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Elon Musk starts another catfight with Jeff Bezos

Another tweet, another catfight: Billionaire CEO Elon Musk has once again accused super-billionaire Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos of being a copycat.

This time, Musk took aim at Amazon’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Zoox, a venture focusing on self-driving cars that could compete with Tesla, the car company that Musk heads.

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Tech CEOs advise White House on virus impact

Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Space Foundation / Microsoft Photos)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and President Donald Trump aren’t exactly the best of friends, but that didn’t stop the White House from including the world’s richest individual on a list of industry leaders working with Trump to bring about a “Great American Economic Revival.”

Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson are among the members of industry groups that were created this week to address the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, the White House said in an April 14 statement.

Nadella and Bezos are on the tech group, alongside the CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Salesforce and other leading companies. Johnson is listed with a different group, focusing on the food and beverage industry.

There are more than 200 representatives in all on sector-specific teams, ranging from health care industry executives to sports executives and “thought leaders” including trickle-down economist Art Laffer.

“These bipartisan groups of American leaders will work together with the White House to chart the path forward toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity,” the White House said.

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Jeff Bezos pledges to help WHO with test kits

WHO director general with Jeff Bezos
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus conducts a videoconference with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (Courtesy of Jeff Bezos via Instagram)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the World Health Organization’s director-general are trading ideas on how to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, using tools ranging from Amazon Web Services’ firepower in cloud computing and artificial intelligence to distribution channels for coronavirus test kits.

Bezos recapped today’s talk with Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in an Instagram post, featuring a screengrab of Bezos’ videoconference view with the billionaire’s own visage in the upper right corner of the frame.

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Jeff Bezos launches $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund

Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at the Amazon Spheres in 2018. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he’s launching a $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund that will issue grants aimed at addressing climate change — a move that comes less than a month after hundreds of Amazon employees criticized what they saw as the company’s weak commitment to tackling the issue.

Bezos, who’s the world’s richest individual with a net worth estimated at nearly $130 billion, unveiled his philanthropic initiative in an Instagram post.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” he wrote. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.”

He said the first grants to scientists, activists and non-governmental organizations would be issued this summer.

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Alexa, who’s your favorite Star Trek captain?

When the actor who plays the boss’ favorite Star Trek captain drops in at the office, it’s best to agree with the boss. Even though Amazon’s Alexa is just a computerized voice assistant, she clearly understands that much.

That’s basically how things went down today when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dropped in at the Seattle office where comedy writers come up with bon mots for Alexa … with Patrick Stewart, who plays Captain Jean-Luc Picard, at his side.

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Jeff Bezos announces Blue Moon lander team

Jeff Bezos
m Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos discusses his space ambitions during a fireside chat at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos says his Blue Origin space venture is heading up a team of top space companies — including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper — to build a landing system to take NASA astronauts to the moon as early as 2024.

“This is a national team for a national priority,” Bezos said here at the International Astronautical Congress, where he received the International Astronomical Federation’s first Excellence in Industry Award on Blue Origin’s behalf.

Blue Origin would serve as the prime contractor for the lander project, with its Blue Moon lander serving as the heart of the system.

Bezos said Northrop Grumman, which built the lunar lander for the Apollo program a half-century ago, would be responsible for the orbital transfer vehicle that would take astronauts from a moon-orbiting Gateway platform to a lower lunar orbit.

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Jeff Bezos touts space postcard campaign for kids

Jeff Bezos and kids
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, checks out some of the postcards submitted for spaceflight as part of his nonprofit Club for the Future campaign. (Jeff Bezos via Twitter)

When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled a mockup of Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander in May, he also unveiled a more down-to-earth enterprise: the Club for the Future, a nonprofit effort aimed at promoting science education through fun space-oriented projects.

Its first project? A campaign to solicit postcards that would be flown into space aboard Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard rocket, and then sent back to the kids who submitted them.

Today in a tweet, Bezos says thousands have responded so far.

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Jeff Bezos touts full-power rocket engine test

Blue Origin engine test
Blue Origin’s BE-4 rocket engine fires at full power during a test in Texas. (Blue Origin Photo)

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos is showing off a picture of his Blue Origin space venture’s BE-4 rocket engine going full blast during a hot-fire test in Texas.

“BE-4 continues to rack up time on the test stand,” Bezos said in an Instagram post accompanied by a picture of today’s full-power engine test.

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Jeff Bezos sizes up the past and present space race

Caroline Kennedy and Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos checks out a framed facsimile of a note bearing the signatures of three Mercury astronauts, given as a gift by Caroline Kennedy. (JFK Library Foundation Photo / Tom Fitzsimmons)

Back in 1962, President John F. Kennedy said he chose to have Americans go to the moon not because it was easy, but because it was hard. Today, billionaire Jeff Bezos said it’s still hard — and in some ways, it’s even harder than it was in the ’60s.

Bezos, the world’s richest person by virtue of his status as the founder of Amazon and the Blue Origin space venture, laid out his argument during a discussion with the late president’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

Today’s “JFK Library Space Summit” was a daylong affair that drew luminaries ranging from Apollo 11 astronaut Mike Collins to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

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Jeff Bezos explains Amazon’s big bet on satellites

Jenny Freshwater and Jeff Bezos
Amazon’s Jenny Freshwater engages Jeff Bezos in a fireside chat at the re:MARS conference in Las Vegas. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

LAS VEGAS — For the first time in public, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explained the rationale for his risky Project Kuiper satellite broadband venture, during a fireside chat that was interrupted when an animal rights activist jumped on stage.

Today’s half-hour discussion was one of the headliner events for Amazon’s inaugural re:MARS conference, held here in Las Vegas to throw a spotlight on the frontiers of Machine learning, Automation, Robotics and Space. It’s modeled after the invitation-only MARS meeting that Amazon has been organizing annually since 2016.

Bezos and his partner in the fireside chat — Jenny Freshwater, leader of forecasting and capacity planning at Amazon — broadened the focus of the conversation to touch on some of the Amazon CEO’s favorite topics, including his management philosophy and his advice for entrepreneurs.

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