Trump’s chief economic adviser didn’t want to talk about Amazon’s relationship with the Post Office

Larry Kudlow (Photo: Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia) President Donald Trump likes to paint Amazon as a negative force for the U.S. Postal Service, even reportedly asking U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double shipping charges on the Seattle online retailer and other companies. But don’t ask economist Larry Kudlow —who was recently appointed by President Trump to lead the National Economic Council — about his views on the matter. In an entertaining back-and-forth Sunday morning with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Kudlow routinely avoided questions about Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service. Here’s how things went down on the talk show, highlighting how President Trump often goes his own way on matters,… Read More

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Tacoma courts Seattle tech companies and other businesses with ‘No Head Tax Here’ pitch

The city of Tacoma, Wash., has long envied the big concentration of tech companies to the north, and Seattle’s head tax is providing a new opening for Tacoma and Pierce County economic development officials to make their case. Tacoma released the video above this past week following the Seattle City Council’s unanimous vote to enact a tax of $275 per employee per year on companies with more than $20 million in annual revenue in the city to fund programs to address homelessness, a compromise from the original $500 per employee plan. Amazon and many other large companies spoke out against the tax, and a Seattle business coalition launched a campaign… Read More

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Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of May 13, 2018

Get caught up on the latest technology and startup news from the past week. Here are the most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of May 13, 2018. Sign up to receive these updates every Sunday in your inbox by subscribing to our GeekWire Weekly email newsletter. Most popular stories on GeekWire After Seattle passes ‘Amazon tax,’ mayor of neighboring city says ‘Bellevue is open for business’ Speculation that Seattle’s new head tax could be a boon for neighboring cities has been swirling since before the City Council approved the controversial legislation Monday afternoon. … Read More Seattle passes smaller ‘head tax’ on Amazon and other big companies after… Read More

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Charging Electric Scooters Is a Cutthroat Business

Every afternoon around 4:00 p.m., when school lets out, Brandon, an 18-year-old high-school senior in Los Angeles who asked to be referred to only by his first name, goes “Bird hunting.” He heads for his minivan and, on the drive home, he’ll swing through convenient neighborhoods, picking up about 13 Bird electric scooters along the way, tossing them into the back of his car. “I have a whole system,” he says. “I’ll go home, put the 13 I initially caught on the chargers. They’ll charge for about three hours until around 7 or 8 p.m.”—when Bird makes more scooters available for charger pickup. “Then I’ll go back out.” Over the… Read More

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Webmail wars: Why Google and Microsoft are doubling down on their free email services and apps

Google and Microsoft both announced updates to their email services and apps recently, offering up a new crop of features and fresh designs. For consumers, the e-mail services are largely free to use, so why are Microsoft and Google still locked in what appears to be a heated horse race e-mail? The answer comes down to a very large number of enterprises that haven’t updated their productivity software in years and are expected to eventually switch to cloud suites like Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite. By investing in free email now, the companies hope to lure enterprises to those more lucrative productivity apps later. “Email is still a… Read More

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Small seeds on Cygnus cargo ship could lead to a giant leap for growing plants in space

Plants grow in a prototype of the habitat that will be used on the International Space Station to study which strains of crops do best in a weightless environment. (Washington State University Photo) When Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket launches a robotic Cygnus cargo spaceship toward the International Space Station, as early as Monday, it’ll be sending seeds that could show the way for future space farmers. The Antares liftoff is currently set for 4:39 a.m. ET (1:39 a.m. PT) on Monday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, with an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather. NASA’s live-streaming coverage of the countdown begins at 1 a.m. PT Monday. More than… Read More

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The Coming Wave of Murders Solved by Genealogy

Just three weeks ago, law enforcement in California announced the arrest of the Golden State Killer using DNA. The press conference was vague, but the details of the novel method soon trickled out: Joseph James DeAngelo was found by matching DNA from a crime scene with that of his distant relative on the genealogy site GEDmatch. On Friday, police in Washington state announced the arrest of William Earl Talbott II for a double murder in 1987, and this time, they proudly announced the use of the same method of tracing distant relatives through DNA—a field known as genetic genealogy. Steven Armentrout, the CEO of the Parabon Nanolabs, the forensics company… Read More

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It’s full of stars! NASA’s planet-hunting TESS probe sends back its first test image

This test image from one of the four cameras aboard the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, captures a swath of the southern sky along the plane of our galaxy. (NASA / MIT / TESS Photo) One month after its launch, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has sent back an initial test image that shows more than 200,000 stars in the southern sky. TESS’ image was taken by one of its cameras with a two-second exposure. The picture is centered on the constellation Centaurus, with the edge of the dark Coalsack Nebula at upper right and the star Beta Centauri prominent along the lower edge. The picture provides only a… Read More

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Scientists unsure when Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano will quiet

By CALEB JONES and SOPHIA YAN VOLCANO, Hawaii (AP) — Experts remained flummoxed Friday about when Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano will calm down. The volcano exploded at its summit Thursday, sending ash and rocks thousands of feet into the sky. Scientists said the eruption was the most powerful in recent days, though it probably lasted only a few minutes. It came two weeks after the volcano began sending lava flows into neighborhoods 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the east of the summit, destroying 26 homes. A new lava vent — the 22nd such fissure — was reported Friday by county civil defense officials. Several open fissure vents are still producing lava… Read More

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Business coalition launching ‘No Tax on Jobs’ campaign to overturn Seattle’s contentious new head tax

Opponents of the head tax at the City Council meeting Monday. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg) A business coalition plans to launch a campaign Friday evening in an effort to reject Seattle’s new “head tax,” an incredibly polarizing piece of legislation signed into law this week. The group has until mid-June to collect about 17,000 signatures in support of a referendum that would give voters the chance to overturn the tax. Read all of GeekWire’s coverage of the Seattle head tax here. Saul Spady, president of the Seattle advertising firm Cre8ive Empowerment, is championing the “No Tax on Jobs” campaign. He is the grandson of Dick Spady, the founder of… Read More

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