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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
One of the unintended consequences of the transportation revolution Silicon Valley is unleashing on city streets is a macabre new array of traffic jams, injuries and even deaths.
The big picture: Cities have been built for personal cars for a century, and they are unprepared to manage the new modes of transportation that are rapidly gaining popularity.
"I don’t blame so much the scooters or the bikes, but I blame cities that continue to be organized primarily around the car."— Richard Florida, an urbanist at the University of Toronto
The side effects:
Some cities, including Davis, Boulder and Virginia Beach, have responded by banning scooters — at least for now. But that's an imperfect solution, experts say.
Better solutions might be for cities to have places to park and dock e-scooters and e-bikes, or add dedicated, protected lanes for different types of mobility going at different speeds, Florida says. Some, like D.C., have capped scooters' maximum speeds to make them safer.
The bottom line: "It's a new world of different types of mobility, and we don’t really know what the effects are going to be," says Jessica Cicchino, vice president of research at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, which is working with GW on a scooter injury study. "There do seem to be benefits, but now we have to see what can we do policywise."
In happier times and after the accident.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
For the last 2 years, Amazon has largely been a subplot in the global backlash against Big Tech, with much of the scrutiny on Facebook, Uber and Google — until now.
Why it matters: Amazon is one of the richest companies in history, and for decades, no amount of bad news has stuck to it. Now, an onslaught of regulatory investigations and critical coverage is putting the behemoth on the defensive.
The latest: Federal investigators are conducting an antitrust probe into Amazon, along with Google, Apple and Facebook — and small sellers who operate on the e-commerce giant's platform are lining up to speak to the Feds, says Chris McCabe, a former Amazon employee who now consults for brands.
And in just the last 4 weeks ...
The big picture: Amazon touches everything from retail to robotics to movie-making, but "the larger the company is and the more industries it's in, the more opportunities there are to screw up," says Ryan Hamilton, a professor at Emory University.
But, but, but: Amazon is resilient.
Inside a data center. Photo: Getty Images
In a fascinating dive into the monstrous energy consumption of data centers, Fortune's Naomi Xu Elegant calculated the carbon footprint of 2017 smash hit, "Despacito."
By the numbers: Luis Fonsi's song is remembered for shattering records when it became the first YouTube video to pass 5 billion views, but, in that time, the song also reached another milestone: "[I]t burned as much energy as 40,000 U.S. homes use in a year," Elegant writes.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The almighty dollar. Photo: Getty Images
Money is really, really dirty, and it carries some pretty harmful bacteria that can easily be transferred to humans, Kim writes.
Andreas Voss, an infection prevention professor in the Netherlands, along with his son Timothy, embarked what he called a "fun project" to see just how bacteria spreads on different types of money, Fast Company's Mark Wilson reports.
What they found: After placing relatively benign bacteria on bank notes and then instructing people to rub the notes between their hands, the Romanian leu passed along multiple colonies of bacteria to the people who handled it. The euro performed better than the U.S. dollar, although Voss doesn't know why.
Want to avoid those nasty germs? Coins are your friend, since metals like copper and silver have antimicrobial properties. Your best bet, though, is moving to digital payments.
Thanks for reading!