business

Post War Tourism
11:43 am
Mon September 9, 2013

The Army That's Running Hotels

Flickr Photo/James Gordon

In 2009, the Sri Lankan Army brutally crushed a separatist group known as the Tamil Tigers. That same army is now in the hospitality business. Without a separatist group to fight anymore, the Sri Lankan Army is converting some of their assets into hotels and resorts. Journalist Brendan Brady stayed in one of the hotels. Ross Reynolds talks with Brady about the Sri Lankan Army's surprising new venture. 

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Local Economy
10:47 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Pioneer Square Gets Down To Business

Peeking in the window at Matthew Dillon's Bar Sajor in Pioneer Square.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

In 2009 people were asking, can Pioneer Square be saved? Businesses shut down and moved out of the neighborhood, the iconic Elliott Bay Book Company packed up and left for higher ground on Capitol Hill. But in the last few years the neighborhood has undergone a boom of sorts.

Restaurants Bar Sajor, Rain Shadow Meats, Gaba Sishi, Little Uncle and more have decided to make a home in Pioneer Square. The neighborhood has added to its bevy of galleries and retail shops. So what has changed? Ross Reynolds talks with Leslie Smith, executive director of the Alliance for Pioneer Square about the neighborhood business economy.

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Personal Data
9:35 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Reports: Spy Agencies Getting Past Tech Company Encryption

Flickr Photo/Chris Hardie

Reports from the New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica cast light on how spy agencies are obtaining private data. The news organizations say the US National Security Agency is using covert partnerships with technology companies to weaken encryption software.

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Tech Jobs
9:28 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Google Breaks Ground On Kirkland Expansion

Google's current offices in Kirkland.
Credit Flickr Photo/Marcin Wichary

Google officially launched construction of a new building to double its campus in Kirkland.

The Seattle area is already home to the third-largest Google center in the US, behind New York City and Mountain View, California. Google says it’s expanding here because it likes the talent coming out of nearby universities. It is not saying how much it intends to grow its workforce in Kirkland.

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Seattle Beer Capital
3:49 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Ballard Brewery District Thrives By Balancing Cooperation And Competition

Maritime Pacific Brewing Company & Jolly Roger Taproom's founder George Hancock.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When you run a coffee shop, and someone else opens a coffee shop across the street, that’s usually a bad thing. But sometimes, when you get enough similar businesses in one location, that’s good. And the benefits of cooperation outweigh the cost of the extra competition.

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New CEO
11:52 am
Wed September 4, 2013

The Future Of Microsoft Without Steve Ballmer

Retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

There are many changes afoot at Microsoft these days. CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement last month, giving the company an opportunity to move in a new direction.

Just this week the company also announced it was acquiring Nokia's mobile phone business in a $7.2 billion  deal. So what does the new CEO need to do to keep the company relevant and innovative?

Sandeep Krishnamurthy is the dean of the business school at UW Bothell. He talked with us about the future of Microsoft after Ballmer’s exit.

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Fight For Smartphones
5:37 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Microsoft Buys Nokia Devices For A New Shot At The Smartphone Market

Flickr Photo/Vernon Chan

Microsoft’s $7 billion purchase of Nokia’s mobile device business is an important step toward gaining ground in the worldwide smartphone market, analysts say.

But bigger challenges await as the company works to get consumers to love the Windows Phone.

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Irate Joe
12:25 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Pirate Store Brings Trader Joe's To Canada

Michael Hallat

Unauthorized, unaffiliated and unafraid reads the sign outside of Michael Hallatt's store in Canada. He is the owner of Pirate Joe’s, a small reselling store in Vancouver, Canada, that sells, among other things, Trader Joe’s products. He began by buying items from a Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and trucking them across the border to stock his shelves.

When Trader Joe’s realized what Hallat was doing, they were not very pleased. Now Hallat is fighting a lawsuit filed by Trader Joe's while continuing to smuggle peanut butter-stuffed pretzels across the border. So how does a store like his operate? The pirate himself explains.

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Transportation
11:19 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Demand Rising For Car Sharing And Ridesharing

A Lyft car with the trademark moustache.
Flickr Photo/Spiros Vathis

For months now, tensions have been brewing between Seattle taxi drivers and ridesharing services like Uber-X, Sidecar and Lyft. Seattle cab drivers (who are heavily regulated by the city) claim ridesharing services have an advantage since they’re not subject to the same rules and regulations.

So this summer, the city commissioned a $100,000 study to determine the demand for taxis, rideshares, for-hires and limousines. What did the study find? And how will the results inform how the city proceeds? Seattle City Council President Sally Clark joins us with the results.

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Economic Recovery
12:32 am
Thu August 29, 2013

For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table

Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 8:27 am

Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.

"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."

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Zim Djibouti Arrives
5:29 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Mega-Ships Big Opportunity For Northwest Ports

The Zim Djibouti, one of largest container ships in the world, arrives at the Port of Tacoma.
Jake Warga KUOW

One of the world’s largest ships arrived at the Port of Tacoma Sunday morning.

The Zim Djibouti slipped in at dawn, carrying loads of goods for big box stores. The vessel is 10,000 TEUs in size, meaning it holds 5,000 shipping containers. When the Zim Djibouti appeared on Sunday, fresh from a port in Vancouver, B.C., containers were 18 across on its upper deck.

The ship is part of a new wave of cargo ships emerging from Asian shipyards. They’re super-sized to save fuel costs.

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High-Tech Turnover
11:50 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Announces Retirement

Retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

One year: That’s how long that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has before he retires as the head of the company. In a news release today, Microsoft announced that the chief executive officer will stay until the company has chosen his successor.

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Ballmer Retirement
8:34 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Microsoft Chief Steve Ballmer To Retire Within 12 Months

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is to retire from the technology giant within the next 12 months.

Shares in Microsoft, criticised for its slow response to the booming market for mobile devices, leapt 9% on the news.

Ballmer, who last month unveiled a restructuring to address the criticism, said in a statement: "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time.

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Grape Harvest
8:31 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Northwest Winemakers Ready For 'Intense' Vintage

Anna King, Northwest News Network. Vineyard manager Dick Boushey.

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:48 pm

Wine grapes throughout the Northwest are ripening faster this year because of the hot dry summer. Vineyard managers and winemakers are preparing for a breakneck harvest over the next few weeks -- if it stays warm.

This year Eastern Washington had record-setting heat in July, while Oregon had consistently warm weather. Growers throughout the Northwest are hoping for cooler temperatures so the grapes don’t race to ripeness.

The prediction is for more wine, deeper colors and higher alcohol levels.

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E-Books
11:37 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Is Seattle The Next "New York" In Publishing?

Flickr Photo/Andrew Masson

When it comes to publishing authors’ works, Seattle may be the next New York City. Amazon and other tech companies have transformed publishing with e-readers, social media and new financial models, making the old New York book publishing house less relevant, according to tech reporter Emily Parkhurst.

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