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Stores make big changes to self-checkout as theft soars

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They were meant to be the future of shopping, as thousands of stores spent millions installing self-checkouts. But then people started stealing.

Target in the U.S. has announced plans to limit self-checkout transactions to 10 items or fewer across its nearly 2,000 stores nationwide.

The move, set to take effect this Sunday, aims to enhance the overall customer experience and streamline the checkout process, according to the Minneapolis-based retailer.

Big Brother tech being used by supermarkets

This decision aligns Target with numerous other retail chains, including competitor Walmart, which have either restricted or eliminated self-checkout kiosks due to technological issues and escalating concerns about theft.

Target will expand the availability of traditional checkout lanes in its stores. The company tested the revised self-checkout policy at 200 locations last autumn before rolling it out nationwide.

Quick trips

According to Target, customer feedback indicated that having the option to choose between self-checkout for quick trips or staffed lanes for larger purchases resulted in an improved checkout experience overall.

The company also attributed the shift to changing consumer behavior, noting that self-checkout gained popularity during the peak of the pandemic when shoppers sought minimal contact with others.

However, the self-checkout overhaul comes amidst a backdrop of rising organized retail crime affecting Target stores nationwide.

Last fall, the retailer closed nine locations in cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Harlem, citing concerns for employee safety amid escalating incidents of violence.

A report revealed that organized shoplifting rings cost New York retailers an estimated $4.4 billion in losses in 2022.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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TikTok launches Instagram competitor ‘Notes’

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TikTok Notes has launched in Australia & Canada as a formidable competitor to Instagram, offering a unique platform for content creation, text and sharing.

“TikTok Notes is a lifestyle platform that offers informative photo-text content about people’s lives, where you can see individuals sharing their travel tips and daily recipes,” reads the official App Store description.

Take note

The app allows users to create content by combining short videos with text-based notes, closely resembling that of Meta’s Instagram.

Whether it’s sharing a quick tutorial, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking message, TikTok Notes is positioned to be a formidable social media platform.

Currently, the app is only available for download and “limited testing” in Australia and Canada.

As it gains momentum, the platform is poised to contest Instagram’s established reign in the social media landscape.

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Ramifications of a TikTok ban to impact Open Internet

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The United States’ longstanding advocacy for an open internet faces a critical juncture as Congress considers legislation targeting TikTok.

The proposed measures, including a forced sale or outright ban of TikTok, have sparked concerns among digital rights advocates and global observers about the implications for internet freedom and international norms.

For decades, the U.S. has championed the concept of an unregulated internet, advocating for the free flow of digital data across borders.

However, the move against TikTok, a platform with 170 million U.S. users, has raised questions about the consistency of America’s stance on internet governance.

Read more – Big tech to handover misinformation data

Critics fear that actions against TikTok could set a precedent for other countries to justify their own internet censorship measures.

Russian blogger Aleksandr Gorbunov warned that Russia could use the U.S. decision to justify further restrictions on platforms like YouTube.

Similarly, Indian lawyer Mishi Choudhary expressed concerns that a U.S. ban on TikTok would embolden the Indian government to impose additional crackdowns on internet freedoms.

Moreover, the proposed legislation could complicate U.S. efforts to advocate for an internet governed by international organizations rather than individual countries.

China, in particular, has promoted a vision of internet sovereignty, advocating for greater national control over online content.

A TikTok ban could undermine America’s credibility in urging other countries to embrace a more open internet governed by global standards.

 

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BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says AI leads to higher wages

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Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock Inc., has outlined his vision for the impact of the firm’s investment in artificial intelligence.

During the company’s recent earnings call, Fink emphasized the connection between productivity gains driven by AI and the potential for rising wages among BlackRock’s workforce.

He explained the firm’s ambition to leverage AI technology to enhance efficiency, enabling employees to accomplish more with fewer resources.

Fink’s remarks underscore BlackRock’s strategic approach to harnessing AI as a tool for optimising operations and driving organisational growth.

Read more – Australia’s productivity gap widens

By leveraging AI-driven productivity enhancements, the company aims to empower its employees to deliver greater value, thereby paving the way for wage increases across the organisation.

The CEO’s statement reflects a broader trend in the intersection of technology and labor dynamics, where advancements in AI and automation have the potential to reshape workforce dynamics and compensation structures.

Fink’s optimism about the transformative impact of AI investment on employee wages highlights BlackRock’s commitment to embracing technological innovation as a catalyst for sustainable business growth and employee prosperity.

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