Ranking Amazon’s HQ2 short list: Analysis of the top 20 contenders, and which one has the best shot at the top prize

Clockwise, from upper left: Boston, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh and Dallas. (Bigstock Photos) I’m not a professional oddsmaker, but Amazon’s announcement today that it has chosen 20 cities — yes, 20! — to proceed to the next round of its lucrative second headquarters got me thinking: Who really has the best shot at landing this potential $5 billion economic prize? I went through a similar exercise when Amazon first announced its plans for HQ2 — a second headquarters that would rival its sprawling 40,000-plus employee operation in Seattle. My top picks at the time: Toronto, Boston, Austin, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Atlanta. Now, I was not surprised to learn that each of… Read More

Continue Reading

May HQ2 be ever in your favor: Amazon’s new short list pits 20 cities against each other in a risky game

The view from inside Amazon HQ1 in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) Amazon’s astounding decision to establish a second and equal corporate headquarters outside of Seattle simultaneously made the company an object of desire and scorn as cities were suddenly pitted against one another for the $5 billion prize. And while the 20 candidates that made Amazon’s HQ2 short list Thursday are likely celebrating, the decision to publicly narrow the field isn’t going to assuage any concerns that Amazon is staging its own Hunger Games, and using cities in need of economic development as the contestants. These 20 cities will advance to the next phase of Amazon’s HQ2 contest.… Read More

Continue Reading

Bay Area forecast: Rain today, snow possible on highest peaks

NAM model’s precipitation forecast from midnight tonight through Thursday evening: Prepare for a wet commute in the North Bay Thursday morning, with rain possible in all areas by the evening commute. #CAwx #BayAreaRain pic.twitter.com/7jdahaztYa — NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) January 18, 2018 The second in a series of three storms is expected to sweep across the Bay Area on Thursday and deliver light rain, likely in time for the evening commute. Forecasters with the weather service predict light rain to begin falling in the North Bay on Thursday morning and then reach the majority of the Bay Area by mid-afternoon. Rain will turn to scattered showers overnight. Rainfall totals are… Read More

Continue Reading

Amazon narrows HQ2 search to 20 cities, moving to next phase in contest for $5B economic prize

Amazon has selected 20 companies to move to the next phase in its HQ2 selection process, the latest twist in a headquarters search that has turned into a national curiosity. The finalists, named by the company a few moments ago, are Toronto, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Los Angeles, Dallas, Austin, Boston, New York City, Newark, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Northern Virginia, Atlanta, and Miami. “In the coming months, Amazon will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its… Read More

Continue Reading

Microsoft apps to be embedded into edtech powerhouse PowerSchool’s ‘Unified Classroom’

(Image: Microsoft) Microsoft is making yet another push into the classroom. But this time, it’s using the buddy system, today announcing a high-profile partnership with education technology standard-bearer PowerSchool. PowerSchool has a prominent, cloud-based K-12 student information system for school districts that handles administration of data from student attendance to grades. More recently, PowerSchool has added its Unified Classroom product to the mix, which layers on classroom management plus learning and assessment tools behind a dashboard for teachers, students and parents. As part of the new partnership, Microsoft says its Office 365 products will be embedded into Unified Classroom, including OneDrive, OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote Class Notebook. At… Read More

Continue Reading

The DNA of Iceland’s First Known Black Man, Recreated from His Living Descendants

Hans Jonatan was born into slavery on a Caribbean sugar plantation, and he died in a small Icelandic fishing village. In those intervening 43 years, he fought for the Danish Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, lost a landmark case for his freedom in The General’s Widow v. the Mulatto, then somehow escaped to become a peasant farmer on the Nordic island. No one knows how he got there. No one knows where in Iceland he is buried today. But the story of the first black man in Iceland, as far as it is known, has endured in local lore, passed down from his Icelandic wife and two children to hundreds… Read More

Continue Reading

San Jose: 3.0 magnitude quake shakes South Bay

SAN JOSE — A 3.0 magnitude earthquake shook the South Bay on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The temblor hit at 6:41 p.m. about 14 miles east-southeast of San Jose at a depth of 3.1 miles, according to the USGS. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Start your day with the news you need from the Bay Area and beyond. Sign up for our new Morning Report weekday newsletter. The USGS reported that the earthquake was felt as far north as Fremont and as far west as Santa Cruz. Related Articles Vallejo, American Canyon, added to earthquake fault maps Magnitude 7.1 quake hits off Peru; at… Read More

Continue Reading

In new book, Microsoft cautions humanity to develop AI ethics guidelines now

Microsoft’s Cortana AI agent, as depicted in the original Halo. (Microsoft Photo) It’s 2038 and — like most businesses these days — a tech company is using artificial intelligence to scan job applicants. The system was trained with public employment records, an ostensibly unbiased dataset. But even 20 years after sex-based discrimination was thrust into the media spotlight, the tech industry still hasn’t fully corrected its gender imbalance. The job screening system “learns” that most software engineers are men and starts favoring male candidates over women. This dangerous scenario is one of many posited in “The Future Computed,” a new book published by Microsoft, with a foreword by Brad Smith,… Read More

Continue Reading

Seattle’s WatchGuard Technologies snaps up Percipient Networks to bolster its security services

WatchGuard headquarters, Seattle. (WatchGuard Photo) Security vendor WatchGuard Technologies has acquired Percipient Networks, maker of a security product oriented around DNS servers, for an undisclosed amount, the company announced Wednesday. WatchGuard, which offers security products and services to small-and-medium-size businesses, plans to integrate Percipient’s Strongarm product into its suite of security software. Strongarm is a domain-name server system that was designed with security and simplicity in mind, it said in a press release. If you’ve been on the internet, you’ve passed through a DNS service. The actual addresses of websites on the internet are a string of numbers, but it’s much easier for everyone to remember (and type) real-word addresses,… Read More

Continue Reading

This is out of controller: Nintendo’s Labo uses DIY cardboard kits to Switch things up a bit

Well, we didn’t see that one coming. Nintendo today followed up on a tease of a “new interactive experience” for its successful hybrid Nintendo Switch console “specially crafted for kids and those who are kids at heart” with a product few would have predicted. Whoever guessed a series of cardboard kits to turn the controllers into everything from musical instruments to, to a house to robot packs and more, come get your prize. Think of the kits, known as Nintendo Labo, as the company’s take on augmented reality. The Switch’s tablet-like screen and Joycon controllers are dropped into the cardboard contraptions, bringing the player closer to the game, without taking… Read More

Continue Reading