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David Weir

What Do You Think About SOPA and PIPA?

Why Wikipedia Has Gone Dark and Google is Censoring its Logo Today

If you go to Google today, you'll notice that its logo has been blacked out.

If you go to Wikipedia, you'll see a headline that reads "Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge," followed by the following text:

"For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia."

The reason for these actions by Google, Wikipedia, and other major web-based companies is a pair of bills currently being considered by both houses of the U.S. Congress. They are best-known by their acronyms, SOPA and PIPA.

UrbanSitter Connects Parents With Babysitters Via Social Web

As we figure out how to meet more and more of our offline needs in online marketplaces, one key issue always arises -- trust. How do we know we can trust the people we meet online?

And if this is an issue with sharing or exchanging things, like our apartments (Airbnb), cars (Getaround), and services (Zaarly), it's even more the case with the decisions about which people will take care of our kids.

San Francisco-based UrbanSitter has emerged over the past six months to help parents and babysitters meet up. It starts with Facebook Connect.

Scoop.it Makes It Simple to Publish Online Magazines

While it’s true that anyone can be a publisher in the Internet Age, it’s also true that the most commonly used tools aren’t for everyone.

Finding Ingredients and Recipes Just Became Easier with FoodPair

For most of us, cooking meals would be easier if we had better tools for using whatever ingredients we happen to have on hand.

Finding the time to get to a well-stocked grocery store isn’t always easy, and -- as anyone who’s tried to follow an elaborate recipe can attest -- locating the exact ingredients in the precise amounts called for isn’t always possible, either.

15 Startups Poised to Make Waves in 2012

All over the Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco, thousands of startups are developing innovative products and services that collectively promise to transform the way we live our lives going forward.

Be More Efficient in 2012 Thanks To 8 Local Startups

It may not seem all that sexy, but much of the most significant innovation in digital technology is devoted to helping us get things done more efficiently.

Here are eight local startups that are leading the way in that regard as we enter the new year:

10 San Francisco Startups Shaking Up the World of Food

The following ten startups are all, in one way or another, transforming the way we relate to food here in the city, and beyond. This is not a ranking, but a list, alphabetically by company name:

Collaborative Consumption: A Useful Way of Reducing SF's Carbon Footprint

One of the most significant social and economic trends that has emerged from technology entrepreneurs in 2011 is collaborative consumption.

Treatful, the "Anti-Groupon," Brings Online Gift Certificates to Acclaimed Restaurants into the 21st Century

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), we Americans are in the process of spending around $28 billion on gift cards this holiday season, with 80 percent of us choosing to buy at least one, spending an average of $43.23 per card.

There’s nothing new about gift cards, of course, but what is new in 2011 is the effort by a number of local startups to attack the traditional, impersonal sort of card with a new, much more personalized online approach.

Three small companies poised to disrupt the traditional gift card industry in three separate strategies are Giftly, Giftiki, and Wantful – all of which I’ve profiled earlier this year.

Now there’s a fourth to add to the list – Treatful – co-founded by two Stanford business school grads, Brent Looney and Hoon Kim.

BlueSprig Launches Security App AirCover for Mobile Phones

Jason Johnson's BlueSprig is emerging from six months in stealth mode with the first of a series of a new lightweight apps for Android and iOS phones called AirCover.

The idea behind AirCover is to bundle in one app a lot of key security, privacy and efficiency functions “that we think should ideally have come with the phone,” says Johnson, a partner at the Founders Den.

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