Is it hot in here, or is that just Maru? Uniqlo brings techy wonderclothes, cult cat to SF


It was a foggy, sloppy evening in Golden Gate Park, and I was activating my gloom-whine during our walk to Pasquale's but then: HEATTECH. Thanks Uniqlo! Your Union Square pop-up, and impending West Coast flagship store opening, half-translated catch phrases, mega-cheap Hiroshima-born line of basic clothing, and all, saved my dinner date. Read more »

The Performant: I, robots


Robogames took over the world -- or at least San Mateo.

Consider the robot.

A staple of futuristic paranoia fantasies since Karel Čapek’s play, “R.U.R.” was translated from Czech to English in 1921, Robots have captured human imagination in a way that perhaps only the undead have been able to rival. Burdened by inaccurate stereotypes and wild speculation, real-life robots have patiently labored at their often menial tasks without once overthrowing their “masters,” quietly disproving our fears of being rendered somehow obsolete by their superior efficiencies, or purported resentments. And yet, every time we grant one of our fictional servomechanisms the ability to cognate for itself, the very first thing it focuses on is liberation, proving if nothing else that unconscious oppression can still lead to some very real twinges of uneasy conscience in the human brain.

But only gleeful schadenfreude permeated the San Mateo Event Center last weekend, coloring the animated chatter of the spectators packed around a spartan arena sealed up behind thick panels of clear polycarbonate that reach two stories high.

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Entering the pixels at the Creators Project


The computer mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1963, and don't get Jamie Zigelbaum wrong, because he thinks it was a great invention.

For its time.

But, surrounded by his and other feats of computational art at last weekend's Creators Project at Fort Mason, Zigelbaum was understandably over the mouse.

“I don't want to poke at things with a stick anymore. I want to form things with my hands. And touchscreens, that's still like poking stuff behind glass," he says. Read more »

Bubbles, rising rents, and the politicians who fuel them


After neither Mayor Ed Lee nor Sup. Jane Kim were willing to return my calls to discuss the implications of their economic development policies that favor big commercial landlords and tech companies – which I wrote about in this week's cover story – it was ironic to listen to their rhetorical concerns over local small businesses being hit with rising rents this week.Read more »


The revolution will not be powered by smartphones (but these apps might help it along)


The year 2011, marked by mass uprisings in the Arab world followed by the wildfire-like Occupy Wall Street movement, also brought a handful of incidents that inspired mobile application developers to invent new tools for protesters taking to the streets.

There was the time Sam Zimmerman, a media producer in New York City, received a series of frantic texts from his girlfriend, who was getting arrested and wrapped up in orange mesh by New York Police Department officers along with a crowd of demonstrators at an Occupy Wall Street protest.Read more »

Net neutrality: "The American Way"


Media Alliance, an Oakland-based organization advocating for press freedom and media access, has teamed up with San Francisco-based Bad Monkey Studios to produce a quirky cartoon about net neutrality called "The Internet You Need."

The short film follows a December vote by the Federal Communications Commission approving a set of net neutrality rules. Read more »