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What We're Searching For This Halloween in the Bay Area

You don’t have to have lived in San Francisco very long to realize that Halloween is this city’s idea of a pretty good holiday.

And it’s not necessarily just for kids, either–although most of them make out like bandits (or whatever else they’re disguised as) by visiting the stores along our neighborhood commercial strips, as well as houses on the specific blocks in various neighborhoods that specialize in goblinery.

Google Books Ruling Leaves Fate of Founder's Dream of "Library to Last Forever" in Limbo

When a federal judge threw out the class-action settlement in the Google Books case last week, he brought an end, at least for now, to one of the boldest initiatives the search giant has ever undertaken.

Back when he was still a grad student at Stanford in the late '90s, co-founder Larry Page began planning a "library to last forever," filled with digital versions of virtually every book ever published.

By 2005, when he and Sergey Brin had built Google up into the most successful company on the planet, Page began to put his plan into motion. Google made deals with leading academic libraries to begin scanning books, including many rare and out of print books, at a rapid pace -- to the point that today they have scanned a total of some 15 million books.

Berkeley Dropout Darian Shirazi's Plan to Win the Hyperlocal Game with Fwix


If this is the first time you've heard the name Darian Shirazi, it's a good bet it won't be the last.

The 24-year-old UC Berkeley dropout heads up a Soma-based operation called Fwix, which is an early leader in what he calls the "fourth wave" of the Internet -- local search -- or "what's nearby, right now."

Under this formulation, the first three Internet waves were directory, search, and social media. Shirazi's tiny company (19 employees) appears to have opened an early technological lead on corporations that are trying to catch the same local search wave like AOL’s "Patch" and Google’s "Places," among others.

The idea, essentially, is to bring you the hyperlocal - the best information about what is happening right around you in as close to real time as possible. It depends on identifying content that has been accurately geo-coded. That presents an extremely difficult technical challenge.

First, let's back up a second.

Yahoo! Revolutionizes Local Bus Shelters, Promises A Block Party With OK Go

Have you seen those crazy new touch screen Yahoo ads at bus stops lately? They're actually games that pit SF neighborhood against neighborhood and until January 26th, when they disappear, you basically won't have a chance to get bored waiting for Muni again. But that's not all--the winning neighborhood wins a block party with indie band OK Go!

Northern CA Cancer Center's 35th Anniversary

 

 

There was big news afoot on Nov. 4 at the Northern California Cancer Center’s 35 Years: The Legacy Anniversary awards dinner.

NCCC CEO Sally Glaser announced that in early 2010 the center will change its name to the Cancer Prevention Institute of California.

Which caused a few pauses at the podium as speakers mentally scrambled to ascertain the correct initials to employ as they honored the research of Dr. Alice Whittemore and the fund-raising efforts of Hilary Newsom Callan and her husband, Geoff Callan.

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