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Will Microsoft Wreck ‘Minecraft’ by Acquiring It?

Posted In Living in Tech
Minecraft
Microsoft is reportedly in discussions to purchase the studio behind the popular game Minecraft for $2 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal (which drew its information from an anonymous source). Markus Persson, who goes by the online handle Notch, wasn’t expecting to set the video-gaming world on fire when he released the Minecraft beta in 2010. The game was a side-project, something he cobbled together in his free time. Once the game became a hit, he quickly grew ambivalent… continue…

Amazon’s Fire Phone Might Be a Flop

Amazon Fire Phone
In June, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced the Fire Phone, the online retailer’s first smartphone. Unlike Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, which compete at the low end of the touch-screen market, the Fire Phone is a premium device, built and priced to challenge Apple’s iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy line. It runs Fire OS 3.5.0, an operating system built atop Google Android, and features apps such as Firefly, which detects objects in the environment and tells you whether they’re for sale… continue…

Uber Opens Its API. But Will People Build With It?

Uber Logo
In the five years since its creation, Uber has grown to an $18.2 billion company that threatens to subvert the traditional taxi industry in many cities around the world. Uber’s popularity stems largely from its ease of use—with a few taps of a mobile app, anyone can order a car-for-hire to his or her location. Like many a tech company, Uber needs to grow by a healthy percentage every quarter in order to satisfy its investors and fend off competition.… continue…

Cloud Efforts Drive Hiring in Seattle

Posted In Looking in Tech
Seattle Skyline
In June, the New York Times affirmed what the Puget Sound tech community already knew: Cloud technology is turning out to be Seattle’s hottest commodity. “It’s like Detroit used to be for car companies,” Bill Hilf, Hewlett-Packard’s vice president of cloud product management, told the newspaper. “The galactic players are here, and they are creating lots of little companies.” Hilf, a Microsoft alum, is helping to launch HP’s new HP Helion cloud computing initiative in Seattle, with $1 billion of… continue…

Amazon Launches Back-End Services to Aid Mobile Developers

Amazon Cognito
Amazon’s launched a series of services designed to support the back end of mobile apps, a move that some analysts say will reposition it as a top player in the space for Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS). The services, Amazon says, are designed to “to make it easier for developers to build, deploy, and scale mobile applications.” Find mobile development jobs here. One of them, Cognito, provides identity and data synchronization that lets developers authenticate users through popular public… continue…

Amazon Sues Ex-AWS Manager for Jump to Google

Posted In Looking in Tech
Keyboard Gavel
In a case technology employers are sure to follow closely, Amazon has sued former Amazon Web Services Strategic Partnership Manager Zoltan Szabadi for breaking the non-compete agreement he signed when he first joined the company. Szabadi now works at the rival Google Cloud Platform. Click here to see cloud services jobs. The lawsuit is seen as a test of the employment agreements tech companies usually require to protect themselves when an employee departs. Amazon filed the suit in Seattle, since… continue…

Why Amazon’s Fire Phone Is Dead on Arrival

Posted In Living in Tech
Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 10.23.03 AM
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ascended a Seattle stage yesterday to unveil the Fire Phone, his company’s first smartphone. The 4.7-inch device includes a variety of next-generation features, from streamlined integration with Amazon’s various cloud services to live tech support via the “Mayday” button. It runs Fire OS 3.5.0, Amazon’s mobile operating system based on Google Android, and can access the thousands of apps available via Amazon’s App Store. But make no mistake: Amazon didn’t set out to make a vanilla… continue…

More MBAs Pursue Opportunities in Technology

Posted In Looking in Tech
College Graduation
Wall Street isn’t any longer the default destination for newly graduated MBAs: More of them are opting for jobs in technology. Indeed, tech companies are snapping up MBAs at a growing rate in both the U.S. and the UK, according to the Financial Times. At Stanford, for example, the number of MBAs joining technology firms jumped for the second year in a row last year, with 32 percent of 2013’s class taking jobs in the sector. That’s up from 24… continue…

How Amazon’s Smartphone Could Profit Mobile Developers

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 9.33.30 AM
If rumors prove correct, Amazon will unveil a smartphone at a high-profile June 18 event in Seattle. The big question is, why? As pointed out by many a publication over the past few days, numerous companies have plunged into the smartphone space and failed. For every Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S that achieves blockbuster sales and critical acclaim, another dozen fade from the market after leaving barely a ripple in the popular consciousness. If Amazon launches a smartphone, pouring… continue…

Amazon Could Unveil 3-D Smartphone This Month

Posted In Living in Tech
Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 10.08.15 AM
Amazon’s latest promo video shows people (presumably beta testers) gushing about a device in their hands. “It moved with me,” one says. “It’s very real life,” another enthuses. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that,” suggests a third, while tilting her head back and forth. The shot is always framed so that the object of their awe is just out of sight, but they’re clearly impressed with its capabilities: Amazon accompanied that video with an announcement that it… continue…