Trying to predict the price of plane tickets has become something of a parlor game for companies looking to stand out in the online travel business. Microsoft Corp. gave it a shot with Bing Travel before abandoning the feature several years ago. Kayak offers its own buying advice tool, with a warning that draws comparisons to the reliability of a weather forecast. (read more)
The policy will cover employees at Amazon subsidiaries, including Whole Foods, and well as seasonal and temporary employees. Amazon says that in total, this will cover 250,000 employees, plus 100,000 seasonal employees. (read more)
Amazon first introduced its line of “Alexa Gadgets” — devices that are meant to enhance Echo devices in “fun and playful” ways — with the $20 Echo Button last year, but since then, there hasn’t been much movement on other Alexa Gadgets. That changes today, though, with the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit beta that will give tools to developers to create their own Echo-connected accessories. (read more)
It’s no surprise that Google used its Cloud Next 2018 event in Tokyo today — one of a number of international Cloud Next events that follow its flagship San Francisco conference — to announce a couple of new initiatives that specifically focus on the Japanese market. (read more)
Instagram is working on a new standalone app dedicated to shopping, The Verge has learned. The app — which may be called IG Shopping — will let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app, according to two people familiar with the matter. Instagram declined to comment. (read more)
Experiences, not cash, are the new corporate bonus. At least, according to Airbnb.
With that mantra in mind, the $31 billion company is expanding the part of its business that targets business travelers, called Airbnb for Work. The new effort will help them tap into a large market they’ve been missing out on—non-travelers. (read more)