Hashtag Trending – Amazon cancels HQ plans; Google, Apple probe Saudi app; Spicey AI

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Amazon cancels plans for HQ2 campus in New York, Google joins Apple in probing Saudi app, and IBM teams up with McCormick to create new spice packets.

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After intense resistance from politicians and thousands of New Yorkers, Amazon has canceled its plans to build a new corporate campus in New York City. Amazon spent most of 2018 searching for a new place to set up shop, and late last year, announced it had chosen Long Island City, Queens, as one of two winning sites, promising the creation of more than 25,000 jobs. But New York’s $3 billion incentive package rubbed a lot of lawmakers the wrong way, who argued the tech giant didn’t deserve that much in government incentives. Interestingly enough, Amazon says it doesn’t intend to re-open the HQ2 search at this time, and will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville.

A Saudi government app hosted on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store that allows men to track women and even restrict their travel has gained the attention of Google. The company is joining Apple to investigate the Absher app and says it will review the app to determine whether it’s in line with its policies, according to reporting from Business Insider. Several high-profile US politicians have condemned the two tech giants for dragging their heels on the issue. The app describes itself as a daily task manager, but upon closer inspection, one will find tools designed to control where women have permission to go, for how long, and which airports they can use, and even includes the option to submit a woman’s name and passport number for tracking.

Lastly, a lot of buzz on LinkedIn about a teamup between IBM Research and the maker of Old Bay spices, McCormick. The two are creating new all-in-one spice packets, called “ONE” that sifts through data and uses machine learning algorithms to discover patterns and what it deems tasty combinations us measly humans may not yet have considered. McCormick says it provided IBM with 40 years worth of taste data to get the project started. IBM says the AI is smart enough to recommend substitutes for a combination and even predict human response to taste.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. 

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Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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