What’s wrong with Alexa? | Latest on capital gains tax | Seattle axes funding for gunshot detection tech

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TODAY'S TOP STORIES

What’s wrong with Alexa? 

  • Amazon is making widespread layoffs on its Devices & Services team amid reports that the division is losing as much as $10 billion a year. We caught up with Tigger (Charlie) Kindel, a Seattle tech industry veteran who worked at Amazon from 2013 to 2018, to get his perspective as Amazon resets its strategy for Alexa and Echo. Read more and listen to the conversation here. (Above, Dave Limp, head of Amazon’s Devices & Services division, in 2019.)

The controversial capital gains tax in Washington state will move forward with collection ahead of a legal ruling on the legislation set to be made next year.

  • The tax targeting large stock sales was approved by both the state legislature and the governor in 2021, but its opponents blocked it in a lower court. The state’s Supreme Court will determine the constitutionality of the tax next year. Read more

As the shift to electric vehicles picks up speed in Washington state, drivers are concerned about whether charging infrastructure will meet the demand.

  • Government funding at the state and local levels will address some of the network needs and Pacific Northwest startups are innovating to improve the technology. Read more. 

The Seattle City Council axed funds for gunshot detection technology in the city’s 2023 budget, denying the mayor one of his public safety line items.

  • Mayor Bruce Harrell (above, at the GeekWire Summit in October) sought $1 million for the technology, which has been criticized in studies. Read more.

Prophia, a startup building a platform to extract key information from commercial real estate contracts, raised $10.2 million.

  • The Seattle company is looking to streamline the leasing process between landlords and tenants, using software to analyze documents. Read more

Need a fresh look for the GeekWire Gala?

  • Win a day of pampering and a stylish new wardrobe from Nordstrom, and then head to our annual holiday party in Seattle on Dec. 7. Apply now.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day. — GeekWire managing editor Taylor Soper, taylor@geekwire.com, and GeekWire reporter Kurt Schlosser, kurt@geekwire.com.
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