May 19, 2020

Top Three: the best US business travel destinations

Los Angeles
dallas
New York
Business Travel
Harry Menear
2 min
Top Three: the best US business travel destinations
Business travel is, well, big business. In 2017, global business travel accounted for over US$1.3trn in spending, with the US and China...

Business travel is, well, big business. In 2017, global business travel accounted for over US$1.3trn in spending, with the US and China ranking top of the list of most jet set workforces. Last year, the travel agency and bookings site Expedia examined its annual data and found that of the approximately 405mn business trips made by Americans, 60% of travelers extended their trips for leisure.  

Tacking on mini-holidays to a business trip is undeniably a great way to unwind after stressful meetings, take advantage of the opportunity to explore a new city or take a few laps in the pool to wash away the smell of several days in a sweltering conference center.  

This week, small business solutions marketplace Fundera announced its list of the best cities in the US for a post-work trip stopover. Let’s take a look at the top three.  

1. Los Angeles 

Californian sunshine, the heart of the entertainment industry and some of the most mouthwatering restaurants in the world, Los Angeles is the perfect place to business breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. According to Fundera’s research, there are 1,596 hotels available in this region and over 100,000 dining and entertainment establishments.  

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2. New York City  

The second-busiest city of business travelers is also a global mecca of culture, with arguably the globe’s best food, drink, music and museums, it can be the perfect place to mellow out following a stressful week in the boardroom.  

New York has 1,593 hotels, approximately the same number as Los Angeles/Long Beach, even though NYC is 60% smaller geographically.  

3. Dallas 

The highest-ranking city on the list not located on the coast, Texas’ Dallas is a happy medium of size, culture and convenience. Lacking the sheer volume of densely packed culture and food that New York and Los Angeles offer, Dallas is calmer, more open, and easier to navigate by road. Its airport is also centrally located for flights to all other parts of the US.  

According to Fundera’s research, the average nightly cost of a hotel stay is just $187.93, lower than less-populated cities like Miami and San Francisco. The Dallas Fort Worth Airport is 20 miles from downtown Dallas, but takes just 40 minutes to reach downtown from the airport during rush hour.

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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