Pioneering machine artist Kal Spelletich is being evicted: Help save his robots!

By Marke B. : 48hills – excerpt

kal

The teacher and inventor who brought robots and flamethrowers to Burning Man must leave his home and studio of 25 years.

“On a troubling note, after 25 years, I am getting evicted from my home base and studio space,” artist Kal Spelletich tweeted this morning. “I provided housing and/or studios for countless artists, freaks, traveling activists, and radical journalists. Save Kal’s Robots here:  Thank you thank you Thank You”

So much of Bay Area arts culture is indebted to Kal, from Survival Research Laboratory shenanigans like giant fire-spewing robots (he was the first to bring both robots and flamethrowers to Burning Man) and interactive machine art that helped pave the way for today’s creative developments, to constantly helping and hosting artists (he teaches at the SF Arts Institute) and causes like Green Party fundraisers, Streetopia, and so many more … well, this just sucks… (more)

Kal is probably being evicted to build a new art school facility or student housing for such. That is what San Francisco real estate has turned into. Dog eat Dog or Demolish the Old and Rebuild it again for the next artist sucker, who will have a limited time before they go the way of Kal. The lesson in this game is buy what you can afford and don’t get attached to anything you don’t own. I only hope it is better somewhere else because it sucks here.

 

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California net neutrality bill strengthened after lawmakers reach deal

: sfchronicle – excerpt

SACRAMENTO — After efforts to create net neutrality protections for California consumers appeared to fall apart last month, state lawmakers announced a deal Thursday to move forward with the widely watched bill.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced SB822 in January after the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn regulations that banned companies from blocking or slowing down internet traffic.

After it was passed by the Senate, Wiener’s bill was gutted in an Assembly committee during a tense hearing in which the senator announced that he no longer supported his own legislation and internet regulation experts said it no longer qualified as a net neutrality bill.

On Thursday, Wiener said the key protections that were removed, making him want to walk away from the bill, will be restored. Wiener declined to make the exact language of the bill public until August, when the Legislature returns from summer recess and it can be officially amended into SB822(more)

So, we get to take their word for it until August.

Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Have Arrived

By Joe Kukura : sfweekly – excerpt

If case anyone doubts the human race (or at least the leadership) has gone maad, here is the proof you need along with a personal request. Please send us some of fictional (so far) scenarios for what could happen if you mix drones, auto-pilot cars, and flamethrowers with the criminal element on our streets. (In San Francisco we have regular mail and package thefts. Due to the lack of parking, delivery services just throw packages on the sidewalk and people comes along and grab them up. That could be the opening scene.)  Cartoons welcomed and encouraged. We promise to post if you want to share.

The first batch of Musk’s $500 flamethrowers are here, just in time for California wildfire season.

Maybe it provides some comfort to the 3,500 people just laid off at Tesla that their CEO has been engaged in a goofy flamethrower side project for the last four months. The first 1,000 of Elon Musk’s Boring Company handheld fire-shooting contraptions were distributed Saturday at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, CA. A total of 20,000 of these flamethrowers have been sold altogether, according to the product’s website

Musk claims on Twitter that regulations would not allow him to ship a product called a flamethrower, so he labeled it Not A Flamethrower. Others have labeled it a “cool toy for man-children with way too much disposable income.”… (more)

Thanks to all my talented readers and followers for inspiring me to go off on this site. It is a good respite from the political nightmares I am dealing with. To make it easy, if you have anything to share, just post it in the comments.

 

 

 

Protesters in San Francisco dumped a huge pile of scooters in the street and blocked 11 tech buses — and then things got tense

By Rachel Sandler and Katie Canales : businessinsider – excerpt

 

Activists piled scooters in front of buses and unfurled signs that said “Techsploitation is toxic.”

  • Anti-tech demonstrators in San Francisco blocked tech buses with piles of electric scooters.
  • They told Business Insider they were protesting tech companies’ using city streets to experiment and city officials’ increasing use of sweeps to force homeless people off the streets.
  • In total, a full intersection, 11 buses, and several cars were blocked for about two hours.

Anti-tech demonstrators in San Francisco on Thursday used piles of electric scooters to block shuttles ferrying Google and other tech company employees to work. The blockade was to protest what they see as the failure of the tech industry and lawmakers to address the city’s income inequality and sizable homeless population.

“What you’re seeing here is that scooters have more rights than people,” Chirag Bhakta told Business Insider. “Our priorities shouldn’t be people first, scooters second. We’re tired of being seen as an experimental playground for the tech industry.”…(more)

Gentrification and the corporate takeover of our cities by disruptive products and services is now complete. There is no product or service too dangerous or disruptive. Wait until Tesla’s flamethrowers get into the wrong hands. This seem like a bad idea at the start of fire season, but, the gun lobby likes them. A bill to restrict them was buried in committee.

Pick your conspiracy theory, but, you can’t ignore the takeover of our streets by Uber and Lyft. The day of the Tech v Tech bus protest, that received international coverage, we got news that Lyft is buying GoBikes. They are going head to head with Uber who just bought out another bikeshare Jump.

Tossing the tech scooters under tech buses was a brilliant statement about tech vs. tech. If you haven’t see this video yet you might want to watch this anti-gentrification direct action film, that covers SF and Oakland, among other cities around the globe, and share it with your friends and associates. https://sub.media/video/trouble-13-defend-the-block

RELATED:
Protesters toss scooters into street to block tech buses in SF

 

It’s Time To Get Real About Power in Silicon Valley

By Ryan Holiday : medium – excerpt

It could be said that the first few years of this current tech boom were fueled by mostly harmless, relatively easy products — websites for sharing your photos, for looking up stuff, for connecting with old friends. And the people who made them were seen as mostly good people.

Yet this feel-good perception has slowly and then suddenly disappeared. Users have begun to regard once trusted sites with suspicion over issues of privacy. The same reporters who previously lavished unthinking praise on every new startup now search with equal enthusiasm for scandals and mistakes. Those once harmless social networks, now at a scale unprecedented in human history, no longer look so innocent. The acronym we have for what were once upstarts or underdogs — Facebook to Amazon to Netflix to Google — hints at the now ominous nature of their place in the world, F.A.N.G.

What happened?…(more)

Resistance and feminism: what to expect from this year’s Armory Show

By Nadja Sayej : theguardian – excerpt

The much-anticipated contemporary art fair hits New York with a range of provocative pieces, taking aim at Trump and highlighting the work of female artists.

It’s that time of year again, when black-clad art enthusiasts descend upon New York’s Armory Show, the labyrinth-like contemporary art fair at Piers 92 and 94 in midtown Manhattan. Kicking off 8 March, over 200 international art galleries will set up their booths in the white wall jungle to dazzle, sell and sizzle on Instagram. Let’s hope they have free wifi.

On top of your painting and photo fare, there will be tech-inspired artworks in the new Focus section, where 34 artists imagine a post-human world. From 3D-printed sculptures to digital spiritualism, it’s curated by Gabriel Ritter, who is fascinated by our online personas… (more)

The new direction of art in a world of tech and the internet shares the stage with traditional media in a show of international moods and modes. Art as always leads the way into our future. This is a good show to catch if you can.

Man attacks self-driving car in SF Mission

By Julian Mark : missionlocal – excerpt

A man threw his body onto a self-driving car — a GM Cruise AV — causing a car vs. pedestrian collision at the 16th and Valencia intersection earlier this month, the DMV reported Wednesday.
Operating in “autonomous mode,” the Cruise AV was stopped at a green light, facing northbound on Valencia, waiting to make a right turn onto 16th Street as pedestrians crossed.
Suddenly, a man ran across Valencia Street against the “do not walk” sign, shouting, and struck the left side of the car’s rear bumper and hatch with his entire body. This is all according to a report the self-driving car manufacturer must file with the DMV in the event of a collision.
The man sustained no injuries, but the car did. It suffered “some damage to its right rear light,” according to the report…
Apparently, the Cruise AV has had a lot of activity in San Francisco, as in 2017 GM filed 22 reports with the DMV because of a collision — although the Cruise was never at fault, according to the reports. Five of those collisions occurred in the Mission. The most recent incident on Valencia Street was California’s first self-driving car collision in 2018…(more)