At Harvard we stay up to date with the latest news and trends shaping the tech world by rounding up the top stories each week. We’ve recapped our favourite stories from the last few weeks to create February’s news round-up.

Facebook beats expectations while Apple’s revenues fall

This past month saw results week for some of the world’s biggest tech companies, as they updated the market on their financial performance in the last quarter of 2018. We knew that Apple’s  results would be softer than predicted, due to its challenges in China, and it reported quarterly revenue of $84.3bn, a decline of 5% from last year. Microsoft’s performance was also slightly lower, with revenue at $32.5bn, down 2%. In contrast Facebook‘s fourth quarter results surpassed expectations, hitting $6.8bn, up from $4.27bn last year.

UK wants autonomous cars on the road in 2 years

Autonomous cars are coming, and we’re going to see a lot more of them on our roads in the next couple of years. The UK government wants to be a leader in the autonomous race, so it’s set a goal to have self-driving cars on public roads by the end of 2021. It’s estimated that the UK’s connected and autonomous vehicle market will be worth £52bn by 2035. With all the technological advances, the question remains as to how we’ll manage the inevitable crossover when human-driven cars exist alongside autonomous vehicles.

LinkedIn goes live

LinkedIn released a US beta test of its new service ‘LinkedIn Live’. This is a live video feature, enabling users to broadcast real-time video to select groups, or even the entire LinkedIn community. It’s an unsurprising move, considering the network recently reported video to be the fastest-growing format on its platform, and it brings LinkedIn in line with other social platforms like Twitter and Facebook where live video broadcasts have become a recognised feature in recent years. You can imagine this working for Q&As or company announcements.

5G phones and roll-out dates announced at MWC

It was Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this past month, the largest global mobile event, attracting over 100,000 key decision makers and 2,400 leading companies. This year’s event was dominated by 5G, not surprisingly, as the mobile industry gears up to roll this new technology out worldwide. US carriers in particular used the show to announce their plans, while Vodafone announced agreements with AT&T and Arm. The other trend was folding phones – will these catch on?

Nine proposals to save the UK news industry

We all know that the impact of the internet has been devastating on traditional print media, especially smaller local papers. The UK government was sufficiently concerned about the implications for democracy to set up a review last year, led by Dame Frances Cairncross, to look into how to create a sustainable future for British journalism. The Cairncross Review was finally published this week and across its 157 pages argues that the “scale of the threat to the press was abundantly clear”. It sets out nine recommendations, including tax relief for newspapers and a regulator to supervise relations between news publishers and online platforms. Whether these recommendations make their way into government legislation remains to be seen.

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