Amazon is entering the grocery delivery business with its bid to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion but industry insiders say that it’s going to be a long and costly process for Amazon to revolutionize grocery delivery the way they revolutionized online retailing.
Not As Much Warehouse Space As Wal-Mart
Even though Amazon is well known for having a large amount of warehouse space, one key challenge that Amazon faces is the relative scale of its warehousing for the Whole Foods business. According to logistics consulting firm MWPVL International Inc., for example, Amazon has 3 million square feet of U.S. warehousing dedicated to its Amazon Fresh and Prime Pantry grocery programs. This is only one-tenth of the warehouse space that Wal-Mart has for specialized food distribution.
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After a decade of campaigning by EU citizens and after 2 years of preparing the mobile networks for the change, The European Commission has announced that there will be no more EU roaming charges.
What Does This Mean?
The abolition of roaming charges applies to calls, texts and browsing the internet, and this means that citizens who travel within the 28 countries of the EU will be able to call, text and connect on their mobile devices at the same price as they pay at home.
Statements from the EU have focused on what a valuable achievement the agreement between mobile network operators and EU countries is in terms of its contribution to the idea of the EU’s Digital Single Market and accessibility for all citizens.
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Amazon’s $14 billion acquisition of struggling grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc, announced last Friday, will now see Amazon take on bricks-and-mortar grocery giants such Wal-Mart.
Amazon In The Grocery Market
Last month, Amazon expanded upon its existing Amazon Fresh grocery service, which already operates in 16 cities worldwide, with a trial of the ‘Amazon Fresh Pickup’ service from two ‘bricks-and-mortar’ locations in its home city of Seattle.
Amazon Fresh offers attended delivery (hand-to-hand drop-off) or doorstep delivery of groceries, and the new Amazon Fresh Pickup service invites customers to come and pick their shopping up themselves from Amazon’s stores, rather than having it delivered to their door.
Continue reading “Amazon’s Acquisition Of Whole Foods Disrupts US Grocery Retail Market”
New research from US CRM and strategic applications company Pegasystems has found that 60% of UK people would use more Artificial Intelligence if it saved them time and money.
Real World Value
The UK results are drawn out of a larger survey which involved 6,000 people from 6 countries. The survey results show that British people accept and feel most comfortable using Artificial Intelligence for specific, practical, real-world, time saving, benefit-delivering and value-adding purposes. These include personalising their online retail presence, getting a better diagnosis from the doctor, and using Artificial Intelligence for better financial services.
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The baking and retail high-street chain Greggs is reported to have undergone a £25m change programme for its 1,500 outlets, using a range of SAP software to simplify and better integrate its business processes, and make it more competitive in the lucrative ‘food-to-go’ market.
What Is SAP?
Started in 1972 by IBM employees in Germany, SAP is a software and programming company that was on Forbes 2016 list of “The World’s Biggest Public Companies” in third place, just behind Microsoft and Oracle. According to SAP, 75% of all global business transactions come in contact with an SAP system, and the company now focuses mainly upon cloud computing options.
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The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) led investigation into the origins of the WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled NHS systems last month has concluded that it came from a hacking group in North Korea.
The WannaCry global cyber attack back in May spread worldwide, claiming victims in 150 countries and leading to around 130,000 ransomware infections of computers. The attack also made the headlines in the UK because it temporarily crippled NHS computer systems.
WannaCry was made to exploit a vulnerability on an NSA-developed hacking tool called ‘Eternal Blue’. The rapid, global spread of WannaCry was eventually thwarted when UK security researcher Marcus Hutchins registered and took over the domain that was written into the ransomware’s core code.
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The first arrest made using facial recognition technology took place in Cardiff two weeks ago, just days after trialling of the technology at the Champions League final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Despite police using the technology at the match, reports indicate that the person who was arrested (who was identified by a van-mounted camera days after the match) is actually a local man whose arrest was unconnected to the Champions League.
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One of the biggest challenges to the IT sector over many years has been a skills gap but new research from IT contractor services provider SJD Accountancy into Home Office figures appears to show that the skills gap has been a magnet for the UK attracting non-EU talent for the last 5 years.
What’s The Problem In The UK?
It has long been known that the UK has an IT skills gap, and the UK has been in competition with other countries for wages offered to IT professionals e.g. the U.S. paying more in order to attract / keep the necessary talent. The Brexit vote appears to have compounded this problem for the UK. A ‘Hired’ report, for example, showed that the Brexit vote means that the UK will not be able to attract in tech talent from other European countries, and that, as a result, the UK faces a skills gap in areas of data, security, Python, Ruby, UI and UX, and investment in up-skilling in these areas is therefore necessary. The report also found that:
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Teresa May’s speech outside 10 Downing Street following the Conservative loss of parliamentary majority included an assurance that she would be pressing forward with changes to improve the UK’s security, including more Internet regulation and backdoors to encryption.
Prior to the UK general election (and in the wake of the London and Manchester terror attacks and the reported role that the Internet has played in enabling terrorists), Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd called for measures to regulate Internet use in the UK more tightly. The suggestion that a lack of regulation, social media platforms not doing enough, and the fact that encryption means that there are some messages that law enforcement are unable to read have lead to Conservative plans to:
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Virgin Media have developed and distributed a security patch for their wireless Super Hub home routers after a potentially serious security flaw was uncovered by cyber security consultancy ‘Context Information Security’.
What Security Flaw?
The wireless flaw was found to be an encryption key in a feature that was designed to allow users to make encrypted back-ups of their custom configurations e.g. port forwarding and DNS settings. The problem was that all Virgin Wireless Super Hubs were found to have exactly the same private encryption key.
What’s The Big Deal?
The Super Hub Routers ‘Super Hub 2’ and ‘Super Hub 2 AC’ (made by Netgear) are the standard home routers that are used by one of the UK’s largest ISPs, and they are, therefore, used in millions of homes (and small businesses) across the UK. Having a common security flaw in all of them, which (it is believed) could be exploited by cyber criminals using a relatively low-tech approach and low cost method could represent a major security risk for millions of people who contact via wireless.
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