Posts Tagged ‘silicon valley’

Assignment Desk: Q. What was Putin’s Buddy Andrey Melnichenko Doing in SF the Past Week? [A. Nothing Good]

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Evil coming at you:

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Evil hitting the road

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How long would you say this ship is – how about way more than a football field?

It’s so big it takes half a million bucks worth of petroleum to fill up its tanks.

It’s so big it needs a bar pilot to board to guide it out of San Francisco Bay, yesterday evening. See?

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All right, MSM, get up to speed on this recent visit here – just keep reading down.

Who did this guy meet with – corporate and government officials, right? Which ones? Why?

What’s that, what about the Ukraine? Indeed, what about Ukraine?

Hey, speak of the Devil:

Another lawmaker said he had been provided photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Andrey Melnichenko, who owns 92 percent of EuroChem’s shares. Putin even made a well-publicized visit to EuroChem’s potash mine in Gremyachinskoye in 2010.”

Hop on it, MSM.

Tracking a Russian James Bond Villain and His Superyacht in San Francisco Waters: Sausalito, Redwood City, What’s Next?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Get up to speed on Russian “mathematician” and billionaire Andrey Melnichenko and his floating lair “A” here.

This is a few days back, moored at Sausalito. And then you can see he motored south under the Bay Bridge and the San Mateo Bridge to Redwood Shores:

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Where will he go next? Follow along right here.

(Let’s hope his arrival won’t be followed by The Big One ala Zorin.)

And let’s remember that Redwood City was where the US military’s very own stealth ship, the Sea Shadow, used to be moored for all those years. You know, along with its floating barge, so-called HMB-1 (Howard Hughes Mining Barge One), except that was just a cover for Project Jennifer, a plan from 40 years ago to lift Soviet sub K-129 up from the ocean floor. I’m srsly, Comrades.

And oh yeah, this yacht has a secret James Bond-esque escape pod, just as on the star-crossed K-278

He’s Ba-aack! The Ugly “Stealth Yacht” of Russian Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko Just Docked Near Redwood City

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Here it is, the superyacht named “A,” as seen a few years back in the waters of Marin County:

And here it is again in 2014, like right now at this very instant, down in Silicon Valley near Redwood Shores or Redwood City or whatever:

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And here it was yesterday, in Sausalito again, looks like.

This vessel just fueled up its 200,000(!) gallon tank (that’s more than four times as much as MUNI spilled into San Francisco Bay that one time) to the tune of a half a million dollars up north in Washington State.

So, what are Bro et ux doing down in the Valley?

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Send somebody down there and find out. Talk to his hired goons. Ask him about the James Bond-esque escape pod on the yacht. Ask him about what local companies he’s investing in. You know, that whole routine.

OMG, It’s NerdProm! – The “Silicon Valley Ball” Featuring Kathy Griffin is Coming to Redwood City December 13th

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

From the D-List to Redwood City – what a journey for Kathy Griffin:

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Traffic in the Fast Lane of the 101 Freeway in Silicon Valley: Tesla Model S, Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The Model S and the Leaf are the two most popular all-electric cars in Silicon Valley these days, with the very expensive and taxpayer-subsidized Tesla being the more common sighting.

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Seen in the Valley: Is This a House or a Chemical Lab or Both? – Breaking Bad in Palo Alto

Monday, August 25th, 2014

This is in a residential area a stone’s throw from Stanford.

Look closer:

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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:

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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.