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Amazon joined the $1-trillion club with Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet after shares climbed nearly 11 per cent in extended trading as the retail giant reported $87.44 billion in sales – 21 per cent increase (Year-on-Year) — for its fourth quarter that ended on December 31, 2019.
Amazon’s Cloud business reported $9.95 billion in sales, up 34 per cent from the year-ago quarter.
Net income increased to $3.3 billion in the fourth quarter, or $6.47 per diluted share, compared with net income of $3 billion, or $6.04 per diluted share from fourth quarter in 2018.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO said that Prime membership continues to get better for customers year after year.
“And customers are responding as more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before, and we now have over 150 million paid Prime members around the world,” Bezos said in a statement late Thursday.
“Members now have free two-hour grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market in more than 2,000 US cities and towns,” he added.
For the full calendar year 2019, the net sales increased 20 per cent to $280.5 billion — compared with $232.9 billion in 2018. Net income increased to $11.6 billion in 2019, compared with net income of $10.1 billion in 2018.
Amazon announced there are now hundreds of millions of Alexa-enabled devices in customers’ hands and customers interact with Alexa billions of times each week.
Fire TV now has more than 40 million active users worldwide. Amazon announced the new Fire TV Edition at CES 2020, which includes a set of tools, features, and services that make it even easier for developers, operators, device makers, and manufacturers to integrate Fire TV into their products.
BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are among the first automakers to introduce Fire TV in their future vehicles.
Amazon Music has more than 55 million customers worldwide, said the company.
The company mentioned recent investment announcements during Bezos’ India visit which was marred by Delhi’s political heat amid traders’ ire.
“Amazon pledged to invest $1 billion to help digitize traders and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMBs) across India, with the goal of bringing more than 10 million MSMBs online by 2025,” said the company.
Today, there are more than 550,000 sellers on Amazon India marketplace, more than 60,000 Indian manufacturers and brands are exporting their “Make in India” products to customers worldwide on Amazon.
“We expect our new $1 billion investment to enable $10 billion in cumulative Indian exports by 2025,” it added.
Since launching amazon.in in 2013, Amazon has created more than 700,000 direct and indirect jobs in India.
In January, Amazon announced plans to create an additional one million jobs in India by 2025, with continued investments in technology, infrastructure, and logistics.
Since 2014, Amazon has grown its employee base more than four times, and last year inaugurated its new campus building in Hyderabad, Amazon’s first fully-owned campus outside the United States and the largest building globally in terms of employees and space.
Amazon India announced it will have 10,000 electric vehicles in its delivery fleet by 2025.
In 2019, authors earned more than $300 million from the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Global Fund, totaling more than $1.1 billion since the launch of Kindle Unlimited, said the company.
Millions of independent authors have self-published millions of books through KDP since launching the service in 2007. Additionally, thousands of independent authors earned more than $50,000, with more than a thousand surpassing $100,000 in royalties in 2019 through KDP.
Independent third-party sellers, mostly small and medium-sized businesses, sold more than a billion items during the holiday season, including more than 100 million items shipped with Prime Free One-Day Delivery.
AWS announced several significant new customer commitments and migrations during the quarter spanning major industries.
AWS announced the general availability of AWS Outposts, a fully-managed service that extends AWS infrastructure and services to virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility.
AWS announced six new capabilities for Amazon SageMaker, a fully-managed service that removes the heavy lifting from each step of the machine learning process.
AWS also announced five new artificial intelligence (AI) services designed to put machine learning in the hands of more developers. (IANS)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)