Amazon Complains FTC “Harassing” Bezos, etc.; Spotify Trials Verbal Playlist Recommendations; Lyft Robotaxis in Vegas; Apple- Back to Office 3x Per WeekPosted: August 16, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized Leave a comment
At the height of brassiness, Amazon has accused the FTC of ‘harassing’ executives, as that federal agency investigates Amazon’s Prime memberships. The FTC is (for one thing) looking into whether Amazon uses deceptive techniques to get customers to sign up for Prime, which now runs $139 a year. Arstechnica.com reports that Amazon is complaining that the FTC needs to “quash or limit” their demands, which it alleged served no other purpose other than to “harass Amazon’s highest-ranking executives and disrupt its business operations.” They further complain that briefing former CEO and now Exec. Chairman Jeff Bezos as well as chief exec Andy Jassy on ‘Granular details’ would be ‘a tremendous burden on them.’ Oh, boo hoo. Neither the FTC nor Amazon had any further comment at this time.
Spotify is trialing another new idea to increase engagement. They are prompting users in Vietnam to record playlist reactions in their voice. According to engadget.com, that clip is then shared as a podcast episode. The voice recordings can be edited by the users, and they can add background music…then link to the playlist. No idea how they will moderated these…the problem will be with people using too much licensed music under their clips, and running afoul of the rights holders.
You can now take a robotaxi in Las Vegas. Theverge.com says the cars are Hyundai vehicles, which use the automation form Motional and Lyft’s raise hailing service. The firms are planning to roll out a fully driverless service all over the city in 2023. Motional is a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv. They actually started a week long pilot during CES 2018, but now will be the first time the general public can hail a ride in one of the Ioniq 5 vehicles. There WILL be a safety driver aboard at least until next year.
Apple is taking another swing at demanding people come back to the physical office. This time, the return date is September. CNBC.com reports that employees at the spaceship headquarters will be expected to show up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The individual teams will pick a third day for in-person work. This summer, Apple employees have been working in office two days a week. Apple has also laid off about 100 contractors who were engaged in recruiting.