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Microsoft releases Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview

Windows Phone developers can now install the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system on their personal devices. The company announced today that Windows Phone 8.1 is available through the Windows Phone Preview program, so devs can get a head start on building apps for the new update, which will be rolling out to consumers… Read More

Photo via Flickr user btckeychain.

No Bitcoin for Amazon: Online retail giant says it’s not seeing enough demand

Overstock.com has made a big fuss about accepting the digital currency to the point where you’d expect other major online retailers to follow suit, but Amazon says it won’t be one of them. In an interview with Re/code’s Jason del Rey, Amazon payments head Tom Taylor said they’ve considered accepting bitcoin, but there’s no rush. “We’re… Read More

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Julep raises $30M in oversubscribed round, looks to build big beauty brand

With revenues more than tripling last year and new beauty products in the works, Seattle cosmetics and e-commerce powerhouse Julep has raised $30 million in fresh funding. Azure Capital, Madrona Venture Group and Altimeter Capital participated in the round, joining existing investors Maveron and Andreessen Horowitz. Total funding in Julep — founded seven years ago… Read More

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GeekWire Radio: A glimpse of ‘projected augmented reality’ with Technical Illusions

You’ve heard about augmented reality and virtual reality, with all the buzz about Google Glass, Oculus Rift, and other technologies designed to enhance and replace the world around us. But what about projected augmented reality? Our guest on this week’s GeekWire radio show is software engineer Rick Johnson, one of the co-founders of a Seattle-area… Read More

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Seattle’s ride-sharing rules headed for city-wide vote — with one potential roadblock

The fate of app-based transportation companies like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar may soon be decided by the people of Seattle. A coalition group that is collecting petition signatures to suspend a newly-passed ordinance regulating those companies tells GeekWire that it expects to easily surpass the number of signatures required for a city-wide vote. “We’re very pleased with how… Read More

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Portland’s public transit mobile ticketing app sees 1M purchases in 8 months

So far, so good for Portland’s public transit mobile ticketing app. TriMet, Oregon’s largest provider of bus, light rail and commuter rail transit services, announced Thursday that riders have purchased more than 1 million tickets using its mobile ticketing app since it debuted this past September. More than 80,000 people have downloaded the app, which was built by Portland-based GlobeSherpa and eliminates… Read More

An HTC employee shows off the "Selfie Bot"

These geeks spent hundreds of hours building Lego robots that do amazing things

Legos. Robots. Software. Yes, EMP was turned into a geek paradise Thursday night as seven teams from top technology companies in the state faced off in the “Build for Good Robot Competition,” a unique competition sponsored by Lego Mindstorms. Teams — including developers from Amazon, Expedia, HTC, Microsoft and Zulily — competed for glory and prestige with… Read More

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Chart: PC industry resets, aims to return to growth

The traditional notebook and desktop PC industry experienced its best quarter in nearly two years, according to numbers released by the Gartner research firm this week. Yes, shipments declined by 1.7 percent, but that was much better than in recent quarters, exceeding forecasts for the period. Microsoft’s end of support for Windows XP played a… Read More

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Oops! Washington state disposes of old computers without wiping medical records, tax forms and other confidential information

Medical records. Social Security Numbers. Employee performance evaluations. Those were just some of the confidential records found on old computers that several agencies in Washington state were sending to surplus, violating policies for properly wiping computer hard drives, according to a new report from the Auditor’s Office. “With the right knowledge of data retrieval, the confidential information… Read More

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Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to speak at University of Washington graduation

Graduates, graduates, graduates, graduates, graduates, graduates. OK — maybe that’s not exactly what former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is going to say at Husky Stadium on June 14, paying homage to his epic “developers” chant on stage at a conference in 2000. But University of Washington graduates can certainly expect high energy and some sound advice from Ballmer,… Read More

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Here’s why Amazon pays $5K to warehouse workers who quit

In Jeff Bezos’ annual letter to shareholders, the Amazon.com CEO and founder revealed an interesting program that pays workers at the company’s warehouses to quit. Yes, that’s right: Amazon gives money to those who jump ship. “Pay to Quit,” an idea born at Amazon-owned Zappos.com, was put into place to get rid of employees who… Read More