Technology

Julie Brill Microsoft has hired former FTC commissioner Julie Brill as its new corporate vice president in charge of privacy, data protection and other regulatory issues — a newly created role at the Redmond tech giant. Brill was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 2010 and served in the role for nearly six years. She stepped down last year to join law firm Hogan Lovells, heading up its Global Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. In her new role at Micr...
The NSA's "upstream" collection system taps into Internet traffic and searches for content based on "selectors" identifying targets. Now, the NSA won't check Americans' traffic for those selectors unless they're in the "to" or "from" field of messages. Today, a spokesperson for the National Security Agency announced that the agency would end the practice of "upstream" collection of messages sent by American citizens—messages that were not directed to targets of NSA intelligence collection ...
What’s on tap? Ryan Corder hangs out near the kegerator at ExtraHop in Seattle. (Courtesy of Ryan Corder) Something about working for a company called ExtraHop just begs the question: Do you like beer? The Seattle-based IT analytics company may not have anything to do with brewing, but it does have beer on tap at its offices and technical marketing engineer Ryan Corder is a hop head on the side. Corder, who is GeekWire’s latest Geek of the Week, has been at the company for three year...
Bloomberg’s digital innovation chief, Michael Shane. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop) The news industry faces a Herculean challenge. With resources and attention spans dwindling, media organizations find themselves in a with tech titans who have billions of dollars to back their forays into media. What weapon in the journalist’s arsenal could stand up to that? Reclaiming the relationship with readers, says Michael Shane. Shane is the global head of digital innovation for Bloomberg...
Smartsheet, the Next Tech Titan award winner at the 2016 GeekWire Awards, has been fulfilling that potential lately. Smartsheet is close to cracking the top 5 of the GeekWire 200 list of privately held Pacific Northwest startups, coming at number six in April. Smartsheet started the year at number 13 on the list and it has steadily risen toward the top. Smartsheet reported subscription revenue of more than $70 million in 2016; that number has grown at least 70 percent year-over-year for the pa...
Satya Nadella speaks at Microsoft Ignite 2016 (Photo by GeekWire/Kevin Lisota) Microsoft is a huge multinational technology company, with lines of business spread across PCs, productivity software, gaming, internet search, and more. But after its third fiscal quarter earnings report came out yesterday, financial analysts spent most of their time asking about a very specific business. Questions about Microsoft Azure and associated cloud services dominated Microsoft’s financial results call ...
Best Buy Chief Digital Officer Bala Subramanian. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop) E-commerce is killing traditional retail, right? Well, not quite — the reality is much more complex than that. It’s true that e-commerce powerhouses, most notably Amazon, have drastically changed the retail landscape, threatening traditional retailers left and right. But those traditional retailers are learning a few tricks of their own, going through digital transformations that leverage their infrastructu...
At first glance, it's easy to mistake the Surface Pro 4 for the Surface Pro 3. Microsoft's third-quarter financial results were published yesterday, and they had many high points: cloud revenue is growing well (though we have some misgivings about how the numbers are reported), Windows outperformed the PC market, and Office 365 passed 100 million corporate seats. But there were a couple of significant black marks: Phone revenue has dropped to effectively zero, and Surface revenue was down sh...
We already take pictures and video during concerts, now people have to guess whether or not we were really there?! (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) Do I really need anyone to guess whether or not I saw Journey, Flock of Seagulls and Ratt in concert at some point in my life? That was the big question on Facebook this week as you no doubt ran across those random “10 concerts I’ve been to, one is a lie” lists from friends in your news feed. But setting aside musical taste and yo...
The inaugural GeekWire Sports Tech Summit at Safeco Field drew more than 300 attendees. A leading NFL executive; a mobile ticketing guru; an eSports innovator; a sports science expert; a women’s basketball legend; a golf entertainment complex CEO; a top football reporter; and much more. The second annual GeekWire Sports Tech Summit is shaping up to be another action-packed event that brings together leaders across the sports technology landscape — ranging from data science to sports ...
If you’re a large enterprise company, what’s the biggest benefit of moving to the cloud now? Maybe then you’ll still be in business in five years. Abby Kearns, executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, watches large companies struggle to understand this reality ever day. Years and years of investment into their own technology infrastructure leaves these companies with generally outdated equipment and skill sets right as nimble cloud-native upstarts begin stealing thei...
(GeekWire Photo/Kevin Lisota) Following yesterday’s positive earnings report, Amazon is well on its way toward hitting $1,000 a share, but one firm is unsure that the good times will keep on rolling. Pacific Crest Securities analyzed Amazon’s latest earnings in a report called “As Good As It Gets (For Now),” and found that increased competition in online retail and cloud computing could blunt Amazon’s momentum in both areas. Walmart, with its purchase of Jet.com and...
The Tencent building in China. (Tencent Photo) Tencent, the Chinese tech titan behind WeChat and a wide range of other services, plans to double down on artificial intelligence with a new research center in Seattle. Tencent has tapped former Microsoft Principal Researcher Dong Yu to run the Seattle operation. “We are opening a new AI research Lab at Seattle area and we are hiring self-motivated researchers/scientists with Ph.D. degrees and ambition in AI related fields,” Yu’s ...
Enlarge / Google Fiber equipment boxes in a Kansas City home in 2012. (credit: Google Fiber | Bloomberg) Google Fiber is getting ready to build a long-awaited network in Louisville, Kentucky despite recent layoffs at the ISP and lawsuits filed against Louisville's local government by AT&T and Charter. "Great news today, with Google Fiber saying they now officially are coming to Louisville. We've been working on this for years," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Wednesday in a video. Goo...
A veteran of the Cold War and a recent participant in Russian operations off Syria has been sent to the bottom of the Black Sea by a boat full of sheep. The 47-year-old Russian intelligence collection ship, the Liman, sank on April 27 after a collision in the Black Sea with a Togo-flagged livestock carrier carrying sheep from Romania to Jordan. The sheep-carrying Youzarsif H suffered only slight damage to its bow, but the Liman suffered a ruptu...
 Amazon’s Alexa is going to sound more human. The company announced this week the addition of a new set of speaking skills for the virtual assistant, which will allow her to do things like whisper, take a breath to pause for emphasis, adjust the rate, pitch and volume of her speech, and more. She’ll even be able to “bleep” out words – which may not be all that…
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, left, and Surface Book notebook. Microsoft’s revenue from its Surface hardware business slipped to $826 million in the last quarter, a 26 percent decline from a year ago. The result was a rare dud for the company in an otherwise strong quarter. However, this looks like it could be more of a blip than a trend. The biggest takeaways: 1) Microsoft needs to come out with a new Surface Pro as soon as possible; and 2) the underlying mission of the Surface...
Acer has unveiled what may just be the perfect gaming monitor—so long as you don't like ultrawides, at least. The Predator X27 is Acer's take on Nvidia's prototype HDR monitor design first unveiled at CES 2017, and features a 27-inch 16:9 panel, 4K UHD resolution, HDR, a wide colour gamut, local dimming backlighting, and a super-fast 144Hz refresh rate. And yes, it supports G-Sync for super-smooth variable refresh rate gaming. Digging further ...
Spencer Rascoff speaks at the 2016 Zillow Premier Agent Forum. (GeekWire File Photo) When Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff bought a $20 million Los Angeles home, 1,000 miles from the company’s Seattle headquarters, he signed up for one hell of a commute. But the company is making the financial aspect of that commute a little easier. Zillow paid $165,086 for Rascoff’s commute and other business-related travel on a business jet, according to a regulatory filing first spotted by The Seattle ...
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Intel’s data center chips have been a bright spot for the company over the last few years as PC demand slowed, but a weaker-than-expected performance from that group in the first quarter left investors disappointed Thursday. The Data Center Group posted quarterly revenue of $4.2 billion, up six percent from the previous year, but financial analysts were expecting the group to record $4.4 billion in revenue, according to Reuters. Investors dinged the stock in after...
WildTangent began building its first app and games platform in Seattle almost 20 years ago, but it still has that startup spirit. And the company is hiring: It’s looking to add an HTML5 engineer to its team to lead the development of a new HTML5 games platform. The work will include developing robust, content agnostic systems and helping make APIs and other platform components available for both internal and external game developers. The engineer will also provide guidance for other eng...
Starbucks continues to roll out new strategies to help combat congestion at stores caused by its mobile order-ahead service. The company, which met expectations for its quarterly earnings report that posted today, gave an update about the issues around Mobile Order & Pay (MOP), a program that lets customers order with their smartphone via Starbucks’ app and skip the line. The problem, as Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz detailed on the company’s earnings call in January, is tha...
(credit: Julien GONG Min) In its third quarter of its 2017 financial year, Microsoft posted revenue of $22.1 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year, with an operating income of $5.6 billion, up 6 percent on a year ago, net income of $5.7 billion, up 28 percent, and earnings per share of $0.61, an increase of 30 percent over the same quarter a year ago. As ever, Microsoft also offered alternative figures that book Windows 10 revenue up front instead of amortized over several years, and which hold ...
Andrea Tantaros claims that she was stalked and harassed by multiple Twitter accounts that were coordinated by Fox News executives after she filed a sexual harassment suit. Her new lawsuit also claims that Fox had her computer hacked for spying purposes. (credit: Twitter) Comparing their actions to the plot this season on the Showtime series Homeland, an attorney for former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has filed a complaint in federal court against Fox News, current and former Fox executives...
Seattle Genetics CEO Clay Siegall. (Seattle Genetics Photo) Seattle-based biotech company Seattle Genetics announced a revenue of $109 million for the first quarter of 2017 Thursday, narrowly beating analyst expectations of $103 million. The company’s stock climbed slightly after markets closed, up 2 percent to $68.26. The majority of the company’s revenue — $70.3 million — came from sales of Adcetris, the company’s antibody-based immunotherapy treatment for advanced lym...
Azure was the star of Microsoft’s cloud division during its third fiscal quarter, with revenue growing 93 percent as part of $6.8 billion in Intelligent Cloud group revenue during the quarter. Microsoft doesn’t break out actual revenue for Azure, but the Intelligent Cloud segment consists of Windows Server, SQL Server, and other cloud-related products and services. The $6.8 billion in revenue was an increase of 11 percent over the previous year’s third fiscal quarter, and oper...
Amazon continues to grow its employee base as the tech giant added another 9,600 workers over the past quarter. As part of its Q1 earnings report, Amazon noted that its worldwide employee count — which does not include seasonal or temporary workers — now sits at 351,000, which is up 43 percent from last year. The quarterly employee growth was the slowest since Q4 2015. During Q4 2016, the previous quarter, Amazon added 34,600 employees. At Amazon’s new public dog park near its yet-to...
(Amazon Photo) Alexa’s very special set of skills now numbers more than 12,000. Amazon announced the increased skill count in its quarterly earnings report. That includes more than 300 smart home skills to do things like turn lights on or off, change light color, or lock a door. Alexa’s latest field of study is fashion. Just yesterday Amazon unveiled the Echo Look, a new $200 “hands-free camera and style assistant” powered by Alexa. The new device, now available by invitation o...
A rendering of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago. (Starbucks Image) This is what it looks like when a coffee giant thinks big. Starbucks announced this week that it will build another of its high-end Reserve Roastery locations on one of the world’s premiere retail strips. A 43,000-square-foot “fully sensorial coffee environment” is coming to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile in 2019, the company said. The location, at the corner of North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street...
Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at the company’s Bellevue HQ. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop) Today, Expedia reported $2.2 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2017, a 15 percent increase over the same period last year, with earnings of 5 cents per share. Expedia narrowly missed analysts’ expectations, which predicted earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $2.1 billion. Expedia had a net loss of $86.1 million, down from $108.6 million in Q1 of 2016. The Bellevue-based onl...
The crown jewel of Amazon’s business, Amazon Web Services, posted a 42 percent jump in revenue during the first fiscal quarter of 2017, as it continues to set the standard for cloud computing. For the period ending March 31st, AWS recorded revenue of $3.66 billion, up from revenue of $2.57 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating income rose 47 percent compared to last year to reach $890 million, which provided all the net income for its parent company during the quarter. AWS revenue gr...
Jeff Bezos at the Museum of Flights 2016 Pathfinder Awards. (Photo by GeekWire/Kevin Lisota) Amazon came in just above Wall Street expectations for the first quarter of 2017, posting sales of $35.7 billion, up 23 percent over last year. Amazon hit $724 million in profit for the first quarter, or earnings of $1.48 per share. Analysts surveyed in advance by Yahoo Finance expected profit of about $1.13 per share on $35.3 billion in revenue, an increase of about 21 percent over this time last year...
Google parent company Alphabet saw shares rise after beating analyst expectations for its first quarter earnings report. Alphabet, the holding company that includes Google, posted $24.8 billion in revenue, beating the $24.2 billion Wall Street expected, and up 22 percent year-over-year. The company also posted adjusted profit of $7.73 per share; analysts expected $7.41. “Our excellent results represent a terrific start to 2017, with revenues up 22% versus the first quarter of 2016 and ...
Satya Nadella speaks at Microsoft Ignite 2016 (Photo by GeekWire/Kevin Lisota) Microsoft this afternoon posted revenue of $23.6 billion, up 6 percent, and earnings of 73 cents a share, an increase of 16 percent, beating Wall Street’s profit expectations for the quarter ended March 31. CEO Satya Nadella credited factors including Microsoft’s cloud business in the company’s earnings report. “Our results this quarter reflect the trust customers are placing in the Microsoft C...
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson at the company’s annual meeting in March. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Initiatives designed to allow Starbucks customers to order and pay ahead with their mobile devices continued to show growth as the Seattle-based coffee giant posted its Q2 2017 earnings on Thursday. With earnings of $0.45 per share on $5.3 billion in quarterly revenue, Starbucks’ performance met investor estimates. Shares were down 3 percent in after-hours trading. Mobile payment rea...
(credit: Elliott Brown) You can now start filing public comments on the Federal Communications Commission plan to eliminate net neutrality rules. The FCC today opened the docket, titled "Restoring Internet Freedom." Clicking "New Filing" takes you to a form for uploading comments. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also released the draft text of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that will be voted on at the May 18 FCC meeting. There will be another three months for public comments after that prel...
Enlarge / A map that visualizes network changes being announced by Rostelecom. (credit: BGPmon) On Wednesday, large chunks of network traffic belonging to MasterCard, Visa, and more than two dozen other financial services companies were briefly routed through a Russian government-controlled telecom under unexplained circumstances that renew lingering questions about the trust and reliability of some of the most sensitive Internet communications. Anomalies in the border gateway protocol—whic...
Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino) NEW YORK—Acer's big press conference last year brought new Chromebooks for work, a new Aspire laptop, and a tablet for the elderly. This year, the company focused on machines that appeal to every level of gamer as well as those of us who want a laptop that won't break the bank. Acer announced additions to the Swift and Switch laptop families, all of which are more budget-friendly than their predecessors. The company also unveiled a whole new line of ga...
 Amazon reported first quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday. The company shattered earning expectations, reporting $1.48 per share, when Wall Street was expecting $1.12. Net income stood at $724 million. Revenue came in at $35.71 billion, above the $35.30 billion that analysts were forecasting and up 23% from last year. Shares quickly soared 5% in initial after-hours trading. However… Read More
Arzeda combines cloud computing and bioengineering to create ‘cell factories.’ (Arzeda Photo) Here’s a wacky concept. Imagine you could give a microorganism, like yeast, specific instructions on what to produce during fermentation. Through the same process used to make beer or sourdough bread, you could coax the yeast into producing any chemical compound or enzyme you like. That may sound like science fiction, but Arzeda says it’s already a reality. The Seattle biotech startup is...
Enlarge / Apple's Craig Federighi talks up Apple Pay on the Web. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Rumors about an Apple-backed peer-to-peer payments system that could compete with services like Square Cash, PayPal's Venmo, and Google Wallet have been floating around for years. Those rumors still haven't amounted to anything yet, but a new report from Recode indicates that Apple is still interested and that it's in talks with banks and other "payments industry partners" about launching a peer-to-...
Amazon’s new Echo Look, an Alexa-enabled speaker with a full-length camera. (Amazon Photo) Amazon unveiled a puzzling new device this week: The Echo Look, an Alexa-powered speaker with a built-in camera and lighting. What’s puzzling is that it’s marketed as a fashion device. The camera and companion app do things like show a user a live view as they twirl in front of the camera and offer feedback on outfits with a Style Compare feature. On this week’s episode of Geared Up...
The solar eclipse and full moon images on a Forever stamp coming this summer. (USPS Photo) When you press a stamp onto a letter this summer, be sure to take a second look after you release your finger. The United States Postal Service is releasing a first-of-its-kind stamp that uses body heat to change images. It’s designed to commemorate the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. The Forever stamp features photographs taken by Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astrophysicist out of Portal, Ariz., who is...
The New York Stock Exchange (Bigstock Photo) Thursday is the mother lode of tech earnings. Three of the top five most valuable tech companies by market cap — Amazon, Microsoft and Google parent company Alphabet — as well as Bellevue, Wash. travel giant Expedia will all report quarterly results this afternoon. Stay tuned for full coverage on GeekWire. In the meantime, here are a few things to watch. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reminds employees why it’s always Day 1 at an all-hands meeting....
Enlarge / Artist's impression of a nomx product under the scrutiny of security researchers. (credit: Aurich/ThinkStock/Nomx) This article was originally published on Scott Helme's blog and is reprinted here with his permission. I was recently invited to take part in some research by BBC Click, alongside Professor Alan Woodward, to analyze a device that had quite a lot of people all excited. With slick marketing, catchy tag lines and some pretty bold claims about its security, nomx claims to ...
Enlarge / Build your own Google Home with the Assistant SDK. Today Google is launching yet another Google Assistant feature: The Google Assistant SDK. This will allow developers to run the Google Assistant on their own hardware prototypes. While the SDK is only launching in "Developer Preview" mode today, this is presumably the beginning of a push for third parties to make their own consumer Google Assistant hardware. Google says the SDK will allow any device to provide "the full Google Ass...
Business doesn’t just happen in the office anymore. You can work from anywhere if you have the right technology. Learn how to connect your business from any distance with today’s GeekWire Deals offer. Take the Citrix Xen Cloud Mastery Bundle and connect from anywhere. XenApp is a leader in virtual application delivery, which lets people access Windows apps on any device. Use XenDesktop to access a desktop or application from your own device, or XenServer to virtualize your server. Xen progr...
Bill and Melinda Gates visiting women in Jamsaut village in Bihar, India. (Gates Foundation Photo) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says its economic impact in the Seattle region was $1.5 billion in 2015. That’s a whopping sum — and the non-profit juggernaut came up with it by tallying direct spending via employees, vendors, and grants; indirect spending by recipients of the aforementioned direct spending; and employee spending in their communities, which the foundation calls ̶...
Photo by GeekWire/Kevin Lisota. Nintendo’s bottom line got a nice bump last year thanks to Seattle’s professional baseball team. The gaming giant today reported its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, with big sales numbers for the company’s new Switch hybrid console. Nintendo also revealed how much it made off selling its ownership stake of the Seattle Mariners, the Major League Baseball club it bought in 1992. Nintendo of America sold off most of its maj...
Intel Skylake die shot. (credit: Intel) While Intel's desktop and laptop processors are using the latest generation Kaby Lake core, the multisocket high-end Xeon processors, used in servers and workstations, are still using the much older Broadwell core. The full range is due to be refreshed soon, with a whole range of new chips using a derivative of the Skylake core. There's still not much known about these long-awaited processors, but Intel has let slip one thing: an all-new naming scheme. ...