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Rhapsody marks decade in business as it absorbs Napster

Ten years ago this weekend, on Dec. 3, 2001, the Rhapsody music service was launched by Listen.com, pioneering the concept of on-demand music. A lot has changed since then. Rhapsody joined RealNetworks with the Seattle company’s acquisition of Listen.com in 2003, and was spun off as an independent company in 2010. Along the way, Rhapsody has… Read More

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Rematch: David Boies vs. Microsoft in Android case

Well, this should be interesting. David Boies, the lawyer who represented the U.S. Justice Department in its landmark antitrust case against Microsoft, has been retained by Barnes & Noble in its patent battle with the Redmond company over the use of Android in the Nook e-reader. The news was made public in a filing this… Read More

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Afternoon Radar: Apps for Spotify, beanies for IE, and a home for the 737 MAX

Our random roundup of interesting news and notes on a Wednesday afternoon …  Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team is breaking out the blue beanies today on its Twitter account, its engineering team and even that cool neon sign at the IE headquarters. Why? Web standards. Microsoft’s Jason McConnell explains the background. Spotify took steps to make itself more of a technology platform today, announcing the… Read More

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How Utah tops Washington: A university that spins out more startups with fewer dollars

Here’s the bad news: The University of Washington is not among the top schools for spinning out startup companies. Now, here’s the good news: The top school, according to a recent study by the Association of University Technology Managers, is the University of Utah. That’s significant because the UW — the largest research university in… Read More

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Amazon vs. eBay: Opposing views on sales tax legislation

An Amazon.com executive today told Congress that the company supports federal legislation providing a constitutional framework for states to collect taxes on online retailers — including those based out of state. However, the Seattle company cautioned against allowing too many of its smaller rivals to avoid the tax. Amazon says it supports the Marketplace Fairness Act introduced… Read More

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Reports: Microsoft involved in bid for Yahoo stake

Microsoft is aiming to own a minority stake in Yahoo as part of a bid led by private equity firm Silver Lake, according to Bloomberg News and the New York Times. The consortium is offering as much as $3 billion for a 15 percent stake in the Internet company, Bloomberg says. No comment from Microsoft… Read More

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FCC: AT&T buy of T-Mobile would cost jobs, lessen competition

A 157-page report from the Federal Communications Commission indicates that AT&T’s proposed $39 billion buyout of T-Mobile would drastically reduce competition in the wireless market and have a negative impact on jobs. In fact, the report indicates that that a merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would lead to anti-competitive impacts in 99 of the biggest 100… Read More

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Tech humor: The crazy, wacky and stupid things that VCs do

Venture capitalists do some of the wackiest things. (OK, not really). But now, thanks to venture capitalist Brad Feld, there’s a new comedy Web site devoted to the wacky and silly behavior of this privileged investment class. Feld has started a new comedy site called I Can Has VC, hosted on Cheezburger. There you will… Read More

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Video: Nokia lights up a tower for Windows Phone launch

Nokia promised some attention-grabbing stunts to promote its new Windows Phone lineup, and apparently it wasn’t kidding. Here’s how the mobile phone giant marked the launch of the Lumia 800 this week on London’s Millbank Tower. From the video’s description: “Each of the 120 metre high building’s 800 windows were covered with vinyl as 16… Read More

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FlowPlay brings virtual goods, avatars to Yahoo Messenger

Why just chat with someone, when you can chat in a virtual condo or apartment? Seattle startup FlowPlay, maker of the ourWorld virtual world, is promising that and much more with a new offering being announced today with Yahoo Messenger. Instead of just chatting with text in the normal fashion, your avatar can chat with… Read More

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Paul Allen calls for ‘open science’ and wider sharing of data

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen makes the case for broader sharing of scientific data — an “open science” model – in a newly published opinion piece (subscription required) in the Wall Street Journal, drawing from the experiences of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. Allen explains that the institute initially considered charging for access to its online… Read More

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A Facebook lesson from my newest friend — grandpa

I was checking my phone on Friday, recovering from the previous night’s Thanksgiving meal, when I saw the notification bubble to the top of my screen. “No way,” I said aloud to my husband, his parents and his brother, all of us occupants in a Chevy Suburban making the post-holiday trek from Corvallis, Oregon back… Read More

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Amazon.com continues to grow, gobbling up prime real estate

Amazon.com added more than 8,000 employees during the third quarter — a mind-numbing hiring pace for the Seattle-based online retailer. And where are they going to put all of those folks? Last month, we reported that the company was poised to take over several floors in the West 8th office building located at 8th and… Read More

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Consumers losing patience with Microsoft on tablets

With all the buzz over the iPad and Kindle Fire lately, we don’t need a study to tell us that Microsoft Windows is will be playing catch-up in the tablet computer market. But a new report from the Forrester research firm this morning quantifies the effect in a way that will be sounding alarm bells… Read More

Rascoff at home with his son

Newsmakers 2011: Spencer Rascoff lifts Zillow to new heights with a personal touch

Spencer Rascoff successfully guided Zillow to a blockbuster initial public offering in July, a significant milestone for the fast-growing online real estate company. And while that achievement alone would have warranted Rascoff’s inclusion as a GeekWire 2011 Newsmaker, it’s the little stuff that’s most impressive about the 36-year-old Internet executive. On Monday, Rascoff posted this… Read More

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Facebook slapped on the wrist in FTC privacy settlement

The Federal Trade Commission this morning announced a proposed settlement with Facebook to resolve a series of charges over its privacy practices, simultaneously made public in an eight-count FTC complaint. Laying down the law on the world’s largest social network, the commission says in a news release that Facebook “deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their… Read More