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Cities that didn’t win HQ2 shouldn’t be counted out – TechCrunch

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The more than year-long dance between cities and Amazon for its second headquarters is finally over, with New York City and Washington, DC, capturing the big prize. With one of the largest economic development windfalls in a generation on the line, 238 cities used every tactic in the book to court the company – including offering to rename a city “Amazon” and appointing Jeff Bezos “mayor for life.”

Now that the process, and hysteria, are over, and cities have stopped asking “how can we get Amazon,” we’d like to ask a different question: How can cities build stronger start-up ecosystems for the Amazon yet to be built?

In September 2017, Amazon announced that it would seek a second headquarters. But rather than being the typical site selection process, this would become a highly publicized Hunger Games-esque scenario.

An RFP was proffered on what the company sought, and it included everything any good urbanist would want, with walkability, transportation and cultural characteristics on the docket. But of course, incentives were also high on the list.

Amazon could have been a transformational catalyst for a plethora of cities throughout the US, but instead, it chose two superstar cities: the number one and five metro areas by GDP which, combined, amounts to a nearly $2 trillion GDP. These two metro areas also have some of the highest real estate prices in the country, a swath of high paying jobs and of course power — financial and political — close at hand.

Perhaps the take-away for cities isn’t that we should all be so focused on hooking that big fish from afar, but instead that we should be growing it in our own waters. Amazon itself is a great example of this. It’s worth remembering that over the course of a quarter century, Amazon went from a garage in Seattle’s suburbs to consuming 16 percent — or 81 million square feet — of the city’s downtown. On the other end of the spectrum, the largest global technology company in 1994 (the year of Amazon’s birth) was Netscape, which no longer exists.

The upshot is that cities that rely only on attracting massive technology companies are usually too late.

At the National League of Cities, we think there are ways to expand the pie that don’t reinforce existing spatial inequalities. This is exactly the idea behind the launch of our city innovation ecosystems commitments process. With support from the Schmidt Futures Foundation, fifty cities, ranging from rural townships, college towns, and major metros, have joined with over 200 local partners and leveraged over $100 million in regional and national resources to support young businesses, leverage technology and expand STEM education and workforce training for all.

The investments these cities are making today may in fact be the precursor to some of the largest tech companies of the future.

With that idea in mind, here are eight cities that didn’t win HQ2 bids but are ensuring their cities will be prepared to create the next tranche of high-growth startups. 

Austin

Austin just built a medical school adjacent to a tier one research university, the University of Texas. It’s the first such project to be completed in America in over fifty years. To ensure the addition translates into economic opportunity for the city, Austin’s public, private and civic leaders have come together to create Capital City Innovation to launch the city’s first Innovation District at the new medical school. This will help expand the city’s already world class startup ecosystem into the health and wellness markets.

Baltimore

Baltimore is home to over $2 billion in academic research, ranking it third in the nation behind Boston and Philadelphia. In order to ensure everyone participates in the expanding research-based startup ecosystem, the city is transforming community recreation centers into maker and technology training centers to connect disadvantaged youth and families to new skills and careers in technology. The Rec-to-Tech Initiative will begin with community design sessions at four recreation centers, in partnership with the Digital Harbor Foundation, to create a feasibility study and implementation plan to review for further expansion.

Buffalo

The 120-acre Buffalo Niagara Medical Center (BNMC) is home to eight academic institutions and hospitals and over 150 private technology and health companies. To ensure Buffalo’s startups reflect the diversity of its population, the Innovation Center at BNMC has just announced a new program to provide free space and mentorship to 10 high potential minority- and/or women-owned start-ups.

Denver

Like Seattle, real estate development in Denver is growing at a feverish rate. And while the growth is bringing new opportunity, the city is expanding faster than the workforce can keep pace. To ensure a sustainable growth trajectory, Denver has recruited the Next Generation City Builders to train students and retrain existing workers to fill high-demand jobs in architecture, design, construction and transportation. 

Providence

With a population of 180,000, Providence is home to eight higher education institutions – including Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design – making it a hub for both technical and creative talent. The city of Providence, in collaboration with its higher education institutions and two hospital systems, has created a new public-private-university partnership, the Urban Innovation Partnership, to collectively contribute and support the city’s growing innovation economy. 

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh may have once been known as a steel town, but today it is a global mecca for robotics research, with over 4.5 times the national average robotics R&D within its borders. Like Baltimore, Pittsburgh is creating a more inclusive innovation economy through a Rec-to-Tech program that will re-invest in the city’s 10 recreational centers, connecting students and parents to the skills needed to participate in the economy of the future. 

Tampa

Tampa is already home to 30,000 technical and scientific consultant and computer design jobs — and that number is growing. To meet future demand and ensure the region has an inclusive growth strategy, the city of Tampa, with 13 university, civic and private sector partners, has announced “Future Innovators of Tampa Bay.” The new six-year initiative seeks to provide the opportunity for every one of the Tampa Bay Region’s 600,000 K-12 students to be trained in digital creativity, invention and entrepreneurship.

These eight cities help demonstrate the innovation we are seeing on the ground now, all throughout the country. The seeds of success have been planted with people, partnerships and public leadership at the fore. Perhaps they didn’t land HQ2 this time, but when we fast forward to 2038 — and the search for Argo AI, SparkCognition or Welltok’s new headquarters is well underway — the groundwork will have been laid for cities with strong ecosystems already in place to compete on an even playing field.

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The Easiest Way To Transfer Safari Bookmarks To Google Chrome

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Moving bookmarks between desktop browsers is fairly straightforward. You can either let Chrome automatically import the bookmarks or do it manually yourself, as explained on the Google Support website.

To auto-import browser bookmarks from Safari:

1. Fire up Chrome on your computer.

2. Click the three-dot menu button located in the upper right corner of the browser.

3. Navigate to Bookmarks > Import Bookmarks and Settings. 

4. Pick Safari from the drop-down menu.

5. Browsing history, Bookmarks, and Search are checked by default. Uncheck the other items if you only want to import the bookmarks.

6. Click Import and then Done.

As mentioned, you can also transfer the bookmarks manually, but you’ll need the related HTML file. This is also a simple process, but it takes a few extra steps.

1. Open Safari on your computer.

2. Go to File > Export Bookmarks.

3. Save the HTML file in your local Mac storage.

4. Open Chrome and go to Bookmarks > Import Bookmarks and Settings

5. This time, pick Bookmarks HTML File from the drop-down menu.

6. Locate the .html file and click Choose File.

On a fresh installation of Chrome, the imported bookmarks will appear on the bookmarks bar (you can show or hide the bar with Ctrl + Shift + B.) But if you’ve already created new bookmarks on Chrome, you’ll find the imported Safari bookmarks in a folder called “Other bookmarks.”

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Bluetti Gives Veterans And Military Personnel A Treat This Memorial Day Weekend

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Bluetti is including some of its best and most versatile power stations up for grabs this memorial weekend with big price cuts. The EP500 (originally $4,599, discounted at $4,399) and EP500 Pro (originally $5,999, discounted at $4,999) may challenge your definition of “portable,” but they are great for instantly providing backup power to a whole house when the grid goes down, especially with their huge 5,100Wh batteries. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 716Wh EB70S and 537Wh EB55 (originally $599, discounted at $549) won’t break your back with their super portable sizes. Make no mistake, though, they might be small, but they’re big on power and ports.

Of course, Bluetti’s modular power stations are also joining the party. The AC200 MAX and the B230 battery module (originally $3,299, discounted at $3,099) together dish out over 4,000W of pure AC Sine Wave of power. The AC200 MAX can also be charged to full in just two hours by combining both AC and solar inputs. The AC200P (originally $1,599, discounted at $1,499) brings the best of both worlds of power and portability with its 2,000Wh battery capacity, multiple outputs that can power 17 devices all at once, including wireless charging. And, of course, you can even expand that power by connecting a B230 battery module.

Bluetti’s Veterans and Military Benefits Program starts on May 26 at 7:00 PM PDT and ends on May 31 at the same time. It is open to both active personnel and veterans, and they only need to have their status verified through ID.me to get the discounts. Bluetti notes that the program is available for personal use only.

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The Reason The FTC Just Hit Twitter With A $150 Million Fine

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In the FTC order, the commission states that Twitter had access to personal data from more than 140 million users in just the 2014 – 2019 period, which it then shared with advertisers. This was at a time when Twitter’s terms and conditions explicitly stated to its users that this information would be used for the sole purpose of securing their accounts.

According to the FTC and the United States Department of Justice, Twitter began sharing user data with advertisers in 2013 — around the same time it started allowing users to add their phone numbers for two-factor authentication. Before being called out by the FTC, Twitter maintained that it collected phone numbers and email addresses for the purpose of improving account security. Users could, for example, easily reset their passwords, or unlock their accounts using a verified phone number or email address. 

While the average Twitter user likely assumed their phone number and associated data were secure with Twitter, the company disregarded the trust users placed with them and shared this data with advertisers, the FTC orders states.

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