We test the world’s first Amazon Go “watch you shop” grocery store

Enlarge / Amazon Go: The bottle. (credit: Sam Machkovech) SEATTLE—A little over one year ago, I tried, and failed, to sneak into Amazon Go. The pilot version of Amazon’s first grocery store experiment advertised a first in the world of brick-and-mortar shopping: if you want to buy something, just pick it up, toss it in your bag, and walk out. A camera system watches you and uniquely tags every item you pick up, then the story automatically charges a pre-registered credit card for the purchases. No clerks, no check-out aisles. Amazon’s late-2016 announcement of this store was more about building buzz than letting the public in, however. Initially, it was… Read More

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A portfolio manager at a $991 billion firm shares which of the tech giants face the biggest regulatory risks (FB, AAPL, GOOGL, NFLX)

Facebook and Google face bigger regulatory risks than Amazon, according to David Eiswert, the portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price’s Global Stock Fund. Top lawyers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google appeared in Congress in November to answer questions about Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Facebook’s advertising platform is “like a wide-open Wild West,” Eiswert said. The largest online platforms have come under intense scrutiny about how their sites were used and abused during the 2016 US presidential election campaign. But even though investors have coined a convenient acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, they’re by no means lumping their risks together. “The giants that I… Read More

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‘Incredibly demoralizing’: YouTube kicks out smaller creators from money-making program, and Canadians feel the pinch

TORONTO — Ray Reynolds has attracted over 200,000 views to his travel adventures on YouTube, but last week he learned his Canadian video channel just wasn’t popular enough. In a brief email sent by Google, the Vancouver-based creator of “Vacation: Impossible” was bluntly informed he would soon lose status as a monetized channel, effectively stripping his ability to earn money off his videos. YouTube was pushing smaller channels out of its monetization program, the email said, but if he worked harder to draw in viewers maybe he would get back into the exclusive club. “I’ve never been in it for the money,” Reynolds said of making his videos. “(But) I… Read More

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Government Shutdown Throws Wrench in SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Launch

The U.S. government shutdown has forced SpaceX to delay the launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. Currently, the Falcon Heavy is on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL awaiting its first test flight. And it will remain there because a test requires the help of the U.S. Air Force, which is unable to provide assistance pending the passage of a spending bill. In a statement to news site The Verge on Monday, the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, which is tasked with keeping the public safe during launches, said that the shutdown has caused it to remove “key members of the civilian workforce” from its… Read More

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Concord to ban foam takeout food containers

CONCORD — Concord intends to join the list of California cities that ban polystyrene foam takeout food and beverage containers. Polystyrene, which is not biodegradable, breaks up into smaller pieces that may contaminate soil and water. Furthermore, the plastic material is harmful to birds and marine life if consumed. The chemical styrene also has been linked to cancer in humans. More than 100 counties and cities across the state have banned polystyrene products, according to Californians Against Waste, a nonprofit environmental research and advocacy organization. In Contra Costa County, Martinez, Walnut Creek, El Cerrito, Richmond, Hercules, Lafayette and Pittsburg prohibit restaurants and other vendors that sell prepared food from using… Read More

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