Why Amazon Is Giving Employees $10,000 to Quit

The so-called last mile of delivery—getting an order to the customer’s door—has long been an obsession for ecommerce companies. To make the journey as efficient as they can, some have engaged in extreme experiments. Take Walmart: Two years ago, it tried asking its employees to deliver online orders before and after work, in their own cars. That idea was later abandoned, but the problem of the last mile remains, even for the biggest retailers. Now, Amazon is offering to pay its employees thousands of dollars to deliver packages—they just have to quit their current jobs first. Last June, Amazon created the Delivery Service Partner program to allow entrepreneurs to create their own businesses delivering packages for Amazon. The idea was …

The EPA is meant to protect us. The Monsanto trials proves it isn’t | Nathan Donley and Carey Gillam

Three public trials involving Monsanto have raised troubling questions about lax oversight of all pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency Ever since Monsanto introduced its line of Roundup weedkillers to the world in 1974, the products have been touted by the company and regulators as extremely safe. The corporate secrets in three public trials has revealed a covert campaign to cover-up the pesticides risks and raised troubling questions about lax oversight of all pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies that are supposed to be protecting public health. Two recently concluded Roundup product liability never conducted epidemiology studies for Roundup and its other formulations made with the active ingredient glyphosate, to see if the products could lead …

Here’s one tax that restaurant owners just might approve of | Gene Marks

Anthony Myint is promoting an optional 1% tax on dinner bills to help support California farmers tackle climate change Ask any restaurant owner today and theyll tell you that running their business is not easy. Costs are creeping up, margins are tight and the competition is tough. So the last thing a restaurateur would want is another tax, right? Maybe not. Thats what Anthony Myint is hoping. Myint is the co-owner of Mission Chinese, a popular restaurant with locations in the Bay Area and New York. Hes concerned with the environment and particularly global warming. So he has decided to do something about it. And because of his efforts, the state of California will have a new tax this fall …

The Existential Crisis Plaguing Online Extremism Researchers

A couple of hours after the Christchurch massacre, I was on the phone with Whitney Phillips, a Syracuse professor whose research focuses on online extremists and media manipulators. Toward the end of the call, our conversation took an unexpected turn. Phillips said she was exhausted and distressed, and that she felt overwhelmed by the nature of her work. She described a “soul sucking” feeling stemming in part from an ethical conundrum tied to researching the ills of online extremism and amplification. In a connected, searchable world, it’s hard to share information about extremists and their tactics without also sharing their toxic views. Too often, actions intended to stem the spread of false and dangerous ideologies only make things worse. The …

Huawei Still Has Friends in Europe, Despite US Warnings

US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo warned US allies in February against using technology built by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, going so far as to suggest the US might stop sharing intelligence with countries whose communications infrastructures rely on Huawei’s equipment. Pompeo's remarks during a European speaking tour echoed years of concerns from the US government over the possibility that Huawei might use its products to help China spy on US citizens. Huawei has repeatedly denied that it has spied or would spy on US citizens on behalf of China, and it sued the US government over a law banning government agencies from doing business with companies that buy gear from Huawei and its fellow Chinese telecom giant ZTE. But …

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Met With President Trump

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump lobbed another attack against Twitter on its own platform, calling the company “very discriminatory” and saying “they don’t treat me well as a Republican.” He then accused the company of “playing political games” and called on Congress to “get involved.” It wasn’t the first time Trump complained about a supposed anticonservative bias on Twitter, but it was noteworthy for another reason: It turns out the president was scheduled to meet Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later that day. Twitter policy head Vijaya Gadde notified employees Tuesday that their boss was supposed to meet with Trump in a 30-minute, closed-door meeting later that afternoon, according to a company email reviewed by WIRED. According to the email, …

Trump safety cuts may cause workplace deaths to soar, says report

Federal watchdog OSHA has cut workplace safety inspectors to the lowest level in its 48-year history under Trump administration A number of workplace safety advocates fear fatalities will soar as Trump cuts back on the federal work safety watchdog Occupation Safety and Health Administration (Osha). The latest Death on the Job report from union federation AFL-CIO, released to time with Workers Memorial Day, showed a slight dip in deaths from 2016, when 5,190 people died on the job. Some 5,147 people were killed on the job in 2017, Donald Trumps first year in office. But the true toll of work-related injuries and illnesses may be closer to 7m to 10.5m each year, according to a report released on Thursday. Under …

Google Will Now Require Suppliers to Give Benefits to Workers

Silicon Valley’s use of nontraditional employment arrangements, where workers typically aren’t afforded the same privileges as employees, has grown faster than full-time jobs, even as tech giants come under fire for their treatment of Uber drivers, Google cafeteria workers, or Facebook content moderators. But after sustained protest from contractors and employees, Google said Tuesday it will require outside companies that supply it labor to offer better working conditions, including comprehensive health care, 12 weeks of parental leave, and a $15-per-hour minimum wage. Google’s policy change arrives amid a wider reckoning over Silicon Valley’s impact, from income inequality to workers rights. Last week, thousands of Uber drivers protested an abrupt move to cut per-mile fares by 25 percent, as the company …

Alexa, What’s My Blood-Sugar Level?

Amazon may be known as the “everything store,” but the company’s tendrils extend far beyond ecommerce. On Thursday, Amazon said Alexa-enabled devices can now handle customers’ sensitive medical data, and it teased the release of a new kit that would allow approved outside developers to build Alexa skills that access users’ private health information, paving the way for the voice assistant to play a bigger role in health care. With the announcement came the release of new skills giving Alexa the ability to relay and store blood sugar measurements from internet-connected monitoring devices, help schedule doctors’ appointments, pass on post-op instructions from hospitals, and provide prescription delivery updates by securely accessing customers’ private medical information. As part of the announcement, …

China’s factories are now defying the economic slowdown

Hong Kong (CNN Business)China’s factories are picking up new orders and hiring workers again, defying the recent slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy. Growth in China’s factory sector shifted into reverse at the end of last year and economists polled by Refinitiv had predicted this trend would continue. The figures “will go a long way to allaying slowdown fears about China, at least in the short-term,” wrote Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia-Pacific market analyst at investment firm Oanda, in a market commentary Monday. Investors will now be focusing on the next stage of trade negotiations between the United States and China, which are due to take place in Washington this week, Halley added. The rebound in China’s manufacturing sector and optimism …

Purdue Pharma agrees to settle OxyContin opioid case with Oklahoma

Purdue and the Sacklers to pay Oklahoma $270m in settlement over aggressive and illegal marketing of painkiller Members of the opioid epidemic, appear for the first time to have acknowledged a role in the public health crisis that overall has claimed more than 350,000 lives over the past two decades. The settlement does not reflect any admission of wrongdoing by the Sacklers. Oklahomas attorney general, Mike Hunter, called the settlement a monumental victory and a new day in battle against opioid epidemic. sued personally by more than 500 cities, counties and Native American tribes in a massive lawsuit in New York federal court last week. Paul Hanly, a US lawyer heading a different federal lawsuit, which is consolidating about 1,600 …

Trump looks good for 2020, experts say, because ‘economy is so damn strong’

Wall Street economists claim low unemployment rate and rising GDP point to Trump victory, despite his poor personal polls Forget Robert Mueller and Stormy Daniels. Ignore Russia. If the election were held today, Donald Trump would win and if Americas economy remains robust he may well win again in 2020, according to Wall Street. Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Inside Airbnbs Guerrilla War Against Local Governments

"Read my lips: We want to pay taxes,” Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s global head of public policy, told the nation’s mayors in 2016. In the years since, the home-sharing site has repeated the declaration in press releases, op-eds, emails, and on billboards. On its website, Airbnb says it is “democratizing revenue by generating tens of millions of new tax dollars for governments all over the world.” But when Palm Beach County, Florida, a popular tourist destination, passed an ordinance in October 2018 requiring Airbnb and other short-term rental companies to collect and pay the county’s 6 percent occupancy tax on visits arranged through their sites, Airbnb sued. Palm Beach County tax collector Anne Gannon wasn’t surprised. “We knew we were going …

The People Trying to Make Internet Recommendations Less Toxic

The internet is an ocean of algorithms trying to tell you what to do. YouTube and Netflix proffer videos they calculate you’ll watch. Facebook and Twitter filter and reorganize posts from your connections, avowedly in your interest—but also in their own. New York entrepreneur Brian Whitman helped create such a system. He sold a music analytics startup called The Echo Nest to Spotify in 2014, bolstering the streaming music service’s ability to recommend new songs from a person’s past listening. Whitman says he saw clear evidence of algorithms’ value at Spotify. But he founded his current startup, Canopy, after becoming fearful of their downsides. “Traditional recommendation systems involve scraping every possible bit of data about me and then putting it …

Carlos Ghosn’s lawyer apologises as workman disguise ploy backfires

Former Nissan chief widely mocked for leaving detention dressed as workman A lawyer on Nissan chairs reputation. Not only did the widely mocked getup, intended to throw reporters off the scent, fool no one. It also heightened already intense media interest in Ghosn, who was financial misconduct, emerged from 108 days in detention flanked by officials and sporting dark blue overalls, a light blue cap and a surgical mask. The blue-collar bluff continued when Ghosn got into a silver Suzuki van with a workmans ladder strapped to its roof and was driven across Tokyo to his lawyers office, pursued by media motorcycles and helicopters, . The exact location of his residence, where he was later reunited with his family, remains …

This Big Facebook Critic Fears Techs Business Model

Longtime Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee met Mark Zuckerberg in 2006, when the Facebook CEO was just 22 and his two-year-old company still only catered to university students. Facebook was young, but McNamee was already convinced it was “the next big thing,” he told WIRED editor in chief Nicholas Thompson on Sunday during a keynote conversation at SXSW 2019 in Austin. “The thing that had killed every attempt at social apps before that [was] essentially that the ability to be anonymous allowed trolls to take over. I was convinced that Mark’s requirement of authenticated identity was literally the holy grail, it was the thing that was going to unlock this opportunity.” There was no investment opportunity at the time; McNamee …