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

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  • 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.

Nike’s Self Tying Sneakers Works With An App So Could They Be Hacked?

Nike Adapt BB Black Pure Platinum

Nike’s Adapt BBs aren’t even the first pair of smart shoes. Under Armour has been making connected kicks for a while now — it’s on its fourth generation with its HOVR line, with an embedded chip that tracks your footsteps and running pace. Puma also entered the self-tying shoe world with the Puma Fit Intelligence line, which it announced Jan. 31.

Nike and Under Armour say they’re taking data privacy and security seriously with their new shoes. Puma, which is expecting its self-tying sneakers release in 2020, didn’t offer details on its shoe security protocol.

While Nike says it’s kept its connected sneakers safe from hackers, the concern is that as more companies try to make connected shoes, the chances of having a shoe eventually hacked will increase.

The Adapt BBs pair with Nike’s app through Bluetooth Low Energy, a connection protocol that’s often used in smart devices because it allows for longer battery life. The sneaker connection is encrypted, a Nike spokesman said.

However, Bluetooth Low Energy isn’t impervious. Security researchers have found issues with BLE chips that could have allowed hackers to spread malware across hospitals and factories.

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Nike’s app will do more than just control the laces on your sneakers. The company wants to collect data through the app to help athletes with their performance

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Inside the shoebox for Under Armour’s new line of HOVR sneakers, which have a chip inside that tracks your steps and running activity.

 

Amazon Raises Whole Food Prices

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Sneaky Data Brokers Selling Online Dating Profiles by the Millions

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May 2017, Moll and Tactical Tech purchased one million dating profiles from the data broker website USDate, for around $153. The profiles came from numerous dating sites including Match, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, and OkCupid. For that relatively small sum, they gained access to huge swaths of information. The datasets included usernames, email addresses, gender, age, sexual orientation, interests, profession, as well as detailed physical and personality traits and five million photos.

The reason why sites use all of this data is multi-layered. One use is to prepopulate their services in order to attract new subscribers. Another way the data is used, according to Moll, is similar to how most websites that collect your data use it: The dating app companies are looking at what else you do online, how much you use the apps, what device you’re using, and reading your language patterns to serve you ads or keep you using the app longer.

Lowes Plans To Increase Workforce

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January 4, 2019, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. announced plans to hire more than 65,000 associates this year to improve customer service and product availability.

  • More than 50,000 seasonal positions as Lowe’s positions itself as the go-to home improvement retailer for customers’ spring indoor and outdoor projects.
  • Nearly 10,000 permanent associates as part of a Merchandising Service Team (MST) focused on best-in-class inventory management, which includes the execution of critical tasks such as general bay service and resets.
  • Approximately 6,000 full-time assistant store manager and department supervisor roles to improve customer service and leadership.
  • More than 2,000 technology roles, including software engineers, data scientists and other digital positions, to build and enhance core technology capabilities and deliver on our omnichannel strategy. The first 500 of these technology positions will be posted and filled throughout 2019.

Netflix Phishing Scam

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The Federal Trade Commission has issued an alert about a phishing scam designed to steal personal information.

In a Wednesday warning, the FTC described fake Netflix messages claiming the customer’s account is on hold because the service is “having some trouble with your current billing information.”

Intelligent Stores Coming Your Way

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Image result for AI in retail

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The upcoming year plans to bring exciting technological breakthroughs. The “physical realm” of commerce will continue to dissolve, in 2019 and we’ll enter the age of “Experience-Driven, Unified Commerce”. A new type of retail paradigm where connectivity is ubiquitous, will exists without borders, and payment credentials are stored in the cloud. Consumers will interact with a host of “gateway” devices including smartphones, tablets, voice assistants, smartwatches, appliances, clothing, fashion accessories, automobiles, and more…anytime and everywhere. In order to keep up with the increasing demand for quick resolution and 24/7 accessibility, customer service will become increasingly automated, with AI-enabled live chat and virtual assistants becoming dominant communication channels.

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The physical store of the future will be a significantly more digitized version of what exists today, with multiple smart devices working together on a single IoT platform to deliver hyper-personalized, adaptive and context specific experiences. AI will soon be applied across the entire retail product and service cycle, in areas such as product design and manufacturing, demand forecasting, supply chain management, price and assortment optimization, merchandising, promotions, customer experience. personalization, and post-sale customer service.

With AI and deep learning, retailers can use prediction analysis to determine which products might not sell under certain conditions – including market, economic, competitor and weather related factors – and create a combination of targeted discounts, dynamic, pricing, free shipping, enhanced services, product combinations etc., to clear out the inventory that is most likely not to sell after a certain period.

 

 

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