Let’s flash back to the Machine Age, the period in American history that gave us the assembly line, the first nonstop transcontinental flight, regular radio broadcasts, and the first robot capable of performing more than 20 movements.The Cult of the Machine exhibit at the de Young museum in San Francisco is a reflection of attitudes toward machines and robotics during the Machine Age, the period between the two world wars during which industrial efficiency was the reigning mantra.In an era where efficiency was seen as both beautiful and as a threat, there was an influx of art inspired by anxieties people had about the rise of industrial technology.Precisionism is an early 20th century American modernist style that was born from artists who synthesized European cubism and futurism with the American vision of industrial, urban themes.Technologists today have expressed concern about the takeover of robotics, decline in manufacturing jobs, losing control to AIs, biased algorithms and the loss of craftsmanship to machines.Every tech company has a strategy around machine learning and AI.
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Let the speculation begin: Nokia has posted news of some kind of launch event happening on Tuesday, May 29 at 7.40PM in Moscow – that's this coming Tuesday, at 9.40AM in San Francisco, 12.40PM in New York, 5.40PM in the UK and 2.40AM (Wed May 30) in Sydney, so adjust your diaries accordingly.What are we going to see?All we have to go off so far is the hashtag chargedup and a promise from Juho Sarvikas, one of the execs at Nokia parent company HMD Global, that "some new stuff" is on the way.A brand new phone perhaps?An existing phone available in more regions?A portable charging pack to juice up your Nokia phone on the go?
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After meeting with Chinese Vice Premiere Liu He this week, President Trump is still considering easing penalties on Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE over its violation of sanctions against Iran and North Korea.But what Mr. Trump may not realize is that ZTE is also one of the world’s most notorious intellectual property thieves — perhaps even the most notorious of all.Since stopping Chinese theft of U.S intellectual property is one of the President’s most important trade objectives, Mr. Trump should refuse to ease sanctions against ZTE until it stops its high-tech banditry and starts playing by the rules in intellectual property (IP) matters.This number is even more shocking when you consider that only a subset of companies who believe their IP rights have been violated by ZTE has the means or the will to spend the millions of dollars needed to wage a multi-year lawsuit in federal courts.Even when it’s not being sued, ZTE thumbs its nose at the traditional rules of fair play in intellectual proper matters, commonly engaging in delay, misrepresentation, and hold out when dealing with patent owners.Consider ZTE’s treatment of San Francisco-based Via Licensing Corp, a Swiss-neutral operator of patent pools covering wireless, digital audio, and other building-block components of complex products.
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San Francisco has announced a new permit process for electric scooters in the city, one that requires companies to temporarily remove their electric scooters until they have their permit.The permit availability was announced by City Attorney Dennis Herrera, San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, and SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin in a joint statement yesterday.The permit process and requirement is part of a law that was passed on April 24, 2018.Under it, companies operating shared electric scooters in San Francisco need to get a permit before parking their vehicles in public spaces, including on sidewalks.These companies will need to remove their scooters from the sidewalks by June 4 when the change goes into effect.According to the SFMTA, companies that want a permit must submit their application by June 7 at 5PM local time.
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A quick peek at the Pixel 2's photo shows the detail, contrast and excellent dynamic range I've come to expect from that phone.In everyday situations under good bright lighting both cameras excel.On the other hand, Google is all about pushing the dynamic range and contrast of its Pixel 2 photos.The Pixel 2's white balance skews pictures toward a green/blue tint (great for landscapes) while pictures from the Galaxy S9 are warmer with a slight magenta tint (great for skin tones).The Pixel 2's f/1.8 fixed aperture can't adapt to different situations.It's remarkable seeing a photo this clean taken with a phone camera.
Mobility is one of the most rapidly advancing technologies going, and we’re searching for the rising stars of early-stage mobility startups to apply as a TC Top Pick for Disrupt San Francisco 2018 on September 5-7 at Moscone Center West.It’s a competitive application process, but if TechCrunch editors designate your company as a Top Pick, you get to exhibit for free in Startup Alley — the show floor and heartbeat of every Disrupt event.Mobile tech is on the cusp of a revolution, and we’re interested in startups focused on everything it entails — autonomous vehicles, sensors, drones, security — or something else altogether.Exhibiting in Startup Alley will expose your startup to more than 10,000 attendees, including potential investors, customers, partners and more than 400 media outlets.Here’s how the TC Top Pick process works.Our expert team of editors will review each application and choose only five mobility startups as TC Top Picks.
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Cannabis is now legal in California … but where do you start?That’s what a new radio ad—just released to millions of Bay Area listeners in the first advertising push by a marijuana company in mainstream media—is here to tell you.Tokr, which launched in 2017, is an app available on both iTunes and Google Play that simplifies the cannabis shopping experience while also feeding data back to retailers.The spot will reach millions of Bay Area listeners.This week, iHeart Radio will broadcast the spot to help match consumers in the Bay Area with the best cannabis for their lifestyle, whether it’s for exercise, relaxation, inspiration or literally anything else.Tokr directs its customers to nearby dispensaries and personalizes information to the user.
A fire at the refinery in 2012 sent 15,000 people to hospitals, resulting in a city lawsuit and a $5 million settlement.They’re more interested in self-preservation than preserving the planet.”In addition to the California cities’ various lawsuits, New York, Seattle, and municipalities in Colorado have all filed lawsuits against various combinations of oil companies since the summer of 2017.On Thursday in a federal court in San Francisco, a judge heard a motion to dismiss from five fossil fuel companies, the defendants in the suit brought by San Francisco and Oakland.A 2012 meeting of climate activists, scientists, and lawyers in La Jolla, Calif. may have been where the strategy really got worked out, though.Allen was on the list of attendees, as were attorneys who’d been involved in the Department of Justice’s case against tobacco companies in the 1990s—a partial model for the suite of climate lawsuits today.
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EA Sports announced that Madden NFL 19 launches August 10 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.If that sounds a little early for Madden, you’re right.Madden typically arrives near the end of August, just prior to the start of the NFL regular season in early September.Fresh off of his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame, former wide receiver Terrell Owens will grace the cover of the “Hall of Fame Edition.” The special edition costs $80, grants players three-day early access, and includes a slew of in-game goodies such as 12 gold team fantasy packs for Ultimate Team and an elite legends player.It’s unclear which jersey Owens will don on the cover.He spent the most time with the San Francisco 49ers, the team that chose him in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft, but EA’s press materials show him in Dallas Cowboys attire.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has officially made available its permit application for electric scooters to operate in the city as part of a one-year pilot program.Part of that means companies like Bird, Lime and Spin will need to at least temporarily remove their scooters from city sidewalks while their applications are being processed.As part of a new city law, which goes into effect June 4, scooter companies will not be allowed to operate their services in San Francisco without a permit.If they don’t, each companies respective scooters will be at risk of impound and fines of up to $100 per scooter.“This permit program represents a thoughtful, coordinated and effective approach to ensure that San Francisco strikes the right balance.We can have innovation, but it must keep our sidewalks safe and accessible for all pedestrians.
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San Francisco gave the three electric scooter companies that have descended on the city an ultimatum: get your vehicles off city streets until you're issued a permit, or else.The warning comes as city lawmakers have been fine-tuning their new law that regulates on-demand dockless scooters.The city announced on Thursday that the law goes into effect on June 4 and any company that wants to operate in San Francisco must apply for a permit.If any of the companies put their scooters on the streets during that interim period, the city said it will impound the vehicles, fine the company $100 per scooter per day and will deny the company any type of permit."This permit program represents a thoughtful, coordinated and effective approach to ensure that San Francisco strikes the right balance."San Francisco has seen a scooter free-for-all over the past two months.
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Facebook and other social-media companies could be compelled to provide user content that's already public to criminal defendants, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.The high court rejected an appellate court's ruling that providers were prohibited from disclosing communications configured by the user to be public and that remained public at the time defendants subpoenaed the information.The case centers on a pair of San Francisco murder defendants who want access to videos and other content posted to Facebook and Instagram by the victim and a witness.The defendants, Lee Sullivan and Derrick Hunter, were charged with murder in connection with the 2013 drive-by shooting death of a 19-year-old man.They sought the social-media posts by Sullivan's former girlfriend -- a prosecution witness in the case -- to demonstrate that her testimony was motivated by jealous rage over his involvement with other women.Defendants also argued that their right to a fair trial outweighed the Stored Communications Act, a 1986 law that bars disclosure of stored electronic communications held by third-party providers without consent.
Dockless electric scooter company GOAT has launched in Austin after receiving official permits from the city’s transportation department for its pilot program.Unlike what’s happened in San Francisco with startups Bird, Lime and Spin, GOAT says it wants to work in tandem with city officials in Austin.GOAT is currently bootstrapped, but says it plans to continue partnering with local cities to launch its electric scooter service across the nation.GOAT has permission to launch up to 500 scooters as part of the pilot program, but is currently incrementally deploying scooters 20 at a time.The company tells TechCrunch it’s also working with other cities in pursuing permits in multiple areas.“In April we watched two California-based companies enter our market, ignore the balance, and exploit the policies and patience of our local city government but today we’re thankful for the due diligence the City of Austin put into place to ensure dockless mobility is a viable option to support their long-term objectives that we’ve worked to support,” GOAT CEO Michael Schramm said in a statement.
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Rover, a dog-walking and dog-boarding service that merged with DogVacay around this time last year, is now the second of such startups this year to raise a massive new round of funding with its announcement of a $155 million financing round.While competitor Wag has become a juggernaut, there seems room for both room for a second player and the potential to outmaneuver Wag even with its massive influx of capital.Both DogVacay and Rover had a very similar model and eventually merged in an all-stock deal, creating a more substantial competitor for Wag.The round consisted of $125 million in equity financing led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, with a $30 million credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank.The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the round values Rover at $970 million.Wag earlier this year picked up $300 million in a massive funding round led by SoftBank.
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While the preliminary report does not go into analysis of the crash, nor reach any conclusion about who – or what – was at fault, it does reveal more of the circumstances of the incident in March.In response, Uber ceased all its autonomous car testing across the US.Instead, it would focus on San Francisco and Pittsburgh.That includes some potentially concerning facts about how Uber’s system interacted with the Volvo’s own safety features, and how warnings were issued to the human operator.Certainly, the pedestrian, Elaine Herzberg, wasn’t going to be easy to identify in the road.Her bicycle did not have side reflectors, the organization points out; while front and rear reflectors were fitted, along with a headlamp, they were not pointing in the direction the Uber SUV was traveling.
“Please pardon the interruption,” a kindly robotic voice said, cutting into a government official’s prepared remarks.If you would like to continue, press star 1 now, or your conference will be terminated.”In fact, there were three commissioners and two administrative judges sitting on the auditorium’s dais.The audience was full of industry representatives from Google sister company Waymo, General Motors, Uber, and Zoox, plus advocates from places like the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the National Federation of the Blind, and the San Francisco Taxi Workers’ Alliance.They gathered to share their thoughts on the commission's proposed autonomous vehicle pilot program—the plan that would govern the way commercial self-driving services operate in the state.Waymo plans to launch a service in Arizona by the end of the year; General Motors’ Cruise will follow (somewhere) in 2019.
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From moon mapping to brain tumours and soft drink cans, a little something for everyone at AIDC2018Artificial Intelligence can seem ephemeral when it comes to enterprise applications, with many companies struggling to deploy it; either because their data isn’t clean enough, in the wrong format or they simply don’t have the capabilities.It displays the defects of the beat up aluminium can by telling you what percent it is damaged, otherwise it “gives a green signal that this one doesn’t have any defects.”The companies general manager Madhu Matta steps in at this point to say the product is a; “manifestation of a very simple vision we have.”The product been tested on the line doesn’t need to be a can; any product checked by a human on a belt could be set up to be quality checked by the software.AI is hard, Matta emphasises, pointing to a few of the more technical white paper stands dismissively: “So much gobbledygook”.
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Mary Beth Buchanan, a former federal prosecutor appointed by President George W. Bush, has been hired by crypto exchange Kraken, according to people familiar with the matter.Notably, the US has reportedly opened a criminal probe into market manipulation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.Other exchanges have brought in top lawyers, including Bitfinex, to navigate the uncertain environment.Kraken, the cryptocurrency exchange, has brought in a legal heavyweight to navigate the trading firm through the murky regulatory environment for bitcoin, people familiar with the hire tell Business Insider.The San Francisco-based firm has hired Mary Beth Buchanan, a former federal prosecutor appointed by President George W. Bush, as its general counsel.Buchanan is also featured in the Netflix four-part series "Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist," which explores a bank robbery case for which she served as prosecutor.
The Founder Showcase is Silicon Valley's leading seed-stage startup event, and throughout our history contestants have gone on to raise over $355 million in funding - including companies like Udemy, Relay Rides, Thumbtack, Realty Mogul, Kaggle, and many more.For the upcoming 16th Founder Showcase, over 300 startups applied, but in the end just six companies will present on stage in Silicon Valley in front of 400+ people, and to our panel of top global investors.The finalists are all building innovative products around a diverse set of markets, including solar power, batteries, real estate, sports, and freelancers.See the competition, as well as talks from the world's top entrepreneurs and investors at the Founder Showcase on May 12th in Mountain View.Without further ado, we'd like to announce the Finalists for the 16th Founder Showcase Pitch Competition:AMPL Labs designs innovative solutions that empower today's mobile life on the go.
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The Founder Institute is proud to partner with Zirtual, an outsourcing tool that matches busy professionals with virtual assistants, and RecruiterBox, a web-based applicant tracking software.Though both aim to help small to medium size businesses hire new talent, Zirtual focuses on outsourcing, while RecruiterBox manages incoming job applications for growing companies.Zirtual sprouted from the San Francisco Founder Institute chapter, when Founder and CEO Maren Donovan, moved from Las Vegas to follow her dream of owning a thriving technology company.Since launching in 2011, Zirtual has gathered close to 400 virtual employees, who work for 3 to 12 clients at a time.Recruiterbox, who recently announced a partnership with Indeed, focuses on companies that house less than 50 employees.Since launching in 2010, they’ve been serving over 60 new companies a month.
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