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Computer science is a foundation for every student. Join us in encouraging your kids to try the Hour of Code.  It’s easy, free, and fun. My 12-yr old daughter tried an hour of Minecraft coding this weekend and enjoyed it.

Sign up at where students of all ages can choose from a variety of self-guided tutorials, for kindergarten and up. Tutorials work on any modern browser, tablet, or smartphone.’s own tutorials feature Disney’s Frozen, Scrat from Ice Age, Angry Birds, and Plants vs. Zombies as well as several new tutorials released just for this year’s hour of code.

With the Hour of Code, computer science has been on homepages of Google, MSN, Yahoo! and Disney. Over 100 partners joined together to support this movement. Last year, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign.  Read more...

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by Kati Dahm

SupertaskerMore than 4 out of 10 young professionals are Supertaskers, toggling seamlessly between apps and devices for personal and work tasks. With data from a 2014 survey of professionals and businesses who use technology in and outside the office, here are the 10 signs you’re definitely a supertasker:

  1. One is the loneliest number: Reading this on your smartphone while OITNB plays on your tablet and you update an excel file on your laptop? If you’ve got any combination of these items near you, you’re in the majority of professionals who use two to three work and personal devices on a daily basis.
  2. That special someone: You roll over and hit snooze while checking your 30 new emails, four texts and three Snapchats. More than half of Gen Y looks at their smartphones immediately upon waking up – that’s before you give a glance to your significant other.

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Kickstarter is a program for funding new, creative projects, bringing together people who have ideas for projects with funders who want to contribute. The model allows contributions at all levels, from one dollar to thousands.

Kickstarter has been getting a lot of press recently because they’ve raised a lot of money—over $350 million, according to their website. One advantage of using Kickstarter to seek funding—besides the funding itself—is that developers and other creative people get a window into potential interest levels among their prospective clients. Many projects offer the product to users as an incentive to encourage them to fund it.

But as more and more projects get funding, a question arises: what happens when a promising project doesn’t live up to its pledge? What if it fails to deliver? What happens to investors then? NPR recently investigated Kickstarter’s practices and promises, raising some public interest  and scrutiny that has led Kickstarter to launch a campaign informing and cautioning users about what exactly Kickstarter is and how it should be usedRead more...

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On the surface, you’ve likely seen this story before – someone uses an online tracking system to find stolen equipment. What makes this story entertaining and unique is a twist at the end. A tech writer for Make Magazine started a blog of his experience of having the bags stolen out of the trunk of his car in Detroit, his communication with police, and the online hunt for his laptop. The conclusion isn’t one you’d expect – view his story here.

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Apple Store in Sydney, Australia

Apple has submitted a proposal for the largest Apple Store front in the world, spanning a whole city block in Pioneer Place, formerly Saks Fifth Avenue, between 4th and 5th on Yamhill St., in downtown Portland. The new storefront would entail a 165 foot wide wall of glass, topping the current record holder (a “mere” 120 feet) in Sydney, Australia by 45 feet. The proposed plans were submitted for formal approval in February and the Design Commission responded with some questions and suggestions during a hearing in mid-March. The overall design is very impressive. The main area includes a 17.5 foot high ceiling covering 9000 sq ft of public space. The project covers a total of 23,532 square feet

This project is a follow up to a proposal for a different location that Apple submitted to the city of Portland in 2007. The largest request by the design commission was the inclusion of an ecoroof that would require some large design alterations as the current design could not withstand the stresses added by the needed substrate for vegetation to grow.  Read more...

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Coffee & Power is expanding its northwest presence at the Urban Grind Coffeehouse in downtown Portland. Already with locations in San Francisco and Santa Monica, the bay-area based company is expanding to it’s third location to tap the skills of Portland’s freelance community. With micro-sales for things ranging from tutoring, advice to logo design – it’s best left for C&P to describe exactly what they do:

Coffee & Power is an online marketplace where people can buy and sell small jobs, enabling a new breed of mobile workers to connect in a way that’s fast, low-friction, and fun. Coffee & Power’s innovative marketplace includes its own payment system, live communications and public chat, a game-like rating and review system, and a several real-world facilities where users can meet and work together.

This idea sounds like it will work really well in the uniquely independent atmosphere of the Portland creative and technical communities.  Read more...

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Though many people will be doing all their holiday shopping via the Internet, many more will be enduring the crowds to get those early bargains—and many of them will be carrying their cellular phones. Everyone with a smartphone or tablet will be able to use certain apps to make their holiday shopping a better experience