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Preview: The Seattle Times: Personal Technology

The Seattle Times Technology – The Seattle Times

Find the latest technology news from Seattle, the Northwest and U.S. by technology reporter Rachel Lerman, Microsoft reporter Matt Day, Amazon reporter Ángel González and the Seattle Times business staff.

Last Build Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:20:09 -0800


Wal-Mart’s strong sales help it keep pace with Amazon

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:26:15 -0800

Wal-Mart’s e-commerce business saw gross merchandise volume — a measure of all the goods it sells online — soar 54 percent in the third quarter, a sign it may be chipping away at Amazon’s dominance.

Battle lines form for epic antitrust case over AT&T-Time Warner merger

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:00:20 -0800

Analysis: A lawsuit by the Justice Department to block the merger would mark a radical departure from decades of antitrust-enforcement policy.

FCC opens door to more media consolidation; rule change could impact Seattle TV stations

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:43:45 -0800

The rules were put in place in the 1970s to ensure that a diversity of voices and opinions could be heard on the air or in print. But now the rules represent a threat to small outlets that are struggling to survive in a vastly different media world, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

Amazon Key delivery driver could knock out in-home service’s security camera, researchers show

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:43:30 -0800

A Seattle cybersecurity firm has demonstrated a way to knock Amazon's new security camera offline, effectively disabling the security feature the company built to reassure users of its new Amazon Key in-home delivery service.

Phone companies get new tools to block spam calls

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 07:59:32 -0800

NEW YORK (AP) — Phone companies will have greater authority to block unwanted calls from reaching customers as regulators adopted new rules to combat automated messages known as robocalls. Rules adopted Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission represent the latest tools against robocalls, which pester consumers, sometimes multiple times each day, and often push scams. […]

Allrecipes listings will direct cooks to Amazon to get ingredients delivered

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 06:00:41 -0800

A deal announced on Thursday will place AmazonFresh order buttons next to popular recipes listed on, the latest test of consumer appetites for grocery delivery.

Wave Broadband brings gigabit-speed internet to all customers in Washington, Oregon, California

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0800

All Wave Broadband customers across the West Coast can now access gigabit speed internet.

Federal “extreme vetting” plan castigated by tech experts

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 05:30:49 -0800

Leading researchers castigated a federal plan that would use artificial intelligence methods to scrutinize immigrants and visa applicants, saying it is unworkable as written and likely to be “inaccurate and biased” if deployed. The experts, a group of more than 50 computer and data scientists, mathematicians and other specialists in automated decision-making, urged the Department […]

Senate tax bill ditches stock- option change after outcry from tech startups

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 12:33:10 -0800

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch removed a provision from the Senate tax bill that proposed taxing stock options on the date they vest instead of when they are cashed in.

At work, the digitalization of everything

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 10:01:23 -0800

In the new Industrial Revolution, tech skills are making the difference between getting ahead and falling behind — for people and metro areas.

Self-driving trucks may be closer than they appear

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:40:46 -0800

Whenever self-driving trucks arrive, there will be economic ripples, affecting insurance premiums, truck stops, vocational schools and the roads themselves.

FDA approves first digital pill to monitor if patient is taking medicine

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:34:02 -0800

The medication is embedded with a sensor that can tell doctors whether, and when, patients take their medicine.

Tech startups fight U.S. Senate plan to change how stock options are taxed

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:39:30 -0800

A key tool for startups to attract employees, stock options are currently taxed when they are cashed in. The Senate Republican tax bill would tax the options on the date they vest, meaning when the employee is allowed to begin cashing them in.

Microsoft has more women in workforce than last year, thanks mainly to LinkedIn

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0800

The Redmond company made slight progress in its efforts to increase racial and gender diversity within its workforce in 2017, boosted in part by its acquisition last December of LinkedIn.

Microsoft makes education version of ‘Minecraft’ tougher to keep up with students’ skill levels

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0800

Microsoft now has 2 million licensed users across 115 countries playing the education version of “Minecraft.” But it had to develop a tougher version of the tutorial game because students were too skilled.

Mercedes-Benz plans up to 150 software engineers at Seattle R&D office

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0800

Mercedes-Benz says its workers in Seattle will focus on the cloud- computing services that manage and analyze the data generated from internet-connected vehicles.

What do Seattle-area Girl Scouts and Google have in common? A love for robotics

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0800

A group of 80 Girl Scouts took their robotics skills to Google’s Fremont campus. "These are my people," one Google engineer remarked. The company is giving the Girl Scouts $50,000 to fund more STEM programs.

Stack ranking system for employees penalizes women, suit alleges

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:00:00 -0800

A recent lawsuit against Uber says its stack ranking system for performance reviews unfairly and disproportionately hurts women. Microsoft and Goldman Sachs have faced similar legal challenges.

Uber says it will bring its flying taxis to Los Angeles in 2020

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:00:00 -0800

The ride-hailing firm says L.A. will be one of the first cities served by UberAir, which it expects will begin ferrying passengers across the region in electric aircraft in 2020.

AI startup developing algorithms that let robots learn tasks on their own

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:00:00 -0800

The founders of Embodied Intelligence are intent on bringing a new level of robotic automation to the world’s factories, warehouses and perhaps even homes.