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WhatsApp co-founder flees Facebook just as F8 gets underway

WhatsApp, Facebook?

On the eve of Facebooks big annual F8 developer conference, which begins today, there’s been a significant departure from the company. While the tech world waits to hear what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has to say at F8 following his time answering questions before Congress, it’s the sudden departure of WhatsApp chief Jan Koum that is overshadowing today’s festivities. Koum – in a Facebook post, ironically – said it’s “time for me to move on” from overseeing the chat app which Facebook bought for a tidy $19 billion  in 2014.

But even though WhatsApp added end-to-end encryption to the app in 2016, insiders say Koum has been fighting the top brass at Facebook over data use generated by WhatsApp, and the recent data scandal involving Cambridge Analytics likely didn’t help matters. So what’s Koum up to next? He says he’s taking some time off to collect rare air-cooled Porsches, work on cars and play some ultimate frisbee. When you’re a billionaire, those apparently are options. Be sure to catch our F8 wrap-up today on Digital Trends.

Definitely go for the candy pickax

Fortnite players, are you still awake after staying up all night exploring the island after the big comet/space rock crashed into Dusty Depot – and not Tilted Towers? Surprise! And the fallout? Like, the literal fallout? Glowing rocks that the give players “low-gravity” abilities.

There are also some cool superhero and supervillain skins, a slew of new weapons and a host of new characters, depending on what mode you’re playing in. Oh, and the little video trailer for Season 4? It has a bunch of interesting single frames and graphics that could point to more surprises. Take a look at the trailer and see what’s new in Fortnite.

Go VR Go

As an industry, virtual reality has been having a tough time breaking into the mainstream. Sure, it’s a hit with tech types, but most people are still waiting for the gear they saw in Ready Player One to show up on store shelves. Then again, maybe not. The upcoming Oculus Go $200 VR headset went up for pre-order yesterday, and almost immediately sold out on Amazon.

Quick refresh: The Oculus Go is a stand-alone headset (it doesn’t use a phone or PC), and it’s going to feature 2560 by 144o resolution, a Snapdragon processor, and reportedly will run at a 72hz refresh rate to combat any image stutter.

A small remote is also included and there will also be built-in speakers – but not headphones. Amazon looks to be using a placeholder delivery date of December 31st, we’re sure that’ll get updated over time. Exactly how many Go headsets were pre-sold is unknown, but at just $200,  we can imagine that this might finally make a VR system appear on more than a few high-tech holiday wish lists.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.