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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.

Go deeper

46 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.