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GeekWire 07/15/2020 16:41
Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos had their Twitter accounts hacked Wednesday afternoon in an apparent cryptocurrency giveaway scam. Other accounts including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Apple, Uber, and Square’s CashApp were also hacked. Update, 2:45 p.m. PT: Here’s the first statement from Twitter: We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter. We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly. — Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2020 The tweet below was posted from Gates’ account at 1:34 p.m. PT, but was then deleted. The same tweet from Gates appeared at…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 15:00
Melinda Gates, an advocate for women’s rights internationally, wrote an article published online Wednesday in Foreign Affairs magazine about the COVID-19 pandemic’s outsized harm to women. In “The Pandemic’s Toll on Women,” Gates, who is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, calls out multiple, devastating ways in which women are suffering health, economic and societal damage to a greater degree than men. Those impacts include: Reductions in maternal care that lead to more home births and increased mother, fetal and newborn mortality Loss of access to contraceptives as supplies are reduced Lack of access to personal protective equipment…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 14:48
Amazon will allow employees who can work from home to do so through Jan. 8, 2021, according to an internal policy page obtained by GeekWire. Amazon’s corporate offices are open now but the company says “employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so.” Employees who want to go to the office must clear it with their managers. Amazon’s corporate buildings have implemented temperature screenings upon entry, physical distancing measures, and new sanitization practices. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the new policy to GeekWire. “We continue to prioritize the health of our…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 14:00
Here’s what happens when a GoPro goes low — really low, as in insect height. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tiny robotic camera and attached the backpack-like device onto a live beetle, offering up a unique view of the world and showcasing technology for improving wireless vision at a small scale. The results were published Wednesday in Science Robotics. PREVIOUSLY: Robotics innovation takes off at the University of Washington with tiny, laser-powered RoboFly The camera streams video to a smartphone at 1 to 5 frames per second and sits on a mechanical arm that can pivot…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 13:55
Microsoft’s latest cloud partnership is with Land O’Lakes, the farming giant which will use Microsoft’s Azure technologies to spur sustainable farming practices and help farmers be more efficient. Arden Hills, Minn.-based Land O’Lakes, which has 150 million acres of productive cropland in its network, will build a connected AgTech platform on Azure. The companies also plan to help connect rural communities to broadband internet. “Land O’Lakes is one of the most important food suppliers in the U.S., and our nation’s farmers and consumers rely on its ability to rapidly adapt to changing market forces through innovation,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 13:43
The bar for reopening businesses and attractions to the public during the coronavirus pandemic has been set — and it’s 600 feet high. Seattle’s iconic Space Needle has invested $1 million in state-of-the-art technologies and safety measures that officials say will allow visitors to soon return to the structure, which has been closed since March 13 because of the health crisis. The initiative, called “Elevating Clean,” viewed first-hand by GeekWire this week, goes far beyond ordinary face masks and hand sanitizer. The Space Needle has added an array of ultraviolet light technology intended to rid the air and surfaces of…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 13:13
In an effort to prevent deaths and injuries caused by crashes between vehicles, bikes and pedestrians, the city of Bellevue, Wash., set out more than five years ago to foresee the future. The idea was to use machine learning to analyze thousands of hours of video collected by 360-degree traffic cameras already installed citywide to identify potential crash hot spots and tease out dangerous traffic patterns. The city this week shared its first batch of reports from the groundbreaking program, which has drawn comparisons to “Minority Report,” the 2002 film in which Tom Cruise anticipates and preemptively stops crime. “Bellevue is…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 12:00
Risk averse. Conservative. Hidden. Out of touch. When I started angel investing while working full time in the ‘90s and ‘00s, these words described me to a T. Now, 20 years later, these are the top four answers from Seattle-area startup founders when asked to characterize Seattle’s angel community. Since beginning my full-time investment career as an angel in 2016, I had heard complaints about the Seattle angel scene from countless entrepreneurs. But I had never seen any real data on founder sentiment. Were the complaints outliers, or representative of the entrepreneurial zeitgeist? I decided to conduct a survey to…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 11:26
Four women-led startups will receive a total of $6 million to scale their innovations from Microsoft’s venture capital arm and Pivotal Ventures, an organization founded by Melinda Gates. M12 and Pivotal Ventures on Wednesday unveiled this year’s winners of the Female Founders Competition, a program designed to expand access to capital for women entrepreneurs. Microsoft said last year that it would award $2 million each to two B2B enterprise startups and grant $1 million awards to two “deeptech” companies. In the deeptech category, a UK startup called iLof that is building a cloud-based library of disease markers using AI earned…
GeekWire 07/15/2020 01:49
A COVID-19 vaccine developed by Massachusetts-based Moderna is ready for more tests after showing a promising immune system response in early-stage trials. The National Institute of Health said that the vaccine “was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralizing antibody activity in healthy adults.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Associated Press that “this is good news.” Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine trial got its start at Seattle’s Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. The three farthest-along COVID-19 vaccines are being tested by Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and a team including AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.…
GeekWire 07/14/2020 18:05
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday that his pause on re-opening the state will be extended through July 28 due to rising COVID-19 cases. Counties throughout Washington state will not be allowed to move into the next phase of re-opening until July 28 at the earliest, under the extension. Daily coronavirus case counts have been rising steadily since the state began its tiered re-opening program. Inslee announced a pause on his four-part re-opening plan two weeks ago. King County is in the second phase, which allows for some in-person dining at restaurants and other businesses to operate. More than 41,000…
GeekWire 07/14/2020 17:57
Adaptive Biotechnologies announced Tuesday that it will sell 8 million shares of its common stock — 6 million of its own, and 2 million from an investor — to help accelerate the company’s work. The money will go toward investments in its TCR-Antigen Map activities, marketing activities associated with immunoSEQ Dx clinical products and services, and continued R&D for drug discovery initiatives. The Seattle biotech giant went public last year. Shares dropped to a record low in March but have doubled since then, trading at around $43/share on Tuesday. Adaptive, which is working with Microsoft and Amgen to fight COVID-19…
GeekWire 07/14/2020 17:32
The Trump administration is walking back a controversial rule that would not allow international students to remain the country if their universities plan to hold all classes online. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it will rescind the rule Tuesday in a court filing in response to a case brought by Harvard and MIT. Harvard plans to offer all of its courses online for the fall term due to the coronavirus pandemic. The document, filed in federal court in Boston, says the government intends to rescind the July 6 order which “moots the temporary restraining order” that the universities were…
GeekWire 07/14/2020 12:15
Amazon plans to establish healthcare facilities for its warehouse workers and their families across the country. The company unveiled the plan Tuesday, starting with a clinic in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Amazon expects to build 20 health centers across five cities in the U.S. as part of a pilot program. In addition to Dallas, the initial cities are Phoenix, Ariz., Louisville, Ky., Detroit, Mich., and San Bernardino, Calif. Amazon will expand the program to additional cities if the pilot is successful. Amazon is partnering with the medical group Crossover Health, which works with self-insured employers across the country. Crossover Health…
GeekWire 07/14/2020 12:12
Remote work was the norm at Auth0 long before the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies into work-from-home mandates. Salesforce Ventures leads $120M round for Seattle-area identity security startup Auth0 More than half of Auth0’s 650-person team already works remotely across 35 countries, which made it easy for the Bellevue, Wash.-based security startup to go full WFH amid the global health crisis. The company’s remote-centric work culture is “part of our DNA,” said CEO Eugenio Pace, who co-founded Auth0 seven years ago with Matias Woloski, who is based in Argentina. “We’ve been a little bit of a pioneer of remote work,” said…
GeekWire 07/14/2020 12:00
Auth0 is raising another big swath of cash as demand for its identity authentication software rises amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seattle-area startup just raised a $120 million Series F round led by Salesforce Ventures that increases its valuation to $1.9 billion. This comes after a $103 million round in May 2019. Total funding to date for the 7-year-old company is more than $330 million. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies across a variety of industries. Companies are connecting more and more with customers in the cloud — and that means opportunity for Auth0. Auth0 combines existing…
GeekWire 07/14/2020 10:00
If the 2010s were the decade when small satellites revolutionized the space industry, the 2020s will be when commercial space odysseys finally go mainstream. At least that’s the gamble that Jason Andrews, the co-founder and former CEO of Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries, is taking with French-born tech entrepreneur Nicolas Gaume. Today Andrews and Gaume are taking the wraps off Orbite, a Seattle startup that will focus on getting would-be spacefliers ready for those future odysseys. “You’re going to go to a space camp for the next generation,” Gaume said. Andrews, who’s been in the space business for more than two decades,…
GeekWire 07/13/2020 19:20
Microsoft is further cutting back its MSN team amid a controversial shift to automation and AI for content decisions previously left to human editors. After previously eliminating dozens of MSN contract positions, the company is now laying off an unspecified number of direct employees from Microsoft News, including some senior leaders on the MSN editorial team, according to people familiar with the situation. Microsoft made cuts across the company as part of its annual fiscal year-end business review, one of these people said. Its fiscal year ends June 30, and it’s common for Microsoft to restructure some of its operations…
GeekWire 07/13/2020 18:33
Consumers are used to opening their front doors to subscription deliveries of seasonal produce, curated clothing, and toys and treats for their pooches. A Portland, Ore.-based startup wants to add DIY healthcare monitoring to your list of home deliveries. Reperio Health is a subscription service that will deliver a kit containing devices for testing health metrics including a phonocardiogram to listen and record the sound of your heart, and a blood test to measure your levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and lipids. The company will also test blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, and more. Reperio’s app will walk users through…
GeekWire 07/13/2020 17:22
Raise your seat backs and tray tables, Microsoft is taking off again with its refresh of the classic “Flight Simulator” franchise. The company announced Monday that it would be ready for PC on Aug. 18. In a blog post, Jorg Neumann, head of the franchise for Xbox Game Studios Publishing, said “Flight Simulator” can be pre-ordered on Windows 10 or pre-installed with Xbox Game Pass for PC (beta) today. PREVIOUSLY: Flight Simulator is back and it’s real: Microsoft uses cloud to help classic franchise soar again “We have been thrilled and humbled by the support and dedication that has fueled…

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