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Amazon HQ2: How New York and Virginia Won the Beauty Contest

After 14 months of pitches, meetings and offers of incentives and name changes, Amazon announced on Tuesday that its second headquarters would be on two sites: one in Long Island City, Queens, and another in Arlington, Va. The company is also developing a smaller operations and logistics facility in Nashville. Here are some details you might have missed in all the coverage:Amazon brought Cuomo and de Blasio togetherCompany executives flew to New York just to establish that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio could put aside their longstanding differences. Although the two have clashed on everything from the subway to handling deer, they were…

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Before a Deal, Amazon Had to Know: Could Cuomo and De Blasio Get Along?

On a late October day, Amazon executives flew to New York to answer a final question before they committed to opening a massive technology center in Queens: Could Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio stop bickering long enough to see the project through?“They wanted to just trust-but-verify that everybody was on the same page,” said Alicia Glen, a deputy mayor who was at the meeting with Mr. de Blasio.After meeting with both men separately that day, the Amazon officials decided the two Democrats could put aside their longstanding differences. Soon after, documents were exchanged, and re-exchanged, ironing out details of a package worth more…

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Was Amazon’s Headquarters Contest a Bait-and-Switch? Critics Say Yes

It can be concluded the Amazon HQ2 competition was a farce and it was always about pitting the two states against each other for tax breaks. BTW Bezos has two homes in those cities (i.e. preordained winners). #HQ2 #amazon— Ed Chan (@Architect_Ed) November 6, 2018 Amazon’s critics were apoplectic at what they called a bait-and-switch.“I was shocked,” said Robert B. Engel of the Free & Fair Markets Initiative, a nonprofit that is a determined foe of the retailer on all fronts. “They’ve duped more than the bidders. They’ve duped all of us. They can’t even live up to a promise that wasn’t fair to anyone but Amazon.”From…

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Amazon Plans to Split HQ2 in Two Locations

SEATTLE — After conducting a yearlong search for a second home, Amazon has switched gears and is now finalizing plans to have a total of 50,000 employees in two locations, according to people familiar with the decision-making process.The company is nearing a deal to move to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, according to two of the people briefed on the discussions. Amazon is also close to a deal to move to the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb, one of the people said. Amazon already has more employees in those two areas than anywhere else outside of Seattle, its home base, and…

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Among Amazon HQ2 Watchers, Northern Virginia Checks the Most Boxes

SEATTLE — Amazon won’t say a word about where it plans to put its much-hyped second headquarters. Officials in the 20 cities and regions named as finalists say that they don’t know anything — and that even if they did, they wouldn’t share it publicly.But that hasn’t stopped investors, economic officials and developers from trying to reverse engineer the HQ2 search, to understand what a company seen as embodying the future wants and needs, and what local governments should do to be part of that future.The growing consensus is that the place that checks the most boxes is Northern Virginia. In online betting forums, it has the…

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Bits: The Week in Tech: A Breach That Ripples Far Beyond Facebook

Here in India, Facebook is a far more essential part of the internet than it is in the United States. Many companies and organizations have no websites, just a Facebook page. Small businesses sell their wares on the social network as well as the company’s Instagram photo site and WhatsApp. To #deletefacebook — as WhatsApp’s co-founder Brian Acton recently recommended — would be to cut yourself off from much of the digital life of this country. There is no real substitute.Indians are generally less concerned about privacy than Americans, blithely disclosing birth dates, their mother’s maiden name and their cellphone numbers. Late last month, the country’s Supreme…

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Jeff Bezos Cites a Big Number, but Few Details, in Plan for Low-Income Montessori Preschools

With little else to parse, Montessori leaders pored over Mr. Bezos’ brief statement, which described the planned schools as “Montessori-inspired.” The term “Montessori” is not copyrighted, and any school can choose to describe itself as such.Some research, however, shows that Montessori classrooms that hew closest to the original principles of the movement’s founder, Dr. Maria Montessori, are more effective at raising student achievement than programs with a looser approach.Mr. Bezos attended a Montessori preschool in Albuquerque in the 1960s and is one of several tech industry leaders with personal ties to the method. The Google founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have attributed some of their success…

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State of the Art: Why Jeff Bezos Should Push for Nobody to Get as Rich as Jeff Bezos

“We have technology that has allowed us to create vastly more wealth for society,” said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the M.I.T. Initiative on the Digital Economy. “But there’s no economic law that says that these benefits will be distributed evenly — and it’s worked out that some people have gotten most of the benefits and a lot of other people have been left behind.”But economics isn’t destiny, he said.“Technology has led to some of this concentration, but since it makes the pie bigger, you could make everyone better off simultaneously — you could make the poor better off and the rich better off — and whether we…

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Bits: The Week in Tech: Apple’s Watch Steals the Show

Each week, technology reporters and columnists from The New York Times review the week’s news, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two about the most important developments in the tech industry. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.Hello, readers! I’m Farhad Manjoo, your technology columnist — and more important for our purposes today, I’m a guy who has been to every Apple iPhone-unveiling event since the first one, all the way back in 2007. (If I were single, this would make a killer Tinder profile, right?)As you might guess, then, I’m sometimes a little jaded on iPhone day, which took place again this week.…

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Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Pledge $2 Billion for Homeless and Preschoolers

The Amazon founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, and his wife, MacKenzie, pledged $2 billion on Thursday for a new fund to start preschools and help homeless families.The money, put into he what called the Day 1 Fund, is by far the largest philanthropic donation by Mr. Bezos, the world’s richest person. It will support organizations that provide shelter and food for homeless families, and will start a network of nonprofit Montessori-inspired preschools for underserved communities.“If our own great-grandchildren don’t have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong,” Mr. Bezos wrote on Twitter announcing the fund.As Mr. Bezos’s wealth and influence has grown, he has…

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