Weekly roundup in tech and retail

News and commentaries

Here are the most relevant news this week in tech and retail.

In Tech:

  1. Apple in talks to purchases premium headphone maker Beats Electronics for $3.2B
  2. Google updates its Maps apps on Android and iOS which now gives lane guidance and Uber integration
  3. If this startup, Mink, succeeds, people could start printing makeup at home and disrupt the $55B beauty industry
  4. In another move that legitimizes bitcoin, the Federal Election Commission approves bitcoin for campaign contributions
  5. Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s new retail chief receives a great welcome present of $68M stock grant

In Retail:

  1. Alibaba files its long-awaited IPO on Tuesday; share price could value company at $200B, more than Facebook, Amazon or eBay
  2. RealReal, a luxury consignment website raises $20M to help its growth and overseas expansion
  3. Gap, Inc. reports a 9% increase for April 2014 comparable sales, beating estimates
  4. Grocery delivery heats up even more as Instacart enters Seattle; Amazon also launches in LA  while Google Shopping Express comes out of beta testing in LA
  5. #AmazonCart allows Twitter users to add items to their cart

Note: Pardon the lack of posts this week, it was a little hectic. I had to renew my passport and it required a personal appearance before the consulate in Washington, DC – no big deal except for the fact that I’m in sunny Florida. As a mother of a four-month old, I did not want to be away for too long so I went to DC just for the day. The whole transaction took less than 2 hours, including a forced wait because of lunch break. They took my fingerprints, picture and signature, and that was it. This massive inconvenience made me think of how, in this digital age, we still have to conform to outdated processes such as these. The personal appearance and “original” signature on documents are some of those processes. You know what else is outdated? Cash. I found this brilliant post that puts this in perspective: 5 crazy payment practices we accept as totally normal.

Why do we voluntarily provide complete strangers access to our personal finances? (on giving credit card information to online merchants)

 

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