The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals bought a "security robot" to harass homeless people at its Mission District offices, a move that the city has banned and threatened $1,000/day fines for.
The SPCA called the robot "K9" and said it would prevent car break-ins. Mostly it was aimed at harassing homeless people who live in nearby tents. They claim the robot successfully evicted the homeless people from those sidewalks, presumably getting them good, sustainable homes and just merely moving them to another part of the city (right? right?).
Before the homeless people were chased off, they flung a tarp over the robot, knocked it over and covered its sensors with barbecue sauce.
On Dec. 1, the Department of Public Works sent the SPCA an email saying that the robot is operating in the public right-of-way "without a proper approval.” SPCA would have to stop using the robot on sidewalks or request a proper permit, according to the DPW email reviewed by the Business Times.
Scarlett said the SPCA stopped using the robot on the sidewalks and handed the issue over to the robot’s maker, Mountain View-based Knightscope, for further discussion with the city. Knightscope didn't respond to a request for comment about the status of those talks.
The robot is a K5 unit and has a top speed of three miles per hour, according to Knightscope’s website. The units are more than five feet tall and weigh 400 pounds. They are equipped with four cameras, “each capable of reading up to 300 license plates per minute” and sending alerts when trespassers or people on a “blacklist” are in an area.
Security robot that deterred homeless encampments in the Mission gets rebuke from the city [Alisha Green/San Francisco Business Times]
The Internet Archive celebrated its 20th anniversary with a variety of special events and collections, including the cleverly named Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex, an archive of US military bureaucratic slide-decks that are as cringey as they are hideous.
My friend Mark Krawczuk recently discovered an under-appreciated attraction at San Francisco’s Pier 39, Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze. In his latest newsletter (which is a delightful find itself), he describes it: There’s something about the atmosphere at Pier 39 that set me and my friend Julie on edge. Something about the ingenuous tourist trap consumer […]
Jamie Zawinski (previously), who owns San Francisco's amazing DNA Lounge venue, does a postmortem on the announcements from Slim's and the Great American Music Hall that they have "partnered" with Golden Voice, a division of Anschutz Entertainment Group, a $8 billion company that is the world's largest owner of sports teams and events; owns Coachella […]
Python is one of the most popular and versatile programming languages used by developers today, making it an ideal first choice for those looking to kickstart a career in programming. While you could go back to school or sign up for a pricey coding bootcamp, you can learn the essentials of coding with Python at […]
Going back to school isn’t necessarily an option for everyone. Between the time commitments and steep tuition rates, there are obstacles aplenty as far as furthering education is concerned. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to learn new skills. Excel with Business lets users access thousands of hours of online learning in Microsoft, business, technology, […]
More often than not, you won’t see an accident coming, which means it pays to be proactive and ensure you have the right tools on-hand before you need them. Whether you find yourself in the middle of a power outage or having car trouble at night, you can make sure you’re still capable of navigating […]