All posts in "Technology & Innovation"

Arizona Courts Rule In Favor Of Pima County And World View Enterprises

 

Via insidetucsonbusiness.com

Pima County’s deal with space balloon company World View Enterprises can move forward after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the lease agreement, overturning the lower court’s February ruling.

The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank, sued the county in April, saying the deal with World View didn’t follow the competitive bidding process required when leasing property.

Pima signed a 20-year lease with World View in April 2016, which included the county promising a $15 million investment on a launch pad and 135,000 square-foot facility on county-owned land.

 

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Pet Supply Giant Chewy Brings 700 Jobs To Goodyear

 

Via azbigmedia.com

Online pet products retailer Chewy, Inc. has committed to bringing 700 new full-time jobs to Goodyear as part of its latest expansion into the southwestern United States.

The 49-acre site that the company selected for its 802,671 square foot e-commerce facility is located south of Van Buren Street on 143rd Avenue in the Airport Gateway Development, a 230-acre master planned business park. Construction of the facility began in November in anticipation of taking occupancy in the second quarter of 2018.

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord welcomed the city’s latest investor saying “We are thrilled to announce that Chewy, Inc. has chosen Goodyear as the location for their internet fulfillment center. E-commerce will continue to be a significant driver of our nation’s economy and Goodyear is proud to be home to an innovative company like Chewy, Inc.”

 

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Proposed Legislation Could Make AI Illegal In AZ

 

Via tucson.com

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, wants to make it a crime to use any computer or software that conceals its real identity “to simulate or impersonate the action of a human.” Violations would be a felony subjecting the owners or operators to a year in state prison.

What Kavanagh is trying to outlaw are computer “bots” that can log into sites and do things that it would normally take a human to do.

“I’m told that it’s a real issue with concert tickets and sporting event tickets,” he said, logging into computer sites the minute tickets go on sale and buying up all the tickets. Kavanagh said that can be done even if there are limits to individual sales, with computers quickly making multiple purchases.

 

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Chinese Startup TuSimple Just Raised $55 Million For Self-Driving Trucks In AZ

via fortune.com

TuSimple, a China-based autonomous truck technology startup that is backed by Nvidia(NVDA, -3.53%), has raised $55 million in a Series C funding round led by Composite Capital.

Existing investors Sina (SINA, -2.58%), operator of China’s biggest microblogging site Weibo, and ZP Capital also participated in the round. In August, the company announced $20 million in funding from investors that included Nvidia and Sina. The company is working on a “full-stack solution,” an industry term that means it’s developing and bringing together all of the technological pieces required for autonomous driving. TuSimple is developing a Level 4 system is a designation by the SAE that means the vehicle takes over all of the driving in certain conditions.

The autonomous trucking startup, which was founded in 2015, plans to use the new influx of capital to scale up its testing to two full truck fleets in China and the U.S. The eventual plan is to introduce commercial autonomous trucking services in 2019. The company will start truck fleet testing in 2018, beginning with two routes: 120-mile highway stretch between Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona and another segment in Shanghai.

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ASU Gets $60k To Build Robotic Fish To Solve Problem In Arizona Canals

Via abc15.com

MESA, AZ – SRP is funding a $60,000 research project at ASU to develop robotic fish to cut and clear weeds growing below the surface of Valley canals.

“We’ve had vegetation issues in the canal system since the canal started,” said SRP environmental specialist Brian Moorhead.

The utility company currently adds White Amur fish, also known as Grass Carp, to eat sago pondweed that can displace and slow down water flow.

 

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AZ Police Using Facial Recognition Software

 

Via azcentral.com

Arizona is just one of a growing number of local and state law-enforcement agencies who use facial recognition to solve crimes. One in every two American adults is in a law-enforcement face-recognition network, according to a sweeping 2016 report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology.

There are several facial-recognition systems that cater to law enforcement. According to Sgt. Daniel Heltemes, who oversees the DPS Facial Recognition Unit, DPS works with a vendor called Idemia to scan faces and another called Imageware, which houses all of the mugshots.

Like other face-recognition devices, Idemia uses biometrics, or body measurements and calculations to match one photo against the virtual lineup.

 

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Robotic Bartenders Are Popping Up Around Arizona

Via tucson.com

SCOTTSDALE – Robots can drive our cars, pick our tomatoes and change our thermostats. But would you want a robot to pour your next beer or wine?

The restaurant and bartending industry has embraced the latest automation trend: robotic bartenders. The technology has cropped up at several Valley establishments, including Sorso Wine Room at the Scottsdale Quarter.

Since opening a few years ago, Sorso has featured an automated wine dispenser that allows customers to choose from up to 32 wines from around the world.

 

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Bill Gates’ Smart City In Arizona Is Not Smart, Not A City, And Has Little to Do With Bill Gates

 

Via slate.com

Here are some things you should know about the smart city Bill Gates is building in Phoenix.

It’s not a city, nor is it “smart,” nor does the Microsoft founder appear to be involved in any meaningful way. And when outlets like CNBC say it’s in Phoenix, well … the plot of land in question is some 40 miles west of Phoenix, on the western edge of the metropolis’s westernmost suburb.

Still, it appears to be true that Cascade Investment LLC, the firm that manages an uncertain number of billions of Gates’ money, used a subsidiary LLC called Mt. Lemmon Holdings to invest $80 million in a greenfield development project here—if the term can be applied to the very-not-green Arizona desert.

 

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Startup Makes Drinking Water From Air + Solar Panels

 

Via forbes.com

To show me his technological sleight of hand, Friesen invites me to a hillside house in Berkeley, California on a sunny afternoon. There, in a shaded courtyard, we each sample a cup of water that flows from a drinking fountain. The water is cool and delicious – and it was made out of thin air. Literally.

Nanomaterials – and physics, of course – played a role too. The drinking fountain is fed by a flexible pipe that leads to the house’s roof. There sit two Friesen’s devices, called Source Hydropanels. Each looks like solar panel mounted atop a metal box. The system extracts moisture out of the air at a rate of as much as five liters per day.

Friesen believes installations like this one could soon be providing clean, quality drinking water to homes, schools and businesses across the United States and beyond – and why not, to rural villages, desert towns or urban slums in the developing world.

 

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Empereon-Constar Wins Three Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) Awards

 

Via insidearm.com

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Empereon-Constar, a leading provider of end-to-end customer engagement and customer management solutions, announced today the Company was the recipient of three ACE awards at the Phoenix Business Journal’s 23rd Annual Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) awards ceremony on November 2nd in Scottsdale.

Each year, the Phoenix Business Journal recognizes Arizona’s largest and fastest growing privately held companies. Empereon-Constar was honored as one of the Top 25 Fastest Growing Private Companies – ranking 2nd – and also recognized as one of the Top 50 Largest Private Companies – ranking 31st on this year’s list. In addition, Travis Bowley, Empereon-Constar’s founder and CEO, was recognized with the Rookie of the Year specialty award. This award recognizes a company which has moved up in the rankings or is on the list for the first time this year.

Founded in 1997, under the leadership of Travis, Empereon-Constar has grown into a leading business process outsourcing organization with 10 strategic locations and 3,500 professional, performance driven team members.

 

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