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Amazon’s HQ2 In New York City Goes Sour & Bows Out


  • Amazon has decided not to move forward with plans for an HQ2 campus in New York’s Long Island City, according to a statement on the company’s blog.
  • The company does not intend to reopen the HQ2 search, instead proceeding with planned expansions in Northern Virginia and Nashville. Amazon also noted that it has more than 5,000 employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island, and will continue to grow its New York teams.
  • The news shows Amazon bowing to previously reported political pressure. “While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” the company said in the statement.

Amazon Raises Whole Food Prices



Amazon to Pay Workers $15.00 Minimum Wage



The company’s workforce management practices have come under criticism from both lawmakers and employees in recent years. Some staffers are pursuing legal action against Amazon over claims of unpaid wages, while others are pushing to unionize.

Amazon’s wage raise could also boost its recruiting efforts amid low unemployment and moves by rival retailers to offer more competitive compensation. Walmart Inc. raised the minimum hourly rate for its employees to $11 an hour in January, while Target Corp. set its base pay to $12 a few months later and plans to hit the $15 mark by the end of 2020.

Amazon will start offering more competitive wages in the U.K. as well. The company plans to raise the minimum hourly wage to £10.50, or $13.60, in London and to £9.50, or $12.30, for the rest of the U.K. effective Nov. 1.

Research Says Shoppers Will Leave Checkout Line If Checkout Is Too Hard



  • a recent consumer study by Splitit, 87% of online shoppers said they would leave their shopping carts during checkout if the process was too difficult. And on top of that, 55% admitted they would never return to the retailer’s site.
  • In addition, 90% of shoppers over 55 would not follow through with a purchase and 7% would never return to the site after a lengthy checkout process. Ads are another checkout annoyance, with 28% of consumers over 45 saying they would leave their cart if they felt there were too many ads.
  • Overall, digital cart abandonment is currently as high as 70%. Gil Don, CEO and co-founder of Splitit, noted in the release that, “Online merchants must be sure to include clear and easy ways to enter customer details, choose delivery options and make payments, while ensuring that the process does not become cumbersome for the shopper.”
  • No. 1 reason for shopping cart abandonment — cited by 58% of consumers — is high shipping costs. Another 8% cited longer-than-desired delivery times as reasons to abort. In an era of Amazon Prime’s free two-day delivery, other retailers are under pressure to match with free delivery or include other incentives at checkout to continue to compete with the marketplace giant.
  • A study by Optimizely, reported in Biz Rate, states that 35% of all shoppers can be turned off of a brand from just a single bad user experience.


Detecting Fake Amazon Reviews


When analyzing product reviews, Fakespot takes a look at certain “credentials” from the reviewer and the review itself. From the reviewer, it looks to see if it’s a verified purchase, and if the dates and content correlate.


how to spot fake reviews on amazon headphonesfakespot



how to spot fake reviews on amazon reviewmeta

ReviewMeta functions much like Fakespot. All you need to do is paste the URL of the product in question, and the site will analyze the reviews and search for unnatural patterns, awarding the product with a pass, warn, or fail. Do keep in mind, however, that a low grade does not mean it’s a fake product, just that their algorithm detects some unnatural patterns throughout the product reviews.

ReviewMeta also provides some additional information, like how many of the reviews were unverified purchases, and how the word count of a review can affect its validity. This provides a more all-encompassing overview of the reviews and gives you some insight into whether you can trust them or not.

how to spot fake reviews on amazon headphonereviewmeta


Oprah Has A Deal With Apple

Image result for oprah winfrey and apple


Apple has signed Oprah Winfrey to a multiyear deal for new original programs.

 Apple is now going head to head with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in a war for consumers’ attention.


“Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” the company said in a statement Friday. “Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.”

Apple did not specify whether Winfrey would appear in any of the shows, but she is expected to have an on-screen role as a host and interviewer. The company also declined to discuss financial aspects of the deal.

Apple said the deal will not affect Winfrey’s contract with OWN, the television network she launched in 2011. Winfrey recently extended her contract there through 2025.

Apple, Amazon and Netflix have been competing to lock-in producers, show runners and performers, and paying unprecedented sums to do so. Apple has made deals for more than a dozen shows with big names like Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Durant. 

Netflix recently signed former President Barack and former First Lady Michelle Obama in a multiyear deal that will see them producing and starring in original shows. Netflix also has a show hosted by David Letterman that features interviews with the world’s biggest celebrities.

ACLU Wants Amazon To Stop Offering Facial Recognition Tech To Governments & Law Enforcement


The American Civil Liberties Union wants Amazon to stop offering their new facial recognition system” to governments and law enforcement.

The service, called “Rekognition,” uses artificial intelligence to identify, track and analyze faces in real time. According to Amazon, the service can “analyze billions of images and videos daily, and requires no machine learning expertise to use.”

The ACLU said in a blog post about the program: “People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government. By automating mass surveillance, facial recognition systems like Rekognition threaten this freedom, posing a particular threat to communities already unjustly targeted in the current political climate. Once powerful surveillance systems like these are built and deployed, the harm will be extremely difficult to undo.”

Rekognition was released in late 2016, with the sheriff’s office in Washington County, Oregon, as its first customers, according to the Associated Press. The department uses the service about 20 times per day.
 Deputy Jeff Talbot, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office told the AP. “We want our local community to be aware of what we’re doing, how we’re using it to solve crimes – what it is and, just as importantly, what it is not.”

The Orlando Police Department began a pilot program last year with the Rekognition technology in what police chief John Mina called a “first-of-its-kind public-private partnership.”

In a presentation from a developer conference in Seoul, South Korea, Amazon’s Ranju Das said, “It’s about recognizing people, it’s about tracking people, and then it’s about doing this in real time, so that the law enforcement officers … can be then alerted in real time to events that are happening.”

In an email to the AP, the Orlando Police Department said they are “not using the technology in an investigative capacity or in any public spaces at this time.”

“The purpose of a pilot program such as this, is to address any concerns that arise as the new technology is tested,” the statement said. “Any use of the system will be in accordance with current and applicable law. We are always looking for new solutions to further our ability to keep the residents and visitors of Orlando safe.

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