business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Amazon said yesterday that its Q4 advertising revenue grew 64 percent to $7.95 billion, compared to the same period a year ago, a figure that it said was higher than that generated by its subscription services, including Amazon Prime.

The thing is, traffic and revenue beget even more traffic and revenue.

•  In the UK, the Wiltshire Times writes that "Tesco is trialling a new service for customers ahead of a potential rollout to more areas across the UK.

"The supermarket chain is launching a new rapid delivery service which will mean it can deliver groceries to customers within an hour.

"The retail giant is initially trialling the Whoosh delivery service at one store and will then assess potential opportunities to expand the model.  It said the one-hour service will be available for customers in selected postcodes around its Wolverhampton Willenhall Express store."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has signed a deal with national hospital chain HCA Healthcare Inc. "to develop healthcare algorithms using patient records, the latest foray by a tech giant into the $3 trillion healthcare sector."

According to the story, "Nashville, Tenn.,-based HCA, which operates across about 2,000 locations in 21 states, would consolidate and store with Google data from digital health records and internet-connected medical devices under the multiyear agreement. Google and HCA engineers will work to develop algorithms to help improve operating efficiency, monitor patients and guide doctors’ decisions, according to the companies … The deal expands Google’s reach in healthcare, where the recent shift to digital records has created an explosion of data and a new market for technology giants and startups. Data crunching offers the opportunity to develop new treatments and improve patient safety, but algorithm-development deals between hospitals and tech companies have also raised privacy alarms."