Cleveland offered $120 million in freebies lure Amazon to the city

A Cleveland.com article detailed the lengths the small midwestern city would go to lure Amazon’s in 50,000-person HQ2. In a document obtained by reporter Mark Naymik, we learn that Cleveland was ready to give over $120 million in free services to Amazon including considerably reduced fares on Cleveland-area trains and buses.

The document, available here, focuses on the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)’s ideas regarding the key component in many of Amazon’s decisions – transportation.

Ohio has a budding but often tendentious connection to public transport. Cities like Columbus have no light rail while Cincinnati just installed a rudimentary system. Cleveland, for its part, has a solid if underused system already in place.

That the city would offer discounts is not surprising. Cities were falling over themselves to gain what many would consider – including Amazon itself – a costly incursion on the city chosen. However, given the perceived importance of having Amazon land in a small city – including growth of the startup and tech ecosystems – you can see why Cleveland would want to give away plenty of goodies.

Ultimately the American Midwest is at a crossroads. It could go either way, with small cities growing into vibrant artistic and creative hubs or those same cities falling into further decline. And the odds are stacked against them.

The biggest city, Chicago, is a transport, finance, and logistics hub and draws talent from smaller cities that orbit it. Further, “smart” cities like Pittsburgh and Ann Arbor steal the brightest students who go on to the coasts after graduation. As Richard Florida noted, the cities with a vibrant Creative Class are often the ones that succeed in this often rigged race and many cities just can’t generate any sort of creative ecosystem – cultural or otherwise – that could support a behemoth like Amazon landing in its midst.

What Cleveland did wasn’t wrong. However, it did work hard to keep the information secret, a consideration that could be dangerous. After all, as Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn told reporters: “Our statement for HQ2 is we’ll provide whatever is necessary to Amazon when they need it. For all practical purposes, it’s a blank check.”

This three-axis tourbillon movement is a 3D printed marvel

The three-axis tourbillon is one of the most complex watch complications in the world. Originally based on a design by watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, this type of tourbillon – literally “whirlwind” – rotates the balance wheel of a watch in order to ensure that gravity doesn’t adversely affect any part of the watch. It’s a clever, complex, and essentially useless complication in an era of atomic clocks and nano materials but darn if it isn’t cool-looking.

Based on this original, simpler model, this new three-axis tourbillon is available for download here. It consists of 70 potentially fiddly parts and runs using a basic motor.

As you can see, the main component is the balance wheel which flips back and forth to drive the watch. The balance wheel is contained inside a sort of spike-shaped cage that rotates on multiple axes. The balance wheel controls the speed of the spin and often these devices are used as second hands on more complex – and more expensive – tourbillon watches. Tourbillons were originally intended to increase watch accuracy when they were riding in a vest pocket, the thinking being that gravity would pull down a watch’s balance wheel differently when it was vertical as compared to being horizontal. In this case, the wheel takes into account all possible positions leading to a delightful bit of horological overkill.

Satoshi Gulch

slack-imgs-2.com Satoshi Nakamoto doesn’t exist. He is not one person. He is not even controlled by a single entity. And although I would argue much of his writings were produced by one person and edited by committee, it is important to bitcoin that he not exist. His lack of existence, in a very real way, is what will help bitcoin survive this decade and morph into what it will soon become. Satoshi… Read More

Join Me For The Last New York Mini-Meetups Of The Year

new_york I’ve started trying to pay a lot more attention to New York so I’ve been running a small series of meet ups in Manhattan and Brooklyn for all y’all to come on down and chat. Next week there will be two – the first meeting of BTCBrooklyn and the first “official” startup meeting at WeWork Chelsea. Come to one or both! The bitcoin event will be held at Coinspace… Read More

Hamwells e-Shower Connects Your Shower To The Internet Of Things (And Bathing)

hamwells (6 of 6) In the near future, all of our shower accoutrements will be connected. In fact, everything from your soap to the loofah will talk to your e-Shower head if Hamwells has anything to say about it. The e-Shower, which launched today onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt London, is basically a standing shower that can massage you and saves water by recirculating it and dousing you in a delicious misty spray… Read More

Tag Heuer Is Ramping Up Smartwatch Production From 1,200 To 2,000 Pieces Per Week

TAG-Heuer-Connected-Watch-aBlogtoWatch-64 Tag Heuer’s chairman Jean-Claude Biver announced that the company is ramping up weekly production of their Carrera Connected Smart Watch from 1,200 to 2,000 pieces. The watch costs $1,500 and features a nice titanium case and Android Wear. Buyers get the option to upgrade to a limited edition mechanical watch for another $1,500. Biver is also trying to move sales away from the web to… Read More

Jompeame Wants To Reduce Poverty In South America Through Crowdfunding

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 3.02.40 PM Jompeame (Jumpstartme in Spanish) is a new crowdfunding site aimed at helping the impoverished in Latin America. “Our mission initially is to change the lives of at least 5 people in this condition every week, in every country we expand to,” said co-founder and CEO Katherine Motyka. The site is currently raising money to launch formally but they’ve already raised $25,000,… Read More

A New Service Called CoinCube Can Help Manage Your BTC

giffer-1 In the future, all currencies will be crypto. And you’ll need someone to manage all that crypto cash. That’s what CoinCube is trying to do: a way to manage cryptocurrency investments intelligently. Created by Robert Allen, Eric Kittell, Jibben Nee and Giovanni Meacci, the system is still in its relative infancy. They have about a 100 users with $430,000 in assets under management,… Read More