How sniff technology helps protect police and more in this week’s staff picks

 In News, Staff Picks

Happy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories we read this week.

Why Amazon bought Whole Foods (Read by Heidi B.)

Every year, the line between online stores and brick-and-mortar retailers gets a little more blurred. The recent Amazon/Whole Foods acquisition is a perfect example of this. From strengthening its household presence to launching mobile checkout systems, Amazon has a variety of reasons for purchasing Whole Foods. The acquisition is just the most recent way Amazon is disrupting the traditional brick-and-mortar markets. It’s amazing to me just how much technology is changing not only the IT industry, but every industry.

This sniff tech could protect cops from synthetic opioids (Read by Alexandria H.)

A police officer accidentally overdosing isn’t something you hear about every day, but it happens more frequently than you’d think. Officers can come into contact with synthetic opioids when searching vehicles or responding to calls, and these compounds are not only highly potent, but also extremely difficult to identify. However— thanks to new technology—scientists are developing ways for first responders to detect substances without coming into direct contact with them. One method involves bouncing the chemicals off of officers’ clothing with lasers and puffs of air; another approach uses devices that work with robots to collect chemical particles. Pretty nifty!

We’re one step closer to getting cheaper; faster Internet from space (Read by Camillia S.)

Even the fastest internet can frustrate the most patient person when it lags, but former Googler Greg Wyler is aiming high (pun-intended) to make internet service even faster and cheaper by implementing 720 satellites to orbit the earth. While I’d never heard of satellite internet before, this isn’t the first proposal for it; however, this is the first time that the FCC has given a satellite internet plan its blessing. With hundreds of internet satellites in orbit around the Earth, internet would be smoother, faster and more readily available in developing countries. The company is looking to launch its services in 2019, so stay on the lookout!

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