Skip navigation
Help

wireless devices

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Silicon Valley commuter bus route

Taking the bus isn't usually considered a luxury. But Silicon Valley companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, eBay, and Electronic Arts transport their employees to and from work, no matter where they live in San Francisco, on Wi-Fi equipped private buses with cushy, leather seats. 

San Francisco-based design firm Stamen Design tracked those companies' bus routes to figure out where their employees live and how many people rely on those private corporate buses, Geoffrey Fowler of the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stamen mapped out the routes to better understand the connection between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

"Historically, workers have lived in residential suburbs while commuting to work in the city," the Stamen blog states. "For Silicon Valley, however, the situation is reversed: many of the largest technology companies are based in suburbs, but look to recruit younger knowledge workers who are more likely to dwell in the city."

That understanding of Silicon Valley's topsy-turvy urban geography is itself a bit outdated. When Google pioneered the buses a decade ago, a few hundred employees rode them. Since then, companies like Salesforce.com, Twitter, and Zynga, as well as countless startups have sprung up in San Francisco. What started out as a nice productivity-boosting perk has become an essential weapon for companies based 30 to 40 miles away from San Francisco to court employees.

Regardless, the buses remain popular and essential. Since the routes aren't marked, Stamen utilized Foursquare, the location check-in service, and Field Papers, an online mapping tool, to find the locations for some of the bus stops. Members of the Stamen team also took turns camping out at one of the known Google bus stops on 18th Street in San Francisco. The company even hired bike messengers to follow and track the buses. 

Stamen's research estimated that the buses transport roughly 7,500 tech employees a day, Monday through Friday, and concluded that the unmarked buses ferry a third as many commuters as ride on Caltrain, a commuter train that travels between San Francisco and San Jose. 

Stamen founder Eric Rodenbeck told Fowler that he expected the majority of traffic to come from the Mission District, a young, hip neighborhood in San Francisco, and was surprised to see how much traffic came from other parts of the city. 

"That's a conversation about citywide change," he told Fowler. "Is the city a place where valuable work can happen, or is it just a bedroom for Silicon Valley?"

If you live in the Bay Area, you can visit the "Seeking Silicon Valley" exhibit at the Zero1 Biennial in San Jose until December 8. You can also check out more information about the study on Stamen's blog

 

Silicon Valley commuter bus route 

 

Don't miss: Bravo's 'Start-Ups: Silicon Valley' Shows Geeks Just Want To Have Fun, And That's Simply Not Allowed >

Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

0
Your rating: None

apple

A patent granted to Apple in late-August allows governments to disable iPhones and other smartphones, targeting specific apps even, when they enter what is deemed a "sensitive" area.

U.S. Patent No. 8,254,902, titled "Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device," enables phone policies to be set to change "one or more functional or operational aspects of a wireless device ... upon the occurrence of a certain event."

Camera? Off. Voice recorder? Off. No calls out, no calls in. Total blackout; or, for an event like a concert, the organizers could target specifically just recording functions of a user's phone.

Zach Whittaker of ZDnet points out that "although Apple may implement the technology ... it would be down to governments, businesses and network owners to set such policies."

The policies would be activated primarily by GPS and would create a perimeter around a sensitive area–like a building, protest or riot— to prevent users from taking pictures or recording, video, prevent "wireless devices from communicating with other wireless devices" and force devices into "sleep mode," according to the patent. 

The patent notes that "Covert police or government operations may require complete "blackout" conditions" — which essentially gives police a "kill switch" they can flip prior to conducting an operations.

This may seem cool for military purposes abroad, against America's enemies, but domestic applications have other implications — like stifling a successful protest.

Here's Tim Pool—who has live-streamed the recent protests in Spain as well as those of Occupy Wall Street—explaining the implications of the patent.

SEE ALSO: These Are The Scariest Electronic Weapons In The U.S. Arsenal >

Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

0
Your rating: None



An Ars story from earlier this month reported that iPhones expose the unique identifiers of recently accessed wireless routers, which generated no shortage of reader outrage. What possible justification does Apple have for building this leakage capability into its entire line of wireless products when smartphones, laptops, and tablets from competitors don't? And how is it that Google, Wigle.net, and others get away with publishing the MAC addresses of millions of wireless access devices and their precise geographic location?

Some readers wanted more technical detail about the exposure, which applies to three access points the devices have most recently connected to. Some went as far as to challenge the validity of security researcher Mark Wuergler's findings. "Until I see the code running or at least a youtube I don't believe this guy has the goods," one Ars commenter wrote.

According to penetration tester Robert Graham, the findings are legit.

Read the rest of this article...

Read the comments on this post

0
Your rating: None