Tech

Indian delivery apps and coronavirus vaccines for young children

N. Sudhakar sits at the counter of his seedy grocery store in the south Indian city of Bangalore from 7 am until sunset seven days a week. Filled from floor to ceiling with everything from 20kg sacks of rice to one rupee ($0.01) shampoo sachets, this general store provides most of the daily needs of many of the area’s residents. It is a replica of the approximately 12 million family “kirans” that can be found on almost every corner in India.

The store is located on a busy street in Whitefield, once a quiet suburb and now a major hub for the city’s booming IT industry. Looming behind his store are the apartment buildings that are home to hundreds of workers employed in the technoparks that dominate the neighborhood.

Today, the same tech industry that helped Sudhakar’s business flourish is presenting new challenges for stores like his. Across the street, a steady stream of drivers are lining up to pick up groceries from the “dark shop,” a mini warehouse built for super-fast delivery in the heart of the city, run by Dunzo, a Bangalore-based startup. .

In India’s metropolitan areas, years of aggressive marketing, big discounts from e-commerce players like Amazon and homegrown Flipkart, and a heavy dose of coronavirus lockdowns have hooked the urban middle class into online shopping. These shoppers are a small part of the population, but their purchasing power is significant, and in the wealthier areas of big cities, the battle for the street corner in India is in full swing. Read the full story.

— Edd Ghent

Required Reading

I scoured the internet to find the most hilarious/important/scary/exciting tech stories to date.

Starting today, 1 U.S. child under the age of five is eligible for the covid vaccine
This means that almost all Americans will have access to immunizations. (New York Times $)
+ Here are some of the possible mild side effects they may experience. (CNN)
+ Why do babies who have already had covid still need vaccines. (Time)

2 Canada bans single-use plastic
Start in six months. (The keeper)
+ Similarly, Wales is considering a ban on disposable bags and wet wipes. (BBC)
+ Spray coating for plants can become an alternative to polyethylene film. (Engadget)
+ A French company is using enzymes to recycle one of the most common single-use plastics.. (MIT Technology Review)

3 China collects even more personal data than we thought
Including the “voice prints” of the public to reinforce the authoritarian rule of their government. (New York Times $)

4 Google search isn’t what it used to be
Making your way through ads and fewer blogs makes you feel more sterile and less human. (Atlantic Ocean $)
+ Nowadays, many people google “Bitcoin is dead”. (Cointelegraph)

5 We need to be smarter about how we use AI to tackle climate change
Renewable energy is one area where simpler systems can make a difference. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ Renewable Energy Certifications May Exaggerate Companies’ Efforts to Protect the Environment. (NBC)
+ Renewable energy sources will grow. (MIT Technology Review)

6. Meta Virtual Reality Headsets Are Pretty Boring
But the company is obsessed with making a viable headset a reality. (edge)
+ Right now, the metaverse looks rather impractical. (VP $)
+ He already has a groping problem. (MIT Technology Review)
+ That’s why it’s important that we all use the same terms when talking about it. (fast company $)

7 To decolonize AI, we need to rip apart its very fabric
And establish permanent control by supervisory boards. (Neo.Life)
+ AI creates a new colonial world order. (MIT Technology Review)

8 We Still Don’t Know Why The Sea Is Glowing Milky Green
But going into space may shed some light on the mystery. (Hakai magazine)

9 Internet Explorer is gone, but not forgotten
Some parts of the Internet still depend on it. (Wired $)

10. Here’s What Tech Workers Do With Their Trophies From Failed Startups
Top tip: don’t get your company logo tattooed. (Information $)

Quote of the Day

“Target practice!”


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