Jeremy Irish, co-founder and CEO of Groundspeak.

GeekWire Radio: High-tech football, T-Mobile’s future, inside the world of geocaching

This week on the GeekWire radio show and podcast, we talk about the UW football team’s use of high-tech cameras to gain a competitive edge; the Justice Department’s move to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger; Amazon.com’s new Kindle feature for asking authors questions from inside books; and the second life for the HP TouchPad. Our guest… Read More

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As key Netflix deal unravels, Amazon may have Starz in its eyes

The loss of an important content distribution agreement with Starz Entertainment has dealt a blow to Netflix, or at least it will when the contract expires next February. But it’s an interesting development for Amazon.com, potentially opening the door to its own Starz deal. That’s one theory following the announcement by Starz yesterday that it… Read More

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New Kindle ‘@author’ feature lets readers ask writers questions from inside their books

Amazon.com today unveiled a new Kindle feature, @author, that will let readers ask questions of authors while reading their books. Confused about the motivations of a particular character? Curious about the author’s literary influences? Need to clarify a particular step in that how-to book? Now you can ask questions from within the e-book itself. As… Read More

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Amazon.com mum on latest employee meeting at KeyArena

Amazon.com is holding a sizable meeting of employees today at KeyArena in Seattle, triggering traffic alerts for the surrounding neighborhood. About 1,800 employees are attending. It’s not unusual for Amazon to hold its big employee meeting at KeyArena, but what caught our attention is that Amazon already had its big annual employee meeting there in March… Read More

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AmazonLocal deals hit NYC: Now in 30 locations, 10 states

Amazon.com is quickly becoming a sizable player in the booming and competitive market for local deals. The company announced this morning that its AmazonLocal deals marketplace will be expanding into New York City in the coming weeks, offering special offers from merchants in Downtown, Midtown, Uptown, and Brooklyn. Examples of deals to be offered in… Read More

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Seattle named No. 1 tech city in U.S. by Scientific American*

A new ranking by Scientific American magazine names Seattle the top city for technology in the country — ahead of other tech meccas including San Francisco, Boston, New York City and Los Angeles. But before we get all puffed up with hometown pride, it’s worth noting that the magazine’s research isn’t grounded in its own… Read More

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Amazon gets ‘KindleScribe’ domains, dropping more hints

Everything Amazon.com does these days is being scrutinized for ties to its expected Android tablet launch, a possible offshoot of its Kindle e-reader. Over the weekend we spotted Amazon’s trademark filings for its Lab126 unit, the group that makes the Kindle, wondering if it could be connected to the upcoming announcement. Now a couple of domain-name… Read More

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Amazon bulks up Instant Video catalog, Netflix barely notices

Amazon.com’s Instant Video catalog has surpassed 100,000 movies and TV shows, more than 9,000 of them available at no additional charge to members of the company’s Amazon Prime service, the company said this morning. That’s up from 90,000 titles overall, including 5,000 available free to Amazon Prime members, as of February of this year. The… Read More

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Amazon launches U.S. ‘GovCloud’ with plug from NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

Amazon Web Services is aiming to land more business from the U.S. government and its contractors with the rollout of “GovCloud,” a new cloud computing service that complies with U.S. government rules requiring defense-related information and other sensitive data to be accessible only by people from inside the country. The company announced the new service… Read More

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Californians launch boycott of Amazon.com over sales tax

Amazon.com is facing a backlash in California where a group of citizens, supported in part by Democratic politicians, is urging a boycott of the Seattle online retailer. Operating under the name ThinkBeforeYouClickCA, the organization is attempting to put pressure on Amazon to collect sales taxes on purchases made in the state, reports The Bay Citizen…. Read More

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Amazon releases Student App, challenging college bookstores

Amazon.com this morning released a new “Student App” for iPhone, aiming to connect college students to the Amazon.com catalog even when they’re browsing the stacks of their college bookstores. It’s the latest broadside in an ongoing battle between the Seattle company and college bookstores. The app comes with a barcode scanner for checking prices, offering… Read More

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Jeff Bezos wants to put an airbag in your smartphone

Many of us have experienced the problem: We get careless with our mobile phones, they slip out of our hands, and all of a sudden we’re back at the store replacing a shattered device. Well, none other than Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a solution for us: Airbags for phones and other portable devices. Or… Read More

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Fish & chips with your Moby Dick? Microsoft seeks patent on ads inside e-books

A newly surfaced Microsoft patent application proposes to serve ads inside e-books, adjusting their relevance based on the contents of the digital tome, similar to the way search engines deliver ads next to query results. The application for “Providing Contextual Advertisements for Electronic Books” was originally submitted in January 2010 and made public earlier today…. Read More

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Poll: How much do real bookstores matter anymore?

The demise of Borders is causing many of us to consider the role of bookstores — heck, the role of any physical stores — in our increasingly digital world. Sure, we like going to them, but with Amazon.com and others making it easier than ever to browse, buy and even read books in digital form, do… Read More

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Amazon’s IMDb targets Android tablets with app update

Will this be one of the showcase apps for Amazon.com’s long-rumored Android tablet? Internet Movie Database, the Amazon.com service better known as IMDb, today released a revamped version of its app for Android devices, including a new interface for Android Honeycomb tablets. IMDb already had an iOS app that runs on Apple’s iPad, but this new Android… Read More

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Amazon eyes new Seattle tower for even more growth

Amazon.com has been growing like crazy — adding 4,200 people worldwide in the first three months of this year alone. And despite a gigantic new headquarters campus, the Seattle company appears to need even more space to accommodate all that growth. We’re hearing from people in Seattle’s commercial real estate community that Amazon is on… Read More

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Google reveals first native eBooks device, promises more

Will this device give Amazon’s Kindle a run for its money? Probably not, at least not on its own, but it’s a notable step for Google’s digital books initiative, as the first dedicated device with the search company’s eBooks platform integrated into the experience out of the box. The price of the iRiver Story HD… Read More

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After bending to Apple, adult ‘app market’ MiKandi awaits outcome of trademark fight

Microsoft and Amazon.com aren’t the only companies hoping to see Apple stumble in its attempt to trademark the phrase “app store.” Seattle-based MiKandi.com, which operates an adult app store for Android devices, was forced to start using the phrase “app market” in its tag line after Apple served the company with cease-and-desist papers earlier this year over… Read More

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Amazon buys Book Depository, UK’s top indie online bookseller

Amazon.com this morning announced a deal to buy The Book Depository online bookseller, based in the UK. Although the companies are nominally in the same business, they use decidedly different strategies. The Book Depository focuses more on the breadth of its selection, not concerning itself with shipping large volumes of individual titles. “The Book Depository… Read More

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eBay growing in Amazon’s backyard

Online giant eBay is aiming to expand its operations in the Seattle region — becoming the latest Silicon Valley company to boost its presence here as the technology job market heats up. No official details yet from eBay, but GeekWire is hearing from multiple sources that the company is close to finalizing a lease to… Read More