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GeekWire 11/10/2019 16:40
Can Seattle Sounders fans match the Seahawks’ “Beast Quakes” when it comes to making the earth move? Seismologists from the University of Washington and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network are conducting their first experiment to address that question. Based on results the Sounders’ MLS Cup championship match against Toronto at CenturyLink Field, soccer fans are definitely holding their own. “We’re seeing great signals from the crowd,” Elizabeth Urban, a UW student who’s part of the PNSN team, told GeekWire at halftime. Those signals were most obvious when Sounders fans started jumping together. “At first I thought it was a train…
GeekWire 11/10/2019 15:19
“This. Is. It.” And it was something. Seattle Sounders FC fans turned out in force Sunday morning for pre-MLS Cup festivities just blocks from CenturyLink Field as the city’s pro soccer team got set to take on Toronto FC for the league championship. Thousands of Sounders faithful clad in Rave Green and blue jammed Occidental Park in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, chanting and cheering as hip-hop star Macklemore and others fired everyone up. Kids on the shoulders of parents aimed smartphones at the scene, flags and scarves waved over the crowd and people posed for selfies in front of a…
GeekWire 11/10/2019 12:49
Grab your headphones, press play, and groove to the sound of your email inbox. It might sound a little weird, but based on my experience so far, Microsoft’s new “Play My Emails” feature for the Outlook app on Apple’s iPhone is a surprisingly useful and well-executed tool for keeping on top of your email, which despite the rise of workplace chat is still a critical communication channel in many jobs. The feature, announced last week, uses Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant to provide updates on appointments and events, summarize how many important messages have come in since last check, and say…
GeekWire 11/09/2019 15:30
Not only has Yvonne Wassenaar worked in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area most of her career, it’s also where she grew up. But recently, she got a new perspective. Almost a year ago, Wassenaar took over as CEO of Puppet, a Portland-based, 500-employee cloud automation company that helps customers develop software. The 14-year-old business has raised $150 million from investors over the years. So how does the city embodied by the chill, hipster vibe of “Portlandia” stack up against the win-at-all-costs depictions of Silicon Valley? Wassenaar sees pros and cons to both. “Because of the economics in…
GeekWire 11/09/2019 11:33
Microsoft, 343 Industries, and Showtime announced that the “Halo” TV series has officially entered production, as one of the most influential gaming franchises heads to a new medium. The 10-episode season is scheduled for release at some point in the first quarter of 2021. While the producers have yet to announce any significant details regarding the overall plot of “Halo,” except that it takes place during the Human-Covenant War, the casting — some of the characters have been dead for a while in the games — suggests it will be set well before the events of the original 2001 Halo:…
GeekWire 11/09/2019 11:00
It’s a familiar feeling. For the third time in four years, the Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC will meet in the MLS Cup to settle the question of soccer supremacy. But there’s also something familiar about what’s going on off the pitch. The two cities aren’t just competing in professional soccer — the names Seattle and Toronto are consistently showing up on lists identifying the world’s premier technology hubs. Whether it’s tech talent, job growth, livability or places where Amazon’s HQ2 could have landed, Toronto is a mainstay in the tech-hotspot mix that seems to always include Silicon Valley…
GeekWire 11/09/2019 10:49
Amazon’s top adversary on the Seattle City Council pulled ahead late Friday in the latest ballot count, deflating the tech giant’s $1.45 million effort to elect new leadership in its hometown. The company’s involvement in Seattle’s election appears to have backfired, as just two of the seven candidates who benefited from Amazon’s record spending prevailed. Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant came back from what looked like a defeat in early polling despite a massive financial push from the business community to elect her opponent. A member of the Socialist Alternative party, Sawant is a vocal critic of Amazon. She regularly…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 20:33
His name is Andy Hartpence, and he normally raps about video games, computer science and robots. But this week the Seattle nerdcore hip hop artist’s sly and silly rhymes about his favorite soccer club — Sounders FC — earned him prime tickets to Sunday’s sold out MLS Cup at CenturyLink Field. Hartpence is the winner of the #GeekiestSoundersFan contest, a fun competition in which geeks from across the Seattle area competed for two pitchside tickets in the Slalom Experience seats. You can watch Hartpence’s winning performance below, giving shout outs to contest co-hosts GeekWire and Slalom Consulting, as well as…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 19:55
Which will go into commercial service first: Blue Origin’s orbital-class New Glenn rocket and Blue Moon lunar lander, or the Lego toy versions? The answer will depend not only on how much progress Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ space venture makes on the real things, but on how many people support the Lego Ideas project as well. The 2,670-piece set would include a 1:110 scale version of the two-stage New Glenn and the human-capable variant of the Blue Moon lander, plus extras including a launch tower, rovers and a satellite. The rocket would rise to a height of about 40 inches.…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 15:30
— Geeks (and some non-geeks as well) seem to have a never-ending fascination with space. That love of the great beyond has led to an interest by entrepreneurs looking to start a company in the space business. If you’re one of those people, but don’t quite know where to start, you may want to attend Techstars Startup Weekend Seattle: Space Edition. The event promises to help entrepreneurs “learn the fundamentals of forming a startup with a space focus.” It place Nov. 15-17 at the SURF Incubator in Seattle. And speaking of space… — You may not be aware that only…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 15:00
Look, mom, a life of video games really does provide a resume boost. Certainly there are countless numbers of people making a living around games, with even more these days who have risen to the ranks of professional players, competing in leagues and tournaments. Kevin Kyeonghyun Ryoo is one such player. But while the longtime e-sports gamer, known by the handle SeleCT and through his achievements playing “StarCraft II,” isn’t resting on his gaming credentials as he pursues a computer science degree at the University of Washington, those credentials did spark a job offer that went viral recently. Ryoo, our…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 14:30
Steve Kessel, the Amazon executive who oversaw the e-commerce giant’s landmark expansion into bricks-and-mortar retail, plans leave the company early next year. The 20-year Amazon veteran, who also led the launch of the original Kindle e-reader earlier in his career, informed his team of the news in an internal email Friday morning, obtained by GeekWire. He said he is leaving “to focus on community service, not for profit work, and other areas of interest.” Amazon confirmed the news in a statement to GeekWire. “It’s hard to leave something I’ve loved doing for so long, inventing alongside a fantastic group…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 13:58
— Roei Ganzarski, the CEO of Redmond, Wash.-based electric propulsion startup MagniX, is the new chairman of the board at Israeli electric plane company Eviation. MagniX and Eviation are partnering to develop the Alice all-electric airplane, a nine-seater that could roll out commercially in 2022. Eviation is also gearing up for manufacturing and testing, with ground tests planned in Arizona and flight tests primarily targeted for Moses Lake, Wash. Both MagniX and Eviation are owned by the Clermont Group, a privately held business group based in Singapore. Ganzarski is also chairman of Clermont Aerospace, the aviation division of the Clermont…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 13:58
The planets will be aligned on Monday for a rare astronomical event known as the transit of Mercury, and skywatching fans are sure to see it even if the skies are cloudy, thanks to this little thing called the internet. For folks in the Seattle area, watching the action online will be the best bet when the tiny black dot of Mercury’s disk crosses the sun. Mercury will make its first contact at 4:35 a.m. PT, but it’ll be another two and a half hours before the sun creeps over the Cascades. By that time, the transit will be almost…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 13:19
It was just a few hours before the Seattle Storm faced off against the Phoenix Mercury in a decisive WNBA semifinal playoff matchup. Alisha Valavanis, the Storm CEO, was laser focused on the game as she strolled into a Starbucks for a routine coffee pit stop. As she grabbed her drink, a father approached and wished Valavanis good luck. But then something else happened that made the hoops executive completely forget about basketball. “We were chanting ‘Go Storm!’ in our house this morning,” the dad told her, “and my son announced to the table that when he grows up, he…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 13:13
There’s the service and security engineer — brought to the U.S. from Mexico when she was four years old — who took an early interest in technology. One of her colleagues arrived at just four months of age, an excellent student who had offers from several top tech companies after graduating from California Polytechnic. They’re just two of the five dozen or so Microsoft employees facing an uncertain future ahead of a critical case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear next week. Microsoft President Brad Smith spotlighted their stories in a blog post Friday as he and others on his…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 12:32
Funko has always been a bit Hollywood, with a product line nodding to some of the biggest franchises in pop culture. Now the Everett, Wash.-based company has actually gone Hollywood, with a brick-and-mortar retail location opening there this month. Company and industry executives joined celebrities in celebrating the arrival of Funko Hollywood on Thursday at a VIP preview event at the 40,000-square-foot store, which officially opens Nov. 18. Funko, which went public in 2017, opened its first and only retail location inside its Everett headquarters that same year. The maker of Pop! collectibles has made the new location on Hollywood…
GeekWire 11/08/2019 12:23
A group of third-party sellers temporarily suspended from Amazon’s e-commerce platform have reportedly been unable to get reinstated because of a glitch that is causing concern with the crucial holiday shopping season on the horizon. Sellers get suspended temporarily from Amazon for several reasons, including infringement claims from fellow retailers. To get back online, those sellers have to go through a reinstatement process. CNBC reports that suspended sellers are unable to complete the reinstatement process right now. Sellers who contacted Amazon about reinstatement via email received a message telling them to submit their appeals to Amazon’s Account Health site within…

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