Hashtag Trending – Amazon targets healthcare, Verizon won’t sell Huawei phones, drones are planting trees

Published: January 31st, 2018

Amazon has set its sights on the healthcare industry, Verizon says that it won’t sell Huawei phones due to pressure from the U.S. government, and reforestation drones are planting hundreds of thousands of trees.

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From LinkedIn – Amazon has disrupted pretty much every industry, so it’s no surprise that the healthcare industry is next on the list. Yesterday, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan announced a market-moving plan to launch an independent company that will offer healthcare services to company employees at a lower cost. It will be managed by executives from the three firms but will most likely be run as a non-profit. And despite the fact that the plan is fairly vague so far, its impact on the US healthcare industry is obvious, with the market value of the top 10 large, listed health insurance and pharmacy stocks dropping by a combined 30 billion dollars following the announcement.

From Reddit – It looks like those in the U.S. may have to find other ways to get their hands on Huawei smartphones. According to Bloomberg, Verizon has dropped all plans to sell devices from the Chinese manufacturer under pressure from the U.S. government. This would include the new Mate 10 Pro, that earlier this month AT&T said that it would not be selling it. This creates an interesting situation in the U.S. where both Verizon and AT&T are racing towards offering 5G, and Huawei is considered to be one of the first to offer this next-generation mobile service on devices. 5G networks will eventually be used for everything from devices to artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. U.S. security agencies have expressed some fear over 5G phones made by companies with ties to the Chinese government as posing a security risk. In Canada, Huawei phones are readily available at Rogers, Bell, and nearly every major carrier.

And from Reddit once more – U.K.-based BioCarbon engineering has set out to help regrow millions of trees with the power of drones. The company uses two drone methods for the process. The first is sent into a target area for reforestation to create a detailed, 3D map. Planting drones then fly into the area and begin firing seeds into the ground via biodegradable seed pods. This process can apparently plant 100,000 trees in a day, although that number doesn’t account for those seeds that land on unsuitable ground or get eaten by forest critters. Regardless, this is a cool way to regrow forests, and BioCarbon has a lofty goal of planting half a trillion trees in the next three decades. Considering these drones can plant trees faster and way cheaper than a human workforce, and in places that it may not be practical for humans to reach, you have to like the odds.