Microsoft Business Division President Jeff Raikes enjoyed breaking the news of his retirement to his family. He's been at Microsoft since...

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Microsoft Business Division President Jeff Raikes enjoyed breaking the news of his retirement to his family. He’s been at Microsoft since 1981 and will exit in September.

His children had a few questions and a few concerns, however.

“My 17-year-old, his first question was whether I was going to have a kick-ass last-day video like Bill had,” Raikes said, referring to the star-studded, self-deprecating video Microsoft showed during Chairman Bill Gates’ speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show last week. It parodied what Gates’ last day, expected some time in July, might be like.

“And then my 14-year-old daughter,” Raikes continued, “wanted to make sure that medical school was covered for her, so we did a little talk on investment income.”

His son, a budding political junkie, asked if Raikes might become someone’s running mate, given his departure in September when the presidential race will be in the home stretch (doesn’t that seem like an eternity from now?).

Apparently assuming Raikes will have a lot more free time, his daughter asked “if I’d drive car pool so she didn’t have to have her brother drive her to school.”

Finally, they both wanted to know “at what point my employee discount at the company store would expire and could they get their Zunes updated before then.”

Filing complaints

Maybe it’s an indication of how central high technology is to our lives. Or maybe things are really that bad out there.

As always, it’s probably a little (or a lot) of both: The local Better Business Bureau released the categories of companies that received the most complaints in 2007 and the top four deal with tech.

Here are the top 10:

1. Cellular-telephone services and supplies.

2. Computers, software and services.

3. Internet shopping services.

4. Internet services.

5. Auto dealers — new cars.

6. Collection agencies.

7. Travel agencies and bureaus.

8. Banks.

9. Magazine sales.

10. Auto repair and service.

Not to be confused

We couldn’t help but notice that the Intelius ticker symbol sounded slightly familiar.

The Bellevue-based company, which sells address, phone numbers and background checks online, filed documents last week for an initial public offering.

It said it hopes to raise about $144 million and trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol “INTL.”

No, that’s not short for Intel.

Intel’s stock symbol is “INTC.”

Net campaigning

Speaking of the impact of technology on our lives, the Internet’s role in the presidential campaign is now undeniable.

Not that there was any question, what with all the heat generated by blogs, social-networking sites and everything electronic.

The Pew Research Center said last week that 24 percent of Americans say they regularly get information about the campaigns from the Internet, up from 13 percent in the 2004 campaign.

Among young people — those 18 to 29 — a full 42 percent find out about the campaigns from the Internet.

Pew says that’s the highest percentage from any news source.

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