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Jeff Bezos Gains $2.8 Billion, Reaches Highest Net Worth Ever

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The only centi-billionaire on the planet just got another couple billion dollars richer. Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, saw his fortune rise $2.8 billion on Tuesday as the stock of his e-commerce giant climbed 2.5% – a day after the launch of its first cashier-less store garnered much buzz around the industry.

Bezos now boasts a net worth of $113.5 billion, according to Forbes’ calculations – his highest ever. It’s a significant lead over the world’s second and third richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who have net worths of $92.5 billion and $92.3 billion, respectively. Bezos’ 12-figure-fortune nominally makes him the wealthiest person since Forbes started tracking fortunes in 1982. If we factor in inflation, Bill Gates was richer back in 1999, when he briefly passed $100 billion – worth roughly $150 billion in today’s dollars.

READ MORE: Here’s Why Jeff Bezos Is Not Truly The Richest Man In History

The Microsoft founder has also given away a large chunk of his wealth – his lifetime giving stands at over $36 billion. His Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, run by Gates and his wife, is the world’s largest private philanthropic foundation.

Bezos has only recently begun to give away bits of his fortune. The son of a Cuban immigrant, Bezos asked his 400,000 Twitter followers in June 2017 for philanthropic ideas, and recently donated $33 million to fund college scholarships for undocumented high school students.

Bezos derives the majority of his wealth from his 16% stake in Amazon. He is also the owner of The Washington Post and the founder of rocket start-up Blue Origin. Business has been good for The Post; it was reported earlier in January that the storied newspaper more than doubled its digital subscriptions in 2017 and will be profitable for the second year straight.

READ MORE: Besides Jeff Bezos: 6 People Who’ve Also Been The World’s Richest

On Jan. 18, Amazon announced a list of 20 finalists for its second headquarters, which received 238 proposals from all over North America. Just four days later, the much anticipated Amazon Go store opened in its hometown of Seattle. The shop, which was previously accessible to employees only, sells a limited selection of groceries, meal kits, and prepared foods. Customers swipe into the store with the Amazon Go app, pick items off the shelves, then walk out with the goods – without ever needing to wait for a cashier. Cameras line the store to keep track of each shopper’s purchases, and the bill is charged to their Amazon accounts.

It remains unclear where Amazon intends to go with Amazon Go next, though it has been expanding its brick and mortar exposure, both with its bookstores and with the acquisition of organic grocery retailer Whole Foods.

READ MORE: Amazon Lays Out Its Whole Foods Strategy And Shakes Up Wall Street Anew

Bezos got his start on Wall Street, where he worked for famed quantitative hedge fund D.E. Shaw after graduating from Princeton with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering. After climbing up the ladder at D.E. Shaw, Bezos quit and drove across the country to Seattle in 1994. He founded Amazon in the garage of his home and started selling books online, personally driving the packages to the post office in his 1987 Chevy Blazer. The online retailer is now one of the world’s most valuable companies, active in cloud computing, online streaming and smart devices, and has a market capitalization of over $650 billion. – Written by 

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Tesla Vehicles Could Soon Become Completely Autonomous As Self-Driving Tech ‘Very Close’, Elon Musk Says

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Tesla vehicles could soon be completely autonomous as CEO Elon Musk said the electric vehicle firm is “very close” to achieving level 5 autonomous driving technology, during a virtual appearance at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai.

KEY FACTS

  • “I’m extremely confident that level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think will happen very quickly,” Musk said.
  • He added that he is confident “basic functionality” for level 5 complete autonomy will be achieved this year.
  • The technology will allow vehicles to drive on roads without driver input.
  • Tesla, the world’s highest-valued carmaker after overtaking Toyota last week, already operates an Autopilot system that uses external cameras, radars and sensors, but it is driver assisted and does not make the vehicle autonomous.

KEY BACKGROUND

Tech firms, including Uber and Alphabet-owned Waymo, have pumped billions into developing self-driving cars, a futuristic idea that many had predicted would be ready by this year. But limitations around AI have stalled development of the technology. Last month, Waymo and Volvo announced they were teaming up to develop driverless cars for ride-hailing use.

TANGENT

In February, the National Transportation Safety Board found Tesla’s autopilot driver assistance was likely to blame for a fatal 2018 crash in California, leading to the board calling for more regulation of the technology, and for the company to better educate drivers on its limitations.

ADDITIONAL INFO

The road to completely autonomous driving has five levels: Level 0 describes no automation i.e. everyday cars. Level 1 represents features such as adaptive cruise control, while level 2 describes partial automation features that control speed and steering, such as those seen in Tesla vehicles. Level 3 and 4 represent limited driverless capabilities. Level 5 is the point at which a driverless vehicle can navigate all road conditions without human input, according to True Car.

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Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian Endorse Kanye West Running For President

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After years of hints, Kanye West formally announced he is running for president this year in a challenge to Trump, who he once supported, and Democratic rival Joe Biden, winning support from his friend and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

KEY FACTS

  • Rounding off his Fourth of July, West tweeted on Saturday night: “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION.”
  • Musk tweeted in response: “You have my full support!”
  • Wife Kim Kardashian also publicly pledged her support, retweeting West’s statement and adding a U.S. flag emoji.
  • West’s announcement follows years of hints that he would run for office this year which he later postponed to 2024, after publicly declaring at a Fast Company event in 2019: “When I run for president in 2024…We would create so many jobs! I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk.”
  • But the rapper, who recently inked a 10-year deal with Gap through his Yeezy brand, is reportedly yet to file any paperwork to get on state election ballots, while he has missed the deadline for states including Texas, New York, and Indiana.
  • It is not known how serious West’s intentions are this time around, however, he still has time to file as an independent candidate across most states, according to Ballotpedia.
  • West’s declaration was met with skepticism on social media, while some commentators pointed out that it could work out in Trump’s favour.

KEY BACKGROUND

West’s declaration suggests the rapper is looking to cement political ambitions he has expressed throughout Trump’s presidency. West previously forged alliances with Trump, and was pictured in the Oval Office in 2018 wearing a signature Trump ‘Make America Great Again’ cap. He once called the president his “brother” and previously hit back at criticism towards his support for Trump, likening the backlash to racial discrimination. Although he says he didn’t vote in 2016, West later said he “would have voted for Trump”, and earlier this year doubled down, suggesting he would vote for him in November. But that could very well change given Saturday’s announcement.

American rapper and producer Kanye West embraces real estate developer and US President Donald Trump in the White House’s Oval Office, Washington DC, October 11, 2018. West wears a red baseball cap that reads ‘Make America Great Again,’ Trump’s campaign slogan. (Photo by Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)

TANGENT

West and Musk were pictured together on July 1st, with West tweeting: “When you go to your boys [sic] house and you’re both wearing orange.”

Isabel Togoh, Forbes Staff, Business

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Quote Of The Day

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We have grown past the stage of fairy-tale. As women, we have one common front and that is to succeed. We have to take the bull by the horn and make the change happen by ourselves.

– Folorunso Alakija, Billionaire Businesswoman

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