GOODBYE DIESEL VEHICLES?
The mayors of four major global cities, Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens, said they will stop the use of all diesel-powered cars and trucks by 2025. These commitments were made in Mexico at a biennial meeting of city leaders who said that they are implementing the ban to improve air quality. Concerns about the use of diesel in transport have grown in recent years since its impact on air pollution. The World Health organisation says that around three million people die every year due to exposure to outdoor air pollution, and in Europe nearly 467,000 deaths every year are linked to pollution exposure. With evidence like this on the table, that are mounting rapidly, environmental groups have used the courts to enforce clear air regulations. In the UK, campaigners have had success in forcing the government to act more quickly. Now, mayors from a number of major cities with well-known air quality problems have decided to use their authority to clamp down on the use of diesel by the middle of the next decade.
AMAZON TO CREATE A “NO-CHECK OUT” STORE
Amazon has unveiled plans for a grocery shop which will work as the “Just Walk Out” system which means that customers, once they finish shopping, will not have to proceed to the check out. The technology, which can also be found in self-driving cars, detects when items are taken or returned to shelves and tracks them in a virtual shopping trolley. The idea is based on the Go app which customers will use to select goods. The app will use computer vision, sensors and deep learning algorithms to keep track of what customers are picking up off the shelves. After they picked their goods, all they have to do is walk out of the store and their Amazon account will be charged automatically. Amazon has spent four years developing the shop and analysts believe that this innovation of comprehensive mobile wallet will be a great solution regarding the problem of long queues. The first shop is expected to open to the public in Seattle in the US in early 2017.
GOOGLE CALLED TO REVIEW ITS SEARCH HISTORY
Academics say that hate sites are dominating and controlling searches on Muslims, Jews, Hitler and women. The search engine is failing to tackle the problem which means Goole might have to review its search ranking system. An observer reported that the so called hate sites are being “manipulated and controlled” by rightwing propagandists. A scientist Cathy O’Neil said that Google has to acknowledge responsibility for the problem or else it will be a “co-conspirator” with the propagandists. She said: “This is the end for Google pretending to be a neutral platform. It clearly has a terrible problem here and it has to own and acknowledge that.” She said that Google can’t go on pretending that it has no editorial responsibilities and that it has become a conduit for rightwing hate sites. O’Neil added that she believed Google would ultimately have to hire human editors. The editor of Search Engine Land and one of the leading authorities on Google search, Danny Sullivan, said Google faced a difficult issue. He said: ““They’ve done the PR of getting rid of some of the bad stuff quickly, and they will hope the PR spin will help this go away, but it doesn’t take away from the bigger issues. I take the concern very deeply. Google is the universal resource that people turn to. It is a concern they really need to solve.”
IKEA GIVING GENEROUS CHRISTMAS BONUSES TO ITS WORKERS
Ikea staff will receive a £1,200 gift from the company this Christmas. The money will be added to worker’s pensions as a part of the company loyalty scheme. Around the world, workers will receive a share of a €108m pot and the reason is that they want to be an “amazing place to work where people are happy, thrive and want to stay.” Human relations manager Karin Bergman said: “We know that our colleagues primarily want to work for us because we are a values-based company with a focus on development.” Besides this, Ikeas was the first national retailer to introduce the living wage in the UK and the company also restructured its working hours so employees were guaranteed at least one full weekend off a month. “If you feel good at home you will show up in a better frame of mind at work. That impacts our customers,” Gillian Drakeford, UK head of operations, has said. However, the most generous bonus scheme is assigned to John Lewis and Waitrose, which handed its employees an average payment of £1,585 each in cash.