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Latest AcceleratingBiz Intelligence

Amazon plans to open convenience stores and grocery drive-in centers

The Wall Street Journal reports Amazon may be planning to open small convenience stores that will sell consumer staples such as milk, produce and meat. It will also build drive-in stores that will serve as pick-up centers for customers who ordered groceries online. The retail stores will only be available to Fresh subscribers, said the report. By doing so, Amazon is competing head-to-head with Kroger, which is the largest operator of traditional supermarkets, and other food retailers. Geekwire reports Amazon may be building a drive-in store in Seattle. The concept may be the same with Kroger's ClickList online ordering and pick-up service which the company launched last year.

Key Takeaway: 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is planning to build small convenience stores and drive-in centers for groceries which will be open only to its Fresh subscribers; the stores will compete with Kroger's service called ClickList as well as other traditional food retailers like Wal-Mart.

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Publication Date: 
October 11, 2016

Facebook's new Workplace will compete with Slack

Facebook launched an online platform called Workplace for enterprise communication and collaboration, competing with other services in the market such as Slack and corporate social networking sites from Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce and Oracle. The social media giant believes Workplace can soon replace internal e-mails, mailing lists and newsletters. The platform, which is still on beta, is ad-free and has been tested already by more than 1,000 businesses and organizations over the last year, including Oxfam, Columbia Sportswear and Booking.com. Some beta clients say the familiar interface is helpful, while others say it can break silos in their organizations and increase engagement. Workplace is cheaper than Slack's paid service, at $3 per user for the first thousand employees, $2 for the next 9,000 and $1 for every person after.

Key Takeaway: 

Facebook has created a new online social networking site called Workplace for the enterprise, which the company says it hopes to replace traditional communication systems; the service will compete with messaging app Slack. 

Market Disruptions: 
Publication Date: 
October 11, 2016

ICAO announces framework to offset emissions from international flights

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced a global framework to offset the carbon being emitted from international flights. The plan is agreed upon by 65 nations, representing 86.5% of international flight operations. Called the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), the framework is separate from the Paris Agreement and will take effect in 2021 for voluntary compliance and will be mandatory by 2027. Countries will be required to maintain a yearly quota of emission units based on their 2019 and 2020 pollution levels. Any excess will require the purchase of additional units from an openly traded carbon exchange. Airlines are expected to spend 1.4% of their international revenues on the scheme by 2035. Along with countries' participation in CORSIA, other measures such as improved engines, more efficient flightpaths and use of biofuels can also help to achieve carbon neutral growth by 2020.

Key Takeaway: 

By 2021, countries participating in the carbon offsetting and reduction scheme set by ICAO will be required to maintain a quota of emission units from international flights with the plan deemed mandatory for all countries by 2027.

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Publication Date: 
October 10, 2016

World's smallest transistor just a nanometer in size

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have made the world's smallest transistor that is just a nanometer wide, pushing past the 5-nanometer limit of silicon transistors. The transistor also has a tiny 1-nanometer gate made of a carbon nanotube and molybdenum disulfide material. Current gates in silicon transistors have the length of 10 nanometers at the smallest. This development could lead to performance improvements in laptops, desktop PCs, mobile devices and other electronics. However, it will not be available for commercial production yet as researchers still have to figure out how to pack a number of such transistors into a chip.

Key Takeaway: 

Berkeley Lab researchers have created the world's smallest transistor that is just a nanometer across, breaking past the 5-nanometer limit of silicon transistors, and could enable faster electronics and smaller devices. 

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 10, 2016

India calls on tech sector to innovate on its tax system

The government of India is tapping the private sector to aid in tax reform initiatives and build more efficient tax management systems. It is looking into technology to support its plan of simplifying the country's tax rules and applying a single tax rate for all goods and services, which include national, state and inter-state taxes. It recently awarded a $207 million contract to Infosys to develop the underlying infrastructure of the tax network in a span of five years. Large software companies Tally and SAP are also involved in developing tech solutions using the government's tax-related APIs, while some startups are focusing on cloud solutions to help people file their taxes.

Key Takeaway: 

India's government plans to leverage technology-enabled solutions to reform its tax system; it is collaborating with the private sector, especially startups, to make filing, monitoring and paying taxes in the country as efficient as possible.

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Publication Date: 
October 10, 2016

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