Team Red vs. Team Blueby@sheharyarkhan
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Team Red vs. Team Blue

by Sheharyar KhanOctober 4th, 2022
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With the launch of AMD's Ryzen 7000 series, PC gamers will be left to choose between going team red or team blue; The Zuck announced a hiring pause at Meta, and followed it up with a private viewing of UFC in Las Vegas; Google says bye-bye to Stadia; Upwork figures out a way to game the system; and AirBnB refuses refunds in Florida.

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As if the console wars weren't bad enough, now PC gamers have to get into the same dilemma: go for team red or team blue. Yes, ICYMI, AMD finally released the Ryzen 7000 series chips last week in a bid to win back performance nerds over to its side, prompting at least one hardcore Intel fanboy editor here at HackerNoon to switch sides (you know who you are!).

Performance-wise, reviews of AMD's Ryzen 7000 series have been largely positive but as The Verge points out, this is only the beginning. While Intel's 12th gen processors are understood to have performed better than AMD's Ryzen 5000 series, AMD's spanking new 7000 series chips are beating the competition (not counting gaming performance, since that's been.. meh). Still, Intel is expected to announce more details about its 13th gen Raptor Lake processors soon, and if they're truly as good as the company says they are, the Intel vs. AMD rivalry will usher into a new age.

With so much happening, Intel ranked on the #72 spot. AMD is yet to chart the rankings, but we'll keep you posted when it does.

That said, Facebook continues to remain at the top of the tech company rankings for.. we don't even remember how many weeks anymore. Facebook co-founder and future metaverse god (lol?) Mark Zuckerberg told employees last week that Facebook-parent Meta Platforms will put the brakes on hiring and let go of some people, joining the likes of other tech giants who are also taking similar action in light of prevailing macroeconomic conditions.

Notably, this would be the first time Meta would be reducing its headcount. Surely, Zuck feels a bit of remorse for the difficult decision ahead? Right? Right!?

Absolutely not. Just days after the layoffs story broke, Zuckerberg was spotted in Las Vegas with his entourage to attend UFC Fight Night 211 card at the UFC Apex 🥊. Clearly not willing to rub shoulders with the rest of the world, Zuckerberg is said to have received a private viewing of the matches with no media allowed (his wife wasn't having any of it, though).

Just goes to show how unrelatable Zuckerberg is with the average person on the planet.

Google Swipes Left on Stadia 🎮

Google pulled the switch on Stadia this past week after noting that the cloud gaming service hadn't gained the traction it was hoping it would. By now, the pattern is pretty clear: things just aren't looking too good economically speaking, so companies are doing what they can to offload businesses and services that just aren't core to their bottomline.

According to Kotaku, game devs and Stadia employees alike were blindsided by the announcement. However, a quick glance of the Google Graveyard shows that the company is notorious for discontinuing services either because of obsolescence, integration into other Google products, or lack of interest. As Kotaku notes: "Google’s track record, and Stadia’s own past, call into question whether it was ever properly committed to the ambitious endeavor."

Oh well. Google was trending #5 this week.

Upwork and the Tale of the $1 💲

Popular freelance website Upwork attracted the ire of one HackerNoon contributor who ran an expose this past week on the company's $1 'conversion fee.' In essence, the company silently updated its terms of service, requiring users to pay a token $1 fee if a freelancer wants to take their relationship with an employer outside of the Upwork platform.

A writer who goes by Ghost of HackerNoon posits that Upwork is doing this to find out exactly who is leaving the company's platform so they can prevent other users from doing so. Is that what it means to kill the old ways of working? Upwork didn't say.

Staying in Florida? Just Forget the Refunds

Guests displaced in Florida in wake of Hurricane Ian were in for a rude awakening last week, relying on the generosity of their hosts for refunds if they had booked lodgings using AirBnB.

AirBnB, which saw a whopping 7,100% increase in trending interest to land on the #3 spot, refused refunds on short-term rentals because its cancellation policy specifically excludes Florida’s storm season. Yikes!

And that's a wrap! Thanks for reading Tech Company Brief Issue #18! If you'd like to see which tech companies are rising and falling in the public consciousness, feel free to head down here. See y'all next week.