Fully Charged: Google is world's most valuable company, and vote for March's free PS4 game

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Google is on top

For the past five years, Apple has reigned as the world's most valuable company, with its market cap valued at well above US$700 billion as of last July. However, Apple's stock has seen a steady dip in recent months as investors await the next big thing, while Google's has continued to rise. As of after-hours trading yesterday, Google has finally overtaken Apple to claim that audacious title.

Actually, it's Alphabet - Google's recently created parent company - that officially has the honor, but Google's strong earnings are driving the surge. As of last night in the United States, Alphabet's market cap was around US$570 billion, while Apple's sat at around US$535 million. The last time that Google sat above Apple in market cap size was in early 2010.

What does it all mean when we're talking about that much money invested in these venerable tech giants? Not a whole lot for the consumer: it's bragging rights, really. But we figured some of you (ahem, Android fans) would like to know.

[Source: CNBC]

Vote for March's free PlayStation 4 game

Sony's PlayStation Plus subscription plan awards its members with several free games each and every month, and back in August, the company allowed users to vote on which of three upcoming PlayStation 4 games would lead the next batch. That vote earned users a free copy of Ubisoft's Grow Home, and now Sony is opening up another vote.

This time around, the choices are action figure-inspired side-scroller Action Henk, chaotic twin-stick shooter Assault Android Cactus, and throwback action homage Broforce. Check out the trailer above for a quick look at all three. Got a potential favourite in the bunch? Plus members can cast their vote come 9 February, and the winner will be free come March.

[Source: PlayStation.Blog]

Microsoft's data goes underwater

As more of our lives are spent online, companies are building massive data centers to manage all of that web traffic. But Microsoft has a new idea: what if all that data was underwater? No, the company isn't creating its own tech-centric version of Atlantic. Rather, it is building sealed data capsules that hold server racks and loads of sensors, and dumping them deep under the sea.

Why, you might ask? Well, one reason is incredibly intelligent: it's expensive to keep a data center cool, and Microsoft's Project Natick containers are naturally cooled by the water around them. Also, for cities near bodies of water, it could be possible to increase users' speeds by having one or more of these capsules in reasonably close proximity. Microsoft hopes each of these data centers could stay underwater and undisturbed for up to five years at a time.

Microsoft already tested the concept with one subsea data center prototype, named Leona Philpot, off the coast of California for four months, and it apparently worked well enough to continue ahead. Microsoft's next test container will be three times larger.

[Source: Project Natick via The Verge]