Tech

Hacker pranks San Francisco FBI using Google Maps exploit

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An ex-Marine turned hacker used his powers for good last week, exploiting a flaw in Google Maps to tap into phone calls from the FBI’s San Francisco field office and the Secret Service. Read more »

Barroom backchannel

Can tech workers and progressive activists cooperate in the fight against displacement? Maybe, but don't tell their bosses.

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joe@sfbg.com

Amid the political turmoil in the city around evictions of longtime San Franciscans, tech workers and progressive political activists are beginning to come together to brainstorm ways to address displacement.Read more »

Crappies awards rain on tech award show's parade

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The Crunchies are a San Francisco-based dog and pony show for the tech industry, hosted by technology business news site Tech Crunch. But amid rising San Franciscan anger, this year's Crunchies took on a decidely different tone.Read more »

Cultural disconnect

Black entrepreneurs have a harder time gaining traction in Silicon Valley

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CULTURE

Diishan Imira grew up in Oakland, attended school in Virginia, studied in Paris, learned to speak Mandarin in China, and briefly worked in Ethiopia. Throughout his travels, he taught himself to pick up on phrases and cues that would help him break through cultural barriers. Oddly enough, those skills proved most valuable after he returned to the Bay Area — and became one of a very small number of African American entrepreneurs to try and break into Silicon Valley's tech sector.Read more »

Local journalists starting to catch onto Airbnb's subversion of SF's rental market

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Airbnb and other so-called “shared housing” sites allow hundreds of rent-controlled apartments in San Francisco to be essentially removed from the housing market, part of a concern that has caught populist fire recently with protesters and politicians pledging to do something about Read more »

Positive starts

GOOD TECH ISSUE Toward a more holistic integration of technology into Bay Area life

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marke@sfbg.com

GOOD TECH Like Tabasco sauce, Lady Gaga, and the color teal, technology in itself is neither good nor bad — it's all in how you use it. (Indeed, you could argue that those first three examples are technological feats in their own right: Just don't use too much, please!) And while battles rightly rage about how the Bay Area's tech industry is reweaving our social fabric, creating and applying technology is an art in itself, albeit one that can have huge economic and political impact.Read more »

VIDEO: Tech buses blocked hours before vote on bus stop fees

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Two tech buses were surrounded and blockaded by over 100 protesters earlier today, just hours before the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors is set to vote on fees for private shuttle use of public bus stops. Read more »

Why Muni won’t earn a dime off the tech buses

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Every day mammoth private buses squeeze into San Francisco public bus stops, and every day they contribute to the delay of countless Muni buses. Riders walk around the Google, Apple and Genentech luxury rides and into the street to board their grimy, underfunded public transit system. Read more »

Read this: 11 national news outlets cover SF’s tech culture war

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Those of us in the Bay Area have long followed the rising rents, floods of evictions, and growing resentment between long-time Bay Area residents and the new tech elite. Now it seems the national media is catching on. National reporting of the Bay Area class war is on the rise.

We’ve rounded up some of the more colorful coverage, which runs the gamut of different perspectives (even among the so-called “objective” news outlets). Some say the resentment is understandable, some say the blame against techies is misplaced. Some, like The Huffington Post, reached out to protesters for interviews, while others simply reblogged local reporters’ Tweets and video - including the Guardian’s. 

Regardless of which of the articles you most agree with, the one thing we can all agree on is that things are changing fast. Just this week, Mayor Ed Lee announced his plan to prioritize and streamline construction of affordable housing in San Francisco. And the mayor’s pal, Ron Conway, announced via a press release today that local tech/government partnership group SF.citi will form three committees to address rising inequality in San Francisco: one on housing (led by SPUR’s Gabriel Metcalf), another on philanthropy (shaking down rich peeps for cash), and another on education (hoping to form a tech pipeline from SFUSD to SFSU to jobs). 

But why blockade the tech employee’s buses? Why not protest the mayor instead? Read more »

On displacement, journalism, and the Guardian's fake Google-buser video

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It’s been a whirlwind morning here in the Guardian newsroom. First our coverage of the surprise Google bus blockade and protest, along with a video that appeared to show a Google bus rider shouting at protesters, went viral (congratulations to getting onto our site now, it’s been hard to keep it up). Then we discovered the guy was actually protester Max Alper, who staged this intriguing bit of street theater on the spot, unbeknowst to protest organizers who had tipped us off to their event in advance.Read more »