Amazon will reward Prime members for shopping at Whole Foods

Amazon has announced that its Rewards Visa will now offer users the same level of reward when they shop at Whole Foods as they receive at Amazon itself. Eligible Prime members will now receive a flat five percent bonus on all purchases at Whole Foods…
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Google app v7.21 beta adds image donations to Lens, prepares for shopping on smart displays, making the Assistant repeat after you, and more [APK Teardown]

There’s a new beta update to the Google app making the rounds. Like so many others, this one doesn’t bring a lot of changes when it is first installed, but there are plenty of bigger things under the surface waiting to break out. While you can begin donating images to Google Lens today, the future also promises to have smart displays with shopping and YouTube suggestions, more places to set your default output devices for Assistant, and more.

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Google app v7.21 beta adds image donations to Lens, prepares for shopping on smart displays, making the Assistant repeat after you, and more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Recode Daily: Let’s go shopping at Amazon’s high-tech, cashier-free convenience store

Plus, publishers are figuring out how to feel about Facebook’s new News Feed algorithm; now they’re saying that more screen time is good for kids; and the best signs from Women’s Marches around the world.

Amazon is launching its high-tech version of a 7-Eleven — no checkouts, no cashiers and no waiting. Called Amazon Go, the brick-and-mortar concept allows customers to grab items and just walk out without stopping to pay. Five years in the making, the first location opens this morning on the ground floor of Amazon’s new headquarters in Seattle. Here’s a photo tour of what could be the store of the future. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

The federal government shut down on Saturday after the Senate was unable to pass a stopgap spending bill; lawmakers will re-start negotiations today. If the government stays unfunded, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be furloughed. The shutdown occurred on the first anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration; he skipped the celebration at his Mar a Lago resort. On the same day, hundreds of thousands of women marched in cities around the world on the first anniversary of the largely anti-Trump Women’s March. [Nicholas Fandos and Thomas Kaplan / The New York Times]

Facebook will rank news publications by trustworthiness – once its users tell them how to do it. It’s the second big announcement Facebok has made about its News Feed this month, and it raised questions and plenty of tart criticsm. Meanwhile publishers are still trying to figure out what to make of Facebook’s earlier announcement that it was moving away from news. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

Twitter COO Anthony Noto is in talks to become CEO of finance startup SoFi, following Mike Cagney’s resignation after allegations of sexual harassment. One of Twitter’s most important executives, Noto has been the architect for the company’s big strategic push into live video programming; he landed the 2016 deal with the NFL to stream ThursdayNight Football games. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Limiting kids’ access to smartphones, tablets and computers is so 2017. Some educators and researchers are now starting to say that children could benefit from spending more time with screens. New guidance calls for monitoring varieties of interaction, favoring “active” time and creative pursuits over “passive” experiences like watching hours of video. [Christopher Mims / The Wall Street Journal]

Here’s one internet-spawned thing that is unquestionably still bad for kids: The Tide Pods online challenge, in which teens dare each other to eat the candy-colored detergent pods and then post the gross reaction. Procter & Gamble launched a preventative safety campaign last week; here’s what happens if you eat a detergent pod. [Imami Moise and Sharon Terlep / The Wall Street Journal]

The internet is making lots of kids into instant celebrities — and they’re getting paid. Platforms like Musical.ly, Instagram, YouTube, YouNow and Periscope allow anyone with a phone and internet access to build an audience. But parents are faced with mastering new social media and video platforms, dealing with shady agents, defending the physical safety of their newly rich kids and just trying to make sense of their unprecedented fame. [Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic]

Top stories from Recode

Watch “Saturday Night Live” parody Jeff Bezos’ search for Amazon’s HQ2.

“Alexa, send in the next city.”

The New York Times’ stock jumped following Facebook’s “trustworthy” news announcement.

All the news that’s fit to post.

Mark Zuckerberg is “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” says author Andrew Keen.

On the latest Recode Decode, Keen says the Facebook CEO’s latest reforms to the News Feed are not anough, and that he should come up with “radical solutions.”

This is cool

The best signs from the 2018 Women’s Marches around the world.


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How To Outwit Porch Pirates And Hackers During The Holiday Shopping Season

Summer is the Time for eCommerce Tune Up Before The Holidays HitAmericans’ love affair with online shopping continues to grow, and retailers predict a 7 to 10 percent increase in online sales this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.

While that news might make retailers giddy, security experts are reiterating their annual warnings that the convenience of online shopping comes with hazards. You could become the target of hackers out to steal your credit card or bank information, or “porch pirates” who prey on those packages left on your doorstep.

“Consumers need to take proper precautions if they don’t want their holiday merriment turning into holiday gloom,” says Gary Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall, a company that specializes in cyber security.

Changing all your passwords frequently is one way to protect what’s yours. Deleting smartphone or tablet apps you don’t use is another smart move, Miliefsky says, because many of those apps may be malware that spies on you.

Even porch pirates – generally seen as low-tech thieves who simply cruise neighborhoods looking for packages – can go high tech by infiltrating your smartphone where they can eavesdrop on your orders and deliveries.

“Both porch pirates and hackers count on people being lax with their defenses,” Miliefsky says. “But with a little preparation you can thwart their plans.”

He offers a few tips for doing just that:

• Shop online only from websites you trust. If you don’t know where the merchant is located, don’t shop online there. If they don’t have a corporate address or are located in another country, it could be iffy whether you ever see the goods you think you purchased. Also, if their shopping-cart experience is not an HTTPS browser session, then everything you type in – your name, address and credit-card information – is going over the Internet unencrypted, in plain view.
• Pay with credit cards rather than debit cards. If you experience identity theft, credit card laws allow you to keep all of your credit immediately, with no responsibility during an identity theft or fraud investigation. With a debit card, your bank’s policy can be to tie up your money in the amount of the fraudulent transactions for up to 30 days. Some have been known to take up to 60 days to resolve the issue.
• Get permission to ship all your packages to work. That way they aren’t left unguarded at your doorstep for hours where anyone walking by could snatch them. If this arrangement works out, be sure to tell all your friends and family also to ship packages to your work address.
• Ask a friend or neighbor to receive your packages for you. You might not be home on work days, but plenty of people are. Trusted friends who are retired or who work at home might be happy to let you have packages delivered to them for safe keeping.

“It’s wonderful that you can go online and track down those hard-to-find gifts that aren’t available in local shops,” Miliefsky says. “Just make sure you’re taking measures to help keep you and your personal information safe. The holidays will be a whole lot brighter if you do.”

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