Business Stories of the Week: Friday, April 13, 2018

by April 13, 2018
Apple announced that it was powered entirely by renewable energy - and most of its suppliers were headed that way. (Image by Sheila Sund via Flickr, CC BY 2.)

Apple announced that its facilities are now entirely powered by renewable energy — and most of its suppliers are headed that way as well. (Image by Sheila Sund via Flickr, CC BY 2.)

No more credit card signatures

Starting in late April, the four major credit card companies will end signature requirements for credit card transactions, the New York Times reported. As personal checks and mailed letter correspondence decline in use, the signature is slowly losing its status as a unique identifier. Since all new credit and debit cards have the more secure chip technology, and since different retailers often have different price thresholds for requiring signatures, the credit card companies agreed it would be easier to scrap the signatures without negatively affecting card security.

Apple now entirely powered by renewable energy

Apple announced that all of its facilities — data centers, factories, retail stores, and offices — are powered entirely by renewable energy, accomplishing a goal it set several years ago, Business Insider reported. A mix of solar and wind farms, as well as renewable energy purchased from public utilities powers the Apple facilities. Additionally, Apple announced that 23 of its suppliers had pledged to work towards entirely renewable energy, which would likely make Apple one of the most sustainable tech companies.

Burned out Silicon Valley house lists at $799k

Despite being nearly destroyed by fire, a 5,0000-square-foot house in San Jose is listed for sale at almost $800,000. The 5,000-square-foot lot is near an upscale shopping center and a planned Google office. SFGate said the house, which will very likely be a total teardown, represents the insane cost of housing in Silicon Valley — something that even an above-average earner might not be able to afford. As more cities see investors snatching up property, this might be the poster child of unchecked real estate price inflation.

Uber adds emergency button to app

As part of a massive safety overhaul, ridesharing company Uber announced it was including a 911 function in its app, according to The Verge. This comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by her Uber driver. Although the 911 system has difficulty placing a location fix on mobile calls, the Uber app plans to partner with 911 dispatch centers to include trip details and last known GPS coordinates in information provided to the operators. Riders will also be able to share their ride information with up to five friends.

Despite controversy, advertisers sticking with Facebook

As Mark Zuckerberg faces a grilling on Capitol Hill for Facebook’s privacy breaches, and the company faces a national controversy for its role in possibly allowing Russia to influence the 2016 election, Business Insider says advertisers aren’t fleeing. Currently, the biggest risk to Facebook, according to Barclays, isn’t users and advertisers leaving, but the need to hire data security professionals and privacy specialists after its Cambridge Analytica issues.