150-WORD BOOK REVIEW: Season Of The Witch – David Talbot

seasonAs a delegate to many trade shows at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, the name of the venue has always intrigued me… but obviously not to the point that I could be bothered to search online.

Thanks to David Talbot’s uber-wonderful Season Of The Witch, I now know him to be the Major of San Francisco who was assassinated a few minutes before Harvey Milk.

The book itself covers the Dark Ages of San Francisco from the time Summer of Love had turned to the Autumn of Homelessness and the Winter of Smack in 1967 to the relative redemption of the San Francisco 49s winning the Super Bowl in 1982.

From the Zodiac killings to the onset of AIDS, from Jim Jones’ malign political influence (which ended in mass enforced suicide in Guyana) to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, this book has it all. Once upon a time, before Silicon Valley, there was a mess called San Francisco and this is its story during those turbulent 15 years.

MEF announces shortlist of the world’s best mobile companies

mef_shortlistThe MEF Finalists and host have been announced for 10th Annual Meffys Celebration – the global awards for mobile content and commerce.

There were entries from more than 25 countries across 13 categories as the international awards ceremony moves to San Francisco for the first time as part of the inaugural MEF Global Forum 2013. Continue reading

MEF gives UK mobile startups a boost to Silicon Valley

The organisers of this year’s Meffys, taking place later this year in San Francisco for the first time, have an extra reason to nominate themselves for an award.

For any mobile company that apples before midnight tomorrow, they may be selected to pitch LIVE at MEF’s CEO Summit on 19th September at Level 39, London’s new tech start-up accelerator in Canary Wharf. The deadline for all submissions will end on 23rd September. Continue reading

Why European (and African) mobile companies should come to CTIA this year

As many readers of this blog will know, CTIA is the North American equivalent of Mobile World Congress and takes place twice a year, once in the ‘fall’ and once in the spring. It’s the biggest mobile trade show in the world.

Unlike MWC, which will be in Barcelona for the next four years, CTIA takes place in different US cities, so over the years it has been in San Francisco, New Orleans, Atlanta and this year be in San Diego. It’s a great show and I’ve been going for years; it’s about the only time I ever go shopping. Continue reading

Pariahs in Palo Alto don’t pick up an Apple

Some years ago when I was lost in the world I worked as a ‘volunteer’ on a moshav in the Negev Desert where I was responsible not for picking peppers, but for planting them.

All the farmers on the moshav were fascists and terrified of frost. If the night temperature fell below freezing point, the workers were woken up and we were forced to cover the rows of peppers with black nets to prevent any of the crop being destroyed. Continue reading