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• The New York Times reports this morning that Amazon shareholders have voted down “proposals that would have pushed the company to reconsider its societal impact in two key areas: facial recognition and climate change.

“The proposals asked Amazon to develop a more comprehensive approach to reducing its carbon footprint and put the brakes on how the company sells surveillance technologies to governments.”

While there had been some support for the proposals from a pair of shareholder advisory firms, Amazon’s board opposed them, and the shareholders went along.

The vote totals have not yet been disclosed.

TechCrunch reports that “discount chain operator Stein Mart announced it will install Amazon Hub lockers in nearly 200 stores as soon as next month. The lockers are self-serve kiosks that allow Amazon shoppers to take advantage of in-store pickup and returns.”

According to the story, SteinMart hopes that increased foot traffic will “help save its struggling business,” while Amazon “gains the advantage of a brick-and-mortar presence for delivery and returns without having to invest in more real estate or making an acquisition … The move also benefits Amazon’s battle with Walmart — the latter which has been quick to leverage its brick-and-mortar locations to aid its online shoppers.”

• The Washington Post reports that several Amazon warehouses are offering employees the ability to structure their work within video game formats that are “part of an experiment by the e-commerce giant to help reduce the tedium of its physically demanding jobs. And if it helps improve the efficiency of work like plucking items from or stowing products on shelves for 10 hours a day or more, all the better.”

According to the story, “the games are displayed on small screens at employees’ workstations. As robots wheel giant shelves up to each workstation, lights or screens indicate which item the worker needs to pluck to put into a bin. The games simultaneously register the completion of the task, which is tracked by scanning devices, and can pit individuals, teams or entire floors against one another to be fastest, simply by picking or stowing real Lego sets, cellphone cases or dish soap. Game-playing employees are rewarded with points, virtual badges and other goodies throughout a shift.”

The format is optional for the employees.
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