Your Best Chromebook Deals…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week - Forbes

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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 - These are the best Chromebook deals according to PC World.
Tech website PC World recently shared its picks for the best Chromebook deals. The best budget Chromebook deals include the Lenovo IdeaPad3 for $159.99, Lenovo Chromebook 3 for $89.99, and the Asus 14-inch Chromebook for $179.00. The best midrange Chromebook deals include the Asus Chromebook Flip C433 for $246.98, Lenovo Flex 5I for $299.99, and the HP Chromebook x360 for $499.99. You could read all of the picks and details here. (Source: PCWorld)
Why this is important for your business:
Will this be the year I finally buy a Chromebook? I’ve always resisted because I travel and sync many of my local files with Dropbox. But is this really necessary? I’m pretty much online all the time anyway and even when I’m offline a Chromebook does give some storage capacity. Considering the prices above, it’s not a big gamble.
2 - These are the seven best productivity improvements that Apple introduced in 2022, according to Computer World.
Computer World recently shared its picks for the seven best productivity improvements that Apple introduced this past year. They include Lockdown Mode, which helps protect against various cyber attacks, project planning and brainstorming tool FreeForm, improvements to the Focus function, the new Reminder function in mail, and more. Read about all of the top picks here. (Computer World)
Why this is important for your business:
There are even more, I’m sure. The problem is that we buy these devices and never get fully trained on them. This is a great piece that you should share with your Apple users, because the more productive they are, the more profitable you are.
3 - The pros and cons of using free VPN services as a remote worker.
Those using free VPN services when working from home should be aware of the pros and cons, according to online technology publication MUO. Some of the pros include decent security and data privacy, the ability to use free apps instead of VPNs provided by your company, and the option to bypass geo-restrictions and firewalls. Cons of free VPN services include the requirement to watch Ads, the possibility of having data sold to third parties, weak encryption, and slow internet speed. (Source: MUO)
Why this is important for your business:
Regardless of whether you pay or get the service for free, you and every one of your employees has to be using a VPN, particularly if you’re travelling or connecting to public routers. VPNs encrypt data. They won’t really protect you against malware. But they will help to ensure that hackers won’t steal your login information.
4 - Legal tech startup Lexion is using GPT-3 to help lawyers write summaries and suggest edits.
Lexion - a Seattle-based legal tech startup - recently began using the language model GPT-3 from conversational AI nonprofit OpenAI. The software that Lexion developed assists lawyers in understanding contracts and now - with the help of GPT-3 – it will be able to provide possible edits and compose full summaries. GPT-3 will also help Lexion to suggest contract edits or to efficiently provide clause-language summaries. (Source: GeekWire)
Why this is important for your business:
Given all the hype around ChatGPT, I’m going to pay special attention over the next few years to specific businesses of conversation AI tools like it. You should too.
5— Mastodon has gained millions of new users since Elon Musk bought Twitter.
Mastodon - which is an open-source alternative to Twitter - recently announced that it’s gained millions of new users since Elon Musk took over Twitter. According to the announcement, the number of active users for Mastodon went from approximately 300,000 each month to 2.5 million from October to November. Many of the new users include more actors, writers, political figures, and journalists. (Source: Mashable)
Why this is important for your business:
Let’s be clear: Mastodon is NOT Twitter. It’s a bunch of servers tied into together to enable people to have conversations with the groups of people that they want to. To me it’s more like Reddit with a Twitter-type interface. It’s good for businesses who want to create their own communities, with rules, and allow people to share ideas, etc. Because there are rules the experience can be much less toxic. But it takes some time to setup a “server” and build a community there. Mastodon may be a good place for your business. It’s worth trying. If you’re interested in learning now, I found this post by Saritel Abbaszade to be very helpful.

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