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Amazon expands palm-swipe payment technology to 65 more Whole Foods locations – TechCrunch

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Amazon Expands Palm-Swipe Payment Technology To 65 More Whole Foods Locations – Techcrunch
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Amazon’s “One” palm-scan payment technology will be launched at more than 65 Whole Foods stores in California. It’s the largest deployment to date, with stores in Malibu, Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Cruz receiving the technology that aims to modernize the commerce of detail.

When the payment devices were first announced in 2020, Amazon One was only available at Amazon Go stores, with a possible expansion to Whole Foods stores in Austin, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York. Customers can also try checking with their hand at the Amazon Style fashion store in Glendale, Calif., as well as select Fresh and Go stores.

Amazon One is part of the company’s mission to use “contactless” technology that speeds payment. The technology works like this: Users visit a kiosk or point-of-sale station at participating locations to link their palm and payment card to the service. Then all they have to do during the checkout process is run their hand over a scanner to complete the transaction.

Amazon One creates palm signatures using machine learning to identify customers. While the kiosk takes a picture of a user’s palm, the company says it doesn’t store the image there, but encrypts it and sends it to a server for matching.

As Amazon customers continue to give up their data for a more convenient shopping experience, privacy concerns are growing.

If you use Face ID or fingerprint scanners, you are already using biometric data. However, some users are likely to disagree with the idea that Amazon One can allow the company to track your movements.

Even a group of US senators have expressed concerns about the palm-scanning system. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Bill Cassidy and Jon Ossoff wrote in an open letter to Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy, ​​”Unlike biometric systems such as Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID or Samsung Pass, which store biometric information on a user’s device, Amazon One would upload biometric information to the cloud, which raises unique security risks.”

Last year, Amazon acquired ticketing company AXS, with plans to implement Amazon One at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, Colorado. Shortly after the announcement, hundreds of music fans, artists and human rights groups called on Red Rocks to drop the technology and ban all biometric monitoring tools like palm scans and facial recognition. They even signed a letter raising concerns about Amazon sharing palmprint data with government agencies and potential hackers stealing data from the cloud.

People are not wrong to be bothered by this because Amazon is known to store Alexa voice data. Additionally, Amazon has sold biometric facial recognition services to US law enforcement, and its camera company Ring also works with police.

The company may also have found other ways to collect data when it acquired iRobot last week, the room-mapping smart robot vacuum cleaner with advanced sensors.

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As playoff push ends, Orioles savor turnaround for the ages: ‘We understand what it takes’

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As Playoff Push Ends, Orioles Savor Turnaround For The Ages: ‘We Understand What It Takes’
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Brandon Hyde heard the question and paused for eight seconds. In the end, he didn’t really have an answer.

Asked what about this 2022 Orioles season didn’t surprise him, Hyde was temporarily stumped. It in many ways speaks to what his team accomplished in a campaign that had its dreams of a surprise postseason berth dashed early Saturday morning, surviving into but not lasting through the first day of October.

The Orioles were not supposed to be here. They figured to take a step, sure, because it’s hard not to improve on a 52-win season. But they did that better than anybody since the turn of the 20th century, becoming the first team since 1900 to finish .500 or better after losing 110 games the previous year.

It was not enough to join an expanded postseason field, but that it was even a conversation shows how remarkable of a year it was. The Orioles did little in the offseason. Their top starter got Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, and injuries delayed the debuts of their top two prospects. They traded away two key players — twice. Yet, their hopes of reaching the postseason lasted half an hour into October.

“From November to March, we never heard that there was any sort of chance that this team was going to have a chance to make the postseason,” Hyde said. “To be able to play the way we have and put ourselves in position, I’m really proud of our players and coaches and everybody involved. I think the city of Baltimore and a lot of people enjoyed watching our team play this year, so after three years of really hard-to-watch baseball — and I saw it also — to have our guys play the way they have this year and stay competitive and win and put themselves in the conversation of postseason, these guys deserve a lot of credit.”

With products of their rebuild scheduled to reach the majors this season, the Orioles were expected to improve but still be among the league’s worst teams. They signed three major league free agents in right-hander Jordan Lyles, infielder Rougned Odor and catcher Robinson Chirinos, with only Lyles’ deal giving him over $1 million.

Chirinos figured to serve as a backup to Adley Rutschman, the first overall pick in the 2019 draft and the game’s top prospect, but as major league spring training began after the league’s 99-day lockout, Rutschman suffered a left tricep strain, ensuring he wouldn’t break camp with the team.

Days before the season was set to start, the Orioles traded backend relievers Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott to the Miami Marlins, a deal that erased half of Hyde’s experienced bullpen options. The same happened in terms of his rotation a week into the campaign, with ace John Means lost for the season after two starts because of an elbow injury.

Rutschman at last arrived in late May, with Baltimore eight games under .500 a quarter into the year. Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, regarded as the sport’s top pitching prospect, seemed set to join Rutschman in the majors, but on the first day of June, he suffered a right lat muscle strain that has thus far prevented his debut, though he could make a start in the season’s final days.

The ascension of Rutschman, though, seemed to be a turning point. By mid-June, he was one of the game’s best players and an American League Rookie of the Year candidate, and the Orioles were one of the sport’s top teams, entering August on a 27-16 stretch. But they traded first baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros on the first day of that month and All-Star closer Jorge López to the Minnesota a day later, with their only deadline addition being Brett Phillips, an outfielder the Tampa Bay Rays had designated for assignment and who the Orioles would do the same to three weeks later.

At the time, executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias cited the team’s lacking playoff probabilities as a factor in the moves, which rankled some in the Orioles’ clubhouse. Yet Baltimore kept winning, posting its third straight winning month and at one point moving into a wild-card spot.

The club struggled in September. The difficulties with runners in scoring position that plagued them early in the year returned, and a bullpen that had pitched well for much of the year showed signs of wear and tear. Mancini and López have lesser numbers with their new clubs, but the shift in roles caused by their absences in Baltimore exposed holes.

Yet, a victory Friday night ensured the Orioles their first non-losing season in six years, and their next victory will make them a winning team while marking a 30-win improvement from 2021.

“It was such a fun summer this year,” outfielder Austin Hays said. “Those few months, where everything was just clicking, we were rolling, and it got us to the point where we were able to make it until five games left in the season before we were eliminated from playoff contention. I don’t think anybody would have believed you if you said that in the beginning of the year.

“It’s really disappointing that it’s not a possibility now, to think that we have to go out and play today knowing we can’t get there, but man, it was a fun ride and it was a fun season. Really looking forward to what this team can do next year.”

All of their players are contractually situated to return but those original three free agents, who Hyde and teammates have frequently credited with changing the team’s culture. Lyles has an $11 million team option for next year and said Saturday he would “love” to return.

“To see what we’ve done in the last calendar year as an organization, from what was expected of us coming into the season and the transition to be where we are right now, it’s pretty special,” Lyles said.

The trade of Scott and Sulser proved to open the door for a group of unproven and unwanted pitchers who have orchestrated the sport’s greatest pitching improvement in more than nine decades. With López dealt, Lyles is the only member of the Orioles’ pitching staff making above the league’s minimum salary. After Mancini was traded, outfielder Anthony Santander became the only position player Baltimore is paying more than $1 million.

Elias has said he expects payroll to increase this offseason, with both increased salaries internally and external additions figured to play a part in that. This team’s achievements despite the previous lack of effort to contend hints at what could be possible when, as Elias put it, “liftoff” arrives.

“I did want to surprise some people this year,” Hyde said. “I wanted us to play a better brand of baseball than we have in the past, and I thought we were as we got more talented, but I think just seeing all the 0% postseason possibilities and then people discussing playoffs with our team, I think that that’s been the most enjoyable thing this year, proving people wrong.

“As a competitor, I wanted to be in the playoffs. I want to experience those things. I want our guys to, but we gave it a good run. … We understand what it takes to win now.”

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Ex-Vikings star humbled by Diane & Alan Page Community Cheer Challenge at marathon

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Ex-Vikings Star Humbled By Diane &Amp; Alan Page Community Cheer Challenge At Marathon
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Former Vikings star Alan Page will be at his usual spot at the corner of Knox and Douglas in Minneapolis playing the sousaphone when the 2022 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon gets underway at 8 a.m. Sunday. But this race will be a bit different.

Page is humbled by marathon organizers having unveiled The Diane & Alan Page Community Cheer Challenge. The challenge honors Page along with Diane Page, his late wife, for having been dedicated fans cheering along the marathon route.

“The neat thing is they’re doing it in Diane’s and my name,’’ Page said Saturday. “That’s kind of special.”

The defensive tackle played in the NFL from 1967-81, including 1967-78 with the Vikings, and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He later served as an associate justice for the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1993-2015.

Page and his wife, who died in 2018, were longtime runners who began in the late 1980s to stand along the marathon route each year to cheer on the runners. Page, who had run about 10 marathons up until the late 1980s, got plenty of publicity for playing sousaphone, a large tuba-like instrument.

For this year’s event, marathon organizers decided to honor the family by inviting local groups to join The Diane & Alan Page Community Cheer Challenge. There were 46 groups that signed up, and $3,000 will be donated to charities chosen by groups that emerge as winners.

“I was quite moved that they wanted to do that, but most importantly that they wanted to include Diane,’’ Page said. “It’s really kind of neat the organizations that will be out there that will be cheering on the runners. Hopefully, this will become an annual event.”

More than 9,000 participants will take part in the marathon and nearly 11,000 in the 10-mile race, which gets underway at 6:54 a.m. More than 300,000 are expected along the route, which runs from U.S. Bank Stadium to the State Capitol, and cheer zones will be at various spots along the route.

“(Page is) so recognizable and respected and inspiring in the community that we thought he was the natural person to connect to our event,’’ said Dean Orton, president of Twin Cities in Motion. “Really rooted in it is the amazing dedication that both him and his late wife have had with the marathon. … They would go out and rally the community and cheer on everybody. He generally understands the importance of community coming together and the beauty of the human spirit.”

There will be five divisions of cheer groups, which are neighborhood association or on-course resident, run club or run store, non-profit organization, community group and sponsors or corporations. Judges have been assigned to vote on the best cheering groups, and race participants also will be able to vote. The overall winning group will receive $1,000 for charity, and four other category winning groups will each get $500.

The marathon is in it’s 40th year. One difference is that a Vikings game for the first time will be going on at the same time. The Vikings will face the New Orleans Saints in London in a game that kicks off at 8:30 a.m., but Page doesn’t expect that will take away many race fans.

“They can enjoy the marathon and get home and catch some of the game or they can just dial the game up on their phones,’’ he said.

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Chicago Bears sign kicker Michael Badgley with Cairo Santos still questionable for the Week 4 road game

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Chicago Bears Sign Kicker Michael Badgley With Cairo Santos Still Questionable For The Week 4 Road Game
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The Chicago Bears will have a new kicker for Sunday’s Week 4 road game against the New York Giants.

The team announced it signed Michael Badgley to the practice squad Saturday morning and he will be elevated to the gameday roster as Cairo Santos did not travel with the team.

Santos missed practices Thursday and Friday for personal reasons and the team designated him as questionable for the game. He was ruled out before the team’s early-afternoon flight to New Jersey.

The Bears were prepared for the possibility, holding a tryout Friday afternoon at Halas Hall that Badgley won. He beat out Brian Johnson and Josh Lambo.

The team announced more roster moves as well. Running back Darrynton Evans has been elevated from the practice squad to the active roster, while defensive end Andre Anthony goes on practice squad reserve/injured.

Santos made field goals from 47 and 50 yards before hitting the 30-yarder on the final play of a 23-20 win over the Houston Texans last Sunday at Soldier Field. He’s 4-for-4 on field goals for the season and rebounded from two missed extra points during a driving rainstorm in the Week 1 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

He set a franchise record in 2020 when he made 30-of-32 field goal attempts (93.8%), earning a $9 million, three-year contract. Santos followed it up by going 26-of-30 on field goals in 2021, and has connected on 89.7% of his field goals since taking over for Eddy Pineiro at the start of 2020.

Badgley, 27, was most recently with the Jacksonville Jaguars in August. He had a tryout earlier this week for the Kansas City Chiefs. He made 18 of 22 field goals in 12 games with the Indianapolis Colts and one with the Tennessee Titans last season.

He spent the first three years of his career with the Los Angeles Chargers but left after the 2020 season when he made 24 of 33 field goals.

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Heat’s Erik Spoelstra on so many wanting to start, ‘You need ambition’

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Heat’s Erik Spoelstra On So Many Wanting To Start, ‘You Need Ambition’
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Ask Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra about more than half his roster believing they should be starters and he smiles the wryest of smiles.

“I don’t mind it in terms of players’ ambition,” he said, with the Heat breaking camp Saturday after five days at the Baha Mar resort. “We should have a lot of players that feel like they can start. And we probably do have eight to 12 starters.

“Either they can start on this team right now or they can start on another team or at some point they’ve been starters. Or could start with a little bit more development a year or two or three years down the line.”

The givens in the first five are Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry. The contenders for the other two berths are Caleb Martin, Max Strus, Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and perhaps even Duncan Robinson, Omer Yurtseven or Haywood Highsmith. About the only members of the 14-player standard roster not directly in the conversation are Gabe Vincent, Dewayne Dedmon, 42-year-old mentor Udonis Haslem and 19-year-old neophyte Nikola Jovic.

“I think you need talent in this league, you need ambition,” Spoelstra said. “I want to leverage all of that.

“At some point, to be a part of something special, you have to embrace that concept of sacrificing and sharing in the game.”

So, yes, sacrifice is back as a core tenet.

“It’ll be really important for this team to understand that each guy will have to sacrifice a little bit to be able to unlock the talent that we have,” Spoelstra said. “Once you embrace that, all of this is bigger than each one of us, and you can really connect the dots on the concept, you can find more purpose and gratification out of great team basketball. So we’re laying that foundation right now.

“The magic happens when everybody can get to a place where you’re vulnerable and giving up something for the betterment of the team. We have a lot of firepower, have a lot of talent, have a lot of defensive versatility. There’s a lot of encouraging things about our roster makeup and our depth. And we fully intend on using all of that. How that’s going to play out right now? I don’t know, but I do like the possibilities.”

Closing time

With the Heat wrapping up their stay in New Providence, with Saturday including a youth clinic at the makeshift courts at the resort’s convention center, Haslem summed up the experience.

“A great way to finish my last training camp, in paradise,” said the veteran power forward who is retiring after this 20th Heat season. “Well loved, always much love when I come here in the Bahamas. Just like being in Miami for me. The love is unmatched and I appreciate it a lot.”

Haslem said camp had a different feel, with 14 players returning from last season.

“We’re ahead of the game, because we had so much time last year. We didn’t lose very much,” he said, with only P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris departing. “We pretty much know everybody. Health is always a major concern, but we’re bonding, we’re enjoying it, we’re here in the Bahamas, paradise, so it’s been a great trip.”

Haslem said he made an effort to leave the resort to sample local fare, and appreciated that teammates were able to take their minds off the game.

“Great week,” he said. “A little bit of rain, but it held on pretty good. So the young guys were able to go on the water slides, some of the older guys able to get some golf. It was a good balance of hard work and a mental break and getting away.”

But that doesn’t mean there also wasn’t a physical toll.

“This week was a crash course for the body,” he said. “Next week, I’ll be better.”

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Mets bats need to wake up in order to clinch NL East crown

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Mets Bats Need To Wake Up In Order To Clinch Nl East Crown
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ATLANTA — The Mets bats have gone cold and they’re running out of time to heat them up.

They failed to capitalize on a late rally Friday night in a 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. They needed a late rally to beat the Miami Marlins on Wednesday and they got no rallies in the first game of that series.

But this trend goes back even further. A shutout in Milwaukee last week. A sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs earlier in September and only five runs over three games against the Washington Nationals.

Overall, the numbers haven’t been terrible. The Mets actually own the second-highest OPS in the league over the month of September (.770). But there have been some key losses in which the offense didn’t really show up, much like the one Friday night at Truist Park.

The question is whether or not this is indicative of what’s to come in the last five games of the season and in the postseason. Will it cost them the NL East and force them into a Wild Card round?

The problems started when Starling Marte was injured earlier this month. The All-Star outfielder was hitting .292 this season with an .814 OPS and 16 home runs before he got hurt. But Marte is not exactly the engine that makes the Mets offense go. Missing one player like that shouldn’t crater the rest of the offense.

“Without Starling here, we have to force some things we might not normally have to,” manager Buck Showalter said.

The lack of production at the DH position doesn’t help either. With the Mets facing two right-handers this weekend we can probably expect to see Daniel Vogelbach back in the lineup, but he’s had some questionable at-bats as of late. Darin Ruf was placed on the injured list with a neck strain Friday and his struggles have been magnified as the team’s offensive woes have continued.

The Mets don’t seem to have an answer as to why Ruf, who was brought in to hit against left-handed pitching, has been so bad in New York (.152 with a .413 OPS).

“Could be a number of variables,” general manager Billy Eppler said Friday at Truist Park. “Could be timing, could be something material in the swing. Could be a small sample, could be a number of things. So it’s up to us to uncover and that’s some of the questions that we are asking.”

Francisco Alvarez was called up to take Ruf’s spot on the roster. The 20-year-old catcher is one of the top prospects in baseball, even ranked No. 1 overall by MLB Pipeline, and has been absolutely crushing left-handed pitching in Triple-A. He wasn’t the hero the Mets needed Friday night, but they needed much more than a rookie making his debut to come through with so much on the line.

Alvarez faced Kenley Jansen in a key moment in the ninth, with the bases loaded and one out. He struck out on three pitches — all cutters — fouling one off and swinging through two of them. This might not be the same Jansen as five years ago, but that cutter still cuts.

Eppler and Showalter talked about not overwhelming him in his major league debut, but they kept him in because they liked the matchup against Jansen. Showalter called Jansen a “neutral split,” meaning the right-hander has similar results against right- and left-handed hitters, but lefties have had a better results against him this season (left-handed hitters have a .725 OPS against Jansen, while right-handers have a .550 OPS).

“He’s getting close, we thought, on some balls and he’ll learn from it,” Showalter said. “He’s an impressive young man we’re glad he’s on our side.”

So, the Mets need a hero. Who will it be?

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Zack Britton can’t make it all the way back to help Yankees in the playoffs

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Zack Britton Can’t Make It All The Way Back To Help Yankees In The Playoffs
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Zack Britton’s comeback has fallen short. The left-hander who exited Friday night’s game with “arm fatigue” was placed on the injured list Saturday and likely will not pitch for the Yankees again. The 34-year-old had hoped to come back from 2021 Tommy John surgery to pitch in the postseason.

“I think basically it’s just something that we’re kind of running out of time here,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “and having a little bit of fatigue last night, it’s like one of those things you don’t want to power through and reach for more and then do some damage as you’re coming back.

“But he’s in a good spot heading into the offseason.”

Britton had the updated version of Tommy John surgery, which places a protective brace or sleeve around the ulnar collateral ligament. That had him and the Yankees hoping he could make a faster comeback. He made his big league debut this season on Sept. 24, just 12 and a half months after the surgery.

‘I’m just appreciative of how hard he’s worked to get to this point and to give himself a chance,” Boone said. “The rehab is going really well. I feel like a lot of things are  lined up. It’s just that final sharpness and at this point in the season just got up against it there. But, yeah, he worked his tail off to put himself in this position and give himself an opportunity and certainly admire that.”

Britton is in the final year of his four-year, $53 million deal with the Yankees. An elite closer with the Orioles, the Yankees acquired him at the trade deadline in 2018. Britton made 136 appearances for the Bombers, mostly setting up for Aroldis Chapman, and pitched to a 2.75 ERA with 15 saves.

Britton made it very clear when he returned that he was not worried about pitching to prove he was healthy for another contract.

“I mean it doesn’t impact my future. I’m healthy. I know if I’m healthy, the future for me will be fine. The reason why I kind of push things is because I want to pitch this year for this team to help them win and for no other reason,” Britton said when he returned. “So there’s no benefit for me personally, other than the fact that maybe I can have an impact on a World Series championship team. That’s really the only goal for me at this stage of my career. I’ve gotten my contract. I am 34 years old. My reasons are much different now than when I was younger. I want [a] ring, that’s why I pushed this hard to come back and be an option for the team.”

With Clay Holmes down because of rotator cuff inflammation, a doubleheader on Tuesday and rain putting the Yankees final two games of the regular season at Yankee Stadium in doubt, the Bombers just needed an arm. They called up Jacob Barnes, a veteran of parts of seven seasons in the big leagues with the Brewers, Royals, Mets, Angels and Tigers and a 6.10 ERA this season.

“He’s got good stuff. Good arm,” Boone said. “We  just wanted that coverage today, with what we’re entering into as far as doubleheaders coming up and some roster situations.”

MONTAS MOVES

Frankie Montas was on the field throwing for the first time since he was shut down earlier this month. The right-hander played a very limited catch at about 25 to 40 feet, another indication that he will not be pitching at least in the first round of the playoffs.

And when he does pitch in the playoffs, it very well could be out of the bullpen, Boone confirmed Saturday.

“I don’t know about the Division Series. I don’t know if that’s gonna be in play,” Boone said when asked if there was enough time to ramp him back up.  “We feel like there’s time to where he could get to a point where he could be an option for us. Maybe not in the Division Series, but more likely beyond.”

Montas is on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation, the same issue that had him miss time in Oakland before the Yankees traded for him. The Bombers targeted Montas specifically for the playoff with his past success against potential playoff foes the Astros and Rays. He struggled once he got here, however. Montas has a 6.35 ERA in eight starts with the Bombers.

The Yankees dealt minor league pitching prospects Luis Medina and Ken Waldichuk along with J.P. Sears, who had already contributed to the big league club, for Montas and reliever Lou Trivino (who coincidentally is the only one of the Yankees’ deadline acquisitions who has not been injured).

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