Bleeping Computer: Amazon is shutting down web ranking site Alexa.com

Bleeping Computer: Amazon is shutting down web ranking site Alexa.com. “Amazon announced on Wednesday plans to shut down its global website ranking system and competitor analysis tool ‘Alexa.com’, which has been available for 25 years. Alexa.com is a subsidiary company of Amazon and it’s widely known for its global ranking system which uses web traffic data from its partners to list the most popular internet companies.”

Washington Post: FTC demands information from top companies, such as Amazon and Walmart, in sweeping supply chain probe

Washington Post: FTC demands information from top companies, such as Amazon and Walmart, in sweeping supply chain probe. “The Federal Trade Commission on Monday ordered nine large U.S. companies, including Walmart, Amazon and Procter & Gamble, to provide detailed information about their operations, in a bid to unravel the causes of the supply chain disruptions that are clouding the economic recovery. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)”

Reuters: EU tech rules should curb cloud computing providers, study says

Reuters: EU tech rules should curb cloud computing providers, study says. “Draft EU rules to curb the power of Amazon AMZN.O, Apple AAPL.O, Alphabet GOOGL.O unit Google and Facebook FB.O should also tackle providers of cloud computing services for possible anti-competitive practices, a study said on Tuesday. The report comes amid concerns that some EU lawmakers who are reviewing the Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager may be lenient towards cloud computing companies.”

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: CFPB Orders Tech Giants to Turn Over Information on their Payment System Plans

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: CFPB Orders Tech Giants to Turn Over Information on their Payment System Plans. “Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a series of orders to collect information on the business practices of large technology companies operating payments systems in the United States. The information will help the CFPB better understand how these firms use personal payments data and manage data access to users so the Bureau can ensure adequate consumer protection.”

The Technopolar Moment: How Digital Powers Will Reshape the Global Order (Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Affairs: The Technopolar Moment: How Digital Powers Will Reshape the Global Order. “The aftermath of the January 6 riot serves as the latest proof that Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter are no longer merely large companies; they have taken control of aspects of society, the economy, and national security that were long the exclusive preserve of the state. The same goes for Chinese technology companies, such as Alibaba, ByteDance, and Tencent. Nonstate actors are increasingly shaping geopolitics, with technology companies in the lead. And although Europe wants to play, its companies do not have the size or geopolitical influence to compete with their American and Chinese counterparts.”

CNET: Amazon, Google and Microsoft team up on cloud computing principles

CNET: Amazon, Google and Microsoft team up on cloud computing principles. “Amazon, Google and Microsoft on Friday unveiled a new industry initiative that aims to establish basic commitments and protections for companies that store and process data in the cloud. The tech giants, along with several other enterprise companies, have agreed to a series of principles related to customer data and government regulations.”

CNN: Here’s everything Amazon announced at its big product event — including a $999 robot

CNN: Here’s everything Amazon announced at its big product event — including a $999 robot. “Amazon is continuing its quest to cover our homes and bodies with Amazon devices. At a livestreamed media event on Tuesday, the company showed off a handful of new Amazon-branded products, including an Echo device that hangs on the wall and acts as a digital whiteboard for the home, an interactive video chat portal for kids, and a Ring security service that monitors activity on your property. And then there’s a new robot equipped with cameras named Astro that navigates your home while you’re away.”

Washington Post: Amazon and Google Users Should Revolt Over Ad Barrage

Washington Post: Amazon and Google Users Should Revolt Over Ad Barrage. “It’s an open secret: The user experience is deteriorating for many of the largest technology companies’ core products. At fault is the steady, inexorable creep of advertising. More and more companies are allowing ads to infiltrate every facet of their services. It’s easy to see why: With tech giants’ immense size, each step toward more ads can generate the kind of money that’s almost impossible for a public company to turn down. But the result is an industry that has chosen to put bigger profits over the needs of its customers. And they shouldn’t accept it.” Google’s going just the way AltaVista did – cramming in the ads until people get fed up.

The Verge: California bill takes aim at Amazon’s productivity-tracking algorithms

The Verge: California bill takes aim at Amazon’s productivity-tracking algorithms. “California is poised to pass a new bill pushing back against the productivity measurement algorithms allegedly used in Amazon fulfillment centers, as recently reported by NPR’s Morning Edition and The New York Times. The bill passed California’s lower legislative chamber in May, and the upper chamber is expected to vote on it next week. If passed, the bill would place new transparency requirements on automated quota systems, and block any such systems that could endanger the health and safety of workers.”

VentureBeat: Bias persists in face detection systems from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google

VentureBeat: Bias persists in face detection systems from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. “Companies say they’re working to fix the biases in their facial analysis systems, and some have claimed early success. But a study by researchers at the University of Maryland finds that face detection services from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google remain flawed in significant, easily detectable ways. All three are more likely to fail with older, darker-skinned people compared with their younger, whiter counterparts. Moreover, the study reveals that facial detection systems tend to favor ‘feminine-presenting’ people while discriminating against certain physical appearances.”