Free same-day delivery is a nice perk that millions of Amazon Prime customers in and near major cities nationwide have access to. But not all access is created equal, as a recent investigation found out, and the map of who was being excluded has some unpleasant undertones. In Boston at least, the city with the most obvious delivery hole, Amazon is now changing its tune and will expand service to all residents.
Effective same-day delivery is kind of the holy grail of online retail right now: being able to get your hands on that thing you need right now when you need it is the one advantage brick-and-mortar stores still have, and it’s the one Amazon in particular wants to chip away at. The list of cities where Amazon promises Prime subscribers access to same-day delivery keeps getting longer, but there’s a snag: not all addresses within a city are considered equal, and the pattern to the areas without access looks distressingly familiar.
Many teenagers’ parents want to give their kids every possible advantage when it comes to the SATs. They pony up a few thousand dollars and buy Junior a test-prep course. It’s expensive, but at least it’s the same kind of expensive for everyone, right? Well, no, it’s not. And worst of all: there sure is an awfully high correlation between the race of the family doing the buying and the price that they get charged.
This past Sunday, a male voice came over the public-address system at a Walmart in New Jersey and said, “Attention Walmart customers: All black people leave the store now.” Understandably, customers and employees were pretty offended. One of the shoppers made sure that store management and local media outlets were made aware of what happened, and Walmart apologized–over the PA system, fittingly–on Sunday evening. Store officials say they’re now reviewing security footage to find out who made the announcement.
Consumer Reports decided to test the now famous “racist” HP webcam for themselves, being product testers and all, to see if they could replicate the problem or even find a solution to it. The solution: the webcam needs foreground light to function, and the more pigment in your skin, the closer you seem to have to sit.
If you want to take advantage of this HP web cam’s face tracking feature and you’ve got dark skin, you’d better, I dunno, sprinkle glitter on your cheeks first or something. The software doesn’t seem to be able to recognize you otherwise.
Slate has posted a slideshow documenting ads since the 1970s, when corporations starting heavily targeting African-American consumers. Check it out.
If you’re black, Hispanic, or “Asian/other,” you might want to make sure your voice is heard loud and clear the next time you have to make a trip to the ER. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that over the past 13 years, white patients were prescribed powerful opioid painkillers 31% of the time, versus 23% for blacks, 24% for Hisanics, and 28% for Asians and “others.”