Shipping wars: Amazon relents

Amazon lifts the ban on FedEx

During the peak of the holiday season, Amazon prohibited its sellers to fulfill orders using FedEx Ground delivery services. That ban was just lifted, with Amazon saying FedEx’s delivery performance was back into acceptable parameters. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The shot has been fired cross the bow of FedEx, and giant competitor/customer Amazon has demonstrated how it can influence the balance of power in the shipping universe. Will this return to friendliness help Amazon avoid regulatory fire as Congress takes on Big Tech, and did the temporary ban shift enough capital to help Amazon put tens of thousands more light blue Sprinter vans on the road, funding new capacity? Whatever the answer, FedEx will be wise to plan for the next market movement by Amazon which could possibly result in a price war for ground deliveries — a move that would delight all except for the shippers themselves.

Tech investments in Europe surging

2019 was a good year for German and British tech firms as they received 44% more investment capital than in the prior year, whereas VC investment in China and the U.S. declined, 65% and 20%, respectively. Strong fintech and AI offerings in the EU, along with the U.S. – China trade war, are the reasons cited for the big swing in investments. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Capital, like water, follows its most efficient path, and the U.S. venture community is stymied both by cloudy trade relations and the desire to be more efficient by doing bigger deals. VCs have become increasingly corporate, following fewer, larger deals and, consequently, cutting off the circulation of smaller, more nimble new offerings. Perhaps a stabilization of trade conflicts in 2020 will cause the pendulum to swing back towards China and the U.S.

SpaceX satellite constellation continues to concern

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space travel and development company, is in the midst of launching 42,000 satellites to orbit the earth and deliver communications and internet services to all corners of the planet. So far, the company has launched 180 satellites that are interrupting astronomers’ work and filling the low orbit paths with many more devices than space planners are accustomed. The space community continues to raise concerns about tracking crowded paths around the earth and avoiding collisions, while astronomers state that stargazing is forever damaged. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: Does the right to fill space with crafts really go to the first one that gets there, or is there an FAA for outer space? What if SpaceX was a China or Russia-based company? Space politics are about to be red hot, if not the subject of some armed conflicts as space pioneers lay claim to the final frontier without asking for permission or cooperation with others. Expect space conflict to be a big part of the next presidential election after the current one.

3D glasses cure lazy eye

Technology for health and wellness is exciting, and NovaSight has developed a solution for lazy eye, or amblyopia, that requires children to watch an hour or more of TV each day wearing stereoscopic glasses. The glasses make one eye work harder to bring images into focus, thereby “catching up” without the traditional use of an eye patch. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: 3D stereo glasses were a market failure when it came to persuading the general public to enjoy wearing them to watch 3D content. Re-purposed, the technology offers a painless treatment for amblyopia that saves children time and embarrassment.