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Top 10 in Tech News – August 2021

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Digitopia is proud to present The Top 10 in Tech News. A monthly curation of newsworthy happenings in the global digital universe. The Digitopia Research Team works around the clock to bring you the latest news, views and insights in technology, and digital transformation.


1. Netflix says its gaming push will begin with mobile

Take: After its successful attempts at interactive content with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, the streaming giant Netflix recently announced that the company is exploring the gaming field. Moreover, the customers won’t need a bigger subscription package, the games will be included. Netflix had a soaring end quarter in 2020, adding 16 million new subscribers. As the vaccine roll-out eases the restrictions, Netflix intends to keep the engagement up with its users through mobile games.

2. Jack Dorsey says bitcoin will be a big part of Twitter’s future

Take: Twitter’s part-time CEO, Dorsey was known to be a crypto-enthusiast from its $23.6 million bitcoin fund with Jay Z and his other company Square’s push on decentralized finance. However, it was never on Twitter’s agenda until recently. As the company recently added more subscription services such as Super Follows and Tip Jar, Dorsey confirmed to the investors that the company is exploring options to integrate bitcoin into its product line.

3. Pingdemic could bring economy ‘grinding to a halt’, business warns as government reveals exemptions

Take: The Covid pandemic took its turn in the U.K. to become a “pingdemic” as the National Health Service app pings many workers to self-quarantine for 10 days as they contacted with a case. Many citizens started panic-buying as supermarkets, haulage firms and manufacturers reported difficulties keeping operations going. The side-effects of such an application raised questions about how the data is used, regulations, and the next steps living in a world of vaccine passports and geo-fencing.

4. DeepMind says it will release the structure of every protein known to science

Take: Last year, DeepMind surprised the biology world by predicting the structure of a protein within the width of an atom using AlphaFold. Recently, the London-based company published the details of that tool, released its source code, and announced that it has used its AI to predict the shapes of nearly every protein in the human body, as well as the shapes of hundreds of thousands of other proteins found in many widely studied organisms.

5. Facebook’s CEO on why the social network is becoming ‘a metaverse company’

Take: The term “metaverse” was coined back in 1992 with a sci-fi novel Snow Crash, which meant the convergence of physical, virtual, and augmented experiences. Today, the term is Zuckerberg’s vision for the future of Facebook. In an internal address to the employees, Zuckerberg announced that divisions focused on products for communities, creators, commerce, and virtual reality would increasingly work to realize this vision, which would be the next big thing after the internet. While the White House is trying to tear down the giant, it certainly is interesting timing to set the horizon to a more converged future.

6. Square launches business bank accounts

Take: Starting off as an ecosystem of commerce tools and services, now Square is officially a bank, too. A new product called Square Banking combines a checking account, savings accounts, debit cards, and loans together. With this offering, Square wants to capture all the financial needs of SMEs.

7. Zoom buys cloud call center firm Five9 for $14.7 billion

Take: After its successful IPO two years ago, Zoom was aggressively working its way to becoming an all-in-one communications platform by adding several office collaboration products, a cloud phone system, and a home communications appliance. The company’s freshest addition to the line of offerings is cloud call center with its acquisition of the 20-year-old Five9.

8. China’s Digital Yuan Puts Ant and Tencent in an Awkward Spot

Take: Beijing government asked help from Tencent Holdings and Ant Group to create a state-backed. The People’s Bank of China in recent months has accelerated the testing of its digital yuan, putting Alipay and WeChat Pay in a difficult spot. The PBOC said the e-CNY is being developed mainly for domestic purposes. Tencent and Ant can try to design its use purpose to keep their competitive advantage.

9. Home Depot Extends Google Cloud Deal

Take: Home Depot is accelerating its cloud adoption to keep up with the rising demand from DIY and professional customers amidst the pandemic. The company aims to improve its digital presence with more tools and services running on Google Cloud. From inventory shortage predictions to voice assistants for smart search bars, the company wants to equip both its employees and customers with digital capabilities for a better experience.

10. Duolingo boosts IPO price target in boon to edtech startups

Take: The edtech giant Duolingo is going public and its shares were expected to debut at $85 to $95 per share. Per the unicorn’s SEC filings, Duolingo is now targeting a $95 to $100 per share IPO price range, paving a strong path for the other edtechs. Before its public offering, the largest single hit of capital that Duolingo raised was a $45 million Series D from 2015.


Digitopia’s Final Take

The future is digital. Ecosystems must be taken into consideration. Whole industries must digitally transform. This is easier said than done but very possible. We tell you how. Good ideas don’t just arrive by watching the sunset. You have to feed the creative genius of your people. Speaking out the ideas and experimenting with them doesn’t just happen. You have to foster a culture of openness and tolerance.  Please review our content concerning innovation in the context of digital transformation. To understand where you are, where you should go and how to get there, feel free to participate in our self-assessment and get your complimentary score and recommendations.  


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Author avatar
Emir Lise