Tagging freshwater dolphins.
Amazon bills itself as “Earth’s most customer-centric company.” Yet its algorithm is hiding the best deal from many customers.
One day recently, we visited Amazon’s website in search of the best deal on Loctite super glue, the essential home repair tool for fixing everything from broken eyeglass frames to shattered ceramics.
In an instant, Amazon’s software sifted through dozens of combinations of price and shipping, some of which were cheaper than what one might find at a local store. TheHardwareCity.com, an online retailer from Farmers Branch, Texas, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating, was selling Loctite for $6.75 with free shipping. Fat Boy Tools of Massillon, Ohio, a competitor with a similar customer rating was nearly as cheap: $7.27 with free shipping.
When it comes to climate change, now is the time to react and develop defenses. Unfortunately, very few western resources are allocated to prepare for future environmental challenges. That’s not the case in areas inhabited by indigenous peoples, who’re already dealing with environmental changes. Recent months have seen adaptation techniques field tested in indigenous areas, for eventual use elsewhere. One of the many questions going forward, however, is whether progress itself is sustainable.
As important as the actual technologies is including as many voices as possible in climate conversations. Climate change affects humanity more than any war, or plague. In fact, grimmer predictions for the future suggest it may eventually cause those things. According to Glacier Hub, whereas indigenous peoples occupy 65% of earth’s land, they’re rarely included in climate debate.
The Amazon is under pressure from unsustainable economic activities and is undergoing unprecedented change, according to WWF’s Living Amazon Report 2016 released today. The report highlights the regional and global realities that are impacting the Amazon and demonstrates why cooperation is so critical to the area’s future.
The Amazon spans eight countries and one overseas territory. It is home to 34 million people, 350 indigenous groups and one-tenth of the world’s species. According to the WWF report, more than 2,000 new species of plants and vertebrates have been described in the Amazon since 1999.
Despite the diversity and critical importance of the world’s largest rainforest and river system, the report warns about the dramatic increase in legislative actions to downgrade, downsize or degazette protected areas in the Amazon.
A writer for Gizmodo had a hunch: Could the FBI spy on your Amazon Echo? He filed a FOIA Request and got a disturbing answer.
Matt Novak, a writer for Gizmodo/Gawker Media wondered if the FBI could tap into the microphone for his Amazon Echo, a device sold by Amazon which lets him order goods, play music, and a host of other services with the sound of his voice which they have affectionately named “Alexa.”Novak points out that the Echo’s microphone is perpetually on and can be access with “a little hacking.”
“In many ways the Echo is a law enforcement dream,” he writes. “Years ago agencies like the FBI would need to wiretap a phone conversation or place bugs inside homes, practices that can be cost prohibitive and labor intensive. Today, you just need some software to tap into a device’s microphone.”