Tech stories

Selected stories from Protocol and the Mercury News

Could a remote-work revolution spread tech outside its clusters?

Steve Case and other proponents of creating new technology hubs outside Silicon Valley see hope, but they say the status quo may put up a serious fight. Read story

In a new world, Nuro’s delivery pods gain new virtue

A Q&A with Nuro co-founder and president Dave Ferguson on coronavirus fears, self-driving vehicles and his bid to speed testing of the company’s delivery robot. Read story

Sheriff: Tesla must close its plant. Workers: It’s business as usual.

As Tesla’s factory continued to operate in defiance of Alameda County’s orders, Elon Musk and officials appeared locked in a game of chicken. Read story

Self-driving firms: Let us charge, or California will fall behind

More than 60 companies can now test autonomous vehicles in California, but most of their riders have been their own employees. When it comes to testing paid services, the state just doesn’t allow it. Read story

Life after Google: Ex-employees keep speaking out

Google’s workplace culture was once looked at by the rest of the industry as a model, but in recent years its leaders have grappled with protests organized by employees upset over the company’s handling of sexual-misconduct allegations, government contracts and more. Read story

Drivers balk at Uber’s AB 5 fixes. Courts may, too.

Victor, an Uber driver in a Camry, sat in a parking lot at Sacramento International Airport and tested out a new feature on the app, one that the company hopes will allow it to avoid having to hire people like him as employees in California. He set his price at 1.2 times the normal fare. Then he waited. Read story

Robot-made coffee and burgers in SF? How automation is affecting jobs

Nobody’s perfect, not even robots. So at some Bay Area businesses where automation is front and center, robots still need a helping human hand or two to make sure everything is OK. Read story

Elon Musk calls lidar ‘stupid,’ but most self-driving cars use it.

Waymo and others swear by lidar in autonomous vehicles, saying it’s needed for safety. Musk and other upstart companies are challenging lidar’s dominance by suggesting that radar and sophisticated cameras can do the same job of acting as the eyes of the vehicles for far less money. Read story

California sued by DOJ after governor signs ‘model’ net neutrality bill

California now has the strongest net neutrality rules in the nation, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill during a last-minute flurry of bill signings and vetoes Sunday. A little over an hour after the announcement, the Department of Justice sued the state. Read story

Engelbart’s historic demo: What have we learned 50 years later?

In just 90 minutes, in front of about 1,000 people on Dec. 9, 1968, Doug Engelbart kicked off the personal computing revolution and changed everything. Read story