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Tech Bytes – Week of Mar 21

📰 Recent Top Tech News

  1. German man loses $700,000 to a Bitcoin phishing tweet

  2. YouTube Shorts – TikTok Clone of a Clone?

  3. UK Court makes Uber drivers classified as employees with a catch

The Takeaways

1. A man in Germany, came across a Bitcoin ‘Doubler’ phishing scheme, in a reply just after Elon Musk tweeted about a cryptocurrency. A link to him to a site where it was claimed that if you send some bitcoin, ‘Elon Musk’ would send back double. The man sent 10 Bitcoin, worth $700,000 and it was confirmed to be cashed out anonymously within a few days.

🔎 Our Take

  • The ‘send us money so we can send you more money back’ is a classic scam. What makes bitcoin related scams more dangerous is that the money can be handled entirely anonymously. We can see the recipient transfer, but we cannot identify who. This is a departure from conventional banking where recipients can be traced back to an account holder, who must be a person or a registered company. 

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be careful in any online transaction, and be especially careful with cryptocurrency as there is no reversing these transactions unless the recipient chooses to do so. 

2. YouTube Shorts launches in the US and select countries. Shorts brings some of the features that made TikTok so popular, such as short 15 second clips, a super simple way to make your own fun clips on top of existing music, and an easy way to flip from one clip to another. 

🔎 Our Take

  • While YouTube is the most visited video site in the world, it still is heavily focused on medium to long videos and misses a social vibe. This ‘copying’ of TikTok is nothing new, as most of the tech industry is based on taking existing ideas, and packaging them better than competition. TikTok itself evolved from Douyin, a Chinese social video app.  We expect the TikTok style of content to become more and more prevalent, as we also see Netflix also introducing vertical short clips on their apps.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Clever packaging of good ideas is often more effective (and profitable) than an original idea. Consider how to take some popular and trending ideas, and packaging them in a way that clients can consume them. Also, focus on the mobile experience, including your website, apps and social media content.

3. The UK Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers are entitled to work benefits, including minimum wage and a pension. However, this only applies when drivers have an active gig (starting from when a request is confirmed to drop off), and it does not include Uber Eats delivery people. 

🔎 Our Take

  • Uber opened up an entirely new way of working, leveraging its technology stack to significantly dent the more established taxi industry, while also making getting from point A to point B as easy as a tap on your phone. There are few company names that are now English verbs. This ruling could impact all other markets, potentially providing increasing stability to workers in the gig economy as a whole. On the flip side, this could also accelerate the demand for self-driving vehicles as costs go up.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Uber made it big by being a platform that connects drivers to work and commuters to transport in minutes, and then focused on making that experience as smooth as possible. Most business are micro platforms, connecting suppliers to customers, with some value added in between (curation, creation, location, etc). Consider how smooth your customers experience And suppliers experience is so that you can scale up faster and benefit both sides.

Jargon Buster

  • QR codes- Quick Response codes – These are the square black and white patterns you use to check-in with your phone, or make payments. QR codes were first designed in 1994 in Japan for the automotive industry. QRs can be used to store some text, some data, or a website link as many of us familiar with now.

  • Google Chrome browser now has a built in functionality to generate QR codes for any website, so please never pay to get a few QR codes generated. Simply right click on any site and click ‘Generate QR for this page’ to download the image.

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