Bill Gates

Bill Gates at SXSWedu: The future of education is data

If there was a single nerdy subtext that Bill Gates brought to his closing keynote at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, it was the importance of data. Useful data. Education data. Gates, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was the headliner to a standing-room only crowd of roughly 2,500 at SXSWedu, the… Read More

Public Information Kiosk's book vending machine.

Paper trumps tech at national library conference

I went looking for the digital future of libraries at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting this week. Conveniently, the conference was held in Seattle, near a couple of very forward-looking library systems that make eBooks, mobile apps and digital downloads expected, almost routine. But if the exhibit hall represented the near future for libraries,… Read More

FurtherPeterRabbit

3 ways digital media is turning us into 2nd graders

We are all regressing. And I have proof from an authoritative source: the state of children’s books. The underlying reasons lie in the digital means by which we communicate, forcing increased — and often unreasonable — expectations of speed and brevity, no matter how complicated the concept. My evidence for declaring this probable cause and… Read More

gatesspeech

Bill Gates to keynote SXSWedu conference

While much of the tech world’s attention is focused on Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show (and Microsoft’s lack of a keynote or exhibit space), the upcoming SXSWedu conference has announced its first keynote: Bill Gates. SXSWedu is the newest in the family of SXSW (“South by Southwest”) events, which include the popular nine-day conference in… Read More

Flickr photo via Justin D. Miller

Here comes another tech bubble — in education

I’m the kind of guy who worries when something gets too popular. I looked askance at novels (especially science fiction) that made it to mainstream bestseller lists when written by otherwise mediocre authors. I avoided buying any footwear or polo shirt that was named for, or sported images of, long-jawed fast-crawling reptiles. When anything rapidly… Read More

ipadbooks

Why eBooks won’t rule the Earth

The certainty in the headlines is almost palpable. “eBooks Now ‘Dominant Single Format’ in Adult Fiction Sales,” shouted book publishing site GalleyCat. “Kindle ebook sales have overtaken Amazon print sales,” trumpeted UK’s The Guardian. “E-book revenue outstrips hardbacks in first quarter,” trembled The Bookseller. But if these stories led to you to believe that the… Read More

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Banks behaving badly: Dealing with a divisive digital divide

When a company providing financial services emphasizes digital convenience, you’d think that also applies to its customer service. After all, nearly every major bank and credit union pushes online banking, mobile banking, text and email alerts and electronic bill payment. But there seems to be a digital divide between financial institutions promoting digital and thinking… Read More

David Brin

10 questions: ‘Existence’ author David Brin on science fiction, science and geeks

One could successfully argue that modern geek culture wouldn’t exist in its current form without 20th century science fiction and its fan culture, the true Ancient Geeks. Tech’s unconferences have their roots in PowerPoint-free, volunteer-organized, fan-driven science-fiction conventions run by organizations such as the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), which go back nearly eight… Read More

geeksguideairtravel

The Geek’s Guide to Air Travel

You say you know what it’s like to live like a geek. But do you know how to fly like one? I do. And not like the annoyingly self-important “look at these cool-expensive-huge headphones that I just bought with the red light that make me look like a Star Wars Cloud City administrative aide” road warriors…. Read More

geekwiretumbles

Two GeekWire weeks, three entrepreneurial lessons

Twice in the span of one month I did something I hadn’t done for a decade — worked in a newsroom. Those two partial weeks that I spent enfolded, tauntaun like, in the guts of GeekWire taught me more about the current state of journalism and entrepreneurship than a year of reading armchair opinions ever… Read More

Kickstarter-Eyebat

Magic: The Gathering creator to crowd-fund mobile game

The designer of the iconic collectible physical card game Magic: The Gathering has a new venture in the virtual mobile game world — and has launched a crowd-funding initiative to make it happen. The game business site Gamasutra writes that Richard Garfield is preparing a new location-based mobile game, Map Monsters. Garfield has teamed with Seattle-based independent… Read More

uw-logo-small

Hacking Edu: tech’s role in the future of higher education

Call it a noble experiment: only a month to re-imagine institutions with centuries of tradition and, some might say, baggage. But that’s exactly what the University of Washington’s Master of Communication in Digital Media program pursued as it re-thought higher education in April. Hacking Edu wrapped up this week, and MCDM Director Hanson Hosein said it… Read More

Klouchebaglogosmall

The latest influence score to obsess over: Klouchebag

If you say nothing else about social media, you can at least say it’s developing a sense of humor. Mean? Maybe. Self-deprecating? Definitely. But it’s a sense of humor. The latest evidence is Klouchebag, a parody of Klout’s influence score that launched earlier today. And if the name of the site isn’t enough to clue… Read More

benhuh

Ben Huh news startup Circa raises $750K seed funding

Cheezburger Network founder Ben Huh has been uncharacteristically quiet about Circa, his online journalism startup. Now word is out that Circa has raised $750,000 in seed funding. TechCrunch reports that the seed money comes from eonCapital, Quotidian Ventures, TechStars’ David Cohen and David Tisch, Tumblr’s David Karp, Eric Norlin’s SK Ventures, Manesh Arora, Pedro Torres-Picon,… Read More

expedia-app

Expedia sees room nights rocket 24% year-over-year

That hotel room you booked in Cabo may have just helped pay for office space in Bellevue. Expedia has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2012. And perhaps in an indication of how the broader travel industry is recovering from the depths of the recession, the Bellevue-based company highlighted that room nights booked… Read More

twodaysinseattle

Free Klout trips a success, says Seattle tourism bureau

What’s the price of influence? It may just be a free trip to Seattle. While the digerati, including Wired in its May issue, debate the true influence of high-scorers on the social media ranking site Klout, the Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau declares its Klout-centric experiment a rousing success. Early this year, the SCVB invited 30 individuals… Read More

200px-Seal_of_Illinois.svg

“Amazon tax” struck down in Illinois in boost for affiliates

The state of Illinois has lost a lawsuit against the state’s attempt to collect sales tax from out-of-state, online retailers — a law often called the “Amazon tax.” The Performance Marketing Association, which represents affiliate marketers such as those working with Amazon, had challenged the 2011 law that created the  Illinois Affiliate Nexus Tax. A… Read More

seattle-transit-shed

Walk Score reveals transit system rankings of 25 cities

Walk Score, which has made a name for itself ranking neighborhoods by how easy it is to walk to amenities and transit, is now rolling out its first ratings of entire public transit systems. The new rankings leverage Walk Score‘s Transit Score index to evaluate residents’ access to public transportation, overall, in 25 cities. Perhaps not… Read More

eonbook

Science fiction writers inspired as asteroid miners make fiction fact

It was the very last question at the news conference announcing Planetary Resources’ plans to find mineral-rich asteroids, pull them into near-Earth orbit, and mine them. Did science fiction play a role? The response was an accurate, but unsatisfyingly vague, “Science fiction is fiction right up to the point that it’s science fact.” The Seattle area, which hosted… Read More

cray

Cray to sell hardware assets, shift employees to Intel

Supercomputer giant Cray has announced it’s selling a hardware program and related intellectual property to Intel — and in the process, up to 74 Cray employees will join Intel and Cray will receive $140 million. Cray says that a definitive agreement has been reached to sell its interconnect hardware development program, technology which directs supercomputer… Read More