AdobeStock_297257233Google Moving Further in Finance

Google will be soon be offering consumer checking services, accelerating its drive into new markets.

“Google will soon offer checking accounts to consumers, becoming the latest Silicon Valley heavyweight to push into finance,” write Peter Rudegeair and Liz Hoffman of The Wall Street Journal. “The project, code-named Cache, is expected to launch next year.” 

Google is partnering with Citigroup and small local credit union at Stanford University, according the report in The Wall Street Journal.

grocey storeAmazon to Open Grocery Store in Los Angeles, Apparently With a New Brand

Amazon will open a new kind of grocery store next year in Los Angeles, according to a CNET report, part of the company’s “ambitious push to become a bigger name in food.”

The new store, located in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, “will be different from Amazon-owned Whole Foods, the company said. It didn't say whether it will open more of these locations, what its selection or pricing will be, or what the brand name is,” writes Ben Fox Rubin of CNET.

AdobeStock_251824281Will Europe Seek ‘Digital Sovereignty’ By Developing its Own Data Platform?

Concerned by the growing power of U.S.-based cloud providers, the leader of Germany has floated the idea of a European data platform.

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging the EU to claim ‘digital sovereignty’ by developing its own platform to manage data and reduce its reliance on cloud services run by Amazon, Microsoft and Google,” writes Yoel Minkoff of Seeking Alpha.

It’s hard to argue with her logic, although I can imagine a host of unintended consequences. A move like that would definitely showcase “the EU’s growing willingness to challenge the U.S. dominance of the digital economy,” writes Guy Chazin of the Financial Times. Where it would lead after that is more difficult to foretell.


SpaceX Starlink Satellites Called ‘Threat’ to Astronomy

Scientists are warning that legions of new orbiting satellites threaten to destroy the field of astronomy. According to one astronomer quoted in the New York Times, the satellites will make it look as though the sky is “crawling” with new stars, making scientific observations of real stars much more difficult.

“When SpaceX, the private rocket company founded by Elon Musk, launched the first batch of Starlink orbiters in May, many astronomers were surprised to see that the satellites were extremely bright, causing them to fear that the constellation would wreak havoc on scientific research and transform our view of the stars. Since then, many scientists have been on a mission to better quantify the impacts of Starlink and to share their concerns with SpaceX,” writes Shannon Hall of the New York Times.