security alert

California Signs Cellphone ‘Kill Switches’ Into Law

(Photo: PC Mag)

Long live the kill switch.

Yesterday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law its highly anticipated “kill switch” bill. Under the new guidelines, cell phones sold in the state are required to come with a button that makes the device inoperable if stolen or lost. Law enforcement officials said it works remotely and they hope the antitheft feature deters criminals from stealing phones.  Read More

The Perks of Being a Developer

West Coast Tech Companies Still Offering Batshit Perks

Ugh shut UP.

How’s your Monday going? Pretty meh? Thought so. It’s about to feel even more mundane, because SFGate wrote about some Bay Area tech companies’ office perks this weekend, and somehow they seemed even more over-the-top than usual–we’re talking beyond unlimited vacation.

Here is a highlight reel of the most insufferable and envy-inducing–but also head-scratching–perks offered to employees in California’s tech world: Read More

XXX in Tech

Hunter Moore Petulantly Insists California’s Revenge Porn Law Can’t Possibly Work

Mr. Moore (Photo: Nate Igor Smith)

The state of California recently signed a bill that makes revenge porn illegal. Violators who circulate naked photos of their exes without permission and with the intent to cause mental anguish could face six months in jail and fines up to $1,000.

It’s obviously a step forward for revenge porn victims who have their lives ruined, but Is Anyone Up proprietor Hunter Moore doesn’t the law is going to help. The “most hated man on the Internet” lashed out against it saying the wording isn’t wide-reaching enough. Read More

Sex and the Valley

Newsflash: Silicon Valley Founders Still Overwhelmingly White and Asian Dudes

Not actually a tech job. (Photo: Getty)

In news of the complete and total bummer variety, new numbers show that founders of California tech companies are still overwhelmingly white guys. But hey, it’s not a total monoculture: Asian men fare well in Silicon Valley, too.

The stats come courtesy of Catherine Bracy, who spoke yesterday at the Personal Democracy tech conference. She moved to San Francisco to run Team Obama’s technology field office in 2012, Mother Jones reports. When she arrived, she was struck by the “jarring inequality visible everywhere in Silicon Valley — between rich and poor, between men and women, between white people and, well, everyone else.” Read More

This Happened

Dating Site Offers California Town $11.65M to Change Its Name to, USA


Woodside, California is a quaint, wealthy suburb in San Mateo County, situated about 20 minutes from the tech hub of Palo Alto. Because of its close proximity to big tech companies like Google and Facebook, many wealthy entrepreneurs (including Larry Ellison!) call Woodside home. And now, because of its plethora of eligible rich men, online dating startup, which unites “wealthy, desirable and attractive people,” has offered the town $11.65 million to officially change its name to, USA.

It’s not the worst idea we’ve ever heard. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Mark Zuckerberg, the State of California Would Like You to Pick Up Your Unclaimed Checks

Happy Holiday$! (Photo:

However broke the state of California may be, it’s also sitting on a treasure trove of unclaimed property that’s valued at over $6 billion. Holders like “corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies” are required to report any unclaimed property annually to the state comptroller’s office. That means if you’ve forgotten about bank account contents or uncashed money orders, they’re sitting around with the comptroller. Read More


Booting Up: Kittydar Edition

(Photo: Github)

They Alley may think it’s got somethin’ on the Valley, but in California it’s now illegal for employers and universities to solicit your social media passwords. Damn hippies. [The Atlantic]

Speaking of California, General Assembly partnered with LaunchPad LA to open a branch in Los Angeles. [PandoDaily]

Google faked an address in its “iLost” Motorola commercial to make Apple Maps look bad. Come on, guys. You don’t need to lie to make Apple Maps seem unusable. [AppleInsider] is giving out $20,000 per month to developers that already have $50. Sigh. []

Kittydar uses Javascript to detect cats in photos. Sadly, when we uploaded a picture of our cat hanging out in our fridge’s crisper drawer, it could not locate him. :( [Github]

The Future Will See You Now

Driverless Cars Are One Step Closer to Cruising on California Public Roads

(Photo: The Star)

What’s a thousand-pound steel monster controlled entirely by a computer, no human required? It’s a driverless car! And it’s one step closer to legally operating on public roads. The Singularity is nigh, friends.

According to Ars Technica, the California State Senate officially passed SB 1289, which–following the creation of standards and performance requirements by the DMV–would allow robot cars to hit the open road. Read More