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Category Archives: Print

East Palo Alto: Life on the other side of Silicon Valley’s tracks

Published August 31, 2015 on CNET News
Wedged between techie territories like Palo Alto and Menlo Park, this once down-and-out California town is trying to turn itself around while still keeping its identity.

What is Uber doing to train its drivers on disability rights?

Published August 3, 2015 on CNET News
With looming lawsuits and the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, disabled people ask whether Uber can do more to ensure they’re not refused rides from drivers.

Surplus food for the homeless is just an app away

Published June 21, 2015 on CNET News
On-demand smartphone apps are known for addressing the whims and desires of the comfortable. It turns out they can also serve the greater good.

Meet Da Poke Shack, one of the finest restaurants in the US — according to Yelp

Published May 3, 2015 on CNET News
The power of the Internet makes a takeout joint in Kona, Hawaii, one of the highest-reviewed US restaurants on Yelp.

Can one woman change the way Uber operates?

Published April 25, 2015 on CNET News
After allegedly being raped by her Uber driver in Delhi, an Indian woman sues the US-based ride-hailing service on its home turf. She’s asking Uber to “overhaul” its safety measures around the world.

Do private high-tech commuter buses jibe with public transportation?

Published April 12, 2015 on CNET News
Jitney-like shuttle startups, such as Leap and Chariot, have been criticized as being elite services that compete with mass transit, but urban planners don’t quite see it that way.

Drones’ newest mission? Disaster relief

Published March 19, 2015 on CNET News
First it was video, then it was packages. Now a new trend is emerging with drone use: humanitarian relief.

How Carl Bass is crafting Autodesk’s push for makers like you

Published February 26, 2015 on CNET News
The software company known for projects as far afield as One World Trade Center and Grand Theft Auto is bringing its tools to DIY-ers tinkering fixes to everyday problems.

Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins trial kicks off with mudslinging

Published February 24, 2015 on CNET News
In the high-stakes Silicon Valley case of he-said, she-said, lawyers for both sides argue over whether an atmosphere of gender discrimination persisted at Kleiner Perkins.

To tip or not to tip drivers, that is Uber’s question

Published February 16, 2015 on CNET News
People do it with taxis, people do it with Lyft. Now, drivers for the ride-hailing service are petitioning Uber to allow for cashless tipping by including an in-app gratuity feature.

Who’s really taking you for an Uber ride?

Published December 22, 2014 on CNET News
After an Uber driver allegedly rapes a woman in Boston, the ride-sharing service’s background checks come under scrutiny.

Electric superbike rolls out to everyday street drivers

Published November 12, 2014 on CNET News
Lightning Motorcycles’ electric bike — the first to win the Pikes Peak challenge — isn’t only for the racetrack.

Can these gun sensors keep cops safer?

Published November 8, 2014 on CNET News
Technology from startup Yardarm can tell 911 emergency responders if a police officer’s gun has been fired. But Yardarm doesn’t call it a “smart gun” — that would court controversy.

How risky is your Uber ride? Maybe more than you think

Published October 8, 2014 on CNET News
When you agree to Uber’s terms and conditions, you basically sign your life away, consumer advocates say. So then, what happens when a driver hits you on the head with a hammer, as one passenger claims?

Should Uber and Lyft keep passenger ratings secret?

Published September 25, 2014 on CNET News
Beware passengers: don’t vomit, drink beer or annoy your drivers. Drivers are rating you — and no, in most cases, you can’t see what that score is.

The ‘sharing’ economy’s hidden toll on San Francisco

Published August 20, 2014 on CNET News
Under the guise of “sharing,” companies like Airbnb and Uber are cashing in. While they’re providing services beloved by many, their impact is also causing reverberations on the ground.

IBM’s Watson and Bon Appetit team up to create cutting-edge cuisine

Published June 30, 2014 on CNET News
The famous supercomputer and the culinary magazine join forces to develop a cooking app that spews out new and innovative recipes. Fennel-spiced baby back pork ribs, anyone?

Behold JuggaloCoin, a Bitcoin-like currency just for Juggalos

Published April 9, 2014 on CNET News
Insane Clown Posse fans take heed: now there’s a new way to buy black-and-white face makeup, Faygo, and HatchetGear.

Dolby to put Atmos surround sound on tablets, smartphones

Published March 21, 2014 on CNET News
The immersive audio that makes movie-goers feel like they’re inside the film, rather than just watching it, is coming to mobile.

How Israel and Hamas weaponized social media

Published January 13, 2014 on CNET News
More militaries and armed groups are using social media as a weapon of war — but when ground skirmishes are mirrored by cyber-social battles, managing the message can get messy.

Pets.com gives a blast from the dot bomb past

Published November 7, 2013 on CNET News
As Twitter debuts on the New York Stock Exchange, Pets.com and its sock puppet mascot remember the anniversary of one of the biggest busts of the dot-com bubble.

Get Fired Up About Adam Silverman’s New Pottery Book

Published September 26, 2013 on California Home + Design
Scanning a table crowded with 50 of his colorful ceramic pots in all different shapes and sizes, Adam Silverman spotted something he didn’t like. He snatched up a blue crackle-glazed pot and rubbed at a tiny bubble on the surface.

Now you’re a sharpshooter: The smart rifle arrives

Published September 25, 2013 on CNET News
Hit a target at 1,000 yards? No problem. Tracking Point’s computer-enabled rifles let novices shoot moving targets at extreme distances with near 100 percent accuracy. The new era of firearms is upon us.

Inside the Studio with Famed Furniture Maker Jared Rusten

Published February 18, 2013 on 7×7
After rooting around a box in the back of his workshop, Jared Rusten pulls out an ordinary-looking block of honey-colored wood. He carefully shaves off a few curly strips and says, “smell that.”

Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend was born and died on social media

Published January 16, 2013 on CNET News
The hoax about the death of the famous football player’s girlfriend was wholly constructed on the Internet, but it was those same online tools that left a trail that also revealed the truth.

San Francisco’s Sunset District Experiences an Architectural Renaissance

Published December 10, 2012 on California Home + Design
When most people think of San Francisco architecture they imagine ornate wood Victorians standing several stories high, not the cottage-like cookie-cutter homes that blanket the city’s western neighborhoods. However, it’s looking like that could change.

World’s Largest Light Sculpture to be Installed on the Bay Bridge

Published September 24, 2012 on 7×7
People in San Francisco will start to see a flicker of lights along the suspension cables of the Bay Bridge next month, and by March the entire western span will be illuminated with tens of thousands of lights. Internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal is installing the world’s largest light sculpture in honor of the 75th anniversary of the bridge.

Cult Artist Barry McGee at BAM/PFA

Published August 29, 2012 on California Home + Design
Barry McGee has several aliases. Some know him as Twist, others as Ray Fong (he goes by Lydia Fong too). Then there’s Raymond Virgil and Bernon Vernon. All of these figures combined create McGee—the illusive, legendary, cult artist.

How NASA tests an against-all-odds Mars rover landing

Published August 3, 2012 on CNET News
The space agency has dubbed Curiosity’s imminent landing “seven minutes of terror.” And that’s even after months of excruciating, exacting preparation.

Twitter’s New Digs, but will they ever leave the office?

Published August 2012 in San Francisco Magazine
A stroll through the new Mid–Market District reveals pretty much what a stroll through the old one did: grassy vacant lots, empty storefronts covered in paper and cardboard, and street people begging for change or digging through trash cans. But you’ll also hear the incessant din of jackhammers drumming and metal clanking, palpable signs of the massive reinvestment that’s sweeping this neighborhood.

La Cayetana, Memorias bajo el Volcan

Published July 3, 2012 in the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen magazine
En una tarde acalorada de noviembre en 1974, Dolores Alfaro y su esposo descendieron del volcán Chichontepec de El Salvador. Habían estado cosechando granos de café en una de las plantaciones que salpican las escarpadas laderas y volvían a casa con canastas de mimbre. Caminando por el bosque, Alfaro vio media docena de camiones verde olivo, repletos de soldados, que bordeaban la cúspide de un cerro y entraban lentamente en el pueblo.

NASA details looming Mars rover landing as ‘7 Minutes of Terror’

Published June 26, 2012 on CBS News.com
Curiosity, the Mars rover, is set to land on the Red Planet in August — but to get there, it must first pass a harrowing descent.

What Made One Goh, the Oikos University Shooter, Snap?

Published April 4, 2012 on The Daily Beast
One Goh, stormed an Oakland school in search of an official as his target. Instead, he executed seven students against a wall.

Encyclopaedia Britannica drops print and goes digital only

Published March 13, 2012 on CNET News
After 244 years of printing volumes of books, the venerable encyclopedia publisher shifts toward computer-only access.

Occupy Oakland, Police Bruality, and a Change in Tactics

Published February 28, 2012 on Guernica
About 100 occupiers gathered for a rally in front of Oakland City Hall a couple of weeks ago. Bowls of rice and beans were doled out, TV news vans lined the street and a helicopter buzzed overhead. A few people toted cardboard signs with slogans like “End Police Violence” and “#OO.” This rally’s goal was to support those arrested in Occupy Oakland police sweeps.

Black hole clocks fastest wind ever recorded by NASA

Published February 22, 2012 on CNET News
Born from the collapse of a massive star, a recently detected stellar-mass black hole is breaking high-speed records.

U Win Htein: The Return of Burma’s National League for Democracy

Published November 30, 2011 on Guernica
Aung San Suu Kyi’s senior staffer U Win Htein on how and why the Burmese government is now reforming, the grounds for that change, and the National League for Democracy’s role in the transformation.

Shall We Shop at Safeway or Safeway?

Published August 24, 2011 in the East Bay Express
The supermarket chain’s own data shows that its plans to greatly expand its two Rockridge stores depend largely on the same customers.

IS THERE A MONSTER IN LAKE MERRITT? SCIENTIST SAYS YES!

Published June 22, 2011 on Oakland North
Few know what lurks the depths of the murky, brackish, crustacean-filled Lake Merritt. Few know what beastly beast, what cryptid, what leviathan, what man-eating monster could be swimming below, slithering through those fetid waters. Few know… but many have seen.

Oakland Muralist Dan Fontes Paints Massive Giraffes, 20-Foot Sea Turtles

Published June 8, 2011 on The Bay Citizen
Nearly 30 years ago, Dan Fontes was under a highway painting on a massive round concrete support beam. With cars speeding by, he diligently worked on his piece of art: a realistic depiction of a 30-foot tall giraffe craning its neck up toward the freeway. As Fontes painted, a police car pulled up.

Under the Volcano

Published May 2011 on Guernica
Elected in 2009, leftist Mauricio Funes became the first Salvadoran president to apologize for government death squads. Dara Kerr investigates the massacre and subsequent cover-up, the U.S. role in the killings, and the backdrop for an unprecedented apology.

Despite criticism, Harold Camping remains adamant the world is ending

Published May 25, 2011 on Oakland North
On Saturday, May 21, a colossal global earthquake—the likes of which no one has ever felt before—was supposed to tear across the Earth. Saturday was to be the first day of the Rapture or Judgment Day, according to predictions by Harold Camping. But May 21 came and went.

Nieves Cinco de Mayo serves up corn, cactus and rose petal ice cream

Published May 18, 2011 on Oakland North
Tucked away inside a little market in Fruitvale Village is a small counter-service-only ice cream shop called Nieves Cinco de Mayo. A big chalkboard displays which ice cream flavors are on the menu for the day: corn, spearmint, lemon cream, eggnog, rose petal, cheese and more.

Tombstone engravers carve memories into stone

Published May 12, 2011 on Oakland North
On a hot spring afternoon, Javier Delgado Jimenez kneels on the grass at Mountain View Cemetery. He is poised over a flat gravestone and wearing a gas mask, knee guards, long work gloves and a white hood with a clear plastic visor. Jimenez is an engraver and he is sandblasting a new name into an older family gravestone.

Is Oakland ready for its next big earthquake?

Published May 3, 2011 on Oakland North
Oakland is overdue for a major earthquake. The Hayward Fault, which runs along Highway 13 at the foot of the Oakland hills and streams through the Oakland Zoo and Mills College, has produced a significant earthquake on average every 140 years for nearly the past millennium. The last substantial earthquake caused by this fault was in 1868 … that was 143 years ago.

Ghosts of El Salvador

Published May 2011 in Brink
Salvadorans have determined to acknowledge and investigate the atrocities of their country’s civil war. Our reporter shines a light on a buried war crime that should change the way the current generation understands its history.

If California no longer has a drought, what does that mean?

Published April 19, 2011 on Oakland North
Water supply has always been a tough issue in California and residents have long been warned to conserve. But now, if you go to the California Department of Water Resources’ drought Web page, you’ll only find this message: “The DWR Drought Web site has been shutdown due to no longer being in an official drought.”

Still no court decision on the Fruitvale gang injunction

Published February 24, 2011 on Oakland North
During the Fruitvale gang injunction hearing, prosecutors painted alleged gang member Abel Manzo as an abusive criminal, while defense attorneys portrayed him as young man trying to make a better life for himself.

Brewing beer with Oakland’s Linden Street Brewery

Published February 18, 2011 on Oakland North
Perched above a steaming stainless steel cauldron, Adam Lamoreaux rhythmically stirs the contents with a large metal oar. Inside, a thick amber-colored concoction of cracked grains and hot water simmers. Lamoreaux is mashing grain to make his Urban People’s Common Lager.

Fed Up with Official Foot-Dragging, Bordertown’s Skaters Ride Again

Published December 24, 2010 on The Bay Citizen
Behind a 12-foot-high chain-link fence topped with barbed wire on a dead-end street underneath one of Oakland’s major freeways there is a concrete skate park called Bordertown. This site is now at the center of a controversy between between the City of Oakland, Caltrans and the skaters who built the park.

Finding Feathered Friends in Oakland

Published December 21, 2010 on The Bay Citizen
Early Sunday morning in the drizzling rain, a small group of people is standing on the shore of Lake Merritt peering out onto the lake through binoculars. They are birdwatchers participating in the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count— the group’s annual tally of how many different species of bird are living in the United States.

Admit it… you need a sandwich

Published November 26, 2010 on Oakland North
As people line up in front of a giant wood-paneled truck on a nondescript corner in Emeryville, a man drives by waving his fist out the window, screaming, “I want my Ebbett’s.” The people standing on the sidewalk turn and look quizzically at each other, then begin to laugh and nod in agreement—they want their Ebbett’s too.

How Oakland Became Ground Zero in Marijuana Legalization

Published November 15, 2010 on The Bay Citizen
On Broadway, in downtown Oakland, a small coffee shop called the Bulldog has a couple of round tables out on the sidewalk where people sit, read the paper and drink coffee, shaded by big blue umbrellas. To the unsuspecting eye, it looks like a regular business you’d find in any downtown city.

Meet the ‘Digester’ — It Turns Your Food Scraps into Energy

Published November 10, 2010 on The Bay Citizen
Five days a week, a long chrome truck pulls up to the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s wastewater treatment plant. It lifts its hydraulic-powered trailer bed and proceeds to dump 40,000 pounds of what looks like thick sewage into a giant underground mixer.

The same-sex marriage seesaw

Published August 19, 2010 on Oakland North Teresa Rowe and Kristin Orbin have waited in line to get married at San Francisco City Hall two times in the past two weeks and were planning on a third. When Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled to strike down Proposition 8 on August 4, saying that the […]

Down-home cuisine at Tacos Sinaloa

Published August 16, 2010 on Oakland North
Looking up into the small ordering window of Tacos Sinaloa’s bright orange and chrome taco truck, Ernesto Vilchis asks for a serving of marinated tongue, crispy tripe and cow’s cheek tacos.

Footbag players go toe to toe in the world championship

Published August 5, 2010 on Oakland North
For years, no one thought that “the nemesis” was possible—a freestyle footbag trick in which a player must kick a small leather ball, also known as a hacky sack, into the air, circle it twice with each leg then catch it on their shoe behind their back.

A Shepherd Prevents Wildfires in the Oakland Hills

Published July 29, 2010 on The Bay Citizen
Francisco Ballesteros stands on Old Tunnel Road, halfway to the crest of the Oakland hills, and looks down into a small valley where a herd of sheep and goats are grazing. “I have seven new babies,” he says, then gingerly starts making his way down a dirt path toward the animals.

An Anarchist’s View of the Mehserle Protest

Published July 19, 2010 on The Bay Citizen
Disparaged as outside troublemakers, these protestors identify as “freedom fighters.”

After dark, peaceful Mehserle verdict protest turns violent

Published July 9, 2010 on Oakland North
As the sun set behind City Hall and the City of Oakland’s official rally came to an end, a few people in black hoodies began weaving throughout the crowd, pulling bandanas up over their faces. What had been a peaceful afternoon demonstration — against the outcome of the trial regarding the shooting of Oscar Grant — was about to become a chaotic night.

Fixies, Manifests, and the Rad Massaker Alleycat

Cover story published May 12, 2010 in the East Bay Express
When, on a whim, I decided to enter last June’s Rad Massaker Alleycat bike race, I didn’t quite know what to expect – fun, intense competition, getting severely lost, being ticketed by the cops for running red lights?

Guilty Robots

Published December 13, 2009 in The New York Times Magazine
Imagine robots that obey injunctions like Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative – acting rationally and with a sense of moral duty. This July, the roboticist Ronald Arkin finished a three-year project with the U.S. Army designing prototype software for autonomous ethical robots.

Gourmet Dirt

Published December 13, 2009 in The New York Times Magazine
Laura Parker, an artist and agricultural activist based in Northern California, asked a friend late last year to raise a 320-pound pig on his farm to see if its flavor would match that of the dirt it grew up on. In May, Parker and her friends butchered, slow-cooked and ate the pig while smelling soil from the same farm.

U Can’t Touch This

Cover story published September 9, 2009 in the East Bay Express
Coach Alonzo Carter tasted fame as a dancer for MC Hammer. But his career was short-lived, like those of many athletes. That’s why he expects his players to succeed in the classroom.

Ari Marcopoulos Photo Exhibit

Published November 11, 2009 on ESPN Action Sports
Remember those old black and white photos of The Brooklyn Banks back when The Banks were grimy, dark and covered in graffiti?

San Francisco High School Relishes Last Spin as Skateboarding Mecca

Published June 1, 2009 in SF Weekly.com
At first glance, San Francisco’s Raoul Wallenberg High looks to be just another city school with peeling paint, tall fences, and randomly tagged walls. And yet, this is one of the most hallowed and revered sites in the world of skateboarding.

Proton Cancer Therapy Accelerates

Published August 20, 2009 on CBS News.com
For bone cancer patient Nicole McLaughlin to get proton-beam radiation therapy–a treatment to which she owes her life–it took traveling across the country to what then, in 1999, was the only facility providing such technology.

No golden parachute for stores on Piedmont Avenue

Published February 9, 2009 on Oakland North
Loren Partridge has until February 28th to vacate Cunningham Partridge Gallery and Framing, the Piedmont Avenue business she ran for seven years. “I’ve seen it coming for months,” said Partridge last Saturday afternoon. “Then January came, and boom.”