Happy Friday to you, Austin. The weekend is almost upon us.
As you grind through the final day of the work week, here’s a look at some of the tech-related stories that are making news around the Internet today:
Is Wal-Mart ready to take on the Whole Foods-Amazon combo?
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, had some interesting news when it issued its latest earnings report this week: The company’s grocery business is booming. Wal-Mart sells about $170 billion food and grocery-related items each year, making it by far the nation’s biggest grocer. The company said that in its fiscal second quarter, sales in its grocery division rose at the highest rate in five years. That improvement comes after Wal-Mart spent billions in upgrading its grocery operations and equipping hundreds of stores to handle curbside delivery.
All of which, Fortune reports, puts Wal-Mart in a strong position to do battle with the powerhouse grocery combo that will be created when Amazon.com completes its $13.5 billion purchase of Austin-based Whole Foods Market.
Seriously, don’t watch the eclipse without some eye protection
We’ve all heard the warnings: Don’t look directly at the sun during unless you’re wearing protective glasses, because otherwise you could injure your eyes. The warning is especially stressed when there’s an upcoming eclipse because, hey, we all want to see an eclipse. And one is coming up on Monday that most of the U.S. will be able to see.
But whether there’s an eclipse pending or not, you just shouldn’t stare directly into the sun, because doing so will, in fact, damage your eyes, experts say. The sun is so bright, it can burn your eyes just like it can burn your skin if you stay outside too long on a sunny day. An interesting piece from Mashable lays out the potential dangers, and some ways you can watch the eclipse without doing yourself any harm.
So, is the Essential Phone really, well, essential?
You might have heard some buzz about the Essential Phone, which is an Android smartphone designed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin. Some tech sites are starting to get their hands on review models of the phone, and the reviews so far have been pretty positive. CNet, for instance, posted a review on Friday that calls the phone “Bold, beautiful, very first-gen.” We’ll keep an eye out for more reviews on the new phone as time goes on.
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