Category Archives: California

San Francisco's scooter war: city hits back as 'unlawful' schemes flood streets

City officials send cease-and-desist letters to electric scooter startups, as local residents complain the unregulated schemes are a nuisance

Some people are tossing the scooters into trash cans and lakes. Others are tripping over them on the sidewalk, complaining of broken toes and dangerous collisions.

The San Francisco war over electric scooters – which several startups have dumped on to sidewalks in a competitive rush to launch unregulated rental programs – dramatically escalated on Monday when the city attorney sent cease-and-desist letters, warning that authorities would “impound” the motorized devices to stop the “dangerous” and “unlawful operation”.

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Source: gadt

Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes charged with 'massive fraud'

Federal agency calls disgraced firm, which allegedly deceived investors of $700m, ‘an important lesson for Silicon Valley’

The Silicon Valley startup Theranos and its chief executive Elizabeth Holmes were charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday with “massive fraud” for raising $700m from investors by allegedly deceiving them about their supposedly groundbreaking blood-testing technology.

Theranos and Holmes agreed to settle the charges without admitting or denying wrongdoing. Holmes, a Stanford dropout who was once hailed as the next Steve Jobs, will pay a $500,000 penalty, return millions of shares to the company, and relinquish her company voting power under the terms of the settlement. She will also be barred for 10 years from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

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Source: gadt

'Guilty of being poor': does California couple's poverty amount to child abuse?

Three children were found living in a plywood box, but friends defend their parents as good people who fell on hard times

When police stumbled across the makeshift shelter in the Joshua Tree desert last week they made a shocking discovery: three children were living in a plywood box.

There appeared to be no electricity, no running water and not enough food but piles of rubbish and human feces, a scene of squalor and isolation. There was no record of the children attending school.

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Source: gad

Rage against the machine: self-driving cars attacked by angry Californians

Local residents are hitting back at their new robot neighbors – literally – as reports detail assaults on driverless cars

The great promise of self-driving cars is that they will save innumerable lives by removing the most fallible and unpredictable element from vehicle traffic: the human.

But in San Francisco at least, fickle human behavior is taking a stand.

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Source: gadt

Oscars on edge: in a strange year for Hollywood, anything is up for grabs

Harvey Weinstein, last year’s envelope fiasco, and no clear frontrunner have left many scratching their heads: ‘Everything everyone thought they knew about the Oscars has shifted’

In Hollywood, the screenwriter William Goldman once observed, “nobody knows anything”. He was referring to studios not knowing which films will work. These days the industry doesn’t know if even the Oscars will work.

Will the 90th academy awards on Sunday successfully juggle politics, glamour and entertainment? Will the ghost of Harvey Weinstein – currently exiled to a rehab centre in Arizona – haunt the ceremony? Will presenters announce the correct winners? Will TV viewers care?

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Source: gad

US immigration attacks Oakland mayor for warning of raid that arrested 150

Agency chief likens mayor to ‘gang lookout’ over early public alert that helped 800 avoid arrest

A day after agents confirmed that more than 150 people in California were arrested in immigration raids, a federal immigration official lashed out at the Oakland mayor who gave a public warning ahead of the raids, saying it was “no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘police’”.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) chief, Thomas Homan, speaking to Fox and Friends on Wednesday, said that the warning from the mayor, Libby Schaaf, helped about 800 people avoid arrest. He also said the justice department was looking into whether Schaaf obstructed justice.

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Source: gad

Apple launching 'technology enabled' healthcare service

Following Amazon’s lead, iPhone maker creating in-house clinics and health service for employees

Apple is launching its own primary care health clinics called AC Wellness, following Amazon and Warren Buffett’s push into healthcare.

Similar to Amazon’s team up with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan, the AC Wellness Network aims to serve Apple’s roster of employees and their families providing “compassionate, effective healthcare to the Apple employee population”.

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Source: gadt

Jim Bridwell obituary

Maverick American climber dedicated to the big walls of Yosemite National Park in California

Early in January 1979, the US climber Jim Bridwell, who has died aged 73, was high on the Patagonian mountain of Cerro Torre, a vertical blade of granite 10,000ft high. After a miserable bivouac exposed to bitter wind and snowfall, Bridwell and his climbing partner Steve Brewer were negotiating a difficult section on their descent from the summit. Without warning, the sling Bridwell was using to hang from the wall came apart and he fell into the void.

Accelerating towards terminal velocity, Bridwell had sufficient time to contemplate what had just happened, what might happen next and whether his rope would stop him. “I could hear myself screaming. ‘Shut up,’ I told myself. ‘Screaming doesn’t do any good.’” Then, after he had fallen 40 metres, the rope came tight and he sprang back into the air on its bounce. Bridwell had broken ribs, chipped the bone in an elbow and was severely bruised. “I’m OK,” he shouted up to a bemused Brewer. “Just slipped a bit.”

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Source: gad

'We're watching a company explode': is Snapchat becoming irrelevant?

A diss from Kylie Jenner, an ‘annoying’ redesign, competition from Facebook and Musical.ly … why does Snapchat keep getting it wrong?

More than 1.2m Snapchat users signed a petition urging the company to reverse its “annoying” redesign – but it was a single tweet from Kylie Jenner that may have caused real damage.

After the celebrity tweeted “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me” to her 24m followers, shares of the app’s parent company Snap plummeted 6% – a $1.3bn drop in market value that launched a fresh cycle of embarrassing headlines.

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Source: gadt