Skip to main content

Girl Scout Cookies Are Now Available Online…And Other Small Business Tech News

By April 6, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

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

1 — Girl Scout cookies are now available online so you can drown your quarantine sorrows in thin mints.

All varieties of Girl Scout cookies are now available for purchase online, allowing cookie lovers in quarantine to have their favorite boxes delivered right to their door. In the past, cookies were able to be purchased online—however—the only way to receive a link was through a face-to-face interaction with a Girl Scout. Now, all you need to do is visit the official Girl Scout website and put in your zip code in order to see what options you have local to you. The price of each box is $5 and—once you order through their site—boxes will be delivered right to your doorstep. (Source: News Week)

Why this is important for your business:

The Coronavirus is changing a lot of distribution and other business models – including the Girl Scouts. What about your business?

2 — Microsoft 365 is bundling Office 365 with AI and cloud-powered features.

Microsoft announced this past week that Office 365 will be making some changes toward end of the month to Microsoft 365. The newest version of the suite will include Office 365 features while adding on robust templates and content, cloud-powered elements, and newer AI. Office 365 will now be known as Microsoft 365 Personal, while Office 365 Home will go by Microsoft 365 Family. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

The subscription costs won’t change—however, —with Microsoft 365 Personal costing $7 a month and Microsoft 365 Family $10 a month. The plans laid out for Microsoft 365 will contain all of the newest features detailed this week as well as the older favorites such as 60 Skype minutes, technical support, security features, and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage for each user. This may be all that you need for your home workers to use if you don’t have other licenses available.

3 —The bartering economy has exploded on Nextdoor.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, people are avoiding stores more and more and—instead—turning to Nextdoor to trade items or supplies of theirs for items they need. Nextdoor is an app that allows users from the same community or neighborhood to interact and share information. While trading through the popular app is not a new concept, the app has seen a rise in these types of exchanges. Hand sanitizer has been traded for sugar, potatoes for toilet paper, activities for children in exchange for vegetables are only some of the ways that people are getting creative in how to manage without going out to stores in order to avoid exposing themselves to the virus. (Source: One Zero)

Why this is important for your business:

Nextdoor has been growing significantly over the past year and with the Coronavirus pandemic it’s become an even more popular way for communities – including business owners – to share information, news…and products. Given the number of people that are using the platform during these shelter-in-place days, it could be a great way to build relationships for when you re-open your doors.

4 — Now you can get the most out of your old laptop by turning it into a Chromebook if you’re working from home.

With more and more people working from home due to COVID-19, some are finding that their laptops may not be equipped to handle the amount of work they need to get done in their home office. Employees who have the ability to complete all of their tasks within a browser could potentially capitalize on being able to transform their older macOS or Windows machine into a more efficient Chromebook. Neverware— a company that helps schools and businesses refurbish their aging devices—can transform nearly any laptop into a Chromebook through their CloudReady branch and is now offering a free version of the software to individual users. (Source: Android Police)

Why this is important for your business:

Have a lot of employees working from home that need devices? Don’t have the budget to go out and buy a new laptop? Or do you just want to have better control over the devices your work-from-home people are using when they access your network? A Chromebook checks those boxes and this method of conversion may be a big help to your precious cash flow.

5— Researchers are finding that AI is bad at predicting GPA, grit, eviction, job training, layoffs, and material.

Recently developed research has shown that AI misses the mark—overall—when trying to predict social outcomes for children, families, and entire households. The study—titled the Fragile Families Study— contained data which included information about a child’s parent, teacher, other caregivers, as well as the actual child involved in the study. Out of the 1,617 variables considered in the study, the main focus was on items like job training, eviction, grit, layoffs, material hardship, and GPA. With more than 3,000 models studied, many using sophisticated AI,  most were not accurate and—additionally—only slightly better than predictions conducted through non-machine learning methods. (Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

The takeaway is that with all the hype surrounding artificial intelligence, the technology is still in its infancy.

Skip to content