Digits: Taser drones, Domino’s woes, and charging cables

Plus: Disney’s India problem, and robots per capita

Conceptual rendering of Axon’s Taser drone (Source: Axon)

1) Axon, the US company that makes Tasers, has plans for a Taser-shooting drone. The company’s AI ethics board apparently opposed the device, and when the drone’s development continued regardless, nine members resigned in protest.

2) Domino’s staffing shortage is so bad, the company had to halt US orders and reduce store hours for the equivalent of 6 days in Q1. It also expects up to 3k stores to route deliveries through call centers by year-end. (At least people can still do pizza order freestyle raps.)

3) Good news for Europe’s iPhone owners: By fall 2024, smartphones there will be required to use USB-C charging ports — so no more of Apple’s absolutely unnecessary Lightning cables. The move could cut out 11k metric tons of e-waste annually.

4) Disney+ has 137.7m subscribers, but 50m+ of them use Disney+ Hotstar — the service’s Indian version — with local cricket rights being a major draw. Disney is now entering a gargantuan bidding war for those rights for 2023-27 that could reach well over $4.2B. Losing those deals — and subs — would be a bad look.

5) In case you’ve ever wondered which countries have the most robots per capita, here’s your answer: South Korea has 932 industrial bots for every 10k workers. Singapore has 605; Japan, 390; Germany, 371; and the US, 255. In January, South Korea enacted a new law that makes company execs liable for worker injuries, meaning expect even more bots there.

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