Facebook and Salesforce Hunt for Talent, Bing Rolls Out New Features, UW’s Drone Races, & More in Seattle-Area Tech News

3/8/11Follow @curtwoodward

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elements of the commercial shipping industry by using IT prowess and business savvy. ShipSweet’s target is a little different than some others because it’s going after small- and medium-sized businesses by offering discounts through aggregating small parcel loads.

—Another startup making rumblings was King of the Web, an as-yet-unannounced social gaming company that appears (to me) to be going for some kind of entertainment crowd-sourcing mashup/remix vibe. There had previously been speculation that the “social gaming” element was going to be more along the lines of Zynga’s FarmVille and other Facebook-linked games, but it appears to be different.

—We also had news about WaySavvy, a company with bases in Boston and Seattle that recently inked a deal with Bellevue, WA-based Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE). The partnership gives WaySavvy access to a “global distribution system” for booking and selling airline tickets and hotel stays.

—I stopped by the University of Washington’s computer science & engineering department to check out a demo from some students: Wireless controllers for Parrot AR Drones, slick little “quadricopter” machines that can fly in several directions. Go check out Wednesday’s demo if you’re in the neighborhood.

—Bing appeared on our radar screen with a few tidbits about new features. First, Microsoft’s search underdog announced that it was going to start aggregating and sorting the flood of daily deals offers on the Web, a notable development in that rapidly expanding arena. Bing’s partnership in that venture is with The Dealmap. The technology is being pushed out in the fullest way to mobile devices first—although not Windows Phone 7 devices, a fact quickly noted by commenters on Bing’s own blog post. Bing followed that up by announcing that Connecticut-based Kayak would soon start providing U.S. flight search results on Bing Travel.

—Finally, a little media news: Tech journalists Todd Bishop and John Cook have left the Puget Sound Business Journal’s TechFlash to undertake their own startup, GeekWire. The Seattle area continues to be a workshop for new media enterprises—there are several nationally recognized examples in this town showing how the news business might work in the 21st century.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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