Jun 15, 2017

Amazon figures out how to avoid hitting you with delivery drones

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When Amazon began developing drone technology in 2013, critics doubted that it could replace delivery employees. Executives cited specific safety concerns: What if a package hit someone during the drop? What if a drone flew into a child or pet during delivery? For these reasons, Amazon might not trade humans for unsafe robot delivery crews.

  • But now it looks like your Amazon delivery job might not be safe from automation after all.
  • Why it matters: Amazon may become more efficient and profitable. But the company also pledged at the beginning of the year to hire 100,000 more employees by mid-2018. The jobs of the thousands of Amazon drivers may be at risk if drone technology continues to become more sophisticated.
  • The details: The most recently published patents, acquired by GeekWire, show a retractable cable that can safely lower packages to the ground while minimizing heavy swaying. Another update is a "virtual safety shroud" to protect young children from the drones hovering just above the ground. With the addition, propellers would have sensors to direct the drone to fly out of range, stop its propellers or signal a warning to avoid collision.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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