Amazon Headquarters croppedAmazon's Split Decision Sparks Criticism

Amazon has apparently decided to split its new headquarters between New York and a suburb of Washington, DC. News of the decision resulted in a torrent of criticism, aimed mostly at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. One headline called it a "bait and switch," since Amazon had seemingly promised to pick one location, not two.

"Amazon set off a bidding war last year when it announced a quest to find an 'equal' to its Seattle campus, with 238 cities vying for Amazon's 'HQ2' by offering tax incentives and staging publicity stunts. One Arizona economic group attempted to send a giant cactus to Seattle, while the mayor of Kansas City reviewed 1,000 items on Amazon's website," writes Alyssa Newcomb of NBC News.

"The quest kept a persistent spotlight on Amazon as the suitor everyone sought - would it choose Denver? maybe Atlanta? surely Chicago? - even as the company apparently decided instead to set up smaller operations in the Washington metro area and in New York City, the two most obvious places all along," writes David Streitfeld in The New York Times.

Despite the fanfare, it appears likely that Amazon will maintain virtual headquarters in multiple cities, while expanding its physical presence across the globe. 


AI Students CroppedReport: China Mobilizes Students to Create 'Killer Bots'

A Malaysian news service reports that China is recruiting its best high school students for training as AI weapons scientists. The first group of students - 27 boys and four girls - will participate in a four-year experimental program designed to create "intelligent weapons systems" for the Chinese military.

"After completing a short program of course work in the first semester, the students will be asked to choose a specialty field, such as mechanical engineering, electronics or overall weapon design. They will then be assigned to a relevant defence laboratory where they will be able to develop their skills through hands-on experience," writes Stephen Chen in The Star Online. "One of the students is Qi Yishen from east China's Shandong province, who said he had had a keen interest in guns and weapons since he was a young boy and enjoyed reading books and magazines on the subject."


Apple Watch CroppedApple Teams Up with Stanford to Study AFib

In addition to its other features, the Apple Watch might help us in the fight against heart disease. The new Series 4 watches have an FDA-approved feature that detects irregular heartbeats. 

"Apple and Stanford Medicine enrolled more than 400,000 participants in the Apple Heart Study since its launch in November of 2017 - making it the largest study on atrial fibrillation (AFib) ever conducted. The study will help Apple explore how its Watch can be used to identify AFib, a common type of irregular heartbeat that heightens the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease," writes Nicky Lineaweaver of Business Insider.