Fast Five from the Valley: Edition 40

 In Fast Five from the Valley

If you can’t make it, buy it!

In a bold move this week, Microsoft bought the famous developer platform, GitHub. An open-source platform for sharing and collaboratively working on code by developers worldwide, GitHub was acquired by MS for a whopping $7.5bn in stock. This is exciting for GitHub’s investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, who was able to yield a 10x return on their investment in GitHub back in 2012. Coders on the other hand are now scrambling to find other open-source alternatives.
This is not the first time Microsoft takes a stance on coding platforms, with the company’s in-house alternative “CodePlex” being discontinued last year as it failed to attract users. Now GitHub should become the gateway to lure developers towards Microsoft’s Cloud offering, Azure, by integrating it with their developer tools.

Blast from the past

While 5G might be the newest hot thing in Mobile Networks, it will also bring some drawbacks to the table. Low latency, higher bandwidth and faster speeds are ultimately only possible by using a higher frequency-spectrum bandwidth for 5G networks. These frequencies have a lower object penetration as they tend to be absorbed by surrounding matter more easily, meaning that the antennas in the device should not be covered by hands, metals, or other high density materials. A recent example is Motorola’s recent presentation of a 5G Moto Mod styling an old antenna knob we used to have in the 90’s. Will this be the end to stylish and slick phones?

Facebook no longer the dominant online platform among teens

Five years ago, a 13-year-old named Ruby Karp sent shockwaves throughout the online world of social media when she published a blog post headlined “I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook”. Looking at recent statistics, this is definitely true with the most popular online platforms among teens being (in order): YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and finally, Facebook. This doesn’t mean that Facebook is dying, but it does raise a warning flag as the social network fends off competition from the likes of Snapchat and YouTube. Conversely, Hillary Clinton is apparently willing to swap a life in politics to lead Facebook. While visiting Harvard this week, Clinton was asked which company she’d want to be the CEO of, with the former presidential candidate quickly answering “Facebook”. “It’s the biggest news platform in the world,” she said. “Most people in our country get their news — true or not — from Facebook.” Perhaps this suggests that Facebook is being perceived more and more as a news platform than a social media network…

Google Home Sales overtakes Amazon’s Echo for the first time

Within the competitive space of smart speakers, Google Home has outpaced Amazon’s Echo line for the first time. Within the first quarter of 2018, Amazon Echo sales of 2.5 million fell short of Google Home’s 3.1 million, marking this as the first time since both have been on the market that Google Home’s sale beat Amazon’s Echo.
However, Google still has a lot of catching up to do in order to overtake Amazon in the long run, as Amazon Echo sales have outperformed those of the Google Home since 2017. This means the Amazon Echo is still the most dominant smart speaker in the market.

Mined Diamonds market losing its sparkle

De Beers, the biggest diamond dealer in the jewelry box, is launching a new company called Lightbox Jewelry to sell lab-grown diamonds. This is a classic “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” move, with the market for natural diamonds falling 40% since 2011 and lab-grown diamond startups snatching up some of the unstable $100 billion market. In fact, analysts predict that lab-grown sales may even outshine their natural peers as early as 2020. De Beers, realizing that their synthetic competitors were here to stay, flipped their strategy on its head, joining the lab-grown diamond revolution. Might need to check out these lab-grown diamonds for myself…

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