San Francisco Chronicle Business & Technology News - Spoken Edition

San Francisco Chronicle Business & Technology News - Spoken Edition

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The San Francisco Chronicle is the Bay Area’s premier news source, providing an authoritative voice that lends context and depth to the conflicts and changes that shape the region. Our coverage aims to make readers feel smarter about the important issues of the day. Beats are covered through the prisms of change, conflict and power, without losing sight of the quirky and eclectic stories that make the Bay Area unique. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It’s perfect for times when you can’t read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com
Scooter mechanic, once homeless, says cheap rides now help him pay rent
Dec 11 • 6 min
Lee James’ caseworker called to tell him that after receiving government assistance to help pay the rent on a studio in the Tenderloin, he was now making too much money to qualify. “Huh. Me?” James said, laughing. “Can you do that? Can you make too much…
Why the app economy won’t touch your Christmas tree
Dec 10 • 3 min
Welcome back to Tech Chronicle. If you choose to deck your inbox with gay verbiage, make it this newsletter. Used Christmas tree: There’s not an app for that In an on-demand world, can’t you just push a button and get a Christmas tree? My fellow…
Poynt cashes in, Sapho sells out and Simple Habit stays calm
Dec 7 • 3 min
A Palo Alto company that’s speeding credit card swipes and dips for restaurants and other retailers is now planning to expand to more countries with its recent funding. Poynt recently raised $100 million in a round of funding led by Elavon and National…
Tech wreck, worker shortage could slow California economy, report says
Dec 6 • 3 min
California’s economy is likely to slow next year, along with the rest of the nation’s, in part because it’s running out of workers, economists at UCLA said in their annual forecast for the state and nation, released Wednesday.
Retail in the sky: Facebook picks organic food vendor in new SF tower
Dec 5 • 3 min
Next week, grain bowls and salads will be sold to the public in a new San Francisco tower leased by Facebook — but you’ll need to take an elevator to get there. Organic food and juice company Urban Remedy is opening on Wednesday on the seventh floor of…
Get fit without getting fleeced
Dec 4 • 4 min
Health and fitness are year-round concerns, but as each New Year approaches, lots of us resolve to start exercising or to rev up our workouts. Some people think that putting skin in the game — paying for a membership at a health club — will provide…
Uber fine; hash brown distraction; quick degree; slow home price rise
Dec 3 • 3 min
Number of the day $1.2 million That’s how much Uber has been fined by British and Dutch authorities for failing to protect customers’ data during a cyberattack in 2016. Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office fined the company $491,000, and Dutch…
Emanuel Luhn, longtime owner of Jeffrey’s Toys, dies at 93
Nov 30 • 3 min
Emanuel “Manny” Luhn, who owned a chain of Bay Area stores known to generations of children for the assortment of hard-to-find toys before the business was whittled down to one location, Jeffrey’s Toys, has died. He was 93. Luhn died of heart failure Oct.…
Google pays $1 billion for offices in biggest Bay Area sale of the year
Nov 29 • 2 min
Google has purchased the former site of LinkedIn’s Mountain View headquarters for $1 billion in the largest Bay Area real estate sale in 2018. The search giant on Monday confirmed it bought the 12-building Britannia Shoreline Technology Park, totaling…
For Port of Oakland, meat is a cool growth opportunity
Nov 28 • 3 min
Trade wars may be heating up, but the Port of Oakland is seeing a cool opportunity to ship more meat. The port, a major shipping hub for agricultural products, is expecting to boost beef, pork and poultry exports with a massive refrigerated storage…
Here’s something most brokerage firms would rather you ignore
Nov 27 • 8 min
Most brokerage firms have found a subtle way to squeeze money out of their customers. The trick: switching their sweep accounts from higher-yielding money market mutual funds to lower-yielding bank accounts. Sweep accounts are the places within a…
I warned you about Sheryl Sandberg
Nov 26 • 4 min
Welcome back to Tech Chronicle. If you lean in a little, you’ll find subscribing is the right option. I warned you about Sheryl Sandberg Facebook is drawing scads of negative press. Executives are bailing. And questions are arising about the company’s…
Well, this is new: Price cuts on Bay Area homes are surging
Nov 23 • 5 min
They’re not exactly doorbuster deals, but Bay Area home sellers are cutting their asking prices at the highest rate in years. October is typically a big month for price reductions, as sellers try to close deals before the market slows way down between…
Business News Roundup
Nov 22 • 2 min
Earnings AgilentAgilent Technologies on Monday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $195 million. The Santa Clara company said that its earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 81 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street…
Best holiday gifts for home chefs
Nov 21 • 3 min
Google Home Hub Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 The good: The touchscreen is responsive and works well in combination with Google assistant, whether you ask for help on a recipe or to check what’s on your calendar. Pictures and videos look particularly…
Thieves snap up rental scooters in SF
Nov 20 • 4 min
Shared electric scooters are disappearing from city streets in high numbers as thieves target the portable vehicles. “In the first two weeks, we lost 200 vehicles to theft, which was just shocking,” said Michael Keating, CEO and founder of San Francisco’s…
If you haven’t noticed, you’re already getting your 2018 tax cut
Nov 19 • 8 min
Many people expecting a bigger refund thanks to the federal tax cut that took effect this year may be in for an unpleasant surprise when they file their 2018 taxes.
Ride-hailing rewards, be like Barbie, precipitous falls for Apple, bitcoin
Nov 16 • 2 min
Ride rewards San Francisco ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are introducing loyalty programs similar to airline frequent-flier miles. Uber Rewards started Wednesday in nine areas — including San Diego, New York, Washington and Miami — and will spread…
Copyrighting cheese; natural pet foods; federal deficit
Nov 15 • 2 min
A matter of taste The European Union’s highest court hasn’t fallen under the spell of Dutch witches’ cheese. The European Court of Justice said Tuesday that “the taste of a food product cannot be identified with precision of objectivity” and ruled that it…
The latest must-have SF accessories: respirators and air purifiers
Nov 14 • 6 min
David Ojserkis trekked to his job at Williams-Sonoma in San Francisco on Monday sporting an accessory that’s in high demand: a respirator. He shared a selfie to Instagram, captioning the photo: “The new ‘normal’ for walking to work.” As firefighters make…
South Lake Tahoe, Pacific Grove measures to limit vacation rentals winning
Nov 13 • 5 min
Two California cities popular with tourists could be on the verge of banning vacation-home rentals in residential neighborhoods. Ballot measures to phase out short-term rentals are narrowly ahead in South Lake Tahoe and well ahead in Pacific Grove. Both…
Mountain View passes corporate tax that will cost Google millions of dollars
Nov 12 • 2 min
Mountain View voters passed a business tax on Tuesday that will largely affect its hometown tech giant and biggest employer, Google. Nearly 70 percent of voters backed Measure P, which implements a per-employee business license tax that ranges between $5…
Free shipping, folding phones and Intel CEO relocates
Nov 9 • 2 min
Free shipping for all Amazon says it will offer customers free shipping on orders delivered through Christmas, regardless of whether they are members of the Prime membership program. Rival Target recently announced its holiday offer of free two-day…
Lime gets COO, Disney gets Fox, Amazon gets split, cake mix gets recalled
Nov 8 • 2 min
Lime grows Lime has hired Joe Kraus, a general partner at GV, Alphabet’s investment arm, as its first chief operating officer. Kraus is on Lime’s board of directors and helped lead GV’s share in a $335 million investment in the electric scooter company…
Marriott hotel temp says she was fired after speaking to The Chronicle
Nov 7 • 3 min
A temporary hotel worker at San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis said she was fired after speaking to The Chronicle about her claim of unpaid wages. Maria Calles, a Salinas resident, said she was fired Thursday by Marriott contractor Environmental Service…
Finding a dry cleaner you can trust
Nov 6 • 4 min
The crime: The spaghetti sauce did it in the dining room. The victim: Your favorite suit. And you need to wear it next week. You need a dry cleaner that will restore your threads, on time, and without fleecing you. Bay Area Consumers’ Checkbook and…
Workers can put more in their 401(k) and IRAs next year
Nov 5 • 2 min
Thanks to inflation, workers will be able to save an additional $500 in their tax-sheltered 401(k) and Individual Retirement Accounts next year, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday. Employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans,…
When it comes to fixing Facebook, we’re on Mark Zuckerberg’s timetable
Nov 2 • 4 min
Welcome back to Tech Chronicle. If you don’t already subscribe to the newsletter, move fast and sign up. Move slowly and fix things Whatever happened to “move fast and break things”? In Facebook’s third-quarter earnings call with analysts Tuesday, Mark…
Waymo gets green light for robot cars in California — no humans needed
Nov 1 • 6 min
Waymo is the first company in California allowed to test robot cars on public roads with no human driver behind the steering wheel, it said Tuesday. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has given Waymo a permit for up to 40 fully autonomous cars to…
Scariest month for stocks nearing an end, but what lies ahead?
Oct 31 • 7 min
October is living up to its reputation as the scariest month for the stock market. After a week of wild swings, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index are down for the year if you exclude dividends, or up a fraction of a percent if you include…