Smartphones are a lifeline for the young homeless

For people of means, a smartphone is a handy essential. For those without a home, it’s a lifeline. Data plans are the real luxury. Many homeless people go seeking internet access at public libraries and fast-food chains. Little more than half of adult shelters in San Francisco ha … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

San Francisco – where drug addicts outnumber high school students

San Francisco has more drug addicts than it has students enrolled in its public high schools, the city Health Department’s latest estimates conclude. There are about 24,500 injection drug users in San Francisco — that’s about 8,500 more people than the nearly 16,000 students enro … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

For these BART engineers, it’s all about building a turnstile that stops cheats

In a small laboratory tucked away on the second floor of BART’s Oakland headquarters, engineers are toiling at a project that has bedeviled the transit agency for years: a fare gate sturdy enough to stop cheaters. No idea is bad, it seems. As they chase the perfect barrier, the e … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Housemade: the molecular architecture of B. Patisserie’s pastries

Let's explore the science behind B. Patisserie's cakes, tarts, laminated pastries, granola and breads.

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H-1B visa lottery changing to favor those with advanced degrees

A subtle change with major implications is coming to the H-1B visa program that could give large tech companies an edge in bringing highly skilled workers to their sprawling Silicon Valley campuses, while hurting outsourcing firms that hire entry-level workers to fill software jo … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

With workers on edge, SF tech companies offer self-defense classes

As tech employers seek to hire more people in San Francisco, they’re going beyond free lunch and game rooms. Self-defense classes, which are increasingly popular, address workers’ growing discomfort in getting to the office. Employees at Salesforce learn how to fend off a physica … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

US sues Tetra Tech over Hunters Point shipyard work, claiming widespread fraud

Top managers of the environmental engineering firm Tetra Tech directed their employees to commit widespread fraud in the cleanup of America’s largest Superfund waste site, according to new legal complaints by the U.S. Department of Justice. The allegations were filed Monday again … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

San Francisco considering eliminating fines for late library books

San Francisco’s library system appears to be headed toward a fine-free future. On Monday, Mayor London Breed signaled her support for a proposal that would eliminate fines for overdue library books and other materials, citing the impact they have on low-income residents who, acco … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

San Francisco must end its self-inflicted housing woes

The building at 1028 Market St. is in the heart of San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood. Once home to the temporary public marketplace known as the Hall, it has reverted to being a venue for drug dealers and hangers-on. In a different city, one whose rhetoric about addressing … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

Google transformed Mountain View, is San Jose next?

For decades, canneries around San Jose’s Diridon Station processed the fruits of the fertile “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” now known as Silicon Valley. Opened in 1935, what was then called Cahill Depot was a rail depot for the Southern Pacific Railroad. The canneries were demolish … | Continue reading | 2 months ago


Dr. Harriet Borofsky, a radiologist and medical director at one of the Bay Area’s largest breast imaging centers, is always on the lookout for technology to improve breast cancer screenings. She is so hopeful about one such technology — a blood test made by biotech startup Grail … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

SF’s boom in home building to slow in 2019

Development of market-rate housing in San Francisco will slow to a trickle in 2019, because a combination of higher construction costs, escalating fees, a softening market and increased interest rates has persuaded many builders to wait on the sidelines, developers and industry a … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

SF startup CEO tweets beating video, pleads for more police

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The forgotten story of the man who pushed professional golf’s integration

Seventy years ago, the first major battle in the integration of professional golf was ignited at the Richmond Country Club. Bill Spiller, a short, slight and stylish African American golfer, came to the Bay Area in 1948 to compete in the Richmond Open, a PGA tournament. Instead, … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

Proposition 13 is no longer off-limits in California

Proposition 13 is untouchable. That’s been the thinking for 40 years in California. Politicians have feared for their careers if they dared suggest changes to the measure that capped property taxes, took a scythe to government spending and spawned antitax initiatives across the c … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

Ex-tech worker finds higher calling than coding, opens Silicon Valley church

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Big recall ordered of pot products in CA after lab is caught faking tests

State regulators ordered the recall of marijuana products from 29 cannabis companies after a Sacramento laboratory was caught falsifying test results for pesticides, a scandal that could have serious financial consequences for already struggling retail outlets. The California Bur … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

Resistance to development stands in way of prosperity

Are you a Californian looking for a New Year’s resolution? You might be thinking about giving up sweets or going to the gym more. But, for the good of your state, the best thing you could do is swear off this phrase: “We want to protect the character of the community.” The expres … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

Square leases Oakland’s Uptown Station in one of city’s biggest deals ever

Payments processor Square signed an office lease Thursday for Oakland’s Uptown Station in one of the city’s biggest real estate deals ever. The 356,000-square-foot expansion, taking all of the building’s office space, gives Square room for up to 2,000 employees. Square is poised … | Continue reading | 2 months ago

SF to developer who tore down landmark house: Rebuild it exactly as it was

A property owner who illegally demolished a 1936 Twin Peaks house designed by a renowned modernist must rebuild an exact replica of the home rather than the much larger structure the property owner had proposed replacing it with, the City Planning Commission ruled this week. In a … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

Robinhood backtracks on plans to offer ‘checking, savings’ accounts

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SF to developer who tore down landmark house: Rebuild it exactly as it was

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Earth’s first life-forms played it cool in deep ocean, Stanford study finds

People are always asking why they’re here on planet Earth. It could be because the deep ocean stays the same temperature and our single-cell ancestors liked to keep things simple. At least that’s what a pair of Stanford geological scientists say they’ve figured out. Exciting thin … | Continue reading | 3 months ago


“Have you experienced being the target of intolerance? What causes you to be intolerant?” Sitting in his book-filled Berkeley living room, Lewis Brown Griggs chewed over those questions and others with six other people via the Zoom conferencing app last month on, appropriately en … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

Feds making it harder to launder cash through Bay Area homes

The federal government has made it virtually impossible for buyers of homes in three Bay Area counties to hide their identities from law enforcement by using a shell company and paying all cash — or cryptocurrency. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network an … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

Spotify gives up SF Mid-Market office – and tax breaks – amid safety concernS

When music streaming company Spotify moved to San Francisco’s Mid-Market area in 2013, its arrival was hailed by city officials as another revitalization of the troubled neighborhood. The Swedish tech company leased three floors of office space in a 1922 building at 988 Market St … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

Scooter mechanic, once homeless, says cheap rides now help him pay rent

Lee James’ caseworker called to tell him that after receiving government assistance to help pay the rent on a studio in the Tenderloin, he was now making too much money to qualify. “Huh. Me?” James said, laughing. “Can you do that? Can you make too much money? It’s a good problem … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

South Lake Tahoe’s measure to ban vacation rentals squeaks to victory

A ballot measure to ban all vacation home rentals in South Lake Tahoe’s residential neighborhoods after three years — and reduce their occupancy limits almost immediately — has passed by a margin of 58 votes, the El Dorado County Elections Department announced Tuesday. The City C … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

Drunk driver slept while Tesla appeared to drive Hwy 101 on autopilot

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Drunk driver slept while Tesla appeared to drive Hwy 101 on autopilot

When a pair of California Highway Patrol officers pulled alongside a car cruising down Highway 101 in Redwood City before dawn Friday, they reported a shocking sight: a man fast asleep behind the wheel. The car was a Tesla, the man was a Los Altos planning commissioner, and the e … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

H-1B shift may favor tech companies

The Trump administration proposed a change to the H-1B program Friday that could make it harder for Indian outsourcing firms to hire workers from overseas, while helping large Bay Area tech companies bring highly skilled foreigners to their headquarters. The rule change tinkers w … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

Benioff puts up $6.1M to subsidize rents for SF’s formerly homeless

Weighing in once again on San Francisco’s homeless problem, tech billionaire Marc Benioff will announce Thursday that he is donating $6.1 million to turn an infamously seedy, long-shuttered Tenderloin hotel into housing for formerly homeless people. The Bristol Hotel on Mason Str … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

A dying mall near Apple’s headquarters: a fight over Silicon Valley’s soul

As Apple flourished in Cupertino, becoming the first American company worth $1 trillion, Vallco Shopping Mall rotted away in its shadow. The 1976 mall was home to the retail giants of the 20th century: Macy’s, Sears and J.C. Penney, which all closed their stores in the last three … | Continue reading | 3 months ago


The numbers are in and the message is clear: Women of color won the midterms. The significance of this victory is bigger than you think. Women of color beat Republicans to win congressional seats and sealed a Democratic majority in the House. The Democrats now have the ability to … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

Fast-growing Facebook wants to fix Dumbarton rail bridge

Facebook has entered into negotiations with the San Mateo County Transit District to improve the Dumbarton corridor, a critical connection point between the company’s bayfront headquarters in Menlo Park and cities on the east edge of the bay such as Fremont and Newark. The projec … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

Tinker Kitchen – Maker Space for Cooks in San Francisco

Thanks to the persistence and savings of one San Francisco man, there is a now a space in the Mission District where pasta extruders can rub shoulders with chocolate temperers and where liquid-nitrogen ice cream makers can mix with brisket smokers — all of them using the technica … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

A fire, a newborn baby and a pact: Tales of survival from Paradise

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CONCOW, Butte County — When Scott realized that his lakeside home in the wooded hills of Butte County was surrounded by fire, he knew he had only one way out: the water. He, his wife and their two young adult sons, along with two dogs and a cat, plunged into the chilly Concow Res … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

Waymo gets green light for robot cars in California; no humans needed

Waymo is the first company in California allowed to test robot cars on public roads with no human driver behind the steering wheel, it said Tuesday. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has given Waymo a permit for up to 40 fully autonomous cars to drive both day and night … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

Tech workers seeking an edge on peers turn to all-meat ‘carnivore diet’

As a meat-loving child, Ryan Parks cried on the way home from a video rental store when his parents said, as a joke, they were becoming vegetarian. It came as little surprise when Parks, now 31, told his folks he’d begun a “carnivore diet” back in July. His typical Whole Foods ha … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

With so little data collected, SF can’t be accountable on spending

Proposition C passed, creating a new tax on San Francisco’s corporations to fund a new homelessness services strategy. Lost in the verbal battle between the billionaires — are you for or against homeless, is the tax fairly or unfairly applied — were the complex realities of addre … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

California makes cage-free hens a state law

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California voters overwhelmingly approved a measure Tuesday requiring that all eggs sold in the state come from cage-free hens by 2022. Proposition 12 also bans the sale of pork and veal in California from farm animals raised in cages that don't meet the new … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

Waymo robot car injures motorcyclist — but human driver at fault

A motorcyclist was injured in a collision with a Waymo self-driving car last month — but Waymo says the accident underscores the robot cars’ safety, as it was caused by the backup driver. The Oct. 19 accident came days before Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

Banning new corporate cafeterias doesn’t go down well with SF planners

The idea of banning new corporate cafeterias to bolster surrounding neighborhood businesses was unanimously shot down Thursday by the San Francisco Planning Commission after kitchen staff from several of the private dining operations said the office chow crackdown would hurt them … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

Puzzling logic in arguments against tax on big businesses to aid homeless

A slick campaign piece landed in my mailbox the other day, screaming in all capital letters: “Prop. C would spend another $300 million a year on the same failed programs.” You know, those failed programs that produced the scenes depicted in the mailer’s photographs. The ones of T … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

Juul hiring aggressively amid FDA probe, but troubled image a turnoff for some

Even as Juul Labs faces scrutiny from U.S. regulators, the electronic cigarette company is embarking on a worldwide hiring spree, seeking to fill hundreds of jobs. But Juul’s troubled image — public health experts fear its popular vaporizer and flavored nicotine pods are creating … | Continue reading | 4 months ago

Why doesn’t Silicon Valley just give Saudi Arabia its money back?

Welcome back to Tech Chronicle. If you subscribe to the newsletter, know that there’s a money-back guarantee. Why doesn’t Silicon Valley just give Saudi Arabia its money back? As grisly details emerge about the apparent killing of Saudi regime critic Jamal Khashoggi, Silicon Vall … | Continue reading | 5 months ago