Electroimpact to pay $485,000 over claims of workplace harassment against Muslims

Mukilteo-based Electroimpact, one of Boeing’s best-known suppliers for aerospace tools and automation, will pay $485,000 after an investigation into allegations of anti-Muslim hiring practices and other discriminatory behavior, the Washington state attorney general’s office announced today. “The conduct outlined in our complaint is outrageous,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. The complaint cites a hiring process that screened out applicants who were perceived to be Muslims, anti-Muslim postings that popped up on internal email forums, and bonuses that were paid out to employees who got married or had children. Under the terms of a consent decree filed on Thursday in Snohomish County Superior Court, Electroimpact denies wrongdoing but agrees to pay… Read More

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Amazon will collect sales tax in four additional states starting April 1

Cyber Monday 2016 at Amazon Fulfillment Center in Dupont WA. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Amazon will start collecting sales tax in four additional states starting next month. Customers in Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, and New Mexico — the four remaining states that previously did not pay sales tax on Amazon purchases — will start paying tax on April 1, CNBC reported on Friday. We’ve reached out to Amazon to confirm the new policy and update this story when we hear back. In February, Amazon added 10 more states where it now collects sales tax. Amazon doesn’t collect tax in Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana, and New Hampshire, as those states do… Read More

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Working Geek: FlowPlay CEO Derrick Morton relieves stress by going totally off the grid

Derrick Morton has been running FlowPlay for the last decade. (FlowPlay Photo) Derrick Morton knows how to keep it all in balance. He’s spent the past decade as CEO of multi-platform game developer FlowPlay while still making time for his interests — like backpacking, live music, and travel. “My friend, co-founder, and CTO Doug Pearson and I started our journey with FlowPlay in 2007 and recently celebrated 10-years of building virtual worlds for audiences from every walk of life,” Morton said. While Pearson handles the technology side of the business, Morton focuses on managing teams, marketing initiatives, business development, and operations. Before FlowPlay, he spent three years at RealNetworks, where… Read More

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Outcry rises when Trump’s treasury chief, Steve Mnuchin, scoffs at AI impact on jobs

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during his White House swearing-in ceremony in February. (White House via YouTube) Experts say the potential impact of automation and artificial intelligence could be one of the biggest economic issues of the 21st century, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says it’s not on his radar screen. Mnuchin made his comments during a “News Shapers” sitdown with Axios’ Mike Allen. His observations are pointed enough, and brief enough, that they’re worth an extended quote: Mnuchin: “In terms of artificial intelligence taking over American jobs, I think we’re like so far away from that, not even on my radar screen.” Allen: “How… Read More

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GeekWire 200 March update: Startups spring up the list thanks to cash infusions

March Madness isn’t just about bracket pools, wild upsets and the Boss Button. It’s also a busy time for startups, if the GeekWire 200 list of privately-held Pacific Northwest startups is any indication. A whopping 14 companies made double-digit moves up the charts this week, as local startups continue to hire and grow. What would that be in March Madness terms, Fabulous 14? Funded 14? The top five remained static again this month with DocuSign at the top, followed by Redfin, Avalara, Blue Origin and Puppet. Bellevue, Wash.-based project management company Smartsheet continued its quest toward the top five, moving up another spot to number seven on the list. Click… Read More

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The Week in Geek: How Starbucks and Amazon are becoming more alike

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at the company’s annual shareholders meeting this week. Starbucks announced several new tech-driven programs at the meeting. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Starbucks and Amazon, two of Seattle’s iconic corporate giants, started off very different from each other. At heart, Starbucks is a chain of coffee stores, and Amazon is an e-commerce company. But they’re slowly and steadily becoming … well, more alike. In this episode of the Week in Geek podcast, we recap the big news of the week from Starbucks and Amazon, and end up discussing how the two companies are moving toward the same model: a hybrid of digital sales and brick-and-mortar retail… Read More

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Spacewalkers help get station ready for space taxis during first of three outings

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet makes contact with the International Space Station’s robotic arm during a spacewalk. (NASA TV) Spacewalkers made progress today on preparations at the International Space Station for the arrival of the first commerclal space taxis, which could happen as early as this year. During today’s operation, which lasted just over six and a half hours, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet disconnected cables and electrical connections on a big piece of equipment known as the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3, or PMA-3. NASA said the astronauts also lubricated parts on the Dextre manipulator that’s at the end of the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm, inspected a radiator… Read More

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Geek of the Week: Data-driven CEO Omri Kohl aims to transform businesses at Pyramid Analytics

Pyramid Analytics CEO Omri Kohl. (Courtesy of Omri Kohl) Omri Kohl started his first business — making and delivering sandwiches — while he was in college. Within a year, the business funded his education. For more than 20 years, Kohl, who calls himself “an entrepreneur at heart,” has been building startups and “turning them into successful, industry leading companies.” He’s now the co-founder and CEO of Pyramid Analytics, a Bellevue, Wash.-based business-intelligence technology company — and he’s GeekWire’s latest Geek of the Week. Seeing how pervasive data was across every organization, Kohl said he and two colleagues formed what became Pyramid in 2008. Their vision was to create a fully-featured… Read More

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GeekWire Deals: Master design industry favorites Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro

From advertising to products, the world is run by design. That’s why superior work is done with quality software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro. Any skill set is deeply enhanced by fluency in these programs, so let today’s GeekWire Deals offer get you there. Enroll in your Adobe education with the Adobe CC Essentials Training Bundle. Manipulate photography and create new imagery to conjure up remarkable graphics in Adobe Photoshop. Become familiar with vector illustration to design for web and many modern platforms in Adobe Illustrator. Make it dynamic with visually stunning video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. You’ll be moving between a vast number of functions with… Read More

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Mobile ad developer’s lawsuit claims it was cut out of Amazon smartphone deal by partner

The Alcatel A30. Photo via Amazon. An expansion of Amazon’s discounted smartphone program for Prime members is at the center of a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles last week. Pay Per Swipe, a Los Angeles-based mobile advertising company that builds apps to put ads on smartphone lock screens, sued TCT Mobile, an entity that shares an Irvine, Calif., address with phone maker Alcatel, for breach of contract and unfair business practices, among other charges. Pay Per Swipe alleges that TCT broke a non-disclosure agreement and used confidential information about lock screen ad products the two firms worked on together for its own gain. TCT allegedly used that information to land… Read More

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