Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos isn’t just focused on selling you everything you’ve ever wanted, or on winning another Emmy. He is also focused on sending people into space on what he called a “tourism mission.” Bezos, who also runs Blue Origin, a rocket company he has called the “most important thing I’m working on,” wants to launch the mission next year. Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket has a capsule large enough to hold six “paying astronauts” — basically regular tourists with the ready cash for a round-trip ticket to space. Bezos didn’t mention how much it will cost, but he did say that Amazon will continue working with the Department of Defense, noting that if tech companies turn their backs, “this country is going to be in trouble.” [Kurt Wagner / Recode]
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Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen, who helped pioneer the personal-computer industry, died at age 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Allen was a childhood friend of Bill Gates, and the two started Microsoft in 1975. After leaving Microsoft in 1983, Allen became an investor through his company Vulcan — its current portfolio ranges from the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, to a group focused on using machine learning for climate preservation, to Stratolaunch, which is creating a spaceplane. The owner of the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks, Allen also launched a number of philanthropic efforts, which were later combined under the name Paul G. Allen Philanthropies. His “philanthropic contributions exceed $2 billion,” according to Allen’s own website, and he had committed to giving away the majority of his fortune. [Jacob Kastrenakes and Rachel Becker / The Verge]
Facebook will remove false voting-related posts leading up to and during next month’s midterm elections, including banning posts that spread fake information about voting requirements and fake reports of violence. The new policy is a tougher expansion of Facebook’s effort to reduce voter manipulation while stopping short of banning all false or misleading posts. The company is also expanding reporting tools for other forms of voting misinformation, like posts that falsely describe the conditions of polling stations. [Makena Kelly / The Verge]
Twilio is buying SendGrid, which helps companies send mass marketing emails, for $2 billion. As long-time tech biz-dev guy Justin M. Overdorff explains on Twitter, while the deal looks expensive at first, “I think it ends up being a home run w two API first / focused companies coming together to provide a powerhouse of communication tooling for developers.” [Sara Salinas / CNBC]
Whoa, Canada: Recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada tomorrow, and a reporter who has covered the legalization of marijuana in California offers some suggestions on what Canadians can expect, from ever-more-esoteric products, to bureaucratic paperwork, environmental regulations and an entrenched black market, to a mad capitalist rush to establish brands and capture market share. Meanwhile, shares of publicly traded pot companies reached all-time highs yesterday. [Thomas Fuller / The New York Times]
“Make America Date Again,” invites the website for the new dating app Donald Daters, marketed toward Trump supporters who may want to find like-minded people “without bias, judgment or liberal intolerance.” Fox News reported that “users can chat for free when a match is mutual, block any potential liberals that troll them and Donald Daters is open to everyone.” But the $29.99/month app is open in more ways than one: After the media attention, a security researcher discovered the app is exposing user information in an open database, including biographical details such as names and profile photos, but also potentially tokens for logging into peoples’ accounts and private messages. [Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler / Motherboard]
TRUMP WATCH: ”Thank you to the Cherokee Nation for revealing that Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, is a complete and total Fraud!” KANYE WATCH: ”In the wild”
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Instagram’s Kevin Systrom on leaving Facebook: “No one ever leaves a job because everything’s awesome.” Systrom has no idea what he wants to do next, but he knows he won’t just be sitting on a beach. [Kurt Wagner]
Full Q&A: 2U CEO Chip Paucek on Recode Decode. Paucek says online education started out with a bad reputation, but now people are starting to take it seriously. [Kara Swisher]
Amazon’s HQ2 announcement is imminent. Here’s a look at the final contenders. Sort them by tech talent, rent and commute times. [Rani Molla]
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.