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


“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


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


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 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


Google Drive takes on Microsoft SkyDrive, but at a higher price

Google Drive is alive. The long-rumored online storage service was officially announced today, following an apparent attempt at pre-emption by Microsoft earlier in the week. But in both timing and the wallet, Microsoft SkyDrive may have the advantage. Not surprisingly, Google Drive is billed as “a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep… Read More


Seattle design firm kicks off 999Bottles Kickstarter campaign

Consider it a kind of milestone: the iPhone is so ubiquitous, it becomes an accessory for a water bottle. That, in essence, is the idea behind 999Bottles, a project of Seattle-based tech product design firm Artefact. Artefact this week is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise (a seemingly appropriate) $99,999 for 999Bottles. That money, the company… Read More


Netflix gains subscribers, tracks Amazon “carefully”

“Given Amazon’s size and ambitions, we continue to track their progress carefully as well.” With that brief statement, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings acknowledged one of the online streaming video service’s perceived competitors in its quarterly letter to shareholders as part of today’s first quarter 2012 earnings report: Amazon Prime Instant Video. Overall, Netflix came in… Read More


NPD: 40% of freemium game players pay to play more

Ever paid to extend or enhance a free-to-play digital game? A new study from market researcher NPD Group says you’re not alone. The NPD report, Insights into the Freemium Games Market, says four out of ten players have shelled out real cash if the game had additional features that could be purchased. Those most likely… Read More

In with the new

DreamBox re-positions itself for focus on K-12 market

Digital education company DreamBox Learning has solidified its shift to emphasize the K-12 school market over the consumer market by unveiling a new logo and brand identity. Bellevue, WA-based DreamBox, founded in 2006 by Lou Gray and former Microsoft executive Ben Slivka, was acquired two years ago by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and the Charter School Growth Fund,… Read More


Comedy superhero web series premieres at Seattle Comicon

Super Friends meets The Office? That, in a nutshell, is how Seattle production company Moon Bullet Studios describes its new web series, The Collectibles. The ten-part series will officially debut on Sunday, April 1 as part of Emerald City Comicon in Seattle. It’s a bit hard to describe The Collectibles, even after viewing the trailer…. Read More


Will a $199 Google tablet hurt or help the Kindle Fire?

Next to politics, perhaps no industry loves speculation more than tech. We may couch it as “analysis” or — if we’re being especially honest with ourselves — as “commentary” or “opinion.” But at its best, even when fact-based, it’s informed guesswork. Which leads me to the latest rumor of a Google Nexus tablet. Digitimes was… Read More


WiMax dealt another blow: new Sprint phones to be LTE-only

Sprint is putting another nail in its WiMax coffin by confirming at an Orlando mobile carrier conference that it will no longer release new WiMax phones, instead relying on devices that run on its upcoming LTE 4G network. It’s news likely to be watched closely by Bellevue-based wireless broadband provider Clearwire, which has received a… Read More


Weekend project: How to build a Star Wars TIE fighter

If you have a spare 30 hours and $300 this weekend, you may want to try a do-it-yourself project that’s a bit more satisfying to your inner geek than, say, installing new linoleum flooring. Dave Putnam, who put his eight-foot by eight-foot, roughly one-third scale replica of the iconic TIE fighter from Star Wars up… Read More


Seattle schools to offer digital animation, game courses

Budding digital animators and game programmers will soon have another option for learning those skills — through Seattle Public Schools’ new Skills Center. Applications are now being taken for the Skills Center, which will offer high school programs in Aerospace Science and Health Science, as well as a Cisco/Microsoft IT Academy for those pursuing careers… Read More