It's official. After more than 14 months, Amazon has decided on the locations of its second and third headquarters, which it insisted would be equal with its original location in Seattle: Long Island City, New York and Crystal City, Virginia. They're also opening a 5,000-job mini-facility in Nashville. 

Now the questions and second guessing will commence in force.

Like if Seattle has 45,000 employees, and New York and the Virginia location each get 25,000, how can they be considered equal?  

And what are we to make of the 235 other cities (including 17 other finalists) that spent millions just to be considered, only for Amazon to reject them and go with two of the wealthiest, most urban and elite places in the country?

Amazon got free positive publicity, nearly $2.1 billion in tax incentives and other breaks thanks to the HQ2 (and HQ3) stunt. It also got access to economic development plans in a majority of urban areas in North America.

What did the other bidding cities get? Maybe a bit of focus for their economic development efforts, if you want to be generous, since they had to meet the artificial Amazon deadline.

So you live in one of those 235 other, lesser communities, how does this all make you feel about Amazon, and about your hometown? The answer probably isn't "better."

It remains to be seen if it will have any lasting effect on Amazon's brand.

Here's what else I'm reading today.

The end of arbitration

When thousands of Google employees walked off the job last week, one of their demands was that Google stop requiring arbitration for sexual harassment cases. Now, Google has acquiesced, and so have Facebook, Microsoft, Uber, and many other tech companies.
--Minda Zetln, Inc.

Bad Blood

John Carreyrou, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has been garnering top praise for his book, Bad Blood, about the meteoric rise and equally dramatic fall of blood-testing startup Theranos and it's once celebrated, now reviled founder, Elizabeth Holmes.

Now it's been named the top business book of the year by The Financial Times and McKinsey & Co.

--Jessica Stillman, Inc.

Here's why Google was so медленный Monday

For two hours Monday, Google traffic from the United States was apparently routed, accidentally, through Russia and China. The explanation is convoluted, but Google claims it was a technical error, not a matter of a malicious attack.

Still, it's disconcerting, especially if you're like the vast majority of Internet business users who don't really understand how any of this works in the first place. (By the way, медленный is apparently Russian for slow. Brought to you with complete irony from Google Translate.)
--Lily Hay Newman, Wired

Mom, please don't bother the CEO

Trend alert: the Wall Street Journal reports that many companies are now holding "Take your parents to work" days. Most interesting about this: the Journal interviewed three employees taking their parents to work. The employees' ages: 45, 49, 50, 35, and 50 again. You can't blame this one on Millennials. 
--Te-Ping Chen, The Wall Street Journal

Juul, we hardly knew ye

Is this the end for Juul? The astronomically successful e-cigarette company says it will stop selling flavored nicotine pods in retail stores, at least temporarily, as it tries to find a way forward after new Food & Drug Administration regulations went into effect. 
--Mike Stobbe, Associated Press