42 Facts You Haven’t Heard About the Biggest Tech Companies

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1Sony Rootkits

In 2005, Sony used music CDs to illegally install a rootkit virus on 22 million computers; and when caught, they released an uninstaller that failed to remove the rootkit, installed further programs and illegally collected user information.


2. In 2008, Microsoft proposed to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion, but Yahoo rejected the offer. In 2016, it was sold to Verizon for $4.8 billion.


3. Blockbuster had the chance to buy Netflix for $50 million in 2000 but turned it down to go into business with Enron.


4. In 1930 two brothers created the first car radio which they named a “motorized victrola” which they then shortened to Motorola.


5. In 2012, Facebook altered the number of positive and negative posts in the news feeds of 689,003 randomly selected users to see if they could make the users more happy or sad. They published the results of this experiment in an academic paper.


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6Android

When Android was unveiled in 2007, Nokia was quoted as saying “we don't see this as a threat,” and a member of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile team stated, “I don't understand the impact that they are going to have.”


7. Hitachi once produced an ATM that heated bills to 200 degrees Celsius to kill any bacteria and then ironed them before dispensing.


8. In 2014, black taxi cab drivers of London brought parts of the city to a standstill, protesting against Uber. This led to an 850% increase in downloads of Uber.


9. In 2018, Samsung accidentally issued 2,000 employees 1,000 shares of stock for 37 minutes before realizing the error. About 16 employees sold their shares during that time for approx. $9,000,000 each.


10. In 2012, the CEO of Lenovo received a $3 million bonus as a reward for record profits which he in-turn redistributed to about 10,000 employees of Lenovo. He did this again in 2013.


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11IBM Simon

In 1994, IBM released a cell phone named IBM Simon that had a touch screen and e-mail capabilities. It could also send and receive faxes, work as a pager, and was considered the world's first smartphone due to its features and capabilities.


12. In 2009, Amazon sold diapers at a $100 million loss to scare Diapers.com into selling them their business or face running into the ground.


13. A Brazilian electronics company is legally allowed to call their phone ‘iPhone’ because they trademarked the word in 2000, 7 years prior to Apple’s iPhone. Their phone runs on Android.


14. When PayPal was started they gave $20 to everyone who made an account and $20 for every person they referred. This cost them 60-70 million dollars but they had 100,000 customers in the month PayPal went online.


15. The guy who snagged windows2000.com happened to be named Bob and Microsoft just happened to own Bob.com. They came to an agreement to trade one for the other.


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16Tencent

In 2001, a South African company named Naspers decided to purchase a 46.5% stake into an up-and-coming Chinese tech company. This initial investment of $32 million into what would become Tencent has now ballooned to over $175 billion, making it one of the most successful investments in history.


17. In some European markets, Netflix monitors illegal downloads to decide which shows to purchase.


18. After the 2012 security breaches, Sony changed Play Station user agreement to require users to agree not to sue Sony over any future security breach.


19. In April 2011, two competing algorithms on Amazon.com each kept altering the price that they were selling a book about flies for, based on how much the other was charging. After ten days of price warring, the price of the book had climbed to $23.7 million.


20. Lenovo Computers is partially owned by the Chinese government and their computers come pre-loaded with secret back door access. As a result MI6, the CIA and other spy agencies have banned their use.


21Sony Patent

Sony has a patent on making viewers yell product names out loud to end TV ads.


22. Instagram started as a Whiskey meetup app. After analyzing how people used it, they relaunched it as Instagram and sold it for $1 billion 2 years later.


23. In 2002, Fujitsu made a device called the “iPad,” and Apple had to pay over $4 million to Fujitsu to buy the trademark rights.


24. Samsung originally sold noodles. It wasn't until 1970 that they started selling electronics.


25. The term “iOS” does not belong to Apple but is instead licensed from Cisco, who owns the trademark.

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