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6 things small business owners need to know in tech this week

Posted 3 years ago in Tech by
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  1. Fairy lights could slow Wi-Fi speeds, that’s the warning from UK communications regulator Ofcom. Releasing a new app which tests Wi-Fi signals to see if data is flowing freely from your router to your device, the group stated interference could be coming from Christmas lights or even baby monitors. There’s more here
  2. UberPool, the ride hailing app where users can share a lift if they’re going in the same direction, has launched in London. UberPool has been available in San Francisco for some time now and has grown to account for half the firm’s trips in the city. The rollout comes as Uber is reportedly raising another $2.1 billion round on a whopping $62.5 billion valuation. Uber is racing to expand globally and has embarked on an aggressive spending regime to win in markets like China. It’s also experimenting with services outside ridesharing with package and food delivery being tested in some regions. The private company is now more valuable than Ford, GM and 21st Century Fox. There’s an awesome chart here which puts the company’s massive valuation into perspective.
  3. Innovation challenge. There are a bunch of market conditions which have combined to form a world where companies are forced to either innovate or die. Technology has lowered the barriers to entry, data means information can be collected on almost any tiny little element and globalization has lowered the cost of doing business around the world. It means small businesses now operate in a world where location doesn’t necessarily define them – their competitors can be on the other side of the globe. It also means they need to innovate to stay competitive. There’s a great piece here which outlines how the business world is changing.
  4. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg became a dad this week. Congrats Zuck. On the day his daughter was born he announced, together with his wife Priscilla Chan, that they would allocate 99% of his Facebook shares to advance “human potential and promote equality”. In a letter to their newborn daughter, the couple outlined several areas they wish to make long term investments in, including education, connecting the world to the internet, disease research and building stronger communities.
  5. Renewable investments. Zuckerberg has already teamed up with fellow tech titans Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos to establish the Breakthrough Energy Coalition which will invest in zero-carbon technology to help address climate change. It’s a theme which tech’s elite are running with. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk this week also renewed his call for a carbon tax to accelerate the transition away from fossil-fuels and towards a world run by sustainable energy. More here.
  6. Data saving mode. Google has launched a new feature which reduces the amount of data you chew through when visiting a webpage. It claims by using the feature you could save up to 70% by removing images when you’re using a slow connection. The feature is being rolled out in India and Indonesia to start with but additional regions are expected to be added in coming months.

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