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Early on the morning of October 12, 2020, 27-year-old Jang Deok-joon came home after working his overnight shift at South Korean e-commerce giantCoupang and jumped into the shower. He had worked at the company’swarehouse in the southern city ofDaegufor a little over a year, hauling crates full of items ready to be shipped to delivery hubs. When he didn’t come out of the bathroom for over an hour and a half, his father opened the door to find him unconscious and curled in a ball in the bathtub, his arms tucked tightly into his chest. He was rushed to the hospital, but with no pulse and failing to breathe on his own, doctors pronounced him dead at 9:09 a.m. The coroner ruled that he had died from a heart attack.

Jang’s story caught my eye because he was the third Coupang worker to die that year, adding to growing concern about the nature of the company’s success. And Coupang has been astoundingly successful: it has risen to become South Korea’s third-largest employer in just a few years, harnessing a vast network of warehouses, 37,000 workers, a fleet of drivers, and a suite of AI-driven tools to take a commanding position in South Korea’s crowded ecommerce market. Coupang is everywhere in South Korea: half of residents have downloaded its app, and its “Rocket Delivery” service—the company claims 99.3% of orders are delivered within 24 hours—has earned it a reputation for “out-Amazoning even Amazon.”

Coupang’s use of AI to shorten delivery times is especially striking: its proprietary algorithms calculate everything from the most efficient way to stack packages in delivery trucks, to the precise route and order of deliveries for drivers. Inwarehouses,AI anticipates purchases and calculates shipping deadlines for outbound packages. This allows Coupang to promise delivery in less than a day for millions of items, from a 60-cent facemask to a $9,000 camera. Such innovations are why Coupang confidently bills itself as the “future of ecommerce,” and were the driving force behind company’s recent launch on Nasdaq that valued the company at $84 billion—the biggest US IPO by an Asian company since Alibaba in 2014. 

But what does all this innovation and efficiency mean for the company’s workers?

That was the question I had in mind last summer, before Jang’s death, when I met several of Coupang’s warehouse and delivery workers. Like Jang, who had told his mother that workers were treated like “disposable objects,” they had all experienced the dehumanizing effects of Coupang’s algorithmic innovations. Some talked about a bruising pace of work hitched to the expectations of superhuman delivery times. Others said it was difficult to even go to the bathroom at work. In 2014, when Coupang began offering Rocket Delivery, its on-demand delivery service, it had promised stable careers with above-average benefits even to bottom-rung workers. But somewhere along the way, it seemed, the workers had been reduced to what South Korean labor journalist Kim Ha-young has called the “arms and legs of artificial intelligence.” 

It is no coincidence that much of this criticism mirrored reports of working conditions at Amazon. Although Coupang was founded in 2010 as a Groupon-like deals platform, it switched to Amazon’s vertically integrated fulfillment model in 2014, pledging to become the “Amazon of Korea.” In doing so, it ran into the exact same problems with labor.

Demanding work, on demand

What makes Rocket Delivery work is certainty—a promise that Coupang’s algorithms will determine exactly when a batch of deliveries needs to leave the warehouse in order to make it to you on time. In the company’s warehouses, these delivery deadlines come approximately every two hours. 

“I realized when I started working there that the sole priority was meeting Rocket Delivery deadlines,” said Go Geon, one former warehouse worker I spoke to. “We were just robots.” Go went on medical leave from his job at Coupang in May 2020 after tearing his left hamstring while running to meet a deadline. He has since been let go by the company.

During the pandemic, the casualties of the obsession with hyperefficiency stacked up. From 2019 to 2020,

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By: Max S. Kim
Title: This company delivers packages faster than Amazon, but workers pay the price
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/06/09/1025884/coupang-amazon-labor-costs-worker-death/
Published Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2021 09:00:00 +0000

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Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access

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As a crypto analyst and frequent investor in the Greek digital currency market, I can confidently recommend Bcash for convenient and secure Bitcoin purchasing in Athens. With 10 strategically located crypto ATM hotspots spanning central Athens and the northern suburbs, Bcash enables instant access to leading cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and USDT.

Experience the Leading Greek Crypto ATM Network at Bcash’s Hotspots

From first-hand experience, I’m impressed by Bcash’s easy user interface, excellent customer assistance, and fair prices. Their two-way ATM machines allow both buying with Euro cash and selling crypto for instant fiat payouts. I found the simple on-screen instructions enabled completing transactions in under 2 minutes!

Bcash’s Bitcoin ATM network stands out from competitors by aligning prices closely with real-time crypto market rates. Their typical 6-8% fees are much cheaper than traditional crypto brokers and exchanges in Greece. For investors seeking reliable local crypto access, Bcash has the solutions.

Central Athens Bcash Shops Offer Prime Buying and Selling

For maximum security while buying or selling Bitcoin, Bcash’s dedicated Athens shop locations are ideal. Their main office on Dimitrakopoulou Street in the city center contains a premier crypto ATM location open 6 days weekly. It’s close to public transit for easy access.

I also frequented Bcash’s Glyfada branch in the south shopping district. With spacious storefront access and long business hours, this hotspot proved one of my favorite crypto transaction destinations. The expert staff helped guide my buying process as a beginner too.

Glyfada Shopping District ATM Location

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The Glyfada store sits right on Gennimata Street, providing a safe and high-traffic venue for easily buying and selling leading cryptocurrencies. Open Monday through Saturday, this major Bcash outlet enjoys strong local area visibility for crypto investors.

Northern Suburbs ATM Hotspots

In Athens’ northern suburbs, I purchased Bitcoin multiple times at Bcash’s Nea Erythraia shop off Mikras Asias Street. Located just 20 minutes from the city center, it makes crypto conveniently accessible for residents across northeast Athens.

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Piraeus Port Shopping District ATM

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While recently docking overnight at the Piraeus cruise port as part of an Aegean island-hopping vacation, I encountered one of Bcash’s handy crypto ATMs just 5 minutes from the passenger terminals. Located right on Sachtouri Street inside the company’s Piraeus store, this machine proved hugely convenient for buying Bitcoin during my stay.

As one of Europe’s largest passenger ports, Piraeus receives over 4 million travelers every year who could benefit from easy access to crypto. Whether before boarding ferries to venture deeper into the Greek islands or arriving back onshore in Athens, the Bcash outlet enables obtaining coins to capture optimal valuations.

And for tourists exploring downtown Piraeus’ vast harborfront retail area, having a trusted Bitcoin ATM one block away gives peace of mind. Rather than relying solely on airport kiosks, cruise ship visitors can turn Euros into crypto almost anytime thanks to Bcash’s strategic positioning. As vacationing investors, that accessibility offers real advantages.

Bcash Brings Bitcoin to the Greek Islands

Rhodes Island BTM Location

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2024/03/03/top-5-bitcoin-atm-locations-in-athens-for-fast-and-easy-crypto-access/
Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:18:46 +0000

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The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river

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The city of Monterrey in northeastern Mexico is an industrial powerhouse that has rapidly devoured green space to make room for its 5.3 million people. The Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range around the city is still holding strong, though the hills are increasingly encroached on by the urban sprawl of skyscrapers, apartment buildings, industrial parks, and highways. The same can’t be said for the Río Santa Catarina, the river that has been the vital core of the city for hundreds of years.

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Lizbeth Ovalle, founder of Viaje al Microcosmos, gathers water from
the Río Santa CatarinaANDREA VILLARREAL
circle of approx 25 people seated on the rocky shore of a river
Participants in one of the Viaje al Microcosmos river walks sit to share their observations and reflect on their findings.
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Andrea Villarreal, a member of the citizen science group, shows a participant how to use the iNaturalist app, which can help identify plants and animals.

overgrowth in the area below an overpass
Viaje al Micrososmos
organized a walk along this stretch of the Río Santa Catarina in October 2023.LORENA RíOS

Today, the Río Santa Catarina looks more like a forest than a river. It is mostly a dry jumble of rocks whose water is diverted to supply the city’s growing needs. Much of the riverbed is obscured by vegetation that has grown wild since a hurricane in 2010 destroyed many structures along the river, including soccer fields, parking lots, and a mini-golf course. But despite what many city officials and residents make of it, this urban river is very much alive, and a group of young women wants to prove it.

The group, called Viaje al Microcosmos de Nuevo LeónJourney into the Microcosm of Nuevo León), is not made up of scientists but, rather, of concerned citizens. Through the use of art and citizen science, its members are documenting and sharing with others the river’s forgotten nature—its trees, bushes, birds, flowers, insects, and even microorganisms (from which the group takes its name).

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By: Lorena Ríos
Title: The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/02/28/1088234/monterrey-mexico-rio-santa-catarina-viaje-al-microcosmos/
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

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What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future

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A story in comic format. In this first panel, two figures in silhouette look out at a modern city skyline.  The text reads,

A person's smiling headshot being uploaded.  The text reads,

The headshot from the previous panel with distroted features and a wavy new background. The text reads,

Two people look at the blank space where the framed picture of a flower has been stolen by a giant robot hand. The text reads,

Two panels. In the first, a scrabbly line resembling a signature. The text reads,

The text reads,

Text across the top continues, Read More

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By: Tom Humberstone
Title: What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/02/28/1088262/luddites-resisting-automated-future-technology/
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

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