Google Rebrands G Suite; Apple Drops 3rd Party Headphones, Speakers; Amazon-Software Tracks Unions; Less Polluting Future Tires

Yeah, I know…only someone in marketing can be excited about rebranding. That said, Google has rebranded G Suite. It’s now….drumroll….Google Workspace! I know…try not to hyperventilate over the exciting news! According to techcrunch.com, all the productivity apps get new logos. Google has recently introduced new tools and features for Google Meet. Many are already in use, but coming soon will be the ability to create and collaborate on docs with guests in Chat rooms, and preview linked files in Docs, Sheets and Slides without having to open them in a new tab. Pricing will remain about what it has been….Business Starter is $6 a month, Business Standard $12 a month (more hand holding), and new to Workspace is Business Plus…for $18 a month. The top tier service has additional security features and compliance tools like Vault and mobile device management capabilities. 

In probably the most telling move indicating that Apple is about to roll out its own over ear headphones, Apple stores have stopped selling headphones and speakers from competitors. Engadget.com reports that Logitech, Sonos, and Bose gear is now gone from the retail stores and Apple’s website. The sole remaining 3rd party device is a conference room speaker from Philips. It’s worth noting that Apple did a similar move, banishing Fitbit products in 2014 right before rolling out the Apple Watch. Everything points to the premium headphones having Apple branding, not Beats, and it’s expected they will have AirPod-like features.

A leak has revealed that Amazon is making significant investments in tech to track and counter the ‘threat’ of unionization. Vox.com says that even though it’s been widely known that the company has opposed unions in its warehouses, according to an 11 page document dated February of this year, Amazon plans to drop hundreds of thousands to better analyze and visualize data on unions worldwide…in addition to other non-union’ threats’ to the company related to crime or the weather. Over half of the over 40 data points listed are union-related, or related to employee issues…like mandatory overtime and safety incidents. The system is dubbed SPOC…geoSPatial Operating Console. Items include “Whole Foods Market Activism/Unionization Efforts,” “union grant money flow patterns,” “and “Presence of Local Union Chapters and Alt Labor Groups.” 

the Tyre Collective has come up with a way to end the pollution that comes from tires shedding out and particles as the age and roll across the pavement. According to cnet.com, the concept just got the James Dyson Award. It consists of a gadget that partly encloses the tire from outside wheel rim to the inside…they sit right under the fender just behind the tire. The device has a filter that sucks up the particles as the tire rolls, and it gets about 60% of tire pollution. The dust and particles can be emptied out and even be recycled for use in new tires. The pollution is a bigger deal on trucks and busses…apparently a standard bus can create a pile of tire dust the size of a grapefruit in one day! The collective is working with a couple major tire producers, and they hope to have it tested and running on some vehicles by 2030.



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