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    Amazon’s 2nd-gen Echo Show offers better cameras, CPUs, and speakers / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 12 May - 20:12

Amazon launched hardware upgrades for its Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 product lineup today; the new versions have higher-resolution cameras, upgraded CPUs, and a new Echo Show 5 Kids . The Echo Show 10 did not get a hardware refresh.

If you aren't familiar with the product line, the Echo Show is essentially an Amazon Echo smart speaker with a screen on it. The devices can be used as digital clocks, videoconferencing solutions, screens for Amazon Ring doorbells, and more—each Show device is basically an Alexa-controlled Fire HD tablet, with all the capabilities that implies.

Amazon leans heavily on privacy concerns with these devices, taking what certainly looks like a swipe aimed directly at Google's competing Nest and Home devices:

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    Amazon and others ordered to slash diesel pollution from warehouse trucks / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 11 May - 15:37 · 1 minute

An Amazon Prime delivery truck drives through the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach on April 22, 2020, in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

Enlarge / An Amazon Prime delivery truck drives through the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach on April 22, 2020, in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (credit: Robyn Beck / AFP )

The trucks that move goods sold by Amazon and other e-commerce retailers have become a growing source of diesel pollution across the US, and few places are feeling the effects as acutely as Southern California. Now, the region is pushing back with a new air pollution rule aimed at slashing noxious emissions from warehouse trucks. The rule could serve as a template for other areas.

As e-commerce has grown in recent years—and surged during the pandemic—retailers have been building warehouses at a breakneck pace. Amazon, for example, plans to expand the square footage of its fulfillment centers in the US by 50 percent this year. Each new or expanded warehouse requires more trucks both to stock its shelves and to distribute its orders.

Though the warehouses serve customers scattered throughout the region, pollution is heaviest on the streets around the warehouse, and the people living nearby suffer most acutely. Diesel pollution from heavy trucks causes everything from asthma to heart attacks, and even Parkinson’s disease. Previously, such pollution tended to be concentrated around shipping ports and highways, but the growth of e-commerce has created a new source that is affecting neighborhoods farther inland.

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    Amazon “seized and destroyed” 2 million counterfeit products in 2020 / ArsTechnica · Monday, 10 May - 19:15

Several Amazon trailers lined up outside a shipping center.

Enlarge / Amazon trailers backed into bays at a distribution center in Miami, Florida in August 2019. (credit: Getty Images | Lawrence Glass)

Amazon "seized and destroyed" over 2 million counterfeit products that sellers sent to Amazon warehouses in 2020 and "blocked more than 10 billion suspected bad listings before they were published in our store," the company said in its first " Brand Protection Report ."

In 2020, "we seized and destroyed more than 2 million products sent to our fulfillment centers and that we detected as counterfeit before being sent to a customer," Amazon's report said. "In cases where counterfeit products are in our fulfillment centers, we separate the inventory and destroy those products so they are not resold elsewhere in the supply chain," the report also said.

Third-party sellers can also ship products directly to consumers instead of using Amazon's shipping system. The 2 million fakes found in Amazon fulfillment centers would only account for counterfeit products from sellers using the " Fulfilled by Amazon " service.

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    Parler laisse tomber sa plainte contre Amazon, qui l’avait mis hors ligne / Numerama · Wednesday, 3 March - 14:58


Le réseau social américain Parler, prisé de l'extrême droite, passe à autre chose : l'entreprise s'est désistée de sa plainte. [Lire la suite]

Voitures, vélos, scooters... : la mobilité de demain se lit sur Vroom !

L'article Parler laisse tomber sa plainte contre Amazon, qui l’avait mis hors ligne est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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    AWS director sues Amazon, alleging systemic racism in corporate office / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 2 March - 21:43


Enlarge / Amazon's orange-yellow logo wall. (credit: David Ryder/Getty Images)

A senior manager at Amazon Web Services has filed suit against the company alleging race and gender discrimination, saying that she was underpaid, denied promotions, and sexually assaulted at the firm.

Charlotte Newman, who is Black, began working at AWS in 2017 in a public policy role. Prior to joining Amazon, she served as a congressional advisor, including a senior role advising US Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). From the start, she alleges, she was "de-leveled"—hired at a position below the one for which she applied and for which she was qualified—and undercompensated as a result.

Underpaying Black employees through de-leveling is routine at Amazon, the suit ( PDF ) alleges. "When a company's top leaders traffic in stereotypes of Black employees and fail to condemn intimidation tactics, managers farther down the chain will take note of that modus operandi and behave accordingly," the filing reads.

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