Tech

Hey, you! "Tech people" are not the douchebags you think we are

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I hear a lot of talk, especially from my own queer community, about how “tech people” are ruining San Francisco. From skyrocketing rent prices and disappearing diversity to economic and cultural ruination, the tech community has become the scapegoat for a lot of the problems we are facing in the city as a whole. As a tech worker, I'm writing this to say: wake up and direct your anger at the real sources of these problems.

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. The vast majority of “tech people” in San Francisco don’t make nearly as much money as you think they do. We are not making six-figure salaries, we are not personally driving up rent costs, and we are not killing the cultural community here. Simply put, we are trying to further our careers and make the city we call home a nicer place to live. 

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Nice to know our tech friends aren't paying taxes

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Since Mayor Ed Lee has decided that tech companies are the future of San Francisco, it's nice to note that these outfits are often no better than the cheating robber barons of old -- or the modern Leona Helmsleys. The Campaign for America's Future notes that Apple dodged a $9.2 billion tax bill that would have been enough to cover most of the sequester cuts this spring. Read more »

Walls of the Internet

From back alleys to Facebook walls: the street art-tech connection is heating up -- and changing SF's street scene

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caitlin@sfbg.com

STREET SEEN The mural was neatly rendered in aerosol, with an expert's eye for color. It read "Facebook." Surrounding text bubbles proclaimed "poke," "write on your wall," and "I'll find something to put here" to the denizens of Sixth Street.

Tech-based graffiti? If you're up on the Bay Area art scene, the juxtaposition won't come as any surprise — the companies building the Internet have emerged as major supporters of professional street art.Read more »

Wealth vs. work

The tech sector has created great wealth — and worse inequality. Is that San Francisco's future?

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steve@sfbg.com

May Day, also known as International Workers Day, began in the United States, but it's been all-but ignored by most Americans for decades. And on this May Day, 2013, in the city of San Francisco, it's a good time to note that the growing wealth and income gaps between the rich and the rest of us are reaching historic highs — a dangerous situation, many economists warn — and hardly anyone at City Hall is talking about it.Read more »

The Google-bus elitism

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I've been waiting for the Chron's culture columnist Caille Millner to finally write about something interesting, and I got it April 27 when she stumbled onto the Google Buses. Or rather, the problem with the Google buses.

Thanks to the Chron's silly paywall, you can't read her column online, and since hardly anyone in San Franciso buys the Chronicle anymore, Millner's story won't get the attention it should. So allow me to repeat some of it here:Read more »

The hype, reality, and accountability of collaborative consumption

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Collaborative consumption, aka the shareable economy – the labels given to a new generation of Internet-based companies that facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges of goods and services – certainly has some positive attributes. But does it really live up to the overhyped claims of its biggest boosters, who evangelize it as a “revolution” that forever alters the economy in only positive ways? Read more »

Lyft to take on Muni routes

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In an announcement that could transform transportation policy in San Francisco, the startup company Lyft is prepared to take over some of the most crowded and dysfunctional Muni routes in San Francisco.Read more »

Does Mayor Lee support Airbnb dodging its $1.8 million tax debt to SF?

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My story in this week's Guardian about how Airbnb appears to be refusing to pay the hotel taxes it owes to the city has gotten a lot of attention. But I'm still getting stonewalled by representatives from the company and Mayor Ed Lee, who apparently refuses to take a public stand against corporate tax evasion, even when it means thousands of San Franciscans could get stuck with an unexpected tax bill.Read more »

Those infuriating private buses

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People in the Mission continue to get more and more angry with the private tech-company buses clogging streets and filling up Muni stops; here's a great photo of two of the behemoths forcing Muni passengers to walk out into the street to catch the bus that is supposed to be at the stop.Read more »

Tidbits on tech, race and gentrification in the Bay Area

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The media and blogosphere have given us plenty to chew on lately as columnists, subversive Tweeters, and mischievous YouTube producers take to the Internet to examine issues of tech, race, class and gentrification in the Bay Area. To wit:Read more »