The Happy Crate.

Growth market: Legalized marijuana creates ‘huge possibilities’ for startups

Want weed? Welcome to Seattle. Tuesday is opening day for Washington’s first recreational marijuana shops. Yep, that’s right — anyone 21 years and older can purchase a product that has been illegal across America for decades. Having passed I-502 in November 2012, Washington will become the second state after Colorado to regulate and oversee licensed growers and marijuana shop owners. It’s… Read More

Photo via Flickr user Brett Monroe.

5 tech tips for your Fourth of July weekend

In terms of technology, a lot has changed since July 4, 1776. We have radios. We have TVs. We have computers. And most recently, more than half of us now have smartphones. So as you celebrate the 238th Fourth of July weekend, here are five tech tips you may find useful. From educating you about astronomy to helping you… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: Shoppost lets retailers sell products in social media newsfeeds

Since people are spending more and more time looking at Facebook and Twitter, why not let them purchase items directly from their social media feeds? That’s the thinking behind Shoppost, a Seattle startup that’s developed an app to allow retailers to sell products directly in social media newsfeeds with interactive posts. A few years ago, CEO David Robb helped start a… Read More

Smartphone image via Shutterstock.

Survey: 17% of Americans would give up best friend for smartphone

Some Americans are so attached to their smartphones that they’d rather temporarily lose a best friend than have their device taken away. That’s one of the slightly disturbing findings from a survey commissioned by Motorola Mobility and B2X Care Solutions, which polled more than 500 smartphone and tablet users in America. The companies found that 17 percent of… Read More

Robert Mao and Haitai Li, founders of Pixomobile.

Ex-Microsoft engineers launch social network app built on long-form visual storytelling

“Snowfall” quickly became a well-known phrase in online media circles after the New York Times published a unique multimedia feature in 2012. Rather than simply migrating words and pictures from paper to the Internet, the project took advantage of software development tools and told a story that included huge pictures, videos, and interactive features that appeared as one scrolled down the… Read More

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Microsoft and Amazon vets raise cash for stealthy IT startup Midfin Systems

Three former Microsoft and Amazon engineers with more than 35 years of experience at the two tech giants have teamed up for a stealth startup in the private IT administration space. Midfin Systems is a new Redmond-based company that is developing technology for private datacenters. CEO and founder Suyash Sinha, a 14-year Microsoft vet who left his post as Senior Director in… Read More

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New record: University of Washington spun out 18 startups last year

Startups are sprouting out of the University of Washington at record pace. The school announced today that it helped launch 18 startups in fiscal 2013, breaking last year’s record of 17. A majority of the companies, which received support from the UW Center for Commercialization (C4C) and have signed patent-licensing agreements with the university, are health-care… Read More

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How the Sounders use wearables to improve soccer player fitness, with help from Tableau

With most sports, a healthy body is essential to success. That’s certainly true in soccer, where players run around the pitch for nearly 10 miles per match and make a series of sprints that require tip-top physical health. To help ensure that its players are performing to the best of their ability, the Seattle Sounders FC uses a unique… Read More

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Microsoft joins Qualcomm’s effort to set standards for ‘Internet of Things’

Microsoft announced today that it is joining the AllSeen Alliance, a Qualcomm-led effort to establish standards for devices that fit into the “Internet of Things” category. The organization, which already includes companies like LG, Cisco, and Panasonic, is working on an open source “Internet of Things” framework based on AllJoyn to allow devices to connect and talk… Read More

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These high school entrepreneurs built an iPhone case that calls emergency services with a squeeze

Most entrepreneurs learn the ins and outs of starting a company in their 20s, 30s, and beyond. But for 31 Seattle-area teenagers, lessons of idea creation, execution, and teamwork came a little bit early. For the fifth consecutive year, a group called TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) Seattle helped mentor more than 30 high schoolers who spent the past eight… Read More

Zipwhip CEO John Lauer.

Frontier inks partnership with Zipwhip for text-enabled business landlines

Businesses using Frontier Communications for their voice calling needs will now be able to send and receive texts with consumers thanks to a new partnership with a Seattle startup. Zipwhip today announced a new deal with Frontier that will add texting capabilities for businesses that want another way to communicate with customers. Zipwhip’s technology allows… Read More

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Washington task force meets to discuss drone regulation

A Washington state task force focused on drone regulations met for the first time today to discuss how government agencies can legally use unmanned aerial vehicles. The group was organized after Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a bill in April that would have regulated government use of surveillance drones amid concerns over public information disclosure. The task… Read More

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Online sales exceeded physical retail revenue for US book publishers in 2013

An annual report from BookStats reveals that U.S. publishers are now seeing more revenue from online sales than from physical retailers. Last year, BookStats found that publishers brought in $7.54 billion in online orders — which include revenue from e-books — compared to $7.12 billion made from sales at physical retailers. However, while e-book sales… Read More

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Microsoft’s Cortana, expert World Cup predictor, picks Belgium to beat USA

Microsoft’s prediction technology has been perfect thus far in the World Cup knockout round, correctly picking Holland, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, and most recently France, as winners. But Americans will hope that Microsoft’s pick for Tuesday’s big U.S. soccer match against Belgium is flat out wrong. Microsoft Bing’s prediction engine, which had a success rate of… Read More

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Bing now shows Twitter hashtag, handle results directly within search

Three years ago, Microsoft was at odds with Twitter in regard to including tweets in Bing search results. Now, though, it seems those issues have officially gone away. Bing is now featuring Twitter hashtags and handles in its results as part of its exclusive partnership with the social media giant that was inked last November. Certain content from Twitter was already showing… Read More

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Uber and Lyft still collecting signatures, as Seattle City Council considers new agreement

Despite reaching an agreement to allow Uber, Lyft and Sidecar to operate in Seattle legally, a coalition group is still collecting signatures from citizens — just in case the city’s lawmakers don’t approve the new set of rules. Earlier this month, the San Francisco-based startups — also known as transportation network companies (TNCs) — reached a new deal with… Read More

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Google shuts down customer service feedback platform TalkBin

Three years after acquiring Talkbin, Google is now shutting the customer feedback platform down. Emails sent to the Talkbin support account are receiving an auto-reply message noting that the service will be shutting down next month. “TalkBin usage has dwindled over the past 2 years, and we have decided to shut down the service on July 31st,… Read More

Protesters voice their disdain for Common Core standards and Bill Gates' involvement in U.S. education reform last week.

Teachers protest in downtown Seattle, say Bill Gates is ruining education

Bill Gates has poured millions of dollars into public education reform in the U.S., and some teachers aren’t too thrilled about that. About 150 instructors from the Badass Teacher Association marched through downtown Seattle toward the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday evening to demonstrate their disdain for the Common Core standards that have been implemented… Read More

Google's Cardboard headset, fully assembled

Poppy founders: Google Cardboard VR headset is ‘brilliant,’ but not a threat

When Google unveiled its own do-it-yourself cardboard virtual reality headset at the I/O conference on Wednesday, Joe Heitzeberg and Ethan Lowry were bombarded with messages. That’s because the Seattle entrepreneurs have a similar product in Poppy, a 3D imaging device for iPhones. People wondered whether Google Cardboard infringed on Poppy, or if Heitzeberg and Lowry were involved in some… Read More