6 Wacky Ways Cities Are Trying to Win Amazon’s New Headquarters

When Amazon announced in September that the Seattle-based company was inviting cities to bid for its second headquarters, there was immediate pressure for metros to apply — and to figure out how to set themselves apart from everyone else keen to attract an estimated 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment.

Economic developers around the country have raced to put together proposals ahead of the Oct. 19 deadline, and they’ve touted different traits in the process, whether their locale has no state income tax or is home to thriving research universities. Meanwhile, other local leaders have taken wackier tacks with the hopes of piquing Amazon’s attention and pushing their proposal toward the top of the pile.

Here are six examples.

Tucson, Ariz. tries to plant an idea

Sun Corridor Inc., the economic development organization spearheading the Southwestern city’s bid, sent Amazon a 21-ft. Saguaro cactus, which the company politely declined, saying via Twitter that “we can’t accept gifts (even really cool ones).” The plant, Sun Corridor said, was meant to symbolize that Amazon had room to grow in the area.

Among Amazon’s long wish list of qualities that the winning city will have is a metro area with more than 1 million people. Tucson is one of the smallest of the roughly 50 places that pass that threshold in the U.S. While Sun Corridor Inc. expressed excitement that Amazon acknowledged the cactus — even if the firm did regift it — they’re staying mum about their more serious bid. “We won’t be releasing any details due to the competitive nature of the project,” chief marketing officer Laura Shaw tells TIME.

Thx @SunCorridorInc! Unfortunately we can’t accept gifts (even really cool ones) so we donated it to @DesertMuseum 🌵 https://t.co/ZJPQfs44cq pic.twitter.com/Fot06Kgs9P

— Amazon News (@amazonnews) September 19, 2017

Stonecrest, Ga. asks what’s in a name

With hopes of highlighting the Atlanta area, the suburb of Stonecrest proposed de-annexing up to 345 acres of land and naming the new town Amazon, Ga. “There are several major U.S. cities that want Amazon, but none have the branding opportunity we are now offering this visionary company,” Mayor Jason Lary said, according to local reports. Topeka, Kansas once (unsuccessfully) used a similar gambit in an attempt to lure a high-speed internet project …read more

Source:: Time – Technology

Netflix Reveals the Shows That You Binge Watched the Fastest

In a rare look at Netflix’s closely guarded viewership numbers, the company revealed this week that 8.4 million users have watched an entire TV show season within 24 hours of its release, a habit the streaming service calls “binge racing.”

Netflix, which unveils entire seasons of original shows at once and has taken steps in recent years to make binge watching easier for users, said binge racing is a “sport” for television superfans.

“There’s a unique satisfaction that comes from being the first to finish a story — whether it’s the final page of a book or the last, climactic moments of your favorite TV show,” Brian Wright, Netflix’s vice president for original series, said in a statement.

Of the top binge raced Netflix original television shows globally, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Fuller House and Marvel’s The Defenders took the top three spots. Canada, the U.S. and Denmark were the three countries where people binge raced the fastest.

According to Netflix, the most binge raced show varied slightly by country. Canada, which had the highest percentage of binge racers, watched Trailer Park Boys the fastest. In Ecuador, fans raced to finish Fuller House, while Club de Cuervos was the most binge raced show in Mexico.

…read more

Source:: Time – Technology

The 15 Most Influential Websites of All Time

The web, or “world wide web” as we used to say, turns 27 years old on December 20. On that date, nearly three decades ago, British engineer and scientist Tim Berners-Lee launched the world’s first website, running on a NeXT computer at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland.

The website wasn’t much at the time, just a few sentences organized into topic areas that laid out the arguments for the concept. But it established vital first principles still essential to the web as it exists today: the notion of hyperlinks that reimagined documents (and eventually any form of media) as nonlinear texts, and the ability for anyone, anywhere in the world, to peruse that content by way of a browser: a piece of software that cohered to universal formatting standards.

It’s been a wild ride since. In the mid-1990s VRML (or as it was then known, Virtual Reality Markup Language) seemed on the verge of transforming the web. Adobe’s Shockwave and Flash media players were at one point multimedia stars in the ascendant. Who could have known in those early days, that by 2017, a landscape once loomed over by companies like Microsoft (Internet Explorer) and Netscape (Navigator) would fractionalize and give way to totally new players like Google (Chrome)?

Here’s TIME’s collection of the 15 websites that most influenced the medium, and why.

…read more

Source:: Time – Technology