Amazon plans to open as many as six more cashierless Amazon Go stores this year

New futuristic convenience stores could appear in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Amazon’s much-heralded convenience store of the future, Amazon Go, may seem like a crazy experiment. But the company plans to open as many as six more of these storefronts this year, multiple people familiar with the company’s plans have told Recode.

Some of the new high-tech stores are likely to open in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, where the first location is based, as well as Los Angeles, these people said. It’s not clear if Amazon will open up Go stores in any other cities this year.

In Los Angeles, Amazon has held serious talks with billionaire developer Rick Caruso about bringing a Go store to The Grove, his 600,000-square-foot outdoor shopping Mecca, two of these people said.

And in Seattle, Amazon had identified at least three locations for additional Go stores as of last year, according to one source.

Update: An Amazon declined to comment. Neither Caruso nor his company’s spokesperson responded to queries about his discussions with Amazon.

The first Amazon Go store opened one month ago to much fanfare, after more than 12 months of hype that only crescendoed as the company delayed the public opening by about a year.

Amazon spent four years crafting a system — dubbed Just Walk Out Technology — that allows shoppers to scan their phone upon entrance, grab desired items off a shelf, and automatically get charged the right amount after exiting without the need to stop at a cash register to pay. (Here’s a photo tour of the first Amazon Go store.)

Amazon is hoping that by making convenience store trips even faster, it will raise the bar for brick-and-mortar shopping in much the same way that Amazon Prime did for online shopping and delivery.

If successful, the initiative would help Amazon become even more ingrained in the daily lives of consumers and grab a greater chunk of the giant food and beverage industry that still predominantly lives inside brick-and-mortar stores. There’s also been speculation that Amazon could add the Amazon Go system comprised of cameras and sensors to Whole Foods stores now that it owns the grocery chain, but that would be a huge undertaking and represent a significantly greater technology challenge.

If the company does open an Amazon Go store in Los Angeles, it would mark just the latest example of Amazon using that city as an early testing ground for new products and services. Los Angeles was the first city that Amazon expanded its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service to after incubating it for more than five years in Seattle. More recently, Amazon was said to prepare a new shipping service in Los Angeles that would pit it against the big industry carriers UPS and FedEx.

News of the planned expansion of the Amazon Go concept is sure to set off fresh concerns about the great societal challenges that come with the type of automation that Amazon is inventing. Since the Amazon Go model does not involve customers checking out, there are no cashiers working in the stores.

There were more than 3.5 million cashier jobs in the U.S. as of 2016, according to the Department of Labor. Walmart is attempting to build a similar technology that would eliminate the need for cashiers, Recode previously reported.

Though there are no cashiers, the first Amazon Go store does employ workers who prepare fresh food and meals in an exposed kitchen visible to passersby. There is also a greeter stationed near the entrance, as well as a worker who checks customer IDs near the beer and wine selection.


Recode – All

Tor director Shari Steele will step down at the end of the year

Shari Steele is resigning her position as the director of the Tor Project, according to a report by Cyberscoop. Steele will remain director through December 31st, and the search for her replacement is still underway.

Responsible for the development and maintenance of the Tor anonymity network, the Tor Project has long been a central institution in the internet freedom community. For many, Steele’s directorship, which started in December 2015, signaled a sea change within the organization and shifted Tor towards being more inclusive and community focused. The following May, developer Jacob Appelbaum left the Tor Project amid widespread accusations of sexual assault, triggering a broader crisis within the organization. (Appelbaum denies…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

iPad App of the Year ‘Affinity Photo’ Updated With RAW Improvements and Limited-Time Free Add-On Brush Packs

Affinity Photo, which Apple named the iPad App of the Year for 2017, was today updated with a suite of “more powerful professional features,” according to developer Serif. To celebrate the new update, users can also download three add-on brush and filter packs for free starting today.

Specifically, version 1.6.7 of Affinity Photo lets users shoot direct in RAW or HDR video from within the iPad app, and introduces upgrades for RAW processing so that the clarity of RAW images has improved. There’s direct integration from the iOS Files app, enhancements to Drag and Drop, the ability to add personalized fonts, and much more, which you can glimpse in the Version History on the iOS App Store.


We’ve listed a few updates below:

– Save overwrites back to the same location, without needing to create a copy
– A new ‘Solo Layer View’ mode, allowing you to isolate individual layers instantly
– A new ‘Show Touches’ option to create more detailed screen captures – great for users who create tutorials
– Added ‘Average blur” filter from desktop
– Brand new shadows / highlights algorithm in Develop
– Brand new clarity algorithm in Develop
– New “Solo” layer option in layer properties panel
– New preferences option to show touches – good for screen recording
– Enhanced angle / tilt support for Apple Pencil
– Snapping candidates can be selected by hovering over them whilst in a drag

Starting today and lasting for the next two weeks (expiring March 8), Serif is also offering a trio of packs for free, available for Affinity Photo owners to download on the web. These include the Luminance Brush Pack (normally $9.99) with 13 light effect brushes, the Retouch Brush Pack ($9.99) with 20 retouch brushes, and Live Filters Macro Pack (already free) with 28 “non-destructive” live filter layers.

The base Affinity Photo for iPad app costs $19.99 on the iOS App Store [Direct Link] and is compatible with the 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad from 2017. For users with an iPad Pro, Serif notes that the app has been optimized for use with the Apple Pencil.

Discuss this article in our forums


MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Amazon plans to open as many as six more cashier-less Amazon Go stores this year

New futuristic convenience stores could appear in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Amazon’s much-heralded convenience store of the future, Amazon Go, may seem like a crazy experiment. But the company plans to open as many as six more of these storefronts this year, multiple people familiar with the company’s plans have told Recode.

Some of the new high-tech stores are likely to open in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, where the first location is based, as well as Los Angeles, these people said. It’s not clear if Amazon will open up Go stores in any other cities this year.

In Los Angeles, Amazon has held serious talks with the billionaire developer Rick Caruso about bringing a Go store to The Grove, his 600,000-square-foot outdoor shopping Mecca, two of these people said.

And in Seattle, Amazon had identified at least three locations for additional Go stores as of last year, according to one source.

An Amazon spokesperson said she would respond to a request for comment, but never did. Neither Caruso nor his company’s spokesperson responded to queries about his discussions with Amazon.

The first Amazon Go store opened one month ago to much fanfare, after more than 12 months of hype that only crescendoed as the company delayed the public opening by about a year.

Amazon spent four years crafting a system — dubbed Just Walk Out Technology — that allows shoppers to scan their phone upon entrance, grab desired items off a shelf, and automatically get charged the right amount after exiting without the need to stop at a cash register to pay. (Here’s a photo tour of the first Amazon Go store.)

Amazon is hoping that by making convenience store trips even faster, it will raise the bar for brick-and-mortar shopping in much the same way that Amazon Prime did for online shopping and delivery.

If successful, the initiative would help Amazon become even more ingrained in the daily lives of consumers and grab a greater chunk of the giant food and beverage industry that still predominantly lives inside brick-and-mortar stores. There’s also been speculation that Amazon could add the Amazon Go system comprised of cameras and sensors to Whole Foods stores now that it owns the grocery chain, but that would be a huge undertaking and represent a significantly greater technology challenge.

If the company does open an Amazon Go store in Los Angeles, it would mark just the latest example of Amazon using that city as an early testing ground for new products and services. Los Angeles was the first city that Amazon expanded its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service to after incubating it for more than five years in Seattle. More recently, Amazon was said to prepare a new shipping service in Los Angeles that would pit it against the big industry carriers UPS and FedEx.

News of the planned expansion of the Amazon Go concept is sure to set off fresh concerns about the great societal challenges that come with the type of automation that Amazon is inventing. Since the Amazon Go model does not involve customers checking out, there are no cashiers working in the stores.

There were more than 3.5 million cashier jobs in the U.S. as of 2016, according to the Department of Labor. Walmart is attempting to build a similar technology that would eliminate the need for cashiers, Recode previously reported.

Though there are no cashiers, the first Amazon Go store does employ workers who prepare fresh food and meals in an exposed kitchen visible to passersby. There is also a greeter stationed near the entrance, as well as a worker who checks customer IDs near the beer and wine selection.


Recode – All

Apple will reportedly debut new AirPods this year with at least two key upgrades

AirPods 2 Release Date

As is often the case with Apple, the company’s truly wireless AirPods headphones were nowhere close to being the first device to market in this emerging category. Apple is almost never first to market, of course. Instead, the company takes its time and develops the best product it can, and that product typically ends up being the most popular option. Apple did it with smartphones, the company did it with tablets, and now Apple has done it again with cord-free earbuds.

Apple’s AirPods were first released more than a year ago, and they’re so popular that supply still can’t keep up with demand. Apparently that isn’t stopping Apple from working on new versions of its first Apple-branded wireless headphones, and a new report says the second-generation model is set to be released this year.

A new report on Thursday morning from Bloomberg states that Apple is currently working on at least two different updated versions of its popular AirPods. The second version is supposedly due to be released next year at the earliest will reportedly feature water resistance, though it’s currently unclear what other new features Apple may have planned for 2019’s new AirPods. Before they’re released, however, Apple supposedly has a second-generation version of its AirPods planned for release this year.

According to the report, Apple’s new 2018 AirPods will feature at least two big upgrades. First, they’ll pack an upgraded wireless chip. The first-generation AirPods include Apple’s W1 wireless chip, and last year’s Apple Watch Series 3 included a new W2 wireless chip. It’s unclear if the second-generation AirPods will feature the W2 or a new W2 chip. In either case, improved wireless performance would be a welcome change for current AirPods users, who often report difficulty establishing and maintaining Bluetooth connections.

Apart from the wireless chip, the report states that Apple’s upcoming second-generation AirPods will also add support for the “Hey Siri” wake command. The currently available AirPods model does offer Siri support, but users must physically double-tap on one of the earbuds in order to wake Siri. The new version of Apple’s AirPods will supposedly allow users to simply speak the phrase “Hey Siri” at any time to wake Siri.

It’s unclear when Apple plans to release its second-generation AirPods. The first-generation model was released more than a year ago in December 2016.

Apple – BGR