Gone in a Flash: Seattle Tech Bloggers Abruptly Leave Business Journal for All-New GeekWire

After spending the past two and a half years building the Seattle technology news site, TechFlash, Todd Bishop and John Cook have broken ties with the Puget Sound Business Journal and have started a site of their own.

Tippr Sues Group-Buying Peers DealOn and BuyWithMe

While Groupon and LivingSocial are fighting head-to-head to be the largest group-buying site in the world, there’s a much scrappier battle taking place for third and fourth place.

News Byte

Groupon Adds Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to Board

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is joining Groupon’s board of directors to contribute his brand experience to the two-year-old daily deals company, according to the company’s blog. In addition, Schultz’s venture capital firm, Maveron, is investing an undisclosed amount of money, TechFlash reports. The funding is part of Groupon’s most recent round, which was close to $1 billion. Schultz’s expertise may come in handy, especially given Groupon’s recent Super Bowl hiccup. The pair is a good match, considering Groupon’s next-closest rival, LivingSocial, has teamed up with retail giant Amazon.com.

News Byte

Stealthy Seattle Start-Up Raises $400,000 More in Capital

Pressplane, a Seattle-based company flying under the radar, has raised an additional $400,000 in capital to fund work on a new “mobile platform.” It isn’t saying much yet, but TechFlash reports that it’s called Zapd, which could make it a potential follow-up to Inkd, a marketplace it built for graphic design. Investors in the round consist of a who’s who of angel investing in Seattle, including Mike Slade, Nick Hanauer, Pete Higgins, Rich Barton, Erik Blachford, John Cunningham and others. Another investor, Mika Salmi–former CEO of Atom Films–is joining as chairman.

You May Be Reading This in the Bathroom, on Your Phone

And many of you probably think that’s okay.

Layoffs at Microsoft

Layoffs are indeed under way at Microsoft. As expected, the cuts are relatively small–in the hundreds globally, according to TechFlash.

Which Do You Prefer for the Press Release, Mr. Ballmer: Downsize, Rightsize or Amoritize?

Microsoft’s new fiscal year began on July 1, and the company is reportedly ringing it in with a new round of job cuts. Sources familiar with the matter tell TechFlash that Redmond will sack some employees as early as this week–perhaps as soon as today.

The Secret Behind Microsoft’s Mysterious Seinfeld Ads Revealed!

The confusing clips with Jerry and Bill Gates were supposed to be confusing. You buying that?

Google to Yahoo: Excuse Us While We Buy Your Photo Editor

It’s a Monday, which must mean that Google has a new purchase to announce, its ninth since August. Today’s buy is Picnik, which runs a Web-based photo0editing service best known for its integration with Yahoo’s Flickr.

RealNetworks Wants a Convergence Play–Just Like Everyone Else

RealNetworks figures you’re going to want to move your entertainment off the Web and onto whatever device you want, whenever you want. So do a lot of competitors.

The $35,000 House Tour, Guided by Bill Gates

Microsoft Sacks 800 [UPDATED]