Ballmer Time

RAMPAGE! Steve Ballmer Bound and Determined to Bring Basketball to Seattle

Maybe tone it down just a tad.

Looks like we’ve got a real barn-burner on our hands!

For months, hedge funder Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have worked to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, which has been NBA-less for five years. Their plan: to make the owners, the Maloofs, an offer they can’t refuse.  But the mayor of Sacramento–who happens to be former NBA star Kevin Johnson–doesn’t want the team going anywhere. He’s rounded up rival techies who might buy from the Maloofs and prepared a big bushel of subsidies for them. Last month, the league rejected the Seattle group’s request to move the team.

And so here we are, at loggerheads and due for another NBA meeting today. But Steve Ballmer doesn’t do gridlock. A source tells NBC Sports: Read More

New Drone City

Seattle Man Hovers Drone Over a Family’s House for ‘Research’

Scary drone. (Photo: Flickr/Don McCullough)

A Seattle man ascended to a new level of creepiness recently when he flew a drone just a “few feet away” from a family’s home and defended his right to do so because he was flying it in the air, and thus not trespassing. He also claimed it was for research. The camera-equipped device emitted a loud noise, similar to that of a weed-whacker, which caught the attention of a woman inside.

She told Capitol Hill Seattle Blog that she saw the man on the sidewalk controlling the device near a third-story window in the eastern neighborhood. Her husband approached the man, who was standing on the sidewalk, and told him to desist from being creepy. The man told him that he was doing “research” and the camera was transmitting the images to his glasses. They called the police, but they didn’t show up since Inspector Gadget had already left. Read More

Highdeas

Former Microsoft Exec Decides to Just Sell Weed Instead

(Screencap: YouTube)

After a particularly rigorous code review or boring business meeting, who among us hasn’t considered just quitting our day jobs and drifting into the drug trade? Turns out even Microsoft employees are not immune to this hazy daydream. Seattle TV station KIRO TV reports that former Microsoft executive Jamen Shively has decided to forgo his career in tech in order to start a premium pot business.

Mr. Shively, who worked as a corporate strategy manager for Microsoft from 2003-2009, told KIRO TV that the idea came to him the way many great ideas do: on the wave of a few voluminous bong rips. Read More

Talent Crunch

HackStars—a Back Door for TechStars ‘Wantrepreneurs’

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No one can say TechStars isn’t doing its part to close the geek gap. In a nod to the considerable odds stacked up against applicants for the TechStars startup accelerator program (New York City contenders, for example,  have been narrowed down from 1,000 to 30—and that’s before the next round of cuts), TechStars is expanding an ancillary program for those who didn’t make the grade. HackStars, which is already in place in New York and Boulder, has just launched at the TechStars  Seattle outpost. HackStars developers and designers get the same stipend ($6,000) given to TechStars co-founders. But rather than work on their own startups, they “hack” into the TechStars roster–helping code other people’s projects with the possibility of a job.

Why is this good for New York? Read More