Vancouver, B.C. looking to spend $30M in digital push

Cities throughout the world are trying to capture more tech talent, and our neighbors to the north are no different. Vancouver B.C. is planning a big push to bolster online government services, boost free Wi-Fi and strengthen its entire technology ecosystem, using efforts from Chicago, New York and other cities as a model. According to… Read More


How big data will transform politics, education and just about everything else

Big data requires big thinkers. And some of Seattle’s top minds — from University of Washington computer scientist Oren Etzioni to Context Relevant CEO Stephen Purpura to’s Charlie Bell — turned out this week as Madrona Venture Group hosted a round table discussion on the topic with authors Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier. Madrona’s Matt McIlwain,… Read More

Photo via Flickr User GreatBeyond

7 questions about the Seattle Police Department’s high tech surveillance program

Rapid advances in technology are making all kinds of high-tech snooping easier and cheaper. As a result, the Seattle Police department and other local law enforcement agencies will soon be capable of sophisticated surveillance. The kind that allows them to track people suspected of criminal activity, and also record and analyze the everyday activities of… Read More


City of Seattle green lights study for new high-tech traffic signals

Sick and tired of being stuck in nasty Seattle traffic gridlock? Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn feels your pain, and today he announced that the city’s transportation department has inked a deal with transportation firm Transpo to conduct a study to implement a new adaptive traffic signal system in Seattle. That means traffic signals could intelligently respond to… Read More


Seattle rolling out ‘Predictive Policing’ software to anticipate where crime happens

The Seattle Police Department is hoping to keep the city safe by using data that better predicts where crime may happen. Mayor Mike McGinn announced today that on Sunday the city rolled out a “Predictive Policing” software in the East and Southwest Precincts. The software inputs historical crime data from 2008 into an algorithm that predicts where and… Read More

Ed Lazowska

Ed Lazowska: The iPad wouldn’t be here without federal research dollars

University of Washington computer science professor Ed Lazowska is known for his strong opinions. And he got to share some of those Thursday, testifying before the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Science Education. Lazowska’s main point: Federal research dollars play a critical role in helping to spark innovation. Lazowska was making… Read More


Calling all geeks: City of Seattle wants volunteers for technology advisory board

Here’s your chance to help guide the City of Seattle’s strategies and investments in technology and telecommunications. The City is looking for volunteers to join the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB). The ten-member board and its committees discuss and advise the Mayor and City Council on a multitude of issues, including broadband deployment and adoption, mobile… Read More


U.S. State Department pulls plug on big Kindle contract

Well, here’s a very peculiar story with an odd twist. Two months ago we reported that the U.S. Department of State had planned to award a 5-year, $16.5 million contract to to put tens of thousands of Kindle electronic readers into educational centers around the world. The goal was to use the e-readers to help… Read More

Washington state ferry. Photo via Christine Majul

Geeks on a Ferry hackathon sunk by malfunctioning boat

In theory, it sounded like a great idea. Get a bunch of geeks on one of the state’s iconic white and green ferries for a summer crossing where developers could work on new government-related apps along the way. But today’s Geeks on a Ferry event, initially scheduled to kick off from Seattle’s Colman Dock today… Read More


Attention geeks: Your government needs you (and it’s offering $75,000 for new apps)

Ready, set, develop. The City of Seattle, King County and Washington State officially kicked off the first-ever Evergreen Apps Challenge today, a competition in which geeks from around Washington state are encouraged to build new travel, transportation, recycling or other apps that could benefit those living here. We first wrote about the competition back in May when… Read More


47 percent of H1-B Visa requests are in the computer field, and Microsoft leads the pack

Requests for H1-B visas, the controversial 22-year-old program that allows skilled workers into the U.S. to complete temporary jobs, are increasingly being made by large corporations in the fields of science, engineering and technology. In fact, a new report out from the Brookings Institution finds that a whopping 47 percent of requests were in computer-related… Read More


Firm files protest over Concur’s $1.4B government contract, dubs it an unfair 15-year monopoly

Shares of Concur Technologies soared earlier this month after the Redmond company was awarded a $1.4 billion contract to provide travel and entertainment expense management services to the government, with CEO Steve Singh saying at the time that they were “thrilled” with the decision. But not everyone is happy about it. In a protest filed June… Read More


Concur’s stock soars after landing huge government contract

Shares of Concur Technologies jumped nearly seven percent in heavy trading Monday after the Redmond maker of travel and entertainment expense management software announced a long-term deal with the U.S. General Services Administration. As part of the deal, Concur will manage online bookings, travel authorizations and vouchers across various U.S. government agencies. The contract has a… Read More

Former Mayor Mike McGinn discusses the Pioneer Square broadband project with then City of Seattle CTO Bill Schrier

Seattle’s ‘chief geek’ Bill Schrier to step down May 2

Chief Technology Officer Bill Schrier announced his retirement today after more than 30 years of service to the city. “Bill Schrier has been an effective and innovative leader in helping Seattle use technology to support our residents, our businesses, and an open government,” said Mayor McGinn in a statement. “Under his leadership Seattle has begun… Read More


AT&T exec blasts FCC over T-Mobile call center closures

AT&T appears to still be smarting over its failed $39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA, a deal that fell apart last December under intense government scrutiny. Now, some of those feelings are being aired via a blog post from AT&T’s Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs. And the reason for… Read More


How technology should be used to spur open government

The Washington Coalition for Open Government organized a conference this weekend to commemorate the 40th anniversary of our state’s landmark Initiative 276 and the Open Public Meetings Act (and to discuss the past, present and future of open government). I was one of the speakers at the conference and spoke about using technology to promote open… Read More