• February 1, 2023

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Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 —Twitter is testing a co-tweeting feature.

It’s been confirmed that Twitter is in the process of testing a co-Tweet feature. The company’s social media consultant and mobile developer each recently posted a tweet as a test which displayed both usernames above the content, although the new feature is not formally available yet. If and when the feature officially rolls out, users will be able to send an invitation to “co-tweet” for other users to decline or accept. Accepted co-tweets will appear on both users’ timelines. (Source: Mashable)

Why this is important for your business:

An interesting feature for small businesses active on Twitter. Some of the uses: joint announcements with partners, joint press releases, joint messages from senior execs about your company. I’m looking forward to trying this out.

2 — Now’s the time to prepare for the Microsoft Excel macro crackdown.

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced its plans to pull back on the decision to automatically block macros in Excel documents. Initially, the company said that Excel files which contained macros would be blocked if downloaded from the internet. Microsoft still plans to move forward with blocking Excel documents with macros, but not in the immediate future. (Source: Computer World)

Why this is important for your business:

Susan Bradley at Computerworld says that now is the time to review your spreadsheets that include macros. “If you’ve downloaded any online and do not know where they came from, stop,” she writes. “You’ll want to check to ensure that they are not malicious by uploading the files to www.reverse.it or www.virustotal.com to see what the file contains.” Bradley says that “once you identify the Excel files with macros you want to use (but that you’ve haven’t personally developed), your next step is to ensure that each one of these Excel files do not have “mark of the web” on them.”

3 —Scammers are blackmailing restaurants across the US with one-star Google reviews.

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Over the last week, several Michelin-starred restaurants all over the country were targets of blackmail. Scammers were leaving multiple one-star reviews on Google for high-profile restaurants and then sending an email to the establishments asking for a $75 Google Play gift card in return for stopping the attacks. The reviews left by the scammers have since been deleted by Google. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

You have to admire the ingenuity of the bad guys, right? This seems like a big headache for restaurants but not as big as a threat as other malware like ransomware. My bet is that both Google and Yelp will step up their policies and procedures for identifying scam reviews and helping businesses get them removed as quickly as possible.

4 — Tech startup Autumn is launching a death care digital marketplace.

A death care digital marketplace has been launched by tech startup Autumn. The marketplace aims to connect grieving families with necessary services such as grief specialists, funeral homes, attorneys, appraisers, accountants, and other organizations that assist families in handling financial, legal, and various logistics after a loved one’s passing. (Source: Hospice News)

Why this is important for your business:

According to Hospice News Autumn is the latest entrant to a cottage industry that is springing up around end-of-life and bereavement care. A market research firm projects that the budding “death care services” sector will be a $147.8 billion industry by 2026. If your business serves this market then this platform looks like something to consider.

5—Pinterest wants to be your shopping destination. Here’s how it’s making it happen.

This past week, Pinterest launched a new set of tools designed to help enhance the site’s shopping experience for users. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

The new tools which also promise to make a more sophisticated experience for merchants include improved catalog-management capabilities, Product Tagging on Pints, the ability to add video to product catalogs, and improvements to the Shop Tab. Pinterest is trying its best to compete with Amazon, Etsy and other online e-commerce platforms. It’s a genuine alternative for businesses looking sell products online.

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