Bill imposes fines on parties, businesses trying to enforce non-disparagement clauses
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that would make it illegal for businesses that provide services or sell goods to impose a contract on consumers that would waive their right to make statements against it. Assembly Bill 2365 adds a section into the California Civil Code that makes it unlawful for a business to take action against a customer who decided to voice their displeasure, imposing penalties for each attempt to do so.
One complaint alleged service dog transported in trunk of driver's car
Ride sharing service Uber is being sued by the California branch of the National Federation of the Blind for mistreatment of the disabled. The complaint, filed in the Northern California District Court, alleges refusal of rides to blind persons with service dogs, abandonment of blind travelers in harsh weather conditions, and cancellation fee being charged after being refusing to transport blind riders. Additionally, there is one report of a Uber ride share driver putting a service dog in the trunk of the car, with the driver refusing to pull over and rectify the situation when the passenger realized where the dog was riding.
Superintendent, deputy had close links to Apple, Pearson
The superintendent of Los Angeles' Unified School District, John Deasy, has formally suspended future implementation of an iPad contract with Apple. "Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple," he writes in a memo issued to the Board of Education. "Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the [project]."
Senate passed the bill earlier this month, office announces bill signed today
The office of California Governor Jerry Brown announced that bill SB 962 was signed today, making cell phone "kill switches" mandatory in the state. While the bill won't go into effect immediately, manufacturers must have the kill switches in place for all smartphones made after July 1, 2015. It was widely believed that Governor Brown would sign the bill after it was sent to his office after passing through the Senate on August 12.
Suit makes a third attempt at suing tech company over March 2012 policy change
Google's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit that dates back to 2012 failed today, after a California district judge ruled that the search company will have to fight the breach of contract and fraud claims. The first lawsuit was dismissed last December, with the stipulation that any further pursuit would require an amended complaint. The new complaint could have been dismissed "with prejudice" after two previous complaints were dismissed by the judge.
Shows behind-the-scenes prepping of t-shirts, flags, bicycles
Via its YouTube channel, Apple has posted a new video (below) promoting its participation in San Francisco's 44th annual Pride parade. The clip shows brief shots of executives such as CEO Tim Cook and Environment director Lisa Jackson, but mostly concentrates on scenes of Apple workers preparing flags, t-shirts, and bicycles, and then actually participating in the parade. The description claims that "thousands of Apple employees and their families " were at the event, "from cities as far as Munich, Paris, and Hong Kong."
Currencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin now legal to put into circulation in the state
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed bill AB 129, regarding the definition of "lawful money," into law. The bill effectively ends a ban on alternative currencies in the state, meaning online currencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies can now be used in commerce transactions. The bill modifies California Corporations Code 107, which previously banned currencies that were "anything but the lawful money of the United States."
More than 1,450 employees will be located in 290,000 square-foot complex
Amidst continuing expansion into nearby California towns, Apple has taken a medium-term lease on a seven-building office complex in Sunnyvale, California. The facility, which boasts 290,000 square feet, is expected to house nearly 1,500 workers and is an expansion from the one building the company previously occupied. It plans to take over the entire office park and has filed permit applications for interior improvements.
Possibility of robbery still unconfirmed
Early Friday morning, a car rammed through the glass facade of the 4th Street Apple Store in Berkeley, California, according to AppleInsider. It's unclear still if the incident was part of a robbery attempt, but the car appears to have smashed cleanly through the shop's front door, leaving the rest of the facade untouched. The car also bent the store's internal security gate, which like the gates at most other Apple Stores isn't designed to cope with a vehicle's force.
Group working toward $10 million goal
Apple has joined a list of companies that have agreed to donate $500,000 apiece to a San Francisco anti-poverty charity, SF Gives, two sources tell Fortune. In all about 15 companies have signed up for the initiative so far, including Google, Zynga, and LinkedIn. SF Gives was started by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Tipping Point CEO Daneil Lurie; the goal is to have 20 business sign up by Wednesday, leading to a total contribution of $10 million. That money in turn will be donated to local charitable programs.
Opposition claims tech would create security problems
California's state Senate has narrowly rejected a bill that would've made "kill switch" anti-theft software mandatory on all new smartphones, reports say. A majority actually voted in favor, at a ratio of 19 to 17 with one abstaining, but the pro faction required a minimum of 21 votes. The bill was championed by Sen. Mark Leno, and San Francisco district attorney George Gascon, the latter of whom has campaigned heavily alongside New York attorney general Eric Schneidermann to get smartphone makers to implement better anti-theft measures.
Long-delayed outlet ready to begin construction
Following preliminary approval last month, Apple has received final approval to build its upcoming Union Square store from the San Francisco Planning Commission and the city's Board of Supervisors. "We are thrilled that the city of San Francisco has given its final approval to begin work on our new store and public plaza, which will make a wonderful addition to Union Square and create hundreds of local jobs," says Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette. "Our Stockton Street store has been incredibly popular, welcoming over 13 million customers since it opened nine years ago, and we look forward to making a new home on Union Square."
Short video clip made available by Israeli PM's office
As reported previously, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple headquarters as part of a California-driven initiative to strengthen commercial ties between the state and Israel. In a short video posted to the prime minister's official YouTube channel, Netanyahu can be seen touring Apple's headquarters and posing with Cook ahead of a lunch meeting.
Tour of Silicon Valley part of California-Israel technology partnership deal
On Wednesday, visiting head of state Benjamin Netanyahu -- the prime minister of Israel -- met with Apple CEO Tim Cook and the founders of Facebook's recently-acquired WhatsApp as part of a tour of Silicon Valley, part of a state government initiative to forge stronger trade and business relationships between California and Israel. According to reports, Netanyahu had lunch with Cook at Apple's Cupertino headquarters.
Complex still not due to be finished until 2016
Crews contracted by Apple have already demolished a good deal of the structures at the site of the company's future Campus 2 complex in Cupertino, an aerial photo reveals. The photo (below) was taken by Ron Cervi, a news and traffic reporter with KCBS. The demolition process began in November of last year.
Los Angeles, San Diego first non-test deployments
Major League Baseball has completed its first post-test iBeacon deployments at two stadiums, according to an announcement. 65 iBeacons have been put in place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres. The league says that plans are underway to have over 20 parks outfitted by Opening Day; the main reason for the initial two stadiums is that the Padres are hosting the Dodgers on March 30th.
San Francisco hotbed of phone theft
Democratic State Senator Mark Leno of California has introduced a bill that would require any smartphone or tablet sold in the state to include some form of "kill switch" antitheft technology, says the New York Times. The bill is being sponsored by San Francisco district attorney George GascÃ³n, who along with the attorney general for New York has been pressuring cellphone makers to add the technology for some time. Under the proposed law, any unprotected mobile device sold in California on or after January 1st 2015 would net the vendor a fine up to $2,500 per unit.
Structure used to test look, methods, tolerances
Contractors have assembled a life-sized section mockup for Apple's upcoming Campus 2 complex in Cupertino, reports say. The structure can be seen at a parking lot at Tantau Avenue between Pruneridge and Vallco, just a short distance from the Campus 2 site. Submitted permit documents indicate that the mockup measures 9,000 square feet, and is meant to "test construction methods, tolerances and the visual appearance of precast concrete elements."
Police cite visible-monitor law
A California driver is reportedly set for one of the first legal skirmishes over the use of Google Glass while driving. After being pulled over for traveling 80mph in a 65mph zone on Interstate 15 near San Diego, Cecilia Abadie received a second citation for "driving with a monitor visible" due to the electronic eyewear.
Controversial program to grow by $115 million
The Los Angeles Board of Education has announced plans to expand its distribution of iPads to 38 more campuses before state testing begins this spring, according to the Los Angeles Times. The tablets will be given to students, teachers, and administrative staff; the Unified School District is also set to equip seven high schools with laptops.
Helicopter, K-9 unit brought in for high-profile location
Over the weekend, police for Santa Clara County arrested a man accused of trying to steal copper wire from Apple's future Campus 2 building in Cupertino, reports say. Around 9:30PM on Saturday, Apple security asked police to investigate a burglary in progress, having discovered that a gate to fenced-off ground had been opened. Not knowing the extent of the situation, the police called in both a helicopter and a K-9 unit, who found a hiding 56-year-old Belmont man, Glenn Cartwright.
ISP looking to reverse
Time Warner Cable is planning to double the Internet speeds of its Ultimate 50 customers, but only in a handful of cities, according to an announcement. First up is Los Angeles, which should shortly see speeds reach up to 100Mbps. By the end of the year, New York City and cities in Hawaii will get the upgrade.
Site represents origin of first Apple computers
The one-time Los Altos home of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, 2066 Crist Drive, has been designated a "historic resource" by the Los Altos Historical Commission. The group has voted unanimously in favor of an initiative to protect the space, which the Commission itself has been pursuing for about two years. As a consequence of this week's decision, Patricia Jobs -- Steve's sister, and the current owner of the home -- will be subject to extra review requirements if she chooses to make renovations. The Commission will also be able to make recommendations to City Council about any proposals.
School district has yet to meet order threshold for promised discount
The Los Angeles Unified School District is running well over budget in its plan to equip 47 schools with iPads, the Los Angeles Times reports. The program was originally budgeted for $50 million, but this was based on an early iPad pricing estimate putting each tablet at $650; in all $20.3 million was budgeted for iPads, the rest going to needed training and infrastructure. When the program was formally announced this summer iPad pricing had already crept up to $678, and budget disclosures now reveal that the District is actually paying about $770 per device, adding another $4 million to the program's cost.
Case pursued through small claims court
A California man, Mark Menacher, has filed a small-claims lawsuit against Apple CEO Tim Cook over an automatic update to iOS 7. The case is being handled through the San Diego County branch of California's Superior Court, and asks for a method to remove update files plus $50 in compensation. Automatic over-the-air downloads of iOS updates became an option with iOS 6; although people must give permission for an update to install, the associated file can't be removed if a person chooses to back out, consuming 1GB or more of free space.
Final go-ahead dependent on City Council vote
Cupertino's planning commission has voted to approve Apple's future "spaceship" campus, officially known as Campus 2. The vote took place on Wednesday, following a Tuesday night "shared study session" with public participation. Final approval is only waiting for a vote by the Cupertino City Council, which is expected to take place October 15th.
Apple relocating to Post and Stockton
A New York real estate firm, Ashkenazy, is paying $50 million for the building housing Apple's current One Stockton Street store in San Francisco, industry sources say. The deal is believed to be worth $3,000 per square foot, well in excess of the previous record for Union Square, $2,328, set in 2008. Ashkenazy is also paying $110 million -- $2,500 per square foot -- for a building at the corner of Geary and Stockton. Prior to this week One Stockton was controlled by a German fund, Deka-Immobilien.
Garage famous as birthplace for Apple I
The Los Altos Historical Commission will soon determine whether or not the childhood home of Steve Jobs is a historical site, reports say. Today the Commission is conducting a "historic property evaluation" of the building, located at 2066 Crist Drive. Should the group give the go-ahead, the city will have to preserve the structure for future generations.
Shoppers find many models unavailable
Apple CEO Tim Cook made a surprise appearance this morning at the new Palo Alto Apple Store in California, accounts say. As some 200 or more people waited in line to buy new iPhones, Cook is said to have spoken with people in line and shook their hands. Palo Alto is roughly a 15-25 minute drive from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino.
Fountain moved slightly to accommodate new steps
Apple has presented revised plans for its upcoming Union Square Apple Store to San Francisco city officials, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The plans were submitted Monday, and mayor Ed Lee says he is "happy" that Apple was able to work with city planners to keep a popular fountain by Ruth Asawa near its current location. Apple has also added things like a glass "notch" to a wall along Stockton Street, which would otherwise have been a featureless, 80-foot-long block of steel.
Fountain may stay
San Francisco's city planning department has called for changes to Apple's upcoming Union Square store in a preliminary project assessment, the San Francisco Chronicle says. Apple's current proposal was sharply criticized in May, mainly for issues like an 80-foot blank wall along Stockton Street, and the expected removal of a popular fountain sculpted by Ruth Asawa. The Chronicle's coverage drew attention from SF mayor Ed Lee, who said he would re-examine Apple's plans.
Public to get chance to comment on issues like deforestation
The City of Cupertino is scheduled to host a public meeting Wednesday on the environmental impact of Apple's upcoming "spaceship" campus, officially known as Campus 2. The meeting starts at 6:30PM at the Cupertino Community Hall, and will offer the public an opportunity to raise questions or argue for or against changes. People who can't attend in person will be able to watch a live stream or submit comments online.
Complaint to cease and desist money transfers sent to Bitcoin support organization
The California Department of Financial Institutions has attacked the Bitcoin virtual currency, by sending a cease and desist letter to the Bitcoin Foundation. The group, which serves to standardize, support, and promote the Bitcoin protocol, was sent the order to stop late last month due to alleged monetary transmissions without proper licensing.
Every student to have access to an iPad
Apple has won a $30 million contract to provide iPads to every student in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the LA Times reports. The Board of Education voted 6-0 in favor after hearing senior staff claim that the iPad was both the best and least expensive option for meeting the District's specifications. The tablet "received the highest scoring by the students and the teachers," according to Deputy Superintendent Jaime Aquino. The vote authorizes deployment at 47 campuses; since Apple is the only authorized vendor though, the District will end up paying hundreds of millions to Apple over the course of two years.
Touts benefits of Apple business, needed construction work
Apple has published a new report on the expected economic impact of its upcoming "spaceship" campus, known formally as Campus 2. The 64-page document (PDF) was assembled by Keyser Marston Associates for the City of Cupertino. It touts the benefits of Apple operations to the cities of Cupertino, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale, as well as Santa Clara County. "With net annual sales in excess of $156 billion, 16,000 employees currently based in the Cupertino area, and annual purchases from local Silicon Valley-based businesses of $4.6 billion, Apple is a cornerstone of the Silicon Valley economy and of the fiscal resources of the City of Cupertino," one part of the report reads.
Popular fountain would be removed under current Apple plans
San Francisco mayor Ed Lee says he will take a look at Apple's plans to build a new store at Union Square, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Earlier this week the paper aired criticisms about Apple's proposal, which would include the presence of a long, blank wall along Stockton Street, and the removal of a popular fountain. Prior to the Chronicle's story, city politicians had expressed their support for the store.
Apple continues coverage push
Apple has expanded its 3D Flyover coverage in iOS 6 Maps to more of California, AppleInsider notes. Flyover has long been available for cities like San Francisco, but now covers areas such as Anaheim, San Bernardino, Santa Monica, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, and Moreno Valley. Some significant pieces of scenery include Disneyland and the Santa Monica pier.
San Francisco pursues 'fear and distrust' strategy
The San Francisco Police Department is pursuing a "fear and distrust" strategy in an attempt to wreck the city's black market for mobile devices, particularly iPhones, the Huffington Post writes. Sting operations are targeting both the buyers and sellers of stolen devices, the idea being to deter people from going the illegal route. The SFPD has reportedly had help from Apple, which loaned a collection of iPhones that were then sold by undercover police officers.
Hopes to connect rural locations with unused TV spectrum
An Internet service provider based in California is offering residents connections using white spaces. Cal.net is using unallocated spectrum, left over after the transition from analog to digital television in 2009, to allow rural customers in areas without 4G LTE and land-based connections a wireless Internet connection.
Project may exceed cost of new World Trade Center
The budget for Apple's upcoming "spaceship" campus in Cupertino has ballooned by $2 billion to a massive $5 billion, say five Bloomberg sources described as close to the project. Architectural firm Foster + Partners is reportedly looking to slash $1 billion from that budget, but that could still make the new campus more expensive than the new World Trade Center in New York City, which is expected to cost $3.9 billion. The attempt at cost-cutting is said to be behind the delay of the campus' opening until mid-2016.
Companies could be forced to hand over data
The California State Assembly is set to consider a new bill, the "Right to Know Act of 2013," that may force companies to disclose personal data. Supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the proposal (PDF) would require companies to provide copies of all data collected on its customers, including a list of third parties with which the personal data has been shared.
Details still undisclosed
The designs for the next two generations of iPhone have already been developed, claims the district attorney for San Francisco, George Gascón. Unusually, in an interview about smartphone and tablet thefts, Gascón claims to have been personally informed about the future hardware by an Apple government liaison, Michael Foulkes. Their designs "preceded Tim Cook [becoming CEO]," Gascón says, while arguing that he would eventually like to see a killswitch technology that could disable a mobile device after it's reported stolen. Many devices can already be remotely wiped, including the iPhone, but all this does is remove any personal information or content.
Authorities accept building design from Frank Gehry
Facebook has received permission to build a second campus designed by Frank Gehry near its existing location. Authorities of Menlo Park have permitted the new build, a 22-acre site west of Bayfront Expressway in California, and will include a rooftop park and an underground tunnel to connect the two campuses as part of the design.
Says workers can't be treated equally with law in place
The US Defense of Marriage Act "hurts legally married same-sex couples and prevents companies from treating all employees as equals," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling tells AllThingsD. "Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we hope the Supreme Court will declare the law unconstitutional." The quote comes in response to questions about Apple's participation in legal measures against DoMA and California's Proposition 8.
Corporate amicus curae brief filed with Supreme Court
Apple is joining with at least 60 other large corporations in submitting a filing to the Supreme Court in support of extending marriage rights to gay people and against California's Proposition 8, continuing the iPhone maker's long record of supporting equal rights for homosexual couples. Other "friend of the court" filings are coming from diverse sources, including one that includes over 75 well-known Republican leaders -- including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, among others.
Companies can require addresses, phone numbers in California
Apple and other online retailers aren't breaking state law by requiring people to submit their address and phone number when making credit card payments, the California Supreme Court has ruled. The decision at least temporarily ends a proposed class action brought by David Krescent, who charged that Apple should not be able to require the extra information for iTunes purchases. Reuters reports that eBay and Walmart submitted briefs in support of Apple.
Fourth SF outlet pegged for Castro Street
New information has emerged on anticipated Apple Stores in Berlin and San Francisco. Bloomberg sources indicate that as expected, Apple is planning to open up its first Berlin location in a former movie theater at Kurfürstendamm 26. Kurfürstendamm is one of the main shopping streets in Berlin, and the theater in question is across from a Hard Rock Cafe. The location was originally tipped over a year ago, and job listings began appearing in March. MacNN can confirm that Apple has already started hiring people for the store.
Should allow AT&T to make significant LTE expansions
AT&T has bought $1.9 billion in 700 MHz B spectrum from Verizon Wireless, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. AT&T says that the licenses should cover over 42 million people in 18 states: California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. As a part of the deal, it will also get AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum in five of those markets.
Sites in Texas, California also allegedly under consideration
The states of Oregon and New York may be competing for a chip factory under consideration by an Apple supplier, says The Oregonian. Oregon's economic development agency, Business Oregon, says it is trying to recruit a company operating under the codename "Azalea." A non-disclosure agreement is preventing any more details from emerging, though a similar project --tagged with a "Project Azalea" codename -- is being pursued in New York state.
Leases could be stopgap until 'spaceship' campus is finished
Apple is again expanding its California office space, according to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. The company has signed leases for two buildings: one is a 57,479-square-foot office in Santa Clara, while the other is a 11,552-square-foot location in Apple's hometown of Cupertino. The Cupertino space is being subleased from a company called Roamware.