Supremes Vote Apple App Store Monopoly Suit Can Proceed; Google Digital Wellbeing Drags Performance; Amazon-Robots to Box Up Orders; Mercedes-Carbon Neutral Fleet by 2039

Apple got spanked 5-4 by the Supreme Court, and the class action lawsuit alleging that the App Store is anticompetitive will be allowed to proceed. Macrumors.com reports that the suit (filed clear back in 2011!) alleges Apple violates antitrust laws by requiring apps to be sold through its App Store, where they skim off a 30% commission on every app sold. There are still some hurdles the suit has to overcome, but for now, it’s game on against Apple.

More and more reports have come out that say users have eliminated performance issues in Pixel 3 phones and others running Android Pie by turning off Google’s Digital Wellbeing tools. According to 9to5google.com, a long Reddit thread documents users of several generations of Google Pixels getting a big boost in performance, and even picking up better battery life. Here’s a link with instructions on how to turn it off: https://9to5google.com/2019/05/13/how-to-turn-off-digital-wellbeing/

We’ve been hearing warnings for a while now about AI and robotics taking jobs. Amazon has its fleet of robots that roll selected items around the distribution centers to be packed up for delivery. Now, engadget.com says they are testing out equipment at several locations…2 machines that can possibly replace about 24 hobs at each location. If those pan out, and go into all 55 US fulfillment centers, it could mean loss of 1300 jobs. The machines can build boxes around custom orders, and add seals and labels. They can reportedly complete 600-700 per hour! That’s 4 to 5 times faster than a human! The machines run a million each, but Reuters calculated Amazon could recover that cost in 2 years or less. As Amazon already has pretty high turnover in the jobs the machines can do, the online giant may not even have to lay anyone off…they could just not hire replacement people and install one of the CMC packing machines.

The world’s oldest auto maker has never been one to rest on its laurels…even the laurel wreath in their logo…but now Mercedes-Benz is shooting for a carbon-neutral car fleet by 2039. Cnet.com reports that the auto maker already had a plan in place to have 50% of its fleet be EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2030. The first carbon neutral manufacturing plant will be an addition to the giant Sindelfingen plant in the Stuttgart area. That plant will build luxury and electric vehicles and is being built to be carbon neutral. The German automaker is planning for 85% of its vehicles to be recycled by 2022.

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