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    A look back at the first issues of Wired prompts the question: How far have we come?

    As a newcomer to the field of digital journalism, I decided a few months back to get myself grounded in the form by ordering the first three issues of Wired, from way back in 1993. The magazines are portal into a world that existed before the mass adoption of the internet, before Google, Yahoo!, Netscape, the iPod, Amazon, the smartphone and Mark Zuckerberg’s first zit. It was an age when advertisers still tried to convince a rational reader with paragraphs-long…
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    Google lifts formerly controversial name restrictions on formerly significant social network

    This afternoon Google has bowed to public pressure and…eliminated its names restrictions for Google+! It’s not the most interesting possible sentence to begin that way, by a long shot. And many tech sites are underwhelmed by the breakthrough. For the last three years, Google has required a verified real name for users of Google+. The policy was the subject of some controversy when Google+ first debuted in 2011. It aroused anger from users who had their…
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    Victory for Lyft and Uber in Seattle council vote

    After 15 months of continuous negotiations, Lyft and Uber will be able to operate (fairly) freely again in Seattle. An earlier attempt to regulate the growing ridesharing market there had capped the number of cars in service at 150 per company. Today’s hearing before the Seattle City Council was delayed several times when lawmakers asked for clarification as to what exactly they were voting on. The measure at stake included a raft of amendments, and amendments to amendments, regarding considerations…
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    Sean Parker gives $49k to make life easier for other San Francisco parkers

    Sean Parker, he of Napster, Facebook, Timberlake, and $4.5 million wedding ceremony fame, has donated $49,000 to back a voter initiative to give more of a voice to San Francisco motorists. The bill, which will appear on the San Francisco ballot in November, bears the vague title “Restore Transportation Balance”.  As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, it includes provisions increasing the availability of parking, the limiting of parking fees and meters and the amounts of parking tickets, and…
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    Movie streaming shouldn’t mean obliterating the history of film

    Of the top 20 movies in IMDb’s list of “100 Greatest Movies of All Time”, only Titanic and Forrest Gump are available for streaming on Netflix. For those willing to pay, Amazon Prime’s Instant Video does a better job: with all but three movies available to “rent” for 24 hours at $3 or $4 a pop. The IMDb list is incredibly pop-centric and would dismay many a seasoned cinephile. But the gaps in availability of these seminal flicks points out…
  • Believe in Bitcoin

    Tim Draper’s event on marketing bitcoin offered few answers, and no Tim Draper

    Tim Draper is a mainstay of the Silicon Valley upper crust, a third generation VC in a culture that tends to revere successful tech investors as its proper intellectuals and propehts. Last week, Draper was revealed as the winning bidder in an auction of Bitcoin seized by Tommy Lee Jones and the boys over at the US Marshal’s Service from the Dread Pirate Roberts. The hoard obtained is valued at roughly $19 million, though the amount of Draper’s winning…
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    In pilot scheme, San Francisco gives away public parking to carsharing companies

    A few mornings ago I chanced on a 9”x11” slice bearing the emblem of the Municipal Transportation Agency, on a phone pole outside my apartment. It concerned an MTA pilot project currently underway which will commercialize a public resource and grant special permission for its use for a select group of local disruptive companies, providing them competitive advantages And it had nothing to do with Google buses. Sounds like a story, I thought, greedily, submitting to the subsequent chain of…
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    I Hear San Francisco Singing: Poetry to ignore jackhammers by

    Here’s a little post- Independence Day digestif for San Francisco residents seeking inexpensive thrills in the Season of the Rich. Skip local poet-hero James Franco and turn to the American father of free verse, Walt Whitman. Yesterday afternoon, Pando’s John Dolan wrote an analysis of the debt Franco’s free verse owes to “Whitman’s worship of the ‘I’.” For San Franciscans gritting their teeth and yelling into their earbud microphones over the excruciating din of a construction boom, Walt has…
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    Lyft gets a shave and announces NYC service starting Friday

    Lyft announced today that it will begin offering its service in New York City for the first time on Friday evening. The service will only be available for rides originating in Brooklyn and Queens, though riders can then be transported up to 60 miles. Which sounds like a horrible deal for the 500 initial drivers, who may have to drive from Brooklyn to Manhattan and then make it back to an outlying borough for the next ride. Obviously, New York…
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    City Hall rejects plan for Pinterest to take over historic SF building

    Pinterest’s dreams of establishing a flagship San Francisco office in a historical building in Potrero Hill ended abruptly Monday afternoon. At City Hall, Supervisors Malia Cohen, Scott Wiener and Jane Kim of the Land Use and Economic Development committee voted unanimously to reject a bill that would have granted historic landmark status to the Design Center building, where Pinterest had arranged a lease for 311,000 square feet of office space. “This decision has to do with landmarks and not with…

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