10 Things in Tech: Amazon drone plans

10 Things in Tech: Amazon drone plans
Amazon's retail chief Jeff Wilke reveals Prime Air's new drone model at the 2019 Re:Mars robotic conferenceJORDAN STEAD/ Amazon

You're halfway through the week, readers. Leaked documents show that Amazon plans to expand its drone delivery service soon, and a new list shows employees' picks for the companies with the best culture.


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1. Your Amazon Prime packages could soon be delivered via drone. Leaked internal documents show that Amazon plans to ask 1,300 customers in two towns to test its Prime Air drone delivery this year. A look at what we know:


  • Testers will be recruited from the towns of Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, with deliveries starting in September, according to the documents.
  • They'll be able to choose from about 3,000 items — largely an array of pharmaceutical, beauty, and pet supplies — all of which weigh under five pounds. Amazon aims to deliver one item at a time, within an hour.
  • The expansion of its drone-testing program would mark a major step forward for Prime Air, nearly a decade after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled his vision for an automated drone delivery service.

Here's what else you need to know.

In other news:

10 Things in Tech: Amazon drone plans
Marianne Ayala/Insider

2. There's a new spam trend: texts appearing to come from your own number. Verizon customers have been reporting suspicious texts ostensibly coming from themselves — a problem the company said it's trying to fix. Robotexts have been on the rise in recent months; so we created a guide to the frustrating messages and how to stop them.

3. Yandex, Russia's biggest tech company, has been sent into free fall by Putin's Ukraine war. Known as "the Google of Russia," Yandex is facing an uncertain future as its board fractures and it's forced to grapple with the war's fallout. Inside the boardroom shattering at Yandex.


4. Elon Musk is channeling his inner Slim Shady. The Tesla CEO quoted Eminem in a court filing that takes aim at an agreement with the SEC, which requires his lawyers to vet many of his tweets. See his invocation of the rapper here.

5. Leaked Slack messages show Shopify plans to address pay and attrition woes. As Shopify's stock falls from its pandemic highs, some employees (who are granted restricted stock units when they join the company) are growing uneasy about the total value of their compensation. This is what execs said in the leaked messages.

6. A crypto hacker just pulled off one of the largest heists in history. The attacker made away with $625 million in tokens from Axie Infinity's Ronin Network. What we know so far.

7. An SEO consultant who makes up to $40,000 a month shares how he grew his business on LinkedIn. Ryan Darani left an agency two years ago to begin freelancing. Now, he makes more than he did while at the firm — all while working fewer hours. Take a look at how he did it.

8. Okta is no longer cutting pay for workers who move out of the Bay Area. Okta's head of dynamic work said as a way to bolster employee well-being, the software company won't slash pay — even as other tech giants do. Here's what she told us.


Odds and ends:

10 Things in Tech: Amazon drone plans
Microsoft paid about $25.3 million following charges of bribery in 2019.Mark Lennihan/AP

9. These corporations have the best company culture. Using employee rankings, workplace culture site Comparably listed the companies with the best culture — and Microsoft tops the list. See the other top-rated firms.

10. PlayStation is finally getting a subscription gaming service. The $15-per-month service, which will launch in June, is Sony's response to Microsoft's wildly popular Xbox Game Pass service — but it lacks one critical component that made its competitor such a success. Here's what to know about the new subscription service.

What we're watching today:

  • The Soyuz MS-19 crew ship is set to return to Earth from the ISS.
  • Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation is launching an NFT museum documenting Russia's invasion. Take a look here.
  • Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai is virtually discussing the role of digital platforms in an "age of crises."

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.

Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Michael Cogley in London.