GeekWire Breaking News in Technology & Business Thu, 28 May 2015 21:33:44 +0000 en-US GeekWire 144 144 hourly 1 Tea Party ‘firebrand’ Ted Cruz addicted to PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies Thu, 28 May 2015 18:01:57 +0000
Oh, Ted Cruz. The Texas senator told the Daily Beast that he has an addiction of sorts — a video game addiction that is. Apparently, after long days of hating on Obamacare and running for president, Cruz likes to unwind with some gaming, especially with his daughters. According to the Daily Beast, the current favorite games of the Tea Party “firebrand” are  Plants vs. Zombies (from Seattle’s own PopCap Games); Candy Crush, in which “he claims he’s in the 217th level“; and The Creeps!. The Daily Beast reports that Cruz says his addiction is so severe that “he has to proactively deny himself the ability to… Read More]]> 3 Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 10.53.35 AM Photo via Wikipedia/Flickr/Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore/Ted Cruz
Android Pay: Google launches new mobile payment system to rival Apple Thu, 28 May 2015 17:54:39 +0000
At its I/O developer conference, Google today announced Android Pay, a new mobile payment system for its operating system that lets people purchase items with their smartphone. The new system uses NFC technology to enable tap-to-pay transactions at more than 700,000 retailers across the U.S. that have NFC-equipped registers. Your debit or credit card numbers won’t be shared with merchants, as Android Pay uses a virtual account number for each transaction. The process is simple: Unlock your phone, hold it in front of an NFC terminal, and within seconds, the payment is complete. In addition to the retailers, Google is partnering with Visa,… Read More]]> 2 android-shutterstock_182053310 Android phone. Photo via Shutterstock.
Bill Gates’ greatest fear for humanity is absolutely terrifying — and likely to happen Thu, 28 May 2015 16:45:13 +0000
Holy moly. When one of the world’s smartest men puts the likelihood of a major catastrophe happening at “well over 50 percent” in his lifetime? That’s pretty serious. In this exclusive interview with Vox, Bill Gates said that his greatest concern for a major event that will wipe out a large chunk of humankind? A massive outbreak of an infectious disease. “Look at the death chart of the 20th century,” he told Vox. “I think everybody would say there must be a spike for World War I. Sure enough, there it is, like 25 million. And there must be a big… Read More]]> 1 - GeekWire     ---     Bill Gates Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.23.30 AM Photo via YouTube/Vox/Bill Gates Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.34.12 AM Photo via YouTube/Vox/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation chart
NASA taps Boeing for first commercial crew flight to International Space Station Thu, 28 May 2015 16:39:56 +0000
Boeing will help NASA get back into the business of transporting people to the International Space Station. NASA announced on Wednesday that it has tasked Boeing to fly astronauts to the ISS in 2017, marking its first commercial order for a human spaceflight mission. The “crew rotation mission” is part of a $4.2 billion contract Boeing inked with NASA this past September. NASA said that SpaceX, which signed a $2.6 billion contract with the space administration in September, will also receive an order later this year to send astronauts to the ISS. “This occasion will go in the books of Boeing’s nearly 100 years of aerospace and more… Read More]]> 2 boeing121space Photo via Boeing. spacexdragon111 SpaceX’s Dragon capsule was on display in Seattle earlier this year.
Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs: Steve Wozniak talks about Nat Geo’s new show ‘American Genius’ Thu, 28 May 2015 16:01:43 +0000
The road to genius superstardom is hardly paved with daisies and chocolate. It takes a lot of work to get to the status of being able to dominate an industry and enjoy the spoils that go with it. Hence, the National Geographic Channel’s latest mini-series, American Genius, which premieres Monday, June 1. And just who did Nat Geo decide to focus on in its very first episode? Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. From the Nat Geo press release on the new series: In the 1980s, two of America’s most brilliant minds, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs,… Read More]]> 1 Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs: Inside Nat Geo's new show 'American Genius' with Steve Wozniak - GeekWire The road to genius superstardom is hardly paved with daisies and chocolate. It takes a lot of work to get to the status of being able to dominate an industry and enjoy the spoils that go with it. Hence, National Geographic's latest mini-series, American Genius, which premieres Monday, June 1. And ju American Geniuses,Apple,Bill Gates,Microsoft,National Geographic Channel,Steve Jobs,Steve Wozniak Gates v Jobs REENACTMENT- After Bill Gates improves the software for Job's Apple II computer, Jobs shows him the new graphical user interface they are working on in hopes that Microsoft will write Apple's graphical user interface software for all their computers. (Photo Credit: National Geographic Channels/Evelyn Hockstein) Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 8.19.03 AM Photo via Wikipedia/Flickr/Creative Commons/Nichollas Harrison Jobs 2 Photo Credit: National Geographic Channels/Evelyn Hockstein
Android tops iOS in push notification engagement, Urban Airship finds Thu, 28 May 2015 14:00:11 +0000
Android users are more than twice as likely as iOS users to open an app after receiving a push notification, according to new research from Portland-based mobile technology company Urban Airship. Urban Airship analyzed 93 million notifications from nearly 3,000 apps and found that Android apps in the “medium-performing” category got 20 percent of users to actually open the app after receiving a notification, while only 8 percent opened an iOS app under similar circumstances. Business and finance apps saw a lot of response, while media and gaming apps were mostly ignored. Media apps are likely giving enough information in the notification to… Read More]]> 1 urbanairship
Q&A: Amazon Prime boss Greg Greeley says skip the trip to the store, use same-day delivery instead Thu, 28 May 2015 10:01:45 +0000
Amazon has achieved another milestone in its long history of breaking new ground in the retail world. The company is launching free same-day shipping — every day of the week, including Sunday — for free. There are some exceptions, of course. Orders must exceed $35; you must place the order by noon to receive it by 9 p.m.; and only one million items are eligible. You also have to be a member of Amazon Prime, the retailer’s $99 loyalty program. But the addition of a free same-day shipping program in 500 U.S. cities adds a huge competitive edge to Amazon Prime’s already long… Read More]]> 1 greg greeley Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime amazon sunglasses same day amazonprimeair amazon prime box amazonprime
Amazon launches free same-day delivery for Prime members in 500 U.S. cities, including Seattle Thu, 28 May 2015 10:00:54 +0000
Amazon is launching free same-day delivery today for more than 1 million items across a major swath of the U.S., covering 500 cities and towns. Under the new rules, orders of more than $35 will ship for free, as long as the customer pays $99 a year to be an Amazon Prime member. Orders must be placed by noon to be received by 9 p.m. Q&A: Amazon Prime boss Greg Greeley says skip the trip to the store, use same-day delivery instead Previously, Amazon charged Prime members $5.99 for same-day shipping. The price will remain the same for non-Prime users, who will have to pay $8.99, plus… Read More]]> 5 shutterstock_196805375 Julie Clopper / amazon sunglasses same day VXD-180-SameDay-infographic-nationwide
Ignore the critics: The world needs more Tomorrowlands Thu, 28 May 2015 01:00:22 +0000
Tomorrow sucks. That, in a nutshell, seems to be the assessment of many film reviewers and even the box office receipts when it comes to the futuristic Disney release, Tomorrowland. Expected to pull in at least $50 million over the long Memorial Day weekend to justify its $180 million price tag, Tomorrowland barely eked out $42 million. That led to such performance-deflating adjectives as Variety’s “stumbles,” Forbes’ “failure,” or the Wall Street Journal’s “flops.” Reviewers have been damning, leading to a middling 49% Rotten Tomatoes rating right after the holiday weekend, with a relatively common criticism that the tale is “ham-handed… Read More]]> 2 tomorrowland Inside 'Tomorrowland' Tomorrowlandlogo EdgeofTomorrowcover A better title Adventurethruinnerspace Preparing to enter the "mighty microscope" Star_Tours_poster The cusp of Tomorrowland's transition to fantasy
Sprint CEO: We’ll surpass AT&T, Verizon in network performance within two years Thu, 28 May 2015 00:29:03 +0000
Editor’s note: This story was corrected to reflect that Claure referred to network performance, not subscriber count. Sprint has some lofty ambitions. Speaking at the Code Conference, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said on Wednesday that his company will rank No. 1 or No. 2 in network performance within two years. That’s a big statement, particularly since Sprint lags behind AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile in the most recent third-party speed tests for call, text, and data performance, along with overall coverage. Sprint CEO @marceloclaure says in the next 18 months, his network will be ranked No. 1 or 2. That's a BIG claim. #CodeCon — Roger Cheng… Read More]]> 1 Marcelo-claure Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure sprint-logo
Uber for bodyguards: Bannerman offers on-demand bouncers, launches in Seattle Wed, 27 May 2015 22:57:34 +0000
A few taps on our smartphones today will order us transportation, food, and now, security guards. Bannerman is a new startup out of San Francisco that graduated from Y Combinator last year and is set to expand its service outside of California for the first time to Seattle. The company lets users order unarmed security guards at any time of the day via its website or mobile app and have a bouncer show up within one hour. Co-founders Johnny Chin and Antoine Chevigne came up with the idea for Bannerman after living abroad in dangerous cities. “We came up with the crazy idea of pushing a button on your phone and having… Read More]]> 1 bannerman111 Photo via Bannerman. bannerman11
Former Rhapsody execs launch startup that lets you share items, services with neighbors Wed, 27 May 2015 17:28:37 +0000
A new Seattle startup wants to help neighbors share items and expertise with each other while donating to a good cause. Founded by two former Rhapsody executives, MyNeighbor is a marketplace that connects people in need of services or goods with those that already own such resources. The company’s one-line pitch is an “Airbnb for neighborly needs and deeds.” The service lets lenders post things they already own — a ladder, a kayak, a carpet cleaner, for example — or a expertise they have like tutoring, baking, dog walking or piano lessons. Borrowers can browse their specific neighborhood library of offers and… Read More]]> 11 myneighbor11 myneighbor11 myneighbor1211
Sound Transit’s train on track, U-District one step closer to being ideal tech hub Wed, 27 May 2015 16:58:19 +0000
The University District is one step closer to becoming a more attractive tech hub. Sound Transit announced this week that construction to expand its light rail system is “early and under budget,” according to a report by King 5 News. The University Link is on track to open by the first quarter of 2016. The just over three miles of tracks will connect the downtown Westlake Station to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington, with trains set to run “every six minutes,” during peak travel hours. That’s good news for emerging companies in the U. District, creating another possible option… Read More]]> 7 Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.06.07 AM Photo via Sound Transit Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 9.44.27 AM Photo via Sound Transit Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 9.41.56 AM Photo via Startup Hall
The highest-rated show on Netflix isn’t ‘House of Cards’ anymore Wed, 27 May 2015 14:42:43 +0000
A lot of people were watching this fight very closely. Eventually something had to knock House of Cards, Breaking Bad and Sherlock out of the top spot on Netflix, and this weekend, Netflix original Daredevil did just that — achieving the top average rating from users of the popular streaming service. The comic book superhero was given another chance after the mediocre film from 2003 didn’t leave critics or fans of the series particularly impressed. Netflix, in a partnership with Marvel to produce four superhero originals, launched Daredevil in April 2015, immediately impressing fans and critics alike as both the production and acting in… Read More]]> 5 daredevil-highest-rated-netflix-show Exstreamist
Microsoft’s Satya Nadella named most influential tech exec, ahead of Jony Ive, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk Wed, 27 May 2015 14:28:01 +0000
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is the most influential executive in the technology industry, according to a new ranking released this morning by Juniper Research. The list puts Nadella ahead of Jony Ive, Apple’s newly minted chief design officer, as well as influential tech leaders such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Juniper says the rankings are based on its “assessment of key criteria including vision, innovation and personal capital.” In a report explaining its picks, Juniper points to Nadella’s influence on the company, as demonstrated in the upcoming launch of Windows 10, and the shift to “Windows as a Service” — a regularly updated… Read More]]> 5 Satya Nadella Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addresses employees to launch a company hackathon. (GeekWire File Photo) ive_hero20110204 Jony Ive
A Silicon Valley exodus? Redfin analysis finds Bay Area residents are increasingly looking for homes in Seattle and Portland Mon, 25 May 2015 16:54:11 +0000
One of the most interesting trends we’ve tracked at GeekWire over the past few years is the arrival in Seattle of what we dub the Silicon Valley tech giants. Huge companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Apple and Alibaba all have established engineering centers in the Pacific Northwest — so many that we created a list of the more than 50 centers a few weeks ago. But it’s not just big Bay Area tech companies that are looking at the Pacific Northwest. So are many tech workers who are starting to feel the pinch of skyrocketing housing prices. (Just this past… Read More]]> 64 Seattle skyline and Rainier at sunset The Seattle skyline redfin-analyssi-screenshot_7722 kelmanRedfin_GlennKelman Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman sandhillroad Welcome to Silicon Valley (Mark Coggins photo)
Maker of sexually transmitted disease test wins UW business plan competition Fri, 22 May 2015 16:07:51 +0000
Two startup companies that are looking to improve the sexual health of people everywhere took home the top honors Thursday night at the 18th annual University of Washington Business Plan Competition. In front of a crowd of more than 300 at the Bell Harbor Conference Center, $77,500 in prize money was handed out to 11 student-led teams who competed in the month-long competition. The top winner — Vie Diagnostics — is developing a low-cost DNA test for sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Led by a University of Washington PhD in mechanical engineering and PhD candidates in chemical… Read More]]> 2 IviediagnostcsiMG_7375 Ivi Diagnostics empreva-MG_7380 The Empreva team
Why this Seahawks linebacker showed up at a University of Washington MBA event Sat, 16 May 2015 17:32:53 +0000
He is a devoted Apple customer, owning an iPhone, iPad, iMac, and MacBook. His favorite app is BillGuard since it “makes it easier to manage your money.” He has both an Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but calls himself an Xbox guy because it’s “so interactive.” Oh, and Kevin Pierre-Louis also happens to play football on Sundays for the Seattle Seahawks. The second-year linebacker paid a visit to a University of Washington MBA business pitch expo on Friday evening, but not because of a team requirement or a sponsor’s request. Pierre-Louis simply wanted to learn. “The NFL stands for ‘Not For Long,'” he told GeekWire. “This is just… Read More]]> 3 seahawksmba IMG_9272 uwmbaevent stevehall Vulcan Capital Managing Director Steve Hall hears a pitch from a University of Washington MBA student on Friday. IMG_0355 copy Julie Sandler accepts the award for Geek of the Year at the 2014 GeekWire Awards.
Hackers steal money from Starbucks mobile customers using linked credit cards Mon, 11 May 2015 20:45:47 +0000
The 16 million Starbucks customers who use the company’s mobile payment service may want to strengthen their log-in credentials and reconsider using the auto-load feature. Independent journalist and best-selling author Bob Sullivan reported on Monday that hackers recently stole money from several Starbucks customers by gaining access to their credit card information through the Starbucks app and using the auto-load function. Sullivan described how one Starbucks customer had $34.77 stolen from her account last week, another $25 after it was auto-loaded, and another $75 after the hackers changed her auto-load amount. All of this took place in less than ten minutes. Sullivan cites three other Starbucks customers who… Read More]]> 12 starbucksmobile111 Starbucks sign
KustomNote rebrands as Transpose, raises $1.5M for holistic information management platform Mon, 11 May 2015 14:00:54 +0000
Transpose, a new Seattle startup that bills itself as a holistic information management platform, today announced a $1.5 million funding round. Seattle-based venture capital firm Founder’s Co-op led the round, which also included participation from Alliance of Angels and New York-based The Gramercy Fund. Formerly known as KustomNote, the nine-person company has developed software that helps customers create structure and pull intelligence from large sets of data across all devices. The startup, which graduated from Seattle-based B2B accelerator 9MileLabs this past November, originally built structured note-taking templates that helped customers record, store, retrieve, and share custom-structured notes. Now, Transpose has evolved to also pull insights from unstructured data, files, and voice recordings… Read More]]> 2 TransposeMngmnt transposehussein Hussein Ahmed.
Startup Spotlight: ‘Birchbox for chocolate’ Chococurb delivers sweets to your door Fri, 20 Feb 2015 02:55:05 +0000
Subscription box services have exploded since Birchbox ignited the trend in 2010. The model has become so ubiquitous that consumers can now get curated boxes of vinyl records, bacon, condoms, and even cannabis delivered to their doorsteps. Now, Seattle startup Chococurb wants to do same for luxury chocolate. Just over a year ago, Roger Ling and co-founder Kamran AmirAli came up with the idea for a chocolate subscription service based on the Birchbox model. “We both loved chocolate and sweets in general, so we figured this would be a great way to combine something we love with a huge business opportunity,” AmirAli said. The founders spent most of the past year developing… Read More]]> 5 chococurb Chococurb Co-Founders Roger Ling and Kamran Amir Ali chococurb Chococurb founders Roger Ling and Kamran AmirAli. CHOCOCURB Boxes___CHOCOCURB A sampling of Chococurb brands Chococurb
Big Fish Games to be acquired for $885 million by racetrack operator Churchill Downs Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:25:28 +0000
Seattle-based Big Fish Games, one of the largest privately-held tech companies in the Northwest, has agreed to be be acquired by Churchill Downs Inc. for $885 million. Churchill Downs Inc. is a publicly-traded company that operates the famous Churchill Downs horse racetrack in Louisville, home to the legendary Kentucky Derby. It also owns six casinos, a video poker business, an online wagering business, and a bevy of other holdings. In a statement, Big Fish founder and CEO Paul Thelen said that Churchill Downs is a “great cultural fit for us.” “We are extremely proud of the company we have built over the last twelve years,” Thelen… Read More]]> 23 paul.thelen2 Paul Thelen of Big Fish. churchilldownsincorporated gallopforgold bigfishgames-111
Yahoo acquires social media visualization startup Vizify Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:28:53 +0000
Vizify, a Portland-based startup that turns your social media chatter into visualizations, today was acquired by Yahoo. Founded by Todd Silverstein, Jeff Cutler-Stamm, and Eli Tucker in 2011, Vizify is all about helping individuals make great first impressions. It does this by sucking in information that people already share online on social networking sites, and turning that data into easy-to-consume visualizations. Users can also create their own domains and access back-end analytics. As a result of the acquisition, Vizify will be shutting down its service and will no longer be accepting new users as of Wednesday. “Since last summer, we’ve been… Read More]]> 8 vizify122 silverstein Vizify CEO and co-founder Todd Silverstein vizify12 Vizify offers users social media analytics.