Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts

Friday, June 22, 2012

Google Gives Sneak Peek of Jelly Bean, the Next Version of Android

Google Gives Sneak Peek of Jelly Bean, the Next Version of Android
Android will be called “Jelly Bean” and that it will appear in the new Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ phone.
The phone showed up briefly on Google Play before Google took it down. The blog Droid Life took a screen grab of the listing, which placed the price at $409.

The listing in Google Play also may confirm reports that Google plans to sell the next Nexus directly, a la Apple. That was also the game plan for the Nexus One in 2010, but Google eventually pulled the plug on that effort because of lack of demand for the $529 model.

Though the report lists Jelly Bean as “Android 4.1,” other rumors have said that’s the code-name for Android 5.0. Google is said to be switching strategies for Jelly Bean, allowing multiple manufacturers early access to the OS. Previously, Google had partnered with a single manufacturer to provide a “reference” for other models.

More details about Jelly Bean will likely be announced at Google I/O, the developers’ conference, next week in San Francisco.

News by Mashable

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Live From Microsoft’s Windows Phone Keynote

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Keynote

Today Microsoft kicks off its Windows Phone developer conference in San Francisco, and we’re live on the scene for the keynote. It starts at 9 a.m. PT (12:00 p.m. ET), and it’s rumored there are big things on tap.

The world is anticipating the next major upgrade to Microsoft’s mobile platform, Windows Phone 8 “Apollo.” it’s been almost two years since Microsoft first introduced Windows Phone 7, and it’s last big upgrade — version 7.5 a.k.a. “Mango” — is about a year old. The timing is right for the next phase.

There’s no official word about what Windows Phone 8 will be, but there are of course lots of rumors and speculation. As we reported months ago, Microsoft is said to be re-working Windows Phone to better align with Windows 8 for the PC as well as support emerging mobile technologies such as multi-core processors.

Of course, that leaves a big hanging question about what happens to existing Windows Phone devices. Also, how will Windows phones interact with other Microsoft technologies like the recently announced SmartGlass companion to Xbox and the upcoming Surface tablet?

The answers to at least some of those questions are sure to be forthcoming in today’s event. Follow along with Mashable in this liveblog, jump in with comments anytime, and be sure to stay tuned to the main site for all the coverage.

What do you think Microsoft will announce today? Share your ideas in the comments.

News by Mashable

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Friday, April 13, 2012

California's Biggest Delinquent Taxpayers Owe Over $232 Million

naked pamela anderson
Pamela Anderson
The California Tax Franchise Board today released a list of the state's 500 biggest delinquent taxpayers who together owe almost $233 million in unpaid state income taxes. On the list are Hollywood celebrities including model and actress Pamela Anderson and director of "The Notebook," Nick Cassavetes.

Halsey Minor, founder of technology news site CNET, is still the biggest delinquent taxpayer as he was a year ago. He and his wife, Shannon, whose address is listed as San Francisco, owe over $10.4 million. Their tax lien was filed on July 21, 2009. Their debt fell from over $13.1 million a year ago.

Since at least 2010, Anderson has remained on the list, published twice a year.

Almost 90 percent of taxpayers pay the taxes they owe, according to the board. However, California's annual budget deficit is estimated to be $10 billion, up from $6.5 billion a year ago, according to the board. California lawmakers have been shuffling to make up for the expected disappointing spring revenue from corporate income and sales taxes. Gov. Jerry Brown will issue his budget revision in May.

Cassavetes is listed as owing $273,003 for a lien filed on June 16, 2010. A spokesman for Cassavetes declined to comment.

The state's Tax Franchise Board has compiled a list since 2007 of 250 top tax delinquents who owe at least $100,000, according to Denise Azimi, board spokeswoman. Legislation passed last fall, the Delinquent Taxpayer Accountability Act, expanded the list to 500 people and put in place other tools to force those listed to pay taxes, including suspending driver's licenses for some listed starting in July.

Since 2007, the tax board said it has recovered more than $118 million in revenue.

Joseph Francis, creator of "Girls Gone Wild," and his film company, Mantra Films, Inc., owe over $1.2 million for a lien filed Feb. 6, 2009.

Music video filmmaker Mark Romanek, and his handbag designer wife, Bridgette, owe $353,030 for a tax lien filed April 14, 2009.

Edra Blixseth, a former billionaire businesswoman, owes over $3.1 million for a lien filed Oct. 16, 2008.

Azimi said the tax board sends certified letters notifying 500 delinquent taxpayers that they are candidates for the list at least 30 days before it is published. The current list, which is fewer than 500 people, accounts for those who did not act to lower their debt.

"Everything in the tax world is confidential with this exception," she said.

Once on the list, you will be removed once you start paying your debt and are no longer part of the biggest deadbeats.

"We don't people to be on the list. We work with people to be compliant," she said, including offering installment payment plans. "Or you give us an offer of compromise that we'll accept."

She said the board also does not list taxpayers in bankruptcy or those who are currently in appeal or litigation with the board.

News by ABC

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Safer Mani-Pedis: Steps You Can Take

Nail care products are displayed at a beauty supply shop in San Francisco
Although the state of California this week reported finding a "toxic trio" of ingredients in some inaccurately labeled nail polishes, there's no need to give up those mani-pedis in the name of health.

"Manufacturers have broken the level of trust with the public and with the nail salon community," said Julia Liou, co-founder of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Tuesday before appearing with state officials to discuss the findings of the report.

"No one can trust the labels," Liou said. The report said that some nail polish manufacturers are making claims on their product labels to be free of the "toxic trio" of chemicals linked to cancer, asthma and birth defects, even though state testing of 25 products in some cases detected them.

While accepting that some labeling may be unreliable and could be improved, consumers who want painted nails also should think about where they're having their nails done. Air quality inside a salon is important no matter how often patrons come in. It's even more important to the thousands of licensed manicurists -- 121,000 in California alone -- who may breathe chemical fumes 10 hours a day, seven days a week, said Liou, a public health administrator at Asian Health Services in Oakland, who is among advocates pressing for better ventilation to dissipate the concentrated chemical vapors.

In its "Safer Nail Salons," report, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control tested 25 randomly selected nail polishes and thinners for three common chemicals that make nail lacquers shiny, quick-drying and flexible.

One of the three toxins, the aromatic solvent toluene, can irritate the eyes, throat and lungs, damage the nervous system and potentially harm an unborn child. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which keeps polish from becoming brittle, also can cause reproductive harm. Formaldehyde, a nail hardener also used in a wide variety of products including air fresheners and the Brazilian Blowout hair straightener, is a known carcinogen.

Tests found toluene in 10 of a dozen products labeled toluene-free, and also identified at least one member of the toxic trio in five of seven products labeled as "three-free."

Despite the chemical exposures inherent in applying base coats, color, top coats and nail-hardeners to fingernails and toenails in the name of beauty, here are some ways to reduce health risks.

Consider water-based polishes like those made by Acquarella, which don't give off fumes, instead of solvent-based polishes, said Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

"I use it and it doesn't smell, which is a novelty," Malkan said.

Try brands like OPI and Sally Hansen, which have made concerted efforts to eliminate the most toxic chemicals from their nail polishes since the European Union banned the use of DBP in cosmetics in 2004 and a 2006 public campaign put pressure on the $6 billion nail care products industry to make formula changes, said Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

"Clearly, it's possible to make a safer product," Archer said.

Keep children and toddlers out of nail salons. "Minimizing any exposure for kids is important, because that's when they're most vulnerable to the harmful effects of some of these chemicals," Malkan said.

Children Can Bring Their Own Non-Toxic Polishes to Parties

If you have a child who insists on having or attending birthday parties where nail decoration is part of the fun, think about sending her off with her own supply of a non-toxic polish from Hopscotch Kids, suggests Jennifer Taggart, a Los Angeles consumer products attorney, blogger and author of "The Smart Mama's Green Guide."

Taggart, who before her marriage sported acrylic nails, said she's reluctant to allow her daughter to have a salon manicure "because you don't control what they're using, you don't know about the ventilation, and there are people doing acrylics or gels or all the other types of applications."

Taggart remembers refusing to let her daughter participate at a princess party where the children's nails were being polished and spritzed with a quick-drying nail spray. Although she considers the bring-your-own-polish technique a compromise, it has allowed her daughter to avoid feeling left out and allowed Taggart to sleep at night.

Try to find a well-ventilated spot when you visit a nail salon. Consider sitting close to an open window, or step outside for some fresh air, Malkan said.

Do-it-yourselfers should choose well-ventilated areas for at-home manicures and pedicures.

Reduce or eliminate your visits to nail salons as soon as you know you're pregnant. The developing fetus is particularly sensitive to the volatile chemicals in polishes and thinners.

Manicurists should consider working in a well-ventilated salon. Even better, they should have exhaust hoods at their nail stations, Malkan said. They also should consider wearing masks and gloves to protect lungs and skin from chemical irritants.

If you're concerned about ingredients in your favorite brands of nail polish, Malkan suggested going to the Skin Deep online safety database, created by the Environmental Working Group, which ranks products from 0 to 10, and choose products at the lower end of the scale, from 0 to 2.

When in doubt about product formulations, contact the manufacturer by phone or email, Taggart suggested. She said she worries less about the effects of the toxic trio in nail polish alone than the cumulative effects of multiple exposures to the formaldehyde that's also in pressed wood products and secondhand smoke and the phthalates also in face creams, perfumes and scented products. "You have to be aware of label claims and realize that they're not always accurate, whether it's a product saying it's natural or green, or whether saying it's free of a particularly chemical," she said. "Ask the company what standard do you use? How do you test? Who verifies it?"

News by ABC

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Fold-up car of the future unveiled for Europe

tiny car
Fold-up Car
A tiny revolutionary fold-up car designed in Spain's Basque country as the answer to urban stress and pollution was unveiled Tuesday before hitting European cities in 2013.

The "Hiriko," the Basque word for "urban," is an electric two-seater with no doors whose motor is located in the wheels and which folds up like a child's collapsible buggy, or stroller, for easy parking.

Dreamt up by Boston's MIT-Media lab, the concept was developed by a consortium of seven small Basque firms under the name Hiriko Driving Mobility, with a prototype unveiled by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

Demonstrating for journalists, Barroso clambered in through the fold-up front windscreen of the 1.5-metre-long car.

"European ideas usually are developed in the United States. This time an American idea is being made in Europe," consortium spokesman Gorka Espiau told AFP.

Its makers are in talks with a number of European cities to assemble the tiny cars that can run 120 kilometers (75 miles) without a recharge and whose speed is electronically set to respect city limits.

They envision it as a city-owned vehicle, up for hire like the fleets of bicycles available in many European cities, or put up for sale privately at around 12,500 euros.

Several cities have shows interest, including Berlin, Barcelona, San Francisco and Hong Kong. Talks are under way with Paris, London, Boston, Dubai and Brussels.

The vehicle's four wheels turn at right angles to facilitate sideways parking in tight spaces.

The backers describe the "Hiriko" project as a "European social innovation initiative offering a systematic solution to major societal challenges: urban transportation, pollution and job creation."

News by Yahoo

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