Saturday, July 27, 2013

America's Cup Takes Off

Emirates Team New Zealand’s Aotearoa suffered a breakdown with a sail during
the Louis Vuitton Cup in July (photo: © ACEA / PHOTO GILLES MARTIN-RAGET)
From the new edition of the Marina Times:
Now for the Action
After legal and political wrangling, America's Cup is putting on a show at the Marina's doorstep
By John Zipperer

People who think that the America’s Cup is an uneventful playtoy of billionaires are given second thoughts when they hear that the large AC72 catamarans used in these races are literally faster than the wind. As everyone in the Marina knows, the wind can be quite fast, indeed. 
July saw the competition get into high gear, with the action spread from the courtroom to the waters. Following the tragic death of Artemis Racing’s Andrew “Bart” Simpson on May 9, teams and regulating bodies quarreled over new rules intended to make the racing safer. As reported in last month’s Marina Times, lawyers got involved as teams argued over changes to the boats’ mechanisms that some feared would advantage certain teams over others. At one point, the legal wrangling got so heated that there was concern that one or more teams might pull out of the races, putting the entire competition at risk...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Google Maps Takes You to Diagon Alley

Who needs to visit a theme park to pretend they live in Harry Potter's world? Now, Google lets you do it from your computer.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Surveillance Problem and Yours

You can always retrieve that lost e-mail: The Utah Data Center, also known as the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center, under construction near Bluffdale, Utah. Photo: Swilsonmc
From the current issue of San Francisco's Marina Times — perhaps not an opinion likely to be met with love and charity in the land of the aging baby boomer:
My Surveillance Problem and Yours
By John Zipperer  
Bay Area tech companies found themselves in some unfamiliar, muddied waters when it was reported in a British newspaper that a massive U.S. government spy program was collecting daily records on pretty much every user of Verizon. Next came disputed claims that the government had direct access to the central databases of such tech giants as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, and others.  
Edward Snowden, the young CIA contractor who leaked the tech surveillance information, fled to Hong Kong, saying he had faith in its legal system to protect him. He is really saying he has faith in China’s legal system, because ... 

San Francisco's Bad Deal for TICs: Same Old, Same Old

My latest real estate rabble-rousing from the current edition of San Francisco's Marina Times:
Real Estate Investor
City knocks homeowners with TIC deal
by John Zipperer 
On June 11, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to change the tenants-in-common (TIC) condo conversion system. But they took a bill to enable a larger-than-normal group of TIC owners to become condo owners and turned it into a bill that will all but kill condo conversions for the foreseeable future. 
KQED News headlined its report “San Francisco Supervisors Pass TIC Condo Conversion Expansion,” and that’s certainly how the veto-proof eight-vote majority of the board would like it sold. But what the majority, led by Board President David Chiu, did was play opposites ...