technology

Courtesy Zach Lewis / theseattlesalmon.com

Get ready for tolling charges on the 520 bridge.

The state department of transportation will be flipping a virtual switch one week from today.

That means now is a really good time to set up a Good to Go account online – or face more expensive travel.

Consumers are using their phones to do what their computers once did. And that's prompting a major technology company in the Northwest to shift its focus too.

The bread and butter of Micron Technology has been memory for PCs. But the CEO of the Boise chip maker told Bloomberg BusinessWeek the company will expand its base of products for mobile devices.

WSDOT photo

Get ready to pay if you drive on the floating bridge across Lake Washington. The state Department of Transportation has announced the much-delayed tolls on the 520 bridge will start in December.

Tolling on the bridge was originally set to begin this spring, then that was bumped to this summer. Now, the state says the all-electronic system will be up and running four months from now. 

Charla Bear / KPLU

A new effort could make internet speeds 100 times faster for some small businesses and residential customers in Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn announced a plan to bring fiber optic broadband to Pioneer Square as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the neighborhood.

Photo by Annie Laurie Malarkey / Courtesy of the Technology Alliance

There are 25 assistant advisors in the White House who report directly to President Obama.  One of them is the President's Chief Technology Officer. Anish Chopra has been in Seattle this week, meeting with all kinds of players - in everything from energy and education to global health. 

Image courtesy of voipnovatos.es

Microsoft's biggest acquisition ever might have people in the region worrying about layoffs. Often when companies merge, redundant workers get pink slips.

But it sounds like employees of the Redmond tech giant don't have much cause for concern with Microsoft's $8.5-billion purchase of Skype.

Kentaro Toyama is clearly a heretic. A geek heretic.

And, based on his career path, I would guess brilliant.

A computer scientist currently at the University of California, Berkeley, Toyama co-founded Microsoft Research India in 2005 and remained there as assistant managing director until 2009.

If you’re not familiar with what they do at Microsoft Research, think artificial intelligence, computer vision, terabyte juggling, high-octane mathematics and the craziest things you can try to do with bits, bytes or any kind of information technology.

Read more:

Steve Jurvetson / flickr.com

What is Google's business plan? The company, fueled by its successful search engine, seems to be going off in a zillion different directions: Android, Youtube, Gmail, Voice, Maps, Blogger, Picasa, and Docs, just to name a few. Many Google products are given away for free. 

Analysts have recently noted Google's expenditures are rising faster than its revenues. This comes as no surprise to our technology commentator, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson. It reinforces what he said about Google in his list of predictions for 2011.

Ben Margot / AP

"Initial Public Offering," or I-P-O, is a buzz term that was talked about a lot in the boom years of the late 1990s – especially in Seattle, where lots of high-tech startup companies were thriving at that time.  They've been pretty scarce lately.  But they may be coming back.

Technology that enables good results for searches on the Internet is at the heart of two patent lawsuits brought against online retailer Amazon.com and search-giant Google.

San Francisco-based MasterObjects has filed federal complaints against both companies, saying they're stealing its technology.

AP

Microsoft's Xbox is breaking records in the gaming world. The company says it has already sold 10 million of its newfangled motion-controller device, the Kinect, since the product launched in November.

That's a world record.

Anthony Sigalas (Sigalakos) / Flickr.com

Will Steve Jobs be returning to the helm at Apple? This is the CEO's third medical leave. Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that Jobs probably isn't coming back this time. Jobs's previous leaves involved very serious conditions (pancreatic cancer, liver transplant) that don't bode well for his return to an active role.

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. 

Strategic News Service

2011 should be a great year for electric cars, e-books, netbooks, and Netflix. 

Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson shares his New Year's predictions with KPLU’s Dave Meyer.

www.public-domain-image.com

NPR recently reported on how your company’s IT department can wipe out your smartphone if you use it to retrieve email from work.  Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson says it’s a two-way street:  employee phones can also breach corporate security.  

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