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8 Things You Need to Know, Jan. 23
 

A roundup of the day's news that can help you and your business succeed.
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1. Frenemies
Facebook spent $6.4 million lobbying last year--twice what it spent in 2014. Judging by new filings, 2013 might just be remembered as the year Silicon Valley made friends with Capitol Hill. --Inc.com

2. PayPal Alternative?
Keep an eye on startup payments processor Stripe, which just raised $80 million at a $1.75 billion valuation from investors including Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia. Despite claims to the contrary, this open-source, developer-friendly payments platform for merchants could be going head to head with PayPay as it has three of the original PayPal founders as investors -- and could be a viable option for you down the road. --Techcrunch

3. Customer Hackers
Several weeks after a major breach affected 4.6 million of Snapchat's users, the photo-and-messaging app continues to grapple with security issues, even after announcing fixes. When your own users--including a 16-year-old and a graduate student in Snapchat's case--are hacking your app and finding security holes, you need to listen. --Washington Post

4. Patent Proof
In a potentially alarming development for small-business owners, the Supreme Court upended years of precedent by siding Wednesday with Medtronics against the patent owners who licensed the large company heart-implant technology. The burden of proof always rests with patent holder, SCOTUS has decided, even in cases where licensing agreements exist. --Arstechnica

5. HR Innovation
Human-resources startup Zenefits raised $15 million from Andreessen Horowitz, the latest sign of an "HR software craze" brewing among venture capitalists. You can expect innovation galore, so 2014 might just be the year to overhaul your HR department. --NYTimes

6. Personalization a la Pinterest
Pinterest is adding a new category called "Personalized for You," based entirely on users' own interests. The feature is expected to set a precedent for e-commerce, where improving social is everything, and Pinterest has been a trend-setter. -- Techcrunch

7. Wearables Watch

Avegant, a start-up that's developing a "personal theater" headset for watching and consuming media, yesterday beat its $250,000 Kickstarter goal in four hours flat. Call it more evidence of your wearable-computing future. --Techcrunch 

8. Net Loss

In response to a federal appeals court decision last week that effectively nixed net-neutrality rules, Netflix issued a warning about how providers could technically start charging companies extra so their customers can access and use their sites. What would happen if your customers couldn't access your site? --Business Insider

Last updated: Jan 23, 2014




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