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GeekWire is an independent technology news site and online community based in Seattle, Wash. — covering the people, companies and innovations emerging from the Pacific Northwest and impacting the world. Founders John Cook and Todd Bishop bring their popular website to radio life weekends on KIRO Radio.

Latest news from GeekWire

Nokia’s HERE maps app hits wide release on Android

Nokia launched a version of its HERE maps app for Android today that can be installed on most Android devices. The company first launched a version of its Android app on Samsung’s app store a couple months ago, and is now making a beta version available to every Android user. It’s another mapping app that’s designed to compete with offerings from companies like Mapquest and Google. It’s also the mapping technology used by Amazon’s Fire phone. The app is still not available in the Google Play Store, though, which means that Android users uncomfortable with side-loading apps onto their non-Samsung device … Read More on GeekWire

Microsoft’s new Music Deals app gives Windows users new tunes on the cheap

Apple may have a tight grip on the digital music purchasing market, but Microsoft is upping its game with a new app that offers users incredibly good deals on albums every week The Microsoft Music Deals app for Windows and Windows Phone allows users to pick up selected brand new albums for 99 cents, and “classic” albums for $1.99. This week, the company is offering users Slipknot’s new “.5″ for just a buck, for those people who actually enjoy Slipknot. Those of us who have more … vintage music tastes would probably prefer Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” or Phil Collins’s “No Jacket Required” … Read More on GeekWire

Amazon Q3 earnings likely to reflect recent spending spree

photo credit: CarlMalamud via Flickr.
Amazon has been on a spending spree. Over the past few months, it has expanded its grocery service in New York, released a smartphone (that no one is buying), purchased a video game company for nearly $1 billion, is hiring like crazy at both its distribution centers and its Seattle headquarters, and continues to add expensive perks, like video and music streaming, to its Amazon Prime subscriptions. On Thursday, investors will be listening to the company’s third-quarter earnings report for any clues on how the company expects to make a profit — down the road — when it continues to spend as … Read More on GeekWire

How tech advances are helping innovators do more for people with disabilities

University of Washington professor Richard Ladner.
Inside a small office on the sixth floor of the University of Washington’s computer science building, Richard Ladner starts talking about Google’s self-driving cars. The longtime professor is so excited about the innovation that he lets out a big laugh. But Ladner isn’t joking around ? rather, he’s jazzed up about a better future for people with disabilities. “This is an accessibility tool,” Ladner explains. “Can you imagine a blind person taking their cane, walking to the car, telling it where to go, and it goes there? I think that’s going to happen.” Using technology to help people with disabilities isn’t a new phenomenon, from the advent of speech … Read More on GeekWire

TableSafe raises $2M to help restaurant patrons pay bills quickly and securely

TableSafe is looking to transform how you pay restaurant bills. The Seattle company ? maker of the RAIL bill paying device ? just raised $2 million in fresh funding, part of a larger equity and debt financing package that could reach $10.5 million, according to a SEC filing. Total funding stands at $9.45 million to date. The company confirmed the $2 million, but declined to comment further citing rules around public solicitation of funds. Led by former Tamarac and Union-Street CEO Joe Snell, TableSafe is a hand-held device used in restaurants to streamline the bill paying process, making it a … Read More on GeekWire

Microsoft debuts ESL competitive gaming app for Xbox One

Xbox One owners can now participate in some of the largest online gaming competitions globally from the comfort of their living room. Today, Microsoft announced the ESL Gaming app for the Xbox One. The eSports app lets gamers watch or compete in various games using their console. ESL will be available in the U.S. and Canada and various European countries. Xbox was already supporting similar apps from Major League Gaming and Twitch, which was recently acquired by Amazon for $970 million.  

Google leads $542M Magic Leap deal, betting on augmented reality

Google this morning confirmed that it is leading a whopping $542 million investment in Magic Leap Inc., a secretive augmented reality startup based in Florida that says it’s developing “the world’s next visual computing platform.” Additional investors in the round include Qualcomm, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, KKR, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and others. Google’s Sundar Pichai, the senior vice president in charge of Chrome and Android, is among the executives who will join Magic Leap’s board. It’s the latest bet by Google on the emerging world of augmented reality, where its Google Glass devices have served as early example. It’s … Read More on GeekWire