San Francisco Stories April 27, 2016

GOOG: 705.84

-2.30

 

Samsung is starting its Developer Conference 2016 with live streams of the keynote addresses including the opening keynote scheduled to kick things off today at 9:30am PST/12:30pm EST.

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San Francisco Stories February 24, 2016

GOOG: 699.56

3.71

Google Fiber is coming to certain apartments and condos in San Francisco

Google is on a role with their Fiber deployment. This Monday, they announced Fiber service is coming to Huntsville, Alabama. Today, they’ve announced that Fiber will be coming to certain properties in San Francisco.

San Francisco Stories June 25, 2015

According to a recent post on Google+, Google’s new cute self-driving car prototypes are now driving the roads of Mountain View. As was mentioned previously, they’re taking some cues from how the company’s previous line of Lexus self-driving vehicles. This first run of a few of the new ‘Koala’ prototype will have a safety driver on board with a “removable” steering wheel, accelerator, and brake — just in case…

These prototype vehicles are designed from the ground up to be fully self-driving. They’re ultimately designed to work without a steering wheel or pedals, but during this phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed. The prototypes’ speed is capped at a neighborhood-friendly 25mph, and they’ll drive using the same software that our existing Lexus vehicles use—the same fleet that has self-driven over 1 million miles since we started the project.

According to Google, the speed of the cars is currently capped at a pretty conservative 25 miles per hour, and they’re driving around at that “neighborhood-friendly” speed using the same software that powered the Lexus line. Ultimately, the goal is for them to be completely autonomous, but it would make sense that Google wants to take that slow to avoid any more sensationalized stories about their safety… expand full story

Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

San Francisco Stories February 12, 2015

Xiaomi-Mi3

As we told you earlier this month, Xiaomi is holding an event in San Francisco today. While we aren’t expecting any new products to be announced, the company definitely has some interesting information to share with us as those of us stateside get an opportunity “to get to know the company and leadership a bit more.​” expand full story

San Francisco Stories February 5, 2015

Xiaomi is known as being the rising star in the smartphone arena, making its way past LG last year to become the third-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world. The success of the company is to be blamed largely on its Chinese reception, as it hasn’t launched a single device on this side of the Pacific.

That said, Xiaomi is going to hold a press conference in San Francisco, California later this month (via Android Police), but don’t get too excited if you’re hoping to hear about a North American launch, as the company has already confirmed that that’s not happening…

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San Francisco Stories January 13, 2015

Contract drivers for Silicon Valley tech companies vote to unionize in quest for better conditions

Contract workers driving shuttle buses for a range of Silicon Valley companies have voted to unionize, reports USA Today.

A majority of the 120 full-time and part-time drivers who transport those companies’ employees have signed authorization cards with the union, said Rome Aloise, International vice president and secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 853.

The drivers are employed by South San Francisco-based Compass Transportation, which has contracts with Apple and the other firms to transport its workers to and from work.

Although the hourly rates for the drivers range from $18-20, they argue that high living costs make it difficult to live close to work, and working further out does not allow them to return home between split shifts in the morning and evening–meaning they are effectively at work for far longer than their paid hours.

William Gould, a professor at Stanford Law School said: “These workers, as a practical matter, have to wait in certain areas to do their work (and) they are not compensated for that wait.”

Facebook shuttle bus drivers joined the Teamsters union in November. Although Google is not specifically named by the Teamsters, it’s believed that Google drivers will also be invited to vote on joining a union.

Google has faced criticism over its impact on the housing market in San Francisco as a result of well-paid employees being able to buy and rent property in the area, partly as a result of the wifi-equipped shuttle buses–with protestors blocking the buses.  The company responded by donating $6.8M to a program offering free transit to low income kids, and funding four electric shuttle buses for use by the local community in Mountain View.

Photo: wired.com

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