Manhattan Emptied Out During the Pandemic. But Big Tech Is Moving In.

Facebook has just leased enough new office space in Manhattan to nearly triple its current local work force, including at one of the city’s most iconic buildings, the 107-year-old former main post office complex near Pennsylvania Station.

Apple, which set up its first office in New York a decade ago, is expanding to another building in Manhattan. And Google and Amazon are stitching together corporate campuses in the city more quickly than anywhere else in the world. Amazon paid roughly $1 billion in March for the iconic Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue.

Despite a pandemic that has ravaged New York, hollowed out many of its office buildings and raised fundamental questions about its future, the four companies collectively known as Big Tech are all significantly expanding their footprint in the city, giving it a badly needed vote of confidence.

With fears that the virus could spike again in the colder months, many companies are grappling with how, when and even if office workers will come back to buildings in Manhattan. And the tech giants have not brought their workers back yet, either.

Even so, the giants have not only moved forward with previous growth plans, but have also increased their pace of hiring and office acquisition during the pandemic.

The industry’s embrace of New York City comes despite the tumultuous reception that Amazon received last year when it proposed building a sprawling headquarters in Queens. Amazon abandoned the plans in the face of political and community opposition, but now has acquired more than 2 million square feet of office space for corporate workers, as well as warehouses from Staten Island to Queens to the Bronx.

After Amazon bought the Lord & Taylor building, it announced in August that 2,000 employees would eventually work there, increasing by half its

Eight nations, including U.S., sign accords for moon missions

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 13 (UPI) — Eight nations have signed NASA’s new framework to govern lunar exploration missions, the agency’s administrator, Jim Bridenstine, announced Tuesday.

By signing the agreement, the eight nations commit to peaceful activities on the moon and in travel to the moon.

Provisions in the Artemis Accords stipulate that nations, and private companies in those nations, will openly disclose plans for lunar missions, and mine resources on the moon in accordance with the international Outer Space Treaty that dates to 1967.

The accords also commit signing nations to render aid to other nations on the moon if necessary, to minimize space debris and to register all objects taken to the lunar surface.

In addition to the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and Britain signed the Artemis Accords.

“We are one human race and we are in this together. The Accords help us to work together to benefit all,” Sarah Al Amiri, chair of the United Arab Emirates Council of Scientists, said in a live broadcast Tuesday.

Bridenstine had said in a press conference Monday that more nations are expected to sign the accords this year, and that he hopes all nations eventually will.

“As NASA, we always try to be very transparent and what our plans and policies are, and we think it’s good for all nations to be transparent with their plans,” Bridenstine said.

The new agreement comes as NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon in 2024, with further plans to establish a lunar base to tap water ice for possible long-term habitation.

NASA officials on Monday acknowledged they didn’t approach all space-faring nations in drafting the accords because the agency wanted to move quickly. NASA sought a few nations believed to have common values, said Mike Gold, associate

Bytebase App Lets You Catalog Your Thoughts Like an Engineer

Illustration for article titled A New App Lets You Catalog Your Thoughts Like an Engineer

Screenshot: ByteBase

Bytebase, a new app by two Columbia University software engineers, promises to let you store your snippets, thoughts, and notes in a way that is instantly searchable and automatically organized.

Created by ex-Twilio engineer Cara Borenstein and ex-Nextdoor engineer Theo Marin, the barebones web app is sort of like Evernote amped up on the drug from Limitless.

Explaining how the app works is actually kind of difficult. Like any other note-taking system, you enter data and paste in code, text, or whatever you want to save. You can share it with others and create separate notebooks for each project. More important, each note can act as a link to another note, allowing you to nest information within other pieces of information. To use it, you simply paste in code snippets and text into the “No Man’s Land” area and then move it into separate projects later. You can also make outlines and to-do lists in the app.

Each one of those lines can act as another separate note.

Each one of those lines can act as another separate note.
Screenshot: ByteBase

A feed lets you send notes, called bytes, to co-workers within Bytebase. Because the co-founders are coders, they’ve also added clever keyboard shortcuts that will be familiar to Vim and Emacs users. You can also add large text chunks called BigBytes.

“As a software engineer, it was challenging to get the information I needed to do my job. The information was supposed to be on the wiki, but it wasn’t,” said Borenstein. “So we went back to the drawing board and invested in more user research. We knew that people weren’t really using wikis to their potential, but they were collaborating. We wanted to figure out what it was that they were already doing and see if

3,000 Amazon workers demand time off to vote: report

  • Amazon workers are demanding that the company give all US employees paid time off to vote in the upcoming election, NBC News reported Tuesday.
  • The petition, which gained more than 3,200 supporters, called for “a paid day/shift off that can be used anytime between now and Election Day on Nov 3” and “every year” in the future, according to NBC News.
  • “We have supplied all of our employees with information on how to register to vote, details of their local polling locations and how to request time off to vote,” an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider.
  • Amazon and subsidiary Whole Foods employ nearly 1.4 million workers in the US.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon workers, who have become increasingly vocal about the company’s policies during the pandemic, have a new demand: time off to vote in the upcoming US elections.

More than 3,200 Amazon workers have signed a petition circulating internally demanding the company give its entire US workforce a paid day or shift off to vote, NBC News reported Tuesday.

“We are less than a month away from the 2020 US election. I strongly urge the company to provide the entire US employee workforce with a paid day/shift off that can be used anytime between now and Election Day on Nov 3,” read the petition, which has been circulating on an internal Amazon support ticket system, according to NBC News.

The petition also demanded that the “additional day/shift off must be available to all employees every year,” NBC News reported.

Amazon and its subsidiary Whole Foods have 1,372,000 “front-line” workers across the US — accounting for roughly 1 of every 200 of the country’s voting-age population — but doesn’t currently guarantee them time off to vote in person.

“We have supplied all of our employees with

Many things to many people: Panasonic launches DC-BGH1 modular ‘box’ camera: Digital Photography Review

Panasonic has announced a new Micro Four Thirds video camera, the Lumix DC-BGH1. This box-style camera is built around a 10.2MP Live MOS sensor. Based on specs, the BGH1 might appear to be essentially a Panasonic GH5S minus the screen and controls, and to some degree, it is. Still, Panasonic has included several features that are rather interesting.

The aluminum and magnesium alloy body is relatively small, at 93mm per side and 78mm deep (3.66 x 3.07 inches). Notably, the camera lacks both a viewfinder and a screen but includes eleven 1/4″-20 sockets for mounting accessories or a tripod. An integrated fan and internal heat dispersion system allow for unlimited record times, and a hot shoe mount on top of the camera can be used to mount a microphone or Panasonic’s DMW-XLR1 XLR adapter.

Camera controls include a dial with a four-way controller on top, several dedicated function buttons and three custom function buttons.

The BGH1 also has very different ports than your typical Micro Four Thirds camera. For example, there’s an ethernet port that can utilize Power over Ethernet+ to power the camera over ethernet in addition to transmitting video signal and camera control.

The BGH1 can be controlled entirely over ethernet using Panasonic’s Lumix Tether app. Additionally, Panasonic’s Lumix Tether for Multicam app will allow a single computer to control up to 12 BGH1 cameras simultaneously, all with Power over Ethernet if the network supports it. Panasonic says a future firmware update will add support for IP streaming over ethernet.

On the back of the camera, you’ll find three BNC connectors that support 3G SDI-out, timecode in/out, and genlock, which is useful for syncing cameras on multi-cam setups. There are also full-sized HDMI-out and USB-C (USB 3.1) connections. The USB-C, SDI and HDMI ports can all provide video