Verizon installing 400 small cells to improve San Francisco LTE coverage
Verizon subscribers in San Francisco will be seeing improvements in 4G service in some areas before the end of the year, thanks to a new project to install small cells. Typically used in high-demand locations and previously used in New York and Chicago, GigaOM reports that 400 LTE-equipped transmitters will be added to utility and light poles in the SOMA, Financial District, Market Street, and North Beach neighborhoods as part of the project, with the miniature masts said to cover a radius of 250 to 500 feet each, smaller than macro cells usually used.
Apple CEO expected to reiterate previous statements on product pipeline
Apple CEO Tim Cook will again be a speaker at this afternoon's Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, taking place in San Francisco. Cook will be among numerous tech company speakers, including executives from Seagate, NetApp, SanDisk, AMD, ZenDesk, and Jive Software, among others. Cook will address the conference at 12:30PM PT (3:30PM ET) today, and the audio stream is being carried live by Apple on its investor web page.
More legal trouble for Uber while Lyft settles with District Attorneys
Uber is being sued by the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, for unlawful business practices. The District Attorneys of both cities claim the cab company is misrepresenting how effective its driver background checks are to its users, as well as including fare calculations and other fees that have not been approved by the state itself.
Starbucks adds Powermat wireless charging to 200 San Francisco stores
Starbucks is expanding its wireless charging efforts, by adding more Duracell Powermat charges to 200 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, ahead of plans to offer it across the United States and possibly in Europe and Asia by next year. For customers without a compatible wireless charging device, Duracell Powermat "Rings" will be available to borrow and return for each visit, or can be bought for $10 each.
Legislative proposals help, hinder home rental services in San Francisco
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors have voted to legalize residential room rental services. The vote on the "AirBnB law" passed by seven votes to four, establishes a legal framework to short term rental services, and while it is considered a positive act for participants in such schemes, the motion also introduces a number of new restrictions to abide by.
Lyft, Sidecar and Uber receive letters accusing them being misleading, breaking California laws
District attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles drafted a letter to the three large ride-sharing operations, asking them to make changes to the way they do business, or face legal action. The letters state that the companies make misleading statements regarding the background checks into drivers, on top of the shared-ride fees running afoul of California law.
Protest accommodated until doors to store blocked
A group of corporate and retail security guards for Apple stores staged a peaceful protest of what they consider to be low pay relative to other employees at the company's flagship San Francisco store on Thursday. The issue the guards were drawing attention to is not one specific to Apple, but endemic among tech firms in Silicon Valley -- who collectively tend to pay cleaning, support, maintenance and security staff lower wages on average than regular employees.
Parking auction app suspends service before lawsuit threat deadline
MonkeyParking has temporarily halted its service in San Francisco, just one day before a deadline set by the City Attorney. The parking app, which allows drivers to sell their spot to others, was sent a cease-and-desist by the city late last month, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera threatening a lawsuit if it did not cease operations before July 11th.
Public parking spot resale service claims legitimacy, will continue to operate
Startup public parking spot sale app Monkey Parking has vowed to fight the cease-and-desist served onto it earlier this week. The company is claiming that the order is a misinterpretation and invalid use of San Francisco police code, and believes that the model of selling a parking spot that a driver is about to depart is protected by free speech rights.
Public parking space resale apps come under fire from San Francisco City Attorney
San Francisco is taking a stance against apps that provide paid street parking services. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has sent a cease-and-desist notice to MonkeyParking, an app which allows drivers to sell their parking space to other motorists, which Herrera believes is an illegal practice that could land participants in parking auctions a fine of $300, and the company itself a fine of $2,500 per violation.
New Flagship store in San Francisco gains final approval
All obstacles have been cleared, and the long-planned Union Square flagship Apple Store has finally received final clearance from the San Francisco City Council to demolish the current standing building and begin renovations and construction on the new store. The new building will be a two-story structure with an all-glass frontage facing Union Square, utilizing a cantilevered design that features a patio and waterfall behind the store.
Barge will move despite lack of agreement with Stockton
Google is moving its mysterious barge construction to Stockton, California, according to a report. The move, which will allow Google to set itself free from its current San Francisco permit issues, is apparently news to the new location, with the Port of Stockton Director claiming not to have received any plans from Google or any holding company for the barge transportation.
Store to become 'even more iconic' than New York Fifth Avenue showcase
Following a hearing on Thursday, San Francisco's Planning Commission has issued a preliminary approval "with conditions" of the final plans for Apple's new Union Square Apple Store. The design, which has undergone a number of revisions and tweaks to accommodate city concerns, now embraces a historic folk art fountain it once planned to shunt aside, and creates a seating area and plaza along its back wall, as well as a front facade featuring giant glass doors.
Changes include new shape, height reduction and full-height bay windows
A revised filing scheduled for hearing with the San Francisco Planning Department on February 5 reveals changes to the proposed storefront and construction details on the new Union Square Apple store location in the Bay Area city. The 258-page filing for the 300 Post Street store outlines the 23,470 square foot store and outer areas where a Levi's store now exists.
Protesters see shuttles as symbol of ecomonic inequalities
In a move that may spark more protests, the transit authority for San Francisco has voted to accept a pilot program set up by tech companies that is intended to encourage mass transit by providing free shuttle busses that take workers from the city out to the Silicon Valley area. Google, Apple and other tech companies will pay fees of $1 per stop, totaling some $1.5 million in annual income. Protesters have said the program is aggravating spiraling cost-of-living increases that are driving out non-tech workers from city neighborhoods.
Same-day fresh produce delivery from Amazon costs $299 per year
Amazon has expanded its five-year-old grocery delivery service to San Francisco. Previously only available in Seattle and Los Angeles, AmazonFresh provides groceries and other fresh produce to customers with either same or next-day delivery, as the online retailer continues to expand its range of services and delivery options.
Apple logo taken off glass front, new plaza planned, other changes made
A new Apple Store planned for the Union Square area of San Francisco has been in the planning stages for some time, but a new revision to the company's plans that specifically addresses some prior concerns may finally win approval. The iPhone maker submitted new renderings and a new 3D architectural model redesigning a planned plaza with a new water feature, preserving but moving (slightly) an existing fountain, and breaking up an originally monolithic steel wall along Stockton Street.
Sails on Google barge to cost $350,000 alone
The mysterious barge construction in San Francisco could have cost Google $35 million to undertake, according to a new report. The project, dubbed Hanger 3 after the Treasure Island hanger it is being worked on, will apparently be one of three floating buildings, with a similar structure set to be moored in areas of Los Angeles and New York City, as well as in San Francisco itself.
eBay Now's same-day delivery service free until Christmas Eve
Auction site eBay announced today that its local shopping and delivery service, eBay Now, is offering free delivery from now until Christmas Eve on orders more than $25. The eBay Now service is available for customers in San Francisco and the Bay Area, San Jose, parts of New York City and Chicago for delivery of local products within an hour of ordering online.
Carrier investing $500M to help fix LTE bandwidth issues
Verizon is having issues providing LTE service to customers in large metropolitan areas, claims Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo. The carrier is finding that it is struggling to provide sufficient bandwidth to cover subscriber demand for the high-speed connection in areas such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, and that the quality of the service is suffering as a result.
Sail-based design will move each month to new mooring point
Details of the final design of the mysterious Google barge in San Francisco suggests that it will be an "unprecedented artistic structure," featuring a dozen large sails. A report claims that the structure, measuring 250 feet long and 50 feet in height, will have sails "reminiscent of fish fins" as part of the shipping container-based construction, to "remind visitors that they are on a seaworthy vessel."
Non-profit asking for donations to continue scanning efforts
A fire at a building owned by the Internet Archive, the non-profit behind the Wayback Machine, has caused an estimated $600,000 of damage. The organization's scanning center in San Francisco caught fire at 3:30am, and while no-one was hurt nor any data lost by the incident, the building and equipment used for scanning and digitization were all damaged.
Buildings on Google barges to be used to educate about new technology
Google has finally revealed a small amount of information relating to the construction on its mysterious barges, after considerable speculation. A spokesperson for the company advised that the barges, which have been spotted in San Francisco, Portland, and Maine, are being billed as an "interactive space where people can learn about new technology."
Building reportedly constructed of shipping containers
Google's barge in San Francisco Bay reportedly will be limited to exclusive "invitation only" retail space, without including the rumored data center, unnamed sources have confirmed to CBS. Visitors are said to be treated to luxury showrooms on three lower levels, while the top layer will serve as a dedicated "party deck" with bars and lounge areas.
Large floating construction hit by permitting issues
A large structure is being built on a barge in San Francisco Bay by Google, according to a number of reports. The barge, located at a former Navy base in the area, is thought to be either a large floating data center, or as an alternative and highly speculative option, a structure devoted to marketing Google Glass and other Google products.
Leaders of summit waiting to see functionality of new feature
Apple's new "activation lock" feature has not escaped notice by the attorneys general of New York City and San Francisco. The pair, scheduled to meet later this week in New York City with Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft to discuss rampant smartphone theft in the two cities have issued a statement, taking a guardedly optimistic stance toward the new feature.
New store will feature more staff, feature latest design
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Apple will be eventually closing its One Stockton Street store -- which has been a flagship venue among the San Francisco stores -- and moving it about three blocks away, adjacent to Union Square. The new store will feature an updated design with a more glass-centric design, somewhat reminiscent of the Upper West Side store in New York City. It will also be about 45 percent larger than the current location and increase its staff from 350 to 400.
Likely storage locker service to work with Google Shopping Express
Google-owned storage locker startup BufferBox is expanding its reach to San Francisco. The expansion from Canada to San Francisco comes at the same time as the search giant commences testing of a same-day delivery service, suggesting that BufferBox and Google Shopping Express may either work together or, after a successful trial, be combined into one service.
Testers to get free deliveries from local stores for online orders
Google has opened up testing for a same-day delivery service in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a view to opening up the project to other areas in the future. The previously rumored service, Google Shopping Express, is offering testers a six-month period of deliveries from retailers in the area at no charge, with all shopping taking place in a single online store.
Areas being enabled without official announcements from Sprint
Sprint is enabling its 4G LTE network in areas, without officially announcing a market as "live." Areas including New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco are finding some locations are getting 4G LTE service, though not a blanket coverage of entire areas as usually associated with normal network rollouts.
Dispels rumors that he could be leaving US, Apple
Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior VP of industrial design and the man responsible for most of the iconic looks of the products that have come from the company for the last 20 years, has bought a new home in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood known as San Francisco's "Gold Coast." Though listed for $25 million, Ive is said to have bought the 1927 estate, which features six bedrooms in a 7,274 square foot, five-level brick home with a slate roof for $17 million. Ive, who has a wife and twin sons, has lived in the San Francisco area for 20 years during his time at Apple.
September offering open to all, thousands of hotspots provided
Throughout the month of September, the Wall Street Journal is offering free Wi-Fi across more than 1,300 hotspots in New York and another 1,000 in San Francisco. The New York hotspots blanket the entirety of high-traffic neighborhoods like Times Square, West Village, and Washington Square Park. Popular locations such as Nob Hill and Fisherman's Wharf will be covered in San Francisco.
Partners with retail businesses for San Francisco orders
Auction site eBay is experimenting with same-day delivery through its new mobile app. The eBay Now beta app for iOS now lists the same-day delivery option for $5, though the service is limited to San Francisco and orders in excess of $25. E-mail invitations have been sent out, and beta users will gain both a $15 discount on their first purchase and free delivery on the first three orders.
ZTE FTV in a Fashion TV tie-up shows up
Chinese handset maker ZTE has teamed up with Fashion TV on its first fashion-oriented smartphone, the FTV. It has the same technical specs as the original San Francisco available at Orange, GSMArena found. Unique to the phone are the FTV paint and logos along with exclusive FTV apps, wallpapers, widgets and other content.
Orange UK ships San Francisco II later this month
UK wireless provider Orange has revealed plans to launch the San Francisco II, a successor to its previous budget Android smartphone. It replaces last year's San Francisco and will be available on pay-as-you-go or monthly plans. It moves to an 800MHz processor along with 512MB of RAM, a five-megapixel camera, and Android 2.3.
San Francisco BART responds to July 3 incident
The San Francisco BART is rethinking its cellphone cutoff policy. A new proposed policy (PDF) is being presented to the BART Board of Directors in the wake of its controversial decision to block cellphone transmission to disrupt protests over the shooting death of Charles Hill on July 3. That legality of that decision was even called into question by the FCC who suspected that BARTís actions may have violated First Amendment rights.
Trade group challenges radiation warnings
The CTIA is reportedly considering a fresh legal battle with the city of San Francisco over cellphone radiation warnings. The trade group has told CNET it is still not satisfied with the toned-down regulations, which require retailers to post materials addressing the risks of radiation from cellphones and recommending ways to minimize personal exposure.
Packaging to include general warnings
The City of San Francisco has reportedly enacted a new law that will require radiation warnings for cellphones. Unlike an earlier law, which would have required device packaging to include radiation absorption levels, the new terms simply require retailers to post general information regarding the risks of radiation and ways to minimize bodily exposure.
Salespeople targeted in major cities
Following reports of a new Manhattan office for Apple's iAd sales team, the company's job postings have ballooned with a variety of additional positions in other cities. As noted by Business Insider, salespeople are sought in Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and London.
Area was on the list of original sites in 2000
Apple is in negotiations to open a new store in Berkeley, across the bay from the existing three San Francisco Apple Stores, ifoAppleStore reports. The space, a former furniture store at 1823 Fourth Street in the college town, is in an area that was on Apple's original list in 2000 of sites for the first set of Apple retail stores.
Orange shows first own, cheap Android smartphone
UK wireless provider Orange has revealed the first in a new range of affordable Android-powered devices with the San Francisco. It will cost the equivalent of $154 on pay-as-you-go plans and sports a 3.5-inch, 480x800 touchscreen and a 600MHz CPU. When it ships, it will use Android 2.1 and have an integrated FM radio and GPS sensor.
San Fran's BART gets Wi-Fi
San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service should soon see the addition of permanent mobile Wi-Fi access, according to the technology's provider. WiFi Rail says it has a signed a 20-year deal to provide hotspots throughout BART's terminal network, and particularly on all commuter trains, where the only alternative has so far been cellular access. Routers and switches are being provided by Cisco, while servers are slated to run Mac OS X.
Third lineup begins in SF
Following the line-ups at Fifth Avenue Store in New York City and Softbank flagship store in Tokyo, Japan, new lines have begun forming in front of Apple's San Francisco flagship store and in Palo Alto. A little less than 36 hours before the device was set to go on sale, the first person lined up in front of Apple's Stockton Street retail store in downtown San Francisco. "Dale,", a mobile telecom consultant, took the first spot in line in front of the flagship at about 10:30 pm PT; he epxects to wait in line for about 36 hours. The consultant said he had been third in line almost year ago for the first iPhone and wanted to be 'first in line' for the new iPhone 3G.