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LanceList - Issue #176

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Amazon Prime 1 Day; Walmart Test Retail Experience; The Cost of Counterfeit Ink; Uber's Massive IPO
 

LanceLetter

April 26 · Issue #176 · View online
Stuff that matters.

Amazon Prime 1 Day; Walmart Test Retail Experience; The Cost of Counterfeit Ink; Uber’s Massive IPO

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Faster. I’ve always thought the $119-a-year Amazon Prime service was a good deal. Access to a boatload of video content, special Prime deals, and, of course, free two-day shipping. The last is fantastic for those times when you forget someone’s birthday until the last minute and need a gift fast. And two-days is fast, right? How about one day? Amazon said yesterday it’s working on reducing free ship time for Prime members to one day. I’ve already noticed that sometimes what I ordered shows up in less than 24 hours, so this sounds completely doable. How long before same-day free shipping becomes a thing?
Amazon to offer free one-day Prime shipping
A new kind of mart. Perhaps Amazon is accelerating on service perks because it’s trying to keep ahead of retail giant Walmart. It has 2-day free shipping, but also a larger physical store footprint than Amazon, and one that it’s looking to upgrade. The company just opened a new retail experience that, like Amazon’s Go stores, uses in-store cameras and sensors. However, unlike Go, which does away with most humans and checkout kiosks, the Walmart test store in Levittown, NY, uses those sensors and AI to track inventory and make sure shelves are stocked and food is fresh. There are other tech perks like an interactive wall and the visibility of the big servers running the whole place. I know I want to check it out.
Walmart unveils an AI-powered store of the future, now open to the public – TechCrunch
Dirty Ink. So, did you get an amazing deal on ink or toner from an online retailer? Perhaps too good to be true? You might have bought counterfeit ink. These are often emptied cartridges refilled with cheap ink and put in fake or stolen packaging. According to industry experts, there’s a lot of it out there, and while you may be saving big bucks, there’s a very dark side to this whole counterfeit ink business. Read my investigation for the details.
How Big Printer Is Trying to Crush the Counterfeit Ink Trade
A lot of rides. Uber is set to go public with a massive valuation of $103 Billion, making it one of the largest IPOs in history. The ride-sharing service has had a long and bumpy ride to this moment, but now it’s diversified with services like Uber Eats and has a more rational CEO. It even plans to enrich drivers with some of the cash from going public. The cash infusion from going public will, I assume, mostly be used to build out more services and, especially, fast track the autonomous taxi service.
Uber is going public at a $90 billion valuation | Markets Insider
Material science. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold didn’t fail because it couldn’t hold up to repeated bends, it got pulled because Samsung failed to make it impossible to remove a protective layer from the folding screen and they didn’t protect the interior well-enough from debris. In fact, what Samsung did to make the folding touch screen work so well is pretty impressive and scratches the surface of what’s possible with metamaterials, basically atomically manipulated materials that do things regular ones can’t. Think of a flat piece of glass that acts like a lens and you get the idea. More details in this science Friday piece.
Bizarre New Materials Could Make Bendy Phones That Work | WIRED
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