Amazon sold you everything, now it wants to test you

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Amazon sold you everything, now it wants to test you
Getty/Chip Somodevilla

Hello, and welcome to this week's edition of the Insider Tech newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:

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This week: Amazon wants to give you a test

The universe of Amazon products and services is infinite, from supermarkets to home security cameras.

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This week we learned that Amazon has been in talks to acquire the MGM movie studio for about $9 billion.

And on the other end of the spectrum of Amazon products, Insider's Eugene Kim exclusively reports that the company is developing a line of products for at-home medical tests.

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  • The first product is a COVID-19 home testing kit which is expected to be available in June, potentially around the start of the big Prime Day sale.
  • But as Kim reports, Amazon has much broader ambitions for a line of products that may be branded "Amazon Diagnostics." This includes tests for infections that lead to respiratory and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as home genomic tests similar to those offered by 23andMe and Color Genomics.

Given Amazon's penchant for connecting everything to the internet however, it will be interesting to see whether these "home" medical test results truly remain inside the walls of your house.

Read the full story here:

Amazon plans new 'Diagnostics' brand that offers at-home medical tests for COVID-19, sexually transmitted infections, and clinical genomics


The "other" SPAC king

Chamath Palihapitiya has eagerly cast himself as the SPAC king, the frontman of the firm that started the blank check boom, Social Capital Hedosophia. But there's another founding partner at the firm, and he's purposefully kept himself in the shadows.

Insider's Becky Peterson has the must-read profile of Ian Osborne:

"Part connector, part fixer-for-hire, the 38-year-old Osborne is an unlikely lord of high finance and tech. His career didn't begin as a banking hotshot or a computing whiz, but as a teenage theater producer in London's West End.

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Through means that aren't entirely clear to even some close acquaintances, he has finagled his way into the circuits and pocketbooks of the world's most rich and famous, earning favor by doing favors, and parlaying his impressive black book into a lucrative, and sometimes mysterious, career."

Read the full story here:

The secret life of Ian Osborne, the shadowy 38-year-old cofounder of Chamath Palihapitiya's SPAC who has built the ultimate black book of billionaires

And in other SPAC news:

SPACs are racing against the clock to strike a deal, and some will likely have to settle for a less-than-ideal business to buy

Arrival's chief led its hot $13 billion SPAC but now predicts the Wall Street craze will slow down after the initial frenzy


Save the date:

June 12: Final day to buy a ticket on Jeff Bezos' first space tourist flight

2022: Ford F-150 Lightning, the long awaited electric pickup truck, goes on sale

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2026: Lamborghini's first all electric car expected

2029: Google commercial-grade quantum computer goes on sale


Quote of the week:

"If Facebook or Twitter and others ultimately become a bias filter for the facts that we take as truth in the world ... I think that's really dangerous and a sort of scary world to live in."

- Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch in an exclusive interview with Insider's Claire Atkinson on why social media, not Fox News, is responsible for polarizing the world and creating "echo chambers."


Recommended readings:

Inside the new Miami life of Founders Fund VC and self-appointed city ambassador Keith Rabois

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The self-driving industry's Wild West days are done. An elite group of giants has taken the lead, and any challengers are likely doomed.

Salesforce launches a new employee initiative focused on Black women after former workers publicly slammed its culture, as its diversity numbers creep up

'I was screaming': Top CEOs reflect on the shocking death of George Floyd one year ago and how it changed their perception of being a business leader

Former Intel President Renee James has a chip startup to take on Intel and AMD, and it's already snagged big cloud customers like Microsoft and Oracle


Not necessarily in tech:

Coca-Cola's experiment to acquire and build out its non-soda offerings killed more brands than it launched. Now it's gone from a staff of hundreds to just a few people as the new CEO winds it down.

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- Alexei

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