Good morning! Here’s the tech news you need to know to start your week.
1. Uber is about to become the most valuable startup of all time. It is raising between $US1.5 and $US2 billion in a new funding round that would value the transportation startup at $US50 billion. The current largest startup is Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, with a valuation of roughly $US46 billion.
2. Sharp is crashing. The Japanese electronics manufacturer is considering a capital reduction and preferred share issuance as part of a restructuring plan — prompting a stock slide of more than 20%.
3. China’s smartphone market is slowing down. 90% of the population now own a device, forcing companies to try to win over “upgraders” instead.
4. Silicon Valley startups are obsessed with developing tech to replace their mums. It’s been said that San Francisco tech culture “is focused on solving one problem: what is my mother no longer doing for me?”
5. The bidding war for Nokia’s mapping technology unit is getting ugly. Multiple parties are interested in HERE, including Uber, and a consortium of German car companies.
6. It was Bill Gates’ mother who pushed him into philanthropy after he became a billionaire, he says. Mary Gates died of breast cancer in 1994.
7. It would take 136 billion standard 8-by-11 sheets of paper to print out the Internet in full. When stacked, the column would be around 8,300 miles high.
8. Apple is promising to boost renewable energy use in China. The country is an increasingly important market for Apple.
9. Facebook conducted a study to see if people’s Facebook news feeds showed them opposing viewpoints — and the results are not encouraging. The “filter bubble” phenomenon isn’t as bad as some critics fear — but there are flaws in the study’s methodology.
10. A patent application has revealed Amazon’s drone delivery plans. The drones may communicate weather conditions to each other, automatically take the safest possible route, and deliver to wherever the customer currently is — based on their smartphone GPS data.
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