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


Seattle ranks in top 5 for broadband download speed

Feeling a bit sluggish, Seattle? Perhaps a move to Austin, San Francisco or Boston will perk you up. Pando Networks, which delivers content and downloads for MMO games, has released its annual American Broadband Study. And in it, Seattle ranks fourth for average download speeds among the largest cities in the U.S., with an average… Read More


Urbanspoon updates iPhone app; adds filters, partners

Urbanspoon is, if you’ll forgive the pun, shaking up its signature iPhone app with a completely new interface and by adding recommendations, filters and maps. The new app available today still preserves the traditional slot-machine “shake” method of finding restaurants for which Urbanspoon is known. But the free app now highlights other methods of finding… Read More


Raveld reveals Klout-like score for cloud spending on AWS

It may start getting easier to make optimal Amazon Web Services purchasing decisions. Or, at least, less expensive. Raveld, a Seattle-based startup formed last year, is launching a new free service to help organizations decide which AWS resources they need. At its heart, it is a report containing what the company calls the Raveld Score,… Read More


Kindle Touch to launch in Europe April 27

Amazon’s Kindle Touch will finally make it across the pond to Europe, five months after its U.S. launch — but not the advertising-subsidized version. The BBC is reporting that April 27 is the launch date of the touchscreen-driven Kindle in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. However, notes the Beeb, “there will not be… Read More


T-Mobile sued by Israeli firm over near field technology

Wireless carrier T-Mobile USA is facing a lawsuit over its near field communication (NFC) technology. Israel’s On Track Innovations (OTI), which has products that include the COPNI (Contactless Payment and NFC Insert) device to add NFC capability to non-NFC mobile phones, said it filed the patent infringement suit against the Bellevue, WA-based carrier in New York… Read More


Amazon adds DRM to ‘DRM-free’ Harry Potter eBooks

Those expecting to unwind with all seven Harry Potter volumes in glorious, DRM-unencumbered pixel are likely in for a disappointment, according to early buyers. An original announcement about the pending digital publication of J.K. Rowling’s epic said Rowling’s Pottermore site, “will sell DRM-free eBooks of the series for the first time.” Apparently, not exactly. Nate Hoffelder of… Read More


Microsoft embraces, extends open source mapping

File this under “the enemy of my enemy is my friend:” Microsoft is reportedly lending “big support and big dollars” to an open source mapping project in order to counter Google Maps. OpenStreetMap, which is run by the U.K.-based non-profit OpenStreetMap Foundation, is a self-described “free wiki world map” which operates much like Wikipedia. Volunteers… Read More