Eagle-eyed viewers of the Super Bowl spotted something most people missed in Amazon’s commercial for its Alexa voice assistant. Before Alexa “loses her voice” in the commercial and is replaced by famous stand-ins, she tries to give the weather for Austin, Texas, to a woman brushing her teeth. Austin is one of the cities in the running for Amazon’s HQ2 project, and it’s considered one of the best candidates for the project by many analysts. People both on Twitter and in local Texas publications are speculating it could be a hint that Amazon is going to eventually choose the city for its second headquarters. In a tongue-in-cheek article, Texas Monthly speculated that the peacocks Anthony Hopkins is shown feeding in the commercial are a reference to the famous peacocks roaming Austin’s Mayfield Park. Amazon already has significant ties to Austin. It has an office of significant size in the city, and its grocery chain, Whole Foods, is headquartered … [Read more...] about Amazon’s Super Bowl commercial might contain a clue about where HQ2 will be
Netflix last night handed NBC upwards of $US5 million for a Super Bowl ad – just to tell an expected television audience of 100 million or so people to stream an-out of-nowhere sequel to sci-fi hit “Cloverfield” after the game. Stream it, that is, instead of watching NBC’s all-new, way-hyped, episode of “This is Us.” Hulu also ran a Super Bowl ad to promote its upcoming series from Stephen King and J.J. Abrams called “Castle Rock.” Amazon did the same for its new “Jack Ryan” series, as did HBO to promote a trailer for season 2 of “Westworld.” All told, they streaming services likely paid over $US20 million on advertising meant to encourage people to watch TV without commercials instead of tuning in to, say, a major sporting event. Meanwhile, NBC’s own ads during the game showed us what it wants people to do: stick around for that super-emotional “This is Us” and remember to tune in to the Winter … [Read more...] about Netflix, Amazon and HBO handed NBC millions for Super Bowl ads — as they actively try and kill TV
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images And then there were 20. In January, Amazon announced that they had trimmed the list of potential sites for their second North American headquarters down from 238 proposals to 20 finalist locations. Amazon has promised to employ 50,000 workers at their new headquarters, and spend an estimated $5 billion in the community. The remaining 20 sites are: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Md.; Nashville; Newark; New York City; Northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; Toronto; and Washington, D.C. The promise of 50,000 jobs and billions in new economic development will seem like a dream come true to most of these areas. But as I discussed last October with Greg LeRoy, founder and executive director at Good Jobs First, it’s possible that the community that is selected will end up footing the bill for a large chunk of these improvements through the massive tax … [Read more...] about 20 Finalists Remain in Amazon HQ2 Sweepstakes, But At What Cost?
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images As Amazon scouts for its second headquarters and continues to expand its workforce beyond a half a million people, the country's second-largest employer must continue to find ways to become more efficient. And it may have a new high-tech way to do so: bracelets that track every move its warehouse workers make. The tech giant was awarded two patents for a wristband system that tracks workers' hand movements in real-time, GeekWire first reported Tuesday. The technology in the wristbands "could emit ultrasonic sound pulses or radio transmissions" to let a receiving system know where the workers' hands are in relation to the inventory bins. Theoretically, such a system could help employees find the correct bin faster and with fewer errors. Amazon has not indicated whether the patent applications, which were filed in 2016, will become a reality. Amazon isn't the first company to explore the idea of tracking employees for purposes of productivity. Pediatric nurses … [Read more...] about Amazon Patents a Way to Track Warehouse Workers’ Every Step
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images America spends almost three times as much on healthcare as other developed countries but on average people here still live shorter, less healthy lives. Our healthcare system clearly needs a major overhaul. Who better to do it than the recently announced partnership between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase? Amazon has already disrupted how we buy just about everything else, and Berkshire Hathaway has long-standing expertise in the industry. Expectations for their effort to provide their employees with better healthcare options are even high enough that stocks of other healthcare companies fell on the news Amazon and friends were entering the fray. Given all this, surely the combined efforts of these three behemoths should yield some interesting innovations, right? Actually, don't hold your breath, responds Harvard healthcare policy expert Bob Laszewski on his blog. Why is longtime industry insider Laszewski so skeptical of the companies' efforts? … [Read more...] about Excited Amazon Will Fix Healthcare? Don’t Hold Your Breath, Says Harvard Expert