Delivery applications in India and vaccines against covid for young children

From 7 a.m. to dusk, seven days a week, N. Sudhakar sits behind the counter of his grocery store with a hole in the wall in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. Packed from floor to ceiling with everything from 20-pound bags of rice to one-rupee ($ 0.01) shampoo packets, this one-stop shop provides most of the neighborhood’s daily needs. It is a replica of the approximately 12 million family kirans found on almost every street corner in India.

The store is on a busy street in the Whitefield neighborhood, formerly a quiet suburb but now a major hub for the city’s thriving IT industry. Apartment blocks rise behind his shop, home to hundreds of workers employed in the technoparks that dominate the area.

These days, the same technology industry that has helped Sudhakar’s business thrive presents stores as its new challenge. On the other side of the road, a steady stream of delivery drivers line up to pick up groceries from a “dark shop” – a mini-warehouse located in the heart of the city and built to allow ultra-fast deliveries run by Dunzo-based in Bangalore startup company.

In India’s metropolises, years of aggressive marketing, steep discounts from e-commerce players such as Amazon and home-grown Flipkart, and heavy covid blocking have prompted the urban middle class to engage in online shopping. These buyers make up part of the population, but their purchasing power is significant, and in the richer pockets of big cities, the battle for a street corner in India is under way. Read the whole story.

– Ed Gent

Required readings

I dug up the internet to find you the funniest / important / scary / fascinating technology stories today.

1 child under the age of five in the United States is eligible for covid vaccines today
This means that almost all Americans will have access to immunization. (NYT $)
+ Here are some of the potential minor side effects you may experience. (CNN)
+ Why young children who have already had covid still need vaccines. (mine)

2 Canada bans disposable plastics
Starting in six months. (The guardian)
+ Similarly, Wales is considering banning disposable bags and wet wipes. (BBC)
+ Spray coating for plants can be an alternative to plastic packaging. (Engadget)
+ French company uses enzymes to recycle one of the most common disposable plastics. (MIT Technology Review)

3 China collects even more personal data than we thought
Including “voice prints” from the public to strengthen its ruling authoritarian government. (NYT $)

4 Google Search is not what it used to be
Going through ads and fewer blogs makes him feel more sterile and less human. (The Atlantic Ocean $)
+ Many people are searching Google for “Bitcoin Dead” right now. (Cointelegraph)

5 We need to be smarter about how we use AI to tackle climate change
Renewable energy is an area that can benefit from simpler systems. (IEEE spectrum)
+ Renewable energy certificates can overestimate corporate environmental efforts. (NBC)
+ Renewable energy sources are set to jump. (MIT Technology Review)

The 6 Meta virtual reality headphones are quite uninspiring
But the company is hell-bent on making viable headphones a reality. (On the edge)
+ The metaverse seems rather impractical at the moment. (WP $)
+ There is already a problem with touch. (MIT Technology Review)
+ That is why it is important that we all use the same terms when we talk about this. (Fast company $)

7 To decolonize AI, we need to tear off its tissue
And install continuous monitoring by supervisory boards. (Neo.Life)
+ AI creates a new colonial world order. (MIT Technology Review)

8 We still do not know why the sea glows in milky green
But going into space may shed some light on the mystery. (Hakai magazine)

9 Internet Explorer is missing, but not forgotten
Some parts of the network still rely on it. (With cable $)

10 Here’s what tech workers do with their bribes from failed startups
The best advice: don’t get a tattoo on your company’s logo. (The information $)

Quote of the day

“Target exercise!”

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