GeekWire Mid-Week Update, Presented by ALLtech

GeekWire Mid-Week Update

Top stories so far this week

LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gives impassioned speech at NBA preseason game in Seattle
It was a bit of a throwback scene here in Seattle on Monday evening: Steve Ballmer revving up the crowd at the top of his lungs, and NBA hoops back on the hardwood.
Meta’s new Seattle leader: ‘The road to the metaverse passes through the Pacific Northwest’
In Paresh Rajwat‘s 20-year journey across the tech landscape, he’s held leadership positions at Apple, Criteo, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.
Report: Amazon freezes corporate hiring for its retail business for remainder of year
Amazon is freezing hiring for corporate roles in its retail business, according to a report from The New York Times on Tuesday.
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After selling startup to Baidu, tech vets launch company building AI tools for call centers
Seasalt is building customizable speech recognition tech for enterprise call centers.
Expedia removes COVID vaccination requirement for employees and others to enter most offices
Expedia Group is removing a COVID-19 vaccination policy at most of its offices around the world, a policy which required employees and others to be vaccinated and boosted in order to work in or visit the company’s physical spaces.
Amazon sues Washington state regulators, alleging Constitutional violation in warehouse safety case
Amazon sued the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) on Monday, asking a federal judge to declare that the state’s process for addressing allegations of serious workplace safety problems violates the due process clause of the U.S.
Amazon renames discounted tier of Prime to Prime Access
Amazon has a new name for its discounted Prime membership tier: Prime Access.
Tech Moves: Wizards of the Coast hires Microsoft exec to lead D&D; Absci adds innovation chief
Wizards of the Coast, the Renton, Wash.-based gaming company owned by Hasbro, hired Dan Rawson for a new role as senior vice president of Dungeons & Dragons.
What octopus intelligence can teach us about artificial intelligence — and aliens
Are intelligent aliens living among us? A newly published novel just might lead you to think so — and in this case, the aliens aren’t visitors from another planet.
Amazon makes first investments in outside VC firms, puts $150M to underrepresented founders
Amazon announced a new diversity-related initiative called Amazon Catalytic Capital that will provide funding to underrepresented entrepreneurs.
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