ShinyShiny tech round up: Etsy to buy Depop for $1.6 billion

The online marketplace Etsy is spending $1.6 billion to buy Depop, the social shopping app targeted at Gen Z shoppers. Depop has been described as a mix of eBay and Instagram. It offers users an easy way to buy and sell a mix of secondhand items including vintage clothing, limited-edition sneakers, or accessories via its app. The company launched in 2011, and has grown rapidly over the past few years, as hordes of young consumers use it to sell items and make money. Some have pulled in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year selling on the app, and it now has 30 million registered users in more than 150 countries.  Announcing the news early Wednesday, Etsy described Depop as the “resale home for Gen Z consumers.” Business Insider 

Huawei has just unveiled not one or two but three new tablets, in the form of the Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8 (2021), Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6 (2021), and Huawei MatePad 11, and there really is a lot that’s new about them, most notably the operating system. That’s because as expected these are the first Huawei tablets to launch with HarmonyOS – the company’s new operating system that it’s using in place of Android due to the ban placed on it by the US government. This change doesn’t immediately solve the issue of a lack of apps, but if enough manufacturers and developers take to it then over time it might, and even now the app selection isn’t terrible – much as it isn’t on recent Huawei phones, it’s just not a match for the Google Play Store. Tech Radar

A London-based start-up has revealed an innovative electric car design solution that, it says, could allow for 30% more range per charge. Page-Roberts, founded in 2019, aims to “dramatically upscale EV efficiencies with cutting-edge engineering solutions that deliver design elegance.” The firm’s patented design concept rethinks the position of the battery pack in a conventional passenger-carrying electric car. Rather than site it under the floor, as it is on most production cars, Page-Roberts calls for the battery to be mounted vertically in the cabin itself.  Pointing to the added height, extended wheelbase and “structural complexities” of a conventional ‘skateboard’ arrangement, Page-Roberts posits that a vertically oriented power pack could improve the design, user experience and manufacturing cost of electric cars. Autocar

Employees at US Amazon warehouses are injured at a higher rate than those doing similar jobs at other companies’ warehouses, a new report has found. A union-backed study of safety data found Amazon workers had 5.9 serious injuries per 100 people – almost 80% higher than the rest of the industry. The study’s organisers blamed Amazon’s “obsession with speed” as a main cause of the problem. It is the latest in a string of controversies around worker safety. Earlier this year, the company apologised for falsely denying that its drivers are forced to urinate in plastic bottles. That came alongside a wider string of allegations that employees both on driving routes and in warehouses are under too much time pressure to use bathrooms, which Amazon denies. And during the first wave of the pandemic, the company was accused of “cutting corners” on Covid safety – something it also denies. BBC 

A new Amazon feature is set to start sharing people’s internet connections – unless they opt out within the next week. The tool, named Sidewalk, is intended to create a large “mesh” network that can be called on by other devices. It will mean that millions of devices made by Amazon companies – including Alexa smart speakers and Ring security cameras – as well as others will be able to borrow connections to ensure they stay online. If a Ring security camera is at the back of someone’s property and therefore closer to a neighbour’s, for instance, the Sidewalk feature will allow the camera to share that house’s connection and stay online. Independent 


Chris Price