Tech

The Google-bus elitism

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I've been waiting for the Chron's culture columnist Caille Millner to finally write about something interesting, and I got it April 27 when she stumbled onto the Google Buses. Or rather, the problem with the Google buses.

Thanks to the Chron's silly paywall, you can't read her column online, and since hardly anyone in San Franciso buys the Chronicle anymore, Millner's story won't get the attention it should. So allow me to repeat some of it here:Read more »

The hype, reality, and accountability of collaborative consumption

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Collaborative consumption, aka the shareable economy – the labels given to a new generation of Internet-based companies that facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges of goods and services – certainly has some positive attributes. But does it really live up to the overhyped claims of its biggest boosters, who evangelize it as a “revolution” that forever alters the economy in only positive ways? Read more »

Lyft to take on Muni routes

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In an announcement that could transform transportation policy in San Francisco, the startup company Lyft is prepared to take over some of the most crowded and dysfunctional Muni routes in San Francisco.Read more »

Does Mayor Lee support Airbnb dodging its $1.8 million tax debt to SF?

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My story in this week's Guardian about how Airbnb appears to be refusing to pay the hotel taxes it owes to the city has gotten a lot of attention. But I'm still getting stonewalled by representatives from the company and Mayor Ed Lee, who apparently refuses to take a public stand against corporate tax evasion, even when it means thousands of San Franciscans could get stuck with an unexpected tax bill.Read more »

Those infuriating private buses

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People in the Mission continue to get more and more angry with the private tech-company buses clogging streets and filling up Muni stops; here's a great photo of two of the behemoths forcing Muni passengers to walk out into the street to catch the bus that is supposed to be at the stop.Read more »

Tidbits on tech, race and gentrification in the Bay Area

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The media and blogosphere have given us plenty to chew on lately as columnists, subversive Tweeters, and mischievous YouTube producers take to the Internet to examine issues of tech, race, class and gentrification in the Bay Area. To wit:Read more »

Machine politics

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The inner technological workings of the Obama for America (OFA) campaign engine came into the spotlight Jan. 10 when the POTUS’ technology team, dutifully trashing any pretense of a dress code in blue jeans and hoodies, delivered a panel talk at the Hyatt Regency. They explained what it was like to be the brains behind the campaign software capable of blasting those irksome fundraising pitches out to about 60 million Americans in one go. Read more »

SF approves Twitter-sized apartments for tech workers

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San Francisco is giving Twitter tax rebates to help grow a business that reduces our communications to 140 characters or less, and now the city's Board of Supervisors has approved the creation of extra-small apartments for the Twitter drones who toil long hours in the company's new mid-Market headquarters, along with their brethren at other tech companies, the target audience for these tiny living spaces.Read more »

Cabs v. Lyft et. al. isn't just about tech

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Of course the Chron portrays it as "The latest battle pitting disruptive high-tech innovators against old-school industries and regulators," because that makes for good copy. It also puts the taxicab industry and the people who oversee it in the position of being dinosaurs fighting against an inevitable new world.Read more »

Can tech be funny? Baratunde Thurston thinks so

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Baratunde Thurston has probably racked up more frequent flyer miles in the past year than you or me can hope to log in our lifetimes. Just in the last month, the author, comedian, former digital director of The Onion, founder of comedy startup Cultivated Wit, and Brooklyn resident has made trips to Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Dublin, and London. He's stopped in Maine, Oregon, Boston, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico on the November itinerary. Clearly, his attempts to bring levity to our tech-saturated culture are resonating outside Silicon Valley. 

This week SF will be on his schedule – he’ll be hosting an event on Sat/3 at Public Works. Read more »