Cities jockey for position as Jeff Bezos launches search for second Amazon.com HQ

Bring out your tax breaks

Who out there would like Amazon.com’s headquarters in their city? Or, we should say, Amazon’s SECOND headquarters. According to the Seattle Times, Jeff Bezos and company are looking to drop something like $5 billion dollars on a second HQ that Bezos says will be a “full equal” to their current campus in Seattle. And wherever Amazon decides to build out HQ No. 2, they’re going to bring thousands of jobs with them.

Amazon continues to expand like crazy, with a workforce quickly closing in on 500,000. And with the recent acquisition of Whole Foods, they’re working hard on the future of grocery shopping as well. According to what has to be the craziest RFP we’ve ever seen, Amazon is looking for a city with a “highly educated workforce,” and a “stable business-friendly environment,” which is business-speak for “make sure there are a lot of tax breaks.”

So, if your city has about 8 million square feet of unused office space lying around, give Jeff a call, and it might help if you’re an Amazon Prime Member as well.

The Ultimate (Electric) Driving Experience

We showed you the newly re-skinned Nissan Leaf electric car yesterday, which is getting a makeover 7seven years after it was first introduced. Today, electric cars are still rare birds, but seven years from now? BMW says things will be very, very different.

According to Reuters, BMW is going all-in on electric car tech, with plans to offer a dozen electrified models by 2025. Currently, BMW offers just one pure electric car model – the i3 and its sportier i3S variant – along with the super-futuristic i8, which is a high-performance hybrid. But Bavaria says they’ve seen the writing on the wall in form of Tesla’s electric car sales numbers, which were close to 100,000 units last year – with bigger sales numbers in the forecast.

BMW is reportedly ready to show off a new 4-door electric model next week at the high-profile Frankfurt auto show, and it’s will likely slot in between the i3 citycar and the i8 showpiece. In fact, BMW says electric power trains will even find homes in the M-series line of performance cars and Rolls Royce brand of luxury chariots, which BMW owns. So, if you thought this electric car thing was a passing fad, well, don’t be too surprised if the fad passes you on the freeway.

Not-so-secret space plane launch

In a launch that literally flew under the radar, SpaceX sent the Air Force’s cool-looking baby space shuttle, known as the X37-B, into orbit on a classified mission early this morning from Florida. The unmanned shuttlecraft, which bears a certain resemblance to the now retired Space Shuttles of yore but has those cool twin tail fins, embarked on its fifth mission – classified, of course – to do… whatever it does up there above the atmosphere.

It was the first time SpaceX has lofted the super-secret spaceplane into orbit, but probably not the last. After the ‘lil shuttle went on its merry way, the Falcon 9 booster rocket flew back home for a perfect touchdown – the 16th successful return trip for a Space-X rocket. How long the little shuttle will remain in orbit isn’t known, but it has stayed up there for close to two years on a previous mission, so it could be there a while.

Meanwhile, SpaceX and the rest of Florida is battening down the hatches for incoming hurricane Irma, which just leveled almost everything in its path on some islands in the Caribbean. Stay safe, Florida friends.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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