Weekly Digital News Roundup: Nov 27 – Dec 1
Army of Amazon robots ready to help fulfill orders on Cyber Monday
- According to The LA Times, this holiday season, Amazon’s little helper is an orange, 320-pound robot called Kiva. The robots — more than 15,000 of them companywide — are part of Amazon’s high-tech effort to get orders to customers faster. By lifting shelves of Amazon products off the ground and speedily delivering them to employee stations, the robots dramatically reduce the time it takes for workers to find items and put them into boxes for shipment.
- Since acquiring robot-maker Kiva, a Massachusetts company, for $775 million in cash in 2012, the e-commerce retailer has been increasingly implementing automation at its gargantuan fulfillment centers. Kivas, which resemble overgrown Roombas, are capable of lifting as much as 750 pounds and glide across Amazon’s warehouse floors by following rows of sensors.
If you want your daughter to become a future tech CEO, make her join the Girl Scouts
- According to The Washington Post, it will now be possible to purchase Girl Scout cookies online as part of the new Digital Cookie initiative from the Girl Scouts of America. While this new online initiative will likely boost American consumption of Thin Mints over the coming months, Digital Cookie could become a way of introducing more girls to the technology sector at an early age and help to close the tech industry’s well-documented gender gap.
- As part of this Digital Cookie initiative,more than 1 million scouts, from kindergarten-age Daisies to teens, are expected to opt-in for the chance to sell cookies online, either via a Web site they can personalize or via a mobile commerce app for tablet and smart phone. While there’s no actual coding involved in the online rollout of Digital Cookie, girls will learn all the basics of launching and managing their own online businesses – creating and charting goals, creating customer e-mail lists, processing payments, organizing shipping logistics, even creating an introductory video explaining how the proceeds will be used.
- You can see where all this is headed – the same five skills that the Girl Scouts have traditionally touted as the primary benefits of the Cookie program – goal setting, decision-making, people skills, money management and business ethics – have just been updated for the digital era.
Twitter Makes It Easier to Report Abuse
- According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter is taking further steps to make it easier for users to block and report abusive accounts amid outcries that it doesn’t do enough to thwart harassment.
- The social media service, which has been criticized over how aggressively it responds to abuse, is rolling out new tools to streamline flagging of inappropriate tweets, according to acompany blog post on Tuesday.
- Twitter says it is simplifying the complaint form, especially on mobile devices, requiring less information to flag a post. The company said it will also make it clearer that users can report abuse they observe on the service, and create a new page for users showing accounts they have blocked. For the first time, if you block a user, that person can’t view your profile or tweets. The company said it will gradually introduce the new features to all of its users.