The hacker who took over San Francisco's Muni got hacked

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Last week, the San Francisco Municipal Light Rail system (the Muni) had to stop charging passengers to ride because a ransomware hacker had taken over its network and encrypted the drives of all of its servers. Read the rest

Ransomware creep accidentally hijacks San Francisco Muni, won't give it back

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A ransomware criminal's self-reproducing malicious software spread through a critical network used by the San Francisco light rail system, AKA the Muni, and shut it down; the anonymous criminal -- cryptom27@yandex.com -- says they won't give it back until they get paid. Read the rest

San Francisco high-school students stage a mass walkout in protest of Trump

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Go, kids, go! Read the rest

Artist celebrates Patriot Act's anniversary by handing out "Official Air Travel Replacement Knives" to arriving SFO passengers

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Last week, artist Michelle Pred celebrated the anniversary of the Patriot Act by dressing up as an old-timey Pan Am flight attendant (she wore her mother's old Pan Am hat!) and handing out "Official Air Travel Replacement Knives" to people waiting for their bags at SFO (she had 50 knives, but it took more than 50 tries to give them away, as more than half of the people she approached refused to engage with her). Read the rest

Office space for happy mutants in San Francisco's Mission District

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My dear friend Bruce Tomb -- accomplished architect and creator of Maria del Camino, a "flying" art-car made from a 59 El Camino and a tank -- is renting out office space in his building in the middle of San Francisco's Mission District. Read the rest

San Francisco's 58-story "leaning tower" is sinking fast

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San Francisco's 419-apartment, 58-story luxury Millennium Tower has been sinking since at it opened in 2009, and now it's begun to lean alarmingly.

Read the rest

Billionaire tech investors back ballot initiative to purge homeless people from San Francisco

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Sequoia Capital Chairman Michael Moritz and angel investor Ron Conway have donated to San Francisco's Proposition Q: if passed, "the city would give residents of tent encampments 24 hours’ notice to relocate to a shelter or accept a bus ticket out of town." Read the rest

Wells Fargo whistleblower describes bank's culture of blackballing threats and coerced corruption

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On the latest Planet Money podcast (MP3), a former San Francisco Wells Fargo banker describes the bullying and coercion she faced from senior management while working at the bank's head office, and how the bank forced her out when she blew the whistle on fraud and then blacklisted her with other banks, forcing her out of the sector altogether. Read the rest

Friday in Berkeley, CA: Pop-Up Magazine and NoisePop's live stories and sound extravaganza

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Right now, The Voyager Golden Record, containing a message from Earth for any extraterrestrials that might encounter it, is traveling on two spacecraft through the cosmic ocean at almost 40,000 miles per hour. But as we approach the 40th anniversary of Voyager, that beautiful gold phonograph record is also barreling through popular consciousness! Last week, I launched a Kickstarter with two friends, Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, to release the Voyager Golden Record on vinyl for the first time. We are blown away and humbled by the support our project has received!

While we were secretly developing our project, the good people at Pop-Up Magazine, California Sunday Magazine, and NoisePop were also quietly orchestrating their own homage to that magnificent golden artifact! The Golden State Record, taking place this Friday (9/30) at Berkeley's Greek Theater is an exquisitely-curated performance of "stories and sounds of California and the West from some of our favorite musicians, writers, filmmakers, radio producers, and artists." (We only found out about each others' efforts in July!)

The, well, stellar Golden State Record lineup include musicians like Lil B, Thao Nguyen, Mark Kozelek, and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, the Center for Investigative Reporting's Al Letson, music critic and "MacArthur Genius" Josh Kun, Jace Clayton aka DJ/rupture, and so many more.

I'll be there enjoying the scene under the stars.

Attend the Golden State Record at Berkeley's Greek Theater

Support the "Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition" on Kickstarter

Read the rest

Come see me in Portland, Riverside, LA, and San Francisco

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I've got a busy couple of weeks coming up! I'm speaking tomorrow at Powell's in Portland, OR for Banned Books Week; on Wednesday, I'm at UC Riverside speaking to a Philosophy and Science Fiction class; on Friday I'll be at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, speaking on Canada's dark decade of policy denial from climate science to digital locks; and then on Oct 6, I'm coming to SFMOMA to talk about museums, technology, and free culture. I hope to see you soon! (Image: Alex Schoenfeldt Photography, www.schoenfeldt.com, CC-BY) Read the rest

West coast premiere for nerd culture documentary Traceroute

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Johannes Grenzfurthner writes, "My cinematic tour de farce through nerd culture comes to the West Coast. Upcoming Bay Area and L.A. premieres!" Read the rest

To do in San Francisco this weekend: the first-ever roguelike celebration

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Noah writes, "This weekend a group of roguelike enthusiasts and developers are getting together for the first ever Roguelike Celebration. It'll feature talks from developers of the game that spawned the genre - rogue - as well as the creators of Dwarf Fortress, Kingdom of Loathing, ADOM, Tracery and lots more. It'll take place all day on the 17th and will be streamed live on Twitch.tv for those who can't make it in person." (Image: Deon-23, Mike Mayday, public domain) Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Oct 15 panel on the creation of the Haunted Mansion

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The storied Walt Disney Family Museum hosts Imagineer Kim Irvine, former Disney lead Twitter writer Ed Squair, and Winchester Mystery House manager Walter Magnuson in a panel on Oct 15, discussing the origins of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion, a subject near and dear to my heart. Read the rest

Join me at EFF's 25th Pioneer Awards in San Francisco next Wednesday

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Nicole from EFF writes, "The Electronic Frontier Foundation is excited to host the 2016 Pioneer Awards in San Francisco next Wednesday, September 21 at Delancey Street’s Town Hall Room." Read the rest

Saturday in San Francisco: free 20th Street Block Party with killer live music!

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This Saturday (8/20), our friends at Noise Pop and their co-conspirators are throwing their big annual music and food festival in San Francisco's Mission District! The 20th Street Block Party will feature an eclectic mix of musical performances across three stages include Miami Horror, Chicano Batman, Boulevards, Nico Yaryan, Hazel English, Spooky Mansion, Mandeline Kenney, La Gente, Dos Four, and DJ Krazy. Also making the scene will be Rocket Dog Adoption Zoo, the San Francisco Lowrider Council, and Community Music Center's Instrument Petting Zoo. Alabama Street becomes Art Row and ArtSpan and Workshop SF are offering workshops, crafts, and community art projects for all ages. Plus, of course, plenty of food and drinks (artisanal and otherwise).

My whole family looks forward to the 20th Street Block Party every year! The whole shebang is free with a suggested donation of $5-$10 to benefit the Mission Language & Vocational School. Or you can drop $95 for a VIP "Headliner Experience" ticket including green room.

20th Street Block Party Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Cecil Castellucci and Ben Loory at SF in SF

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The next SF in SF event features Cecil Castellucci (previously), author of books as varied as Odd Duck and Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure and Ben Loory, author of The Baseball Player and the Walrus and many other titles. Read the rest

San Francisco's bike lanes have become Uber's pickup/dropoff zones (and the cops don't care)

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It's no secret that San Francisco's cops hate cyclists -- they won't investigate hit-and-runs, they blame cyclists for accidents and harass them, they run them down in bike lanes -- so it's no surprise that they stand by idly while San Francisco's busy biking lanes are turned into pick-up and drop-off zones by Uber and Lyft drivers, forcing cyclists to swerve into traffic. Read the rest

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