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Netflix voice support coming to Amazon Fire TV this year

Last week, it was Hulu and Crackle joining the Amazon Fire TV party. Now, Netflix is in, too. In his letter Q1 earnings letter to shareholders, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that his company expects to enable voice search for Amazon’s new $99 set-top box “later this year.” Currently, the voice search feature — which we came… Read More

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China’s Tencent looking to expand globally to take on Facebook, Amazon and more

Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Zynga and Uber all have each other to contend with, but what if a fierce new competitor were to enter to the U.S. market? Tencent may be the latest Chinese superpower eyeing global expansion, according to an article published in the May edition of Fast Company. Similar to Alibaba, which is expected… Read More

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Gates-backed inBloom winding down after non-profit faces concerns over privacy

InBloom, which was backed by $100 million from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others, is closing up shop after parents worried that its database technology was violating their children’s privacy. InBloom’s CEO Iwan Streichenberger explained in a letter on the non-profit’s site this morning: “It is a shame that the progress of this important… Read More

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Apple, Google — and now Amazon — offer game publishers top app store placement for exclusivity

Video game publishers are no strangers to signing exclusive deals with platforms, and now that practice is becoming apparent in the mobile gaming industry. A Wall Street Journal report this morning notes that Apple and Google are now offering mobile game publishers highly-coveted placement within their app stores in exchange for exclusivity. As a classic example, WSJ notes… Read More

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Microsoft, Motorola Solutions to share technology with patent licensing agreement

Microsoft today announced a patent licensing agreement with Motorola Solutions, enabling the two companies to share technology. The license will provide coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Motorola Solutions’ devices running Android and Chrome OS. Note that this is Motorola Solutions, not Motorola Mobility, the company that Lenovo bought from Google for $2.91 billion in January…. Read More

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Blucora paying $45M to purchase HowStuffWorks, the Internet’s how-to guide with 38 million monthly visitors

Blucora continues to expand through acquisitions. The Bellevue company today announced that it’s buying HowStuffWorks from Discovery Communications, paying $45 million for the Internet’s how-to guide for everything from automobile maintenance to gardening tips to job interview advice. Among the questions that people can get answered on HowStuffWorks: How do they make hollow chocolate Easter… Read More

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Watch Paul Allen make a Kickstarter pitch for new NBA jerseys in ‘Portlandia’ cameo

Paul Allen’s acting skills — or lack thereof — were on full display in a “Portlandia” episode earlier this month. During this season’s seventh episode of the IFC satirical comedy show that features Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, several members of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers made cameos — including the team’s owner. Allen, who bought the Blazers in… Read More

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New UW football coach lifts Twitter ban for players, brings in social media advisor

During his previous coaching stint with Boise State University, Chris Petersen made sure to keep his players off Twitter. But now, it appears that the new University of Washington head coach is loosening his social media grip. Petersen, who became one of the first college coaches to ban his players from using Twitter while at Boise State, won’t implement a similar rule on… Read More

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Microsoft to open $1.1 billion ‘Project Alluvion’ data center in Iowa

Microsoft is the company behind a $1.13 billion data center known as “Project Alluvion,” taking shape in West Des Moines, Iowa. The Quad City Times and The Des Moines Register report that construction will begin this Spring, with the announcement made Friday by Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa economic development officials. “It’s now official, Microsoft is the… Read More

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Seattle will issue cease-and-desist to ride-sharing companies if deal can’t be reached

Seattle will issue a ceast-and-desist letter to app-based transportation startups like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar if an agreement between the companies, taxi drivers and city leaders cannot be made by the end of May. In an interview with GeekWire today, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said that he will spend the next 45 days working with stakeholders… Read More

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Ready for Webvan 2.0? Grocery service’s founder is taking another bite at the apple

Nobody would blame Webvan co-founder Louis Borders for staying away from the grocery delivery business. His company saw a meteoric rise during the first dot-com boom, but was laid low after an expansion push outside the San Francisco Bay Area, including an acquisition of Bellevue-based HomeGrocer.com, didn’t work out. But Borders, who was also a… Read More

Nouvola CEO and co-founder Paola Moretto with her $250,000 prize. Photo courtesy of OEN.

Cloud performance analytics startup Nouvola wins $256K at Angel Oregon

Portland-based Nouvola, a startup that helps companies deploy their cloud applications, won a $256,000 investment prize at the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network’s Angel Oregon 2014. Nouvola helps mid-market businesses monitor their cloud application performance and was founded in 2012 by CTO Paola Rossaro and CEO Paola Moretto, a former director for Intel’s Data Center Group. The 14-person team also won another… Read More

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Amazon vet’s grocery delivery startup Instacart is coming to Seattle

Watch out, Amazon Fresh: a new competitor is heading into town. Instacart, the grocery delivery service that leverages the ‘sharing economy,’ is looking to expand to Seattle, according to a new posting on GeekWork, GeekWire’s job site. It’s a big step for Instacart, which has seen explosive growth since the company launched in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company… Read More

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More than 600 Seattle U students had information exposed because of bad security settings

Sometimes, bad security breaches don’t even require specialized code or software bugs. Case in point: Seattle University, which accidentally left personal records for 628 current and former students exposed – including names, social security numbers and some medical information –thanks to improperly set permissions on the school’s email system. The bad settings allowed users to… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: Pol.is uses machine learning, data visualization to help large groups spur conversation

For the three entrepreneurs building pol.is, the problem was simple: Big groups of people trying to communicate effectively about a certain topic online was largely inefficient. That’s why they started pol.is, a new Seattle company that has developed a way to combine polling data from hundreds of people with machine learning and interactive data visualization. The end result… Read More

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Seattle ride-sharing regulations suspended; Mayor wants to negotiate with stakeholders

Seattle’s ride-sharing controversy just took an unexpected turn. A coalition group has collected enough signatures to suspend a newly-passed ordinance regulating companies like UberX and Lyft, and now Mayor Ed Murray wants to work with all stakeholders to reach a new agreement. The group, which received more than $400,000 in donations from Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, submitted more than… Read More

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Playstation 4 sales are up at least 2M on the Xbox One

One day ago, Sony announced that it sold through more than 7 million PlayStation 4 consoles globally as of April 6. Today, Microsoft announced that it has shipped — not sold — more than 5 million Xbox One’s to retailers worldwide. While Sony has a firm lead on global sales, it is also leading in the U.S. The NPD… Read More