• Frank_Capra

    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…
  • SFPark Single Space Meters

    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…
  • photo

    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…
  • lyft-happy-face

    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…
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 11.45.25 AM

    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…
  • cloud-confusion

    Salesforce authorized to provide cloud services to the Federal Gov’t. Here’s why that’s a big deal

    In a move that could have big implications for the budding civic innovation space, this morning Salesforce became the first outfit to be granted authorization to provide both software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud services to U.S. Federal Government agencies. Before explaining why this is so significant, here’s some background on the government’s IT management system: Back in 2010, the Obama administration announced a “cloud first” policy for improving and cutting the costs of the government’s IT management. Because it’s the government,…
  • ellis-act-map

    SF Class War 2.0 – Activism is iterating

    The “class wars” that erupted in a series of Google bus blockades over the winter seem to have subsided somewhat, or perhaps have just ceased to generate the click-rates to feature prominently among daily reader-chum. This relative silence is music (presumedly not the kind one makes with bullhorns and hand drums) to the ears of the tech industry and elected officials who’d prefer to be the glove to the industry’s hand. But forces are gathering in the quiet, and…
  • SnowdenAAA

    The FTC wants to regulate data brokerage: Where were they last century?

    This week in the-one-hand-knows-not-what-the-other-is-doing news, the Federal Trade Commission took a principled stand against data brokerages that collect user data across disparate sources and sell it on to enhance targeted advertising.  Never mind that, a mere 30-minute drive away from FTC headquarters, the NSA has been shown to be doing much the same, only more so. The Commission’s report, released Tuesday, bears the heading “a call for transparency and accountability.” Meanwhile, Edward Snowden is forced to laugh at Vladimir…
  • mom-ipad

    San Francisco’s QuickCoin – Bitcoin so simple, even Mom can use it

    There’s enough froth around cryptocurrencies to fill all the nightclubs in Ibiza many times over, but there has yet to emerge a killer app. Certainly nothing that will put the transformative power of Bitcoin in every mother’s virtual wallet, along the lines of what companies like AOL and Netscape did for adoption of the internet in the early-to-mid-’90s. San Francisco’s Quickcoin represents the newest and one of the most promising attempts yet to getting that see-saw moving, manifesting the Bitcoin…

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