Jefferson Graham offers a countdown to Black Friday deals on Talking Tech. Get out your credit cards and let the shopping begin. Sure, many of the so-called "sales" started this week, but let's get real--the action really begins early Thursday, like just after midnight. Remember when people would camp outside big-box stores, hoping to be the first person to rush inside and save $100 or $200 off the price of a big TV on Thanksgiving and the day after? Black Friday can mean getting great deals, but it can also get you in financial trouble.
Earlier this week, Tesla was at the center of the tech news cycle for the wrong reasons: Former employees accused Elon Musk's electric car manufacturer of fostering a toxic, racist work environment in a new lawsuit. Thanks to the unveiling of Tesla's new, bizarre looking semi-trucks, the company has managed to shine the spotlight on itself for more positive reasons. American retail giant Walmart announced its plan to test the new electric tractor trailer Friday, preordering 15 for its large truck fleet. According to CNBC, five of those trailers will be in the United States Walmart fleet, while 10 of them will go to the Canadian fleet. The total size of the fleet is 6,000 trucks, so these trailers will make up only a tiny fraction of the total fleet.
Samsung 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV--$1,197.99 (Save $300): This 2017 model won our Editors' Choice award for its impeccable picture quality, and now you can get it for the lowest price we've ever seen. Plus, it's down to the lowest price we've ever seen. Playstation 4 Slim 1TB Console Playstation VR Headset--$549.99 (Save $137): Kids clamoring for VR this year? This bundle is the perfect "big" gift if you want to get them a new console too. Jaybird X3 Sport Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones--$99.99 (Save $30): These headphones are fantastic for anyone who works out (Hello, New Year's resolution-ers).
There's still more than a week until Black Friday. But the deals are here already. The Black Friday phenomenon – which already stretches over the following weekend and into Cyber Monday – grows each year, taking up more days and more focus. That is matched by companies who are more and more desperate to show off their deals, including Amazon. This year, the company has launched its Black Friday page with eight days left to go.
Robotics and big data have already revolutionized e-commerce. These companies are helping to distribute that revolution evenly. Drone delivery is already available, albeit in limited markets. Flytrex, a drone logistics company, is well on the way to changing that. The company launched the world's first fully autonomous drone delivery system in Iceland this year, cutting average delivery times for e-commerce company AHA by over 75 percent on certain items while saving 60 percent in delivery costs.
Speaking on a panel at Dreamforce in San Francisco, Paul Daugherty said he believed there was "tremendous substance" behind the hype around AI. "We've never seen a technology that's moved as fast as AI has to impact business and society," Daugherty said. "We believe this is by far the fastest-moving technology we've ever tracked, and we're just getting started." He referred to research that the consultancy giant recently carried out alongside Frontier Economics that suggested AI could deliver a 38% improvement in worker productivity by 2035, and add between $15tn (£11.4tn) and $20tn to the economic output of the world's 12 largest economies. Daugherty argued that the narrative of AI replacing human jobs was given too much emphasis. "It's easy to see jobs that are eliminated, such as long-haul truck drivers," he said.
The trucks that roam the highways of the Australian outback are a lot bigger than the average 18-wheeler. Instead of towing one container, these road trains, as Australians refer to them, pull at least three self-tracking semitrailers behind them, which follow each other like train carriages. The trailers are packed with heavy goods--cattle, gas, coal, cars--and sent roaring through the continent's interior to deliver supplies to coastal cities. Fully loaded, road trains weigh up to 120 tons, and materialize on the shimmering horizon of outback roads as great mechanical beasts. As they pass at 70 miles per hour, you can feel the air velocity generated by the machine trying to suck you under the rig. Road trains are as much a part of the outback as red dirt or Akubra hats, signifiers of a rugged, Mad Max mythology that has come to define Australia's interior in the global imagination.
Marco Polo, Columbus, and Afonso de Albuquerque were more than explorers. They didn't merely seek silk and spices, but looked to develop new markets, pioneer the best routes to reach them, and gather vast volumes of information on winds and tides, languages, people and local customs to aid the merchants who followed in their wake. They were, in their own way, the data scientists of their time. Data has always been a fundamental component of international trade and transportation, but never has so much information been available as today. Remote sensing, telematics, connected devices and vehicles all generate huge volumes of valuable data – the only challenge for organisations in the logistics and supply chain industry is how to harness this information and turn it into insight.
As China gears up for its version of Black Friday, robots are one way companies are revolutionizing the logistics behind the annual online shopping extravaganza. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. As China gears up for its version of Black Friday, robots are one way companies are revolutionizing the logistics behind the annual online shopping extravaganza.
Cyber Monday is a few weeks away, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared, especially with Amazon deals. The online retailer has not specified what exactly it will offer on Cyber Monday, but it will most likely reveal the deals closer to the day. Meanwhile, Amazon launched its "Black Friday Deals Store" last week, a countdown event packed with deals leading up to the shopping day. For those who want to get a head start on planning their shopping, here are some items Amazon could have deals on during Cyber Monday, Nov. 27 Amazon usually lowers its prices on its devices, like Echo gadgets and Kindles, on big shopping days. During Cyber Monday last year, and on Prime Day this summer, the online retailer slashed prices for Amazon devices.