Posts Tagged ‘silicon valley’

OMG, “Pi In The Sky” is Coming in September! Five Skywriting Planes Flying Over Your Favorite Tech Company

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

This isn’t for me, but maybe it’s for you.

Presenting “ZERO1 Biennial, Seeking Silicon Valley”

This’ll take place mostly in the San Hoser area, but they’ll have stuff up here in the 415 as well.

All the deets below and after the jump.

And here’s the highlight of the show:

San Francisco designer known as ISHKY is creating a spectacular public artwork called Pi in the Sky. Sending five synchronized skywriting planes on a two hour journey across the Bay Area – over a pantheon of mathematically inclined institutions: NASA Ames, Livermore Labs, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple – Pi in the Sky will fill the blue expanse with streams of numbers, 3.14159265… The planes, which will be released sometime during the opening weekend of the Biennial when the weather is optimal, will be equipped with dot-matrix skywriting technology that produces numbers nearly a quarter-mile tall. 

Look to the Skies for Signs and Wonders

ZERO1 Biennial
Seeking Silicon Valley
September 12 – December 8, 2012

August 2012, San Jose, CA – ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network is pleased to announce schedule highlights for the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial, one of the world’s only Biennials to focus on the convergence of contemporary art and technology, taking place in Silicon Valley, around the Bay Area, and beyond this September 12 to December 8.

Inviting more than 150 artists from over 13 countries, the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial will present works at the forefront of media art – collaborating with local, regional, national and international cultural institutions and iconic Silicon Valley companies to showcase three months of exhibitions, events, and performances – in museums and galleries, in skywriting above San Francisco, in the streets and storefronts of Silicon Valley, on iPads and smartphones, and across the World Wide Web.

The 2012 ZERO1 Biennial theme and the core Biennial exhibition, Seeking Silicon Valley, was inspired by Silicon Valley’s globally renowned reputation as the hub of high-tech entrepreneurial innovation and networked creativity, as much as from the region’s conspicuous lack of publicly accessible features including borders, a defining architecture, a singular culture, and a cohesive sense of place. Biennial artists and the Biennial’s partnering organizations have been charged with articulating the2012 theme Seeking Silicon Valley in all of the showcased performances, exhibitions, events and panels.

For three months throughout the Bay Area the Biennial will feature installations, interactive media, sculptures, online works, videos and performances by artists who are utilizing technology to create contemporary art in original and provocative ways. The lineup of Biennial artists for 2012 include such notable art world figures as Lynn Hershman Leeson, whose new cinematic installationPresent Tense – examining the human effects of global water toxicity and including high definition videos of babies swimming under water – will debut as part of the Biennial’s main exhibition,Seeking Silicon Valley. Partnering with eBay Inc., Jer Thorp, the New York Times’ lauded Data Artist in Residence, and Columbia professor Mark Hansen have been commissioned to create a data-driven work. The public can view the piece  – which ties excerpts from classic literature to eBay listings and transactions – as it is projected on the Internet giant’s North Campus entrance starting September 12, 2012 when the Biennial launches.

Like all of the artworks in this uniquely collaborative Biennial – a dynamic network of shows and events involving an established and esteemed group of cultural partners, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Stanford University Institute for Creativity and the Arts,New York’s Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, Russia’s Ural Industrial Biennial, and the South Korean biennial Media City Seoul – the eBay Inc. installation was inspired by the 2012 Biennial theme Seeking Silicon Valley.

“Silicon Valley is an idea as much as a place,” says Biennial Lead Curator and ZERO1’s Director of Programs Jaime Austin. “Renowned globally as a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation, Silicon Valley is notoriously difficult to experience. More than a specific location it is a network of freeways, technologies, companies, and relationships connected in a complex physical and virtual web. Modeling this networked nature, the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial is a network of curators from different countries bringing a global perspective to the Biennial exhibition, a network of contemporary artists sharing and presenting work, as well as a network of Biennial partners presenting exhibitions, events and performances connecting Silicon Valley and beyond.”

(more…)

Scottish Leader Addresses Commonwealth Club: First Minister Alex Salmond in Town to Promote Renewable Energy

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club heard First Minister Alex Salmond discuss Scotland’s Place in the World last night. Here‘s what it looked like.

The avuncular FM is touring California (you know, talking with Jerry Brown and Fiona Ma and going Hollywood) to promote Scotland as the “Silicon Valley of marine energy.”

Here he is at 595 Market, along with Commonwealth Club Past President J. Dennis Bonney:

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Scotland targets Fortune 500 in US push for business - First Minister writes to top global companies in California ahead of trade mission

EDINBURGH, Scotland, June 17, 2012 — Over 70 leading California-based companies, including all Fortune 500 companies in the state, are being targeted as part of a new campaign to attract inward investment to Scotland.

The country’s leader, First Minister Alex Salmond, has personally written to top executives at leading companies which have been identified by Scottish Development International as potential investors in advance of his visit to the US on a trade mission.

In his letter, which is part of a wider SDI campaign to encourage some of the world’s most successful companies to consider setting up operations in Scotland, the First Minister highlights the benefits of choosing Scotland over any other nation.

The First Minister will be reinforcing the message that Scotland is ready to do business during his four-day visit to California. He stresses in his letter that Scotland - with its highly-skilled workforce and a cost-competitive business location – is a land of opportunity.

The First Minister said: “Scotland is already an economic success story and we make no apologies for going after new business at every opportunity. We perform better economically than everywhere else in the UK bar the southeast of England and that brings major business opportunities.

“Scottish Development International’s campaign is backed by a number of companies already investing in Scotland such as Pfizer and Amazon and the message is absolutely clear.

“Scotland is a land of major opportunity and it is open for business. We have a long and impressive track record in life sciences, sciences, technology and creative industries developing an environment where ingenuity and innovation can create jobs and wealth for Scotland.

“Even without our offshore oil and gas reserves, Scotland has the highest GDP in the UK outside London and southeast England.

“We have five universities in the world’s top 200, we rank first in the world in research productivity per unit of GDP and second in the world in research impact.

“Business operating costs for key functions can be almost a third lower here.

“This campaign will also send the message directly to the heart of US business community with print and online advertising running in The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Business Times, New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

Danny Cusick, President, Americas, Scottish Development International, said:

“SDI has seven offices across North America, including a significant presence in California, to provide support and collaboration opportunities for key North American companies.

“This campaign is part of a global drive to attract new investment to Scotland. There has been a significant level of inward investment success over the last 12 months, with Amazon, FMC Technologies and State Street all making significant investments in Scotland. SDI is building on this with a continued focus on securing new, sustainable jobs and opportunities.

“It is clear that Scotland remains a location of choice due to our winning combination of qualities, including our highly skilled and educated workforce and efficient operating costs.

“This is an excellent opportunity to highlight Scotland’s competitive advantages to some of California’s biggest companies.”

And here are some Upcoming Events at the Commonwealth Club:

 

OMG, San Jose Has a Skyline That You Can See From SF – City Hall, Bank of America Building – They’re Just Like Us!

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Well this is the view you can get from Buena Vista Park in the middle of San Francisco.

That’s world-famous* Candlestick Park, Home of the 49ers and the Gold Rush, in the foreground, and in the background camera left is the City of San Jose, California’s third-largest and the Capitol of the Bay Area:

Click to expand, of course

Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, “Enhance that image.”

Well here you go, it’s downtown San Jose with all those tall buildings. See? It’s San Jose City Hall, “The 88″ residential building (which is actually only 87 meters high but let’s not dwell** on that), the Bank of America Building (nee Bank of Italy) from 1926, and the “Knight Ridder Building” (per Google Earth, I don’t know what they call it these days).

Oh, and somewhere in the mix there’s also Mineta San José International Airport – Silicon Valley’s Airport and the San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Bridge.***

Anyway, I didn’t know San Jose had a skyline what you can see from the 415.

But don’t look for it to get any easier to spot in the future owing to the fact that that SJC international airstrip is right in the middle of it all and there’s a height limit of 87 meters (I think?) in the area.

So, San Joser has a big, domed City Hall and a tall Bank of America Building and whatnot. They’re just like us!

(Oh, and speaking of the Niners, enjoy our winning football team(s), Santa Clara County.)

*No, not “world-class.” 

**Check it: 

Eighty-eight (88) symbolizes fortune and good luck since the word 8 sounds similar to the word Fā (发, which implies 发财, or wealth, in Mandarin). The number 8 is considered to be the luckiest number of all in Chinese culture and prices in Chinese supermarkets can often be found containing many 8′s (see numbers in Chinese culture). The Chinese government has even been auctioning auto license plates containing many 8s for tens of thousands of dollars. The 2008 Beijing Olympics opened on 8/8/08 at 8 p.m. The shape of the Chinese character for 8 (八) also implies that a person will have a great, wide future as the character starts narrow and gets wider toward the bottom. 88 is used to mean “bye bye”; found in Chinese-language chat, text, SMS, IM. 88 is pronounced in Chinese Mandarin language as “ba ba” (“bā bā” to be precise), simulating the sound of the English language farewell “bye bye”.

And there’s this:

Eighty-eight is used as code among Neo-Nazis to identify each other. H is the 8th letter of the alphabet, so 88 is taken to stand for HH which in turn means Heil Hitler.For example, the number is used in the song “88 rock’n’roll band” by the neo-Nazi group Landser. The late convictedOrder terrorist David Lane wrote “Fourteen Words” and 88 Precepts, and the numbers are often found in combination (1488, 14/88, etc.). This form of the number has inspired the naming of the groups Column 88Unit 88, White Legion 88 and Barselc88. Holocaust museum shooter James von Brunn often signed his writings as “JVB-88.”

***Both of which were featured in the 1992 Robert Redford movie Sneakers. Hurray!

“Redford tries to describe to Strathairn, who is blind, what he heard while in the trunk of a car. He remembers going across a bridge and being in San Francisco it means one of four possible bridges: Golden Gate, Bay Bridge, San Mateo, and the Dumbarton. They rule out the first two and then narrow it down to San Mateo based on the sound and frequency of the seams in the concrete.”

Why is Bay Area Congressman Mike Honda So Blue? A Lesson in White Balance

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Somewhere down there in Silicon Valley / San Jose is California’s 15th Congressional District, represented by Congressman Mike Honda, O.K. fine.

Now, this is, or used to be, or still sort of is his official photo, possibly taken in Washington D.C., possibly a digital image that got scanned in, O.K. fine.

Now, was he wearing a white shirt that day? Honda in Bleu:

Can’t tell.

Oh, here were go. This alteration assumes he was wearing a white shirt and that his white hairs are, in fact, white, or colorless or whatever you want to call it. A few clicks yields:

Probably a bit on the purple side but oh well.

But this is what a professional illustrator did, taking things a bit further, white balance-wise and clicks-wise:

Point being, you can’t just scan in a photo and call it day, you gots to make sure that white is still white.

That is all.

 

If You Work for Apple, You Can Opt Out of Public Transportation by Riding the Supr Sekrt “Van Ness Express”

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Hurray!

Apple’s Van Ness Express bus taking Apple workers home to the Marina after a long day’s work:

Click to expand

Can you imaging having to take MUNI and CalTrain to get to work?

(Perish the thought.)

The funny thing is that the taxes that Apple and its employees pay to subsidize transit just don’t even factor in. It’s just easier for them to opt out of the whole system.

Don’t you wish you could opt out too?

 

The SF Flex Academy, a Quasi-Online Public Charter School, Opens – It’s “Bricks and Clicks”

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

If you don’t like the public high school your kids are assigned to, is it too late to get them signed up for the brand-new San Francisco Flex Academy? I don’t know.

In fact, there’s a lot I don’t know about San Francisco’s newest public charter school, the one at 555 Post, the one that’s “expecting to” start classes on Tuesday, September 7, 2010. Appears as if you send your kids to Union Square five days a week and then they’ll get learning from a mix of real live teachers and online instruction. It’s called “bricks and clicks,” baby, and it’s ably explained right here.

(And you parents Down South won’t be left out - Flex Academy Silicon Valley is coming online in in San Joser next year.)

All the deets:

San Francisco Flex Academy to Open Downtown This Fall. New Public Charter School Now Accepting Enrollments for Students in Grades 9-12

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23  — San Francisco Flex Academy  (SF FLEX),  an exciting new public charter high school and one of the state’s first full-time “hybrid” schools, will open this fall in downtown San Francisco.  SF Flex is currently accepting enrollments for students in grades 9-12 and is expecting to start classes on Tuesday, September 7, 2010.

The school is conveniently located in downtown San Francisco at 555 Post Street, easily accessible by MUNI and BART.

The school will offer both onsite classroom instruction with highly qualified, credentialed teachers and state-of-the-art online learning provided by K12 Inc., America’s largest provider of online school programs for students in kindergarten through high school. There is no tuition to attend this public charter school.

The school:

So far, they’d been advertising with stuff like this at Alice 97.3 FM and a poster campaign – I saw something on a light pole at McAllister and Van Ness a couple months back.

Anyway, all the deets, after the jump

(more…)

“Nigeria With Snow” – Why Medvedev Refuses to Meet With Google’s Sergey Brin

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Seems that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is having a thing with Google’s Sergey Brin because Sergey criticized Mother Russia as being, among other things, nothing but “Nigeria with snow.”

Ouch. Hope that doesn’t cause too much trouble this week for Vladimir Putin’s favorite pet.

But look, Dmitry just loves his Apple MacBook. And Linkin Park, and $23k DSLR cameras too.

Ria Novosti/ Kremlin pool

Seems like he could fit in with the Silicon Valley crowd, but oh well.

You’ve Seen Their Toilets and Map Cars, Now Here are Google’s Campus Bike-Share Bikes

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Next time you’re on Google’s Main Campus down Mountain View way, be sure to use these Google Bikes to get around.

Aren’t they adorable? And best of all, they’re fixies! :) single-speeds with coaster brakes. :(

Click to expand. Says EcoFabulous Caitlin Bristol, My first trip to Google. Forget the free lunch, check out the super cute campus share-bikes!”

I’ll pay top dollar if you manage to boost one. (Must have Google-colored wheel insert.)

First, the Google Toilet:

Then the Google Car:

2584018127_c2701eaef8_o

damianspain

What will be the next perk for the employees at Google?

Yelp Drinks Week 2010 Coming to the West Bay, East Bay, South Bay: Booze Half Off

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

From Laura at the Uptown Almanac comes news of Yelp Drinks Week 2010, a solid week of discounted, “hand-crafted” (no robots, no no no) drinks available at selected joints.

San Francisco: March 1-7

Silicon Valley / San Hoser: March 8-14

East Bay: March 15-21

Soon, you’ll be able to get a $1 cans of Olympia at Oakland’s Kingfish Pub or a “Yelp, I Need Somebody”(?) at San Francisco’s Four Seasons for $7.50 – your choice. Just mention the Y-word and then order away. Deets below.

Here’s the flyer for SF:

Of course there are a few rules:

“Yeah, boyeeeee! Who’s up for a sweet Bay Area-wide happy hour?!?

For three weeks in March, Yelp brings you YELP DRINKS, where you’ll get a chance to sip on lip-smackingly good adult libations at locations that locals love all over the Bay Area! Participating bars and restaurants will feature up to 3 delicious, hand-crafted cocktails for 50% off throughout the promotion. Nothing like saving a few ducks while you get crunk, huh?

San Francisco Yelp Drinks Week: Monday, March 1st – Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Silicon Valley Yelp Drinks Week: Monday, March 8th – Sunday, March 14th, 2010

East Bay Yelp Drinks Week: Monday, March 15th – Sunday, March 21st, 2010

A few quick notes:

1) Though we’re calling this a happy hour, it’s better – Yelp Drinks prices are good all day Monday through all day Sunday *while supplies last.
2) Please tip on the regular price of the drinks.
3) And please, consume responsibly!”

All the places, after the jump

(more…)

Birthplace of Silicon Valley: The Old Garage at 367 Addison in Palo Alto, CA

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

This is where it all began. It’s Packard’s Garage, California Registered Historical Landmark #976:

BIRTHPLACE OF SILICON VALLEYThis garage is the birthplace of the world’s first high-technology region, “Silicon Valley.” The idea for such a region originated with Dr. Frederick Terman, a Stanford University professor who encouraged his students to start up their own electronics companies in the area instead of joining established firms in the East. The first two students to follow his advice were William R. Hewlett and David Packard, who in 1938 began developing their first product, an audio oscillator, in this garage.

This is what things looked like in 2005. Click to expand:

go8f0897-copy.jpg

And this is what it looks like now, after rehab.

Nice garage, HP!