Bay Area Biz Briefs

As we head into a long weekend, here’s a summary of some things bubbling under in the Bay Area’s busy biz community…

more after the bump in the blog…

Facebook Facelift : The 23 year old CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg spoke about opening up the company’s software development to about 750 invite only programmers attending the company’s first developer conference this week at The San Francisco Design Center. Facebook who claims 55% of it’s members are now outside of college, also announced 65 companies who have already created 85 apps for the new platform, including, Warner Bros Records, Digg, Microsoft, and Twitter. Amazon’s app gives Facebook users the ability to embed product & book reviews into their online profiles.

WiFi w/ That SUV ? With AC Transit already offering wi-fi for rush hour commuters, Avis rental car will be testing wi-fi service within cars rented at SFO and through it’s San Jose and Oakland airport locations later this year. The service will be called Avis Connect and will run an additional $10.95 a day . Avis customers will be reminded that the service is not intended to be used by the driver while operating the vehicle.

Bay is Big in Nano Tech : The SF Bay Area is apparently in the top 2 of emerging nano technology research hubs in the country, the other city being Boston, according to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies’ website and a new interactive map made available online . A story recently published by ZD Net reports that the map could be a tool for “local community groups concerned about the dangers that specific types of nanotechnology could potentially cause in their community if not regulated properly”.

Cash to Burn For Feedburner, The RSS metrics & ad service Feedburner who maintain a west coast HQ at 336 Brannan, are reportedly in mid deal and about to be gobbled up by Google for about $100 Million. The main company HQ is in Chicago and it’s unknown whether the (as yet unconfirmed) acquisition will mean transferring more of their the workforce out west or not.

Pac Bell Hotel ? :The San Francisco Business Journal is reporting that the Old Pacific Telephone Company building on New Montgomery may become a luxury hotel according to a developer trying to purchase the 26 story deco-esque tower built in 1924. Their would be condos too, as well as a spa, restaurant and bar if WMS and financial partner Stockbridge Capital Partners get the their way. First they must get the building from AT & T and that alone iis likely gonna cost somewhere around $118 million, before the remodeling begins.

More local biz blurbs after this bump in the blog…

Fall Into The Gap : The Gap’s shares fell as the clothing retailer reported a another quarterly loss to investors on Thursday, with most of the setback being the failed launch & subsequent closings of their 4th & Towne stores. They also announced hiring Patrick Robinson as head designer who worked previously as artistic director for two years at Paco Rabanne based in Paris.

Trucking, Chips Cashed In: After reopening the section of the 580 freeway in the East Bay’s Mac Arthur Maze that melted & collapsed in a gasoline fire last month, state officials suspended the Haz-Mat license of Sabek Transportation, the trucking company who was found at fault in the blaze.

Star Wars Mash Ups: The Wall St Journal reported today that Bay Area based entertainment company Lucasfilm will be allowing people to create video mashups from clips provided from the 6 film Star Wars series as a promotion done in conjunction with a company called Eyespot. They will be available through, but don’t get any wild notions, as human & automated screeners will be watching out for any terms of use violations including “offensive content”.

Clean City Coalition Cleans Up TBS broadcasting has agreed to pay $60,000 to the city of San Francisco and $25,000 to the San Francisco Clean City Coalition, a non profit group, after its “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” promotion featured 20 battery-powered signs in January. The signs had blinking lights that created images of a cartoon character making an obscene gesture. Unlike in Boston, where the signs set off a paranoid terrorism panic seen on news channels nationwide, in SF the signs were little noticed. Boston billed TBS some $2 Million for law enforcement & cleaning services, so the city Attorney’s office here decided to get on the cash wagon.

“It’s a settlement that hopefully sends a message to would-be vandals, corporate or otherwise,”

said Matt Dorsey, spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera in a statement to the press. More on The Clean City Campaign Here:

E-Bay Wins Dot Com Bid : E Bay announced it was buying Brisbane based, an online price comparison site for $634 Million. Included with the purchase is, a product & service review site.

Don’t Adjust The Picture, It’s Patented :Adjustables, an online video firm with HQ’s in San Francisco & Rotterdam have received a patent for a new technology that targets, tracks, embeds logos & tickers and customizes ads within online video.

23 Year Old Virgin’s Child Ready To Leave Nest: Virgin America, the spin off startup airline from UK based Virgin Atlantic has finally won it’s final government approval to launch its U.S. service from SFO this summer and will be the only air carrier actually based in California. Flights wil hit JFK first , with eventual routes to LAX, Dulles, and McCarran Field in Las Vegas. Despite having never taken off yet, the airline already has it’s own fansite called

3 Comments so far

  1. rocco (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

    What has become of what was once a pretty cool Website? Now we have people pretty much lifting stories from other news sources and summarizing them here. Really gives you the flavor of San Francisco. Does anyone practice quality control at Metroblogs?

  2. puhleez (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 5:38 pm

    I agree, MetBlogs makes SF look so boooooring, even though there is a ton of great and exciting sh!t going on here, but the hoity toity editors won’t let the rest of us post our creativity so we are forced to read the mundane everyday occurances, “I saw a wreck on the bay bridge!” as one excample, of writers who are probably burned out or just don’t have that much interesting going on in their lives.

  3. TinMan (unregistered) on May 27th, 2007 @ 7:36 pm

    I am fearful that MetBlog SF will become like SFist: boring as shit. The latter is now basically the SF Commute Blog (a.k.a. MUNIst), due in no small part by its current senior editorial staff.


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