By Spencer Soper
Barak Govani made a big bet on Amazon.com Inc. earlier this year that he now regrets. He shuttered his New York Speed clothing store on Los Angeles’s storied Melrose Avenue, packed up $1.5 million in inventory and shipped it to Amazon warehouses around the country, putting his fate in the hands of a company that has routinely presented itself to the world as a friend of small business.
Today, the 41-year-old retail veteran is broke and couch surfs between his mother’s home and his sister’s place. Govani hopes to start anew by getting Amazon to pay him for inventory the company destroyed after suggesting his products could be fake — an accusation Govani strenuously denies. His lawyer in September sent a demand for $800,000 — along with invoices to verify his merchandise came directly from fashion brands — and they’re waiting for Amazon’s response. …
By Laura Millan Lombrana
Roberta Pirazzini set out an Arctic expedition to do something no one had ever tried before: fly a drone near the North Pole.
Sensors on the drone would assess sunlight reflected from the ice. This measurement, known as surface albedo, is key to understanding how much solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth and how much is reflected back into the atmosphere. It’s one of the scientific puzzles that can help predict how fast sea ice will melt.
But flying a drone over the planet’s northernmost reaches is no simple feat. Pirazzini and a colleague, Henna-Reetta Hannula, spent months learning to fly at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, where both are on staff as scientists. …
By Gabrielle Coppola
The promise of self-driving cars and robotaxi fleets once seemed just around the corner, but reality is setting in. Makers of the underlying technology are pivoting to more realistic ways of making money in the here and now.