Amazon will pay out $1.9 million to more than 700 migrant workers to settle claims of human rights abuses following exploitative labor contracts, as reported by CNBC. The impacted laborers were working at two of the companys warehouses in Saudi Arabia.
Amazon acknowledged the issue in a blog post, saying it hired a third-party labor rights expert to investigate warehouse conditions. The organization found numerous violations of Amazons supply chain standards, including substandard living accommodations, contract and wage irregularities and delays in the resolution of worker complaints.
This follows an Amnesty International report from last October that detailed various alleged human rights abuses experience by those contracted to work in Amazon facilities in the region, and noted that many of the impacted laborers were highly likely to be victims of human trafficking. The report also suggested that Amazon was aware of the high risk for labor abuse when operating in Saudi Arabia but still failed to take sufficient action to prevent such abuses.
Simultaneous reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism offered detailed accounts of the conditions that these laborers allegedly suffered under, according to NBC News. The investigations found that workers had to pay illegal recruitment fees of up to $2,040 to get hired. This forced the migrant workers, many of whom were from Nepal, to take out loans with high interest rates.
Investigators also learned that these workers were living in squalid conditions, with one laborer saying he was living in a crowded room with seven other men, jammed with bunk beds infested with bed bugs. The water was said to be salty and undrinkable. Amnesty International echoed these findings, saying that the accommodations were lacking even the most basic facilities.
The combination of the exorbitant hiring fees, along with the associated loans, amounted to human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation as defined by international law and standards, Amnesty alleged in its report.
Amazon has stated that it has remediated the most serious concerns involving the two Saudi warehouses, including an upgrade to housing accommodations. Our goal is for all of our vendors to have management systems in place that ensure safe and healthy working conditions; this includes responsible recruitment practices, the company wrote.
Its worth noting that though that $1.9 million number seems high, it breaks down to around $2,700 per employee. Amazon made $576 billion in 2023, which comes out to more than $1.5 billion each day.
Amazon doesnt have a great track record when it comes to labor. Its regularly accused of breaking labor laws, particularly at its many product warehouses. The company is also rabidly anti-union, as many of these complaints involve attempts to stop workers from unionizing. Amazon faces multiple ongoing federal probes into its safety practices, and it has been fined by federal safety regulators for exposing warehouse workers to unnecessary risks.
However, the company remains defiant in its efforts to chip away at workers rights. Amazon recently filed a legal document that claims the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is unconstitutional, joining Elon Musks SpaceX and grocery giant Trader Joes. The NLRB is an independent arm of the federal government that enforces US labor law and has been operating since 1935.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/amazon-to-pay-19-million-to-settle-claims-of-human-rights-abuses-of-contract-workers-192237377.html?src=rss
The end of another week is upon us, which means it's time for another round up of the best deals on some of the tech we've tested and recommend. A few discounts are still around from last week's President's Day sale, and new savings have popped up as well. If you're in the market for Apple gadgets, quite a few are seeing decent discounts, including the iPad Mini, iPad Air and the 15-inch MacBook Air. Multiple Anker charging accessories are on sale, as are a few of our favorite Logitech peripherals. We got an exclusive $30 discount from Thermoworks on their popular instant-read thermometer, and 8BitDo's Famicom-inspired keyboard is 20 percent off at Woot. Here are the best deals from this week that you can still get today.
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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/xbox-controllers-are-on-sale-for-44-each-plus-the-rest-of-the-weeks-best-tech-deals-181825056.html?src=rss
Picture the scene: you've had an enjoyable day of playing around in mixed reality using Apple's Vision Pro headset. Once you're done for the night, you carefully pack the Vision Pro away while leaving the battery pack connected and soft front cover attached. But when you wake up to begin a new day of work while wearing the $3,500 headset, you spot a problem: a hairline crack has formed on the front cover glass.
That's a problem that at least a few users have encountered, according to a handful of reports on Reddit. It's unclear how many units have been affected, though MacRumors suggests it's a small number. The issue occurred on Engadget's review unit as well.
The cause of the problem is not yet known. But the similar appearance of the cracks and apparently small number of impacted units suggests that it's down to a manufacturing flaw. Engadget has contacted Apple for comment.
If Apple doesn't officially recognize the issue as a manufacturing defect, it may not cover the crack under the device's warranty. That's reportedly been the case for some of the affected users. As such, they're been put on the hook for $300 to repair the cover glass if they have AppleCare coverage. Otherwise, the cost is a stinging $800.
As MacRumors notes, Apple often offers special repair programs for recognized hardware issues, but that's only likely to happen if there are enough reports to warrant the company fully investigating the matter and identifying a common problem. Still, this gives more credence to the maxim that maybe you shouldn't buy a first-generation Apple product.
This isn't the first time an Apple device has been susceptible to scratches in its first generation. Many users of the first iPod nano found that it scratched very easily. A lawsuit ensued, and Apple agreed to pay a $22.5 million settlement.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/some-apple-vision-pro-units-reportedly-developed-a-similar-hairline-crack-on-the-front-glass-173701528.html?src=rss
Apples newest iPad mini is on sale for $120 off. You can get the 256GB version of the 6th-generation iPad mini (2021) for $529 on Amazon a record low. If thats more storage than you need, you can also get the 64GB model (usually $500) is $100 off.
Apple refreshed the iPad mini in 2021 with an all-screen Liquid Retina design, ditching the Home button and aligning the mini-tablet with the larger iPad Airs modern design language. The iPad mini has an 8.3-inch display that supports TrueTone and covers the P3 color gamut. It has a 2266 x 1488 resolution (326 ppi).
This model runs on the A15 Bionic chip, also found in the iPhone 13 series. This tablet eschews Face ID for a Touch ID sensor on its power and sleep button. The iPad mini has a USB-C port for versatile charging and data transfers, and it works with the second-generation Apple Pencil for scribbling notes or digital sketching. Apple estimates up to 10 hours of battery life, which can vary depending on how you use it.
Photo by Valentina Palladino / Engadget
Apple will reportedly update its entire iPad lineup this year, and the latest rumors point to a possible late 2024 launch for a new iPad mini. If those reported plans pan out, this model may only be the newest for another six to eight months.
If you want a full-sized tablet, Walmart has the 5th-generation (10.9-inch) iPad Air for $120 off, too. Youll pay only $449 for the 64GB variant. This model runs on an M1 chip with a 2360 x 1640 resolution (264 ppi) and an estimated 10 hours of battery life.
Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-256gb-ipad-mini-is-120-off-and-down-to-a-record-low-price-173024101.html?src=rss
Bluetooth trackers are handy little devices that can help you find things you've misplaced. If you're deep in the Apple ecosystem (or at least have an iPhone), AirTags are perhaps your best choice. If you've been meaning to pick some up, there's some good news for you as a four-pack of AirTags is on sale. The pack has dropped by $20 to $79. That's close to the lowest price we've seen for them, so it's a solid deal.
It's easy to set up an AirTag with your iPhone or iPad as it's a one-tap process. Once you've done that and attached an AirTag to an item, you'll be able to keep track of that alongside your family and friends in the Mind My app. AirTags don't store location data or history and their communications with the Find My network are encrypted and anonymous, Apple says.
You can play a sound on the AirTag's built-in speaker to help you find a misplaced item (useful for, say, a remote that's fallen down the side of a couch), and you can ask Siri for help finding your things. If you have a recent iPhone (11 or later), you'll be able to make use of a second-gen Ultra Wideband chip that powers precision finding this will give you pinpoint directions to your AirTag once you're within range.
If you've lost an item away from home, you can put its accompanying AirTag into Lost Mode. This means you'll be notified whenever it pops up in the Find My network. In other words, when it is picked up by one of the hundreds of millions of Apple devices in the Find My network. The AirTag is a rugged little thing (it's IP67 water and dust resistant and the replaceable battery lasts over a year), which should give you some time to find your missing item.
To make sure it's securely fastened to your item, you might want to pick up some AirTag accessories. These enable you to attach an AirTag to various fabrics, keys or anything with a strap. There are also cases with adhesive mounts, meaning you can stick an AirTag to just about anything.
Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/a-four-pack-of-airtags-is-20-off-right-now-162054273.html?src=rss
The latest Apple HomePod speaker is on sale for $285 at B&H Photo, which is $14 less than buying from Apple directly. This isn't the largest cash discount we've seen, and Apple previously bundled the device with a $50 gift card during Black Friday. But deals of any kind on the home speaker have been uncommon since it arrived in early 2023, so this modest drop still represents the lowest price we've seen in the last few months. The discount applies to both the black and white versions of the speaker.
We gave the second-generation HomePod a score of 84 in our review last year. It'll make the most sense if you're a particularly dedicated Apple user who prioritizes audio quality. It still works easily with other Apple devices and services, from iPhones to Apple TVs to Apple Music, and we generally find it to sound richer and clearer than competing smart speakers from Amazon and Google. As a smart home device, it's compatible with Matter and Thread on top of Apple's own HomeKit protocol, so you can use it to control a growing range of security cameras, thermostats, plugs and other smart home accessories. It also has built-in temperature and humidity sensors, and its included mics do well to pick out your voice through noise.
To be clear, this is still a pricey and relatively niche device. Speakers like the Sonos Five and Sonos Era 300 cost more but offer louder and more dynamic sound quality, while the Sonos Era 100 may be a better value if you want to conserve a little more cash. Apple's own HomePod Mini has nearly all of the same smart home features if that's your main concern, while Google Assistant and Alexa users should still look to Google's Nest Audio or an Amazon Echo device. The HomePod has its own issues, too: Siri isn't the most capable voice assistant, there's no Bluetooth audio, you can't customize its EQ and you need a workaround to control Spotify via voice. Rumors of a touchscreen-enabled HomePod have also floated around over the past year. All that said, if you're all-in on Apple, this is a decent chance to save on the company's highest-end home speaker.
Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-second-gen-apple-homepod-is-down-to-285-in-a-rare-sale-153431326.html?src=rss
In the current environment, the pressure is on all marketers to produce results. Here are three predictions for how the coming year's standout content marketing performers will use data to their advantage. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Maybe you think you can coast without brand guidelines because your employees or contractors or customers implicitly understand your brand. They don't. Or maybe you think it's too expensive to create a guide. The reality? You can't afford not to. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Every gram counts in commercial flight. Material scientists from Kobe University have discovered nanospheres that are near-invisible silicone crystals. The particles can reflect light thanks to very large and efficient scattering, research published in the ACS Applied Nano Matter journal details. The result could mean covering a surface in vibrant color while only adding 10 percent of the weight of painting an aircraft for the same effect.
Minoru and Hiroshis discovery focuses on structural rather than pigment color to exhibit and maintain hues. The former absorbs wavelengths while reflecting those the human eye picks up. Structural colors, on the other hand, are intense and bright as light interacts with micro- and nanostructures. While the headline commercial benefits are for planes, the paint could have many more uses simply for its brightness.
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Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review
The open-world tour.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth takes the characters and world reintroduced with Remake and does a better job at scaling it all up. Instead of playing in a single metropolis, Midgar, this time, its a world tour. Theres also an expanded roster of playable characters, almost doubling Remakes total, each with a unique play style, once again. But does Aerith survive?
Xiaomi 14 Ultra combines a 1-inch camera sensor with 4 AI imaging models
It also supports satellite calling and texting.
The Xiaomi 14 Ultra is the latest Leica-branded smartphone, featuring a second-gen one-inch camera sensor. Xiaomi is finally catching up with the competition by picking up Sonys newest mobile camera sensor, the LYT-900. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra has a slight edge on rival phones with the same sensor, with its faster main variable aperture at up to f/1.63, beating the Oppo Find X7 Ultras f/1.8 on paper, at least.
Frameworks new sub-$500 modular laptop has no RAM, storage or OS
Pick the parts you want and install them yourself.
Framework is selling its cheapest modular laptop. It has dropped the price of its B-stock Factory Seconds systems (which are built with excess parts and new components). As such, its now offering a Framework Laptop 13 barebones configuration for under $500 for the very first time. The 13-inch machine comes with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with Iris Xe graphics. So the CPU should be sufficient for most basic tasks and some moderate gaming. However, youll need to add RAM, storage, a power supply, an operating system and (probably) even a Wi-Fi card.
Continue reading.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-nanosphere-paint-could-reduce-a-planes-co2-emissions-121433976.html?src=rss