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•  The Seattle Times reports that when Amazon Web Services (AWS) suffered a major outage earlier this week, it had the result of making a lot of smart homes stupid.

Here's what happened:  "Robotic vacuum cleaners wouldn’t start. Doorbell cameras stopped watching for package thieves, though some of those deliveries were canceled anyway. Netflix and Disney movies got interrupted and The Associated Press had trouble publishing the news … The incident at Amazon Web Services mostly affected the eastern U.S., but still affected everything from airline reservations and auto dealerships to payment apps and video streaming services to Amazon’s own massive e-commerce operation."

The Times notes that "Amazon has still said nothing about what, exactly, went wrong. The company limited its communications Tuesday to terse technical explanations on an Amazon Web Services dashboard and a brief statement delivered via spokesperson Richard Rocha that acknowledged the outage had affected Amazon’s own warehouse and delivery operations but said the company was 'working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.' It didn’t immediately respond to further questions Wednesday."



•  The Boston Globe reports that e-commerce retailer Wayfair is going to take another crack at bricks-and-mortar retail, having opened and closed a series of pop-up locations and one store over the past few years.

Wayfair said this week that it "will open three storefronts in Greater Boston in the coming year, showcasing designs from two of its in-house brands. An AllModern store will open at MarketStreet Lynnfield and Legacy Place in Dedham. And a Joss & Main shop will open in the Burlington Mall. The company says it plans to open stores for all five of its brands in the next two years … the stores will feature items for the tabletop, plus bedding, bath, and seasonal products. Customers will be able to purchase things in the store or place orders for home delivery."



•  Reuters reports that "Amazon.com Inc's push to recruit big-rig contractors to haul goods across its web of warehouses is colliding with a trucker shortage as the e-commerce company moves what are expected to be record numbers of packages this holiday season.

"Its project, called Amazon Freight Partners (AFP), enlists independent trucking companies to move goods between Amazon facilities. The companies, or AFPs, all of which are exclusive Amazon contractors, also move packages to and from the company's fleet of 85 owned or leased North American airplanes."

The story notes that "Amazon's logistics unit has bought 1,395 Amazon-branded big-rig tractors to pull trailers of goods in the United States, according to Department of Transportation data seen by Reuters. Filling seats in those vehicles falls largely to independent contractors like McKinley at a time when the industry has a record shortfall of 80,000 big-rig drivers."