Welcome to this edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
Today we highlight the Cyber Monday sales record, the major hacking of Sony, Girl Scout cookies online, and Uber’s big raise.
Cyber Monday sales break records
On Cyber Monday, sales soared past $2 billion for the first time ever and set the record for the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, according to ComScore.
Sales on Cyber Monday reached $2.04 billion, up 17% from last year. Over the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, online purchases totaled $6.6 billion, up 24% from last season.
Some pundits expected Cyber Monday sales to decrease due to retailer deals that started early on Thanksgiving. Clearly, holiday shopping on Cyber Monday is stronger than ever.
Sony got hacked like crazy
Terabytes of confidential information, such as salaries and passwords, have been accessed from Sony Entertainment’s computers. Now we know that Seth Rogen made $8.4 million for his upcoming movie, “The Interview.”
Speaking of “The Interview,” Sony suspected that North Korea is behind the hack to retaliate against the movie’s content, where Rogen and James Franco are journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. North Korea denied the accusations.
What we do know for sure is that a hacker group named Guardians of Peace executed the hack and claimed to have physical access to Sony’s offices, meaning that a Sony employee was involved. The GoP used malware called Destover (which may have been created in Korea…hmm), which is so super powerful that the FBI warned businesses about it right after Thanksgiving. Scary stuff.
The hackers have leaked this confidential information on various sites across the Internet and claim that they have much more data that they will leak if certain demands aren’t met.
You can soon buy Girl Scout cookies online
Yes! Everyone loves Samoas and Thin Mints, and soon we’ll be able to buy them online instead of from some parent hawking them at the water cooler (no offense, parents).
The Girl Scouts announced an initiative called the Digital Cookie that will allow consumers to purchase cookies online or through a mobile app.
Historically, Girl Scouts would learn valuable skills by selling their cookies door-to-door. But the Girl Scouts organization realized that in today’s world, online sales and marketing skills are super important, and thus the Digital Cookie initiative was born.
This seems like a win-win for both the scouts and cookie lovers.
Uber raises $1.2 billion
Uber might not even be done. CEO Travis Kalanick says there may be room in this round for more investments from strategic partners, and the total may reach $1.8 billion.
The funds will likely be used to accelerate growth in Asian markets. The company has been aggressively discounting fares in Southeast Asia and India to gain market share and fend off local competition. Those free rides for consumers aren’t free for Uber.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.