Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 9, 2017

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Get caught up on the latest technology and startup news from the past week. Here are the most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of April 9, 2017.


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Most popular stories on GeekWire


Full text: In annual shareholder letter, Jeff Bezos explains why it will never be Day 2 at Amazon

Obsess over the customer. Resist proxies. … Read More





Amazon confirms plans for big new office in Bellevue; employees set to move in this summer

Amazon has confirmed previously-reported plans to open a big new office in downtown Bellevue, Wash. … Read More





Here are the top 25 highest-paying U.S. workplaces, according to Glassdoor

Technology and consulting companies continue to dominate Glassdoor’s list of the highest-paying workplaces in America. … Read More





Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen meets Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak for the first time

It’s hard to believe, but Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak had not met each other in person until Wednesday evening in Seattle. … Read More





A serverless nirvana? Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich on the future of the cloud

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft’s push into “serverless” computing aims to change the way developers use the cloud, and Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich says the trend represents nothing less than the future of computing. … Read More





Former Redfin employees aim to simplify the mortgage process with new startup: Approved

Technology has made finding a home a lot easier, with a variety of services such as Zillow, Redfin and many others there to help buyers sift through thousands of listings. … Read More





Amazon opens up Alexa’s microphone and voice processing technology to hardware makers

Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa might show up in a lot of new devices soon. … Read More





‘Most important computer in history’: Steve Jobs machine part of Apple exhibit at Paul Allen museum

The Living Computers: Museum + Labs in Seattle is home to some of the most noteworthy machines ever created. … Read More





Vote for CEO of the Year: These top tech execs are driving change through creative leadership

They are the captains of the ship, the leaders who set the course and — when danger looms — know how to avoid reefs, rocks and high winds. … Read More





6 lessons ‘Ghost in the Shell’ can teach you about cybersecurity

The original Ghost in the Shell (GitS) movie was practically compulsory material in the hacker subculture of the late 90s, early 2000s. … Read More



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Top Stories

Former Bill & Melinda Gates executive sues organization, claims he was misled about his role

A former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation chief digital officer has filed a lawsuit against the organization, claiming he was misled about the scope of his job during his recruitment and that he was terminated for clashing with executives who didn’t believe in his new role. Todd Pierce, the former chief digital officer, joined the Gates Foundation in early 2015. He was previously a senior vice president at Salesforce, where he claimed in court documents he was making a $1.5 million annual salary and had several million in future stock options that hadn’t vested yet. His time at the foundation ended… Read More
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Doctor Who review: Bill and the Timelord must grin and bear it in Smile

“There’s a giant smiley abattoir, and I’m having this childish impulse to blow it up.”
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Starbucks gives baristas new tablets to manage congestion caused by mobile order-ahead service

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 that the increasing number of MOP orders creates congestion inside stores for mobile order-ahead customers trying to pick up their coffee and food at hand-off stations. This not only affects customers who are picking… Read More
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Waymo opens self-driving car trial in Phoenix – and scores in Uber legal battle

It’s been a good day on the streets and in the courts for Waymo, the driverless-car company that was spun out from Google as another Alphabet subsidiary last year. First off, Waymo opened up its closed trial for autonomous driving in the Phoenix metropolitan area for public signup. This means Arizonans can apply to become “early riders” in the self-driving minivans and SUVs that Waymo is testing. In a blog post, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said the rider pool will be expanded from a handful to hundreds over the course of the trial. “The goal of this program is to give… Read More
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Next-generation Xeons to come in “Gold” and “Platinum” versions

New naming scheme appears to be even less clear than the old one.
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Latest in Technology

Microsoft hires former FTC commissioner to lead privacy and regulatory affairs

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 Microsoft, Brill will lead the company’s Privacy and Regulatory Affairs Group, working with regulators, policymakers and others, in addition to working with… Read More
  • 1 hour ago

NSA ends spying on messages Americans send about foreign surveillance targets

FISA court narrows what NSA can collect, because NSA can't stop "incidental" collection.
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Geek of the Week: ExtraHop’s Ryan Corder says something special is brewing at work and at home

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 years, after first moving to Seattle for a job at F5 Networks in 2007. He said a lot of the breweries in town that are now considered “the best of the best”… Read More
  • 3 hours ago

Bloomberg’s digital chief: Journalists must ‘reclaim’ their audience from Facebook and Google

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, where he oversees strategy for the news company’s editorial products and business. Before Bloomberg, he helped put The Verge on the map at Vox Media. Shane shared his insights about how journalists can compete in the digital age during a panel at the… Read More
  • 3 hours ago

GeekWire 200 April update: Smartsheet continues its climb toward the top

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 past five years. Smartsheet has also made some key executive hires in recent months. In January, Smartsheet announced plans to… Read More
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella outlines its cloud computing strategy for Wall Street

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 yesterday afternoon. By contrast, market leader Amazon Web Services only came up a handful of times during the Amazon call with analysts, which makes some sense given that AWS is already a well-understood component of Amazon’s overall business. For Microsoft watchers, this… Read More
  • 4 hours ago

Interview: How Best Buy is turning the tide against Amazon in the e-commerce giant’s backyard

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 infrastructure of physical retail stores. One of these companies is electronics retailer Best Buy, which seemed on the verge of collapse just five years ago before undergoing a transformation under CEO Hubert Joley. But now, as the Wall Street Journal says, “The next time a… Read More
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Why is Microsoft trying to turn its Surface business into the next Nokia?

Microsoft is developing a worrying habit of neglecting its hardware products.
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Those ’10 concerts’ lists on Facebook are fun and/or annoying — but are they a privacy threat?

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 your own willingness to participate in — or criticize — the sharing phenomenon, The New York Times raised another interesting theory regarding such social media activity: is it a threat to individuals’ online security and privacy?… Read More
  • 5 hours ago

WNBA legend Sue Bird; SeatGeek co-founder; Topgolf CEO to speak at GeekWire Sports Tech Summit

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 marketing to virtual reality to fan engagement to wearables and more — on June 21-22 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. There are only 350 tickets remaining for this much-anticipated event, which also includes fantastic networking opportunities from attendees who are at the cutting… Read More
  • 6 hours ago

Cloud Foundry’s Abby Kearns: Stop investing in commodity tech and find the cloud

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 their lunch. “Just in the last few years, we’ve seen startups that are taking business away from incumbent large organizations,” she said. “It’s not like a full frontal… Read More
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Is this ‘as good as it gets’ for Amazon? Analyst downgrades stock after strong quarter

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 possibly Bonobos, is quickly becoming a formidable retail competitor. Amazon Web Services has supercharged Amazon’s bottom line in recent years, posting big numbers and helping the company turn large… Read More
  • 7 hours ago