Science and Technology

  • Calendar

    December 14, 2011
  • Blogs

    November 29, 2011

    Is Zynga's 'Evil' Corporate Culture Now a Business Liability?

    Doing evil?​In a business sector known for cutthroat, amoral maneuvering, social-game developer Zynga stands out as, well, particularly cutthroat and amoral. At least that's the view of many of its competitors and former employees, some of whom we interviewed for a September 2010 SF Weekly cover s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2011

    Five Things Pete Townshend Got Wrong About iTunes and the Online Music Industry

    Phyllis KeatingPete Townshend​Last night, Who guitarist Pete Townshend made a rousing speech at a British radio festival, blasting Apple's iTunes store for its treatment of musicians "whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire." His speech even included a list of things Townshend believes App ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2011

    Apple Unveils iPhone 5 iPhone 4S Today

    ​Unlike Apple CEO Tim Cook, we're going to cut to the chase and tell you what you really want to know from the Let's Talk iPhone event that kicked off at 10 a.m. today at Apple headquarters in Cupertino. For the tech journalists who sat through the three-hour conference, perhaps a more fitting nam ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2011

    Now You Need to Have Facebook to Sign Up For Spotify

    ​ Last week's Facebook f8 conference meant a windfall of new users for Spotify, after it teamed with Facebook to allow users to share their music listening. But the increased cooperation also comes at what some call a heavy cost: Starting today, newcomers to Spotify need have to have a Facebo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2011

    Deli Radio Streams Music Based on Who's Playing in Town

    ​ Here's a sensible idea: What if there was an Internet radio station or streaming service that would play music only from bands who are performing soon in your city in the next week, two weeks, or month? Now there is: It's called Deli Radio, and a cool, basic version of the site is up and wo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2011

    Top Five Reasons Spotify Kinda Sucks

    ​Yes, we know, everyone loves Spotify (even us). Yes, we know, free music is really sweet, and we feel pretty spoiled for even bringing this up. But Spotify has a ways to go before it's our favorite music app. Here are five things about the new-to-America streaming service that are kinda sucky ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2011

    California Asks Facebook to Close Down Prisoners' Accounts

    Would you be his Facebook friend?​Prison is just that place where you have tons of time to kill (no pun intended) and not that many friends. So it makes sense that inmates in California prisons are finding creative ways to access Facebook and other social-networking sites. However, the state has c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2011

    Apple Can't Stop Amazon from Using "App Store"

    Weren't apples famous before Apple?​In another case of the Silicon Valley giants butting heads, a federal judge denied Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction against Amazon and its use of the term "App Store."Lawyers for Apple argued that the "Amazon Appstore for Android" name infringes on it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2011

    Who Hates Smart Meters? Glen Park Residents

    It's been a while since we've seen any good sparring over the contentious so-called smart meter, but apparently strong sentiments are circulating in parts of the city. A kind and anonymous reader passed along this photo that's being posted around homes in Noe Valley and Glen Park neighborhoods, wher ... More >>

  • News

    June 8, 2011
  • Blogs

    June 1, 2011

    E-mail Spammers Are Migrating to Social Media

    Cramming your life​This morning, I had 12 e-mails in my spambox. That includes a few false positives, so really it's only nine. Older spams are deleted automatically -- every night. A few months ago, I was getting anywhere from a few dozen to a couple of hundred new spams a day -- the overwhelming ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2011

    iPhone 5 to be Released Next Month

    Waiting for the next generation ​On Friday, we gave iPhone users some grim news -- customers were being overcharged by as much as 300 percent for data they never used. But now we are here to deliver some good -- if not curious -- news: The iPhone 5 will be out in June!At least that's the buzz amon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2011

    Facebook Paying People to Watch Ads Won't Work

    Caitlinator/Flickr​I'm frankly amazed that in all the coverage of Facebook's plan to pay users to watch ads, nobody -- as far as I can tell -- has mentioned the several companies that tried to do something similar during the (original) dot-com boom, and failed spectacularly. The most famous of th ... More >>

  • Calendar

    April 20, 2011
  • Blogs

    March 18, 2011

    Online Bake Sale for Japan Now Enlisting Bloggers and Bidders

    The Tomato Tart​Sabrina Modelle says she was face down on the acupuncture table last week when she heard about the devastating Japanese quake. Modelle's currently on leave from her job at a nonprofit. "I think I was going through do-good withdrawal," she says. And since Modelle is also a food ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2011

    R.I.P. Microsoft Zune, Redheaded Stepchild of MP3 Players

    Zune 2​Word out of the Seattle area is that Microsoft is finally killing its Zune lineup of MP3 players, opting to fold the media player technology into their Windows Phone 7 devices. While most people shrugged the Zune off as an unworthy MP3 player, the truth is it deserved better. None of the de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2011

    How To Manage Your iPod Without Looking Like an Idiot or a Crazy Person

    Note: Nelly Furtado not required to maintain respectability​iPod gigs don't grow on trees, as much as we've tried to plant lesser MP3 devices in the ground (in hopes of a bountiful Apple product harvest). And until somebody makes an infinite-RAM MP3 player, or we're capable of streaming music from ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2011

    Charlie Sheen Still ranting....On San Francisco's Ustream

    Now he's just showing off​Just when you thought you had heard enough from actor Charlie Sheen and his questionable antics, he brings his new persona live... to San Francisco. After his (fill in the blank)-induced rant led producers of CBS to cancel Sheen's television series Two and a Half Men, She ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 2, 2011

    So Is Anyone Else Kinda Thrilled About GarageBand for iPad?

    ​Among the numerous not-quite-revelations Steve Jobs breathlessly announced today about the iPad2 -- faster processor, thinner case, two cameras -- one especially caught our attention: Apple is bringing its amateur-friendly music production software GarageBand to the tablet computer. (It's also br ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2010

    Total Eclipse May Be Eclipsed By Crap Weather

    "There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."​Science and religion make for an odious mixture. But tonight, legions of astronomers of the professional and amateur variety will be praying for clear skies to better see a total lunar eclipse. Should their prayers not be an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2010

    SF's Retronyms Taps Into Your Inner FlyLo

    ​When they're not taking board games out into the real world or bringing cocktail-hour amusements to your phone, San Francisco startup upstarts Retronyms are hard at work making the best of music-geek technology available and enjoyable to the masses. See DopplerPad, electronic composition software ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 27, 2010

    Ubuntu Offers Rare Chance to Pinch Its Leaves

    travisreitter/FlickrThe cost: $120. Expensive, but you can tear as many leaves in the garden as you like.​Fact: 80 percent of what ends up on the plate at Michelin-starred Ubuntu is grown in the restaurant's biodynamic garden. Next month, Ubuntu is offering a rare peek at the source, including ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2010

    Will Blog for Food: Dianne Jacob at Book Passage

    Carina OstDianne Jacob updated her seminal book, "Will Write for Food," to reflect the times and technology. She spoke about the changes at the Ferry Building last week.​We headed to everyone's favorite foodie mecca, the Ferry Building, last week for a talk and book signing by Dianne Jacob, au ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2010

    Study Finds Many iPhone Users Are Tea Party Supporters (Really)

    Apple's iPhone: The preferred mobile device of semi-literate morons​We certainly wouldn't have seen this one coming. A poll released today by the tech policy group reveals that iPhone users -- whom we would have firmly placed in the same consumer class as those who sip lattes and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2010

    Report Touting Prop. 23 'Simply Nonsense' -- Stanford Prof

    Matt SmithHere's what we'll do, y'see: We'll put out crazy-assed think-tank reports, and see if people believe 'em.​The Pacific Research Institute bills itself as a think tank that champions freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility by advancing free-market policy solutions. But judging fr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2010

    FrontierVille, Latest Zynga Release, Is Quickly Losing Users

    That little bastard might not be smiling for long​One of the issues raised in our September cover story on social-gaming company Zynga was the long-term viability of a business based on copying and aggressively marketing inane but addictive game concepts. The Facebook applications that are making ... More >>

  • News

    September 22, 2010
  • Blogs

    September 22, 2010

    Early Favorites in Foodbuzz's Project Food Blog

    Jun Belen/Jun-BlogSmell the memories: Jun-Blog's pork adobo.​Our favorite morsel from the blogs. Foodbuzz is pitting blogger on blogger in Project Food Blog, a series of 10 challenges designed to test contestants' skills: cooking, photography, writing. There are 1,889 blog-testants for the ch ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2010

    Zynga Offers Customers Who Waste Their Lives Playing Its Games Up to $24,000 Today

    Today, FarmVille crops yield real cash​It ain't been a great week in the press for Zynga, the San Francisco-based creator of popular online games such as FarmVille. Last Wednesday we published a cover story in which ex-employees dished on Zynga's allegedly "evil" practice of copying competitors' g ... More >>

  • News

    September 8, 2010


    Steal someone else's game. Change its name. Make millions. Repeat.

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2010

    NPR Takes 'Web-First' Approach to Blogging. What Does That Mean?

    Hello, Blogger...​Tomorrow, National Public Radio will formally launch the Argo Project, a group of 12 topic-based news blogs hosted by different NPR affiliates across the country. Two of the blogs are Bay Area-based: KALW's The Informant, which focuses on criminal justice issues, and KQED's MindS ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2010

    Five Features That Would Make iPod iTunes Better For Music Fans

    ​Even if we don't know what will actually happen at Apple's big music announcement next week, we know what we want to happen. The iTunes/iPod combination has long been the standard apparatus for music fans, but as much as we love it, there are things we hate about it, too -- and things we wish it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 25, 2010

    Zynga Sued over 'Mafia Wars' Trademark by Digital Chocolate: Read the Lawsuit Here

    Who says a war is bad for business?​San Francisco-based social-gaming company Zynga is being sued for alleged trademark infringement over its popular Facebook game, Mafia Wars.Digital Chocolate, another online gaming company, claims in a lawsuit filed in federal court that it owns rights to the na ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2010

    Zynga in Hot Water with San Francisco City Attorney Over 'Mafia Wars' Marketing

    Dennis Herrera is taking off the gloves over Zynga's 'Mafia Wars'​The San Francisco City Attorney's office is going after social-gaming company Zynga -- maker of such popular Facebook applications as FarmVille and Mafia Wars -- for what it calls an "illegal and actionable" marketing campaign to pr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2010

    Green Energy Fetches a High Price -- and Many Customers -- in Marin County

    The future of Bay Area energy?​As both San Francisco and Marin County struggle to get "community choice aggregation" green-energy plans up and running, one of the big questions on observers' minds is whether electricity consumers will pay more for power from renewable sources such as wind and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2010

    Boycott of Alberta Urged By San Francisco's 'Corporate Ethics.' Canadians Pissed, Eh?

    That's not maple syrup​Corporate Ethics International, a rabble-rousing San Francisco environmental nonprofit, on Thursday launched a campaign urging a boycott of Alberta in protest of the Canadian province's oil sands petroleum extraction project. The group has erected a billboard in Seattle comp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2010

    Judge (Sort of) Realizes Absurdity in Slapping Music-Sharing Students with Huge Fines

    Francesco Marino /​Strike one up for common sense -- and another one down for the Recording Industry Association of America.Earlier today, a federal judge cut the penalty against convicted music file-sharer Joel Tenenbaum by a factor of 10 -- from $675,000 to $67,500 -- after ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2010

    Geeks Take a Break From Social Media to Celebrate Social Media

    via Twitter​"Today is Social Media Day! How are you celebrating?" a Twitter user tweeted."Refreshing Twitter to see how everyone else is staying at home on Twitter" would have been the predictable answer. Instead, users responded: "Getting a cake." "Heading to Boston tonight." "Watching fireworks. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 23, 2010

    Labor Dispute Over Solar Panels Heats Up

    Members of Aboriginal Blackmen United wait for a meeting with City Administrator Ed Lee​A labor dispute over solar technology is heating up, with one union now considering legal action against the city, and a Bayview worker's group visiting City Hall to demand meetings with top officials.At issue ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2010

    New Pot Club Would Be Downtown's First

    ​Earlier in the week, Socketsite pointed attention to 527 Howard Street -- just beneath the Bay Bridge -- where a new medical cannabis dispensary wishes to open up shop.SF Weekly visited with applicant Igor Khavin and toured the nascent Igzactly Health Solutions. Khavin will have his permit hearin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2010

    Record Labels Suing Everything Good Into Oblivion

    MP3Tunes' Michael Robertson: "The music industry is still suing ... anyone they even think is taking their business." ​"Geeks say greedy record companies hinder innovation" "Copyright licenses cramp our creativity, techies yelp at 'summit'" "NorCal biz dudes: SoCal biz dudes think we're shitting ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 12, 2010
  • Blogs

    May 5, 2010

    Is Google Squared a Content-Snatching Death Star?

    This search engine is fully operational...​Google is a "digital vampire" in the words of Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton. Furthering the vampiric metaphor, the search engine exists to "just suck on your blood," in the words of HDNet owner Mark Cuban. Taking things to the next step, the Mountain View comp ... More >>

  • Music

    April 28, 2010
  • Blogs

    March 17, 2010

    Anti-Spam Crusader Dan Balsam Takes Spammers To Court -- And Wins

    Dan Balsam' s favorite Monty Python sketch, bar none...​Note to the world: Dan Balsam is tired of his wife receiving e-mail messages promising her a bigger penis. And he has no interest in getting larger breasts. How much does the San Francisco lawyer hate spam? Enough to initiate the DanHatesSpam ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2010

    Ubuntu Calls Split with Jeremy Fox 'Amicable'

    ​Calling the split "amicable," a hot-off-the PR machine statement says the departure of Ubuntu chef Jeremy Fox was a "resignation" that'll allow the chef to "pursue other interests," the departed chef equivalent of a resigned politician explaining that he wants to spend more time with his fami ... More >>

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