Logitech goes blue

If you've ever recorded a podcast, you probably know Blue Microphones. They're one of the most popular options for podcasters, YouTubers and other digital creators, and Logitech seems to have noticed: it's acquired the company for $117 million.

I'm a huge fan of these microphones and own multiple Yeti Blues to record the Charged Tech podcast on. They're the most reliable, great sounding choice in the market, and even the cheaper models deliver great audio.

Logitech acquiring Blue isn't really surprising, it's just a natural fit for the accessory market. The company has been on an acquisition haul for a while with Jaybird, Ultimate Ears and others having been acquired in recent years.

They already make the best mouse (the MX Master), and the best webcam (the Logi Brio), along with many other fantastic accessories. Microphones make sense as the next step, as well as expanding in-house expertise for microphone technology in other products, or perhaps even new markets entirely (smart speakers, perhaps?).

Put it this way: I've been told by many companies building software-equipped speakers, like HomePod and Google Home, that their largest challenge today is finding audio engineers that understand software enough. 

Blue Yeti, it seems, may be a diamond in the rough in that regard. I think there's more to this story than just USB microphones, so stay tuned.

Uber gives up on self-driving trucks

Self-driving trucks looked like Uber's next big thing, but they've reached the end of the road at the company: it won't be building them anymore.

The company is shuttering the autonomous truck unit to focus on self-driving cars, which is surprising given that the reason it's even in this business in the first place is because it acquired Otto. 

That acquisition dragged Uber into a hornets-nest of lawsuits with Waymo after it was discovered that Anthony Levandowski, Otto's founder, stole much of Waymo's proprietary designs, then reused them at his truck-driving startup. 

That lawsuit was settled by Uber, but you'd think after spending all this money it wouldn't be shuttering it. Many people assumed trucks would be the easiest part of building self-driving cars, because they're subject to more predictable conditions: long periods of driving on wide-open highways.

For its part, Uber says this is about focus and "collaborating as one team" on self-driving cars. With an IPO on the horizon (rumors point to 2019), cutting costs in areas like this only make sense, as the company looks to make itself appealing to outside investors.

To be clear, Uber will still actually work on trucks, but not the self-driving  kind. The Uber Freight division is building out tools to connect truck drivers with shipping companies, and is available across the US already, which will continue.

Admittedly, this bums me out a little bit because it throws ice-cold water on the idea that self-driving vehicles will be zipping around in the near-term future. 

Trucks, to me, were the most promising way to introduce the masses to the benefits of autonomous vehicles while making tedious, expensive long-distance deliveries much safer for both drivers and the people around them. 

It doesn't seem like it's quite that simple, at least in Uber's case. Others are competing still, however, including Tesla, Volvo, Daimler and a few others -- while Uber will focus its attention elsewhere.

Tab Dump

NVIDIA plans big event for next-generation graphics cards on August 20

Nintendo sold a whopping 19.7 million consoles to date
What a wild comeback; the Switch is such a ridiculously great device that it basically sells itself in my experience.

T-mobile signs $3b deal with Nokia to roll out 5G
We're yet to see any real evidence of 5G in practice, but companies are really starting to ramp up their investment in it. T-mobile in the US is all-in, and will start building out its network ASAP.