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10 things in tech you need to know today

Business Insider logo Business Insider 1/27/2022 (Jordan Parker Erb)

Howdy; we've got lots on the agenda today. Amazon once considered selling gas, and a chunk of a SpaceX rocket is on a collision course with the moon.

Let's get started. 

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Amazon Go store AP/Ted S. Warren © AP/Ted S. Warren Amazon Go store AP/Ted S. Warren

1. Amazon considered expanding into another staple of everyday life: gas. As the e-commerce giant plotted the launch of its first Go store in the suburbs, we found it also considered selling gas. Documents viewed by Insider showed it held talks with BP about opening its Amazon Go stores with gas pumps run by the oil company. 

Ultimately, out of fear of associating itself with a giant energy incumbent and contradicting the company's climate pledge, Amazon nixed the partnership. But working with BP was only one of many options it considered for its push into suburbia — other ideas for the Go stores, internally codenamed "Bowser," included:

  • Potentially launching 10,000 Amazon-branded gas stations without BP's help
  • A new "Just Drive Off" curbside pick-up service
  • A Walgreens-style retail pharmacy
  • Offering lottery tickets, ATMs, and PillPack medications

Inside the secretive project "Bowser."

In other news:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the Cybertruck during its unveiling on November 21, 2019. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images © FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the Cybertruck during its unveiling on November 21, 2019. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

2. The Tesla Cybertruck will be delayed to "hopefully next year." In an earnings call yesterday — wherein the company posted record earnings — Tesla announced its Cybertruck would once again be delayed, with no hard reveal date. Here's what you need to know.

Video: Big Tech selloff not 'a longterm problem for the sector,' market strategist says (Yahoo! Finance)

Replay Video

3. Better employees have to repay hundreds of dollars after an accounting mistake. The embattled company had granted employees extra days off in December — but then paid some double, and is clawing back thousands of dollars from frustrated workers. More on the latest in the company's string of problems.

4. Amazon shuttered its program that paid employees to tweet positively about the company. The program, which paid Amazon "ambassadors" to tweet nice things about their place of work, was terminated at the end of 2021, a new report says. Why the program was suspended.

5. Shopify wants employees to take personality tests and share their results with coworkers. While workplace personality tests can smooth interpersonal dynamics and build camaraderie, they can also have some unintended consequences — like harming diversity and employee trust. Experts weigh in on the divisive practice.

6. Activision Blizzard has declined to voluntarily recognize a new union. The union, called the Game Workers Alliance, was organized by workers at Raven Software, one of the company's subsidiaries. Now, the union intends to file a formal petition with the NLRB. Here's what that means.

7. Amazon tells employees to lead customers away from Microsoft's or Google's clouds. After a massive AWS outage, internal messages reveal how the company instructs employees to communicate about it — including telling customers the outage was "not indicative of any systemic issue," and to avoid using Microsoft or Google as a hedge. Everything we learned from the internal documents. 

8. China is cracking down on celeb gossip. The country's internet regulator announced it will be monitoring five types of online content in the coming weeks, including celebrity gossip, excessive displays of wealth, soft pornography, and more. We explain why.

9. Peloton has had a disastrous month — but that doesn't mean the future of at-home fitness is dead. We spoke with Wall Street analysts, who are still bullish on at-home fitness and digital health and don't think Peloton's struggles spell the end of the industry. See what analysts are saying.

10. Houston, we have space junk: A chunk of a SpaceX rocket is on a collision course with the moon. The piece of rocket has been drifting around space for seven years, and astronomers say it's likely to hit the moon in March — but explain that there's no need for panic.

What we're watching today:

  • Earnings are expected from Apple, Samsung, and more. Keep up with earnings here.
  • We're hosting a live webinar on what to expect from the creator economy in 2022. Register here.
  • Today is the NASA Day of Remembrance.
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is being launched today. It's carrying a COSMO-SkyMed satellite for the Italian government.

Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Michael Cogley in London.

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