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By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times/MCT

After years of rumors, Amazon.com Inc. might finally be getting into the smartphone business.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Seattle e-commerce giant will release a smartphone in the second half of the year, citing people briefed on the company’s plans.

Those people said Amazon plans to announce the phone by the end of June and begin shipping units by the end of September. read more »


APS America, a Poulsbo-based manufacturer of microinverters for solar panels, is bringing its advanced technology to the 2014 Greentech Media Solar Summit, April 14-16 in Phoenix. 

Paul Barlock, APS America senior VP, and Michael Ludgate, VP for business development, will promote the APS line at the annual conference sponsored by the Greentech Media.  read more »


Rodika TollefsonThe rise of the internet and social media allows people to share ideas and tell stories directly to audiences and networks. Traditional marketing alone is no longer effective in reaching out.

A presentation hosted by West Sound Technology Association will explore the power of digital storytelling through blogs, video and content marketing. Multimedia producer Rodika Tollefson will discuss the benefits of digital media and offer tips on how to create compelling content. She will feature some effective examples used by successful companies that “get it” and will discuss how some of their techniques can be applied without a big budget. read more »


Recent events have prompted an update on the state of IT and future directions. I’ve written previously about the advantages of cloud services, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trends, and virtualization.

For business owners, the buzzwords don’t matter. They care about purpose, cost and reliability. Then they weigh pros and cons, view other features, and finally — want to know when to implement. As trusted advisors, clients expect us to delve into details and explore the edge of what’s possible, and recommend best-fit and best-practice solutions when they are ready. Their focus simplifies the decision-making process, but the ‘when’ piece can still be murky. A convergence of business and technology trends has made 2014 a critical year for making transitions happen. read more »

Cover Story

Kite & Lightning owner Bill Hickner, right, talks with Scott Houmes at Silver City Brewery in Silverdale while checking the restaurant's energy control panel. (Rodika Tollefson Photo)When staff at Silver City Brewery in Silverdale arrive to work in the morning, no one has to worry about going around the building to turn on lights or regulate the thermostat. Nor do they need to worry about adjusting controls or turning on air conditioning as the outside air temperature changes. All those functions, along with others related to the kitchen and refrigeration systems, are performed automatically read more »


Poulsbo-based APS America and Fortune Energy have reached a first-time agreement for California-based Fortune to distribute APS microinverter products in the U.S.

Fortune Energy will add APS to their current portfolio of wholesale solar modules, inverters and racking supplies.

“We are pleased to form this partnership with Fortune Energy,” said Paul Barlock, senior VP of APS America. “APS is pushing the microinverter market in new and innovative directions, as our products offer more power-handling capability at a lower price point.”

“Fortune Energy is excited to bring APS to our installers and homeowners because of the reliability of the product plus the great price and warranty. The people at APS really stand behind their products, which is great for our customers,” company president Jack Meng said. read more »


PORTLAND — The Bonneville Power Administration is looking for partners to develop, advance and demonstrate technologies that can improve the operation of the Northwest electric power system through breakthroughs, increased efficiencies and avoided costs. BPA’s Technology Innovation Office is accepting proposals for its 2015 research and development portfolio until March 27, 2014.

“We’re looking for new concepts and technologies that can address operational gaps and challenges,” said Terry Oliver, BPA’s chief technology officer. read more »


Kitsap County has released a new version of its online parcel search.

“Many of the enhancements that the public and county staff requested, such as a larger map view and multiple data layers, are now available,” said Diane Mark, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) manager. The existing parcel search application, which has been in use since 2002, is based on older GIS software technology and needed to be replaced.

The new Parcel Search application provides all the existing capabilities and adds many new features. The map screen is now a full-screen map, and maps can now be printed to portable document format (PDF). Users can draw shapes and text on the maps that show up when maps are printed. Imagery is available from 2012, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2001 and 1994, which helps users see how parcels and areas have changed over the years. There are also several layers to choose from to display on the map including the Comprehensive Plan, critical areas, county utilities, critical aquifers, shoreline management and more. read more »


Amazon certainly isn’t the first tech company to get into the payment processing space, but it’s pretty clear the company is interested in the possibility of owning it.

Amazon has applied for a patent for a card that would link all of your credit cards to one Amazon card and let you choose which one to use via an app on your phone. The patent was first reported by the tech blog Re/code.

Google has already done this with the Google Wallet card — I have one — but it doesn’t yet link to your credit cards and you can’t yet use it for anything other than spending the balance in your Google Wallet. So basically, you can use it like a debit card, but not in place of that pile of credit cards in your wallet. read more »

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