February 22, 2020
Here’s what we’re talking about this week on the GeekWire Podcast. PBS’s Frontline profiled the Amazon empire and painted a complicated picture of unrelenting ambition. Frontline spent a year examining Amazon’s impact on commerce, technology and society, and landed interviews with several current executives and former employees. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos didn’t sit for an interview, however. Though the documentary didn’t cover much new ground, it did provide a striking narrative, highlighting new voices and perspectives. The definitive account of Amazon’s perilous ambition: Key scenes from PBS’s epic investigation Watch: Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos Speaking of Bezos, he made a big splash this week when he announced plans to donate $10 billion to nonprofits fighting climate change. We discuss the Bezos Earth Fund, and how experts in philanthropy and climate change are reacting to it. Plus, Sen. Bernie Sanders takes a swing at tech fortunes during a campaign stop in the Seattle area. Jeff Bezos launches $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund, kicking off his own effort to fight climate change Jeff Bezos wants to curb climate change via $10B fund — but is money his most powerful tool? Bernie Sanders takes on the ‘billionaire class’ at rally near Seattle, home to Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates Finally, we caught up with our resident space and science geek, Alan Boyle, to discuss the mega-earthquake predicted to hit the Seattle region. Boyle also caught us up on how technologists are thinking about what happens to our remains — physical and digital — after we die. Earthquake experts lay out latest outlook for the ‘Really Big One’ that’ll hit Seattle Tech after death: Researchers work on new ways to handle your remains, in the flesh and online With GeekWire’s Monica Nickelsburg, Taylor Soper and Alan Boyle. Audio editing and production by Curt Milton. Music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.
February 14, 2020
Here’s what we’re talking about on this week’s episode of the GeekWire Podcast: Voting online is fast, convenient and also … vulnerable. In the wake of the Iowa caucuses app fiasco, we tried voting with a smartphone in a Seattle regional election. While there are valid concerns about security in mobile voting, organizations behind this test are confident it will be safe and are moving ahead with the technology. Amazon’s latest front in its battle for a lucrative U.S. military contract has it taking on President Trump. The company lost the JEDI contract to Microsoft, but now it wants a court to allow it to depose Trump to see if his animus toward Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was a factor in the decision. Speaking of President Trump, he found something interesting in the names of four giant tech companies this week. And, back to the ballpark! Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, home to the Seahawks and FC Sounders, is going cashless. Why are they doing it and what if you didn’t bring a credit card with you to the game? We talk about the future of a cashless world, and the controversy around the trend. With GeekWire’s Todd Bishop, Monica Nickelsburg and Kurt Schlosser. Audio editing and production by Curt Milton. Music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.
February 8, 2020
Here’s what we’re talking about this week on the GeekWire Podcast: Amazon’s second headquarters may be closer to Seattle than you think. Amazon says it plans to grow its presence in Bellevue, in the Seattle suburbs, to 15,000 employees in the next few years. That could be comparable to the number of employees working in the official HQ2 site of Arlington, Va. Will the company find a friendlier climate in the ’burbs? Yes, Virginia, there is an Amazon HQ2, but it’s actually 10 miles outside of Seattle Amazon to bring 15,000 employees to Bellevue as rapid expansion in Seattle-area city continues We also discuss how a case of billionaire envy may have driven Amazon’s secretive drive for HQ2 and possibly damaged its reputation for openness. Bloomberg News: Behind Amazon’s HQ2 Fiasco: Jeff Bezos Was Jealous of Elon Musk What caused the Iowa caucuses app fiasco and how might it influence an upcoming Seattle-area election that will be the first in the country to be done via a mobile app? The failure of the app that was supposed to speed up reporting of results leaves questions about the security of high-tech voting in its wake. The issue shook the confidence of a public wary of the tech industry and concerned about election security. What caused the Iowa app debacle, and why election tech leaders say it won’t happen in Seattle And finally, Seattle baseball fans will be able to use augmented reality software to digitally resurrect a concrete stadium that wasn’t very popular when it was standing. We discuss what tech we’d really like to see at T-Mobile Park. Old ballgame, new tech touches: Update at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park will offer AR view of Kingdome With GeekWire’s Todd Bishop, Monica Nickelsburg and Kurt Schlosser. Audio editing and production by Curt Milton. Music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.
February 1, 2020
Here's what we're talking about on this new episode of the GeekWire Podcast:  Amazon employees are responding to threats of termination for their climate advocacy by intentionally violating the company’s corporate communications policy. More than 350 workers criticized Amazon’s contribution to climate change, violating corporate PR rules that prevent employees from discussing company business without approval. It’s the latest example of tech workers leveraging their position as valued assets in a tight labor market to pressure their employers on political issues. Washington state lawmakers are considering a new regional tax that would raise an estimated $121 million a year from some of the Seattle area’s biggest employers, including tech giants Microsoft and Amazon, to fund programs to alleviate homelessness. The legislation, unveiled Wednesday, is the latest attempt to direct some of the wealth generated by Seattle’s tech boom toward addressing the homelessness crisis. Umbrellas become a lightning rod on Amazon's Seattle campus. In any other city, umbrellas would barely be noticed. But Amazon’s big orange-and-white rain deflectors are sparking discussion and debate in Seattle, where there’s a sizable and prideful segment of the population that believes umbrellas are not for locals, they’re for tourists and transplants. “Complaining about umbrellas is easily the worst old Seattle vs. new Seattle take,” an Amazon public policy employee wrote on Twitter. One GeekWire reader summed up the criticism in a comment: "It's not the issue of using an umbrella - it's how friggin' gigantic they are. To me these umbrellas are everything that's wrong with Amazon. No consideration for anyone but themselves." And finally, we discuss what a Seattle startup leader’s car purchase says about state of transportation in the city, and the uncertainty that can come with relying on experimental startups for vital services like getting from place to place. With GeekWire's Todd Bishop, Monica Nickelsburg and Kurt Schlosser. Audio editing and production by Curt Milton. Music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.
January 30, 2020
How can we create modern workplaces where everyone can thrive? That's one of the questions at the heart of the new book, Female Firebrands, by human resources professional Mikaela Kiner, founder and CEO of Seattle-based Reverb Consulting. "Female Firebrands" profiles 13 women from a variety of backgrounds, exploring the realities of the modern workplace through their eyes and experiences. The book details the many obstacles they face, but also the steps they're taking to overcome them, along with efforts by colleagues, mentors, advocates and leaders to help remove barriers. The tech industry plays a central role, with anecdotes and examples from Microsoft, Google and other tech companies. "We talk about workplace culture and sometimes we don't notice what's going on around us," Kiner said. "We're like the frog in the water and the water's warming up. At least for me, personally, the water hit that temperature where I really had to look around and take stock of these issues." The result is a guidebook, in effect, with insights and practical tips not only for women and underrepresented minorities but for men and others seeking to create more diverse, inclusive and effective workplaces. The book includes chapters on key issues such as privilege in the workplace, the #metoo movement, and issues for working moms, with takeaways for people in a variety of different roles in the workplace. On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we're joined by Kiner and two of the "firebrands" from the book, Ruchika Tulshyan, author of The Diversity Advantage and the founder of Candour, an inclusion strategy firm; and Emily Parkhurst, president and publisher of the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle.  While many of these issues have been discussed for many years, the book focuses on new solutions and insights. Parkhurst said she is seeing some signs of change. She told the story of going to lunch with a female intern last summer. "Usually in those kinds of conversations the interns will ask me, 'You're a woman in a position of power. Tell me about how you got there?' At no point was that a question. It was an assumption that that was a place that she could eventually end up." One key, Tulshyan said, is for people in positions of privilege and power to start "stepping up and stepping in," and not just stand by as passive allies.  "The advice here isn't necessarily to women to do better. It is for others in the room, our allies, our advocates, people with privilege who have a platform, who have influence, to take a moment and really understand some of the vulnerabilities that we've shared in the book," said Tulshyan. "I really hope this conversation continues to happen, and we continue to find solutions together. It's not just women leading it."
January 25, 2020
Did the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia really hack into Jeff Bezos' phone? It sure looks that way, based on a forensic analysis of what happened after a video was sent to the Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner via WhatsApp by Mohammed bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS. A United Nations report this week called the incident part of a broader campaign against the Washington Post seeking to stifle its coverage of Saudi Arabia, allegedly including the subsequent killing of Saudi dissident and Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Within hours of receiving the nefarious video, "a massive and unauthorized exfiltration of data from Bezos' phone began, continuing and escalating for months thereafter," according to the forensic report.  It's an extraordinary demonstration of the perils of digital communication. But what else was leaked from the phone, and why didn't Bezos and his team have better security protocols in place at the time? That's our first topic on the show this week. RELATED READING: Decoding the Jeff Bezos phone hack: What the rest of us can learn from the forensic report Plus, an NFL quarterback invents a new way of interacting with a Microsoft Surface tablet on the sidelines, a new glimpse of the Microsoft Duo dual-screen device, and Seattle startup Mystery teams up with the famed Gottman Institute to rekindle romance. We explain what this partnership says about Mystery's larger business model. And finally, listen to the end for the answer to last week's trivia question: What do Jonas Salk, who discovered and developed the polio vaccine, and John Ehrlichman, the Nixon aide and Watergate figure, have in common as it relates to Seattle startups? Next event:Join us at the GeekWire Awards, March 26 at MoPOP in Seattle.
January 18, 2020
Apple doubled down on artificial intelligence and boosted its presence in Seattle with the acquisition of, an Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence spinout with roots at the University of Washington, as first reported by GeekWire this week. It was a win for those institutions, and investors including Seattle's Madrona Venture Group, but it's also an example of an ambitious startup selling to a tech giant before it has the chance to become one itself. So how should we look at deals like this? Plus, Microsoft's ambitious plan to go "carbon negative" puts the tech company at the forefront of corporate efforts to address the global environmental crisis. We explore what it means for the company, for its rivalry with Amazon, and for the planet. And in our final segment, it's the GeekWire Trivia Challenge, with a chance to win a pair of tickets to the upcoming GeekWire Awards. What do Jonas Salk, who discovered and developed the polio vaccine, and John Ehrlichman, the Nixon aide and Watergate figure, have in common as it relates to Seattle startups? Listen to the third segment and send your answer to for a chance to win.
January 11, 2020
CES is becoming less of a place where companies unveil game-changing products, and more where they show attention-grabbing ideas. That's one of the takeaways from GeekWire's CES 2020 coverage team, managing editor Taylor Soper and photographer/videographer Kevin Lisota, who just returned from several days at the big technology show in Las Vegas. On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, they recap some of the strangest things they saw at CES, but also some of the most interesting and impactful products and trends. Plus, celebrity sightings, cutting-edge food and robot companions. Amazon and Ring Amazon signals big ambitions for automobiles with expanded presence at CES Amazon devices chief on Sonos accusations: ‘We have tried to be a great partner to them’ ‘Alexa, pay for gas’: Amazon unveils voice control feature to buy fuel at Mobil and Exxon stations Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff on ‘productizing’ privacy and staying the course amid controversy Here are all of Google’s voice assistant announcements from CES as it battles Amazon Inside Amazon’s CES media event: Shaq shows up, touts Ring, makes drinks with celeb chef Guy Fieri Demos and experiences Delta Air Lines debuts crazy ‘parallel reality’ airport experience based on Seattle startup’s technology Hands-on demo with Charmin’s new toilet paper robot and fart smell sensor at CES CES: Smart toothbrushes go from concept to reality as industry giants embrace more tech Video: Pizza-making robot arrives at CES to feed hungry attendees, thanks to Seattle startup We tried Impossible Foods’ new pork, the latest fake meat from the Bill Gates-backed company Tech trends Privacy is front and center at CES as execs from Apple, Facebook, others debate key tech issues CES: These are the consumer tech trends to watch for 2020 and beyond, according to show organizers
January 4, 2020
More than half of the U.S. population over age 12 has now listened to a podcast, according to Edison Research. The medium has fundamentally altered the landscape for audio content, liberating and empowering both listeners and creators. And big acquisitions such as Spotify’s purchase of Gimlet Media signal that the business of podcasting is coming of age, too. But there remains an economic gulf that some entrepreneurs and investors see as an opportunity. Ad spending on podcasting is around $500 million, by some estimates, but that compares to $17 billion or more for radio. So where is podcasting heading next? How will speech recognition, smart speakers and other innovations change the landscape for podcasts? Should you start your own show? Could you make any money if you did? On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we’re going meta. It’s a podcast about podcasting: a discussion with podcast producers, media vets and startup entrepreneurs, recorded on stage at the GeekWire Summit this fall. Phyllis Fletcher, the senior editor for podcasts at American Public Media, who has worked on shows including APM’s hit business podcast, Spectacular Failures. You may recognize her voice from her previous work as a reporter and editor at KUOW Radio in Seattle. (You can check out all of her tweets from the GeekWire Summit here.) Steve Henn, who leads content strategy for audio news at Google. He’s a journalist turned tech entrepreneur who left a career in radio to co-found a digital media startup that was acquired by Google in 2017. You may recognize his voice from his work in public radio as a correspondent on such shows as Marketplace, Planet Money and NPR. David Payne, the president of Rainstream Media and the co-creator, author and executive producer of its flagship show, “Somebody Somewhere,” a true crime podcast. A lawyer and former federal prosecutor, his career in media has included roles as Chief Digital Officer for Gannett/USA Today, and senior vice president and GM of CNN Digital. Amira Valliani is the CEO and co-founder of Glow, a Seattle startup and Pioneer Square Labs spinout that is building a subscription, monetization and distribution platform for podcasts. She served as a communications adviser in the Obama White House and as a speechwriter for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She got started in podcasting with her own local politics show in Cambridge, Mass.
December 28, 2019
From Amazon to Zillow, big successes to surprising failures, it was an extraordinary year for technology and innovation emerging from and impacting Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. That's the consensus from GeekWire co-founders John Cook and Todd Bishop, who independently compiled their own lists of the biggest stories of the year, then compared notes in this year-end GeekWire Podcast discussion.
December 21, 2019
John and Todd make it through the rain and into the studio to discuss some of the  biggest stories of the week: Car2go's exit from North America, which will leave Seattle without a free-floating car-sharing service for the first time in many years; and the sudden downfall of Vicis, the high-tech football helmet maker backed by some of the NFL's biggest names. Plus the answer to last week's Name that Tech Tune challenge.
December 14, 2019
The hacking of multiple Ring cameras this week brought the sometimes abstract world of tech security and privacy into stark relief, as hackers watched and harassed families and children in their homes, demonstrating the frightening real-world consequences of weak password security.  On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we explain what happened in the incidents, discuss practical tips for making devices more secure, and explore the big picture implications of these technologies for the industry and society. While biometric identification, facial recognition and artificial intelligence represent a potential replacement for passwords, they also come with potential trade-offs of their own, as demonstrated by new guidelines issued by the Port of Seattle for the use of such technologies. In other news, we explore Seattle's attempt to put rules and safety guidelines around the coming wave of scooter sharing programs in the city. And in our final segment, it’s a new installment of our Name that Tech Tune challenge, with a chance to win a GeekWire shirt. Tech industry’s password problems come home to roost with Ring security camera hacks Hackers infiltrate Ring cameras in Florida and Tennessee and harass children Tech experts agree it’s time to regulate artificial intelligence — if only it were that simple Seattle port officials approve face recognition guardrails as feds waffle on the controversial tech New documents reveal details of Seattle scooter-share pilot, including ban on sidewalk riding
December 7, 2019
The leaders of Amazon's cloud division made a few things clear this week at the Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference in Las Vegas: AWS has broad ambitions in the $3.7 trillion enterprise tech market, looking for growth well beyond the current cloud sector. The company is urging more companies to move their computing to the cloud, at the same time it's developing hybrid technologies to run cloud technologies on premises. Amazon believes Microsoft is working against the interests of its customers by implementing new licensing restrictions on Microsoft operating systems and databases, limiting the ways its software can be used on AWS and other cloud platforms. AWS doesn't believe it's possible that it could have lost the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft purely on the merits of their  respective technologies. This is why Amazon is formally challenging the bidding process. It all adds up to escalating competition between the Seattle-area tech giants, not just between AWS and Microsoft Azure in the cloud but also between AWS and Microsoft in the larger enterprise technology market, which is the bread and butter of Microsoft's business. Also on the show, we discuss what 60 Minutes missed in its report on tech and Seattle's homelessness crisis; explain why the first official Craigslist app is a mixed blessing, and reveal the answer to our Name that Tech Tune challenge.
November 23, 2019
This week on the GeekWire Podcast, we go behind-the-scenes of some of the biggest and most interesting stories we covered this week: Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, who overcame Amazon's opposition to win another term, tells us what she plans to do now. An innovation in solar energy, backed by Bill Gates, promises to dramatically reduce global carbon emissions. Amazon’s new smart shelf will reorder office supplies automatically when they're running low. We ask, is this a good thing? We check in on some of the newest tech office spaces in the Seattle region, including Zipwhip, Google, Facebook, Expedia, F5 and others, and learn what they say about how we're all working now. And in the final segment, it’s the return of our Name that Tech Tune contest, with your chance to win a GeekWire t-shirt.
November 16, 2019
This week on the GeekWire Podcast: Amazon is formally protesting a decision by the U.S. Department of Defense to award its $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract to Microsoft, suggesting that the Pentagon succumbed  to political pressure from President Donald Trump.  Plus, Microsoft takes its Dreamers immigration lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court, what it's like to have Cortana read your email out loud, and we get our first taste of the apple of the future, the Cosmic Crisp, before this new Washington state innovation hits store shelves next month.
November 14, 2019
LAS VEGAS -- Nearly 20,000 people are here this week to learn about the latest from Seattle-based Tableau Software, whose technologies turn large amounts of data into visualizations, or vizzes, interactive graphics and charts for interpreting and telling the underlying stories. They also heard from Tableau's new parent company, Salesforce, whose co-CEO Marc Benioff joined Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky on stage for the keynote address as a last-minute addition a little more than a week after European regulators cleared the companies to integrate the $15.7 billion acquisition. On this special episode of the GeekWire Podcast, recorded on location at the Tableau Conference, we’ll share highlights from our discussion with Selipsky about what’s next for the Seattle company following its $15.7 billion acquisition by Salesforce, the future of data and artificial intelligence, the rise of employee activism at Tableau and other companies, and what Marc Benioff emails him about.  Editor’s Note: Tableau hosted GeekWire for a recording of the GeekWire Podcast on the show floor of the Tableau Conference as part of a sponsorship agreement. GeekWire retained editorial control of the podcast and covered its own expenses related to the podcast and coverage from the event.
November 9, 2019
Not only was Amazon's effort to back pro-business candidates for the Seattle City Council not effective, but its $1.45 million in contributions seems to have backfired on the company, energizing its opponents and leading to a new City Council that's collectively more to the left of the political spectrum than before. It's the latest in a series of political and policy missteps and missed opportunities for the company, from HQ2 to JEDI.  Also this week: Bill Gates and Elizabeth Warren are ready to talk about taxes; a Microsoft study shows the potential benefits of a shorter work week for productivity; a winning Seattle Sounders rap from a GeekWire reader; and Cortana is ready to "play" your email for you, but are you ready for her to do that?
November 1, 2019
A lot has changed in the world, the tech industry, and Microsoft since Satya Nadella published his book, "Hit Refresh," two years ago. One of the changes: Microsoft reclaimed the title of world's most valuable company in 2018, two decades since it last held that status. But the company didn't celebrate the milestone. "Success is important, but you have to remember that your success has to have come from some sense of purpose," the Microsoft CEO said in an interview with GeekWire this week. "In 2019, in particular as a tech company, I think that the excessive celebration of technology and tech companies is not what it's all about." Instead, Nadella explained, "We as a world need to make sure that digital technology is helping us create more equitable growth in all communities, in all countries. And that means our success has to be based on success around us." That is one of the core themes in Nadella's new afterword for the paperback edition of "Hit Refresh," to be released Nov. 5. Speaking with GeekWire this week, Nadella went further on several key topics -- discussing Microsoft's approach to a growing wave of nationalism around the world, addressing employee concerns about their treatment inside the company, and explaining why Microsoft is betting on a new category of dual-screen devices. He also offered his take on two recent victories: Microsoft winning the coveted JEDI contract from the U.S. Department of Defense, beating out Amazon for the $10 billion, $10-year Pentagon cloud deal; and Seattle Sounders FC making it to the MLS Cup. Nadella and his wife Anu are part of the new ownership group for the soccer team.
October 26, 2019
Artificial intelligence might sound like a futuristic concept, and it may be true that we're years or decades away from a generalized form of AI that can match or exceed the capabilities of the human brain across a wide range of topics. But the implications of machine learning, facial recognition and other early forms of the technology are already playing out for companies, governmental agencies and people around the world,. This is raising questions about everything from privacy to jobs to law enforcement to the future of humanity. On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we hear several different takes from people grappling right now with AI and its implications for business, technology and society, recorded across different sessions at the recent GeekWire Summit in Seattle. We hear from Microsoft President Brad Smith, co-author of the book Tools and Weapons; U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best; Luke Larson, president of Axon, the maker of Taser and body camera technology; and Dave Limp, the senior vice president in charge of Amazon's devices and services business.
October 19, 2019
Amazon took a million-dollar gamble this week, betting a last-minute cash infusion will help elect a new Seattle City Council despite the inevitable backlash to the contribution. It's a risky move that has already emboldened Amazon's biggest critics in Seattle government. Whether the bet will pay off at the polls remains to be seen. Also on this episode:  Andrew Yang’s Bing ding creates a debate of its own over Microsoft, Google and tech history An employee on Microsoft’s board? Shareholder proposal floats concept, board calls it ‘unnecessary’ Benioff: Amazon’s Seattle tax fight stoked tech industry opposition to S.F. homeless initiative Breach the Bubble: Meet a Former Democrat Turned Trump Voter
October 11, 2019
The Federal Trade Commission is ramping up its investigations into Big Tech, and one of the agency’s toughest enforcers visited Amazon’s backyard to discuss the state of competition in the industry with GeekWire's Monica Nickelsburg this week. FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra spoke at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle on Tuesday in a wide-ranging interview that covered antitrust law, the investment landscape in tech, and lessons learned from his background regulating the financial sector. The interview — available as a video and edited Q&A below — provides a glimpse into how one of the enforcers charged with reining in the tech industry is thinking about competition and related economic dynamics. Read a transcript of the discussion and see more coverage of the GeekWire Summit.
October 10, 2019
Our GeekWire Summit just wrapped up, and one of our sessions in particular made national news: our conversation on stage with Jay Carney, the former White House press secretary who is now Amazon’s senior vice president of public affairs. We talked about a wide range of issues, including antitrust and competitive concerns, and what it’s like to work for Jeff Bezos. We also asked for Carney’s take on current events in Washington, D.C., and his comments on the Trump administration were later covered by publications including Bloomberg News and CNBC, sparking a response from Donald Trump, Jr. Carney issued a tweet Thursday morning clarifying that he was speaking in his personal capacity and not as an Amazon representative.  We’re making the entire conversation available in this podcast, and you can read a transcript on GeekWire. Coming soon on the GeekWire Podcast, the other side of the antitrust issue -- an interview with FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra by GeekWire civic editor Monica Nickelsburg. Audio production for this episode by Jennie Cecil Moore.
October 4, 2019
Microsoft is back in the smartphone business with the unveiling of its new Surface Duo dual-screen folding device this week. It's a fascinating story all on its own, as the company finally goes public with a concept it has been experimenting with behind-the-scenes for much of the past decade. Surprise twist: It runs Android. But combined with the larger Surface Neo dual-screen tablet/notebook, the story is much bigger. Microsoft is trying to take the lead in a new category of computing, while expanding its focus beyond Windows to focus on apps and experiences across a range of devices. We share our reactions to the news on this episode, and ask the all-important question, is Microsoft cool again? Plus, a Seattle startup debuts a new pizza-making robot, and we nerd out on the new version of Flight Simulator, which is getting a boost from AI and the cloud, and modern satellite imagery. We're keeping it short this week as we get ready for our big annual technology conference. Hope to see you next week at the GeekWire Summit!
September 28, 2019
Amazon announced a series of new Echo and Alexa products and initiatives this week -- from smart glasses to wireless earbuds to a new neighborhood wireless initiative --  extending the reach of its devices and services well beyond the home, while attempting to address consumer concerns about privacy at the same time.   Here's our coverage from the week. Why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sees new opportunity in the yard, on the sidewalk, and beyond Everything Amazon announced at its devices event — Echo Buds, Echo Frames, Echo Studio, and more Bezos: Facial recognition ‘a perfect example’ of the need for regulation, and Amazon is working on it Amazon unveils new Alexa-powered Echo Buds, undercuts Apple’s AirPods with $129.99 price tag
September 25, 2019
A new skyscraper in Seattle will bear the name Qualtrics Tower, after the technology company that will occupy more than a dozen floors in the building, with plans to quadruple its employee count in the region to more than 2000 people in the next several years. So what is Qualtrics, anyway? It’s an experience management company, with co-headquarters in Seattle and Provo Utah, that was acquired by enterprise technology giant SAP for $8 billion. We sat down for a conversation recently with Julie Larson Green, a former Microsoft Windows and Office leader who is now the chief experience officer at Qualtrics, to talk about fundamental economic shift that the company is betting on.
September 21, 2019
The climate crisis surged to the top of the tech industry's agenda this week, encouraged by a groundswell of activity from workers at Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other big tech companies, as part of global efforts to bring attention to the issue. It's the latest example of rising activism inside the tech industry, as a new generation of workers pushes employers to speak out and take action on political, social and environmental issues. We discuss the protests and the larger trend on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, with highlights from the climate walkout at Amazon's Seattle campus, and Jeff Bezos announcing the company's new Climate Pledge earlier in the week. In the second segment of the show, we discuss what the shutdown of LimePod says about the future of urban mobility in Seattle and around the world. And on the Random Channel this week, the scourge of "microplastics", Amazon's Allbirds knock-offs, and the "Showdown at the Window Seat."
September 14, 2019
From package delivery to ride-hailing, companies including Amazon and Uber are facing new scrutiny over their use of contract workers to power the services they provide to consumers. California is poised to enact a law that would force Uber and Lyft to treat drivers like employees as part of a broader push around the country to ensure app-based workers have broader labor protections. Meanwhile, three U.S. Senators are demanding answers from Amazon about its network of contractors and independent delivery companies that get packages to customers’ doors. We discuss the implications of these developments on this new episode of the GeekWire Podcast. Plus, a Seattle startup is aiming to upend the smartphone market with a high-quality, low-priced alternative designed to be used for twice as many years as many people use their existing phones. The inside story of Taylor Swift's beef with Microsoft's chatbot. And we do our best to help Alexa come up with some answers to difficult questions.
September 8, 2019
In “Tools & Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age,” Microsoft President Brad Smith and his co-author Carol Anne Brown tell the inside story of some of the biggest developments in tech and the world over the past decade -- including Microsoft’s reaction to the Snowden revelations, its battle with Russian hackers in the leadup to the 2016 elections and its role in the ongoing debate  privacy and facial recognition technology.  The book goes behind-the-scenes at the Obama and Trump White Houses, explores the implications of the coming wave of artificial intelligence, and calls on tech giants and governments to step up and prepare for the ethical, legal and societal challenges of powerful new forms of technology yet to come. We touched on many of those topics in this conversation with Smith about the new book, due out Sept. 10. Smith will also speak at the upcoming GeekWire Summit.
September 7, 2019
Amazon ousted Apple this year as the most loved brand among millennials, people age 19 through 39, according to a new study. What does this say about the future of the world? OK, that might be taking it too far, but some of our resident millennials offer their take on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast. And in news for slightly older generations, the startup HopSkipRide made its debut in Seattle this week, promising to safely shuttle your kids around town. We explain how it works and try to decide if we and our kids will use it. Plus, in the Random Channel, Microsoft the Musical, insights from Burning Man, and the latest from the chicken beat.
August 31, 2019
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared in Seattle on Sunday, a few blocks from Amazon's headquarters, and given the Democratic presidential candidate's call to break up the online retail giant as part of a larger crackdown on big tech companies, we were anticipating fireworks. It didn't happen. In fact, as we reported earlier this week, Warren didn't specifically mention Amazon in her public remarks when commenting on the need for stronger antitrust enforcement. On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we tell the behind-the-scenes story of how we were able to ask Warren about the issue by matching her sheer endurance. We also discuss why the call to break up big tech hasn't taken hold as a major campaign issue.  In other topics, we discuss privacy concerns over Ring's collaboration with law enforcement; the new trailer for Netflix's Bill Gates documentary, what the algorithms say about an iconic Nirvana song; and, of course, the latest on the elusive Popeyes chicken sandwich.
August 24, 2019
New wireless Bluetooth headphones from Seattle startup Human are getting mixed reviews based on their appearance, and their initial starting price of $399 (which the company quickly dropped to a promotional price of $259). But their unique design, which completely envelops both ears, reflects a vision of the future in which technology will be melded to our bodies, and potentially to our minds.  Plus: Jeff Bezos' first Amazon job ad, 25 years later; A new Netflix documentary will go inside the mind of Bill Gates, and Alexa makes a "Jeopardy!" cameo.
August 17, 2019
Microsoft's partnership with Samsung promises smooth integration between Windows and the Galaxy Note10, and that was enough to convince GeekWire's Todd Bishop to dump his iPhone X in favor of the consumer electronics giant's new flagship device. But which of the two Note10 variations should he get? And what can he expect as he switches from on major smartphone platform to another? Tech reviewer Andru Edwards of Gear Live and the Geared Up podcast joins us on this special episode to offer his advice.
August 13, 2019
Amazon, Uber, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and many other big companies have something in common. They're all platforms, providing underlying technologies that others use to build or facilitate their own businesses. But there are different types of platforms, with different motivations, and understanding the differences is key for anyone looking to build, compete against, regulate or do business with a platform.  We explore the power and pitfalls of platforms on this episode with Michael Cusumano, the Sloan Management Review Distinguished Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the co-author of the book, "The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation & Power," with Annabelle Gawer and David Yoffie. The book examines the hidden forces behind some of today’s most powerful and influential companies. It's an especially timely subject given the current scrutiny of many of those companies.
August 10, 2019
We're back! It's the return of our weekly news roundup, with Todd Bishop, John Cook and Monica Nickelsburg. First, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's surprise appearance at Samsung's latest Galaxy smartphone unveiling signals good things ahead for Windows users. We go inside the shutdown of ReachNow, BMW's car-sharing service that operated in Portland and Seattle, and discuss the unusual ways that some people in our society are using car-sharing services. And finally, on the Random Channel, we offer our latest documentary recommendations, catch up with Amazon's Treasure Truck, and savor some bread made from 4,500-year-old yeast.
July 28, 2019
Despite the restrictions it imposes on Facebook's business, the Federal Trade Commission's settlement with the social media giant is viewed as insufficient by some critics. So what can we do as Facebook users? What impact is Facebook having on us in the meantime? And what can the tech industry learn from the whole thing? That's our topic on this episode of the GeekWire podcast, featuring highlights from a discussion with Sheryl Cababa, a user experience designer with Artefact in Seattle and the author of the report, "Can Social Media Be Saved?"; and tech industry veteran Andre Vrignaud, who found a way to manage the impact of Facebook on his life, as detailed in this GeekWire story earlier this year.
July 19, 2019
It was tough week for Amazon on the regulatory front. It started Tuesday with an antitrust hearing before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. Although Apple, Facebook, and Google also sent representatives, Amazon fielded the most pointed questions. A few hours later, the European Union launched a formal investigation into the company, focusing on how it treats third-party sellers in the Amazon marketplace. We explore why Amazon is in the hot seat, how the company is responded, what comes next on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast.  Plus, the end of the road for ReachNow, and our podcast recommendation for reliving the Apollo 11 moon landing.
July 16, 2019
To understand the future of space, it helps to start with the past. On this special edition of the GeekWire Podcast, marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we’ll hear from Alan Boyle, GeekWire's aerospace and science editor, and listen in on his conversations with three unsung heroes of the Apollo era: NASA flight directors Gerry Griffin and Milton Windler, and flight controller Poppy Northcutt. They each reflect on the historic mission and share the sentiment that America should go back to the moon and beyond. This episode of GeekWire is part of the Destination Moon podcrawl, organized by Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Look for other episodes about the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary in the coming days from other participating podcasts: Flight Deck from the Museum of Flight; Sound Effect from KNKX Radio; The Truth from Radiotopia; and Stuff You Missed in History Class.
July 13, 2019
Would you have guessed that nearly 25 percent of the Seattle region's top tech startups are led by CEOs with backgrounds at Microsoft? That was the surprising result of our analysis of the GeekWire 200, our index of the top privately held tech companies in the Pacific Northwest. And fundings for the region's startups bucked the national trend, as reflected in data from our new startup deal tracker.  Nintendo unveiled a new iteration of its Switch game console; former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer pulled off what might be his greatest deal ever; and an Amazon employee showed the potential of artificial intelligence with a high-tech cat door. GeekWire editor Todd Bishop and managing editor Taylor Soper recap and analyze the news on this episode of the show. Plus, listen for the debut of the new GeekWire Podcast theme song, by composer Daniel L.K. Caldwell.
July 5, 2019
"You've got all of this opportunity for places where you can interface with the physical world. I think it's just where business opportunity is going to live." That was one of the takeaways from Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott's talk at the recent GeekWire Cloud Summit. On this special episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we're presenting highlights from his conversation with GeekWire's Todd Bishop. The Microsoft CTO was previously vice president of engineering and operations at LinkedIn, led engineering and operations at mobile advertising company AdMob, and worked two stints at Google, starting as a senior engineering manager in 2005. He's also the host of the podcast Behind the Tech and is involved in diversity initiatives both inside and outside the company.
June 29, 2019
Apple's new campus in Seattle, unveiled this week, will accommodate as many as 2,000 workers, doubling the company's previous commitment to expand its engineering operations in the city. But beyond the sheer numbers, the prime location positions the company to compete more aggressively for talent against rivals including Amazon, Google and Microsoft. It also promises to make Seattle a bigger epicenter for cloud engineering, artificial intelligence and voice technologies.  We explore the implications of Apple's move on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, with GeekWire's Monica Nickelsburg, Kurt Schlosser, and Todd Bishop. Plus: Bill Gates and Jeff Bee-zos, Windows 95 makes a cameo at the Supreme Court, Teen Vogue's transition, Russell Wilson makes memes come true, and Slack meets Slack.
June 22, 2019
If you tuned into the news this week, you heard one company’s name over and over again. Slack, the workplace communication and collaboration technology company went public and instantly saw its share price spike by 50 percent. But with competition from Microsoft, Facebook, Google and others, where does Slack go from here? Today on GeekWire, the future of Slack, and the competition among tech giants to change how we communicate, collaborate and get work done. With Paul Condra, lead analyst for emerging technologies at PitchBook, and Nat Levy, GeekWire reporter.
June 19, 2019
Workplace chat and collaboration technology company Slack is going public on Thursday, with implications for a wide variety of companies in the Seattle region and beyond. Microsoft is Slack’s primary competitor with its Teams service, and Slack is a big Amazon Web Services customer. And many companies that sell technologies to businesses will be watching Slack’s stock market debut closely to assess their own potential in the public markets. So how does Slack work behind the scenes? On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we’re featuring a conversation with a co-founder of Slack, Cal Henderson, the company’s chief technology officer, recorded during the recent GeekWire Cloud Summit.
June 15, 2019
Salesforce surprised the tech world this week with its agreement to acquire Tableau Software for $15.7 billion -- but maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise after the Seattle-based data visualization company was listed among the cloud giant's acquisition targets in a leaked internal slide deck a while back. With Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff declaring Seattle the new HQ2 for the San Francisco company, GeekWire's John Cook and Todd Bishop tell the story behind this record-setting deal and consider the implications for the West Coast tech 'megalopolis.'   Plus, a Seattle startup entrepreneur unveils a smart new tool for finding candidates with views similar to your own, a Pioneer Square Labs spinout wants to help podcasters raise money from their most passionate listeners, and we debate the merits of dogs in the workplace after several Seattle tech companies rank high a list of pooch-friendly places to work.
June 14, 2019
The past decade has been a period of incredible growth for the technology industry in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. One of the primary engines of that growth is the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering in Seattle. Computer scientist Hank Levy has been a quiet force behind the program as its leader for the past 13 years. During his tenure, the program positioned itself as one of the top 5 computer science programs in the country, after MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon in the minds of many in the industry. It grew its faculty by 30 positions, or 70 percent; doubled its space with the addition of the Bill &  Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering; tripled its undergraduate enrollment and doubled its graduate enrollment; and developing strengths in areas such as robotics, data science, security, sensors and machine learning. Levy will step down as Allen School director effective July 1 but will remain involved with the program. Speaking with GeekWire this week, in advance of the Allen School commencement Friday evening, Levy reflected on the huge changes during his tenure, the transformation of technology during his career, and the challenges still facing the UW and the tech industry.
June 13, 2019
In the 13 years since Maria Klawe took over as president of Harvey Mudd College, she has surprised skeptics and achieved a milestone that has confounded most institutions of higher education. Today, 50 percent of Harvey Mudd graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are women, and students of color are on the rise at the elite technical college. The shift is no accident; Klawe made diversity her top priority when she took the helm at Harvey Mudd, in Claremont, Calif. And while she's made strides, she's also faced big challenges during what she describes as the most difficult years of her professional career. Klawe is a noted computer scientist and academic and a former Microsoft board member. Before becoming the first woman to lead Harvey Mudd, she served as dean of engineering at Princeton University and dean of science at the University of British Columbia. Klawe will share insights from her journey as a leader in computer science and champion for diversity when delivering the 2019 commencement address for the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen School for Computer Science & Engineering this Friday, June 14. We caught up with Klawe for a preview of her remarks and a broader discussion of the opportunities and challenges facing the technology industry. Listen to the podcast below, subscribe to the GeekWire Podcast in your favorite podcast app, and continue reading for highlights from the conversation.
June 8, 2019
Amazon gave a detailed look at its new warehouse robots and delivery drones, discussed its plans for a satellite constellation, and talked about the future of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation during a multi-day conference in Las Vegas this week. GeekWire's aerospace and science editor Alan Boyle was in Las Vegas to cover it all, and he joins us with a recap and analysis.
June 2, 2019
Chad Robins is a Cornell grad and Wharton School MBA who was working in real estate finance a decade ago when he was approached with a business idea by his brother, Harlan Robins, head of the Computational Biology Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. As Chad Robins recalled, "When he called me up in 2009 and said, 'Hey I want to start a business, I've figured out how to sequence T-cells at a high throughput,' I was like, 'Yes, I'm in!' and then I went to Wikipedia and I'm like, 'What the hell is he talking about?' I don't know the difference between a T-cell receptor and a T-bone steak." A decade later, the company they created, Adaptive Biotechnologies, is using the genetic code of the immune system to change the diagnosis and treatment of disease. It’s valued at more than $1 billion. It has partnerships with industry giants Microsoft and Genentech, and this week it filed raise $230 million in an initial public offering. On this episode of the GeekWire podcast, we’ll get the inside story of Adaptive Biotechnologies and share what we learned in its IPO filing. Correction 6/3: Chad Robins and Harlan Robins hold about the same amount of equity in the company, which wasn’t apparent from the IPO filing because some of the stock is held in trusts. We've update the audio to remove this portion of our discussion.
May 31, 2019
Are we living in a simulation? Is there an afterlife? And if not, what would it take to create one? Drawing inspiration from Seattle's tech industry and the emerging field of virtual reality, best-selling science-fiction author Neal Stephenson knits together ideas as old as the Bible and as up-to-date as Elon Musk's musings in an epic 880-page novel titled "Fall; or, Dodge in Hell," due out June 4. GeekWire's Alan Boyle read the book and interviewed Stephenson, and joins us to share highlights.
May 25, 2019
The peak home-buying season is upon us, but buyers and sellers taking a fresh look at the market will see a much different landscape for real estate technology than they did just a year or two ago -- and it's only the beginning of the changes to come. It's an exciting time in the real estate tech business, and anything can happen. On this special episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we assess the changes so far and debate what could happen next: Could Zillow end up buying Redfin or another brokerage to bolster its new model? Will the notion of one-click homebuying ever truly take hold? How will traditional brokerages play a role in the future? And will any of these changes actually address the fundamental problem of housing affordability?
May 24, 2019
Amazon's annual meeting has become a spectacle over the years, despite the company's best efforts to stick to business. Todd Bishop and Monica Nickelsburg explain what happened at this year's event, earlier this week in Seattle. Plus, the latest on T-Mobile and Sprint, why a former Facebook exec is floating Microsoft's Brad Smith as a replacement for Mark Zuckerberg, and how Rover capitalized on the Game of Thrones finale.
May 22, 2019
John Rossman helped to launch and build the Amazon Marketplace business before leading the company's Enterprise Services business during his tenure at the company. In his new book, "Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader," he helps other business leaders and managers understand, learn from and adopt elements of Amazon's approach. He sat down with us this week to talk about some of the ideas that define the company, and what they say about its future.
May 18, 2019
Four years after acquiring Minecraft, Microsoft this week unveiled its most ambitious effort yet to take the popular franchise to the next level, and specifically into the real world. GeekWire went hands on with the game in a sneak preview, but with the release not expected until later this summer, why the heck is Microsoft touting this game before the rest of us can actually play it?  Plus, Amazon is offering its employees an incentive to quit their jobs, if they start their own package delivery companies. This is the latest wrinkle in the company's Delivery Service Partners program, which we explored in depth last year.  Finally, on the Random Channel, the latest twist in our quest to stream live audio at the ballpark, a commentary on the sequestering of tech execs, and the latest in the scooter saga, featuring Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
May 14, 2019
Listen in on our conversation with Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, about her book, "The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World." The book has garnered national attention and further elevated Melinda's status as an influential public figure in her own right. GeekWire's Monica Nickelsburg and Todd Bishop spoke with Melinda at her office in Seattle, at the conclusion of her national book tour. Go to for full coverage.
May 12, 2019
How does Jeff Bezos plan to get to the moon, and what will he do after that? On this special bonus edition of the GeekWire Podcast, aerospace and science editor Alan Boyle calls in from Washington, D.C., where he covered the Amazon founder's unveiling of the new Blue Moon lunar lander from his Blue Origin space venture, aiming to put humans back on the moon by 2024 as part of a broader plan to colonize space. Plus, audio highlights from Bezos's talk.
May 11, 2019
There's a common theme running through the spring season of developer conferences and tech events: trust and privacy. With the tech industry faceing a backlash from consumers and regulators, tech giants including Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are looking to assure everyone that they're listening. But each company is approaching the issue in a very different way, and with a very different track record on the topic. On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we listen to the CEOs of these companies talk about privacy, and analyze the different approaches. Other stories covered on this episode: Seattle will launch a scooter-share pilot — if providers agree to key safety and liability conditions On the other side of the state, Spokane’s tech scene capitalizes on Seattle squeeze ‘Game of Thrones’ gets roasted for leaving a Starbucks coffee cup in a shot during episode four
May 4, 2019
The strength and success of the people and companies across the Pacific Northwest tech ecosystem was on full display Thursday night at the GeekWire Awards. GeekWire's Jonathan Sposato, John Cook and Todd Bishop share highlights and clips from the night on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast. More highlights here.
May 2, 2019
Amazon's shift to one-day shipping as the core benefit of its Prime membership program promises to significantly alter Amazon’s financial picture and accelerate the pace of global online commerce. On this special episode of the GeekWire Podcast, reporter Nat Levy joins us to look at the implications of this move for Amazon, its customers, competitors, investors and the shipping + logistics industry.
April 30, 2019
What do Pinterest, Lyft, Uber and Slack have in common? Yes, they're all newly public or about to make their initial public offerings. But they also share a common characteristic on the bottom line -- proceeding with their IPOs with lots of revenue and growth but, so far at least, without the consistent profits to show for it. And they're part of a trend. Eighty-three percent of IPOs in the first three quarters of 2018 were made by companies that hadn't posted profits in the prior 12 months.  So what's the future of these companies? On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, we're joined by someone who has spent a lot of time looking at the financials of many of these companies: Ben Gilbert, co-founder of Seattle's Pioneer Square Labs, and co-host of the podcast Acquired, which tells the stories of major companies, acquisitions and IPOs. He and his co-host David Rosenthal have been focusing on these companies on their recent episodes, starting with Lyft and Pinterest. Since we recorded this episode, Slack has also released its S-1 registration statement, revealing a $138.9 million net loss in its most recent fiscal year.
April 26, 2019
Founded in 2015, Seattle startup Arivale aspired to pioneer a new sector called scientific wellness, combining genetic testing with personal coaching to improve the health of its members. Its founder, genomics legend Lee Hood, said the company "really stands a chance of being the Google or Microsoft of this whole arena." But four years later, Arivale abruptly closed its doors this week. We explain what happened with special guest, GeekWire chief business officer Daniel Rossi, an Arivale member whose experience in the program was chronicled in our 2017 series. Plus, Microsoft breaks the trillion-dollar mark, Bill Gates serves as a surprising role model for other dads, and there's a new set of guidelines for kids' screen time.
April 20, 2019
Seattle has a new unicorn, Outreach, the sales and marketing automation company that raised a $114 million funding round this week, pushing its valuation to $1.1 billion. The news sends John and Todd on a startup odyssey, exploring the hidden connections among the new wave of public companies and tech behemoths in Silicon Valley and Seattle, including Uber, Lyft, Convoy and others. Plus, Amazon and Microsoft are preparing to challenge Apple's AirPods,. And on the Random Channel, Melinda Gates has a message for the tech industry, and John is determined to be a "Never Throner."
April 13, 2019
Almost every week at the end of the GeekWire Podcast, we feature our "Random Channel" segment, discussing all the random items of questionable relevance that we were buzzing about behind the scenes during the course of the week. This week, with several of us out of the office, we decided to forgo our regular news conversation and go "full random," you might say. We hope you enjoy getting to know some of the offbeat interests of our team, including Kurt Schlosser, Monica Nickelsburg and Taylor Soper. And don't worry, we'll be back on topic next week with our regular show.
April 5, 2019
The news that Amazon is shifting its Seattle-based worldwide operations team to Bellevue, Wash., raises a ton of questions about its future in the region. GeekWire's Monica Nickelsburg, who broke the story, joins Todd Bishop and John Cook to discuss the implications. Plus, Howard Schultz gets sued for text messages sent to voters by his team, and the GeekWire Awards finalists have been revealed.
April 3, 2019
With the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon Landing on the horizon, Mark Armstrong, son of the late astronaut Neil Armstrong, first person to walk on the moon, talks with GeekWire's Alan Boyle at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
March 30, 2019
Microsoft is putting Amazon into a difficult position by advocating a tax increase on both companies in their home state. Meanwhile, Apple is placing an even bigger bet on privacy as a feature. We explain a surprising startup investment by two Seattle tech veterans. Plus, the return of the Random Channel.
March 23, 2019
Every year, Amazon and Jeff Bezos hold an elite, invitation-only conference called MARS, for Machine learning, Automation, Robotics and Space, which doubles as an excuse for the Amazon founder to test out the latest in autonomous vehicles, robots and personal aircraft. GeekWire aerospace and science editor Alan Boyle joins us with a rundown. Plus, 15 years after Google started a wave of engineering outposts in the Seattle area, the region's startups are figuring out how to co-exist with Silicon Valley tech giants. And how DNA is inspiring the next generation of data storage technology at Microsoft and the University of Washington.
March 20, 2019
After a year of privacy scandals, consumers are beginning to realize that the volume of data tech companies collect on them exceeds what they could have imagined. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood has been helping listeners untangle the complex web of the data economy on her show. She visited Seattle last week to discuss those issues with Giri Sreenivas, CEO of private email server startup Helm, Ryan Calo, co-director of the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab, and Monica Nickelsburg, GeekWire’s civic editor, during an event hosted by KUOW.
March 16, 2019
We're preparing for the GeekWire Awards, our annual event recognizing the best in Pacific Northwest tech and innovation, and on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast we provide an update on past Startup of the Year winners and preview this year's contest. Find out more, submit nominations, and buy tickets at Plus, a brave Amazon employee asks Jeff Bezos if his tumultuous personal life is distracting from his work, and Peter Sagal of Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me offers his input on getting less input in our lives.
March 13, 2019
GeekWire photographer Kevin Lisota has taken pictures of everything from rocket launches to tech luminaries, but he recently spent a couple weeks far from Seattle, on a photo expedition in far-western Mongolia. On this special episode of the GeekWire Podcast, he shares photography tips and tricks from expedition leader Andy Williams of Muench Workshops and the reCOMPOSE photo podcast.
March 9, 2019
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren's ambitious plan to regulate Facebook, Google and Amazon as utilities and roll back some of their biggest acquisitions, is a giant stake in the ground for the 2020 presidential campaign -- but is it realistic? And would it really have the desired impact on competition and consumers? We dive into those questions on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast,
March 1, 2019
What the heck is going on at Zillow? The online real estate giant announced the return of co-founder Rich Barton as CEO, along with a major change in its business model. John Cook and Todd Bishop sort out the news, speculate on the cause, and speculate wildly on what could be next. Plus, Amazon is backing out of a high-profile Seattle skyscraper in the latest sign of its troubled relationship with its hometown. And we say farewell to those cute little Amazon Dash buttons!
February 21, 2019
This is a guest episode of the new podcast Under Construction, from the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, featuring a conversation with my GeekWire co-founder John Cook, talking with the podcast's host, Seattle Metro Chamber CEO Marilyn Strickland. For more episodes, check out, or subscribe at
February 14, 2019
Come on, Amazon, really? The tech giant spent more than a year looking for its "HQ2," planning to establish a second headquarters equal to its Seattle home, before surprising everybody by instead splitting the giant project between New York City and Arlington, Va. Now, after facing initial opposition from some New York city and state leaders, the company this morning said, well, nevermind.
February 12, 2019
Bill Gates sits down with GeekWire to talk about what's on his mind in 2019, including what he would say to President Trump about nationalism vs. globalism, why he's pushing the U.S. to double down on nuclear energy, thoughts on the future of techbooks, and memories of his late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Plus, his take on the viral photo of him standing in line at a popular Seattle burger stand. See for more coverage of the interview, and read Bill and Melinda Gates' 2019 annual letter at
February 8, 2019
Publicly challenging the National Enquirer's parent company AMI for attempted blackmail and extortion, as Jeff Bezos did in his remarkable post Thursday afternoon, is bold, risky and even admirable, especially for someone in his position. But for Amazon and its founder, there's more than some embarrassing pictures at stake.
February 5, 2019
We're starting a new tradition on GeekWire, periodically sharing selected episodes of some of our favorite podcasts about startups, leadership, technology, science and more from the Seattle region and beyond. First up: What Fuels You, a new podcast from Shauna Swerland of Fuel Talent, featuring conversations and insights from successful business leaders. Her guest on this episode is Jane Park, the CEO and founder of Seattle-based beauty products company Julep. Park, who founded Julep in 2006, was named CEO of the Year in the 2014 GeekWire Awards. She sold Julep in 2016 to beauty brand Glansaol, which filed for bankruptcy late last year. (Park hasn't been involved in day-to-day operations at Julep since the acquisition.) For more episodes of What Fuels You, go to or subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify.
February 1, 2019
Can Howard Schultz make a serious run for U.S. president? Can Zillow's Zestimate be improved? And can a new Bluetooth feature help Todd find his freakin' AirPods Those are just a few of the burning questions on this episode of GeekWire's Week in Geek podcast, as GeekWire co-founders Todd Bishop John Cook discuss the news of the week.
January 25, 2019
Amazon rolled out its latest effort to conquer the last mile of delivery, and it's named "Scout." Plus, an app that helped new U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez get elected is spreading to other campaigns, with a catch. And the latest twist in New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichik's on-again off-again relationship with Microsoft Surface tablets on the NFL sidelines. And a mildly profane installment of the Random Channel. With GeekWire editor Todd Bishop, civic editor Monica Nickelsburg, and Geek Life reporter Kurt Schlosser.
January 19, 2019
As two of the world's most valuable companies, Amazon and Microsoft have created mind-boggling wealth and economic vitality in the Seattle region. But around them, housing prices have skyrocketed and the number of people experiencing homelessness has spiked as the rising tide of the tech industry fails to lift all boats Now the two tech giants are taking on the housing crisis, but their approaches are as different as the companies themselves. Which will be more effective? That's one of the topics we discuss as we recap the week's news on the GeekWire podcast. Also in the news: The Seattle Sounders' new jerseys, and Bill Gates at Dick's Drive-In,
January 16, 2019
With his AT&T Cingular Flip 2 in hand, Michael Valeri genuinely believes he’s living a better life for himself without a smartphone, and he’s interested in teaching people how they can do it, too. And the distinction is important — he doesn’t want to tell people why they should give up their iPhones, but rather how to survive if they do. He spoke with GeekWire reporter Kurt Schlosser, who wrote about Valeri here:
January 12, 2019
We're back! John Cook, Monica Nickelsburg and Todd Bishop get the GeekWire Podcast rolling for 2019 with our weekly news discussion, exploring the potential  implications of Jeff Bezos' divorce for Amazon and the Seattle region, explaining why Facebook needs its Uber moment, and debating the finer points of modern grocery shopping. Go to for links and more info.
December 26, 2018
New York Public Library’s Tony Ageh was recently in Seattle to talk about libraries’ digital transformation. Ageh made the point that tech now permeates pretty much all of a library’s operations. But in many ways, it's a good thing that libraries have been behind other organizations in adopting technology. Highlights from Ageh's conversation with GeekWire contributor Frank Catalano at Seattle Public Library.
December 20, 2018
Hey GeekWire Podcast listeners, we hope you enjoy this latest episode of our new podcast, Numbers Geek with Steve Ballmer, featuring the remarkable story of Arlan Hamilton, who went from homeless to running her own venture capital firm, investing in "underestimated" founders. To listen to every episode of the new podcast, go to We'll be back soon with a new GeekWire Podcast episode. Thanks for listening!
December 14, 2018
"You’re worth a trillion dollars. Why do you need our 3 billion dollars?" That's how Amazon was greeted by the New York City Council this week. City leaders in the Big Apple pointed to the tech giant's rocky relationship with its original hometown of Seattle to contend that winning the company's HQ2 isn't much of a prize. Meanwhile, Apple announced plans for a big Austin campus, along with new offices in Seattle and Southern California.
December 7, 2018
Our guest on this special edition of the podcast, Wash. State Gov. Jay Inslee. He spoke with us on stage during a special reception prior to the GeekWire Gala, about everything from his presidential ambitions to regulating big tech to lessons learned from Amazon's HQ2 search.
December 4, 2018
A preview of the new GeekWire podcast, Numbers Geek with Steve Ballmer, where we present a data-driven take on the country's most divisive issues. Subscribe now in your favorite podcast app to hear episode one.
November 30, 2018
This week, Microsoft rivaled Apple to be the most valuale company based in the U.S. But just a few years ago, that success seemed almost impossible. The Microsoft Surface division has been a microcosm of the company's struggles and failures in the past years and on this episode, we speak with journalist and author Brad Sams about that story. Sams' book about the Surface is called "Beneath A Surface" and is out now.
November 21, 2018
It's the holiday season, and along with festive Amazon packaging and never-ending carols, that means its time to buy holiday gifts! This week, we're sharing our annual Geared Up Tech Holiday Gift Guide. Todd and Andru will share their recommendations for the best gadgets and gizmos to put on your list -- plus a special surprise recommendation for that one person who has EVERYTHING. Visit to see a full list of our recommendations and links to all the specific products we mention on this episode. Subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app by searching "Geared Up."
November 19, 2018
Pickles that yodel. Foot-tall punching nuns. A rubber chicken museum. What do these things have in common? They're all brainchildren of Archie McPhee, the Seattle-based makers and retailers of whacky, delightful and (occasionally) practical items for more than 35 years. Join us for an audio tour of Archie McPhee's out-of-this-world retail store as we learn more about the company's history, its creative process and the stories of some of its most popular items. We're joined on this episode by David Wahl, Archie McPhee director of awesome (a.k.a. marketing and creative services).
November 15, 2018
Amazon is moving into the big apple with half of its HQ2 project slated to bring about 25,000 — or up to 40,000 — new jobs to Long Island City in Queens. But can NYC learn to love HQ2? We check in with GeekWire Civic Innovation Editor Monica Nickelsburg on the scene in Queens to find out.
November 13, 2018
It's official: Amazon's HQ2 search has ended in not one but two new hubs for the technology giant in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City in New York. Join GeekWire Co-founders John Cook and Todd Bishop as they dissect the news and the repercussions of the tech giant's extraordinary search.
November 9, 2018
Amazon's continent-wide search for a second headquarters took a strange turn this week as news leaked that the company is planning to split its second headquarters into two different cities. Critics have decried the move as a "bait and switch" and it puts the status of HQ2, due to be announced any day, up in the air. Also: Tuesday marked a monumental election for the U.S., including several ballot measures that directly involve the tech industry.
November 2, 2018
We're coming to you live again this week, this time from Renton, Wash, home of Boeing's 737 plant, the ultra-geeky Wizards of the Coast (maker of Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering) and the Seattle Seahawk's practice facility. On this special episode of the Week in Geek, we talk with Wizards of the Coast President Chris Cocks about the company and its beloved games, including its experiments with augmented reality — plus we interview Seahawks Wide Reciever Doug Baldwin about his work with Renton's community center and his plans for life after the NFL. The show is part of GeekWire on the Road, our traveling spotlight of emerging tech hubs in the Pacific Northwest.
October 30, 2018
In 2000, rotavirus killed more than half a million children every year. Not many people had even heard of the disease. Then an unlikely alliance of international scientists, policymakers, a first-time entrepreneur and the richest man in the world teamed up to take it on. We tell the story of what happened on this episode of Health Tech, a GeekWire podcast.
October 26, 2018
On this live episode of the Week in Geek, we interview former Breaking News leader and Factal co-founder Corey Bergman about the changing state of news and facts online. How can people escape the Twittersphere? How do you build an engaged community over the internet? We'll get into that and much more. Plus, we are excited to announce another live taping of the Week in Geek on Nov. 1 where we will interview Chris Cocks, the President of Dungeons and Dragons creator Wizards of the Coast. Join us for this event as part of GeekWire on the Road in Renton, Washington. More details:
October 16, 2018
Paul Allen was the co-founder and one of the technical geniuses behind Microsoft. But he was also a billionaire with wide and varied interest: The owner of two professional sports teams, the benefactor of several museums and art organizations, and the founder of multiple scientific institutes. On this special episode of the Week in Geek, we look back at Paul Allen's influence on the world and ask: What happens now to his vast legacy?
October 15, 2018
We're sad to report the passing of Paul Allen, who died Monday at the age of 65. The Microsoft co-founder had an outsized impact on technology, science, the arts and even professional football. In remembrance of his life, we are sharing an interview with Allen taped in 2011, where he candidly shares his outlook on Microsoft, the progress of technology, his relationship with Bill Gates and much more.
October 12, 2018
Glenn Kelman has led Redfin from a small, bold real estate startup to one of the global leaders in real estate technology. He's also an outspoken leader inside the company and beyond, not afraid to criticize his community and his industry when he knows they can do better. On this epsiode, we share the full interview between Kelman and GeekWire Co-founder John Cook, taped live at the 2018 GeekWire Summit.
October 9, 2018
Uber has run into more than a few legal troubles in the last two years. Tony West is the man who has to deal with them. We're sharing Tony's full interview with GeekWire Civic Innovation Editor Monica Nickelsburg on this episode, including his take on Uber's data breach cover-up and how the company can regain the trust of its customers.
October 5, 2018
In a surprise move, Amazon announced it is raising its internal minimum wage to $15 an hour and also vowed to lobby for a raise in the national minimum wage. The move launches the company and CEO Jeff Bezos into the broader discussion over working wages, an issue Amazon has been critizised on in the past. Plus, we'll take a look at Likewise, the new reccommendation app hatched out of Bill Gates' office and led by his right hand man.
September 28, 2018
Nine years ago, Stephanie Florence was diagnosed with incurable blood cancer. Today, she's cancer-free thanks to a new treatment called CAR T immunotherapy. This treatment is the golden child of cancer research today — but it wasn't always this way. Find out how CAR T went from an underdog to a cancer killer on this episode of Health Tech.
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