) ban on WhatsApp in Brazil. Here’s a different U.S. government tech-focused tactic to fight ISIS: Enlisting college students to combat ISIS propaganda on social media.
  2. A software glitch allowed Bernie Sanders’ campaign to access Clinton campaign voter information for a four-hour window earlier this week, and the controversy resulted in the firing of a senior Sanders staffer, a lawsuit against the DNC and many heated public exchanges. Here’s our explainer, the follow-up and what the candidates said about it during Saturday night’s TV debate.
  3. Dell wants to sell its Perot Systems division and take another unit, SecureWorks, to an IPO. These moves can help Dell with raising the cash necessary to pay for its $67 billion merger with EMC. And here’s another reason Dell’s fate is tied to EMC (besides the deal’s price tag): Dell’s business has not been all that great since it was taken private in 2013.
  4. Three federal judges ruled that Pandora will have to pay 17 cents per 1,000 plays of a song instead of the 14 cents it currently pays. That’s not so bad for Pandora, whose stock had been depressed for months prior to the decision; its stock shot up 20 percent on the day the news broke.
  5. Apple has a new COO: It’s Jeff Williams, the guy who led the development of the Apple Watch and played a key role in building the company’s enormous Chinese supply chain. Earlier this year at the Code conference, Williams told Re/code’s Walt Mossberg about building the watch and more.
  6. Google has announced plans for an on-demand self-driving car service, which means it is competing with Uber — something Google has gone to great lengths to deny in the past. Also this week, California regulators announced new rules for self-driving cars, and Google really does not like them.
  7. On this week’s episodes of the “Re/code Decode” podcast, CEO Marc Lore tells Jason Del Rey why battling Amazon in 2015 over online retail isn’t a dumb idea, and Fox Sports show host Katie Nolan talks with Peter Kafka about Web video stardom and online abuse.
  8. A lot of chipmakers have split themselves up or merged with other chipmakers in order to find more profitable business models as the industry transforms. Qualcomm says, again, that it won’t break into multiple companies and that it’s doing fine, thank you very much.
  9. The latest casualty of the unsustainable flash sales model in online shopping: Gilt Groupe, which is reportedly in talks to get bought at a price way below its highest private valuation. Elsewhere, furniture seller One Kings Lane laid off 25 percent of its staff, and a few senior execs left the company.
  10. Most ads are bad. Here is a good ad: Homer Simpson hawking YouTube’s small business video advertising tools in a short, funny clip.

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