Seahawks have arrived: Advice for the big day ahead
Everyone is flipping out about the Seahawks opener today, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. It's the only thing anyone's tweeted about all morning and the city of Seattle is begging those in the area to taper their cell phone use, for fear the 20,000-strong audience will challenge networks. And that's after Verizon added an additional cell site near CenturyLink Field and “enhanced” WiFi in anticipation, according to MyNorthwest.com.
In case you can’t wait until 5:30 to flaunt your Seahawks pride, stop by the NFL Gameday Village — which is free and open to fans from 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Pioneer Square. At 4:30 p.m., Pharrell Williams and Soundgarden will be performing (also for free!) in the north lot of Clink field. For “all the information you need” on today’s events, check out this. For transportation and other tips, glance over this. — K.H.
Microsoft wants you to take more selfies
Microsoft will try to exploit consumers’ obsession with selfies with its new Nokia Lumia 730 and 830 phones, which were unveiled Thursday at a conference in Berlin. The smartphones will feature wider-angle lenses so users can cram more people into a photo, and the front camera will have five megapixels, higher than the average two megapixels on other phones. Lumia users can also befriend a voice-command assistant, Cortana, similar to the iPhone’s Siri, which will steer them toward Bing searches and the cloud storage system, OneDrive.
The mid-ranged smartphones represent the latest step Microsoft is taking as part of CEO Satya Nadella’s attempt to expand the company’s share of the smartphone and cloud computing markets. Microsoft acquired Nokia in April in effort to boost the Windows Phone System, which has struggled to compete with the iPhone and Android systems. — M.L.
City Council to consider abortion resolution
Should health insurance plans be able to deny abortion coverage? The Seattle City Council will get a chance to weigh in on the issue on September 8 with a proposed resolution calling on President Obama and the U.S. Congress to repeal federal bans on insurance coverage for abortions.
The language of the resolution points out that over 4,000 women of reproductive age in Seattle receive federal health insurance and could face restricted abortion coverage. Still, it’s unclear what impact the city resolution would have on the actions of Congress or Obama. The author of the bill, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, could not be reached for comment. — M.L.
Porch continues to grow
One of Seattle’s newest start-ups, Porch, just hired a new CTO – former Amazon director Jay Allen – and continues to grow at an impressive rate. In about a year, Porch has grown “10-fold” to more than 200 people and, according to Geekwire, expanded its “headquarters by more than 50 percent.”
Since their launch, Porch has amassed a large amount of data about home improvement projects – offering their services for free to homeowners and “charging pros” for market insights. Their momentum doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Which isn’t a problem for the company, since they aim to build “a world-class engineering environment that can stand up and lead the way not only in Seattle but beyond.” — K.H.
In a July 3 letter, State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson reprimanded Washington State Ferries' Director of Operations, Steve Rodgers, for “challenging, undermining, and disrespecting” her authority during a June 17 phone conversation. That same day Rodgers was placed on paid administrative leave; the reason was not specified in a memo from Deputy Transportation Secretary Cam Gilmour. Rodgers joined the ferry system in 1972 and became Director of Operations in 2007.
The dirty details of their dispute make the incident feel more like an episode of Real World WSF than a minor disciplinary incident. The letter itself was released just this Wednesday to the Seattle Times, which reported that in spite of multiple favorable reviews and recommendations, Rodgers’ past year has been filled with personnel issues (not the least of which involved his son, Josh Rodgers, pocketing $529 out of an $800 “working fund” for personal use). According to the Times, while Rodgers is on leave, three other upper-management jobs at WSF are also unfilled. — K.H.
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