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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
The music industry -- as we all know -- has reached the nadir of its financial situation after a dozen or so years of file sharing. The Internet, many would say, hasn’t been too kind to the business. But if the Web taketh it also giveth, as evidenced by the plethora of music apps and Internet-based services (Spotify, Turntable.FM, Shazam, etc.) that are competing to transform the industry.
When you think about it, e-readers haven’t done much to change the reading experience. Besides their portability and the easy access they provide to catalogues of titles, the level of interaction, font, even the physical motion involved with turning pages are pretty much identical to "brick and mortar" books. E-readers and their e-books, especially compared to the world of apps, can seem downright ordinary. But bored tech-novel enthusiasts have cause to rejoice. An app-literary project launched yesterday, from the minds behind McSweeney’s -- and backed by everyone's favorite radio nerd, Ira Glass -- named The Silent History aims to change up the e-reading experience. Read more »