Highlight Explosive Limits of Lithium

Lithium-based batteries have been powering our portable devices for 25 years.

But consumer demand for smaller, longer lasting devices is forcing manufacturers to push the technology, battery experts say, testing the limits of how much energy they can safely pack into smaller spaces.

“A battery is really a bomb that releases its energy in a controlled way,” says Qichao Hu, a former researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of SolidEnergy Systems, a battery startup.

“There are fundamental safety issues to all batteries, and as you get to higher energy density and faster charge, the barrier to explosion is less and less.”

On Tuesday, Samsung Electronics scrapped its flagship Note 7 smartphone and told customers return their devices after weeks of bruising reports of phones igniting and images of scorched handsets.

In early September, the world’s largest smartphone maker blamed “a very rare manufacturing process error” for the problems. It has said it is still investigating reports of fires in a second, supposedly safe, batch of phones.

Exactly what caused the problems will be the subject of detailed studies by regulators, the company and its suppliers.

Experts are baffled by what could be causing the overheating in the replacement phones, if not the batteries. Samsung says it would be “premature to speculate” on the outcome of its investigations.

“We are reviewing every step of our engineering, manufacturing and quality control processes,” Samsung said in an emailed response toReuters.

An official at the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, which is also investigating, said the fault in the replacement devices might not be the same as the problem in the original product.

Both Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology Ltd., which supply batteries to Samsung Electronics, declined to comment.

Samsung’s Note 7 crisis may be its biggest, but the problems with lithium-ion are not new.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued recalls for battery packs, snow blowers, hoverboards, flashlights and power recliners in the past year, all because of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries.

In 2013, Boeing was forced to ground its entire fleet of advanced 787 jetliners after some lithium-ion batteries caught fire. The fleet was allowed to resume flights after changes were made to the battery and charger, and to better contain battery fires.

“We remain confident in the comprehensive improvements made to the 787 battery system following this event, and in the overall performance of the battery system and the safety of the airplane,” Boeing said in 2014 after an investigation into one incident.

Light-weight, high energy

Lithium is the lightest of all metals, and can pack a lot of energy into a small volume — making it perfect for batteries.

The market has grown from a few hundred million cells in 2000 to 8 billion last year, according to Albemarle, a U.S. chemical company.

But for the same reason, lithium-ion batteries need safety mechanisms built in, adding to production costs.

And with prices falling 14 percent per year for the past 15 years, according to Albemarle, smaller scale players have scrimped on safety, says Lewis Larsen, CEO of Lattice Energy, a consultancy.

There is no evidence Samsung or its battery suppliers cut corners with the Note 7, and Tony Olson, CEO of consultancy D2 Worldwide, said the problem was not limited to cheaper products.

He ran tests on batteries in laptops a decade ago, highlighting the dangers of them catching fire. Some 9.6 million Sony Corp. laptop batteries were subsequently recalled.

But when Olsen repeated the tests on other laptop batteries seven years later he found that “very little had changed in battery safety design, despite being under tremendous scrutiny.”

Sony, HP Inc., Toshiba Corp. and Panasonic Corp. have all recalled laptop battery packs this year over fire hazards, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Panasonic, which supplied the batteries, said the problem was caused by manufacturing issues which it had now resolved.

Asked about Samsung’s woes last week, Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga told reporters lithium ion batteries could become prone to fires when density was raised and fast charging was applied.

“It’s a trade-off between that [risk] and benefits. We place the biggest priority on safety,” Tsuga said. “With current technologies, it’s extremely difficult to make it zero chance of such incidents.”

Ways the Internet Has Changed Entrepreneurship

images-35Technology has been changing the way people do business ever since the invention of the wheel around 3500 B.C. revolutionized how Mesopotamian farmers and tradesmen moved goods to and from market. Likewise, today’s internet is changing how entrepreneurs start businesses, connect with customers, compete more effectively and grow to scale.

How is the internet changing the world of entrepreneurship? Start with the following three ways.

The gig economy and online entrepreneurs

As many as 15 percent of American workers are currently employed full-time in the “gig economy”: as contract workers, freelancers, and temps. By 2020, this number is expected to grow to as many as 40 percent of American workers. The internet is a significant factor making this possible, as sites like Craigslist and Upwork make it easier for workers to find clients in need of their services.

But internet entrepreneurship isn’t all about freelancers. The internet has given rise to a whole new class of online entrepreneurs and content creators who develop and host games, operate online stores, run affiliate link sites, host ecommerce businesses and more.

Whether it’s a side-hustle or full-time gig, what the internet can provide entrepreneurs connects them to the markets they serve. Yet until recently, slow internet connections, data transfer caps and unreliable service hampered many entrepreneurs’ efforts to get established online.

Most start-up businesses are created from the home — whether that be the basement of a single-family residence in the suburbs or a high-rise apartment building in a downtown metropolitan area. And unfortunately, the internet is not a mobile commodity that can be picked up and delivered to the consumer.

Instead, it’s a utility that is delivered over an integrated, continuous physical or part-physical, part-wireless infrastructure. Historically, internet service companies owned and maintained a completely wired infrastructure, but even Google Fiber has recently realized that it’s expensive to bring wired fiber all the way to that house in a suburban cul de sac.

As a result, more beginning entrepreneurs are realizing that they can get super-fast internet in apartments and condominiums in downtown areas, at a fraction of what is available in suburban and rural areas. This fixed wireless, also referred to as microwave technology, is leading the way for increased competition, which is driving prices down and increasing speed expectations.

“It’s absolutely true; we have changed the market here in Chicago. In less than two years, the expectation of speed has increased by nearly tenfold and price points have dropped substantially as a result of our technology,” says Keegan Bonebrake of Everywhere Wireless. “We’re delivering up to 1,000 megabits per second in residential units, for $99 a month.

“We’re seeing the consumer demand skyrocket for ‘big bandwidth’ in residential buildings, and we’re seeing that consumer demand is driving changes in building owners’ thinking.”

Ryan Folger, the president and founder of Anexis Development, says he refused to move into an apartment building at 500 North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago unless he could gain access to Everywhere Wireless and its gigabit speeds. “The building has AT&T internet included in the rent, but it’s only six Mbps, which is simply unusable at this point,” Folger says.

Over Data is Getting Way More Personal

Nobody feels particularly threatened when they are served a well-targeted ad online. It makes sense that if you Google vacation destinations in Puerto Rico that somehow an algorithm on the Internet will allow Kayak to flood your screen with hotel promotions. That is not sinister; it is just odd.

But the things that are done with people’s personal data (and the things we search for on Google should be personal, right?) are increasingly crossing the line into a darker area that no one really wants to talk about. Thankfully, public awareness on the issue is rising thanks to high profile phone hacks, legislation that has been passed and stories about how much money data is actually worth.

A problem of this magnitude is also an opportunity of equal magnitude for an entrepreneur with the right idea. Though, in this case, there is room for a crowd of entrepreneurs, several government initiatives and probably some lawsuits.

These are four ways data is (and must) get way more personal and how entrepreneurs can play a part:

1. The social revolution.

Facebook is still the premier social network, even if it is increasingly surrounded by younger networks with sleeker features. As such, it plays a leadership role in the business of setting precedent for user data harvesting. According to Julian Ranger, personal data expert and founder of digi.me, the value of the data Facebook collects is worthbillions of dollars.

Related: The New EU General Data Protection Regulation: Big Data Protection Gets Personal

“It is said you cannot know the value of something until you measure it and Facebook has lead the industry in its acquisition, organization and exploitation of data,” says Ranger. “But how is it Facebook’s right to have a file on personal users? And shouldn’t the user have the right to allow or not allow that data to be sold to other companies?”

There are those in the private sector who think so and they are starting to fight back. Tech company Spy Aware offers an app that will tell you what data your phone is sending via the apps that are installed on it. If you are not outraged about invasive data practices yet, you will be soon after installing Spy Aware.

2. The regulatory revolution.

Laws are and will be an important step returning the power of data back to the people. But to-date there have been few successes to point to. The European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) which does signal a shift from the wild west of data collection to a world with a few laws and borders. But functionally the law does little to return full ownership of people’s personal data and companies are already preparing with elaborate compliance mechanisms that will help them to carry on with business as usual.

Related: Data Protection for Small Business

“The GDPR is a step in the right direction, but it falls far short of turning the tables on who owns the data,” notes Ranger. “And that makes sense, much of the economy is run on the free flow of information. The challenge is to reshape the system so that individuals can selectively sell their own information for a value proposition that works for them.”

3. The technology revolution.

The Internet, for all of its benefits, is controlled by powerful companies. Accordingly, for users to be safe on the Internet, they need to level the playing field, which will require some powerful technological solutions.

Users need to have the ability to locally store their data and control who has access to it. Ranger’s digi.me offers a platform that allows users to do that with all of their social media data and has plans to expand into other areas.

The opportunities and needs are almost endless in this area. Users need tools that alert them about data leaks, allow them to control their data, and provide the means for them to selectively share it. The technology world has its work cut out for it, to be sure. But demand is such that the project is already underway.

Self Driving Hardware

Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Wednesday all new Tesla Motors Inc. models will come with hardware to enable them to be fully self-driving, as the Silicon Valley electric car company bids to be the first among many rivals to get autonomous vehicles on the road.

The company said that its Model S and Model X electric cars are already being produced with the new hardware, which includes eight cameras, 12 updated sensors and radar with faster processing.

The new hardware package will cost $8,000, Musk told reporters on a conference call. The software to enable fully autonomous operation is still being tested, he said.

Musk said he expects that by the end of 2017 a Tesla would be able to drive in full autonomous mode from Los Angeles to New York “without the need for a single touch” on the wheel.

He has set ambitious deadlines for Tesla many times, only to see timetables slip. Rival automakers have said they expect to be able to field autonomous driving capability by 2019 or 2021.

Meanwhile, older Tesla vehicles without the additional cameras, sensors and upgraded processors will not be able to drive autonomously, although their Autopilot software would continue to be improved, Musk said.

For a time, cars with the new hardware will have less capability to assist drivers with steering or braking than older cars running Tesla’s Autopilot, Musk said. By December, he said, he expects the newer models to reach parity with the older vehicles.

Musk said the software system is being built in-house and will run on an Nvidia Corp. Titan chip.

Vanity purchase?

It is unclear how Tesla’s future autonomous driving system will be greeted by regulators. Musk said it will be twice as safe as a human driver. However, federal and state regulators in the United States are proposing new, more rigorous standards to control the development and deployment of such systems.

Edmunds Inc. analyst Jessica Caldwell questioned the value of purchasing a self-driving car before regulations catch up, calling it a “vanity purchase” that cannot be used in the real world.

In the meantime, rival carmakers could introduce better solutions, Caldwell said, potentially making Tesla’s hardware “obsolete almost as soon as it’s activated for prime time.”

Most notably, Tesla has chosen not to include Lidar laser-based sensors, a tool most other car makers believe is necessary for full autonomy.

Tesla’s self-driving announcement is the latest in a series of efforts over the last few months by Musk to maintain investor interest in Tesla as its stock price has fallen. The company is expected to raise more cash from capital markets within the next 12 months.

Shares of the company, which closed on Wednesday at $203.56, have fallen 23 percent since an April high, as the company has suffered a difficult few months.

The death in May of a Tesla driver using the company’s Autopilot system, which prompted an investigation by safety regulators, and the decision to acquire money-losing rooftop solar developer SolarCity Corp., have increased scrutiny on Tesla’s financial and regulatory challenges.

Steering the On Demand Economy

Uber is the company everyone wants to be. It’s the poster child for leveraging an internet-connected device to solve a unique problem. Uber couldn’t have existed before smartphones became a widespread phenomen, of course. But today we can all hail a car with a swipe and a tap, thanks to dual internet connectivity and mobile GPS.

Smartphones were the first internet-connected devices, but they are far from the last. As the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves, these next-generation improvements will push on-demand businesses to explore hundreds of new possibilities.

Related: 4 Reasons to Be Excited by the ‘Internet of Things’

The game-changer here? Data. Connected devices and their data make every on-demand business possible.

Sensory evolution

With smartphone features such as fingerprint scanning, barometers, accelerometers, light sensors and more, entrepreneurs have access to data they’ve never seen before. And as smartphones add more bells and whistles, companies have even more data points to build around.

Beyond sensory data from hardware, though, on-demand businesses can leverage a large quantity of stored data. Storing data around criteria like behavior, preferences and reliability allows companies to act more efficiently and optimize the user experience. For example, Uber wants to make sure users never have to type an address again.

Along with data, the IoT is improving internet connectivity and voice recognition to provide even better user experience. These devices are getting smarter on their own, as well as collectively.

A stand-alone voice recognition device is great by itself, but an Amazon Echo is even better. This device can access all the power of Amazon for tasks such as ordering groceries, playing music and restocking supplies — using just the power of your voice. Other devices such as Cortana, Alexa and the new Google Home will make on-demand services available through the sound of a person’s voice rather than at the touch of a button.

Innovation on demand

For today’s entrepreneurs, all of these advances and countless data sources mean many more opportunities to innovate and win big. So, if you’re an entrepreneur, here are a few ways to capitalize as the on-demand economy and IoT evolve:

1. Take advantage of predictive analytics.

Uber uses data to provide rides, but it also uses heat maps to analyze patterns and help drivers be in the right place at the right time. Predictive analytics allows fresh-food delivery services — likeMunchery and Sprig — to monitor supplies and spot and respond to trends. None of these on-demand platforms would have been possible without the data we have today.

If you want to jump into the on-demand game, discern what problems you can solve using data. The most successful on-demand players connect these data points to provide a better, faster, more seamless user experience.

Related: 8 Ways the ‘Internet of Things’ Will Impact Your Everyday Life

2. Spot a profitable niche.

Another great thing about data is that it no longer has to solve the huge issues. Entrepreneurs can now form companies to solve hyperspecific problems, with data to back it up. For example, Petnet helps manage the feeding of your four-legged friends. Its internet-connected food container dispenses portions at appropriate times and quantities for your pet.

One word of caution: Make sure the problem you are looking to solve is big enough to be applied across use cases, but never be afraid to go small in your niche.

3. Grab that low-hanging fruit.

Because the automation revolution is happening across the board, entrepreneurs with industry expertise can solve problems for specific verticals. Smart-lock maker August, for one, saw potential in another on-demand stalwart, Airbnb. Hosts can use internet-connected locks to coordinate keyless guest entry, remotely and without hassle. This solution was not possible a few years ago — but the need wasn’t there, either.

Related: How to Succeed in the On-Demand Economy

Keep streamlining and efficiency top of mind as you scout out your next target for automation. Whatever industry you work in, data and internet connectivity can probably improve a piece of it.

With connected devices and their data, Uber and other first-generation on-demand companies paved the way for the Internet of Things to revolutionize our lives. Now, it’s up to today’s entrepreneurs to innovate the innovators.

Whats Gadgets to Upgrade Your Business

Thanks to our friends at TechBargains, we’ve rounded up some can’t-miss deals. Check it out:

Dell Inspiron 3650 Intel Core i7 Quad-Core Desktop with 16GB RAM for $579 (Orig. 949)
Use Code: code: DELLBIZ579. When your small business needs a powerful workhorse desktop for multimedia, encoding or other intensive processes, this desktop will be your PC of choice. It’s an incredible price at less than $600 for one of Intel’s higher-end powerful processors, a full 16GB of RAM for all your applications and a large 2TB hard drive for storage. It even includes Windows Pro for extra security and backup features. This is great for your small business and your home as well as it’s be designed to take up much less space and be sleeker than conventional desktops. This is one of Dell’s most popular and best selling deals at this price.

AmazonBasics 12-Sheet High-Security Micro-Cut Paper Shredder $99.99
Protect your financials, sensitive business information and more with this shredder. While you cannot shred a 300-sheet document, you can destroy up to 12 sheets of paper at a time with a security level of P-4 security. This shreds paper down to 4mm by 12mm, which is very difficult to put back together or to decipher much information from without spending a ton of time. For a small business or even a very enthusiastic home shredder, this is a great machine as micro shredders cost a premium over their strip shredding counterparts.

60″ Samsung 4K HDTV with HDR + $250 Dell Gift Card for $899.99
If you need a huge TV for a lobby or a conference room then this 60″ is a fantastic choice. It is huge and has the resolution you need for your presentations and is excellent at displaying sharp graphics and images. Better yet, if you can connect it to an HDR-capable machine then the colors will pop. The bonus $250 Dell gift card can be used on anything from PS4 and Xboxes, monitors and computers for your business and more. You are effectively spending only $650 for a huge 2016 Samsung TV with the latest tech.

Dell Latitude 14 7000 Intel Core i5-5200U 14″ 1080p Touch Laptop (8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3yr Warranty) $799
Use code: SAVE$150. This highly rated business-class laptop is PCMag’s Editors choice. It features a full HD Gorilla Glass touchscreen display and weighs a mere 3.5lbs. Your back will thank you when you carry it when you travel or from meeting to meeting. It has an excellent 3-year warranty, is military spec-rated for durability and ruggedness, and has a snappy 256GB solid state drive so you don’t have to sit around waiting for reboots or applications to launch. At this price you cannot get a better business class laptop.

Anker RoboVac 10 Self-Docking Robotic Vacuum Cleaner for $199.99
If you need to keep your small office clean and presentable we recommend this very inexpensive robot cleaner from Anker. It is about $100 to $150 less than competing brands and has all the same functionality. In fact some reviews even say it navigates better than a Roomba.

For more great deals, check out TechBargains’ Amazon Deals.

Disclosure: This is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio. Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Technology Say About Farming Business

The U.S. cannabis market is very promising. It’s so exciting that thousands of industry movers and observers descended upon theCannabis World Congress and Business Exposition on Sept. 7 in Los Angeles, to share their ideas and developments in the cannabis space.

There was some talk at the four-day event about how American marijuana producers are behind the curve in terms of farming innovation. American investors are putting big money into cannabis retail futures, but even bigger money is going to high-tech cannabis farming in other countries. Israel, for example, has been labeled “The World’s Cannabis Research Leader” where companies like Philip Morris have made a significant investment.

This New Economy

“Every business can touch the future cannabis economy,” says Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of iCAN, a Beit Shemesh, Israel-based marijuana startup accelerator and consultancy. “If you’re a marketer, if you’re an online guru, if you are a tech person, if you want to develop a drug, a prescription medication, if you want to develop grow-tech, everything can be developed into this new economy.”

Research in this space in Israel centers largely on developing the potential of medical marijuana and its derivatives for mass production and distribution. Such focus could lead to a synthetic with no need for agro-farming. Despite that direction, research will produce valuable bits and pieces that others may adapt to cannabis farming and harvesting.

Up-By-The-Bootstraps

Under the radar, bootstrapped amateur farming methods continue to rule in the U.S. However, the launch of Newport Beach, Calif.-based cannabis agricutlure startup Terra Tech Corp. the first publicly-traded medical marijuana producer, and the continued government-contracted medical marijuana research at the University of Mississippi, could lead to standardizing methods, processes and quality.

Related: Meet the Yelp for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

What Does It Take?

The high-tech challenge is to produce large quality crops indoors where lighting, climate and cultivation often present problems. Cultivation, growth and harvesting require close watch, continuous monitoring and pricey equipment. High-tech cannabis farming also means planning for space, soil composition, energy cost and climate control. Choices are additionally influenced by square footage, market potential and scale of production.

A large number of operations are using farm technologies that have been developed for other agra-industries, such as large-scale food production. “There are technologies in climate control, soil management, nutrient applications, integrated pest management and the like, all being used in both large-scale food production and large-scale cannabis cultivation,” said Rachel Gillette, a Denver-based marijuana regulatory compliance attorney and shareholder with the law firm Greenspoon Marder.

The High-Tech Alternative

One advanced technology marijuana-growing alternative is hydroponics. Hydroponic systems let you grow cannabis without soil. Plants are rooted in nutrient-rich water in any number of configurations. Among these are:

  • Passive systems: In passive hydroponics, you set plants above a reservoir of nutritious solution, which the plant absorbs through a wick, which feeds, not smothers, them.
  • Active systems: Programmed mechanical systems feed the cannabis roots.

    • Ebb and flow: These systems periodically flood the root systems and then drain for 20 minutes.
    • Bubbler systems: An air pump regularly percolates a nutrient solution up towards the roots systems of suspended plants.
    • Drip feed: Drip tubes feed nutrients from above into the plant’s potting medium.
    • Nutrient film: Water passes down a tray where it feeds a number of plants 24 hours-a-day.
    • Aeroponics hydro grow: This suspends seedlings above a dark growth chamber set at 100 percent humidity to maximize the oxygen and nutrients absorbed.

Apps to Help More Easy Life

Yes, there’s an app for that too. The 12 below help with stress management, sleep, and more, easing anxiety disorders and helping you live a healthier, happier life.

1. Pacifica: Track and rate your mood over time, learn muscle relaxation exercises and deep breathing techniques, and set health goals for yourself. You can record your thoughts to develop positive thinking patterns and identify toxic ones. The app also helps users understand personal triggers.

2. Breathe2Relax: This app does exactly what it promises. Created by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, it aids in diaphragmatic breathing that decreases the body’s natural “fight-or-flight” response — a big aspect of anxiety, anger, and general mood instability.

3. Headspace: Stress, memory loss, focus, interpersonal relationships, creative blocks… this “personal trainer for the mind” app covers it all. 10-minute meditation lessons aim to strengthen health, performance, and relationships. This app is on the pricier side though — subscriptions cost between $6.24 and $12.95 a month.

4. Positive Activity Jackpot: Another app from the National Center for Telehealth & Technology. This one uses a therapeutic method known as Pleasant Event Scheduling (PES), recommending activities based on the user’s location and interests. You can invite friends, save favorite spots, and tag activities you participate in for future reference.

5. PTSD Coach: Created by the National Center for PTSD, this app helps veterans suffering or at risk of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With educational material and a self-assessment tool, it enables users to manage stress and find support.

6. Recovery Record: This highly rated app draws on cognitive behavioral therapy and self-monitoring methods to help manage eating disorders. Users can keep a food journal, make meal plans, and learn coping methods. Questionnaires help track their progress and produce visual charts documenting their journey.

7. Worry Watch: This journaling tool has a simple user interface where users can log instances of worry, fear, and anxiety. They can also add the outcome of each situation, which provides a comparison between expectation and reality that helps reduce anxiety over time.

8. I Can Be Free: This app helps with anxiety, phobias, insomnia, and low self-esteem, offering more than 50 audio hypnosis sessions by well known hypnotist Jacob Strachotta. The sessions help target a variety of common fears.

9. Relax Melodies: This sleeping aid fights insomnia and stress with more than 50 fully customizable sounds and tunes. The blog also offers lifestyle tips to improve sleep.

10. Mindshift: Aimed at teens and young adults suffering from anxiety, this app allows users to log thoughts and feelings. It also offers exercises that encourage positive thinking.

11. Stress Doctor: This app takes you on a deep breathing exercise to promote calmness and can bring your heart rate down in five minutes. The app provides instant feedback with breath and pulse monitoring and tracks long-term progress.

Know About Google Fiber

Google Fiber has slowly been spreading to U.S. cities, and its recent acquisition will bring it to five additional ones. Its goal is to reduce the cost and increase the availability of high-speed internet.

Related: Google Fiber Team Looks to Cut Costs, Staff

Fiber’s development, however, has been slow, to say the least. But this latest acquisition by Google and its new license with the FCC will likely help get the initiative moving a little faster. Here are six things you should know that will help you understand Google Fiber.

1. Slow development up until now

Many people assumed Google Fiber would be available in all major cities almost instantly. After all, it was a Google product — and that mega-company essentially has unlimited funds, so everyone expected a fast launch. It’s been the complete opposite, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

The growth of Google Fiber should speed up now that it is focused on 5G. Its acquisition of Webpass, a company that was deeply invested in 5G networks and wireless technology, along with a license granted by the FCC to explore “experimental radio service” in 12 cities over the next 24 months, is a good sign for the future.

2. Cities that currently offer Google Fiber

Google Fiber is currently available in these nine areas:

  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Provo, Utah
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill “Triangle,” N.C.

 

3. Where Google Fiber will land next

Some cities that have already been confirmed as upcoming Fiber locations include:

  • Huntsville, Ala.
  • Irvine, Calif.
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Francisco, Calif.

Potential locations include:

  • Chicago, Il.
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Portland, Ore.

Related: Chicago and Los Angeles Could Get Google Fiber. And That’s a Very Big Deal for Entrepreneurs.

Some experts have been performing their own research and crunching data to come up with a list of logical cities where Google Fiber might land next.

4. What speed to expect from Google Fiber

Google Fiber speeds are fast — very fast.

A gigabit per second, or 1000 Mbps, is attractive, especially for households that have multiple internet users and devices. Multiple computers, laptops, mobile devices and tablets can really bog down a traditional internet connection.

With Fiber, multiple devices can stream simultaneously without causing any performance issues. If you want to visually understand how fast a gigabit is, check out this video.

App super smart that will be help you more

Facebook is more than just the largest social-media platform on the planet. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based behemoth also uses its vast resources to help app developers make super-smart products.

If you haven’t already, say hello to Facebook Analytics for Apps. Since launching in 2015, more than 800,000 unique apps have used the service. And for good reason.

Facebook recently added web measurement and cross-platform analytics to the service’s growing stable of services. Leveraging demographics and rich audience insights from Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, the service offers developers a simple, streamlined way to understand the people who use their native mobile apps, desktop web and mobile web presences.

With that knowledge, developers can optimize the customer experience and reach them more effectively. Facebook Analytics for Apps goes beyond the usual stats like age and gender to provide anonymized and aggregated audience information including job titles, education level and even what Facebook Pages your customers like.

“Driving retention, engagement and conversion are important [for developers] and we wanted to lean on our expertise and infrastructure to help partners with the full set of growth tools,” says Facebook Product Manager Josh Twist.

“We have a saying to ‘think people, not devices,’” he continues. “If you’re not looking at a cross-platform picture to understand how individuals are using multiple devices then you’re not fully understanding user behavior.”

And it’s 100 percent free to use. You don’t need to use Facebook Login or any other of the company’s products to start developing smarter apps with Facebook Analytics for Apps.

Here, Twist talks about three tools within Facebook Analytics for Apps that highlight the service’s power to help developers create smarter apps and grow their businesses:

Cohorts: User retention is one of the most important parts of a developer’s growth strategy. As Twist says, “Without good retention you’re just pouring new customers into a leaky bath.”

The cohorts tool allows product teams to understand the retentive qualities of any event. For example, you can answer questions like “for a person who made a purchase in their first week as a user, how likely are they to return to the product in the following weeks?” Or, “how likely are they to make another purchase?”