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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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Health
11:51 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Why Engineers Want To Put B Vitamins In 3-D Printers

This riboflavin-rich material can be used to print intricate, microscopic structures in three dimensions.
Courtesy of North Carolina State University

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 11:18 am

Almost every day it seems there's a new use for 3-D printing.

In medicine, the printers are already making prosthetic hands, hearing aid cases and parts of human ears.

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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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10:11 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Kenya's High Tech Solutions For Low Income Problems

Lead in text: 
Kenya had a lot of press coverage during the attack on the Westgate mall last month. The stories revealed deep class divisions in East Africa. Some entrepreneurs from Nairobi's thriving startup economy are using technology to bridge that divide between rich and poor.
The Innovation Trails Ryan Delaney recently returned from a reporting trip to Kenya. This is the first of the stories he filed. You can find the rest of
Space Tourism
3:19 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Take A Balloon Trip To Space

Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

How much would you pay to float above the earth for a few hours? A company called World View Experience is hoping the answer is $75,000.

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Winter Sun
9:07 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Norwegian Town's Bright Idea Is A Shining Example Of Ingenuity

People gathered on a spot in front of the town hall of Rjukan, Norway, last week, where mirrors have focused sunlight.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:22 am

Archimedes would be proud of the town of Rjukan, Norway. So would Sam Eyde.

Rjukan, home to about 3,500 residents and situated about 70 miles west of the capital, Oslo, has installed a trio of giant mountaintop mirrors to focus light into the valley town's square during the cold (and dark) winter months.

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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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Technology
4:18 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Innovation: A Portable Generator Charges Devices With Fire

The FlameStower can charge USB-powered devices with fire.
Courtesy of FlameStower

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 2:19 pm

Updated Oct. 18 to include comments from BioLite.

In our Weekly Innovation blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form to send it to us.

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NASA
10:22 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Sending 3D Printers Into Space

Flickr Photo/NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA is sending a 3D printer to the space station. Right now, you can make a copy of the Space Needle out of layer upon layer of extruded plastic, or a new jawbone, or a child’s toy. Soon, if an astronaut needs a very specific part, they won’t have to wait for delivery from a space ship. Made In Space Inc. has been contracted by NASA to develop a 3D printer.

Michael Chen, chief strategy officer for Made In Space Inc., explains how they're designing the new technology. The Made In Space 3D printer will be launched for another test into space on a SpaceX rocket flight next year. If it works, the printer is expected to be delivered to the International Space Station in 2015.

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Microsoft
12:07 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Investors Want Gates To Step Down

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

William Henry Gates III is an American business magnate, investor, programmer, inventor and philanthropist. You probably know him as Bill. He has done a few things, most notably, perhaps, building the software empire Microsoft. Although Bill Gates has stepped away from the daily operations at Microsoft, he’s still chairman of the board. And some influential Microsoft investors are calling for Gates to step down. That’s according to a story from Reuters Corporate Board Correspondent, Nadia Damouni.

Author Interview
12:49 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

How Technology Is Changing Our Minds For The Better

Clive Thompson's book, "Smarter Than You Think."

The plot of many a dystopian novel or movie is predictable: first technology advances, then humans become dependent on that technology and, finally, that technology turns on us. But what if the brain that makes the smart computer is being made smarter by the computer? Ross Reynolds sits down with Clive Thompson about the new book, "Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better."

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Regulation Of Data
3:57 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Why Should We Care If Companies Use Data For Advertising?

Flickr Photo/Steven Kreuzer

When Facebook shows you an ad for the pasta that you had for dinner that night, you might feel a little squirmy, find it creepy even. But what exactly is the worry of companies having access to more personal data? University of Washington law professor, and co-founder of UW's Tech Policy Lab, Ryan Calo, has been trying to answer that question. Ross Reynolds talks with Calo about the use and regulation of big data.

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UW Research
10:49 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Ethical Questions Of Brain Technology

Flickr Photo/David Foltz

Earlier this month, a University of Washington researcher was able to send a brain signal over the internet to control the hand motions of a fellow researcher.  What do emerging brain technologies mean for the future of privacy and identity?  Sara Goering joins us with some answers – and some questions.  She’s a professor of philosophy at the UW and she leads the ethics thrust at the UW Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.

Software Engineer Shortage
9:00 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Competition For Tech Talent Heats Up In Seattle Area

A conference room at Groupon’s new Seattle engineering office. The company opened what it thought would be a small engineering office in Seattle last spring. Now with 130 employees, Groupon is looking for additional office space.
KUOW Photo/Jake Warga

Technology companies have been among the bright spots for job growth in the region. They are hiring a lot of one particular kind of employee—software engineers. Those are the people who design, develop and test systems and software.

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