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Tech Bytes – Week of Feb 14

📰 Recent Top Tech News

  1. Elon Musk’s Tesla Buys $1.5 billion of Bitcoins – The Hype Makes It Real

  2. Clubhouse – Get On the Audio-Only Social App, Now Viral Thanks to Elon Musk

  3. Hacker Nearly Poisons US City Water Supply – Gulp!


1. Tesla announced that it bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin for “more flexibility to diversify and maximize returns on cash” and would start accepting payments in bitcoin. This raised the value of Bitcoin by 20% within days.

🔎 Our Take

  • Elon Musk is known for eccentric moves and his public statements which keep him in the media limelight, adding back value to his company stock.

  • Bitcoin itself gets its value from the increasing number of institutions and companies publicly accepting it. Telsa might start a wave of other companies and business leaders announcing their support for it.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Customers love something new and exciting, especially if that new thing fits with your brand. Show that you stand for something publicly, and convert your customers to fans.

2. Clubhouse, an Invitation-Only Audio-Only social app, recently saw Elon Musk appear on one of the groups, propelling it to the global limelight. It is now valued at over $1Bn, with only 10Mn downloads and presently iOS only.

🔎 Our Take

  • With in-person conferences mostly canceled, Clubhouse offers a refreshing, easy to use, and novel experience blending podcasts with the feeling of meeting live.

  • We expect Clubhouse to get even more popular…until Facebook delivers the same experience on its app.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Clubhouse, like any other platform, is a great way to reach out and interact with new and interesting people. We live in an attention economy, so be sure you are active on multiple social media platforms to remain on customers’ minds.

3. A computer hacker gained remote access to the water system of a city in Florida, US, and tried to increase the amount of sodium hydroxide (normally used to balance water acidity) to 110% – highly toxic levels. A plant operator reduced it in time.

🔎 Our Take

  • We live in an ever-increasingly connected world where critical systems are targets of attacks for the high visibility, or high value, and it is only going to get worse.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Check on your own system’s security. Turn on 2 Factor Authentication wherever available and never click on any unexpected links – even if it’s from a familiar source.

  • Consider how often you back up your data. Quick test: Imagine your main laptop and phone stopped working right now. Are you still able to continue working in an hour or two? If not, set up secure cloud backups.

Jargon Buster

  • Bitcoin – A global virtual currency. The major benefit is that it is deliberately designed to (a) avoid fake transactions and (b) be limited in the overall number of bitcoin. This is what makes it a usable system for transferring value, globally.

  • You can buy bitcoin online at the market value. The value of Bitcoin goes up tends to go up based on news of more acceptance, or goes down if it gets banned or restricted in some countries.

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