Amazon plans to split HQ2 between two locations, Bill Gates unveils a futuristic toilet that doesn’t need water or sewers, and a voting machine manual that asks customers to re-use easy passwords makes its rounds on Reddit.
Trending on Twitter, Amazon has changed its tune regarding its new HQ2 headquarters. The Seattle-based tech giant’s, which announced that it would be soliciting bids for a second headquarters to equal its home base September 2017, is reportedly planning to split the second headquarters into two locations . According to the Wall Street Journal, this is being done to allow the company to recruit more of the best tech talent in the winning cities. Amazon would split the workforce with about 25,000 employees in each place. In January, Amazon announced that it had narrowed the list of cities it was considering from 238 applicants to a shortlist of 20 – including Toronto. A final decision has not been made.
Also on Twitter – This week’s Reinvented Toilet Expo in China had a surprise visit from former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who discussed his plans to build a better toilet technology. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which Gates co-founded with his wife, has spent more than $200 million since 2011 on research and development of safe sanitation technology. During his presentation, Gates said the technologies at the expo are “the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly 200 years.” In addition to an economic cost, which according to an Oxford Economics and Japanese toilet maker Lixil cost the world nearly $223 billion in 2015, UNICEF estimates that 4.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safely managed sanitation.
And lastly, on Reddit – Motherboard’s story about a voting machine instruction manual that encouraged election officials to use weak passwords is making its rounds. The story cites an election security expert who recently found a reference manual for the California-based Unisyn Voting Solutions voting machine that was given to county election officials. The story highlights that the passwords, including a system administrator and root password, are easy to crack, including one composed from the vendor’s name. Guidelines issued by the federal Elections Assistance Commission call for passwords to election systems to be changed periodically, but according to the reporting, the manual instructs customers to re-use passwords. This, of course, is quite concerning considering the widespread concerns about election interference in recent years.