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Money

"Game on" for the Air Force, HSBC gets more time to mull HQ

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Thomas Hawk
/
via Flickr
The Air Force loves the PlayStation3 too.

The Air Force is using more than 1,700 PlayStations at its Rome, N.Y. research lab to interpret surveillance data collected by spy planes, reports Dave Tobin at the Post-Standard:

The Air Force calls the souped-up PlayStations the Condor Supercomputer and says it is among the 40 fastest computers in the world. The Condor went online late last year, and it will likely change the way the Air Force and the Air National Guard watch things on the ground. The creation, while offbeat, illustrates the modern job for the operation that began as Rome Air Development Center in 1951, researching radar. It has survived the closing of Griffiss Air Force Base in 1995 to find a new niche. These days, Rome Lab’s research focuses on information technology, particularly cybersecurity and high-performance computing. The lab employs 789 people in military and civilian jobs, with a payroll of $82 million a year. It oversees contracts worth nearly $3 billion.

HSBC HQ

Buffalo has extended the deadline for HSBC to decide where its new headquarters will be.  Brian Meyer and Jonathan Epstein report at the Buffalo News that bank has until June 30 to say yes or no to a parcel of waterfront land:

This is the second extension the city has granted HSBC. The Council voted late last year to give the bank until March 30 to decide whether it will move forward with the land disposition agreement. HSBC Bank USA spokesman Neil Brazil confirmed that the bank requested the 90-day extension "as we continue to review options." Besides several alternatives for the Webster Block, HSBC also is considering staying in the One HSBC Center tower in its existing space or a reconfigured space, or building on the parking lot behind its HSBC Atrium building. "HSBC is still looking at a range of options, one of which is to maintain the status quo. This takes time," he said. "We do appreciate the interest of various stakeholders."

Brewer tax

Senator Charles Schumer continues his campaign to cut an excise tax on breweries this morning in Rochester, reports Thomas Adams at the Rochester Business Journal:

Brewers pay a $7 excise tax for the first 60,000 barrels they brew each year, Schumer’s office said. Proposed legislation would cut the tax to $3.50, and also shaves $2 off the next 1.94 million barrels produced, potentially saving brewers $3.88 million annually.

Verizon deal

Columnist Donn Esmonde writes at the Buffalo News that he's not crying over the loss of a potential Verizon data center:

I know we are desperate for incoming business and for any foothold in the new economy. But paying $3.1 mil per job to entice a company here reeks not just of desperation, but of insanity. It is the civic equivalent of rolling over and begging. Companies make location decisions for a lot of reasons, ranging from work force to transportation network to proximity to markets to culture to quality of schools. If being here works for a company, it will come without a massive taxpayer outlay. If we’re this desperate, then put the $614 million in Verizon goodies on the table and solicit bids from every company in America. Whichever one offers the best deal, take it. And I’d bet that it would bring more than 200 jobs.

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