Sarah's Feed
Jun 2, 2014

Next up at the ballot box: Undreaming California

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Creating the state of California took a revolt that led to the short-lived Bear Republic, a war with Mexico, and various international treaties. Now, some northern natives hope to take it apart, starting with a couple of ballot initiatives.

Tuesday, voters in Del Norte and Tehama Counties will consider a measure calling for separation from California and the formation of a new state. Supporters are hoping to generate momentum for pulling together portions of northern California and southern Oregon into an entity to be called Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson once imagined that part of western North America might develop into a freestanding republic.

May 22, 2014

VCs eye big cloud software returns despite dwindling valuations

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22 (Reuters) – A cloud software boom has
nudged startups into unlikely realms such as dairy farms, yoga
studios and back-of-the-building loading docks, leading venture
capitalists to hope for stratospheric returns.

Venture capitalists poured more than $11 billion into
software last year, more than into any other sector and about
double the amount in 2010, according to the National Venture
Capital Association. The number of deals in which venture firms
have backed software startups has risen by about half in the
same time, to 1,570 last year.

May 16, 2014

Protesters target tech executives over San Francisco evictions

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A tenants’ rights advocacy group released on Thursday what it called a “Dirty Dozen” list of landlords from the technology sector that it said had evicted San Francisco tenants.

The list, released by a group known as the Anti Eviction Mapping Project, reflects frustrations over rising rents and cost of living that activists say are driven by the technology industry.

May 15, 2014

Nextdoor CEO Tolia faces lawsuits over hit-and-run accident

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia, whose social networking website espouses neighborhood safety and community, is facing civil and criminal charges for leaving the scene of a highway accident that a driver says he caused.

San Mateo County initiated filing criminal charges against Tolia on Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Karen Guidotti said on Thursday.

May 13, 2014

Venture capitalist Khosla in court over ending California beach access

SAN MATEO, California (Reuters) – Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and now a prominent venture capitalist, on Monday testified about his decision to close off a popular beach, in a court case that calls into question a California tradition of open access to the state’s famed beaches.

The lawsuit makes Khosla the latest in a line of Californian billionaires to clash with locals over their properties. Their dispute stems from Khosla’s closure of an access road to a northern California property known as Martin’s Beach, which is about 30 miles west of San Jose.

May 8, 2014

Venture firm Atomico sues ex-employee, consultant for double-dipping

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Atomico Partners, a London-based venture firm founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, is suing a former employee and consultant for secretly diverting potential Atomico investments to a venture firm that the two were building.

The employee, Pogos Saiadian, and the consultant, Wouter Gort, reached out to startups and potential investments using their Atomico credentials, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in state court in Delaware.

Apr 24, 2014

NASA tries space kits to engage kids in science and space

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Making mini satellite dishes that collect signals or building remote-controlled mini Rovers such as the kind NASA has used on Mars are the types of activities that could interest kids in science, but their complexity can derail all but the most enthusiastic hobbyist.

Now, NASA, the U.S. space agency, hopes it has found a workaround through new space kits and a collaboration with a New York-based startup called LittleBits.

Apr 11, 2014

Individuals targeted as San Francisco tech money protests intensify

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Demonstrations against the grip on San Francisco held by wealthy technology workers took a personal turn on Friday with protesters taking aim at a Google lawyer they say personifies the tensions being stirred by abundant tech money.

Jack Halprin, a landlord in the city’s gentrifying Mission district, became the focus of the latest blockade of a tech company commuter bus, with protesters demanding Google ask Halprin to rescind eviction notices he has sent his tenants.

Apr 9, 2014

Tiger Global helps Q&A site Quora raise $80 million

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Question-and-answer service Quora has raised $80 million in funding led by financier Tiger Global, the latest in a group of no-revenue startups to land outsized checks from investors.

The company, founded in 2009 by Facebook alumni, said the cash would support three areas: ensuring Quora lasts on the Internet; that it retains its independence and avoids getting acquired; and that it expands into languages beyond English.

Apr 7, 2014

Ride service Uber dials into courier business

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – App-based ride company Uber will start delivering on its promise of expanding its business into logistics on Tuesday when it launches a trial courier service, Uber Rush, in Manhattan.

“Better, faster, cheaper,” is how Uber’s general manager in New York, Josh Mohrer, described the service in a tweet to Reuters. Customers will be able to watch the progress of their packages in its transportation application, much as they can track the progress of the cars they order up on the service.