Innovation Nation

The Infectious Disease Research Institute’s drug discovery program is finding new ways to develop TB drugs. (IDRI Photo) To many people, tuberculosis is a disease confined to places far away or to times long gone by. But the distance between us and this deadly pathogen is far smaller than we may imagine: in just the last six months, there have been two TB scares in the Seattle area, and one out of every three people in the world carries the TB bacteria. TB is one of the oldest and smartes...
We already knew that Amazon provided a rare public demonstration of its delivery drone dropping off some sunscreen at this week’s MARS 2017 conference in Palm Springs, Calif. We also knew that Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital rocket ship, which went to space and back five times, was on display at the invitation-only event, organized by Amazon to show off frontier technologies in Machine learning, home Automation, Robotics and Space exploration. Nevertheless, it’s nice to ...
The future world headquarters of pop culture merchandise makers Funko, in downtown Everett, Wa. (GeekWire Photo / Tim Ellis) Funko, makers of pop culture figurines and much more, is growing so rapidly that it needs more space for its headquarters in Everett, Wash. With its move to a historic building downtown, the company will also be opening a giant flagship retail location this summer. A couple of Star Wars POP! figurines from Funko in the GeekWire offices. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) K...
Uber Pacific Northwest General Manager Brooke Steger addresses the ongoing legal fight over Seattle’s union law. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg) Uber’s popular ride-hailing service may leave Seattle if a first-of-its-kind law allowing drivers to collectively bargain is implemented as planned. So said Brooke Steger, Uber’s Pacific Northwest general manager, at a Public Relations Society of America event in Seattle that focused on communications lessons from the company...
(credit: Microsoft) Microsoft's embrace of open source software continues, with Azure Service Fabric making the first tentative foray into the open world. Today, the SDK was (mostly) published to GitHub under the MIT license. The team behind the move described it as the "beginning stages" of a wider use of open source. Service Fabric, first revealed in 2015, grew out of the infrastructure Microsoft developed to build and run large-scale cloud services, including Azure SQL, Cortana, and Skyp...
A release candidate version of the Tesla Model 3 hits the streets. (Elon Musk via Twitter) Tesla’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, is showing off a video of the company’s more affordable Model 3 electric car – but he’s also touting Tesla’s pricier models. A clip that shows a black release candidate version of the Model 3 zipping down the street popped up this morning on Musk’s Twitter and Instagram feeds, and quickly picked up tens of thousands of views, plus thousan...
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | KrulUA) The US Senate yesterday voted to eliminate privacy rules that would have forced ISPs to get your consent before selling Web browsing history and app usage history to advertisers. Within a week, the House of Representatives could follow suit, and the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission last year would be eliminated by Congress. So what has changed for Internet users? In one sense, nothing changed this week, because the requirement...
Rebecca Ferguson plays Miranda North, a planetary protection officer aboard the International Space Station, in the movie “Life.” (Sony Pictures Digital Productions) Spoiler Alert! This article doesn’t reveal any major plot twists, but wait to read it if you’re trying to stay totally in the dark about the plot of the movie “Life.” Let sleeping Martians lie, particularly if they have a strong grip: That’s one of the lessons you could take away from ̶...
 Done betting, Alibaba is getting down to work in Southeast Asia as it bids to lead the region’s promising e-commerce space and maximize its early mover advantage over Amazon. Alibaba became the first major international player to enter Southeast Asia, a region with more than 600 million cumulative consumers, when it bought a majority stake in Lazada, the Rocket Internet-backed… Read More
The Socedo team. Photo via Socedo. Socedo is raising more cash to build out its platform that helps companies target sales leads from social media activity. Socedo CEO Aseem Badshah. Photo via Socedo. The Seattle startup today announced a $1 million investment from TechStars Ventures, Vulcan Capital, Divergent Ventures and angel investors. Total funding in the 4-year-old company is $2.5 million. Socedo, a 2013 graduate of the Microsoft Windows Azure accelerator, helps clients like Microsof...
Amazon today added two new devices to its discounted smartphone program for Prime members. The unlocked Alcatel A30 and Moto G5 are now available for pre-order at a discounted price to those who pay for a Prime membership. The A30 is priced at $59.99 for Prime members ($40 off retail); the Moto G5 is priced at $184.99 ($45 off retail), or $239.99 for the G5 with more RAM and internal storage. This is Alcatel’s first device in the Prime program, and Motorola’s third — it also ...
 Amazon buys Souq, the “Amazon of the Middle East,” Apple acquires Workflow, Instagram blurs sensitive photos and adds two-factor authorization while Facebook rolls out mention alerts and reaction emoji and the latest list of Mac exploits from WikiLeaks. All this on Crunch Report. Read More
The University of Washington’s Department of Chemistry will be the beneficiary of a $12 million gift from an unusual source: one of its own professors. Most of the money committed by professor emeritus Larry Dalton and his wife, Nicole Boand, will go to establish the Dalton Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemistry, the UW announced today. The gift will also fund two endowed chairs for UW chemists, plus a departmental support fund. Dalton, 73, has conducted research into photonics and nonlinea...
Two pups on the Dogs of Amazon Instagram feed. (Instagram Photo / @dogsofamazon) Dogs are a big deal at Amazon. And on #NationalPuppyDay, which is apparently today, it’s worth noting just how big. The official @AmazonNews Twitter feed did just that with a tweet saying that there are over 2,000 dogs registered at the tech giant’s headquarters in Seattle. DID YOU KNOW: There are over 2,000 dogs registered at our Seattle HQ? That means every day is #NationalPuppyDay! pic.twitter.com/g...
A photo of the Orion Nebula from the June 1905 issue of Astronomical Journal, at left, can be matched up automatically with WorldWide Telescope’s sky atlas, at right. (AAS / NASA / SAO Astrophysics Data System / WorldWide Telescope) A new project called Astronomy Rewind is recruiting citizen scientists to bring decades-old cosmic images back from the dead and restore them to their rightful place. It’s the latest offering from Zooniverse, a crowdsourcing platform that got its start a...
Coders value the ability to work from home. (Bigstock Photo) Stack Overflow CEO Joel Spolsky is adamant in his belief that the open office is no good for developers. They want quiet, private space that allows them to focus on the task at hand. “Facebook’s campus in Silicon Valley is an 8-acre open room, and Facebook was very pleased with itself for building what it thought was this amazing place for developers,” Spolsky said during the 2016 GeekWire Summit. “But developers don’t want...
Workflow, an app for iPhone and iPad that connects functions within other apps to make automated tasks easier, has been acquired by Apple, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday. Workflow won an Apple Design Award at WWDC 2015 and the team of developers — Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer and Nick Frey — are joining the tech giant as part of the deal. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but reports noted with interest that the Workflow app would remain in the App Store and be offered for fr...
Greg Beams, a partner at EY and head of the Entrepreneur of the Year program in the Pacific Northwest, speaking at the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year awards. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) The tech boom is powering the Seattle region’s economy, with thousands of people moving to the area to work for companies large and small, and the unemployment rate continues to drop to new lows. But the underlying fuel for many of these companies is funding, in the form of venture capital and other f...
(Amazon Photos) In a saga that could very well be ripped from the pages of the very books involved, two science-fiction novels with near-identical covers prompted Amazon to take action this week and temporarily block sales of one of the books. Sales of “The Corroding Empire,” by Castalia House author Johan Kalsi and editor Vox Day, were halted and then resumed by Amazon. The book was released one day before Tor Books’ “The Collapsing Empire,” by fellow sci-fi autho...
Is your head spinning with ideas about containers, microservices, serverless architectures, machine learning and APIs? Or do you just want to know the latest trends in cloud technology? If so, we’ve got a can’t-miss conference just for you. We’re excited to launch our first-ever technical conference — the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. Taking place June 7 at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Wash., the Cloud Tech Summit will bring together top technical minds to discuss the future...