March 5, 2024

Amazon is still selling the clothes hook spy cameras it’s being sued over

Should Amazon be allowed to sell spy cams?

Should Amazon be allowed to sell spy cams?
Photo: Michaela Rehle (Reuters)

Amazon may be responsible, at least partly, for a man spying on an underage girl using a clothes hook hidden camera, a US judge ruled less than two weeks ago. You’d think the first thing the retail giant would do is pull down any and all such listings—but no.—Ananya Bhattacharya | Read More

Starlink traffic skyrocketed in Brazil this year—for better or for worse

Elon Musk’s Starlink has covered the inner corners of Brazil.

Elon Musk’s Starlink has covered the inner corners of Brazil.
Photo: Nacho Doce (Reuters)

SpaceX’s star satellite business is skyrocketing everywhere, and so are the threats it brings.

Starlink traffic more than tripled this year globally, according to an analysis of aggregate Cloudflare traffic volumes associated with the service’s autonomous system (AS14593) throughout 2023.—Ananya Bhattacharya | Read More

China is eager to challenge the US by boosting ties with Vietnam

A Vietnamese pupil holds Vietnamese and Chinese flags.

China and Vietnam are looking to improve railway links between the two countries.
Photo: Reuters (Reuters)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping makes a trip to Vietnam this week, visiting the Southeast Asian country’s capital of Hanoi starting Tuesday (Dec. 12).

Already, Chinese state media are hailing the visit—Xi’s first journey next door in six years—as presaging “a new chapter in China-Vietnam relations” (link in Chinese). Quoting a phrase that Vietnam’s founding leader, Ho Chi Minh, used to describe bilateral relations, state broadcaster CCTV dubbed Beijing and Hanoi “both comrades and brothers” (link in Chinese).—Mary Hui | Read More

Where McDonald’s new CosMc’s drive-thru’s are expanding to next

Cars wait in the four-lane drive-thru of the first CosMc’s in Illinois.

Cars wait in the four-lane drive-thru of the first CosMc’s in Illinois.
Image: Eric Cox (Reuters)

CosMc’s, the new space-themed spinoff from McDonald’s, opened its first location on Dec. 8 in a suburb of Chicago. The drive-thru-only concept offers a Starbucks-meets-Sonic menu, featuring fruity and coffee-flavored slushes and drinks.—Laura Bratton | Read More

Misleading BP’s board has cost its former CEO $40 million

Who would’ve imagined this exit for Bernard Looney?

Who would’ve imagined this exit for Bernard Looney?
Photo: Toby Melville (Reuters)

BP’s ex-chief Bernard Looney is paying a hefty price for keeping things from the board.

The former CEO “knowingly misled the board” about his personal relationships with colleagues at the time of his resignation in September 2022, the 113-year-old oil giant said in a press release. Giving “inaccurate and incomplete assurances” as part of an investigation into the relationships in 2022 amounts to “serious misconduct,” and consequently, Looney’s remuneration has been reduced by £32 million ($41 million).—Ananya Bhattacharya | Read More

Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellites are a step closer to competing with Elon Musk’s Starlink

Image for article titled The week in business news: Amazon clothes hook cams, Starlink in Brazil

Image: Courtesy of Amazon/Kuiper

According to Amazon, the prototype satellites KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 were able to send and receive data at up to 100 Gbps, which is much higher than standard residential internet data transfer speeds. The testing was conducted in November.—Mara Johnson-Groh | Read More

A fan was fined $250,000 for selling Luke Combs-themed tumblers, calling copyright litigation into question

Luke Combs didn’t want to sue the fan making tumblers with his name and logo.

Luke Combs didn’t want to sue the fan making tumblers with his name and logo.
Photo: Mario Anzuoni (Reuters)

Luck Combs said it “makes me sick” to learn that a woman from Florida who sold unofficial tumblers with his likeness was sued by his team.

Nicol Harness, a fan who makes her living selling T-shirts and tumblers on Amazon, was served a copyright lawsuit by Combs’ representatives in October, but she never caught wind of it. The lawsuit was sent by email instead of in person—something the Northern District of Illinois federal court allows—and it went to her junk mail, according to CBS. Harness only came to know she’d been sued after realizing that the $5,500 in her Amazon seller account was frozen.—Ananya Bhattacharya | Read More

US pork producers in 2023 are looking at their least profitable year on record

A hog farm in Kenyon, Minnesota.

A hog farm in Kenyon, Minnesota.
Image: Nicholas Pfosi (Reuters)

It’s no secret that Americans love bacon. In one US survey, more than 20% of respondents said they’d be happy to eat bacon every day for the rest of their lives. But love only goes so far.—Laura Bratton | Read More

Americans over 65 will account for nearly 60% of all labor force growth over the next decade

An older white man looking pensive.

Image: Bosnian (Shutterstock)

Older workers are contributing more to the economy than ever.

Most baby boomers—members of the second-largest generation in the US—are now 65 or older, qualifying them as “older workers” if they still hold jobs, according to a Pew Research study released Thursday (Dec. 13). Boomers have opted to stay in the workforce rather than retire, partly thanks to changes in social security benefits that raised the retirement age to 67 for workers born after 1960. In addition, many people who retired early during the pandemic returned to jobs starting in late 2021.—Laura Bratton | Read More

Google made sure to emphasize live demos of its new Gemini Pro developer tools

 Google, Microsoft and Alphabet logos and AI Artificial Intelligence words are seen in this illustration taken, May 4, 2023.

Photo: Dado Ruvic (Reuters)

When Google dropped its new generative AI model Gemini in a prerecorded video demo last week, it highlighted the differentiating elements of the ChatGPT rival, such as its ability to converse out loud. But there seemed to be a gap between what was shown and the large language model’s true capabilities.—Michelle Cheng | Read More

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