Sunday, November 28News That Matters

Tag: Bezos, Jeffrey P

Michael Strahan to Join Next Blue Origin Space Flight

Technology
The “Good Morning America” co-host Michael Strahan signed up to follow the billionaire Jeff Bezos and the actor William Shatner to the edge of space on the next Blue Origin spaceflight, the private company said on Tuesday.Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by Mr. Bezos, said on Tuesday that its third flight with a human crew would launch in early December. This spaceflight will have six passengers, two more than were on the company’s two previous crewed flights, and follows several other private launches this year, as billionaire-backed companies compete to send wealthy tourists on space jaunts.Mr. Strahan had covered Blue Origin’s first crewed flight, in July, from the company’s launch site in West Texas. On Tuesday, he told his colleagues on “Good Morning America” that when the comp...
Jeff Bezos Donates $100 Million to the Obama Foundation

Jeff Bezos Donates $100 Million to the Obama Foundation

Business
Former President Barack Obama’s private foundation announced on Monday that it had been promised $100 million from the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.The gift, the largest yet for the Obama Foundation, was one in a series of splashy donations in recent months by Mr. Bezos, one of the world’s richest people. Last week, Mr. Bezos announced $96.2 million in grants to groups working to end family homelessness.Since stepping down as the chief executive of Amazon in July, Mr. Bezos has significantly raised his profile as a philanthropist, in addition to traveling to space on a ship made by his rocket company, Blue Origin.In return for the donation, Mr. Bezos asked that a plaza at the Obama Presidential Center be named for the civil rights leader John Lewis, who died last year. The center, being built...

Blue Origin Wants to Build a Space Station

Technology
Blue Origin, the space company owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is teaming up with other firms to build a space station in Earth orbit. The group announced its plans on Monday, revealing the latest concept for a privately built orbital outpost that could replace or complement the International Space Station.The influx of private space station proposals comes as NASA seeks a replacement for the 20-year-old, $100 billion laboratory in space, which is showing signs of its age. Whether any of the low-Earth orbit concepts will be ready to house astronauts by the time funding for the International Space Station lapses around 2030 is unclear, and depends largely on the funding NASA is able to get from Congress. The agency plans to allocate up to $400 million to private space companies ...
Inside Amazon’s Worst Human Resources Problem

Inside Amazon’s Worst Human Resources Problem

Business
In internal correspondence, company administrators warned of “inadequate service levels,” “deficient processes” and systems that are “prone to delay and error.”The extent of the problem puts in stark relief how Amazon’s workers routinely took a back seat to customers during the company’s meteoric rise to retail dominance. Amazon built cutting-edge package processing facilities to cater to shoppers’ appetite for fast delivery, far outpacing competitors. But the business did not devote enough resources and attention to how it served employees, according to many longtime workers.“A lot of times, because we’ve optimized for the customer experience, we’ve been focused on that,” Bethany Reyes, who was recently put in charge of fixing the leave system, said in an interview. She stressed that the ...

Lawmakers question whether Amazon executives, including Jeff Bezos, misled Congress.

Technology
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers pressed Amazon’s chief executive on Monday to respond to allegations that its executives provided a congressional inquiry with false answers to questions about its house-brand products.Amazon executives, including its founder, Jeff Bezos, told lawmakers that the company did not look at data from single sellers on its site when it planned for and developed its own products. They also told the House Judiciary Committee that the company did not purposefully give its house-brand products an edge in search results.Last week, Reuters reported that Amazon had strategically copied products from third-party merchants while growing its business in India. Another publication, The Markup, reported a day later that the company’s house-brand products ranked h...
In a Blue Origin Rocket, William Shatner Finally Goes to Space

In a Blue Origin Rocket, William Shatner Finally Goes to Space

Technology
Mr. Bezos, who has said he was inspired by “Star Trek” as a boy, listened, still as a statue. He may have been giving Mr. Shatner some space, but it was a sharp contrast to his appearance after his own brief spaceflight in July, when he was aboard the same spacecraft. Then, Mr. Bezos held forth from a stage, rousing condemnation from critics of the vast company he founded as he thanked Amazon’s employees and customers for making it possible for him to finance his private space venture.Mr. Shatner shared the capsule on Wednesday with three other passengers: Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin vice president who oversees New Shepard operations, and two paying customers: Chris Boshuizen, a co-founder of the Earth-observation company Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, a co-founder of a company that buil...
William Shatner’s Star Trek Moment With Jeff Bezos

William Shatner’s Star Trek Moment With Jeff Bezos

Technology
A half-century ago, a television show told young people that space travel would be the coolest thing ever. Some of them were even inspired to work toward that goal. Science fiction met reality on Wednesday as one of those fans, now one of the richest people in the world, gave the show’s leading actor a brief ride up into the ether.The mission went according to plan. The aftermath appeared unscripted, and all the better for it.William Shatner, eternally famous as Captain James T. Kirk on the original “Star Trek,” returned to Earth apparently moved by the experience beyond measure. His trip aboard Jeff Bezos’ rocket might have been conceived as a publicity stunt, but brushing the edge of the sky left the actor full of wonder mixed with unease:It was unbelievable … To see the blue cover go wh...
How Much Does it Cost to Fly to Space with Blue Origin?

How Much Does it Cost to Fly to Space with Blue Origin?

Technology
Blue Origin has declined to publicly state a price for a ticket to fly on New Shepard. The company is nearing $100 million in sales so far, Mr. Bezos has said. But it’s unclear how many ticket holders that includes.“We don’t know quite yet” when Blue Origin will publicly announce a price, Mr. Bezos told reporters in July after his flight to space. “Right now we’re doing really well with private sales.”Oliver Daemen, the Dutch teenager aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed flight in July, was occupying a seat that the company auctioned off for $28 million, a steep number that even shocked some company executives. Of that total, $19 million was donated equally to 19 space organizations.Mr. Daemen, 18, wasn’t the winning bidder. His father, a private equity executive, was the runner-up in the auc...
How to Watch William Shatner Launch to Space on Blue Origin

How to Watch William Shatner Launch to Space on Blue Origin

Technology
Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin is set to launch William Shatner, the actor known best for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek,” and three others on a brief journey to the edge of space Wednesday morning.It will be the company’s second mission with space tourists on board.Launching Mr. Shatner, whose character crisscrossed outer space in the U.S.S. Enterprise for years, could be a moment of symbolism for Blue Origin, one of a handful of billionaire-backed space companies vying to make what once seemed like science fiction into reality by launching wealthy adventure seekers to space and beyond.“It looks like there’s a great deal of curiosity in this fictional character, Captain Kirk, going into space,” Mr. Shatner said in a promotional video posted on Twitter ...
Sometimes Life Imitates Art. William Shatner Is Headed To Space With Blue Origin.

Sometimes Life Imitates Art. William Shatner Is Headed To Space With Blue Origin.

Technology
Mr. Branson and Mr. Bezos have made the billionaire space race more literal and personal, and often speak in dreamier language. Mr. Branson launched first, in July, and Mr. Bezos followed days later. Speaking “to all the kids down there” from the edge of space, Mr. Branson said, “if we can do this, just imagine what you can do.”Mr. Bezos, after landing, said simply, “Best day ever!”In front of assembled press, he made an attempt to convey a sense of collectivity, or at least humility. “I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all this,” he said. He was clearly moved, and his performance was earnest, but it also resulted in a backlash that, from perhaps any other perspective in the world, would have been easy to anticipate. “Amazon workers do...