Waymo’s exhibit drew a crowd at The Exploratorium. (Jeff Elder/The Examiner)

Waymo’s exhibit drew a crowd at The Exploratorium. (Jeff Elder/The Examiner)

Apple HQ moving to Texas? Bogus to the core

Waymo after dark, Theranos overload and more from Silly Valley’s gossip machine

Editor’s note: Welcome to Screenshots, in which senior tech reporter Jeff Elder reports on the comings and goings of S.F.’s biggest industry. Stay tuned as we keep tabs on all things tech.

By Jeff Elder

Examiner staff writer

Stanford’s Hoover Institution inaccurately reported that Apple moved its headquarters to Austin in a report two weeks ago. That was news to Apple. Shown the report, a company spokeswoman said, “This listing is inaccurate.” The institution is just 14 miles up I-280 from Apple’s world-famous 176-acre Cupertino headquarters, and Stanford Libraries contain 40 archival collections on the company. But the researchers, Hoover scholar Lee Ohanian and Joseph Vranich, used the Austin Chamber of Commerce as their source. Why? Some explanation may lie in the first footnote of the report, which subtly notes that lead author Vranich, who has billed himself as “The Relocation Coach,” runs an outfit that helps companies move from California to Texas. “Liberal Cities Are a Mess – Let Us Help You Move to a Conservative Community,” reads a page on Vranich’s website. He has written posts such as “Confucius Would Urge Chinese Companies to Avoid California”

Well, this is good news for The City’s tech startups – and those ghostly tech campuses. In his report to the Supes this week, Ted Egan, City Hall’s top economist, said venture capital investment in S.F. is at an all-time high. And some startups may be using that money to lease offices on big tech campuses. Egan said San Francisco leads the nation in office space up for sublease – and commercial rents are falling. “Large tech companies that wanted to grow a lot are putting space on the market,” Egan said. “Small ones are leasing it back.” But, he cautioned, “We still have a big gap of supply over demand”…

Seems like every tech reporter in the Bay is covering the big Theranos trial – and even foreign media outlets can’t get enough. I got two breathless emails from a big UK radio network asking if I could do a spot that morning on the trial. That made my eyes wider than Elizabeth Holmes’, considering I don’t remember ever writing about the disgraced medical research company. I can tell you my favorite tweet about the trial so far, though: “ELIZABETH HOLMES OFFERS TO TAKE NEW THERANOS LIE DETECTOR TEST TO PROVE INNOCENCE” from Onion-y @hardmoneymag

Waymo drew a crowd Thursday night at the Exploratorium’s After Dark event (now getting 700-900 geeky partyers!) with a virtual reality display showing how the self-driving Jaguars are cruising around the western part of The City. Waymo has some 2,000 employees, some in a Potrero Hill office, where they are working on San Francisco challenges for the white electric Jaguar I-PACE models. Such as? The smart cars are puzzled by those party buses that look like cable cars, because they aren’t where cable cars should be. And fog, of course. The sensors that tell the cars what’s around sometimes have a hard time squinting everything when Karla The Fog rolls in heavy. (Waymo tells me the cable car party buses and fog were no challenge for their smart cars, just SF quirks to navigate.)…

Yes, I said Karla. The famed KarlTheFog twitter account has been quiet for more than a year and a half, but his emergent sister account @KarlaTheFog has picked up the slack – although not all the followers…

New remote work hardware from a Bay Area company: Palo Alto Networks – the cybersecurity outfit that is the highest-paying company in the world – just announced Okyo Garde hardware for remote workers that creates a private wi-fi network separate from their home network, to protect employees from hackers and keep their connection fast. The Alexa-looking hardware is about 150 bucks and will be out this fall…

Palo Alto Networks is releasing a home device that makes remote workers’ wifi safer and faster. <ins>(Courtesy Palo Alto Networks)</ins>

Palo Alto Networks is releasing a home device that makes remote workers’ wifi safer and faster. (Courtesy Palo Alto Networks)

This week Google announced a commitment to replenish 120% of all the water the company consumes by 2030, investing in three projects in the Bay Area. And did you know? Kate Brandt, Google’s Chief Sustainability Officer who announced the campaign, was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award the Navy can give a civilian, for helping the Navy go green…

Kate Brandt serves as Google’s Chief Sustainability Officer. (Courtesy Google)

Kate Brandt serves as Google’s Chief Sustainability Officer. (Courtesy Google)

Later this month the giant Japanese company NTT will open a giant research facility in Sunnyvale where researchers are working on digital twins of people’s hearts. An identical version of your heart, that lives on a screen where doctors can experiment on it to see how your real heart can be better cared for. And you thought digital Heart was your CD of “Dreamboat Annie.” Watch it, or I’ll go crazy on you. I’m a magic man…

OK, OK, we’ll mention some digital music from this century. Gifted local scribe Benjamin Schneider says S.F. rapper Stunnaman02 is the real deal, and the video for “I Know” that he posted on YouTube two weeks ago is to my untrained eye and ear, really good. My SF Media colleague Schneider is an actual expert, and he says “Stunnaman is the real deal for sure. Certainly the biggest local artist of 2021.” Believe him, not me…

Send items to jelder@sfexaminer.com.

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