Seattle has entered the vicious $5 billion battle for Amazon’s second headquarters — here’s why that’s a terrible idea (AMZN)

Amazon headquarters seattle dome

Seattle — home of Amazon’s current headquarters — also wants to be the site of the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters. 

Bruce Harrell, during his recent short-lived role as mayor of Seattle, signed an executive order stating the city’s intent to compete for Amazon’s second headquarters, local alternative newspaper The Stranger reported.

Amazon announced earlier in September that it was soliciting bids from cities across North America for a place to build its second headquarters. The e-commerce giant said it would invest $5 billion in the headquarters and that it plans to eventually house 50,000 Amazon employees there.

Currently, Amazon’s Seattle headquarters employ more than 40,000 people. According to the company, the headquarters have created 53,000 jobs in the city in addition to pumping $38 billion into the local economy. 

Amazon’s impact on Seattle is one reason other cities have been eager to compete for the company’s second headquarters. But a second Amazon headquarters in the city would be truly cataclysmic. 

Amazon Seattle

Some Seattle residents already believe that Amazon has changed the city — and not for the better, with some calling the transformation “Amageddon.” 

Housing costs are sky-rocketing, pushing some long-time residents out of the city. In 2016, an apartment in downtown Seattle’s cost $42.08 per square foot to rent, compared with $39.79 in 2015 and $31.38 in 2009. Home values increased 11.2% in the last year alone, according to Zillow. 

Analysis by the software and traffic-data company Inrix found that Seattle drivers spent an average of 55 hours stuck in traffic in 2016. That places Seattle among the 10 worst US cities for congestion.

Jeff Reifman wrote in a 2014 op-ed in GeekWire:

“A lot about our Amazon-fueled future is just plain obvious: Seattle will be more male, even more white, wealthier and less diverse, unaffordable to those with lower incomes including the firestarters of culture, artists. The city’s spacious skyline, which offered scenic views from many areas of town, will be forever transformed; anyone who lives here knows it already has been. Many parts of Seattle are unrecognizable from last year let alone a few years ago.”

A second headquarters in a city with limited space — for a company that primarily hires college-educated people with an interest in tech — isn’t going to solve these issues. It’ll likely just make them worse. 

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The 20 best smartphones in the world

iPhone 8 / iPhone 8 Plus

Phew! Everyone make it through the annual summer smartphone drought?

OK, good, because a bunch of new smartphones have recently been announced and released this month, and it’s time to rejigger this list. 

We have a new top phone that replaces the Google Pixel, and we also had to make some tough decisions regarding the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7.

Here’s our list of the best smartphones you can buy right now.

Note: Prices may vary depending on the retailer.

20. BlackBerry Classic

If you were a BlackBerry fan in the company’s heyday, you’re going to love the BlackBerry Classic. It looks similar to older BlackBerry models but features a sharp touchscreen and an excellent physical keyboard.

Price: $199

19. Sony XZ Premium

My colleague Jeff Dunn reviewed this phone, and he summed it up perfectly:

This is a good phone. The screen is great, the software is clean, and the whole thing is superfast. But good isn’t enough for $800. With its underwhelming battery and slippery, sometimes uncomfortable design, it’s not the device that should reverse Sony’s fortunes.”

It’s actually available now for $605 on Amazon, which is a better price for this phone.

Price: $605

Read the Sony XZ Premium review » 


18. BlackBerry KeyOne

The BlackBerry KeyOne with Android is the company’s successor to the Priv, which also ran Android and had a slide-out physical keyboard. With the KeyOne, BlackBerry returned to basics and kept the keyboard as a permanent exterior feature.

This could be a great device for those who want a physical keyboard but also access to Google’s apps and services, which aren’t available on other BlackBerry devices.

Price: $538

Read the BlackBerry KeyOne review »

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Japan wants to roll back regulations for financial technology startups — here’s why it could be bad for the US

Screen Shot 2017 09 20 at 12.09.56 PM

NEW YORK — Japan’s push to attract innovative financial technology startups to the country could spell trouble for the US.

On Wednesday at the New York Stock Exchange, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was moving forward with a plan to roll back regulations on some fintech startups to help spur the development of emerging technology and drive growth in the country.

“When one wants to conduct a world-first trial, such as with new financial services made possible through fintech, it is impossible to predict the sort of regulations with which the trial will come into conflict,” Abe said.

As such, Abe is pushing for a regulatory sandbox program that would allow fintechs, startups looking to automate or digitize aspects of financial services, to operate and scale without meeting some existing regulations.

“We will make a sandbox in which it is possible for certain participants to conduct trial and error freely on new business for a certain period of time without conforming to existing regulations,” Abe said.

Inaki Berenguer, the CEO of CoverWallet, a New York-based fintech company, told Business Insider that the proposed sandbox in Japan would help foster an entrepreneurial environment akin to the one found in Silicon Valley, in which innovators are free to try new things without fear of reprisal. This environment, however, is lacking in the US where companies are often required to subscribe to the same regulations as their much larger peers, according to Berenguer.

In most cases, Berengueer said, you need to start paying lawyers on day one. As such, entrepreneurs have to put off investing in the actual product and team. This creates a sort of Catch-22 for some startups. Venture-capital backers won’t give entrepreneurs money to build their product, but they can’t create a product because they don’t have the money to pay lawyers so they can get started. According to Berenguer, this has made financial technology a harder space to break into relative to the overall tech industry.

“This suppresses innovation,” he said.

Singapore, UK sandbox

Some companies, he said, are seeking greener pastures in Singapore and the UK, where a sandbox program has existed for some time.

“With them goes their ideas and the potential jobs and wealth those ideas could bring to fruition,” Berenguer said.

“The addition of Japan gives fintech companies another option,” Federic Nze, the founder and CEO of Oakam, a UK-based startup lender, told Business Insider.

Japan’s sandbox program could add further pressure to the US fintech industry. According to Mark Brnovich, Arizona’s attorney general who has long advocated regulatory overhaul in financial services, US fintech firms received only 33% of fintech venture capital spending, lower than the 56% US share of total VC spending.

“This underperformance may have many causes, but our global competitors are certainly exploiting their regulatory advantage to get ahead in fintech,” Brnovich wrote.

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We played the insane new Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey — this is what it’s like

We played Nintendo’s insane new Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey. Here’s why we think it could be the next classic Mario game. Following is a transcript of the video.

Ben Gilbert: Remember Super Mario World? Or maybe Mario 64? Even if you never played these games, you probably know that they’re classics. And in 2017 Nintendo is on the verge of releasing another Mario classic: It’s called Super Mario Odyssey.

I spent an hour with Super Mario Odyssey recently at a Nintendo event and I had a blast playing it. In short, it looks amazing, it plays amazing and I’m really excited to play more of it.

It’s a new Super Mario game, where you’re in a 3D world. You’re collecting coins and you’re jumping on Goombas. And if all of this sounds familiar it’s probably because you’ve done it a lot of times before in other Super Mario games.

What makes Super Mario Odyssey so distinct, unique, and ambitious is its massive open worlds that are full of stuff to explore and find … puzzles to solve and new enemies to defeat, but also that there are no power-ups.

So forget about stuff like Mushrooms and Fire Flowers and instead think about controlling literally everything using Mario’s new cap. It’s called Cappy, and your new ability with Cappy is you’re able to capture “capture” enemies or friends … or objects and essentially become them.

So think of Mario as a Goomba, or as a Bullet Bill, or maybe as a question mark block. I know that sounds weird. That’s because it’s super weird. Mario Odyssey is a very weird game. But then again so are most Mario games right?

So some of these worlds are incredibly unique because they are so surreal. One such world, for instance, is a food-themed world where there are a bunch of human-like forks that have chef hats. Where they talk to each other and are building dishes and it’s very weird. I have a hard time putting it into words because of how strange it is. It’s sort of like playing a Mario game inside a Dali painting or something along those lines.

And so don’t think of Super Mario Odyssey as a Grand Theft Auto-style massive open world. There are a bunch of distinct open worlds that you will go to, they are not as large as something like Grand Theft Auto but they are quite large and you will explore them to your heart’s content and that’s really at the heart of what you’ll do in Super Mario Odyssey.

I’m excited to play a lot more Super Mario Odyssey when it comes out on October 27th on the Nintendo Switch. It looks like a lot of fun, and it looks honestly like it could be Nintendo’s next big Mario classic.

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J.J. Abrams’ decision to direct a new ‘Star Wars’ movie is upsetting another studio paying him $10 million

jj abrams

For “Star Wars” fans, J.J. Abrams is perceived as the savior of the latest trilogy of the saga, as the director of “The Force Awakens” has agreed to take over production on “Star Wars: Episode IX” following the departure of original director Colin Trevorrow.

But that’s not how it looks over at Paramount.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Abrams is currently under a $10-million-a-year contract in overhead and development with the studio. It’s been his home since his feature debut in 2006 with “Mission: Impossible III,” and his departure to go and make another “Star Wars” movie means the studio brass have to once more wait for Abrams to sprinkle his box office magic on one of their titles.

Abrams always called directing “The Force Awakens” a once in a lifetime job, and because of that, then head of Paramount Brad Grey was gracious enough to let Abrams jump over to Disney/Lucasfilm to make the movie. (Though he made sure Abrams’ next movie would be at Paramount, according to the trade.)

But with “The Force Awakens” earning over $1 billion at the global box office, and breaking countless records, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy had Abrams on speed dial when she needed someone reliable to take over “Episode IX.”

That left current Paramount chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos with two choices: defy the powerful Lucasfilm and Disney machine and make it difficult for Abrams to take the movie, or sit on his hands and wait a little longer.

He chose the latter.

star trek into darknessbenedict cumberbatch Abrams’ last movie for Paramount was 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which earned over $460 million worldwide. He was also a producer on studio hits “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” and “10 Cloverfield Lane” in 2015. Since then, he’s been engulfed in the “Star Wars” saga. And with no finished script yet for “Episode IX,” and the release date pushed to December 2019, Abrams’ deal with Paramount will have expired by the time he’s done (it ends the summer of 2018).

For his troubles, THR reports that Gianopulos has received money from Disney to compensate the loss of Abrams. But not that much: sources say it’s less than seven figures. And the problem with giving a director a big contract like Paramount gave Abrams: “How to enforce them is as complicated as the deals themselves,” one source told THR.

But if Paramount didn’t do the deal with Abrams, another studio would have. So Gianopulos and Paramount, which THR reports will likely renew their deal with Abrams after the summer 2018 expiration date, continue to wait for Abrams to come back home and give them a hit. 

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24 before-and-after photos that show how fast the world changes

Shanghai Pudong China before after

Twenty years ago, two Stanford PhD students created Google, Tamagotchi toys were a worldwide phenomenon, and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” hit shelves for the first time.

Ten years later, in 2007, Netflix launched its video streaming service, Instagram didn’t exist, and most of us were still using flip phones.

From the cities we live in to the technologies we use every day, we’ve rounded up 24 before-and-after photos that show just how quickly the world changes.

Check out the incredible transformations below:

SEE ALSO: Stunning photos show how much city skylines have changed over decades

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THEN: Here’s a photo of the original iPhone next to an advertisement for the iPhone 3G.

Apple co-founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs debuted the first iPhone on June 29, 2007. Its multi-touch display, which let you use two or more fingers on the screen at once, revolutionized mobile phones forever. 

NOW: In a mere decade, Apple has transformed the way we use our phones.

The company released three new iPhones on September 12, 2017: the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and a high-end redesigned model called the iPhone X.

See more photos of the iPhone’s evolution over the past decade here.

THEN: This is what text messaging looked like on the original iPhone.

Apple’s instant messaging service, iMessage, wasn’t introduced until 2011 on iOS 5.

See the rest of the story at INSIDER

Pfizer is taking its fight with J&J over a blockbuster drug to court

Pfizer CEO Ian Read

Two of the world’s largest drugmakers are heading to court over a blockbuster arthritis treatment. 

Pfizer on Wednesday filed a complaint against Johnson & Johnson, claiming the world’s largest pharmaceutical company was taking anticompetitive steps to block the sale of a drug called Inflectra. 

Inflectra is Pfizer’s version of J&J’s blockbuster drug Remicade — which treats autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Approved in 1998, it generated $4.8 billion in sales for J&J.

Because Remicade is made from living cells instead of chemicals, like an antibiotic or a birth-control pill, it doesn’t have a generic. Instead, companies like Pfizer built alternatives called “biosimilars.”

Pfizer and its partner Celltrion got its biosimilar version of Remicade, called Inflectra, approved in April 2016. The two drugs are both versions of infliximab, but for now the drugs can’t be used interchangeably the way you might be able to pick up a generic antibiotic instead of a brand name version at a pharmacy counter. 

When it came out with the drug Pfizer priced Inflectra at a 15% discount to Remicade’s list price of $1,113 a vial. A second biosimilar, made by Samsung Bioepis, got approved in 2017 and priced at a 35% discount

Even with the discounts, Pfizer said in the lawsuit, Remicade still retains 96% of the market.Pfizer alleges that’s because of contracts between J&J and health insurers that require Remicade — as opposed to Inflectra — to be used first before trying other treatments for new patients.

And, as part of that contract, insurers had to commit to not reimbursing for Inflectra, making it harder for the drug to be used instead of Remicade. Because insurers won’t cover Inflectra, the hospitals that deliver the medication don’t want to keep it in stock, Pfizer said. 

“Given that it was charging a lower price for Inflectra than J&J was charging for Remicade, Pfizer was optimistic that it would have an opportunity to compete, to secure a reasonable share of the business, particularly for new patients, and to bring the benefits of price competition to consumers, providers, insurers, and the U.S. government,” the company said in its complaint. “However, due to J&J’s exclusionary conduct, competition has been foreclosed. J&J maintains its monopoly and has continued to capture over 96 percent of infliximab sales even while maintaining prices far above competitive levels.”

Johnson & Johnson did not respond to a request for comment.

Biosimilars haven’t saved the billions of dollars they were expected to 

While there has been a lot of hope that biosimilars will help save the US healthcare system billions on costly, biologic drugs, it’s taking longer than expected to get to that point. 

“We believe that biosimilars will capture meaningful market share, but the disappointing commercial success so far with less than $2 billion annual sales illustrates that the bar is high,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a report published in April. That’s in large part because of the economic challenges that biosimilars face, the report said.

The biologic medicine market is roughly $200 billion, according to Morgan Stanley, which makes that $2 billion a bit lackluster.

The biosimilars haven’t come at much of a discount to their branded counterparts (between 15% to 30% discounts to the branded drug’s list price, compared to generics that can typically charge 80-90% off the branded version). As a result of the still relatively high cost, many people haven’t transitioned over to biosimilars in the same way people have observed with generic drugs.

“While we acknowledge that biosimilars could represent a real sales opportunity, we believe that the economics of biosimilars remains challenged,” the note said.

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Here’s everything leaving Netflix in October

30 rock

Netflix has just announced what’s leaving the streaming service in October, and it includes a lot of favorites.

Shows like the Tina Fey comedy “30 Rock” and teen dramas “One Tree Hill” and “Friday Night Lights” are getting the boot. Popular movies including “Love Actually” and “Titanic” are also being removed at the start of the month.

We’ve highlighted some of the ones you may want to catch before they leave. 

See the full list below:

across the universe

October 1:

“30 Rock” (Seasons 1-7)
“A Love in Times of Selfies”
“Across the Universe”
“Barton Fink”
“Big Daddy”
“Cradle 2 the Grave”
“Crafting a Nation”
“Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest”
“Daddy’s Little Girls”
“Dark Was the Night”
“David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates” (Season 1)
“Day of the Kamikaze”
“Death Beach”
“Dowry Law”
“Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief”
“Friday Night Lights” (Seasons 1-5)
“Happy Feet”
“Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison”
“Love Actually”

Sam Love Actually“Malcolm in the Middle” (Seasons 1-7)
“Max Dugan Returns”
“Million Dollar Baby”
“Mortal Kombat”
“Mr. 3000”
“Mulholland Dr.”
“My Father the Hero”
“My Name Is Earl” (Seasons 1-4)
“One Tree Hill” (Seasons 1-9)
“Picture This”
“Prison Break” (Seasons 1-4)
“The Bernie Mac Show” (Seasons 1-5)
“The Shining”
“The Wonder Years” (Seasons 1-6)

jack and rose titanic

Ocotber 19:

“The Cleveland Show” (Seasons 1-4)

October 21:

“Bones” (Seasons 5-11)

October 27:

“Lie to Me” (Seasons 2-3)
“Louie” (Seasons 1-5)
“Hotel Transylvania 2”

family guy

October 29:

“Family Guy” (Seasons 9-14)

SEE ALSO: The first full trailer for the ‘Daredevil’ spinoff is here — but we still have no idea when it’s coming to Netflix

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My favorite new feature on Apple’s iOS 11 makes it way easier to send screenshots — here’s how to use it

Apple iOS 11 iPhone Screenshot Tool New Feature

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Apple released a major software update, iOS 11, on Tuesday.
  • So far, only one new feature has blown me out of the water: the screenshot tool.
  • The tool lets you send screenshots to someone faster than ever before.
  • You can also draw on and mark up screenshots.
  • The best part? You can delete the screenshots immediately after sending them instead of saving them, freeing up storage space on your phone.

Apple released a major software update, iOS 11, on Tuesday.

Many of the new features on iOS 11 are exactly as useful as I expected. For example, you can now type with one hand using the iPhone’s new one-handed keyboard, customize the shortcuts in your Control Center, and turn on a feature that automatically deletes unused apps.

However, while these features are certainly helpful, none of them blew me out of the water. No, that honor belongs to a feature I wasn’t expecting: the new screenshot tool.

Apple iOS 11 Screenshot Tool Big

The incredible feature lets you send screenshots to friends in seconds. You can also draw on and mark up screenshots with various editing tools. And the best part? You can easily delete the screenshots instead of saving them on your phone.

As someone who spends a ton of time each day screenshotting memes, articles, tweets, and more memes on my phone, this tool is a game-changer. Before iOS 11, these screenshots would be saved directly in my Camera Roll, taking up valuable storage space and cluttering up my photo albums. 

But now, I can quickly screenshot something funny, send it to a friend, and delete it. It’s by far one of the best iPhone features that Apple has released in a while — here’s how to use it.

First, take a screenshot by pressing the home and power button at the same time.  

In iOS 11, when you take a screenshot, it’ll appear as a small rectangle on the bottom left corner of your screen.

Next, tap the mini version of your screenshot to use the editing tool.

Apple iOS 11 iPhone Screenshotting Tool 1

This opens the screenshot tool which lets you draw on, mark up, share, or delete your screenshots.

Before iOS 11, you had to go into your Camera Roll, find the screenshot, and send it to someone. This update expedites that annoying process.

Side note: Ignore the red bar at the top of the screen — that’s just what comes up when you use iOS 11’s handy new screen recording tool.

To draw on your screenshot, tap one of the writing tools.

Apple iOS 11 iPhone Screenshotting Tool 2

The pen tool lets you draw in solid “ink” with your fingers. Using this tool, the faster you swipe your finger on the screen — like when you’re trying to cover parts of the screen with a solid color — the thicker the “ink” will be.

The marker tool lets you draw in semi-transparent ink. The pencil tool lets you draw fine, pencil-like textures. And the eraser tool lets you erase your doodles with your fingers.

Tap the black circle on the very right to see more color options. For now, you can choose between six different colors: white, black, blue, green, yellow, and red.

To quickly move and duplicate your doodles, tap the lasso icon.

Apple iOS 11 iPhone Screenshotting Tool 3

Use your fingers to draw a circle (or some other enclosed shape) around one of your doodles. The lasso tool will select that doodle and let you drag it anywhere you want on the screenshot. You can also tap on the selected doodle to cut, copy, delete, or duplicate it.

Tap the circular plus sign icon for even more editing options.

Apple iOS 11 iPhone Screenshotting Tool 7

You can add a text block, an arrow, a speech bubble, and more to your screenshot.

To share your screenshot, tap the square-and-arrow icon in the bottom left corner.

Apple iOS 11 iPhone Screenshotting Tool 8

You can save the screenshot to your Dropbox, email it to someone, or send it to someone via iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and more.

Tap “Done” to delete or save your screenshot in seconds. Apple iOS 11 iPhone Screenshotting Tool 9

To try this feature out for yourself, head to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone to download iOS 11, if you haven’t done so already.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about Apple’s iPhone 8

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The first full trailer for the ‘Daredevil’ spinoff is here — but we still have no idea when it’s coming to Netflix

punisher jon bernthal

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Netflix released the full official trailer for its next Marvel series “The Punisher” Wednesday.
  • The “Daredevil” spinoff will follow Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) as he seeks revenge on the people responsible for killing his family.
  • But it won’t end there. He’ll uncover a bigger government conspiracy that will send him down an even darker path of death and destruction.
  • Deborah Ann Woll, Ben Barnes, and Jaime Ray Newman will also star.
  • Despite the many teasers for the show, Netflix is holding off on revealing the series’ release date.
  • It’s possible that Netflix will announced the show’s premiere date at New York Comic Con.
  • Watch the trailer below.

SEE ALSO: Watch the new trailer for the ‘Jumanji’ sequel

DON’T MISS: 25 new photos from the next “Star Wars” movie

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