Seattle Stories July 31, 2014

T-Mobile’s VoLTE service rolls out nationwide following Seattle launch

T-Mobile announced during its earnings report that it has now completed its US roll-out of its Voice over LTE service after its launch in Seattle back in May and expansion to 16 markets last month.

With more than 8 million VoLTE-capable devices on the T-Mobile network, our customers have made over 52 million crystal-clear VoLTE calls to date.

VoLTE offers faster call setup and better audio quality during calls through HD Voice, as well as the ability to switch seamlessly between voice and video calls. It’s supported by a limited number of handsets at present, with the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Light and LG’s G Flex among them, but is likely to become a standard feature over time. Verizon has also announced that it will be launching its own VoLTE service nationwide later in the year.

T-Mobile also noted that JD Power just ranked T-Mobile the highest in customer service among the top four major U.S. wireless providers, AT&T taking second place, Verizon third and Sprint Nextel fourth.

Seattle Stories June 4, 2014

Update: Amazon has officially announced its 3D phone dubbed the Fire Phone. You can read the full breakdown here.

Amazon has just announced that it is holding a press event in Seattle on June 18th. The company says that it will unveil a new device at the event. Amazon is also letting anyone request an invite to it by simply filling out a form on its website.

The company also posted a video showing reactions to the new device by customers. One person remarked that “it moved with” them and another claimed that they’ve “never seen anything like” it before. All the customers are essentially moving their heads around with the device. It is widely expected to be a 3d-capable smartphone, which the company has allegedly been working on for quite a while.

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Seattle Stories May 22, 2014

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Following announcements earlier this month from both AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile announced today it’s introducing Voice over LTE support starting with Seattle. The first three devices to support the new tech include the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light.

So I’m thrilled to congratulate my team on the launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in the Seattle area for our existing LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light customers. Our friends at MetroPCS were the first to launch VoLTE in the U.S. back in 2012, and we’ve been working hard on a LTE Advanced version of VoLTE, which we plan to roll out to more T-Mobile customers throughout the coming year.

T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray noted that the new technology, which brings voice calls onto the same LTE radio layer previously reserved for data, will allow “faster call setup times (almost twice as fast as a non-VoLTE call setup) and the ability to enjoy lightening fast LTE data speeds while on a call.” It will also support the HD Voice or wide-band audio feature supported lots of newer hardware. Ray explained how the technology works: expand full story

Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Seattle Stories April 4, 2014

Amazon, just days after announcing its FireTV set-top box, has now announced a new home accessory dubbed the “Dash.” The Dash is a wand-sized device that has built in Wi-Fi, a barcode scanner and a microphone. The goal of Dash, according to Amazon, is to make shopping and remembering things you need even easier.

Simply hold down the microphone button and say the name of an item, like “orange juice”, and Dash will automatically add it to your shopping list. You can also scan the barcode of any item with the built in LED scanner to add items to your shopping list.

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Seattle Stories February 28, 2014

It’s not just fictitious towns you have to look out for on Google Maps: Microsoft engineer and former Marine Bryan Seely demonstrated to ValleyWag how he was able to exploit the open nature of the product to intercept phone calls to both the FBI and Secret Service.

The technique Seely used was incredibly simple …  expand full story

Seattle Stories March 13, 2013

Google doubles its Seattle offices in Microsoft/Amazon’s backyard to work on the ‘biggest, baddest’ Cloud platform

Google is blowing up its Seattle presence, already the company’s third largest after Mountain View and New York City, reports the New York Times.

Google plans a major recruiting effort to increase its Seattle-area engineering staff by as much as five times. There is already fierce competition among tech companies for talented engineers, and many of those with skills in cloud computing work at Google’s rivals in Seattle.

“We’re not the first in this rodeo, but we have the history of Google,” said Brian Goldfarb, Google’s leader of cloud platform marketing, who joined the company last year after a decade at Microsoft. “We have the best data centers on the planet. You can’t really give engineers a bigger, badder thing to work on.”

Google is also adding 180,000 square feet to its office in Kirkland, Wash., which together with its Seattle office already houses more than 1,000 employees, making it Google’s third largest in the country after its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and its office in New York.

Oh, some interesting  App Engine Stats were slipped into page 2:

The company says that 250,000 developers use it to run 1 million apps that generate up to 7.5 billion page hits a day.

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