January 09, 2018

See below for:

  • Paul G Allen
  • Vulcan Aerospace
  • Allen Distinguished Educators
  • Great Elephant Census
  • Flying Heritage Collection
  • Smart City Challenge
  • Portland Trail Blazers


Paul G Allen

Laurie Tisch, Collecting the Giants, of New York and Modern Art

New York Times

Three or four things. A few years ago, I was on the phone with a top auctioneer bidding on this beautiful Georgia O’Keeffe white flower. He said, “I can’t tell you who you’re bidding against, but you probably don’t want to stay on the phone much longer.”

That was good advice. It went for $45 million. A year later, I found out the two bidders were Paul Allen and Alice Walton!…


The Morning News: Spare Us, Oprah, and the Fire Bug in Seattle with a Dumpster Vendetta


Donations ensure struggling computer science program can be boundless: The University of Washington received $2 million in funding from Facebook, Google, and Huawei to boost its Virtual Reality (VR) program. Nice! It’s always good to see an underfunded department get the funding they need, nay, they deserve.

After the $110 million fund for a new computer science building, a $10 million donation from Amazon, plus another $50 million from Seattle’s lower-profile-but-secret-overlord billionaire Paul Allen, it’s good to see balance restored…


A New Plan For New Mexico’s Spaceport America


We need to sell our spaceport, to get our investment into the hands of those who know how to take it into the future, and can afford the trip.  This is how we find out the value and potential of our investment.  If the spaceport is owned and run by a private company, we will still get the advantages we hope for – tourism, industrial development, more jobs – those come no matter who runs the business.

But the taxpayers can stop paying to keep it afloat, and the huge bills in the future, and the potential for losses.  I believe we could sell it for $1, eat the investment to date, and our spaceport future would improve immediately. If we can’t decide what to do with the Spaceport America, let’s ask the experts.  Ask Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk or Paul Allen for advice.  Can’t hurt.  We’ve got to find a viable future for our spaceport…


Gun rights group draws federal, state legislative battle lines


Bloomberg, the wealthy elitist former mayor of New York City, founded and bankrolled the anti-gun Everytown for Gun Safety by joining two other groups, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. When Bloomberg founded Everytown for Gun Safety, he financed the group with $50 million.

He has also spent millions more in efforts to influence elections in several states, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and Maine. He is not alone among wealthy anti-gunners whose dollars have fueled gun control efforts. Bill and Melinda Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer and Nick Hanauer are also identified as big bucks donors to gun control efforts, especially in the Evergreen State where they all live…


Letter: Will Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson Turn You Into Felon?


In January 2014, Gabrielle Gifford, former congresswoman from Arizona, testified before a Washington state House panel. Her influence in conjunction with huge amounts of money contributed by Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Paul Allen and others culminated in the passage of Initiative 594. The gun grabbers have figured out the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Once again, the gun grabbers in Olympia have found renewed vigor after the win in King County’s 45th District of Democrat Manka Dhingra. The party of progressives now control the House and the Senate with all the backing they need from the governor and the attorney general. Who knows what they might do? They might make the owner of a flower shop in Richland a criminal — oh that’s right, sideshow Bob already did that…


Vulcan Aerospace

15 Air and Space Missions We’re Excited for In 2018

Popular Mechanics

Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch carrier aircraft looks like one of those photoshopped planes with too many engines, but the composite behemoth is real. Built for Stratolaunch Systems by Scaled Composites, the twin-fuselage, six-engine aircraft is designed to carry rockets up into the atmosphere and launch payloads to space from there.

Stratolaunch has been busy conducting engine tests and slow-speed runway tests as they confirm the performance of the giant airplane. A target date for first flight has not been announced, but high-speed runway tests are next on the to-do list, and we just might see this big bird fly in 2018…


Stratolaunch completes low-speed taxi test

Composites World

On January 6 and 7, the Scaled Composites LLC (Mojave, CA, US) test team successfully executed a low speed taxi test of the giant Stratolaunch aircraft. During this initial taxi test, the aircraft moved down the runway under its own power for the first time. These first test points have demonstrated the fundamental ability to control the aircraft speed and direction on the runway.

Scaled Composites has been working with Stratolaunch for the past five years designing, building, and testing the world’s largest aircraft. Microsoft co-founder and businessman Paul Allen’s mission for Stratolaunch is developing an air launch platform to make access to space more convenient, reliable, and routine…


Allen Distinguished Educators

UW students create conversational Amazon Alexa device

Q13 Fox

A team of UW graduate students from the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering developed a conversational social-bot for Alexa called “Sounding Board.” They describe it as artificial intelligence capable of having a conversation with you.

“Our philosophy in developing Sounding Board was to bring a variety of relevant content into a natural conversation,” said team leader Hao Fang. “Ultimately, we hope Sounding Board can become a conversational gateway to online information that users enjoy talking with.”…


Geekwire: Univ. of Washington opens virtual and augmented reality research lab funded by tech giants


Seattle’s virtual and augmented reality scene just got a boost, courtesy of the University of Washington and three tech giants. The UW announced today a new VR and AR research hub called UW Reality Lab, funded by Facebook, Google, and Huawei, which each contributed $2 million for the initiative.

The center, located at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, will serve home to a state-of-the-art lab that supports related research and education initiatives. The UW says it is “one of the world’s first academic centers dedicated to virtual and augmented reality.”…


Facebook, Google, and Huawei Fund New AR, VR “Reality Lab” at UW


The University of Washington will host a new computer science laboratory focused on virtual and augmented reality technologies, having attracted $6 million for the effort from Facebook, Huawei, and Google. For Facebook and Huawei, the Chinese devices and telecom giant, the $2 million each will contribute represents the largest single gift they’ve made to the UW, according to a university spokeswoman.

The UW Reality Lab, housed in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, will build on faculty research into VR and AR technologies, and the growing cluster of companies working on them locally. It’s yet another example of the deep integration between the tech industry and the preeminent research institutions that advance the field and educate its practitioners…


Facebook, Google and Huawei fund UW Reality Lab for augmented and virtual reality research

Puget Sound Business Journal

The University of Washington is launching the UW Reality Lab with backing from Facebook Inc., Huawei and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. The tech giants each contributed $2 million in initial funding to the center, which will develop next-generation virtual and augmented reality technology and educate the industry’s workforce.

The Seattle center will be in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and bring together faculty, graduate students and undergraduates working on 3D computer vision and perception, object recognition, graphics, game science and education, distributed computing, stream processing, databases, computer architecture, and privacy and security, UW said…


IoT drives progress towards low-power technology

Financial Times

Similarly, researchers at the University of Washington in the US demonstrated a batteryless smartphone this summer, which can run on power harvested either from ambient radio signals or light.

According to Shyam Gollakota, associate professor in the university’s Paul G Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, this could be the first functioning mobile phone to consume almost zero power: “To achieve the really, really low power consumption that you need to run a phone by harvesting energy from the environment, we had to fundamentally rethink how these devices are designed,” he says…


University of Washington opens $6M VR research lab funded by Facebook, Google and Huawei

Silicon Angle

The University of Washington today announced the creation of the UW Reality Lab, a $6 million virtual and augmented reality research lab that was funded by equal contributions from Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

The lab will be part of the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering in Seattle, which is where Facebook’s Oculus Research team is also located. According to the university, the goal of the UW Reality Lab is to develop new technologies that will push VR and AR beyond niche entertainment application and into the mainstream…


Univ. of Washington opens virtual and augmented reality research lab funded by tech giants

Geek Wire

Seattle’s virtual and augmented reality scene just got a boost, courtesy of the University of Washington and three tech giants. The UW announced today a new VR and AR research hub called UW Reality Lab, funded by Facebook, Google, and Huawei, which each contributed $2 million for the initiative.

The center, located at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, will serve home to a state-of-the-art lab that supports related research and education initiatives. The UW says it is “one of the world’s first academic centers dedicated to virtual and augmented reality.”…


UW Reality Lab Launches with $6M From Tech Companies to Advance Augmented and Virtual Reality Research

News Wise

The University of Washington is launching a new augmented and virtual reality research center — funded by Facebook, Google, and Huawei — to accelerate innovation in the field and educate the next generation of researchers and practitioners.

The $6 million UW Reality Lab, funded with equal contributions from the three initial sponsors, creates one of the world’s first academic centers dedicated to virtual and augmented reality. The new center in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and located in Seattle — a national hub of VR activity — will support research and education initiatives with potential to deliver game-changing breakthroughs in the field…


Great Elephant Census

America’s stance on elephant trophies? It’s complicated


In November, the President made clear his opinion on the killings had not changed, tweeting he would, “be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of elephants or any other animal.”

From 2007 to 2014, elephant populations in the African savanna plummeted 30%, according to the Great Elephant Census, a two-year study that mapped and tracked elephant herds across 18 countries…


Flying Heritage Collection

The 61 Best Things To Do in Seattle This Week: Jan 8-14, 2018


The United States made almost 10,000 of these two-engine bombers over four decades. They were introduced in 1941 and made their mark in the Asian arena of World War II. The plane, which has guns sticking out the front and the back, the top and the sides, was considered to be very effective at sinking ships. Its sound and sight certainly terrified many sailors and also villagers.

The gunner in the nose of a B-25 could turn whole boats or villages into cheese during a strafer attack. America made this plane. Violence and destruction are certainly a part of the nation’s history. This is something we liberals must never forget. The Flying Heritage Collection has a restoration of this plane, and this is your chance to tour it and learn about it…


Smart City Challenge

New Avenues: Vehicle Technology – and Specifically Connectivity – Can Ease Smart City Traffic CES 2018


Connectivity is one of three major Continental innovation streams. Together with electrification and automated driving, connectivity is the key to new functions and services that make mobility more intelligent and convenient on a day-to-day basis.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the technology company is demonstrating new products and technologies from all three areas. Among the innovations is a new level of connectivity: By transferring vehicle-proven automation technology to the city infrastructure, Continental is now in a position to contribute to smart cities with various solutions, e.g. making intersections safer…


Bosch Targets Huge Smart Cities Market

Wards Auto

Globally, the smart city market is booming, with sales expected to grow 19 % each year, reaching as much as $800 billion worldwide in 2020. By 2025, at least 80 urban areas worldwide will be smart, Mansuetti says.

“Some places are already synonymous with smart-city initiatives: Barcelona, Seoul, London or Columbus, Ohio, which as you may know, was the winner of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation Smart City Challenge,” Mansuetti says…


CES 2018: Tech Trends from the Consumer Technology Association

Tid Bits

Then further consider what happens when police start integrating smart house data into public safety. How many politicians will be able to resist calls for “better safety” by handing over smart speaker data to the police? Amazon fought a police department’s request for Alexa data, but that was in a jurisdiction where no law said Amazon had to turn it over. We’ll see this tested again in the future.

For now, the “smart city” term is highly elastic; it includes both the somewhat Orwellian future I just mentioned, but also a small first step from the Department of Transportation called the Smart City Challenge. Yes, improving urban transportation is highly worthwhile but it’s just a tiny part of the overall concept, and it leads to overblown slides like this one, which make us look much further along than we are…


Toronto invites residents to help city win $50-million ‘Smart Cities’ prize


The city wants Torontonians’ suggestions on how to win $50 million from the Canadian government for “smart city” projects. Ottawa recently launched the “Smart City Challenge,” a national competition to get municipalities, regional governments and Indigenous communities brainstorming ways to use data, sensors and other tech to improve people’s lives.

Toronto is eligible for the top prize, “up to” $50 million, open to communities of all size. Communities with fewer than 500,000 people can also compete for two prizes of up to $10 million, while places with fewer than 30,000 residents can aim at a prize of up to $5 million…


Vying for Smart City award

Penticton Western News

Penticton city staff are supporting the community invest $10,000 to develop a submission for the Smart City Challenge, which local businessman Keith MacIntyre introduced city council to in late December.

The Smart City Challenge is a cross-Canada competition through the federal government as a spur to get communities thinking about how to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology…


FICE becomes UC Berkeley’s partner to establish jobs 4.0 micro accelerators in Indian Academia

Siasat Daily

Mark Searle, Managing Director, Innovation Acceleration Group at UC Berkeley Executive Education said, “Indian innovators have made a name for themselves globally. The Micro Accelerators will provide an opportunity for student innovators in India to develop skills and gear up for the fourth industrial revolution.”

Manav Subodh, Director, International Development, Innovation Acceleration Group at UC Berkeley Executive Education said “The Micro Accelerators will be designed to create Make in India local solutions to local problems. Top student innovators will get an opportunity to participate in UC Berkeley’s Smart City Challenge and Co-Innovation labs.”…


Portland Trail Blazers

How to stream Blazers vs. Thunder

NBC Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers (21-18) hit the road for a four-game trip starting off in Oklahoma City as the Blazers face the 22-18 Thunder. Portland has won five of its past seven games after beating the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night, 111-110.  In the win, CJ McCollum had 25 points, five rebounds and seven assists.

McCollum also ended up making the game-winning basket with 5.9 seconds remaining in the game. Damian Lillard missed Sunday’s game because of a right calf strain.  Shabazz Napier got the start in place of the injured Lillard and finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and seven assists…


Oregonian: Many Potential Trade Targets for Portland at Deadline

Blazers Edge

With a record of 21-18, the Trail Blazers are in a peculiar spot. While still squarely in the playoff picture, there’s no denying a sense of unease about the current makeup of the roster (something Paul Allen reportedly looked into).

The elite scoring duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum can keep Portland competitive in any game. Yet, the rest of the team still leaves much to be desired if the end goal is championship contention. In an article written by The Oregonian/OregonLive, 16 players were highlighted as possible targets for the Blazers…