Amazon Prime is increasing in price for the first time since 2018. The monthly fee is going up to $15 (previously $13), or $139 per year (previously $119). The higher rates kick in February 18th for new customers, but they won’t take effect for existing customers until they renew after March 25th. Amazon pinned the increase on the “continued expansion” of Prime perks, like free games through Twitch and pharmacy discounts, along with higher wages (whose wages?) and transportation costs.

On top of that, there are also the company’s big Prime Video projects: the upcoming Lord of the Rings series is expected to cost $465 million just for its first season.

— Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

Rotterdam is dismantling a bridge so Jeff Bezos’ superyacht can pass through

But what about the Prime prices?

TMA
Getty

Bezos may no longer be the CEO, but the Amazon founder will profit from those price increases. And he has things to spend money on, such as his ostentatious Y721 superyacht. It’s so big that to get it through Rotterdam, the shipbuilder will have to temporarily dismantle part of a bridge. The city is catching some flak over the decision. Koningshaven Bridge, built in 1927, was declared a national monument after it was decommissioned in 1994. The city finished restoring it in 2017 and vowed to never dismantle the bridge again. But here we are.

Continue reading.

Snap is finally making money

Snapchat has more users than ever.

Nearly five years after going public, Snap is finally profitable. The company shared the milestone in its Q4 earnings release, where it reported $23 million in positive net income. Sure, it’s a tiny percentage of its $4.1 billion in quarterly revenue, but it’s an important step for the company that has at times struggled with user growth. Daily active users have now climbed to 319 million.

Continue reading.

EPA objects to US Postal Service plan to buy a new gas-powered delivery fleet

The Biden administration wants zero-emissions mail vehicles.

According to The Washington Post, the Environmental Protection Agency and White House Council on Environmental Quality have sent letters to the US Postal Service urging it to rethink a proposal to mostly buy gas-powered next-gen delivery trucks in a project worth up to $11.3 billion. It said the current strategy is a “lost opportunity” to more drastically reduce the carbon footprint of one of the world’s largest government fleets.

Continue reading.

Canon EOS R3 review

Innovative eye-control focus and speed, for a price.

TMA
Engadget

The 24-megapixel, $6,000 EOS R3 is the mirrorless equivalent of Canon’s 1DX Mark III DSLR. It delivers incredible shooting speeds of up to 30 fps, with reliable autofocus that can handle face- and eye-tracking for people and animals. According to Steve Dent, who put the camera through its paces, image quality is the best we’ve seen on any Canon camera. The new eye control AF lets you focus on a subject just by looking at it — something that works well for some people, but not everyone. The R3 is also very strong with video, handling 6K RAW at 60 fps with no overheating issues. The only caveat is that price.

Continue reading.

Ford starts 2022 with its highest EV sales numbers to date

The company is now the number two EV retailer.

Beyond the incredible pre-order numbers for both the hybrid Maverick and the EV F-150 Lightning, Ford’s EV push is working. The company reports sales of its EVs in January “grew almost 4 times faster than the overall electrified segment” (13,169 units in total), making Ford the current number two retailer of electric vehicles in the country behind Tesla, and also making it the country’s top-selling automaker overall. The company sold 6,513 Mavericks in January alone.

Continue reading.

The Switch is now Nintendo’s best-selling home console ever

It just surpassed the Wii with 103.54 million sales since it launched in 2017.

The Nintendo Switch: another success story. It’s now bested the Wii, making it the best-selling home console ever. Thanks to what it called a “good start” by the OLED Switch, it sold 10.67 million units in Q3 (October to December), far surpassing the 3.9 million PS5 units Sony sold. That takes total Switch sales to 103.54 million since it launched in 2017, taking it past the Wii’s lifetime sales of 101.63 million. Having said that, Nintendo revised its yearly forecast down by a million units. It now believes it’ll sell 23 million units, down from the 24 million it forecast last quarter.

Continue reading.