Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Amazon has been growing so fast in Seattle that the company has lately been blamed for everything from too few women in the dating pool to traffic gridlock and rising rents. Now, the company is trying to show how having its campus in Seattle is a benefit to the city.

When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled plans for aerial drone delivery of packages last year, many observers dismissed the concept as science fiction or pie in the sky.

Not at Amazon though. The Seattle-based company has asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to test drones outdoors and is awaiting an answer.

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over charges that the company has not done enough to prevent children from making millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app purchases, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

More than 90,000 people have signed a petition asking Amazon to drop its charitable support of Boy Scouts of America. The move comes after the national organization of the Boy Scouts last month fired Geoffrey McGrath, a gay Seattle Scoutmaster. 

Amazon has a program called AmazonSmile that will donate 0.5 percent of your purchase price to a charitable group of your choice. Boy Scouts of America is among the almost one million groups you can choose.

Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

Amazon wants to make shopping online as easy as a tweet.

The online retailer is introducing a service that lets Twitter users add products to their carts without leaving the social media site.

Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

From car dealers to appliance stores, businesses know tax refund season is an important time of year. The average tax refund so far this year is $3,200 and more than three-quarters of taxpayers get a refund. 

Seattle's undoubtedly gets a boost already from that influx of cash. But this year, the company is aiming for more.

Tim Durkan

It appears love is in the air in Washington state. 

The state is home to four of the 20 most romantic cities in the U.S. as ranked by Leading Washington's pack is Seattle, which came in second place after San Antonio.

The online marketplace ranked cities using the number of romance-related purchases made by consumers in each city. Considered purchases include romance novels, books about relationships, Barry White CDs and romantic comedy movies.

City of Seattle

City planners have approved the plans for three large globes that will be part of the new headquarters for in downtown Seattle.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reports the connected globes will range from 80 to 95-feet tall and house retail space open to the public.

AP Photo

Seattle’s online retail giant Amazon has built its reputation on low prices. But now an analyst says Amazon is no longer the thriftiest retailer out there. 

Amazon offers more stuff than most big-box retailers, but if you want a food processor or a knife set, Bed Bath & Beyond is now cheaper, according to a new report by Anthony Chukumba, an analyst with BB&T Capital Markets.

Paul Sakuma / Associated Press Inc. is looking to fill 7,000 jobs in 13 states.

The company says it will add 5,000 full-time jobs at its U.S. distribution centers, which currently employ about 20,000 workers who pack and ship customer orders.

Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press is reporting a loss in the second quarter as higher revenue was not enough to make up for rising operating expenses. Inc. said Thursday that its loss was $7 million, or 2 cents per share, in the April-June quarter. That's down from earnings of $7 million, or 1 cent per share, a year ago.

Associated Press

Once a year, Amazon shareholders have a chance to ask billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos anything they wish. At this year’s annual meeting, a number of them urged Bezos to stop selling brutal video games and other products that glorify violence. 

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Amazon has released an app that makes it easier for the blind to read Kindle electronic books on iPhones. Advocates for blind people say it’s a significant step for a company that’s lagged other technology companies in making accessible products.

Reed Saxon / Associated Press

Amazon’s first-quarter profit dropped 37 percent, but at least one analyst says that’s nothing to worry about; it's all part of Amazon's master plan to keep edging out competitors by investing deeply.

Steve Cyr

REI may soon need a new leader if CEO Sally Jewell is confirmed as Interior Secretary. The next person to lead the outdoor gear retailer will confront a threat from another Northwest company –

U.S. Embassy New Delhi

If you’re looking forward to a long weekend, you’re in the minority. The number of employers closing for business on Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been inching up in recent years, but it’s still only 32 percent.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

The national economy will continue to climb out of the recession this year, and the Puget Sound region is forecast to do even better. That’s the word from an economic forecast conference in Seattle. 

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Dozens of visually impaired people with white canes and guide dogs protested outside’s headquarters in Seattle today. They say Amazon’s Kindle e-readers aren’t fully accessible to the blind


Update: An spokeswoman did return my call after this story aired, but declined to comment.

Blind people – including former New York Governor David Paterson – are planning to protest at today. They want the company to make its Kindle device and apps more accessible to the visually impaired, especially kids as e-readers start to be used in schools. 

Neff Conner (nffcnnr) /

It's been nearly a year since Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson unveiled his predictions for 2012. Although the year's not over yet, it looks like things are going the way Mark said they would.

Mark and KPLU's Dave Meyer review the predictions on this month's edition of The Digital Future.

JD Lasica and Microsoft are two of the cash-rich companies that investors speculate may be interested in buying Netflix. But would either of them want to? One analyst says he doubts it.

Activist investor Carl Icahn kicked up the takeover speculation last month when he disclosed that he’s bought 10 percent of Netflix. He says Netflix is too small on its own and needs to be bought by a bigger company – like Amazon, Microsoft or Google.

soumit recently gobbled up more than $1 billion dollars’ worth of real estate in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. The company is growing like crazy – we’ll hear on Thursday how fast quarterly sales and profit are growing. 

It’s spread way beyond retailing – the latest is that Amazon is functioning like a bank – lending money to its third-party merchants. It's just one of the many ways in which Amazon is flexing its muscles. 

Matt Jones / Flickr

If you’ve bought something recently on, you may have noticed it’s testing a new way to deliver packages. The Internet retailer has quietly installed non-descript lockers where you can pick up an order, rather than having it sent to a personal address.

The pilot program is available in four cities including Seattle.

Based on book sales, Republicans are dominating Democrats in most of the country (including Washington state), according to a new “election heat map” created by book retailer

Neerav Bhatt

There’s been growing speculation lately that Amazon has a smartphone in the works. But why?

It’s a crowded market out there in smartphone land. There’s a whole bunch of phones based on Google’s Android software, there’s the Microsoft Windows phone, and of course, Apple’s iPhone.

Also, a small sampling of people on a downtown Seattle street didn't show a whole lot of interest in an Amazon phone.

sea turtle says it’s helping sponsor the fireworks display at Seattle’s Lake Union. It’s a first for the company, which drew criticism in a Seattle Times article for a lack of philanthropy around the city.

Paula Wissel / KPLU

Amazon will be having its annual shareholder meeting in Seattle on May 24 and Seattle area unions are gearing up. Today, they staged a protest in the plaza below Amazon's new headquarters buildings in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

It was something of a forerunner to a rally planned for the upcoming meeting.  Several union activists carried signs that read,

"Hello, Amazon, see you on May 24."

James Vaughan / KPLU

By John Cook of Geekwire founder Jeff Bezos traces his love of books back to some of the classics of science fiction. But now one of the leading author organizations in the genre is taking up arms against the Seattle online bookseller.

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America — which hosts the prestigious Nebula Awards – announced on its Web site today that it is redirecting links to other booksellers including indiebound.orgPowell’s, and Barnes and Noble.

A downtown Seattle property owner says has agreed to buy three blocks where it could build three office towers.

An anonymous actress who sued and its Internet Movie Database for revealing her age has revealed her identity.

It's Huong Hoang of Texas, who may be better known by her stage name, Junie Hoang.