TIME technology

U.S. Drone Rules Expected to Buck Industry Hopes

Attendees Visit The Commercial UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Show
An exhibitor adjusts a Sony Corp. digital camera mounted to a drone, developed by Flairics GmbH and Co., as it hangs on display during the Commercial UAV show in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg / Getty Images

Rules will require pilots to get licensed

The Federal Aviation Administration is set to restrict use of drones to within 400 feet of the ground and forbid flights beyond the eyesight of the operator, according to a new report, rules far less permissive than what companies like Amazon had hoped for.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the highly anticipated ruling, reports that drone operators will be expected to obtain a pilot license, which traditionally require hours of flight training.

The rules will allow drones to be used in filmmaking, construction and farming, among other industries.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

TIME russia

Russian Official Says Oil Slump and Sanctions Cost $140 Billion a Year

Anton Siluanov Russia Finance Minister
Anton Siluanov, Russia's finance minister, listens to a question during a television interview following a (G-20) finance ministers and central bank governors ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group Spring Meetings in Washington on April 11, 2014. Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Moscow is no longer pretending that sanctions aren’t hurting

Russia’s Finance Minister said the combined cost of western sanctions and the recent fall in world oil prices to Russia’s economy this year would be a massive $140 billion.

“We will lose around $40 billion a year because of sanctions, and around $90-100 billion a year, if we assume a 30% drop in the price of oil,” Anton Siluanov told a conference in Moscow Monday, according to news agency reports.

Siluanov’s comments go against the grain of bravado from President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, both of whom have repeatedly tried to play down the impact of U.S. and E.U. sanctions in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its sponsoring of an armed rebellion in the eastern provinces of Ukraine.

They are, however, consistent with Siluanov’s own earlier warnings about the need for Russia to tighten its belt and make big cutbacks in the light of the new economic reality. Siluanov has already warned that the big increase in defense spending earmarked for the next three years is unaffordable.

“If you’re talking about the consequences of geopolitics, they are, of course, substantial,” Siluanov said. “But it’s not as critical for the exchange rate and even for the budget as the oil price.”

Siluanov’s comments come on the eve of a crucial meeting of oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, which will focus on the alarming slide in oil prices since the summer. In a weekend interview with ITAR-TASS, Putin insinuated that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia had conspired to drive up global supply well beyond actual levels of demand, in order to weaken the Russian economy. Somewhat confusingly, he later added that “maybe the Saudis want to ‘kill off’ their competitors” in the U.S. shale oil sector.”

Russia isn’t a member of OPEC, but depends on taxes from oil and gas companies for some two-thirds of its budget revenue. A draft for next year’s budget, approved in September, assumes an average oil price of $100 a barrel, while banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase & Co. think it will be nearer $80.

Barred from western financial markets, the government will either have to cut spending or raise taxes to keep the deficit down to its projected 0.6% of gross domestic product, or borrow at increasingly expensive rates from domestic savers and institutions. The yield on the government’s 10-year bonds has risen to 10.12% as of Monday from 7.71% at the start of the year, as the ruble has depreciated by 30% against the dollar.

Russia’s central bank earlier this month cut its forecast for growth next year to zero, after having to raise interest rates sharply to stop the ruble’s fall. GDP rose by only 0.8% on the year in the third quarter, although that was above economists’ expectations.

The ruble has rebounded sharply against the dollar in recent days as the central bank’s actions have started to gain traction and stem a wave of speculation. By mid-day in Moscow, the ruble was at its highest in more than two weeks against the dollar as oil and gas companies converted their export earnings back into rubles ahead of a routine tax payment deadline.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

 

TIME Careers & Workplace

Watch the 5 Most Popular TED Talks of All Time

Whether you’re looking for outstanding orators to emulate for an upcoming speaking engagement, or whether you’re in the mood for Crossfit crunches for your brain

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

Happiness, vulnerability and orgasms. These are few of the TED Talks themes that people love most.

Add to that viral mix soul-stirring speeches about education, inspiration, and revelation, and you have the stuff of the most-watched TED speeches of all time, the cream of the presentation crop with millions upon millions of views and growing.

Related: 5 TED Talks That May Change Your View on Life

Whether you’re looking for outstanding orators to emulate for an upcoming speaking engagement, or whether you’re in the mood for Crossfit crunches for your brain just because, here are the top five TED Talks of all time. Feast your mind.


1. Ken Robinson: How Schools Kill Creativity

Children are naturally creative, right up until we educate the raw spark of wonder out of them. In his witty, 18-minute takedown of the talent-squandering treadmill that is the traditional public education system, Sir Kenneth Robinson challenges us to “radically rethink” the way we teach our children. He invites educators to encourage kids to dance, experiment and make mistakes.

Related: 7 Public Speaking Tips From One of the Most-Watched TED Speakers

Business leaders can apply Robinson’s outlier theories to inspire their teams in much the same way. Start by allowing your employees to make mistakes. They’re not bad. They’re gateways to innovation.


2. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

If you’re a habitual arm crosser, watching Amy Cuddy’s body language 101 might convince you to drop the habit — and your arms — right away. The social scientist, who kicks off her speech with a “free no-tech life hack” that will probably turn your frown upside down, says our body language speaks loud and clear to those around us. And it might just have a lot to do with our success. One thing’s for sure: You’ll walk a little taller and sit up a little straighter after you take Cuddy’s 20-minute “power posing” crash course. Remember, “Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes.”

Related: Inspiring TED Talks Every Entrepreneur Should Watch


3. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Extolling the trailblazing, renegade spirit of iconic historical figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Wright brothers, ethnographer Simon Sinek dares people be rebels, to “think, act and communicate” in ways that are “the complete opposite of everyone else.” In his talk, the author of the motivational classic Start With Why (Portfolio Trade, 2011) describes what he calls the “golden circle.” It’s a means of communicating “from the outside in,” a way to passionately talk about what you care about and believe. He says Apple does it — obviously to great success — and your company can, too.

Related: Why TED Talks Are Impossible to Resist


4. Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Humiliation, embarrassment and shame are the fields of study that Brené Brown specializes in. Not many people talk openly about thosekinds of feelings, let alone in front of thousands. In her touching, often funny speech, the University of Houston research professor and author of five bestselling self-empowerment books, reminds us to be true to ourselves. How? By embracing our imperfections, something society pressures us not to do, at home and at work. Instead, Brown asks you to be you, to be real and really vulnerable. When you are, you’re kinder to yourself and to others. It’s not easy, but once you accept who you are — not who you think should be — flaws and all, Brown says you’ll connect with others in deeper, more meaningful ways. And P.S. — Stop beating yourself up already. You are enough.

Related: An Oft Unspoken Key to Success: Put Aside Your Ego and Be Vulnerable


5. Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight

When Harvard-trained brain researcher Dr. Jill Bolte says she had a stroke of insight, she means it literally. One morning, at the age of 37, she suffered a devastating cerebrovascular accident. A blood vessel in her brain suddenly burst. She could only speak “like a Golden Retriever” when calling for help. Her right arm “went totally paralyzed” and her world came crashing down.

You won’t believe Taylor’s first thoughts upon realizing she was suffering a stroke: “Wow! This is so cool! How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?” Amazing, right?

Related: 4 Motivating TED Talks to Help You Bounce Back From Failure

In her deeply personal talk, Taylor pulls us into her eight-year recovery journey. She describes learning to walk, talk and think again — from scratch. And, of course, she also reveals her biggest “stroke of insight” as a brain hemorrhage survivor. It’s simple but so complex: our right minds can be gateways to nirvana, but only if we choose to step out of them.

Related: 3 TED Talks That Will Convince You to Get More Sleep

MONEY IRAs

Closing the Loophole Behind $10 Million Tax-Free Retirement Accounts

Fewer than 1,100 of 43 million IRA owners have what may be called outsized balances, and the IRS wants to rein them in.

The former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney lit a fuse three years ago when he disclosed his IRA was valued at as much as $102 million. Now the federal government wants to keep the issue from exploding, and is weighing actions that would prevent rich people from accumulating so much in a tax-advantaged account.

Last week, the General Accounting Office recommended that the IRS either restrict the types of investments held in IRAs or set a ceiling for IRA account balances. The idea is to give all taxpayers equal ability to save while making certain the amounts put away tax-advantaged do not go beyond what is generally regarded as sufficient savings to secure a comfortable retirement.

Romney’s campaign disclosure caught almost everyone by surprise. How could one person build such a large IRA balance when yearly allowable contributions — up to $5,500 a year in 2014 and $6,500 if you’re age 50 or older — have always been comparatively low? The answer lies in the types of investments he and privileged others were able to put in their IRA: extremely low-priced and often non-public securities that later soared in value.

One such security might be the shares of a privately owned business. These can reasonably be expected to take flight if the business does well and later goes public. That produces a wealth of tax-advantaged savings to company founders, investment bankers and venture capitalists. But these gains are not generally available to any other investor. Once an asset is inside an IRA there is no limit to how valuable it may become and still remain in the tax-advantaged account.

Restricting eligible IRA holdings to publicly available securities is one way to level the field and rein in the accumulation of tax-advantaged wealth. Another way is to cap IRA balances at, say, $5 million and require IRA holders to take an immediate taxable distribution anytime their combined IRA holdings exceed that threshold.

The GAO found that the federal government stands to forego $17 billion of 2014 tax revenue through the IRA contributions of individuals. That’s not a high price to pay for added retirement security for the masses. The problem is that under current rules only a select few will ever be able to put together multi-million-dollar IRAs. There are 43 million IRA owners in the U.S. with total assets of $5.2 trillion. Fewer than 10,000 have more than $5 million, and the GAO seems to have little quarrel with even this group. They tend to be above-average earners past age 65 who had been contributing to their IRA for many years—pretty much exactly as designed.

But just over 1,100 have account values greater than $10 million and only 300 have account values greater than $25 million, the GAO found. “The accumulation of these large IRA balances by a small number of investors stands in contrast to Congress’s aim to prevent the tax-favored accumulation of balances exceeding what is needed for retirement,” the report states.

Officials are now gathering data on the types of assets held in IRAs, including the so-called “carried interest” stake that private equity managers have in the investment funds they run. These stakes, which give them a percentage of a fund’s gain, are another way that a select few manage to sock away multiple millions of dollars in IRAs. No one doubts the data will illustrate that only a privileged few have access to outsized IRA savings. The Romney campaign showed us that three years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

TIME Careers & Workplace

How to Turn Life’s Disappointments Into Success Stories

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In work and in life, disappointment is often inevitable. Turn life’s curveballs into your success stories

startupcollective

This story was originally published on StartupCollective.

Life is full of surprises that aren’t always the kind we would wish for. What makes these unwanted surprises even harder to accept is our attachment to the way we expected things to go. This particular brand of discomfort — the kind fueled by a life drunk with expectations and the resulting crash from failing to meet them — is profoundly sobering and uncomfortable. I call it an Expectation Hangover®, which I define in my latest book, “Expectation Hangover: Overcoming Disappointment in Work, Love and Life,” as:

The myriad undesirable feelings or thoughts present when one or a combination of the following things occurs:

  • A desired outcome does not occur.
  • A desired outcome does occur but does not produce the feelings or results we expected.
  • Our personal and/or professional expectations are unmet by ourselves or another.
  • An undesired, unexpected event occurs that is in conflict with what we wanted or planned.

The symptoms are similar, but far more miserable and lasting, to those caused by a hangover from alcohol: lethargy, depression, lack of motivation, confusion, denial, anger, poor work performance, diminished creativity, strained relationships, social withdrawal, low self-esteem, regret and a disconnection from a higher power. But when our expectations are met, we feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Often risking little, we feel safe, in control and on-track. Achieving our goals is intoxicating. We are compelled toward them, sometimes disregarding the underlying motivations that come from our ego. While striving for goals has value, holding expectations and attachment to the way life “should” go sets the stage for disappointment.

Most of us don’t like it when our life seems to miss the memo on how we think things should be. But the truth is that the universe doesn’t miss anything. When we keep fighting for what we think we want, never slowing down enough to actually learn the lesson that our expectation hangover is attempting to teach, we’re too drunk with expectations to notice when we are headed in the wrong direction. The result? We continue to wake up with expectation hangovers.

So how do you treat them? It takes a lot more than two aspirin, some greasy food and staying inside with the lights low. Because we don’t like not feeling good, and so we look for an external way to ease the discomfort: rebound relationships, abrupt career changes or miscalculated risks, and addictions (drinking, gambling, sex, drugs, work, shopping) are common. We lose faith and sink into the quicksand of victim-hood and hopelessness.

Instead of thinking about how to rid yourself of an expectation hangover, consider how you can leverage it. Ask, “What am I learning?” rather than “Why is this happening?” Keep your mind out of judgment, regret and shoulda-coulda-woulda thinking. Think about some of the most inspirational people you know. I guarantee that part of what makes them so inspirational is how they leveraged their hangovers for growth and learning. Instead of perceiving something as a failure, they used what they learned to to create their next success. Your expectation hangovers are gifts. Each one has been an opportunity to let go of something external that you have clung to for worth, safety or love. If you learn how to respond to expectation hangovers from the perspective of a student rather than a victim, I guarantee you will walk through doorways of transformation.

TIME Careers & Workplace

You’ll Never Guess the Most Affordable City for Young People

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Mexico City, Mumbai and Rome are all contenders

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This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

You’re a young person with big entrepreneurial dreams and plans to change the world. Good for you! But you need to pay the rent while you build up your skills or get your fledgling enterprise off the ground. So where should you move?

There’s no shortage of advice for young people on which cities make the best launching pads for post-collegiate life. One recent study looked at which metro areas were more popular with mobile well-educated young people to indicate the best destination for your U-Haul, for example. Other sources of advice have crowdsourced community opinion to rank the best locales for digital nomads.

But another recent index of possible new homes for recent grads takes a different approach. Rather than just solicit the opinions of the group or look at standard cost of living measures, the Youthful Cities Index from consultancy Decode takes into account not only how much you spend on essentials like rent and food (though that’s weighed too) but also how much entry-level workers will bring home if they make minimum wage, as well as other less-often-used but more youth-relevant indicators of a city’s costs like the price of attending a live gig, going to a movie, and taking public transit.

So what was the result of the global ranking after all these unusual numbers were crunched. Here are the results (bet you didn’t see number one coming):

  1. Paris
  2. Toronto
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Chicago
  5. Berlin
  6. Dallas
  7. Rome
  8. New York
  9. Tokyo
  10. London
  11. Seoul
  12. Buenos Aires
  13. Istanbul
  14. Cairo
  15. Johannesburg
  16. Bogota
  17. Lima
  18. Mumbai
  19. Lagos
  20. Sao Paulo
  21. Manila
  22. Shanghai
  23. Mexico City
  24. Nairobi
  25. Kinshasa

Of course, as Quartz writer Zainab Mudallal points out in her writeup of the index, affordability and opportunity are two totally separate things. “France has also recently been called a “sick” economy by its own economy minister, with its high unemployment rate and reputation for worker inefficiency. The high cost of doing business in France means that some employers consider it a risk to take on young people. So it may not be easy to find a job,” she notes.

It’s a valid point. No matter how affordable a city is theoretically, if you can’t get even one of those relatively well-paid minimum wage gigs, a promising budget on paper isn’t going to mean a thing. So take the results with a grain of salt before you rush off to brush up on your French. The rankings, however, do serve as a reminder that a lot more goes into making a city attractive to young people than sensible-sounding basics and cheap housing.

TIME Security

New Malware Infecting Telecom, Energy, Airline Industries

Laptop, speed typing, screen glowing in the dark
Dimitri Otis—Getty Images

A new piece of malware called Regin is spying on people across industries. Why? Researchers aren’t exactly sure

The cyber security firm Symantec on Sunday revealed that a malicious new piece of software is collecting information on individuals, companies, and government entities without their knowledge.

The malware, called Regin, is considered to be a mass surveillance and data collection tool (sometimes referred to as “spyware”). Its purpose and origin is still unclear, Symantec said, but researchers believe that the program is the work of a nation-state.

“We believe Regin is used primarily for espionage,” said Liam O’Murchu, a security researcher at Symantec. “We see both companies and individuals targeted. The ultimate goal is to listen in on phone calls or something like that. [Regin's operators] target individuals and spread the attack to find whatever it is they’re looking for. All of these things together make us think that a government wrote it.”

Symantec said Regin (pronounced “re-gen,” as in “regenerate”) monitors its targets with a rarely-seen level of sophistication. Internet service providers and telecommunications companies make up the bulk of the those that are initially infected, researchers said. Regin then targets individuals of interest—in the hospitality, energy, research, and airline industries, among others—that are served by those ISPs. Regin’s operators continue to use infected companies as a springboard to gain access to more individuals. Once they gain access, they can remotely control a person’s keyboard, monitor Internet activity, and recover deleted files.

More than half of observed attacks have targeted Russia and Saudi Arabia, Symantec said. The rest are scattered across Europe, Central America, Africa, and Asia. The initial infection can come from a wide variety of sources, such as copies of popular websites or web browsers and USB drives that have been plugged into contaminated systems.

Regin has five attack stages. It begins with an initial “drop,” also called a Trojan horse (or “backdoor”) breach, that allows it to exploit a security vulnerability while avoiding detection. The first stage deploys what is called a loader, which prepares and executes the next stage; the second stage does the same to complicate detection. The third and fourth stages, called kernels, build a framework for the fifth and final stage, called the payload. That’s when it can wrest control of a computer or leap to a new victim.

Each stage prepares and executes the next, rather than deploy from a common framework. It’s similar in concept to Russian nesting dolls. Regin’s distributed structure makes it difficult for cyber security researchers to identify it without capturing information about all five stages.

The malware is made up of a system of customizable modules so that it may collect the information it needs across a number of different victims. For example, one Regin attack might capture a password from a hotel clerk’s computer while another attack may obtain remote control of another computer’s keyboard for purposes unknown. Each module is customized for one task or system, making detection and prevention of a comprehensive Regin attack difficult.

“One of the problems we have with analyzing is we don’t have all the components,” O’Murchu said. “You only get the modules set on that [particular] victim. But we know there are far more modules than what we have here. We don’t have enough information to understand. On top of that, it’s coded in a very advanced way to leave a small footprint. Anything they leave behind is encrypted. Each part is dependent on having all the parts.”

This kind of operational complexity is typically reserved for a state or a state-sponsored actor, Symantec said. Only a handful of malware programs to date have demonstrated such sophistication. In 2012, the Flamer malware used the same modular system to hit targets in the West Bank of Palestine, Hungary, Iran, and Lebanon, among other countries. Regin’s multi-stage attack pattern operates similarly to the Duqu malware and its descendent Stuxnet, the malware responsible for the disruption of Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010. O’Murchu said Regin is part of a disquieting trend of government-written and government-enacted malware.

“We often say that Stuxnet opened Pandora’s box,” O’Murchu says. “Whether that is because we know what to look for now or because there has been a genuine increase since Stuxnet is up for debate, but what we can say is that yes, we now know about a lot more scary government malware than before. It is far more pervasive, it is embedded in more organizations than we have ever seen, it is more organized than ever, and it is more capable than ever. I would say there has been an explosion in government related malware, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.”

What makes Regin different is who it attacks. Instead of going only after high-worth targets, Regin attacks many different targets in an attempt to piece together contextual information. Of the 9% of Regin attacks in the hospitality industry, 4% targeted low-level computers, presumably for this information.

“The average person needs to be aware,” O’Murchu says. “A lot of the infections are not the final target. They are third parties providing some extra information to get to a final target. Lot of people think, ‘I don’t have anything of importance, why would anyone get on my computer?’ Ordinary people who may not think they’re targets in fact are.”

TIME Marijuana

Colorado Approves Credit Union for Pot Stores

The credit union could open in January even as it waits to be granted insurance by federal regulators

America’s rapidly-expanding marijuana industry faces a major quandary: large, national banks are afraid to do business with cannabis businesses for fear of running afoul of strict federal regulations.

That could change with the creation of the first financial institution dedicated solely to serving the cannabis industry. This week, the Colorado Division of Financial Services issued a charter to The Fourth Corner Credit Union, which could be doing business and serving the local cannabis community as soon as January, a spokeswoman for the state’s regulatory agencies confirmed.

The dearth of reliable banking opportunities has turned the marijuana “green rush” into a mostly all-cash affair as business owners are unable to store their pot proceeds in a checking account. Fortune wrote about how banking restrictions have helped give rise to a number of ancillary businesses serving the cannabis industry by offering cash management and security services.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper called the charter issued to Fourth Corner, the first credit-union charter granted by the state in almost a decade, “the end of the line” for the industry’s banking problem, The Denver Post reported.

Of course, Fourth Corner still must seek insurance from federal regulators at the National Credit Union Administration while the U.S. Federal Reserve will also have to offer its blessing. The credit union plans to serve any legal marijuana businesses in Colorado, as well as any members of non-profits that support legalized marijuana.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME stocks

Another Record-Breaking Week for U.S. Stock Markets

Dow Climbs Above 17,800 For First Time As Stocks Rise
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 21, 2014 in New York City. Spencer Platt—Getty Images

It was the fifth-straight week of gains for the U.S. market, reversing a big dip earlier in the year

The U.S. stock market closed out its fifth-straight week of gains with new highs Friday, buoyed by positive economic news from China and Europe.

The People’s Bank of China announced a surprising interest rate cut on Friday — the bank’s first in two years and one that sent international markets higher. Meanwhile, Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, further boosted global investors’ confidence by saying the central bank is prepared to step up efforts to give the struggling eurozone economy a much-needed shot in the arm.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 91 points, or 0.5%, to finish at a new record close of 17,810. The blue-chip index, which also set a new intraday high by flirting with the 17,900-point mark, hit a record close two out of five days this week after recording new all-time high finishes three times last week.

The S&P 500 also posted another record close Friday by rising almost 11 points, or 0.5%, to 2,064. It was the closely-watched index’s third record finish of the week after posting three new records last week, as well.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq composite was up slightly, gaining 11 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 4,713. The tech-heavy index continues to climb to its highest levels since 2000.

One of Friday’s best-performing stocks was auction house Sotheby’s, which jumped nearly 7% following news of its CEO’s departure after a long battle with activist investors.

For the most part, it was a week of moderate gains for the U.S. market. But it did mark the fifth-straight week of positive performance coming on the heels of the best four-week stretch since 2011. Earlier this week, the markets improved on news that Japan’s prime minister would delay tax hikes for 18 months in the hopes of stimulating that country’s sluggish economy.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 were both up by about 1% on the week, while the Nasdaq gained just 0.5% over the past five days.

Each of the major indices has rebounded sharply after a series of market-wide sell-offs in early October nearly erased all of the year’s gains as investors showed their concerns over the global economy and the possibility of a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike in the U.S.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Companies

Amazon Wants to Book Your Next Hotel

The Amazon logo is seen on a podium duri
The Amazon logo is seen on a podium during a press conference in New York, September 28, 2011. EMMANUEL DUNAND—AFP/Getty Images

Amazon could potentially combine hotel booking information with product offerings

A new feature is reportedly coming to Amazon: hotel booking.

The online retailer, hardware maker, publisher and video distributor is adding a service called Amazon Travel to its litany of businesses, according to a report from travel industry news site Skift.

Amazon Travel will feature a curated selection of hotels within a few hours’ drive from New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. The hotels will load their room types, availability and pricing information onto Amazon and pay the company a 15% commission, Skift reports. Hoteliers would receive their payments for the room from Amazon, and could negotiate a lower commission.

One advantage for Amazon is that it could combine information about a traveler’s hotel plans with other product offerings, depending on the trip.

Skift reports that the service will likely go live January 1.

[Skift]

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