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
S.F. scooter companies promise parking, Clipper Card use, charging and more
Jun 22 • 7 min
Nate Booth and German Gladkov maintain scooters at Skip, one of 12 companies applying for permits to rent out scooters in S.F. Taking over streets, sidewalks and Snapchat stories, electric scooters have become a symbol of San Francisco in 2018. When…
The 12 scooter companies that plan to roll through San Francisco
Jun 21 • 4 min
Scoot of San Francisco submitted an application in June 2018 to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to deploy stand-up scooters. Here’s what one looks like. Ridecell of San Francisco submitted an application in June 2018 to the San Francisco…
Want to start a preschool at home? Wonderschool can help
Jun 20 • 7 min
Kristina Gonzalez run the Little Robles preschool at her home in San Francisco. Kristina Gonzalez reads a book to students Zane (left) and Luca at her Little Robles preschool that she runs in her San Francisco home. Want to start a preschool at home?…
Is it safe to keep more than $500,000 in a brokerage account?
Jun 19 • 7 min
Today’s column is inspired by a reader who wants to know whether he should split his assets among several brokerage firms to stay below the $500,000 limit set by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. “I am told that investments in financial houses such…
Employment tax in Silicon Valley city could spur small firms to move jobs
Jun 18 • 5 min
Jordan Sendar (left) and Phil Dokas work in Flickr’s new offices in S.F. SmugMug didn’t open the S.F. office to avoid Mountain View’s proposed head tax, but to accommodate newly acquired Flickr. SmugMug has called Mountain View home for more than a…
Can Pixar, with its original leader leaving, extend its golden age?
Jun 15 • 7 min
John Lasseter, Pixar’s first animator and the creative spark behind the Emeryville animation studio’s early rise, knew the company would need a sequel. “In cinema history, there are times when a collection of artists come together and make some films.…
Tesla, labor officials spar over Fremont factory union drive in hearing
Jun 14 • 4 min
Tesla repeatedly interfered with the rights of its Fremont factory workers to unionize, labor lawyers said Monday in a National Labor Relations Board trial, while an attorney representing the automaker slammed the entire proceeding as an “informercial”…
PG&E says it doesn’t expect to record loss for deadly North Bay fire
Jun 13 • 3 min
Pacific Gas & Electric expects to record a “significant liability for losses” associated with the 2017 Northern California wildfires, the utility said Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Finding blue-collar gig jobs at the tap of an app with Wonolo
Jun 12 • 7 min
The gig economy isn’t just for Uber drivers and TaskRabbit furniture assemblers. San Francisco startup Wonolo — short for “work now locally” — has created an on-demand marketplace for workers to find hourly jobs in warehouses, factories, distribution…
Lyft pushes shared rides, transit links
Jun 11 • 3 min
Lyft is pushing hard to get more people to share rides, as well as expanding its connections with public transit and releasing a streamlined new app for passengers. “We’re making a really strong commitment about shared rides,” said Joseph Okpaku, vice…
Apple and Google’s hometowns still considering employer taxes
Jun 8 • 2 min
Glass was brought in from Germany to make the walls of Apple Park’s ring-shaped building. Cyclists make their way around the Googleplex during Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Mountain View, Calif. The company provided fueling stations, sports…
Target date funds surge as more workers put 401(k) plans on autopilot
Jun 7 • 6 min
Target date funds surge as more workers put 401(k) plans on autopilot Mutual fund giant Vanguard reported Tuesday that just over half of participants in the 401(k) plans it administers are invested in a single target date fund. These funds — pitched as a…
Bye-bye, SF scooters as Bird, Lime and Spin go on hiatus
Jun 6 • 5 min
Bye-bye, SF scooters as Bird, Lime and Spin go on hiatus As if by magic, the scooters are gone. The hundreds of for-rent stand-up electric scooters that appeared on San Francisco streets almost overnight in late March, drawing both fans and haters, have…
Uber keeps on truckin’ as Freight expands nationwide
Jun 5 • 8 min
Amir Shaw, who’s driven his own big-rig truck since 2000, met with Uber at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas last year. A representative from Uber Freight, the ride-hailing company’s “Uber for trucking” spinoff, showed him how a trucker like him…
SF’s Cruise gets $3.35 billion from GM, SoftBank to speed self-driving cars
Jun 4 • 4 min
Boosting plans to deploy self-driving cars next year, the SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion in General Motor’s Cruise unit, and General Motors will invest $1.1 billion, the companies said early Thursday at a press conference in Detroit. GM,…
California Senate passes bill to create banks for pot businesses
Jun 1 • 2 min
The state Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to create a state-chartered bank for California cannabis businesses, which would allow licensed merchants to write checks to pay taxes, fees and vendors — rather than use large amounts of cash, as they currently…
Scoot’s e-bike sharing plan hits bureaucratic wall in SF
May 31 • 6 min
San Francisco startup Scoot, known for its fleet of red electric mopeds, wants to add e-bike rentals in the city. But it can’t. San Francisco won’t issue any more permits for dockless e-bikes until summer 2019 at the earliest. Only Jump Bikes, which was…
Startups of the Week: A comeback by Good Eggs, and Eat Club eats up competition
May 30 • 1 min
Everyone loves a good comeback story and grocery-delivery startup Good Eggs seems to fit the bill. Defying the usual Silicon Valley success story, the company drove itself nearly to bankruptcy in 2015 by expanding too quickly. After scaling back…
An Airbnb for party space? Quirky rentals abound on Peerspace
May 29 • 5 min
Want to hold your next party at a dentist’s office? How about a flower shop, an art gallery or a furniture store? All these spaces and more — think ice cream parlors, churches and even nail salons — have found willing renters via Peerspace, a San…
Defenders may use public social media posts in trial, court says
May 28 • 4 min
Criminal defendants and their lawyers may now access public social media posts when preparing for a trial, according to a California Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday. This decision pits social media companies against defense attorneys, and raises…
Barack Obama is speaking at a tech conference, but not one you’d expect
May 25 • 5 min
At a flashy tech conference for a San Francisco security software company this week, a familiar — and probably very pricey — face will make an appearance: former President Barack Obama. After yoga and a networking breakfast Wednesday, attendees will watch…
In the spotlight: Klout is out, Google is cloudy, and Xapo’s wallet expands
May 24 • 2 min
In the spotlight: Klout is out, Google is cloudy, and Xapo’s wallet expands It’s hard to remember, but there was a time when Klout was a thing. A decade ago, the San Francisco startup promised to measure your online popularity by tracking interactions on…
Apple could get hit with employer tax in its hometown
May 23 • 3 min
Cupertino is exploring a tax on Apple and other companies based on the size of their workforce. The tax would probably be structured similar to a proposal in Mountain View, said David Brandt, Cupertino’s city manager. Cupertino has paid a firm to begin…
California lags other high-tax states on state and local deduction workaround
May 22 • 9 min
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have already passed bills intending to circumvent the new $10,000 limit on the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes. California, which has the highest state income tax rate in the nation, hasn’t passed any…
Westfield mall in San Francisco plans to add office space
May 21 • 2 min
The Westfield San Francisco Centre could be getting more office space as part of a $75 million renovation project. The plans include 49,999 square feet of office space on the mall’s seventh and eighth floors, replacing retail, storage and meeting space in…
Sex site Kink’s new CEO moves ahead, unchained from past
May 18 • 6 min
Kink.com has seen plenty of belt-tightening over the years, with people tied to objects like chairs in the name of bondage. But in recent years, the straps have become snugger financially, too, as free pornography dug into its business. Now, the bondage…
Straits Restaurant owners taking over historic Cathay House in Chinatown
May 17 • 3 min
Cathay House, hailed by The Chronicle when it opened in 1939 as the “fanciest” restaurant in Chinatown, quietly closed this spring. Now the Yeo family, which owns Straits Restaurant and Sino in San Jose, is taking over three of the building’s four floors…
The scramble for Sunnyvale: Tech companies in ‘arms race’ for office space
May 16 • 6 min
Huge tech companies have long carved out their turf in Silicon Valley. Apple has Cupertino. Google has Mountain View. Facebook has Menlo Park. But as those behemoths keep expanding, their offices are spilling into other parts of the region. One of the…
Facebook expands in S.F., will lease space at Park Tower
May 15 • 5 min
Facebook is expected to sign a lease at the 43-story Park Tower at 250 Howard St., greatly expanding its San Francisco real estate, according to a person familiar with the deal. The company will take up 750,000 square feet — the tower’s entire office…
Visa program used as gateway to H-1B saw numbers surge
May 14 • 7 min
A relatively unknown visa program often used as a path to an H-1B visa — one which may see changes under the Trump administration — experienced a surge in usage between 2004 and 2016, a new report found. The Optional Practical Training program grants…