This week in tech: $150K to track the homeless, and a trippy NFT gallery

Plus one more thing to chafe your hide about Google

The City is hiring someone to run its cloud-computing system tracking the homeless. A jobs ad went up around a week ago at the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing seeking someone to lead the Online Navigation and Entry (ONE) System. The system tries to bundle data from different organizations and city departments to give a complete record of a homeless person. The idea is to better organize shelter and social services records so The City can better serve homeless folks. But that word “tracking” does also stick out in the ad: “The system is intended to ‘provide ongoing tracking and reporting,’” it reads. Salary is $124K to $159K. In the right hands, it could explore tech solutions to one of The City’s biggest problems…

A trippy NFT art exhibit is headed to the lovely gallery at The Old Mint next month. “Verse: The Art of the Future” will fill the classy old space with digital art, including augmented reality holograms and non-fungible token art. For the uninitiated, NFTs are unique digital artworks generating controversy because some people think they’re a complete rip-off. Others think they are the future of collectibles, and a great way for artists to make money. This may be a chance to check out the whole scene for yourself. Here’s my favorite description of the show: ”a silent disco for holograms.” That sound you hear is San Franciscans packing their edibles, putting on their grooviest COVID masks and getting ready to go, “Whoa, duuuuuude…”

If you’re wondering when cryptocurrency broke into the national consciousness, I would submit to you that it was a decade ago when nighttime soap “The Good Wife” centered a plot around virtual money in season 3, episode 13. Same as when “Grey’s Anatomy” did a ransomware episode in 2017. You know you’ve made it when nighttime soaps give you an episode…

Take a guess: In what year was this headline atop a page in The San Francisco Examiner? “Why are so many computer engineers moving to Boston?” Did you guess 2021? 2008, maybe? The answer is: 1959. I keep tellin’ ya, we’re just not that special. Then, like now, tech talent was in demand, and Sylvania was scooping up coders in The City and shipping them to Beantown. One restriction: Sylvania was seeking “creative men from all over the country.”…

Speaking of sexism in tech, new data from the startups rating company PitchBook shows investors are giving male startup founders more than twice what they are giving women. That’s the biggest discrepancy in a decade. Startups with all male founders pulled in a median of $5 million per funding round in 2021. Startups with all female founders pulled in a median of $2 million per funding round last year. This isn’t 1959. What’s the excuse now for not investing equally in women’s startups?…

Here’s another thing that will chafe your hide: Google got busted again for treating its contractors like second-class citizens. This time it’s for not offering contractors COVID tests the way they do full-time workers. That seems like a lousy place to draw the line. I spoke with contractor Christopher Colley in the Cleveland area, who says he has no health benefits and makes 10 bucks an hour working for RaterLabs to train Google’s ads algorithm, one of the biggest moneymakers for the $1.9 trillion company. “All workers are important enough to take their health seriously,” he told me. In this “two-tiered workforce,” Colley says, on his team, “Nothing about the pandemic has been mentioned by our direct employer since April of 2020.” C’mon, Google. You’re a great place to work, full-time employees say. Why not treat contractors better?…

The tiny unincorporated community of Remote, Oregon, is getting listed as the headquarters for all kinds of companies on LinkedIn and other job boards. (Photo by Peggy Ann Rowe-Snyder)

The tiny unincorporated community of Remote, Oregon, is getting listed as the headquarters for all kinds of companies on LinkedIn and other job boards. (Photo by Peggy Ann Rowe-Snyder)

Lastly, this is relevant in the era of the distributed workforce: Remote, Oregon, is getting some attention lately because LinkedIn and job boards often automatically locate remote job posts there. I noticed this on LinkedIn and Googled the whole thing. Portland’s Oregonian notes that the actual town, which is about 100 miles south of Eugene, consists of a covered bridge, gas station, and not much else. It got its name for a reason. Hey, it looks like a great place to work to me. In case you wondered, you can also work from Home — a town called Home, that is — in West Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania and Kansas. I hear the cookin’ is really good there…

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