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Walmart Canada investing $3.5 billion over five years in 'smarter stores' – CTV News

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MISSISSAUGA, ONT. —
Walmart Canada plans to invest $3.5 billion over the next five years with a focus on technology to make so-called “smarter stores.”

“The investment will impact every aspect of the business,” the company said in a statement Monday, adding it comes as its Canadian business grows, with grocery and e-commerce gaining “significant momentum.”

The spending includes $1.1 billion to build two new distribution centres in Vaughan, Ont., and Surrey, B.C., as well as to renovate an existing facility in Cornwall, Ont.

The investment will create hundreds of construction jobs in Canada and forge partnerships with Canadian high-tech companies, Walmart Canada said.

It said it will also renovate 150 stores, or more than one-third of its total network of more than 400 stores in the country, over the next three years.

It plans to accelerate digitization to make its stores smarter, which will include expanding electronic shelf labels and shelf scanners to monitor product volumes.

Walmart Canada will revamp checkouts with larger self-checkouts, as well as giving employees technology to allow customers to check out items from anywhere in the store.

The company said it will also expand robotics and computer vision cameras, which will help with efficiency and accuracy.

Walmart Canada also aims to offer a complete merchandise pick-up service at about 270 branches, or 70 per cent of its locations in Canada, by the end of this year.

It will pilot what it called hybrid locations that have micro fulfilment centres in an effort to increase pickup and delivery order speeds.

The investment will ensure Walmart Canada develops an enviable supply chain, said John Bayliss, senior vice-president of logistics and supply chain, in a statement.

“The better the supply chain, the quicker our customers can get the products they want.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2020.

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How the U.S. could block access to TikTok, WeChat – Global News

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President Donald Trump has threatened to ban the short-video app TikTok and messaging service WeChat by late September on grounds that the Chinese-owned apps pose a national security threat. It would mark the first time the United States has attempted to shut down widely used mobile internet apps.

How would the U.S. go about blocking access to TikTok and WeChat?

The administration could order smartphone software giants Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to remove WeChat and TikTok from their app stores.

Read more:
COMMENTARY: Is Donald Trump banning TikTok over threats to security or a fractured ego?

When the Indian government in June banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat, it asked Google and Apple to remove the apps from their app stores, two sources told Reuters. Both companies complied.

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It would be a rare and possibly unprecedented step for the United States: Apple has not disclosed any app takedown requests from the U.S. government since it started publishing information on such requests in the second half of 2018.

The government could also order the apps to stop offering access to U.S. users by threatening them with legal repercussions. In India, some banned apps pulled themselves from app stores.

If I already have TikTok and WeChat on my phone, will I still be able to use them?






1:00
‘Not planning on going anywhere’: TikTok puts out message as Trump says he plans to ban company in the U.S.


‘Not planning on going anywhere’: TikTok puts out message as Trump says he plans to ban company in the U.S.

The apps would probably work, but government orders may bar updates, blocking access to new features and bug fixes.

Jay Kaplan, CEO of cybersecurity firm Synack and a former National Security Agency cybersecurity analyst, said it is “highly probable” Apple and Google can remotely disable installed apps, though experts were not aware of any instance in which they have done that recently. Apple and Google declined to comment.

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Could users download the apps somewhere else?

Users with phones running Google’s Android can install apps from alternatives to Google’s official app store. Theoretically, they could download WeChat or TikTok from the companies’ websites.

Read more:
K-pop fans, TikTok users claim they sabotaged Trump’s Tulsa rally

Using alternatives to Apple’s App Store to install apps is more difficult, though not impossible. Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, which has done extensive technical and censorship analysis of WeChat, said using unofficial stores carries the risk of installing versions of popular apps altered with viruses or scams.

Would U.S. users be able to access Web versions of the app?

U.S.-based hosting services such as Amazon.com Inc’s AWS and content delivery providers such as Akamai Technologies Inc could be banned from doing business with targeted apps, said Angelique Medina, director of product marketing at network intelligence firm ThousandEyes. Hosting sites outside the United States could still service Americans, but likely at slower speeds.

Could internet service providers block users from accessing these services?






1:58
Trump threatens to ban TikTok unless it becomes U.S.-owned


Trump threatens to ban TikTok unless it becomes U.S.-owned

The government could order ISPs to block users from accessing WeChat’s and TikTok’s servers, as China does to enforce its Great Firewall. But it would not be an easy task for the U.S. government because the United States has thousands more ISPs than China, said Chester Wisniewski, a researcher at cybersecurity provider Sophos. A U.S. order to ISPs also could be challenged in court, legal experts say.

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In India, the government did order telecom companies and other internet providers to block the Chinese-origin apps, according to notices seen by Reuters. Experts say there are no known cases of the U.S. ordering ISPs to ban access to sites.

What about VPNs?

Americans could use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to circumvent ISP blocks and browse the internet as if they were overseas. This is how internet users in China are able to reach services, such as Facebook, banned by the Great Firewall. Network experts said the same loophole would exist in the United States.

© 2020 Reuters

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4 more Vancouver flights added to COVID-19 exposure list – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
Another four flights have been added to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 exposures list.

All four either arrived or departed from Vancouver late last month. Three were domestic, while one was international.

The first flight landed in Vancouver from Toronto on July 24. The flight number is Air Canada 119, and rows 12 to 18 are believed to be most at risk of exposure to the virus.

The second flight departed from Vancouver for Edmonton three days later, on July 27. That flight number is WestJet 186. People in rows two to eight may be most at risk of COVID-19 exposure.

The same route – WestJet 186 from Vancouver to Edmonton – also had a COVID-19 exposure on July 30. The highest-risk rows on that day’s flight were rows six to 12.

Finally, a July 29 flight that landed in Vancouver after leaving from Amsterdam was also added to the BCCDC’s list. That flight, KLM 681, had an exposure somewhere in rows 31 to 35.

Since the start of July, 21 domestic flights and 21 international flights have been added to B.C.’s exposures list.  

Anyone on one of the domestic flights should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Anyone arriving internationally is required to isolate and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. 

B.C. health officials no longer directly contact people who were seated near a confirmed case of COVID-19 on a flight. Instead, the BCCDC provides updates on flights with confirmed cases as it becomes aware of them.

A full list of recent exposures can be found on the BCCDC’s website.  

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Inflation Is Back–and the Market Rally Is Back With It – Barron's

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One day after a late-day selloff saw all-three major market indexes end the day in the red, stocks are surging higher.

The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
has risen 264.56 points, or 1%, while the
S&P 500
has gained 1.5%, and the
Nasdaq Composite
has climbed 2.2%. The S&P 500 is just 0.1% from an all-time high.

The big news of the day was the consumer price index, which rose 0.6% in July from June. The core CPI, which also rose 0.6%, experienced its biggest month-over-month game since 1991. This might seem concerning—high inflation is bad right?—but is more likely a reflection of the recovery than anything else. “It is important, up front, to be clear about what I think this is and what it is not,” writes Amherst Pierpont Securities’ Stephen Stanley. “It is NOT the start of a persistent trend of accelerating inflation. It IS a much larger and quicker reversal of the one-off price drops seen during the lockdowns.”

And today, it’s helping the market head higher.

Qualcomm
(QCOM) has gained 5% as it continues to rally following its patent win on Tuesday.

Barrick Gold
(GOLD) has advanced 1.1% after getting upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord.

Deere
(DE) has fallen 0.6% after getting cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Home Depot
(HD) has risen 2.6% after getting raised to Accumulate from Hold at Gordon Haskett.

AutoNation
(AN) has jumped 5.5% after getting upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim.

Write to Ben Levisohn at Ben.Levisohn@barrons.com

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