A Pennsylvania pizza spot featured on “The Office” is suing a man who left a generous $3k tip, then demanded it back three months later.
In today’s email:
Groceries: Back to the future.
Chart: The wild rise of captions.
Clearview AI: New tactics for a controversial company.
Around the Web: “Star Trek” furniture, decoding dipping sauce, feeling less cranky, and more cool internet finds.
🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Jacob and Rob discuss Instacart’s big plan for the future of groceries, the wild rise of subtitles, Hilton’s space suites, and more.
The big idea
The future of groceries is… groceries?
Yesterday, Instacart expanded “the future of grocery” to mean a lot more than helping gig workers schlep around milk.
The company announced…
… Connected Stores, a tech suite to seamlessly bridge its operations software with new in-store products like:
Caper Cart: a cart with scales, sensors, and a screen so shoppers can order, navigate, and check out from the cart.
Carrot Tags: e-ink price tags with QR codes and LEDs for easy spotting.
You can see how some of this works in this clip from a very real looking store.
The company is far from the first to try its hand at smart cart gadgets and clever in-store gizmos, but they do have the full-service platform to create a great experience for both shoppers and retailers.
Where’s this all headed?
But of course, where all mass market tributaries flow — Amazon.
Amazon’s foray into food extends beyond its $13.7B acquisition of Whole Foods and deep into the shopping experience, delivery, and payments.
Clearview offers its controversial tech to lawyers
In 2019, a public defender asked controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI to find a witness who could prove his client wasn’t the driver in a fatal crash.
Clearview agreed, and an innocent man was cleared.
Now, Clearview will offer its tech — typically used by law enforcement — to certain public defenders and lawyers in what CEO Hoan Ton-That calls a move to “balance the scales of justice,” perThe New York Times.
… comes from billions of faces scraped from across the internet, meaning it could have your biometric data without your consent from photos you didn’t even take or upload.
While Clearview is banned in several countries — including Britain, France, Australia, and Canada — it claims 3.1k+ US agencies use it.
Privacy advocates say that’s bad because:
Nonsuspects essentially appear in virtual lineups
Facial recognition isn’t always accurate — especially when identifying people of color — and could result in wrongful accusations or convictions
Does offering it to lawyers change anything?
Some critics told the NYT it feels like a PR stunt that doesn’t address concerns about privacy, accuracy, or transparency.
But others say a public defender still might use whatever tools are available to help their client, concerns aside.
AROUND THE WEB
🏳️🌈 On this day: In 2011, the US government repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law forbidding gay military personnel from disclosing their sexual orientation.
😤 How to: Do you ever feel cranky when you’re supposed to be resting? There’s a reason for that.
🪐 That’s cool: Want to drink your Earl Grey tea like Captain Picard? Try this website devoted to identifying furniture and objects seen in “Star Trek.”
🍟 That’s interesting: What the sauce you dip your french fries in says about you and where you live.