Friday, February 7, 2020

Amazon Invested $15 Billion and Launched 225 New Tools and Services in 2019 to Help Worldwide Third-Party Sellers – Mostly Small and Medium-Sized Businesses – Grow and Thrive

American small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores had a record-breaking year, with more than 15,000 businesses surpassing $1 million in sales in 2019 – double-digit growth since last year

Nearly 25,000 American small and medium-sized businesses surpassed $500,000 in sales in Amazon’s stores in 2019

Third-party sellers sold more than 700 million items in Amazon’s U.S. store that shipped with Prime Free One-Day Delivery or faster in 2019

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 2020-- Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced it launched more than 225 tools and services in 2019 to help third-party sellers – mostly small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) – succeed in its stores. The new tools and services were part of a more than $15 billion global investment in third-party seller success last year. As a result, American SMBs selling in Amazon’s stores had a record-breaking year, with more than 15,000 businesses surpassing $1 million in sales and nearly 25,000 surpassing $500,000 in sales in 2019. Worldwide, nearly 225,000 SMBs surpassed $100,000 in sales in Amazon’s stores in 2019, up from nearly 200,000 in 2018, and more than 140,000 in 2017.

Amazon also invested billions of dollars in Prime Free One-Day Delivery last year. Driven by Prime

Amazon Expands in Santa Barbara and Announces Plans to Create 150 Tech Jobs in Central California

New 48,000 square foot tech office is located downtown and has space for more than 275 employees

With a range of positions already open, the company is looking to double its local workforce in the coming years to support local tech teams

Amazon has already created over 45,000 jobs and invested more than $34.5 billion in California since 2010, including infrastructure and compensation

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 2020-- Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced an expansion of the company’s workforce in Santa Barbara, California and plans to create 150 additional tech jobs in the city. With plans to double its workforce, the company has opened a new 48,000 square foot office for Alexa tech teams located in downtown Santa Barbara. Amazon has created more than 45,000 full-time jobs in California since 2010 and invested over $34.5 billion in the state, including infrastructure and compensation to our employees.

“We have been able to hire great talent in Santa Barbara and look forward to doubling our workforce

Carrier Selects AWS as its Preferred Cloud Provider to Drive Digital Transformation

Global provider of HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security, and building automation technologies will rely on AWS to streamline operations, increase pace of innovation, and deliver on potential of more sustainable, more intelligent buildings

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 5, 2020-- Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that Carrier, a leader in heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration, fire, security, and building automation technologies, has chosen AWS as its preferred cloud provider. Carrier is moving up to 70 percent of its 4,000 servers and 996 applications away from legacy servers and databases to AWS, reducing IT infrastructure costs while also positioning the company to innovate and deliver more products and services to its customers around the world. In addition, Carrier will use AWS data warehouse, analytics, and machine learning (ML) services to identify efficiencies in its manufacturing processes and supply chains, and AWS Internet of Things (IoT) services to underpin a new line of intelligent, networked products and services for the home, workplace, and refrigerated logistics chain. Carrier, part of United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), expects to become a standalone public company in the first half of 2020 and plans to leverage AWS to drive its digital transformation and lead the next era of growth and expansion in the industry.

Carrier plans to build its data lake on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and use AWS

Amazon Announces First Iowa Fulfillment Center

New 645,000 square-foot site in the city of Bondurant to create 1,000 new, full-time jobs

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 6, 2020-- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans to open its first fulfillment center in the state of Iowa in the city of Bondurant. The site, which is anticipated to launch in late 2020, will create 1,000 new full-time jobs with industry leading pay and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.

“We are delighted to be opening our first Iowa fulfillment center in the city of Bondurant and look forward to creating 1,000 new, full-time jobs with Amazon’s $15 minimum wage and industry-leading benefits,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment. “The site will help us continue to serve customers with great delivery options and we appreciate the strong support from local and state leaders.”

“Amazon’s announcement is jet-fuel for Iowa’s future. Amazon’s investment in East Polk County,

Amazon Announces First-Ever ‘Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Awards,’ Awarding Seven All-Star Teachers $25,000 Prize Packages for Exemplar Work with Students Across the Country

Awards recognize teachers and their schools inspiring students in underserved and underrepresented communities to build skills and careers in computer science and teachers with a focus on promoting diversity and inclusion in computer science

All 2,400 Amazon Future Engineer high school and robotics teachers can be nominated and apply at AmazonFutureEngineer.com from February 13th to March 12th

Seven award recipients will be chosen from across the country – two high school teachers from the Eastern U.S., two in the West, two in the Central region, and one Amazon Future Engineer Robotics Grant teacher

Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to try computer science

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 6, 2020-- Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced the first-ever Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year Awards to honor and recognize seven all-star teachers and their schools working diligently to help students in underserved and underrepresented communities build life-changing skills to propel their futures in computer science–with prize packages valued at more than $25,000. The more than 2,400 teachers participating in the Amazon Future Engineer Program at over 2,100 schools nationwide can be nominated or apply at AmazonFutureEngineer.com from February 13th to March 12th. Amazon Future Engineer inspires, educates, and prepares hundreds of thousands of students from underserved and underrepresented communities each year in the field of computer science. Amazon Future Engineer teachers are the champions of the program – focusing especially on promoting diversity and inclusion in their computer science classrooms and beyond.

Award recipients will be chosen based on a variety of criteria which includes their commitment to

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 21% to $87.4 Billion

AMZN) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2019.

Operating cash flow increased 25% to $38.5 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $30.7 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2018. Free cash flow increased to $25.8 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $19.4 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2018. Free cash flow less principal repayments of finance leases and financing obligations increased to $16.2 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $11.6 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2018. Free cash flow less equipment finance leases and principal repayments of all other finance leases and financing obligations increased to $12.5 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $8.4 billion for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2018.

Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying stock-

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Silicon Valley Startup Aqaix Joins SWAN to Facilitate Services to Water Projects Globally

Silicon Valley startup Aqaix, a leader in providing cloud-based software products to accelerate adoption of digital technologies by the water industry, has joined SWAN (Smart Water Networks Forum) to facilitate services to the water sector globally. Through membership in SWAN, the leading global hub for the smart water/wastewater sector, Aqaix gains capacity to anticipate the digital needs of the water industry and engage on using Aqaix’ cutting-edge data integration technology.

“SWAN gives us a single point of contact within the global community of utilities,” said Aqaix CEO Michael Gardner. “That allows us to quickly grasp how to help them design a roadmap for digitization and Digital Twin implementation as well as use data to improve engagement with customers.” (Digital Twin provides a virtual representation of a water plant or system, which helps optimize operation, saving money and improving water quality.)

Commenting on the Aqaix membership news, Amir Cahn, SWAN’s Executive Director remarked:

Friday, January 17, 2020

HULU PRESENTS UPCOMING ORIGINAL SERIES “LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE,” “HIGH FIDELITY,” “NORMAL PEOPLE,” AND “THE GREAT” AT THE 2020 TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION WINTER PRESS TOUR

Hulu Orders Straight-to-Series Comedy Starring Comedic Icons Steve Martin and Martin Short from 20th Century Fox Television

Company Announces Premiere Dates for Second Season of Golden Globe® Winning Series Ramy and Highly Anticipated New Hulu Originals Solar Opposites and The Great

Hulu Original Series Wu-Tang: An American Saga and Dollface Receive Second-Season Pickups

PASADENA, CA (January 17, 2020) -- Today, during the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour at The Langham Pasadena, Hulu’s Senior Vice President of Originals, Craig Erwich, presented the company’s lineup of upcoming original programming including Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, High Fidelity starring Zoë Kravitz, the television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel Normal People and Catherine The Great comedic drama The Great, featuring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult -- all of which will join the company’s growing slate of premium Original content. 

Erwich also announced an upcoming comedy series starring Oscar® and Emmy Award® winning actor Steve Martin and Emmy Award® winning comedian Martin Short.  From This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman and co-created by John Hoffman and Steve Martin, the untitled new series puts a hilarious spin on the ever-popular true crime genre. The comedy will join Hulu’s reputable slate of comedic television including Shrill, Ramy and Pen15. 

“Hulu’s success in Original content is driven by highly curated programming from world class talent,

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Limited series THE UNDOING debuts this May

Limited Series THE UNDOING Debuts This May; Starring Nicole Kidman And Hugh Grant; Susanne Bier Directs All Six Episodes; Created By David E. Kelley And Written For Television By David E. Kelley

Based On Jean Hanff Korelitz’s Novel You Should Have Known
 --------  
Executive Produced By Susanne Bier, David E. Kelley, Nicole Kidman, Per Saari, Bruna Papandrea, Stephen Garrett And Celia Costas

From Emmy®, Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning director Susanne Bier and the Emmy®-winning creator of “Big Little Lies,” David E. Kelley and starring Emmy® and Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Nicole Kidman (HBO’s “Big Little Lies”) and Emmy® nominee Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”), comes the six-part limited series THE UNDOING, debuting this May, exclusively on HBO. Directed by Susanne Bier and created and written for television by David E. Kelley, who also serves as showrunner; executive produced by Susanne Bier, David E. Kelley through David E. Kelley Productions, Nicole Kidman and Per Saari through Blossom Films, Bruna Papandrea through Made Up Stories, Stephen Garrett and Celia Costas.
 
The limited series will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.
The limited series follows Grace and Jonathan Fraser (Kidman and Hugh Grant) who are living the only lives they ever wanted for themselves. Overnight a chasm opens in their lives: a violent death and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child (Noah Jupe) and her family. 
 
THE UNDOING also stars Edgar Ramirez (Emmy® nominee for “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” and “Carlos”) as Detective Joe Mendoza; Ismael Cruz Cordova (“Berlin Station”) as Fernando Alves; Matilda De Angelis as Elena Alves; Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) as Sylvia Steinetz; Noma Dumezweni (“Black Earth Rising”) as Haley Fitzgerald; Noah Jupe (“Honey Boy” and “A Quiet Place 2”) as Henry Fraser, Jonathan and Grace’s precocious and artistic 12-year-old son; Sofie Gråbøl (HBO’s “Gentleman Jack,” “Fortitude”) as Catherine Stamper; and Donald Sutherland (Emmy® winner for “Citizen X”) as Franklin Reinhardt, Grace’s father, a retired financier and loving grandfather who is tasked with protecting his family when turbulent revelations come to light.
Follow @HBOPR for more news and information.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Bundesliga Goes All-In on AWS to Revolutionize Football Viewing Experience

Germany’s premier football league to use AWS machine learning and analytics to enhance the fan experience and deliver new game and player statistics during the 2019-20 season and beyond

SEATTLE --Jan. 13, 2020 -- Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that Germany's Bundesliga has selected AWS as its official technology provider to deliver more in-depth insight into every live broadcast of Bundesliga games and enable new personalized fan experiences. Bundesliga will use AWS artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), analytics, compute, database, and storage services to deliver real-time statistics to predict future plays and game outcomes, and recommend personalized match footage across mobile, online, streaming, and television broadcasts.

Using AWS technology, Germany’s premier national football league will build new cloud-based services that automate processes, increase operational efficiency, and enhance the viewing experience for the league’s rapidly growing global fan base. By developing a new, next-generation statistics platform on AWS, using Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service to build, train, and deploy ML models, Bundesliga will offer fans real-time predictions on when a goal is likely to be scored, identify potential goal-scoring opportunities, and highlight how teams are positioning and controlling the field, based on live data streams and historical data from over 10,000 Bundesliga games. Bundesliga also plans to leverage AWS ML services, such as Amazon Personalize, an ML service to create real-time and individualized recommendations, to offer fans personalized game footage, marketing promotions, and search results based on their favorite teams, players, or matches.

Using other AWS ML services, including Amazon Rekognition, an intelligent image and video

7 Day Weather Forecast

Southern:

Today
Sunny, with a high near 63. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Tonight
Mostly clear, with a low around 43. East northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 64. Calm wind becoming west southwest around 5 mph.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 42. Calm wind.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 65. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph.
Wednesday Night
A 30 percent chance of rain after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43.
Thursday
Rain likely, mainly after 10am. Cloudy, with a high near 58. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Thursday Night
Rain likely before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40.
Friday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 61.
Friday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 43.
Saturday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 65.
Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 45.
Sunday
Sunny, with a high near 70.

Northern:

Today
A 20 percent chance of rain after 10am. Partly sunny, with a high near 51. South southeast wind 8 to 13 mph.
Tonight
A 40 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. South southeast wind 16 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.
Tuesday
A 20 percent chance of showers before 10am. Partly sunny, with a high near 52. South southeast wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.
Tuesday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers after 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. South southeast wind 6 to 8 mph.
Wednesday
Rain likely, mainly after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. South southeast wind 6 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Wednesday Night
Rain. Low around 39. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Thursday
Rain likely before 10am, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between 10am and 4pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Thursday Night
A chance of showers before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36.
Friday
A slight chance of showers after 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49.
Friday Night
A slight chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 38.
Saturday
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51.
Saturday Night
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38.
Sunday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 57.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Top Ten Energy Efficiency Stories from the Southwest in 2019

In 2019, SWEEP and its allies were instrumental in securing approval of numerous new policies that will advance energy efficiency and vehicle electrification in the Southwest. Here is my list of the Top Ten success stories of 2019, in no particular order regarding importance.

1. Colorado Governor Issues EV Executive Order
On January 17th, newly elected Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued and Executive Order supporting vehicle electrification in the state. Among its directives, it instructed the Department of Public Health and Environment to propose a Zero Emission Vehicle standard and state agencies to only support EVs in disbursing funds received from the settlement of the VW emissions cheating scandal. This was Governor Polis's first Executive Order, and SWEEP helped to draft it.

2. New Mexico Updates Efficient Use of Energy Act
On March 13th, the New Mexico legislature adopted energy savings requirements for New Mexico’s

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

STRIKE BACK returns Feb. 14

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Action Series STRIKE BACK Returns For Its Seventh And Final Season February 14, Exclusively On Cinemax

The action-packed CINEMAX drama series STRIKE BACK will return for its seventh and final season FRIDAY, FEB. 14 (10:00–11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on CINEMAX. 
The series will also be available on MAX GO, CINEMAX On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.
Starring Warren Brown (“Luther,” “The Dark Knight Rises”), Daniel MacPherson (“A Wrinkle in Time”), Alin Sumarwata (“Neighbours,” “Burning Man”), Jamie Bamber (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Monday Mornings”), Varada Sethu (“Now Your See Me 2”), and new cast members Alec Secăreanu (“God’s Own Country,” “Baptiste”) and Ivana Miličević (CINEMAX’s “Banshee,” “Gotham”), STRIKE BACK follows the explosive escapades of Section 20, an elite, multinational, covert special ops team, as it spans the globe fighting a vast web of interconnected criminal and terrorist activity.

STRIKE BACK is a CINEMAX Presentation in association with Sky; a Left Bank Pictures Production. Cameron Roach is executive producer for Sky. Andy Harries and Rob Bullock, are executive producers for Left Bank Pictures. Executive Producer, Jack Lothian. Series producer, Nuala O’Leary; producers, Huberta Von Liel and Kristian Dench; directors, Bill Eagles, Paul Wilmshurst, Jon Jones, and John Strickland.