Inc. magazine last week crowned Burt Rutan 2004 Entrepreneur of the year, but it wasn't for building SpaceShipOne, the world's first privately manned spacecraft. The ship earlier clinched...

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Inc. magazine last week crowned Burt Rutan 2004 Entrepreneur of the year, but it wasn’t for building SpaceShipOne, the world’s first privately manned spacecraft.


The ship earlier clinched the $10 million Ansari X Prize as the first privately manned craft to travel to space twice in two weeks.


But it was Rutan’s methods that impressed the Inc. judges, building the craft without “an army of engineers and billions of dollars in government money. He did it the same way a fast-growing software or biotech company develops products.”


The magazine lauded Rutan for relying on a small team, angel financing, free-wheeling management, a willingness to take big risks and a belief that serious profit lay ahead.


Rutan did have a couple of heavyweights behind him: His mission was paid for by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Virgin America‘s Richard Branson.


Real-time reaction


One sign of the growing influence of Web logs are services such as PubSub, Feedster and Technorati, designed to find out what bloggers are saying about something or someone.
















Wired in to teens


In a recent survey of teenagers, 98 percent had watched TV, 91 percent had used a DVD player and 87 percent had used a desktop computer in the past 30 days.


Source: Consumer Electronics Association




Fans of PubSub call it a “secret weapon to monitor criticisms in the blogsphere.” Plug in a name and PubSub hunts through live feeds of blogs to deliver all the references to that name.


Microsoft, ever sensitive about its own reputation, has been using the tool to gather feedback about its new MSN Spaces blog service. It used that feedback to make some changes to the service, which is still in a test stage.


Radioways


In the past week, Seattle’s KING-FM (98.1) marked the ninth anniversary of its first Internet broadcast.


To put that in perspective, nine years ago getting a panoramic view of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge on the Internet was huge news, Microsoft had just invested in NBC to create MSNBC, and the consumer quandary of the day was choosing a company to provide dial-up Internet service.


Since then, the radio program has seen tremendous growth. In the past six months alone, the station saw the number of total streaming hours increase from 60,000 to 190,000 per week.


In the same time period, the number of unique users tripled to 42,000 a week and the average time spent listening to the streaming broadcast increased from 66 minutes to 82 minutes per day.


YahData!


Former Puget Sound techie Usama Fayyad has been named first “chief data officer” of Yahoo! and will be responsible for the company’s overall data strategy.


Fayyad co-founded digiMine (now called Revenue Science) in Bellevue in early 2000, and before that he led the data-mining group at Microsoft Research. He also co-founded the DMX Group, a data-mining company in Bellevue.


Fayyad will work at Yahoo!’s Sunnyvale, Calif., campus and report to the company’s chief technology officer.


On the record


Partnerships: Telefónica Móviles España in Spain launched Seattle-based Melodeo music service. Warner Music Group agreed to provide Melodeo music from its catalog. … Pacific Edge Software of Bellevue added Extentio, Yada, CMPS and Harmony Professional Services to provide sales and support to customers in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.


Download, a column of news bits, observations and miscellany, is gathered by The Seattle Times technology staff. We can be reached at 206-464-2265 or biztech@seattletimes.com.