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    As Blockchain Summit kicks off, angry women can piss off

    It’s been a little over a month now since Bill Tai and the other organizers of the Blockchain Summit announced the moderators and participants lists for their inaugural event on Richard Branson’s private Caribbean isle. The four-day event promised to assemble the world’s “greatest minds in digital innovation” to “define the future.” The Bilderbergian aspirations of the Summit can easily be dismissed as mere breathless PR. The idea of hosting an event on a billionaire’s private island to celebrate a revolutionary peer-to-peer financial…
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    San Francisco’s independent retailers disrupt themselves to survive

    Retail in San Francisco is hard for the little guy. Shoppers have migrated to mobile. Commercial tenants have no rent control protections. A new minimum wage law has taken effect, amounting to a 40% increase over the next five years. Larger retail chains — Target being the most visible example, opening three stores in the past five years in the city, with plans for more — can absorb these inflating costs with savings elsewhere, whereas for locally-owned shops these pressures seem sure…
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    Walking with Disruptors: I crashed yesterday’s big sharing economy conference in SF

    Yesterday, in a windowless, former “Italian men’s club” in San Francisco’s North Beach, flanked by strip clubs on all sides, the “On Demand Conference” was held to address the surging on-demand economy. All our favorite, “established” on-demand services companies sent reps, from Lyft and Uber to Postmates. Also present were the next wave of companies, tackling food-delivery and valet and shipping and laundry and all the other supposedly excruciating aspects of adult life. There were thought-leaders and journalists and would-be entrepreneurs. For some reason Pando was…
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    Once again, Airbnb supporters seem remarkably well organized at SF City Hall meeting

    Yesterday at San Francisco’s City Hall, a meeting of the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation committee drew a crowd of familiar proportions, as Airbnb continued its lobbying-in-plain-sight charge to ensure that no effective regulations see the light of day.  Since the last time this debate featured at City Hall, Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky has been appointed a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship by the White House — but at the local level, the company is much less cooperative…
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    The Journalist and the Casting Call

    It’s a rare day in San Francisco when ordinary shlubs like me get the chance walk in off the street and audition for a role in a hot new television project. But that’s just what happened this weekend at a little storefront in the Tenderloin. I think. Last month, the aspiring television producers behind “94110” began circulating info about their open casting call, on telephone-poles and Internet forums. They very quickly encountered blowblock in the local blogs…
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    Ridesharing and on-demand cannabis startups team up to take over the world! Or maybe I’m just high.

    The burgeoning on-demand cannabis space just got a bit more interesting. Meadow, the first weed related startup to graduate from Y Combinator and win a Crunchie in the same year, has partnered with Sidecar, the first ridesharing company usually overlooked in the shadow of its contemporaries, to deliver buds, prerolls, edibles, concentrates, and vapes across San Francisco. Earlier this year, Meadow debuted a medical evaluation house-call booking feature. Currently, users sign up for an evaluation through Meadow’s site, and are then…
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    When to trust a cur: Forays in wearable pain-relief

    One of the unintended consequences of the Silicon Valley boomwave is the rising scarcity of startup names that are both available and good. Last week, my favorite example of a company suffering from a surfeit of naming pressure was BoatBound — a sharing-economy platform for boating that manages to evoke drifting impotently at sea amid swirling sharks (or perhaps Odysseus outwitting the Sirens) to its potential user base of would-be boaters. But now BoatBound has formidable competition in the new pain-relief wearable called…
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    While Airbnb continues to profit from illegal listings, feebler minds weigh the meaning of sharing

    “The notion that Airbnb is part of the problem, it is completely false. It is just a conjured up argument that the opposition to Airbnb and people who don’t understand the sharing economy have come up with.” So said Ron Conway, on Monday May 4th, at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, in response to Kim-Mai Cutler’s question “how do you reconcile that with Airbnb? It seems really hard.” Conway had just explained his support for Mayor Ed Lee’s pledges to increase the stock of affordable housing in San…
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    Pao attorney calls Kleiner’s demand to recover $1M in trial costs “grossly excessive and unreasonable”

    Today Ellen Pao’s lawyers responded to Kleiner Perkins attempts to recover nearly a million dollars in trial costs from the interim reddit CEO and former Kleiner partner. In a motion filed this morning, attorney Alan Exelrod characterizes the amount sought by Kleiner as “grossly excessive and unreasonable.” He asks that the Court deny any award of costs and, failing that, remove “unnecessary and unreasonable costs, including trial transcripts and excessive expert fees”. In their motion, Kleiner claims that…
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    Blockchain Summit is glad you noticed they didn’t invite many women to their island conference

    Late in April, a wave of articles announcing the Blockchain Summit lapped onto the Internet’s shores. The event, to be held on Richard Branson’s private Caribbean island later this month, promises to gather “the greatest minds in digital innovation” in order to “lay out the framework for a world where humankind is fully benefiting from the amazing technology behind the Blockchain.” Shortly after the event was announced, Fusion’s Kashmir Hill pointed out an interesting characteristic of those “greatest minds” which…

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