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Proposition 1
11:52 am
Tue October 29, 2013

SeaTac Wage Fight: Fairer Pay Or Fewer Jobs?

The food court in the SeaTac concourse is a battleground for a proposed minimum wage increase.
Flickr Photo/John Boren (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Washington state has the nation’s highest minimum wage at $9.19 an hour. If voters in the City of SeaTac approve Proposition 1 next Tuesday, the city would boast the highest minimum wage in the country.

Opponents of the proposition say that although the purpose of the proposition is to provide higher-paying jobs, its real consequence would be fewer jobs and more competition from workers from nearby cities.

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Technology
11:55 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Etsy's New Policy Means Some Items Are 'Handmade In Spirit'

Rae Padulo creates handmade ceramics, like these holiday ornaments, for her Etsy-based company, mudstar ceramics. She's disappointed with the site's new policy to allow outsourced manufacturing. "There's nothing wrong with factory-made," she says, but "that's not what Etsy started out to be."
Courtesy of Rae Padulo

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:49 am

Under online marketplace Etsy's new policies, vendors can now use an outside manufacturer to help make their goods.

That is not going down well with some longtime sellers, who are calling the new policies a turnaround from the site's original mission.

"Their moniker is, you know, a place to buy handmade. It doesn't say a place to buy factory-made," says Rae Padulo, a potter who began selling dishes and ornaments on Etsy in 2009.

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Business
12:42 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Moving In With Manufacturers, Amazon Delivers A New Approach

Faster delivery is the new frontier of Internet competition.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 8:58 am

Amazon's business is built on three basic concepts: faster delivery, greater selection, and cheaper prices.

In service of that, it has built enormous warehouses staffed largely by robots that shuttle around, pulling goods out of bins at remarkable speed. It can take just a matter of minutes to go from order to shipment.

And lately it's pursuing a program where Amazon goes directly into manufacturers and manages their logistics and online retailing.

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Business & Technology
2:54 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Microsoft Profits Up, But Amazon's Workforce Surpasses Them

It's not just the elevators that have been welcoming at Amazon: their workforce has surpassed Microsoft for the first time.
Flickr Photo/cheukiecfu (CC BY-NC-ND)

There was big news from our region’s tech giants this week: Microsoft's profits are up nearly 17 percent over the past year, and Amazon now has more than 110,000 employees — passing Microsoft for the first time ever.

Nick Wingfield covers technology for The New York Times. He talks with Marcie Sillman about the latest tech news coming out of Seattle.

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Business
9:31 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Even Bing Improved: Microsoft Earnings Indicate Comeback

Microsoft's earnings were better than expected.
Credit Flickr Photo/Vernon Chan

Microsoft stock rose 6 percent after an earnings report that had analysts cheering. The Redmond, Wash.-based employer has been struggling to change as consumers move away from computers and toward mobile devices.

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News From Canada
3:08 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

EU Trade Pact With Canada Dairy Producers Good News For US

Flickr Photo/Markku Akerfelt

Canadian cheese and milk producers will get to keep their tariff protections under a tentative trade pact between the EU and Canada. That's good news for American retailers selling lower-priced American dairy to cross-border Canadian shoppers.

Overall, the agreement could boost commerce between the EU and Canada by an additional $35 billion each year. Steve Scher talks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about that story and more of this week's news from Canada.

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Elections 2013
12:56 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Top Donors Fighting GMO Labeling Revealed: Pepsi, Coke, Nestlé

Attorney General Bob Ferguson has gotten his wish: A list of donors to a political action committee created to fight Initiative 522, which, if passed, would require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified products.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association established its PAC on Thursday, the day after Ferguson filed suit against the association for failing to release its donor list. 

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Labor
10:54 am
Tue October 22, 2013

No Strike! 11th Hour Deal Averts Grocery Showdown

Grocery workers gathered at Westlake Center in downtown Seattle to countdown to a strike that was narrowly avoided late Monday.
From the Stand With Our Checkers Facebook page.

With just two hours left on the strike countdown clock, a tentative agreement was reached on Monday night between grocery workers and four major chains: Safeway, Fred Meyer, QFC and Albertson’s.

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Pot Tourism
9:41 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Some Worry About Marijuana's Effect On Colo. Ski Tourism

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:53 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Colorado, people are gearing up for the winter tourism season and there's excitement building for a new attraction - recreational marijuana stores. Yes, some believe pot could be a boon for the tourism industry. The first such stores in the country will open in Colorado in January.

Here's Bente Birkeland from Rocky Mountain Community Radio.

BENTE BIRKELAND, BYLINE: This past spring, 27-year-old Zay Copa, from Miami, Florida, came to Colorado for one reason - marijuana.

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Seattle Startup Week
11:35 am
Mon October 21, 2013

What's The State Of Seattle's Startup Scene?

Chris DeVore, general partner of Founder's Co-op.
Flickr Photo/Renny Gleeson

It’s Startup Week in Seattle: seven days of events, meet-ups, seminars, and good-old-fashioned networking for those who work in Seattle’s start-up community.

Last year, a global survey ranked Seattle as the 4th best city in the world for tech startups, behind Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles. And while that may seem like a very good spot in the rankings, some people involved in Seattle’s startup scene think we can do better.

Chris DeVore is one of them. Devore is a general partner at Founder’s Co-op, a company that provides start-ups with seed money. He says Seattle has a very deep talent pool, but isn’t very productive when it comes to creating new tech startups. Why is that? And what role are Microsoft and Amazon playing?

DeVore talks with Steve Scher about Seattle’s place in the startup world.

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Mobile Technology
9:37 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Microsoft Tweaks Windows 8, Stays With Its View Of The Future

Windows 8.1, shown here on an Asus Book, attempts to bridge between the mobile and desktop experience - including bringing in a "Start" button.
Flickr Photo/Vernon Chan

Microsoft servers around the world are dishing out a new version of Windows 8. The new version brings back a start button, something users said they missed.

A lot is riding on the success of the operating system, which is the backbone of Microsoft’s transformation into a devices company. It’s Microsoft’s effort to create a single experience for all Microsoft devices, from smartphone to tablet to laptop.

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Economy
1:13 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

The Cost Of The Partial Government Shutdown

The shutdown cost the economy $24 billion according to research from Standard and Poor’s . Other analysts peg it at a few billion higher or lower. But what is certain is that the shutdown had a major economic impact, curtailing  annual growth in the fourth quarter to 2.4 percent , down from 3 percent , according to S&P.

The shutdown is over, for now. The agreement passed by the Congress and signed by the President keeps the government open until January 15. The debt ceiling has been raised through February 7. Jon Talton writes a column on business and the economy for the Seattle Times, he explains what we have gained and lost from the partial government shutdown.

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Evolving Work Environments
10:46 am
Thu October 17, 2013

WordPress And The Future Of Work With Scott Berkun

Flickr Photo/Armando Torrealba

WordPress.com is the 15th most-trafficked website in the world. It’s also a unique workplace. Everyone works from home, employees use blogs and chat instead of email, and there are no schedules.

Scott Berkun reports on his year at WordPress, including lessons he learned about leadership, productivity, and the evolution of business. He spoke at Town Hall on September 19.

Food Porn
5:32 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

This Inventor Zaps Mosquitoes And Pours Wine In Blenders

A photo from Nathan Myhrvold's "Modernist Cuisine" is an example of what he calls "food porn."
Courtesy of Nathan Myhrvold and the Cooking Lab Photography Team.

Nathan Myhrvold was the former chief technology officer at Microsoft when he took a leave to attend culinary school in France.

Now the CEO of Intellectual Ventures, a Bellevue company that buys and licenses patents, Myhrvold has taken food to a new level: photographing lentils under a microscope, shooting gelatin and eggs and blending wine, which he says takes the edge off a young wine.

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Labor Dispute
3:46 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Grocery Unions Prep For Strike As Talks Heat Up

A Safeway in Seattle's University District advertises checker positions ahead of a possible worker strike.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As they debate their contracts, grocery workers insist they’re serious about striking: Picket captains have been tapped at hundreds of stores throughout the region, and strike headquarters have popped up in five counties.

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