Amazon One’s palm-scanning payments are coming to Whole Foods

Amazon One is expanding to its biggest area yet: the company is now testing its palm-scanning payment technology in Whole Foods, starting with a single store in Amazon’s home city of Seattle. The company has been using Amazon One payment technology in its Amazon-branded stores in the Seattle area (including Amazon Go and Amazon Books), but the Whole Foods rollout will make the most substantial expansion of the technology yet. The company says that thousands of customers have already signed up with Amazon One. According to an Amazon FAQ, the palm-scanning technology analyzes “the minute characteristics of your palm — both surface-area details like lines and ridges as well as… Read More

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‘Ted Lasso’ returns for a second season on July 23 — here’s how to watch the Apple TV Plus original series

  Summary List PlacementTV Plus Monthly Subscription (small) Just months after actor Jason Sudeikis won a Golden Globe for his role in “Ted Lasso,” Apple has announced the hit comedy will return to Apple TV Plus for a second season on July 23. “Ted Lasso,” a soccer comedy focused on the fictional British team AFC Richmond, stars Sudeikis in the show’s titular role. Lasso is an American coach hired to lead AFC Richmond despite having “no experience,” according to Apple’s synopsis.  The show premiered in August 2020, and Apple has renewed the series for two more seasons. Season two will include 12 brand-new episodes. The show has received critical acclaim,… Read More

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Chromebook users will soon be able to auto-caption any media playing in their browser

Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge Google has announced some new features coming to Chromebooks, including the company’s Live Captions feature that will be added to Chrome on “most” Chrome OS devices in the coming weeks. Once Live Captions are available, users can flip them on in the accessibility settings to get captions for any media with audio right inside their browser. The feature rolled out to Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux in March. Google is also beefing up the Chrome OS Launcher, which lets you search for files and apps, with some new capabilities, allowing you make simple calculations and check the weather, the definition of a… Read More

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Apple now lets you extend a Mac’s AppleCare Plus coverage beyond three years

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge Apple’s Mac computers typically come with a one-year warranty that you can optionally extend to three years by purchasing AppleCare Plus. The extended warranty also adds coverage for accidents and physical damage. But now, Apple is giving Mac customers the choice to keep AppleCare Plus going for even longer than the usual three-year limit. As noticed by MacRumors, there’s a new support page that confirms people in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States can convert AppleCare Plus into an indefinite annual subscription once the coverage they paid for upfront lapses. Apple says the recurring annual coverage must be… Read More

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How an angel investment gave this ex-Microsoft exec an accidental stake in Discord and a fantastic career in venture, backing companies like UiPath and Snowflake

Summary List Placement Investing in an incubator was just a way of keeping S. “Soma” Somasegar’s angel investing hobby afloat. It ended up giving him a stake in Discord — and helped lead him to a career in venture capital. Now a managing director at Madrona Venture Group, Somasegar has since become known as a highly respected enterprise software investor. His portfolio includes UiPath, which made its debut on the public markets on Wednesday; Snowflake, one of the uber-successful IPOs of 2020; and up-and-comers like Clari and Coda, among others. Somasegar began angel investing while he was an exec at Microsoft, where he worked for nearly 27 years, working his… Read More

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More than one scribe wrote the text of a Dead Sea Scroll, handwriting shows

Enlarge / Photographic reproduction of the Great Isaiah Scroll, the best preserved of the biblical scrolls found at Qumran. It contains the entire Book of Isaiah in Hebrew, apart from some small damaged parts. (credit: Public domain) Most of the scribes who copied the text contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls were anonymous, as they neglected to sign their work. That has made it challenging for scholars to determine whether a given manuscript should be attributed to a single scribe or more than one, based on unique elements in their writing styles (a study called paleography). Now, a new handwriting analysis of the Great Isaiah Scroll, applying the tools of artificial intelligence,… Read More

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Microsoft lays out how its hugely successful virtual events became a model for future gatherings

Summary List Placement The coronavirus pandemic struck the US just weeks before Microsoft’s 10th annual Build conference for developers. The tech giant had to make a quick decision. “Senior management told us, ‘Drop all live events and look into what it means to do digital. This is an all-hands, and we’ll give you a bucket,’” Bob Bejan, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of global events, said. After the Build event in May, the company reorganized its events team, cutting jobs and retraining staff to focus on virtual events in a shift Bejan called “painful and hard for everyone.” The biggest change was spending more time and money producing digital content, from… Read More

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This is your brain on Zoom

We all know these constant video calls are doing something to our brains. How else could we get tired and frazzled from sitting around in your own home all day? Well, now Microsoft has done a little brain science and found out that yeah, constant video calls do increase your stress and brain noise. Tell your boss! The study had 14 people participate in eight half-hour video calls, divided into four a day — one day with ten-minute breaks between, and the other all in one block. The participants wore EEG caps: brain-monitoring gear that gives a general idea of types of activity in the old grey matter. What they… Read More

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Per Diem raises $2.3M to help local businesses build subscription programs

It might be time for neighborhood restaurants and coffee shops to start thinking about a subscription business — at least according to a new Y Combinator-backed startup called Per Diem. The company is announcing today that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding led by Two Sigma Ventures. As co-founder CEO Tomer Molovinsky put it, Per Diem helps local businesses “build their own Amazon Prime.” He said that he and his co-founder/CTO Doron Segal started working on this during the pandemic, as local businesses became more willing to consider new models to increase loyalty and regular purchases. Not that this is an entirely new concept. In fact, Molovinsky said… Read More

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