Tag Archives: New York

Walmart is taking its battle with Amazon to the streets of New York

The contest between Walmart and Amazon for control of America’s refrigerator and cupboard is escalating.

Walmart announced today (Oct. 3) that it had purchased Parcel, an delivery service that specializes in toting groceries and packages to the apartments of New Yorkers. Parcel will continue to deliver for its existing customers, but it will become the so-called last-mile courier for Walmart.com and Jet.com, the e-commerce company Walmart bought last year. Jet has been testing same-day delivery in New York, and Parcel will become the (literal) vehicle for that service’s expansion.

With the acquisition of Parcel, Walmart is poised to take on AmazonFresh, its same-day grocery service, and Amazon Prime Now, which delivers general merchandise, in the US’s biggest market.

Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods in June signaled its intention to become a player in the $626 billion US grocery market dominated by Walmart. Likewise, Walmart’s purchase of Parcel, along with its acquisitions of Jet and smaller e-commerce companies like Bonobos and ShoeBuy, shows it plans on taking on Amazon’s primacy in online shopping.

The move also means Walmart has finally found a home in New York, where it’s been blocked in its efforts to open stores for years. Its latest efforts in Brooklyn were stymied by grocery unions and local politicians, and mayor Bill De Blasio is an outspoken opponent. The Arkansas-based chain, which has nearly 5,000 US stores, has been similarly denied in Boston, Seattle and San Francisco.

So far, Walmart has expanded its e-commerce offerings into those traditional left-leaning cities without much of a fight. As its delivery services grow, it can probably count on getting one from Amazon.

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Walmart is taking its battle with Amazon to the streets of New York

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NYC Landlords Busted For Renting Illegal Rooftop Shacks On Airbnb

If you see an Airbnb listing for a New York City apartment with rooftop views, be warned that you may be paying hundreds of dollars a night to stay in an illegally constructed shack underneath a bridge.

According to the New York Daily News, the landlord of an industrial building in Brooklyn was caught renting out poorly constructed, unlawful rooftop rooms to tourists through Airbnb.

When inspectors showed up to Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood to investigate these high-price hovels, they found three of the five rooftop units occupied by paying customers.

One of them was actually asleep when city officials barged in and snapped this photo:

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The building’s certificate of occupancy calls for manufacturing on the first and second floor.

“With illegal construction, including dangerous and unpermitted gas and electrical hookups, the property owner and an Airbnb host showed an astonishing disregard for the safety of visitors to the city,” Christian Klossner, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, said. “These rooms, on the roof of a manufacturing building in Dumbo, offer one more example of how dangerous illegal rentals can be.”

Listings for the rooms — which have since been removed from Airbnb — promised “amazing views” and “rooftop access.” Each rental had one or two beds, bathrooms, TVs, microwaves, and small sitting areas.

What those rooms didn’t have, according to the mayor’s office, was required exits, fire alarms, and authorized gas lines.

Airnb won’t be held liable for the law-breaking listing, however, after the company settled a lawsuit with the state of New York last year that said any penalties for illegal rentals would only apply to individual hosts.

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NYC Landlords Busted For Renting Illegal Rooftop Shacks On Airbnb

MIT duoskin electrical temporary tattoos a success at new york fashion week

 MIT’s ‘duoskin’ is a fabrication process that enables anyone to create customized functional tattoos that can be attached directly on their skin, like electical temporary tattoos. they use gold metal leaf—a material that’s cheap, skin-friendly, and robust for everyday wear—and provide three different types of on-skin interfaces: sensing touch input, displaying output, and wireless communication. this process draws from the aesthetics found in metallic jewelry-like temporary tattoos to create on-skin devices which resemble jewelry.  
MIT’s ‘duoskin’ devices allow people to control their mobile devices, display information, and store date on their skin while serving as a statement of personal style. they can be designed in any color and shape, and they can go anywhere on the body.  its metallic tattoo process can store and share data wirelessly with your smartphone or other such device via near-field communication (NFC) technology. at the same time, its ‘touch input’ technology enables you to use your skin like a trackpad for activities such as adjusting the volume on your smartphone, turning on lights, or writing text. additionally, the tattoo can show information, including your mood and the weather.
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Fashion designer Chris Bevans, a former MIT media lab director’s fellow, heard about the project and he saw an interesting connection between his dyne brand on wireless tech in clothing and ‘duoskin’s’ NFC tags. in January this year he decided to reach out to the ‘duoskin’ team to talk about a collaboration for his New York fashion week show. cindy hsin-liu kao, the PhD student behind the project, decided it would be an interesting design experiment to customize ‘duoskin’ for a menswear fashion show—focusing on the ability to personalize it for any wearer, be it high-end or street style. the team custom-designed and fabricated ten NFC tags and shipped them to chris before his new york show so he could incorporate them into his new clothing line.
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