News snippets on Amazon’s size, Emiratis surveillance, Latin music

February 2023
These are three compelling snippets from recent news reports:

On the global significance of e-commerce giant Amazon:
Amazon is “the world’s fifth-most-valuable company, third-largest revenue generator and second-biggest private employer. Its warehouses, data centres, shops and offices cover an area almost the size of Manhattan.” (Source: The Economist)

On United Arab Emirates government’s mas surveillance of its citizens:
“Emiratis are the world’s biggest consumers of mobile data, averaging 18GB per person per month. ‘Digital technology is very integrated in the lives of Emiratis,’ says James Shires, a cybersecurity specialist at Leiden University in the Netherlands. ‘They are fascinated with by modernity and portray themselves as technological leaders, boasting of their smart cities and the digital facilitation of daily life. But the other side of the coin that everything is traced and collected.’ … Surveillance is made easy by the UAE’s small population: just ten million, of whom 10% are Emiratis, 30% other Arabs or Iranians, 50% Southeast Asians and 10% Westerners.” (Source: Le Monde diplomatique)

On the globalization of Latin music:
“In 2016 none of the top 50 most-played tracks on Spotify was in Spanish. Last year, 14 were. In 2021 the recorded-music market grew by 31% in Latin America, far above the global average of 18.5%. According to GWI, a market-research firm, Latin Americans lead the world in the average time spent streaming songs—almost two hours a day.” (Source: The Economist)

Reference shelf:
Can Amazon deliver again? (The Economist)

UAE’s high-tech toolkit for mass surveillance and repression (Le Monde diplomatique)

A new generation of Argentine musicians is topping the charts (The Economist)

More by WONKedition:
Armies run low on ammo as war in Ukraine drags on

. . .