Amazon to build first robotic Australian fulfilment centre in Sydney – Strategy – Hardware- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Amazon will build its first robotic Australian fulfilment centre in Sydney’s west in a bid to accelerate order processing times and improve the e-tailer’s competitiveness.
The company announced plans for the massive 200,000 square metre facility on Tuesday, which will also be its largest in Australia with “around the same land size as Taronga Zoo”.
The centre, to be located near the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, is expected to create 1500 permanent jobs when completed in late 2021, as well as a further 700 jobs during construction.
It will be the company’s second centre in Western Sydney, allowing it to increase its “capacity to fulfil customers orders”. 
Amazon said the fulfilment centre will be “equipped with the most advanced Amazon Robotics technology”, allowing it to operate 24/7 and store “50 percent more items per square metre”.
The robots will be used to accelerate order processing times by “moving shelves to employees” to reduce how long it takes staff to pick “up to 11 million items” for customer orders.
Amazon Australia operations director Craig Fuller said the centre will more than double the company’s operational footprint in Australia, while improving efficiency for staff and customers.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the “construction and operation of this centre will deliver far-reaching benefits for the people and businesses of NSW”.
“With the ability to operate 24/7, the almost 200,000 square metre facility is expected to be the largest ‘fulfilment centre’ built in Australia,” she said.
“It will also be its most advanced, incorporating the company’s latest robotics systems, the first time these will have been deployed in the Southern Hemisphere.”
Amazon currently operates more than 50 robotic fulfillment centres around the world.

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Amazon Web Services: Deliver High Quality Solutions Fast- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Amazon Web Services (AWS) – the leader in Cloud Services – has data centers all over the world, and more features within those services than any other cloud provider globally (1957 new features were released only in 2018), innovating in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Serverless Computing.

Amazon Web Services emerged 17 years ago to help developers practicing DevOps to rapidly and safely deliver software. We never forget our first encounter.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Amazon reported $7.43 billion in revenue from its cloud-computing business, up 45.3% from the same period a year earlier. For the full 2018 year, AWS brought in $25.7 billion, a 47% jump on the 2017 year.
Major enterprises such as Netflix, Instagram, Unilever, BMW and many more use AWS to run their applications.
Bottom line: no one ever imagined the way AWS would change the internet and our lives.

Why Use AWS?
AWS makes everybody’s life easier: developers, data scientists, business people, IT Operations Managers and many more. AWS allows you to get started on the right foundation, develop more efficiently and deploy faster to deliver more value to your customers.
AWS benefits at a glance:

Easy to create resources
Provides speed and agility
Cost-effective
Reliable
Scalable and high-performance
Secure

Some of the Most Useful Services
Based on my experience and the conversations I had with clients and colleagues recently, these are the common challenges and AWS services that can help:
Challenge #1: What’s the best way to start creating a modern app for a team without DevOps engineers available?
Solution: Amplify
Mobile applications require cloud services for actions that can’t be done directly on the device, such as offline data synchronization, storage, or data sharing across multiple users. AWS Amplify provisions and manages backends for your mobile applications. Amplify also automates the application release process of both your front-end and back-end allowing you to deliver features faster.

Challenge #2: Limited number of environments lowers productivity and morale
Solution: CloudFormation and Service Catalog
If you’re looking for a way to automate cloud deployments to gain more efficiency and reduce human error, CloudFormation is one of your options. This service enables you to deploy things like virtual machines, networks, databases, storage, users, permissions, custom applications, and security appliances on the AWS cloud platform using infrastructure as code.
AWS Service Catalog allows organizations to centrally manage commonly deployed IT services, and helps organizations achieve consistent governance and meet compliance requirements. End users can quickly deploy only the approved IT services they need, following the constraints set by your organization.
Challenge #3: Lack of CI/CD lowers productivity and velocity
Solution: CodePipeline and other Code* services
Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) help teams to be more productive when shipping software with quality built in: they can make discrete changes frequently, release those changes programmatically and deliver updates without disruption. You can build a CI/CD pipeline using AWS CodePipeline. This service automates the steps required to release your software changes continuously, enabling you to rapidly and reliably deliver features and updates.
Challenge #4: GDPR and reinventing the wheel
Solution: Cognito
Since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force across the European Union on 25 May 2018, AWS has offered services and resources to help customers comply with the requirements that may apply to their activities.
Cognito is a user directory, letting you easily add user sign-up and authentication to your mobile and web apps. Amazon Cognito also enables you to authenticate users through an external identity provider and provides temporary security credentials to access your app’s backend resources in AWS or any service behind Amazon API Gateway. Amazon Cognito works with external identity providers that support SAML or OpenID Connect, social identity providers (such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon) and you can also integrate your own identity provider.
There are many other Amazon Web Services that allow enterprises, start-ups, small and medium sized businesses to respond quickly to changing business requirements.

Resources to Start or Advance Your AWS Journey
AWS is a powerful toolkit designed to showcase the value of time well spend when coding.For those of you who are passionate about AWS and interested in developing the set of skills in order to become a Cloud Developer, I have put together a collection of useful resources to help you achieve your goals.
Whether you’re someone who’s just getting initiated or who’s keen on leveling up, here is what I’m proposing:
1. Downloadable presentations & video recordings of AWS events I hosted that you can watch and replay at any time:

2. A series of AWS tech articles in which I share practical tips that you can apply into your own projects:

Begin your Java Project with AWS
Improving Python Microservices with a Service Mesh in AWS
Node.js & AWS and Serveless Web Applications
PHP Project – Microservices with AWS
Serverless CI/CD Pipelines, AWS Services and DevOps

3. For a well-rounded AWS training, I personally recommend the following materials:

The training programs built by the AWS expert team
A curated list of Amazon Web Services Workshops
AWS Samples on GitHub

A truly awesome AWS keynote speech worth watching

AWS Mentoring as Part of Pentalog’s Continuous Learning Commitment
For all our colleagues interested in Cloud technologies, we at Pentalog have started a program addressing this topic. To date, there are already over 25 colleagues and counting enrolled in the AWS Cloud Mentoring Program where we share best practices and spread the knowledge about DevOps.
Our objective is to mentor our colleagues, help them get AWS certified, and start their cloud journey.
Some will join our new Customer DevOps service (our cloud center of excellence) that is focused on helping clients, teams and individuals have a better understanding and usage of DevOps practices and services while providing high quality Cloud-based solutions.
Using a dedicated DevOps culture, Agile methodology and results-driven leadership, Pentalog’s Customer DevOps Service provides a full lifecycle approach and a cultural change in IT focusing on providing solutions faster, more often, more reliably, and aligned with business requirements.
The team is comprised of senior DevOps Engineers and Cloud Solution Architects that ensure thorough vision and architecture are planned and delivered to our customers.

Feeling inspired? Join our growing team in Pentalog as a DevOps Engineer, AWS Developer or Cloud Specialist.
The post Amazon Web Services: Deliver High Quality Solutions Fast appeared first on Pentalog.

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Amazon Launches 3,000 Work-From-Home Jobs in South Africa | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from 2OceansVibe.

Supermassive retailer Amazon has announced that it will be hiring for 3,000 new customer-service jobs in South Africa. The positions are all work-from-home, come with benefits, and applications are open right now.
“We are thrilled with the talent in South Africa and we are excited to help keep people working during this unprecedented time,” says the company in a statement. The positions are all for remote work – what Amazon is calling ‘virtual jobs’ – as prospective employees need not come into the office and can work from home. All you need is a dedicated Internet connection, but the company will help with that.
Business Insider writes that the jobs are mixtures of both permanent and temporary roles, and come with employer contributions toward medical aid and provident fund, group life cover, employee wellness programmes, and a monthly stipend for your Internet connection.
“These roles will range from customer service associates to technical experts who will work virtually and provide 24/7 support to Amazon customers in North America and Europe,” says the company. The company has not specified yet how many of the jobs were permanent, or temporary, and whether all of the jobs qualify for benefits.

If all of the positions are filled, Amazon’s workforce in South Africa will begin to number in the 7000s.
The company says the jobs are a good fit for South Africans who are likely to be homebound for some time as lockdown restrictions only gradually loosen, with infections continuing to rise.
Qualifications – How to apply
To qualify for a position Amazon has listed these qualifications:

Matric/Grade 12/NQF Level 4 qualification or higher,
Excellent command of English
A private, quiet place to work
An existing and dedicated Internet connection
South African citizenship

It is interesting to note that a South African citizenship is a necessary stipulation that the company is looking for.
To apply for the position right now, click here or go to www.amazon.jobs, filter by location and type in “South Africa” to view the open positions.
Edited by Luis MonzonFollow Luis Monzon on TwitterFollow Tempemail on Twitter

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Amazon to use AI tech in its warehouses to enforce social distancing – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Amazon launched an artificial intelligence-based tracking system to enforce social distancing at its offices and warehouses to reduce risk of workers contracting the new coronavirus.
The unveiling comes as the world’s largest online retailer faces intensifying scrutiny from US lawmakers and unions over whether it is doing enough to protect staff from the pandemic.
Monitors set up in the company’s warehouses will highlight workers keeping a safe distance in green circles, while workers who are closer will be highlighted in red circles, Amazon said.
The system, called Distance Assistant, uses camera footage in Amazon’s buildings to also help identify high-traffic areas.
Amazon, which will open source the technology behind the system, is not the first company to turn to AI to track compliance with social distancing.
Several firms have told Reuters that AI camera-based software will be crucial to staying open, as it will allow them to show not only workers and customers, but also insurers and regulators, that they are monitoring and enforcing safe practices.
However, privacy activists have raised concerns about increasingly detailed tracking of people and have urged businesses to limit use of AI to the pandemic.
The system is live at a handful of buildings, Amazon said on Tuesday, adding that it planned to deploy hundreds of such units over the next few weeks.

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Amazon Won’t Allow Police to Use it’s Facial Recognition Technology | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Image sourced from Detroit Metro Times

Amazon has announced that it will implement a one year ban on law enforcement from using its facial recognition platform, Rekognition.
“We’re implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon’s facial recognition technology. We will continue to allow organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics to use Amazon Rekognition to help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families,” reads a statement from the tech giant.
In the last decade, incredible milestones in the development of facial recognition technology have been achieved – often due to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.
However, according to The Verge, “the technology — because it is often provided by private companies with little regulation or federal oversight — has been shown to suffer from bias along lines of age, race, and ethnicity, which can make the tools unreliable for law enforcement and security and ripe for potential civil rights abuses”.

The eCommerce company says that in light of this, “governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology” and it hopes that the “one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules”.
IBM and Facial Recognition 
Amazon’s announcement comes shortly after IBM said that it would cease developing and researching facial recognition or analysis software and, on top of that, it will no longer offer the technology for general-purposes.
This is part of the company’s mission to advance racial equality in the US after #BlackLivesMatter protests – campaigning against violence and systemic racism towards the black community – were organised all over the world.

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MultiChoice Adds Netflix and Amazon Video Prime Streaming for Subscribers | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Image sourced from The Vanguard Nigeria

South African tv dish satellite operator MultiChoice will soon be adding both streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to its DStv platform. This comes as the pay-TV operator continues to show growth in the market, adding roughly another 900,000 DStv and GOtv subscribers over its last financial year.
MultiChoice already offers its own subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service. Now, the company seems set to add another swathe of subscribers to its already robust base of 19.5 million users, according to its latest financial results.
By adding these two international streaming services to its existing platform with DStv, MultiChoice seems set on continuing its mission as a “super aggregator” – a tactic used by other pay-tv platforms in the US, UK or New Zealand over the past year.
Now, existing subscribers will receive access to further streaming services through DStv simply by paying their monthly bill in the local currency for the Netflix and Amazon add-ons. This will no doubt be a further way to dissuade customers from choosing these streaming services over DStv and abandoning the satellite service completely. Now, users need not leave DStv to receive access to Netflix.

“We have long been a content aggregator, and this is proof of our aggregator model at work – providing simplicity, choice and convenience for our customers,” says Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice CEO.
“As our industry evolves, we believe that we are well-positioned to benefit from both worlds – a large, growing pay-TV market in Africa, as well as an emerging over-the-top (OTT) opportunity, where our own OTT services and aggregation capabilities can drive success.”
MultiChoice has shown a 5% increase in subscriber growth in its 2019/2020 financial year, taking its total pay-TV subscriber base to 19.5 million households with South Africa still representing the company’s largest market (8.4 million households). The rest of Africa represents a total of 11.1 million households for the platform.
MultiChoice is also getting ready to roll-out and launch its as-yet-unnamed “DStv dishless”, stand-alone DStv streaming service that will mimic its existing direct-to-Home (DTH) service but without the need for any installation.
MultiChoice continues to produce local content
According to Channel24, MultiChoice has produced 3850 additional hours of local content on top of its already heft library of 56,800 hours of locally-produced content, at least 40% of its total library.
The company plans on doing two new co-productions, Blood Psalms and Rogue, launch four new local content TV channels including a new action movie channel and plans to further ramp up its local content production in 2021.
Edited by Luis MonzonFollow Luis Monzon on TwitterFollow Tempemail on Twitter

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Amazon to set up ‘massive’ Queensland fulfilment centre – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

E-tailer Amazon Australia is building a multi-million dollar fulfilment centre in Brisbane that is set to begin operating by Christmas.
The company announced the operational expansion today, with the new facility to be located Goodman’s Port Industry Park in the Brisbane suburb of Lytton.
“The new fulfilment centre will be around the same size as two Rugby League fields, housing more than half a million items from Amazon.com.au,” the company said.
Amazon said the new fulfilment centre would allow faster delivery of orders to Queensland customers.
It “will also benefit Queensland based small & medium sized businesses who utilise Fulfilment By Amazon to seamlessly service customers across the country,” Amazon said.
“Local sellers will soon be able to send their products to the Brisbane fulfilment centre where Amazon will then pick, pack and ship orders to customers, provide customer service support and manage returns on behalf of the seller.”
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that construction on the “massive multi-million dollar hub … will start immediately, creating more than 170 jobs and an additional 200 jobs once it’s up and running.”
Amazon said it worked with Goodman Australia to secure the location, “which is close to the Port of Brisbane, Brisbane airport and transport links”.
The fulfilment centre in Brisbane will join existing facilities in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
It opened its first fulfilment centre in Dandenong South, Melbourne in December 2017, followed by Moorebank, Sydney in August 2018 and then Perth’s Airport Precinct in November 2019.

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Amazon to block police use of facial recognition for a year – Security – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Amazon is putting a year-long “moratorium” on police use of its Rekognition facial recognition technology.
“We’re implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon’s facial recognition technology,” the company said on its dayone blog.
“We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge. 
“We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.”
A police reform bill currently before the US Congress would tighten the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies.
Timnit Gebru, a leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence team, said in the New York Times that facial recognition use by law enforcement “should be banned at the moment”.
Gebru is one of the researchers behind an influential 2018 paper that “demonstrated both skin-type and gender biases … [in] three commercially released facial-analysis programs from major technology companies”.
Amazon said it would still allow certain specific uses of Rekognition to enforce laws around human trafficking.
“We will continue to allow organisations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics to use Amazon Rekognition to help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families,” it said.
Amazon’s move came after IBM CEO Arvind Krishna sent a letter to Congress pulling “general purpose facial recognition or analysis software.” 
“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and principles of rrust and transparency,” Krishna wrote.
“We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”
Clare Garvie, a researcher at Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology, tweeted that “while this is a great statement, it won’t really change police access to [facial recognition”, mainly because IBM is not the largest player in the space. Major players included NEC and Idemia, she added.

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Amazon says ‘Black Lives Matter’. But the company has deep ties to policing | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Amazon on Monday became the latest tech company to face criticism for sharing public-facing statements supporting police reform and the Black Lives Matter movement while continuing internal policies and business practices that perpetuate the status quo.
Amazon on Twitter has called for an end to “the inequitable and brutal treatment of black people” in the US and has put a “Black lives matter” banner at the top of its home page. Its chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos, on Sunday posted on Instagram an email from a customer criticizing the BLM banner on Amazon’s home page, and said the emailer is the kind of customer he’s “happy to lose”.

But activists argue those statements mean little if the company continues its commercial partnerships with police forces across the US and stands by its past treatment of non-white employee organizers
“It is opportunistic of Amazon to use this moment to make empty and hypocritical statements when it is simultaneously building the backbone for many police departments across the country,” said Jacinta Gonzalez of Mijente, a grassroots Latinx and Chicanx organizing group. “The company perpetuates policies and technologies that are clearly targeting and harming black and brown communities,” she added.
Public records released in 2018 revealed that the company had sold its facial recognition software Rekognition to police forces. Rekognition can identify faces in videos and photos, and Amazon marketing materials promoted using Rekognition in conjunction with police body cameras in real time.
An experiment run by the ACLU in 2018, however, showed Rekognition incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress to photos of people arrested for a crime. It disproportionately misidentified Congress members who are not white.
The software, a coalition of 40 human rights groups wrote at the time the records were released, is “a powerful surveillance system” that is available to “violate rights and target communities of color”. Amazon said in February 2020 it did not know how many police departments were using this technology, and the company did not respond to request for comment on Monday regarding how many police forces use this technology today – or whether those partnerships would be continued.

Amazon has called for an end to ‘the inequitable and brutal treatment of black people’. Photograph: Amazon
Activists have also called on local officials to ban police departments from making partnerships with the Amazon subsidiary Ring after hundreds of forces partnered with the smart doorbell company to use its footage to aid surveillance.
In September 2019, the US Senator Edward Markey wrote in a letter to Bezos that the partnerships “could easily create a surveillance network that places dangerous burdens on people of color and feeds racial anxieties in local communities”. A report from Motherboard in 2019 revealed black and brown people are more likely to be surveilled by the Neighbors app, where Ring users can post videos and photos of “suspicious” people caught on camera.
According to a map provided by Ring, the doorbell app now partners with more than 1,300 police forces across the US – a 300% increase from just 400 police forces in August 2019. Amazon did not respond to request for comment regarding whether it will continue its partnerships with local police forces.
Amazon also sells web hosting services to law enforcement agencies, including US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice). Since 2018, a coalition of employees known as We Won’t Build It has called on the company to halt those sales, as well as to stop selling facial recognition software to law enforcement. In a statement to the Guardian, We Won’t Build It said the same demands remain. Amazon did not respond to request for comment.
The company’s track record with non-white employee organizers has also proven to be in conflict with its public statements regarding racial equity, said Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a group of employee activists at the company.
“Actions speak louder than words,” the group said, citing Amazon’s treatment of Chris Smalls, a black activist who was fired for organizing employees to protest against unsafe coronavirus-related conditions in Amazon warehouses.
“Amazon’s words mean nothing when they are firing black employees organizing for better working conditions, when leadership planned racist smears against Chris Smalls, calling him ‘not smart or articulate’, when they deny our call for racial equity assessments in their business decisions and eliminating the environmental racism of its pollution, when they supply facial recognition software and Ring surveillance video access to police departments that are killing black people with impunity.”
Amazon is not the only company whose work with police departments have been in question since the protests following the death of George Floyd began. Last week, chat service Slack removed a blog post showing how local police forces can use the app after some Black employees criticized it. Airbnb has publicly supported Black Lives Matter but has been criticized for its role in gentrifying predominantly black neighborhoods and pushing out original residents.
Amazon did not respond to request for comment or answer whether it plans to withdraw from any of its police partnerships.

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Slack and Amazon Join Forces to Take On Microsoft Teams | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from TechSpot.

Slack is partnering with Amazon in a multi-year agreement that means all Amazon employees will start to use video-conferencing and business communication platform Slack. This deal comes on the heels of Slack facing increasing competition from Microsoft’s Teams platform.
The deal will also see Slack migrate its voice and video calling features over to Amazon’s Chime platform, alongside a broader adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Amazon’s roll-out of Slack to its employees is a key part of the deal, thanks to an enterprise-wide agreement. It’s not immediately clear how many of Amazon’s 840,000 employees will be using Slack, though. Up until today, Slack’s biggest customer has been IBM, which is rolling out Slack to its 350,000 employees.

The Verge writes that Slack has long used AWS to power parts of its chat app, and it is now using Amazon’s cloud services as its prefered partner for storage, computation, database-use, security, analytics, machine learning and for future collaboration features. The deal means it’s unlikely we’ll see Slack turn to Microsoft’s Azure cloud services or Google Cloud to power parts of its service in the foreseeable future.
“We have not used Azure,” says Brad Armstrong, VP of business and corporate development at Slack, in an interview with The Verge.
“The vast majority of our service has always run on AWS.” He reiterates that it is highly unlikely that Slack will be using Azure in the future.
The adoption of Amazon Chime for Slack’s voice and video calls is is another key feature of the deal. Voice and video conferencing is a particularly weak point of Slack compared to Microsoft Teams, but this new integration should mean it will be vastly improved in the future. Slack has already started the migration, and it’s looking into new features.
“For now, we’re just focused on shoring up the back end,” says Armstrong. “As Chime has additional features, we’re looking at bringing the mobile experience to include video, which it doesn’t today. We’re also looking at transcription.”
Both Slack and Amazon are also promising better product integration and interoperability, especially for features like AWS chatbot – a service that pushes out Slack channel alerts for AWS instances.
In the coming months, Slack and AWS will improve its Amazon AppFlow integration to support the bi-directional transfer of data between AWS services and Slack channels.
“The future of enterprise software will be driven by the combination of cloud services and workstream collaboration tools,” says Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield in a statement yesterday.
“Strategically partnering with AWS allows both companies to scale to meet demand and deliver enterprise-grade offerings to our customers.”
Edited by Luis MonzonFollow Luis Monzon on TwitterFollow Tempemail on Twitter

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