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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
The owner of a San Francisco bar popular with the high-tech crowd says he banned patrons from wearing Google Glass to avoid the type of confrontation seen less than two weeks ago at another bar in the city. In that incident, a social media consultant claimed that she was attacked at the Haight-Ashbury bar Molotov's for wearing the device. Others disputed the consultant's account, which set off  a social media backlash , and she has since attempted to leverage the incident for  a Google-sponsored trip to the South by Southwest festival . While its use isn't mainstream, Google Glass, which combines many of the functions of a smartphone,  has already aroused fears of privacy intrusions, which seems to grow as the device appears more frequently in public.  Wanting to avoid confrontations that may arise as a result, the owner of The Willows in South of Market posted a sign that features Google Glass with a red circle and slash over it, akin to a "No Smoking" sign.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 | By Gale Holland
A bar popular with a high-tech crowd in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood has banned patrons from wearing Google Glass , the local CBS station in the city reports. A sign posted at the Willows at Folsom and 12th streets features a picture of the wearable computer with the familiar red circle and a slash over it, along with a message saying customers “have expressed concerns with being recorded while enjoying themselves.” The device, which combines many of the functions of a smartphone, has aroused fears of privacy intrusions.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Ingram's VitalSource Technologies has acquired CourseSmart, consolidating two of the largest companies providing textbooks as e-books, Publishers Weekly reports . VitalSource's Bookself platform has more than 4 million users on 6,000 campuses worldwide and offers content from 500 of the world's top academic publishers. Ingram estimates it will take 12 to 18 months to fully transition CourseSmart customers to its Bookshelf platform. CourseSmart offers access to e-textbooks of more than 90% of core higher education titles at up to 60% off the cost of print.
BUSINESS
March 4, 2014 | By Andrea Chang
Top tech executives, including BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt are in town this week for a two-day technology and media conference. Oasis: The Montgomery Summit -- for a decade known as the Montgomery Technology Conference before a name change this year -- will take place at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica on Wednesday and Thursday. PHOTOS: Five ways the Samsung Gear 2 is better than its predecessor The invitation-only confab will feature panels, networking and presentations from chief executives of about 150 companies in the social, mobile, analytics and cloud sectors.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | By Evan Halper
The days of Hollywood and Silicon Valley aligning their charitable giving with mostly liberal causes are long gone. Doing so may be too politically costly as each is trying to get leverage over the other on a divided Capitol Hill. The big movie studios, whose executives rank among the Democratic Party's most effective fundraisers, have lately been stepping up their contributions to think tanks more commonly associated with the Republican-supporting Koch brothers. Google, the tech giant and cash cow for Democrats, has been doing the same.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- In a move to quiet the controversy surrounding tech-driven gentrification in San Francisco, Google has agreed to donate $6.8 million to the city to fund free bus passes for low- and middle-income kids. The donation was part of a deal brokered by Mayor Ed Lee, who is working to address the backlash against the technology industry from residents angry about the rapidly rising cost of living in San Francisco. The Internet giant will cover the projected cost of the program for two years.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO - A tussle involving a woman wearing Google Glass in a San Francisco bar is just the latest incident to highlight growing tensions over the new wearable technology even before Google Inc. begins selling it to the public. Sarah Slocum, a 34-year-old technology blogger and social media consultant, said she was "verbally and physically assaulted" over the weekend by patrons of a bar in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. A man allegedly ripped the Glass off Slocum's face and ran out of the bar with it. She got the Glass back but says someone stole her purse and phone.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
The 112th birthday of John Steinbeck was celebrated Thursday with a Google Doodle dedicated to his work. Born in Salinas, Calif., Steinbeck was a college dropout who won a Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. The Google Doodle pulls quotes from three of Steinbeck's novels -- "The Grapes of Wrath," "Cannery Row," "Of Mice and Men" -- all of which sympathetically portray working-class men in difficult conditions. That kind of social novel is rarely found in contemporary literature; it's interesting that Google has chosen to highlight his writing.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
A top Google executive has denied reports that said the Silicon Valley tech giant made a $10-billion bid to purchase WhatsApp, the messaging service that was recently acquired by Facebook. Last week, Facebook announced that it had agreed to pay $19 billion for WhatsApp, an app with 450 million users. Soon after, reports surfaced that said Google had also made an offer to buy the popular startup. Citing two unnamed sources, Fortune said Google bid $10 billion. That report was backed up by The Information, which said Google offered WhatsApp millions of dollars just to be notified if any other companies also tried to bid for the app. PHOTOS: Five ways the Samsung Gear 2 is better than its predecessor At the time of the reports, Google declined to comment, but at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain, this week, the head of the company's Chrome and Android divisions denied the WhatsApp reports.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 | By Maura Dolan, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court Wednesday ordered Google to remove from the Internet all copies of an anti-Muslim film that forced an actress from her home because of threats on her life. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said a trial judge erred when he refused to grant an injunction ordering the removal of the film, “Innnocence of Muslims,” from YouTube, which is owned by Google. The film sparked worldwide violent protests. "While answering a casting call for a low-budget amateur film doesn't often lead to stardom, it also rarely turns an aspiring actress into the subject of a fatwa,” 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote.
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