Musk vs. Bezos: Whose philosophy will get him to space first?

The billionaires are both looking to the stars, but each has a different dream for space colonization.

  • The billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are driving the private space sector, however, they both have different motivations and goals for doing so.
  • For Musk, space colonization is a matter of saving the human species — having a Plan B. For Bezos, he believes Earth can be saved and transformed into a "residential only" zone. Goods from industrial manufacturing would be outsourced from space colonies.
  • One big concern regarding Bezos' plan is whether his company's presence in space would someday constitute a monopoly of extraterrestrial industry.
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Amazon set to be next big U.S. defense contractor — critics urge for 'effective oversight'

"We seem to be racing toward a new configuration of government and industry without having fully thought through all of the implications," Steve Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told MIT Technology Review.

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  • The U.S. Department of Defense is choosing between Amazon and Microsoft as the winner of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract.
  • JEDI is a massive cloud-computing deal reportedly worth $10 billion.
  • Amazon appears to be the favorite. But it remains unclear how such a partnership between industry and government would affects concerns over privacy and the storage of sensitive military data.
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Samuel L. Jackson's voice coming to Alexa — users can choose to have him curse them out

The new feature uses Amazon's neural text-to-speech technology, which allows it to produce phrases that weren't priorly recorded.

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  • Amazon Echo users will be able to replace Alexa's voice for that of actor Samuel L. Jackson.
  • The update will cost 99 cents, but will eventually rise to $4.99.
  • Amazon also recently introduced several new Echo-compatible products, including a smart ring, smart glasses and new earbuds.
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Amazon pledges surprisingly bold climate change goals

The move comes one day before more than 1,500 Amazon employees are set to walk off the job as part of the global climate strikes.

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Thursday plans to swiftly combat climate change.
  • Some parts of the plan include becoming carbon neutral by 2040, buying 100,000 electric delivery vans and reaching zero emissions by 2030.
  • Some Amazon employees say the pledge is good but doesn't go far enough.
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Amazon’s 'adora-bots' are now making deliveries

The first wave of the retailer's anticipated automated delivery fleet hits the sidewalks.

Image source: Amazon
  • After testing near company HQ, delivery robots are rolling up to random customers' homes in Irvine, CA.
  • The cute little carriers — dubbed "adora-bots" — are already adept at navigating people, pets, and other tricky obstacles.
  • These may be the droids the shipping industry seeks.
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