Business

AIR FORCE TANKER
10:17 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Verbal sparring begins as military refueler bids submitted - again

An F-16 from the California Air National Guard aligns with the boom from a Boeing, KC-135 Stratotanker. On Thursday, Boeing and Airbus’ parent company EADS America submitted competing bids for the third time for a contract to build a new tanker. (File)
AP

Final bids were submitted Thursday by Boeing and Airbus' parent company, EADS for the contract to build the Air Force's in-flight refueling tanker. The Air Force could announce the winner as early as next month, but the award is likely to be sidetracked by politics and protests.

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Aerospace
12:13 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Premiere of 747-8 to cap big week for Boeing

Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental will be flying "in a matter of weeks," says spokesman Jm Proulx. The superlative version of the company's iconic jet will have its premiere at a celebration this weekend in Everett.
Image courtesy of Boeing

It's been a big week for aerospace in the Puget Sound region. The Boeing company turned in its final bid for the air force refueling tanker on Thursday. CEO Jim McNerney took his strongest stance yet for building a 737 successor. And earlier this week, analysts and suppliers heard briefings on the state of the industry at an aerospace convention in Lynnwood. 

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Business
2:01 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Groupon's coffee buzz: Starbucks' CEO joins board, invests in site

Howard Schultz is joining the board of Groupon, the web 'coupon' site, as well as making a financial investment. The Starbucks CEO is pictured last March in Seattle at the company's annual shareholders meeting.
AP

Howard Schultz announced his investment in the enormously popular consumer-discount site Groupon Thursday. At the same time, Groupon confirmed the Starbucks CEO's election to its board. 

TechFlash's John Cook reports Schultz' investment "is not connected to Starbucks":

...but having the leader of the world's leading specialty coffee retailer on the board certainly will add some interesting possibilities. Starbucks has been expanding its digital footprint aggressively in recent months, adding features such as mobile payments and free in-store wi-fi.

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Business
1:27 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Microsoft looking for more technical know-how at the top

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's Xbox 360 Kinect avatar as seen at his CES 2011 keynote address
Simon Bisson (sbisson) flickr.com

Microsoft wants more engineers leading the company. According to a Bloomberg report, CEO Steve Ballmer wants his senior executives to have solid technical backgrounds in addition to business expertise. Bloomberg's Dina Bass reports the new strategy may be announced later this month. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

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Business
1:23 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

One year later: Did Idaho's "love letter" attract Washington and Oregon businesses?

Idaho Gov. Bruce Otter delivers his 'love letter' to Washington and Oregon businesses, in 2010.
justmaketheshift.com

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. So we thought it was a good time to update a story from nearly a year ago. Last March, Idaho Governor Butch Otter penned a "love letter" to Washington and Oregon businesses. He was trying to romance companies into moving to his state.

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Boeing
12:49 pm
Fri February 4, 2011

No end of the line for Boeing 767?

In Everett, Boeing leaders Kim Pastega (right), Kenneth Shirley (left), Edward Callahan, Darrel Larson and Jerry Deinas applaud at Wednesday's celebration of the 1,000th 767 airliner. They were also applauding the new production bay for the 767 line.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The future might be a bit brighter for aerospace workers in the Puget Sound region. Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Jim Albaugh says the company can still find customers for its wide-body 767. He says the line won't be shut down, even if Boeing doesn't win the competition to build refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force.

Change in stance

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Business
4:19 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

First-ever tax amnesty for Washington businesses

Alan Cleaver (alancleaver_2000) flickr.com

Washington businesses with overdue taxes can now pay them off without penalties and interest. It's the state Department of Revenue's first-ever tax amnesty. Delinquent taxpayers have until April 18th to apply for the temporary program and must pay their taxes by April 30th. Full details, including the application form, are available at PayMyTax.org.

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Smart Commuting
3:06 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Mobile app for ridesharing could ease pain of 520 tolls

A new smart phone app is being piloted by the state to reduce SR 520 congestion and pollution.
WSDOT Flickr

Tolls on the 520 bridge are set to start this spring and they could be as high as $3.50 each way. 

Frustrated?  There's an app for that. 

An Irish company called Avego created a new smart phone app for "real-time ride sharing." Company leaders say it encourages more carpooling. 

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Business
7:51 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Microsoft beats expectations for Q2 with strong sales of Xbox Kinect and Office 2010

Strong holiday sales of XBox 360 consoles with the new Kinect motion controller played a starring role in Microsoft's strong financial report.
PRNewsFoto Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft handily beat Wall Street's expectations, posting record revenue: nearly $20 billion in its second quarter.

The company says the strong financial report was fuelled by rebounding business demand, as well as swift sales of the Kinect motion controller for its Xbox 360 video games. 

Xbox sales booming

Microsoft says it sold 8 million Kinect motion controllers in just 60 days this past holiday season, far exceeding the company’s expectations, as well as Wall Street's.  

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Coffee Business
6:36 pm
Wed January 26, 2011

Starbucks sales and earnings up again, shares down on outlook

Another strong financial report is boosting Starbuck's morale, but not its stock price.
Photo by Gary Davis KPLU

Starbucks has done it again. The coffee giant says its global revenues reached a record: $3 billion in the first quarter. Profits were up 44 percent compared to a year ago, thanks in part to the chain's growing popularity with coffee drinkers around the world.

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Business
10:55 am
Tue January 25, 2011

Horizon Air rebranded as Alaska

A Horizon Bombardier Q400 with the new Alaska logo
Alaska Air Group

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group is consolidating its two airlines under the same brand. Horizon Air's Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes are being repainted with the Alaska Airlines logo. Alaska and Horizon will continue to operate as separate airlines.

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Payday Loans
6:45 pm
Fri January 21, 2011

Payday lenders finding ways around Washington's new law

A law that went into effect at the start of last year puts new limits on payday lenders.  It created a registry of borrowers and restricts them from taking out more than eight of the high-interest loans in a year. 

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Boeing
6:50 am
Fri January 21, 2011

Senator Cantwell demanding answers in tanker competition after latest Air Force blunder

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., (right) talks with Boeing 767 employees Anna Karsky (left) and Maeghan Smith Hudon below the wing of a 767 at Boeing's plant in Everett.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

US Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) says the US Air Force contract for the next generation of refueling tankers should not be awarded until questions are answered about the military's latest snafu. 

A decision on who wins the $35-billion contract is expected as early as next month. 

In November, the Air Force admitted that it had inadvertently mixed up two packages of information.  It sent details of Boeing's bid to Airbus-parent EADS and of EADS's bid to Boeing. 

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Business Technology
8:04 am
Wed January 19, 2011

No cash, no card, no problem with Starbucks smartphone app

Customers across the country will soon be able to use smartphones to buy coffee and snacks at Starbucks.
Starbucks

Technology-savvy consumers could soon be able to leave their wallets behind when picking up a cup of Joe at Starbucks.  

The Seattle retailer is expected to announce Wednesday that customers will be able to use smartphones to pay for goodies at 6,800 stores the company operates in the United States and 1,000 that are in Target stores, according to Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times. 

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Tourism
1:32 pm
Tue January 18, 2011

The economy may be down, but tourism is up

Tourism sign at the vampire-infested town of Forks, May 29, 2009
debcha flickr.com

Tourists spent an estimated $15.2 billion last year in Washington. A new report by the state Commerce Department and Washington State Tourism says 2010 was the second best year on record, up 7.4% from 2009. But it's below last year's nation-wide increase of 8.5%.

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