I’m on vacation until May 29 so I won’t be updating this blog. I am writing this post from Incheon airport in Seoul, Korea, which provides free Wi-Fi. I’ve seen two Starbucks stores and one Caribou Coffee in the terminal. While I am away, Mark Watanabe, the Seattle Times technology editor, will be posting sporadically. While i’m…More
The family’s quest to get their Xbox 360 console repaired under warranty — which I first wrote about last week — ended Thursday after a full two months of frustrating calls, e-mails and a letter to the company’s top executives. A repaired console arrived at their home in the small town where the Iditarod Sled Dog Race ends via UPS delivery man Al Burgo (pictured).More
This seems like a no-brainer for local small businesses in this economy. The Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce enlisted Microsoft, DEX, BizXchange, FASTSIGNS Seattle and Queen Anne Upholstery to donate a makeover to a Washington small business.
You must be a small biz or organization (fewer than 10 people) with at least three computers, two years in business under your belt and the appropriate city and state business licenses. Chamber membership is not required. You have until 5 p.m., April 24 to enter. Rules and entry info here. (Update, 10 a.m. Friday: Fixed broken link.)More
Kim Galleher’s nightmare may be coming to an end. The Nome, Alaska, mother has been trying since mid-February to get Microsoft to send her a shipping box so she could return her 13-year-old son’s Xbox 360, which died of the Red Ring of Death in the depths of winter when going outside to play wasn’t really an option. Microsoft extended the warranty on the Xbox 360, including shipping costs, in summer 2007, responding to what it called an “unacceptable” rate of hardware failures. But representatives at the company’s repair center could not find a way to ship an empty box to Nome for the Gallehers to send back the game console for repair. Their address wasn’t recognized, probably because the town of about 3,500 people on the remote Seward Peninsula has only post office boxes. And so began a month-long back-and-forth with Microsoft agents, nearing a dozen contacts, that starts to read like an Abbott and Costello routine, or an episode of the Twilight Zone, as Galleher put it.More
The Forbes list of the world’s richest people is practically a rite of spring around here. Are we home to the richest, second richest or, gasp, third richest person in the world? This year, as billionaires around the world saw their fortunes cut by the global economic downturn, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates lost the least among the top three — $18 billion — and edged back to the top spot on the list with about $40 billion in his money bin. Gates’ friend and partner-in-philanthropy Warren Buffett is No. 2 on the list, with $37 very large. (He had moved to No. 1 in last year’s survey.) Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu, who surpassed Gates as world’s richest in summer 2007 (by a different estimate), is third on the global list with $35 billion. Another software titan, Larry Ellison of Oracle, leaped from 14th in 2008 to 4th, at $22.5 billion.More
LAS VEGAS — Amateur singers and song writers, it’s time to come out of the shower.
Microsoft has a new tool that automatically generates backup music to go with original melodies and lyrics sung into a computer. Listen to songs created with the software after the jump.More
LAS VEGAS — Lim Seng, 45, has been driving a cab in this city for 15 years. When he picked me up at the airport today, I peppered him with questions about the International Consumer Electronics Show (“everything is smaller than usual”) to his outlook on the Vegas economy (not so good).More
JOHN LOK / THE SEATTLE TIMES Bryan Le, 7, does his best to get some air Friday during a sledding run in Newcastle’s Lake Boren Park. He and his friends took advantage of yet another day of canceled classes. I’ll be out celebrating the snow and holidays next week. All the best to you and yours on…More
Desirai Labrada and John Henry met in December 2004 on Xbox Live. They were playing “Halo 2,” the blockbuster second installment of the game series from Kirkland-based Bungie and Microsoft that helped fuel growth of Microsoft’s video game business. She was in New York, he was in Florida. They logged on daily to play together, blasting away as love blossomed.
Now, they’re planning a “Halo”-themed wedding for a gaming show in January. And their school — Full Sail University, an entertainment-focused institution near Orlando — sent out a press release to announce it. (Engagement photo of Labrada and Henry distributed by Full Sail University.)More
KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Seattle Times reporter Charles E. Brown covered a candlelight vigil at Microsoft on Friday for victims of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
On a grassy sports field on Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, more than 200 company workers, many of them expressing close ties to India, gathered to end the workweek in remembrance.
From the outset, Sandeep Singh, a Microsoft senior finance manager who, as a younger man, served his homeland as an Indian navy officer and National Defence Academy instructor, set the tone. The purpose of the gathering, he told the group, was to show solidarity against last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, where more than 170 people lost their lives and many more were injured.More