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Ridiculously embarrassing Microsoft dance routine is top story of the month (again)

Sometimes it’s the odd, offbeat stories that grab the attention of our readers. How better to explain the fascination with the absurd techno-dance routine (posted above) that preceded Microsoft’s Windows Azure presentation at the Norwegian Developers Conference in June. For the second month in a row, the sexually-charged video (you may recall that the song… Read More

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UW team deploying power and Internet to the sea floor

In further news about awesome people doing awesome things, a team from the University of Washington is installing a series of nodes on the sea floor — something akin to a “giant electrical outlet” the size of a Volkswagen Beetle — to provide Internet connectivity and power for real-time observations of the ocean. On July 14,… Read More

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Guy Adams back on Twitter after Olympic tweet scandal

“Matt Lauer would do well to shut up, wouldn’t he?” This is just one of many critical — and hilarious — tweets fired away from The Independent‘s Los Angeles correspondent Guy Adams‘ Twitter feed about the London Olympic Games. And it was this, among a few other zingers, especially criticizing NBC for its coverage and… Read More

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Yahoo Mail upgrade crashes, burns

In other e-mail news today, Yahoo Mail launched an upgrade that would make it “faster and easier” to use. Instead, when Yahoo Mail users tried to log into their accounts, they got stuck in a vortex of a unresponsive terms and conditions page or a failed message. As TechCrunch reported, the upgrade is still causing… Read More

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How Kinect, smartphones and programming are reshaping high school

Tech-minded teachers from across the country are on the Microsoft campus in Redmond this week, sharing some of the new ways they’re incorporating technology into their classrooms. The event is the company’s Partners in Learning U.S. Forum. See the video above for highlights from my tour of the event earlier today — including teachers incorporating… Read More

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Cray boosts revenues as it awaits word on $150M order

Supercomputer maker Cray Inc. today reported net income of $147.4 million on revenue of $84.2 million, a “strong quarter” in the words of CEO Peter Ungaro. The boost in net income came in part through a $139.1 million gain tied to the company’s sale of its interconnect hardware development program to Intel Corporation. The company, whose… Read More

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ZappBug: Startup builds business baking bed bugs

Cameron Wheeler runs his company from the epicenter of Seattle’s startup community, in the same building as Founder’s Co-op and TechStars in South Lake Union. But unlike many others on his floor, his startup is developing a physical product … and the bugs he’s chasing down are real. To be precise, they’re bed bugs. The product,… Read More

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Amazon’s Cloud Player now offers cloud-based music transfer with ‘scan and match’

Amazon.com today is touting new offerings for its Cloud Player music service, including a new service called “scan and match” that allows consumers to easily move their favorite music tracks from their hardrives to the cloud. Here’s how Amazon describes the new service: Amazon scans customers’ iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matches the songs… Read More

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Tech Moves: Ex-drugstore.com CFO lands at UIEvolution

Tracy Wright Knox, the former chief financial officer at drugstore.com, has taken a new CFO position at Bellevue-based UIEvolution. In the role, Wright Knox will oversee finance, human resources and the company’s global offices. Profitable and growing, UIEvolution develops cross-platform applications. It was sold in March 2004 to Japanese gaming company Square Enix, and three years later… Read More

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Here’s your chance: How to get a new ‘@outlook’ address

Tired of using an email address that contains your 8th grade nickname, or has seven numbers appended to it? Here’s your chance to use something closer to your preferred name on a consumer email service. Microsoft this morning launched a preview of its new Outlook.com email service, which will ultimately replace the Hotmail interface. You… Read More

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Consumer Reports for geeks: New ‘Decide Score’ uncovers the best and worst products

Decide.com already tells consumers when they should buy cameras, phones, refrigerators and other gadgets and appliances, analyzing price drops and increases. Now, the Seattle startup and brainchild of University of Washington computer scientist Oren Etzioni and others is getting into the recommendation business, assigning a score of 1 to 100 on more than 22,000 products… Read More

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Microsoft calls on Google to make ‘comprehensive’ patent peace in Motorola dispute

[Updated below with Motorola statement] Microsoft’s top lawyer this morning called on Google to “engage in serious discussions” toward a wide-ranging patent licensing deal that would end the thicket of litigation between the Redmond company and Google’s Motorola mobile phone unit. The blog post by Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith is the latest twist in… Read More

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Fast-growing storage upstart Box unpacks $125 million in funding

Box, the file sharing and data storage startup founded seven years ago by Mercer Island High School grads Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith, has reeled in a whopping $125 million venture round led by General Atlantic. The financing follows an $81 million deal that the Los Altos, California company raised last fall, building a substantial arsenal… Read More

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Banyan Branch expands with take over of Nology Media

Banyan Branch is adding a new tree limb, announcing today that it is taking over Seattle social media upstart Nology Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Nology’s four employees are joining Banyan Branch, and founder Leigh Fatzinger has been named to the company’s advisory board. With the deal, Banyan Branch now employs 50… Read More

Photo Courtesy Dave Zatz

Amazon Lockers make a quiet debut in Silicon Valley

We’ve been closely watching — even trying out — Amazon.com’s new Locker service since it quietly arrived in the Seattle area last year. Now, the online retailer appears comfortable enough with the early-stage pilots to take it into the heart of Silicon Valley. TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha reports that the service, which allows customers to order… Read More

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Dendreon shares sink after plant closure, restructuring

Dendreon, the once-promising Seattle biotechnology company, is taking it on the chin today after announcing a restructuring that will cost more than 600 people their jobs; the closure of its manufacturing facility in Morris Plains, New Jersey and other cost-cutting measures. “This restructuring sets a new course forward for Dendreon, accelerating our path to profitability and… Read More

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Q&A: Startup’s innovation boosts renewable energy output

Global Green Energy in Tumwater has hardware that solar power system owners use to feed renewable energy into the electric grid. To find out more, I talked with Global Green Energy co-founders Don Moss, President and CEO, and Zachary Butler, Vice President. How is Global Green Energy going to change the world? “Global Green Energy… Read More

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Nutritional products firm opens new Seattle headquarters

Econet, a South Korean investment holding company, has moved two of its nutritional products companies  into a new 70,000 square-foot headquarters in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood at 3005 1st Avenue. The space was previously occupied by biotechnology company Dendreon. Univera and Unigen had been based in Lacey, Washington since 2004, and with the move to Seattle… Read More

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Chart: VC returns on the mend

Earlier this year, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation issued a blistering report which said, among other things, that the majority of venture funds it had invested in over the years had failed to exceed returns available from the public markets. The report rattled the opaque VC industry, if for nothing more than its bluntness. Now, here comes a… Read More