Play Your Video Games
Startup founder Peter Shih ignited a West Coast firestorm yesterday after publishing a rant to Medium (now deleted) entitled “10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition.” It was a clumsy, failed attempt at “humorous satire” that read like an entitled douchebag flippantly complaining about serious systemic issues like homelessness. (We’re sure the defunding of San Francisco mental health facilities hasn’t contributed to the amount of mentally ill homeless citizens at all, for example.)
Hey startups, if the space next to your iced coffee kegerator is looking a bit lonely, then we suppose the best solution is to rent a vintage video game machine. That’s what the cool kids in San Francisco are doing with a new service called All You Can Arcade. It’s best described as Netflix for bulky, dust-collecting arcade machines.
Starting today, thousands of New York’s outer borough residents who work in Manhattan are commuting via ferry instead, because some clever person decided, yeah it’s totally fine to shut down the R train for a good little while, because nobody uses that, right?
Thankfully, our good friends at Uber—sensing that San Franciscans might be jealous of New Yorkers’ sweet new aquatic ride—are offering Bay Area users a one-day opportunity to ride a swagged-out boat to work (just in time for all that BART strike talk).
dirty filthy money
San Francisco’s BART strike and the subsequent gripes from entitled tech types is just this week’s example of Everything That’s Wrong With Tech.
Most techies, it seems, are perfectly content to ignore the changes wrought by a ballooning industry. Tech has driven up the cost of living to insanely high levels. Oakland and San Francisco, for example, saw the highest increases in rent in the country between 2011 and 2012; the average salary for people in tech jobs is three times the median US income; there are entire cottage industries catering to the needs of uber-successful techies permanently shifting the sociocultural landscape of San Francisco.
There has been much back and forth about whether the tech boom is completely transforming San Francisco, lots of it earnest and deadly serious. So at least “Google Google Apps Apps,” a new screw-you to gentrifiers from drag performer Persia and Daddie$ Pla$tik (via Nat King), is super catchy and has a real nutty music video.
“Techies, take the Mission! Techies, gentrify me! Gentrify me, gentrify me, gentrify my love,” Persia and her compatriots chant as they dance against a series of images lifted from–where else?–Google StreetView.
Sex in the Valley
Googlers might follow the company’s mantra of “Do No Evil,” but that good will doesn’t always extend to its neighbors. Nearly 40 people attended an “anti-gentrification block party” in–where else!–San Francisco on Sunday to protest the plush shuttles from various tech companies, like Goog, that stop by the neighborhood to pick up brogrammers and bring them to the Valley. The neighbors allege that the buses are causing rents to skyrocket and the people who use them are dicks.
XX in Tech
Naturally, it’s the moment that everyone decamps for SXSW that scandal breaks. Fortune reports that the San Francisco venture firm CMEA Capital and former chief operating partner John Haag have been slapped with allegations of sexual harassment, racial harassment and retaliation by a trio of executive assistants.
Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins came as a shock largely because the prestigious firm has long had a good-guy reputation. This lawsuit, on the other hand, is jaw-dropping for its volume of allegations that are just disgusting. It reads like House of Cards meets Van Wilder. If even a handful of these claims are true, it’s enough to obliterate all our Lean In-inspired optimism.
Space the Final Frontier
The amount of furor that can erupt from a single technical conference never ceases to amaze. The latest installment: Sex educator and CNET columnist Violet Blue was supposed to give a talk earlier this week at the security conference B-Sides San Francisco. But it was cancelled at the last minute, after objections from the Ada Initiative, an organization dedicated to supporting women in tech.
That’s all anyone can agree on, besides the fact that everyone is very, very mad.
Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley: The local CBS affiliate reports that a San Francisco man has captured video of mysterious lights zipping about the night sky. Well, The X Files did warn us that our alien colonizers would arrive on December 22, 2012. Maybe fans should have listened instead of spending our time wondering when Mulder and Scully would finally make out.
Quick question: What would Microsoft have to offer to get you interested in Windows 8? Would free Wifi perhaps do the trick?
Starting now until the end of the year–i.e., all the way through the holiday shopping season–Microsoft will be sponsoring free Wifi access at several locations around town, via Boingo Wireless. (San Francisco is getting the same treatment.) The program is already up and running in each of Manhattan’s six wired subway stations, and it’ll be extended to more than 200 unspecified hotspots across the island starting November 1.