Happy Friday, Austin! Here are some of the tech stories we’re keeping an eye on today.
Hello Amazon Prime price hike; now send packages to my car
Amazon made a lot of moves this week that could affect you directly. For one thing, it announced raising the price of its Prime service from $99 to $119 in the U.S. The change starts on May 11 for new Prime customers and will affect renewals starting in June. Remember when it was $79? In other Amazon news, Austin is one of 37 cities where you can use Amazon Key to have packages delivered directly to your parked car if you have a newer Volvo or GM vehicle. You don’t need to give Amazon your key fob; it will be able to access your locked car remotely, because YIKES! And if you’re an Amazon shareholder, take a gander at these ridiculously positive earnings. It’s Amazon’s world, we’re just squirrels living it one of their trees, it feels like.
SXSW vs. UT on spring break dates
In case you missed it this morning, Gary Dinges and I report on what that effect will be in March 2019 when the dates for South by Southwest and spring break at the University of Texas, AISD and some other universities in the area don’t line up. Will we see more traffic, fewer short-term rentals available, and other troubles? Check out our story on MyStatesman.
What’s up, new Gmail?
If you still use Gmail on the web, you’re going to see some new features and changes. There’s also a new mobile app for Google’s Tasks feature and if you were a fan of the Boomerang plugin for Gmail, you might be happy to know something similar has been rolled into the email program. The Verge has a guide to what’s new and different.
Electric scooters in Austin: an update
And another late-breaking thing: overnight, the Austin City Council decided to beef up regulations on electric scooters and dockless bikes in town. You can also hear a fresh discussion with transportation writer Ben Wear on the “I Love You So Much” podcast this morning for some perspective, and do not pass go until you’ve seen this hilarious video about his experience riding a scooter.
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