used to sit there Waiting for an Amazon package to arrive, constantly refreshing your screen to see the latest location updates? This is also how it works in Amazon warehouses. The only difference is that Amazon isn’t just tracking packages, it’s also tracking the movements of its employees.
this week, vice Disclosing internal Amazon documents Outlines the techniques companies use to monitor their warehouse employees. The documents detail how Amazon intricately tracks workers, monitoring the activity of each worker’s handheld package scanners to determine if that worker is “on vacation.” Amazon records each worker’s TOT to the minute. TOT can include talking to others, hanging out, and sometimes even going to the bathroom. After accumulating TOT for more than 30 minutes in a day, the worker is subject to disciplinary action. Repeat offenders can be fired. Managers were also instructed to interview workers with high TOT numbers and asked them to explain each TOT instance.
these controversial practices previous exposure, but this is the first time official details have been revealed to the public. Amazon deployed these strategies at its warehouse in Staten Island, New York, which also became the first Amazon warehouse to unionize in April.This unwavering push for productivity at all costs, coupled with a series of injuries At Amazon warehouses, this divided the team and led a warehouse worker to escalate the issue directly to Amazon’s shareholders.
Here are some other news from the Gear Help Desk this week.
Bring on the hologram
When you take portrait mode photos with your phone, you’re capturing a lot of 3D data. Your phone uses this data to determine the depth of the photo and give the background a neat bokeh effect, but the resulting image still looks 2D. This is true of any Pixar movie, which consists of characters that are generated in 3D but viewed on a 2D screen. Looking Glass, a company known for its holographic displays, is trying to harness all that data with its new prototype image format called Blocks. This format converts any 3D media into a hologram that can be viewed on any device with a simple web link. See example here.
Click the link on your phone, computer screen, or virtual reality headset (no holographic display required) and you’ll see a hologram-like image. These do pop off the screen, and you can use your finger or mouse to move the image left and right to see the parallax effect. We’ve seen this technique before, but Blocks aims to make it simple and embeddable anywhere on the internet, just as anyone can now easily create and share GIFs.
speculum has one pilot project Creators can join to turn their creations into shareable holographic blocks, and hope to begin public beta this summer.
New Surface Laptop, come on!
Microsoft has announced an update to the Surface Laptop Go, the company’s budget laptop for 2020. Surface Laptop Go 2 It’s a $600 clamshell that weighs less than 2.5 pounds. It’s a very simple Windows laptop with a 12.4-inch screen and an Intel i5 processor. The screen doesn’t pop or rotate like a typical Surface Portable.
Some of the functions in the new machine are Consider repairability. You can close the keyboard cover, SSD storage module or battery and replace them. Microsoft’s statement also slammed Apple’s infamous laptop keyboards, saying the Go 2 has 30 percent more key travel than the MacBook Air. The Go 2 will start shipping on June 7.
If there’s one thing Google is good at, it’s mixing things together.the company’s The latest in app convergence is combining its voice and video apps Meet and Duo. The resulting merger will keep the Meet name, but the Meet functionality will be ported to the renamed Duo app later this year. New features for Meet include scheduling meetings, customizing virtual backgrounds, and hosting video calls for up to 100 people (the previous limit was 32). Even though Google’s video messaging platform has a fraction of Zoom’s users, these additions will make the new Meet feel more Zoom-y.
WWDC starts Monday
Apple’s annual Software Developers Conference returns next week with a keynote on Monday, June 6th, which will be full of product and software announcements. Here’s a rundown of what we can expect from WWDC. (New iOS features! Maybe a new MacBook!) Be sure to visit WIRED again on June 6th, where we’ll cover all the big announcements from Apple.
Hey, have you checked your text messages lately? If this question has caused a flurry of anxiety in your chest, you’re not alone. As WIRED’s Lauren Goode points out, in modern times, messaging is terrible, and everyone can theoretically be reached at any time. But sometimes you don’t want to connect, or you just need to take a break. Sadly, one of the main features of AOL Instant Messenger is that away messages that enforce healthy boundaries have all but disappeared in the smartphone age.
On the Gadget Lab Podcast this week, Goode and co-host Michael Calore talk about what hell texting has become and how you (and the companies that control the apps) can go about fixing it.