SAN FRANCISCO — Cult of Mac is on the ground for Macworld/iWorld 2014 at the Moscone Center. We’ll be roaming the show floor and sitting in on workshops all day to bring you the coolest Apple-related stuff we can find.
You can follow us throughout Macworld on the liveblog below. No need to refresh the page; new posts will appear automatically!
Tech companies such as Apple and Google will pay $1 per stop, per day for employee shuttle bus services using public bus stops in San Francisco — according to a new pilot program approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).
In a scheme that will bring in around $1.5 million in fees over an 18-month trial, companies such as Apple will pay SFMTA more than $100,000, while smaller tech companies will pay around $80,000 per year. Any money gained will be put back into the program to cover administrative fees, permits, enforcement, and other related costs.
There are different ways to measure the success of a tech company — thing like how many lucrative patents it’s sitting on, how much money it’s giving back to shareholders, and what its overall market penetration is in whatever area it’s operating in.
Well, there’s another way also: how much do its product launches correlate with a spike rates. You can keep your reports about Apple’s recent financial quarters disappointing Wall Street analysts — as far as San Francisco’s criminal element is concerned, Apple is doing better than it has in years.
Venerable pop artist David Hockney brought his art from the screen of the iPad to towering heights in San Francisco.
If you’re used to seeing his quick iPhone sketches on a screen, the 12-foot-high views to Yosemite are an eyeful. You can catch them at San Francisco’s de Young Musuem in the aptly titled “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibitiion” until January 2014.
We’ll have more on Hockney’s stunning work and the exhibit in the November 2 edition of Cult of Mac Magazine, dedicated to mobile art.
Even if you don’t work in tech, you had better hope your town has more companies like Apple move in. If an innovation hub takes root where you live, you’ll be wealthier, healthier and less likely to divorce than areas that remain barren to it.
And if you are in a startup – wherever you live now, get yourself to one of these brain hubs before it’s too late.
That’s the crux of “The New Geography of Jobs,” a fascinating book by Berkeley economics prof Enrico Moretti who leads readers on a whirlwind tour of how tech innovation is reshaping opportunity in the US, clustering around places like San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Austin, Seattle, Boston, Washington, DC and Durham, North Carolina.
There’s a big debate, of course, about the yuppification of cities like San Francisco, which have seen a huge influx of monied engineers from companies like Apple, Facebook and Google, who are feeding a huge boom in tech. Locals are complaining about skyrocketing house prices, $4 toast and the artisanal food trucks that charge $12 for a tofu Thai burrito. Outrage Missionites react with birthday pinatas shaped like Google buses and posters from the Yuppie-eradication project.
However, there is another side to it. If an Apple worker moves next door, that person will create on average five jobs, Moretti’s research shows. Those jobs are a mix of skilled (nurses, lawyers, teachers) and unskilled ones (hairdressers, waiters, carpenters.) Innovation will never create the majority of US jobs, but it has an outsized effect on the economy of American communities, he writes. It’s not your resume but your zip code that determines how much money you make – so be glad instead of complaining about that Cupertino traffic, folks.
“Gentrification is a good problem to have”
Here in San Francisco a quick look around confirms that, at least on an anecdotal level. The Cult of Mac co-working space is abuzz with fancy-schmancy tattoo artists, hipster nail designers and boutique financial planners.
Moretti’s ideas – considerably nuanced and convincingly bolstered by research in the 250-page work – go counter to much of what’s being written about the squeeze of resources in the booming Bay Area. Gentrification is also a good problem to have, he says, acknowledging that it brings serious social consequences. The solution: not to discourage growth in innovation (in the vain hope manufacturing comes back to big cities) but manage the “growth in smart ways to minimize the negative consequences for the weakest residents and maximize the economic benefits for all.”
Given his local base, you’d expect a lot of interesting examples. In between a visit to a color scientist at Pixar and an artisan chocolate factory, he talks to a San Francisco bookbinder who employs eight people, uses the same equipment from decades past and whose fortunes go up and down with the high-tech companies of the NASDAQ. Noteworthy clients include the Jobs family, who had Steve’s condolence book made there.
Cities change and grow or they die out. And whether they thrive or wither in America now depends on innovation.
This picture of tech making things a little better for most of us is in stark contrast with the San Francisco that has been painted by the tech press as a gentrified, bloated old floozy who puts out for soulless tech workers who trample what dignity she has left by kickstarting pop-up food trucks and lofts that proliferate like mushrooms.
This strikes me as strange, coming from people whose livelihood often depends on breathless excitement over things like cell phone covers. Then again, I’m the fourth generation of my family to live here. I like to imagine that my great gran would find it funny that the Del Monte plant where she gave up elbow grease putting peaches into cans has morphed into a gaudy tourist shopping center. (I am also fairly sure she’d arch an eyebrow at my earnest writings about iPad stands, but still.)
Cities change and grow or they die out, basically. And whether they thrive or wither in America now depends on innovation. Whether you’re part of the innovation or provide services for those who are in it, you’re still better off. Moretti’s research shows that more college grads raise the salaries for everyone in an area – regardless of the higher cost of living. Same with lower divorce rates and better general health.
So get over that Tesla parked in your new neighbor’s driveway and get on with your life.
Following weeks of anticipation, Apple today issued invites for a September 10 press event that will finally see the grand unveiling of its latest iPhones. The Cupertino company is expected to show off both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C, and announce a public release date for iOS 7.
Thieves in San Francisco are reportedly forming teams and developing new ways to steal your smartphone. The various schemes they’ve devised usually employ one person to create a distraction while another nabs your device and takes off with it. But a more recent trend uses a phony good Samaritan who will actually return your device in the hope of receiving a reward.
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The New York Attorney General has called for Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft to invent new ways to curb the ongoing smartphone theft “epidemic.” Eric Schneiderman wants meetings with representatives from all four companies, and he has urged them to “be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live.”
Apple has released a new WWDC 2013 companion app for iOS, which is designed to give developers the opportunity to follow the event each day. Designed for both attendees and those who cannot make it, the app offers a WWDC schedule, the latest news, daily session videos for registered developers, and more.