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Submission + - Actually, It is Guns Not Ideology (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: After the truck attack in Nice, France, radio host Joe Walsh tweeted, 'Not a gun. Not a bomb. This was a truck. 2-3 minutes. As of now over 80 dead. Please understand now. It's not the weapon. It's the ideology.' This got me into a Twitter argument with a friend who wrote, 'Rules against guns will go just about as well as drug laws. And, to be consistent, the left should be going to war against vans.' Another Walsh follower posted later, 'Paris and Orlando: guns. Nice: Truck. Germany: Axe. The issue is the ideology, not the weapons.' I decided to look up the statistics on the ground in America and actually, guns are the problem, not as much ideology.

Submission + - Seattle Amazocalypse Inspires Children's Book (geekwire.com)

reifman writes: A side effect of Amazon's rapid growth in Seattle has been that the Space Needle is quickly disappearing from view in much of the city. In "Zoe and the Amazocalypse," a young girl returns from summer camp to discover the Space Needle's gone completely missing and sets out on an adventure to search for it. Along the way she meets Amazocalypse and they become quick friends determined to find it.

Submission + - Seattle Tech Industry Fueling Local Sex Trade (crosscut.com)

reifman writes: Crosscut reports that Seattle's tech growth is driving rapid expansion of the local sex trade. In "one 24 hour-period in Seattle, an estimated 6,487 people solicited sex on only one of the 100+ websites that connect supply with demand." And that was in 2014, Amazon's currently hiring 14,000 people annually in Seattle, typically 85 percent male. Says Crosscut, "63 percent of prostituted people say they met clients on company properties" and 80 percent of buyers are white and 44 percent of sex workers are African American."

Submission + - Seattle's Tech Growth Fueling Local Sex Trade (crosscut.com)

reifman writes: In How the Tech Industry is Fueling the Local Sex Trade, Crosscut reports that "in one 24 hour-period in Seattle, an estimated 6,487 people solicited sex on only one of the 100+ websites that connect supply with demand." And that was in 2014, Amazon's currently hiring 14,000 people annually in Seattle, typically 85 percent male. According to Crosscut, "63 percent of prostituted people say they met clients on company properties" and 80 percent of buyers are white and 44 percent of sex workers are African American (compared to 7.9% of the overall population.) A sample of 104 people charged with soliciting sex with minors in King County revealed 12 percent working in the tech industry —the percentage involved in hiring adult workers would likely be much higher. After the response to the challenges of dating here detailed in "You've Got Male" and "Peepless in Seattle", I wondered when more data would emerge reinforcing last year's report that Seattle may have the fastest growing sex trade in the country. The Crosscut article highlights some encouraging, proactive steps members of the tech community are taking to create conversation around these issues including issues of the effect of tech culture.

Submission + - Microsoft Revenue Surpasses $1 Trillion (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: While researching Microsoft's Washington State tax breaks, I discovered that the company surpassed $1 trillion in cumulative revenue this past quarter. Rather than announce the milestone, Microsoft stayed silent as it's under scrutiny for over $108.3 billion in offshore holdings (41 percent of its all time profit). Apple surpassed $1 trillion in revenue last year, but higher-priced hardware sales offer it an advantage. Comparatively though, Apple and Microsoft are near equivalent in cumulative earnings at $261 billion (69 percent held offshore) and $265 billion respectively. Meanwhile, despite $545 billion in revenue, Amazon's only earned $3.3 billion in profit.

Submission + - Microsoft and Boeing Receive $1 Billion in Annual Tax Breaks from Wash. State (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Combined, Washington State provides Microsoft and Boeing $1 billion annually in tax breaks. Cumulatively, Microsoft's Nevada-based tax minimization has saved $8.6 billion for shareholders. While Microsoft recently surpassed $1 trillion in all time revenue, its home state faces unfunded emergencies in education, homelessness, heroine addiction and escalating crime.

Submission + - AmazonFresh Out of License Plate Registrations (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: It's okay for Amazon to crash trucks into Seattle buildings with California plates, but not for the rest of us. We face up to a year in jail for not registering vehicles within 30 days of moving here. Yet, Amazon's home delivery vehicles regularly operate with out of state plates. (As Amazon announces $513 million quarterly profit, Seattle voters prepare to vote on $50 billion in taxes for expanded transportation.)

Submission + - AmazonFresh Delivering with Out of State Plates (jeffreifman.com) 2

reifman writes: In January, when an AmazonFresh truck crashed into a Seattle building, the Washington State Patrol didn't mind that it was driving with California plates. Certainly, corporations like Amazon are people but if you're actually a person and don't register your personal vehicle within 30 days of moving to Washington State, you face up to a year in jail and more than $1,500 in fines. No such problem for corporate people. Most of Amazon's local home delivery vehicles in Washington State operate with California plates and no responsible authority seems to be able to explain why.

Submission + - Amazon Begins Housing Homeless in Seattle (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Amazon announced that it will commit one of its buildings to housing 200 Seattle homeless for the next year allowing a nonprofit organization to oversee the facilities. The former Travelodge motel faces eventual demolition as part of the company’s tremendous growth. With more than 4,505 living on the streets, Seattle's mayor recently declared a homelessness emergency.

Submission + - Amazon Will House 200 Seattle Homeless for a Year (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Amazon announced this week that it will commit one of its buildings to housing 200 Seattle homeless for the next year allowing a nonprofit organization to oversee the facilities. The former Travelodge motel faces demolition as part of the company's tremendous growth in the city's South Lake Union neighborhood. It's finally time to applaud the company and CEO Jeff Bezos, traditionally a libertarian, for stepping up to help address this enormous problem. You may remember last month's Seattle #manintree who gained national notoriety — he was homeless. The mayor has declared a homelessness emergency. More than 45 people died on the streets in 2015. Heroine related deaths in King County are at a 20 year high. Neighborhoods are up in arms about homeless drug use, crime and people living in cars. Amazon's efforts won't solve the problem on their own. Should the government require developers to offer a portion of new units to lower and middle income families? Should it institute emergency rent controls? Should it require successful corporate titans like Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing, notable state tax dodgers, to contribute even more?

Submission + - Amazon Employees Launch Dating Consulting Startup for Coworkers (geekwire.com)

reifman writes: As posted earlier, Amazon's growth and predominantly male hiring has made dating in Seattle incredibly difficult for everyone. Two Amazon employees, Becca Goldman and Mahvish Gazipura, recently launched DateADev to help coworkers optimize their dating profiles: 'at Amazon [we're] surrounded by software developers and project managers all the time, we just noticed their need. We talk to them all the time about their frustrations with dating.' Goldman's gone on more than 500 dates in the past three years. 'Her experience ... helps her quickly assess an online profile of a potential partner.' Rather than drive its employees into moonlighting, Amazon could just start hiring more women.

Submission + - A Customer Driven Business Model for Twitter (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: As revolving door of Twitter executives makes headlines and its $100+ million quarterly losses continue, it's not clear the company will survive the year without being acquired for a quarter of its offering price. The solution for Twitter's business challenges could be to adopt an engaging feature rich subscriber model that reaffirms its status as the platform of a global democratic communication hub. Here are fifteen ideas for Twitter to transform into a profitable user-centered business including integration of open source Signal for secure phone calls and direct messaging, Stellar for payments and domain mapping and blog hosting with your feed front and center.

Submission + - New Aaron Swartz Documentary: From DeadDrop to SecureDrop (kickstarter.com) 1

reifman writes: Lisa Rein, is raising funds on KickStarter for a an important documentary about supporting whistleblowers with technology: From DeadDrop to SecureDrop tells the story of how 'SecureDrop' was created to help protect sources — individuals who might not come forward otherwise due the prospect of relentless government persecution and being penalized for telling the truth. Through the film's simplified format, the intent of this film is both to educate and to inspire potential whistleblowers to take action the next time they encounter corruption they don't wish to condone and be a part of. The film suggests that SecureDrop could potentially usher in a new generation of whistleblower: One that won't necessarily have to put their whole life at risk, in order to 'do the right thing.' This is such a no brainer for the tech community to fund.

Submission + - How Mark Zuckerberg's Altruism Helps Himself

HughPickens.com writes: Jesse Eisinger writes in the NYT that if you heard that Mark Zuckerberg donated $45 billion to charity, you are wrong. Here’s what really happened: Zuckerberg did not set up a charitable foundation, which has nonprofit status. Instead Zuckerberg created an investment vehicle called a limited liability company (LLC) that can invest in for-profit companies, make political donations, and lobby for changes in the law. What's more an LLC can donate appreciated shares to charity, which will generate a deduction at fair market value of the stock without triggering any tax. "He remains completely free to do as he wishes with his money," writes Eisinger. "That’s what America is all about. But as a society, we don’t generally call these types of activities “charity.”"

A charitable foundation is subject to rules and oversight. It has to allocate a certain percentage of its assets every year. The new Zuckerberg LLC won’t be subject to those rules and won’t have any transparency requirements. According to Eisinger what this means is that Zuckerberg has amassed one of the greatest fortunes in the world — and is likely never to pay any taxes on it. "Instead of lavishing praise on Mr. Zuckerberg for having issued a news release with a promise, this should be an occasion to mull what kind of society we want to live in," concludes Eisinger. "The point is that we are turning into a society of oligarchs. And I am not as excited as some to welcome the new Silicon Valley overlords."

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