Sep 26, 2018

Living in a tech giant's lab

A visitor at Alibaba's Hangzhou campus. Photo: Wang He/Getty

There are a handful of perks to living in the hometown of a global tech titan — among them, thousands of high-paying jobs, bustling shops and restaurants and first access to the coolest new tech.

What's going on: Seattle, Hangzhou, and Columbus, Ohio are among a lucky few places that have become lab cities for the cutting-edge technologies of the future. Here, companies roll out their new concepts for shops, cars and hotels, and work out the kinks before peddling them to the rest of the world.

  • Amazon opened its first cashier-less Go store in Seattle, and has since expanded to New York and Chicago. The e-commerce giant also first used Seattle to test its "Treasure Truck," which drives around cities and offers discounts on an item of the day, per NYT.
  • Alibaba has partnered with Marriott hotels in its hometown of Hangzhou to offer facial recognition check-in. Some of the Chinese behemoth's retail ideas — like AI-powered shopping — start out in its employee canteen.
  • Columbus, Ohio has become a hotbed of retail experimentation and a lab city in its own right, reports NYT. Eddie Bauer has opened an ice box where shoppers can test how warm their winter jackets really are. And DSW — which actually does call the city home — is piloting cobbler services.
  • Uber and Lyft pitted Uber Express Pool and Lyft Shuttle against one another in San Francisco before expanding elsewhere.
  • Walmart had a wild last mile delivery idea, which had employees dropping off groceries on their way home. It didn't live long, but some residents of Bentonville, Arkansas, did get to give it a try.

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.

Coronavirus spreads to Africa as U.S. soldier in South Korea tests positive

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health