Daily news roundup for Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sep 24, 2015

Livermore gym crash: Pedal error dangerous phenomenon among elderly drivers // Oakland Tribune 

"When an 80-year-old driver slammed her SUV into a Livermore gym Tuesday, killing a woman, it highlighted a dangerous trend involving elderly drivers and raised fresh questions about whether stricter laws or improved technology might save lives now being lost.

"Studies have shown that "pedal application errors," where the driver mistakes the accelerator for the brake as the Livermore driver did, occur thousands of times each year across the country.

"But help could be on the way. Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced an agreement among 10 large vehicle manufacturers committing to making automatic emergency braking a standard feature on future cars. The new technology, using radar, cameras or lasers, would alert drivers of an imminent crash and apply the brakes automatically." 

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Uber will expand headquarters to Oakland, buys former downtown Sears building // Oakland Tribune 

"Giving a boost to Oakland's ambitions to become a tech employment hub, ride-booking pioneer Uber Technologies is expanding its corporate operations to downtown Oakland and planning to fill a historic building with about 2,500 workers, the company announced Wednesday.

"Starting in 2017, Uber employees will work in the old Sears Building, a now-vacant, 380,000-square-foot complex that fronts both Telegraph Avenue and Broadway, right above the 19th Street BART station." 

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Court locks down copyright for Batmobile // SF Gate 

"Pow! Take that, anyone who makes and sells a replica of the Batmobile.

"That was the message Wednesday from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The high-powered crime-fighting vehicle, first seen in a 1941 Batman comic, is a comic book “character” protected by copyright laws, the court said.

The ruling upheld a federal judge’s decision that Mark Towle, who owns Gotham Garage in Riverside County and makes and sells replicas of the autos featured in motion pictures and television, had violated the copyright held by DC Comics by selling reproductions of the Batmobile." 

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San Francisco’s Last Gun Shop is Closing, Owners Say // NBC Bay Area 

"The last gun shop in San Francisco is closing its doors next month.The owners of High Bridge Arms made the announcement on Facebook, but did not offer an explanation as to why they were closing the store.

"...the store’s farewell post on Facebook warned: 'For any of you Vultures, (you know who you are) please don't bother us. For if you do, I give you my solemn promise that we will make it a very unpleasant experience for you. For all our true friends and followers, I would like to sincerely thank you for all your support, likes, positive feedback and best of all, your friendship. Hopefully, we'll see you soon. It has been a long and difficult ride, but a great pleasure to be your last San Francisco Gun shop.' 

"The San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s is currently considering whether firearms dealers should be required to videotape all gun and ammunition sales and share data on ammunition sales with the San Francisco Police Department." 

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Google Plan Aims to Improve Bicycle Safety, Access in Silicon Valley // NBC Bay Area 

"Google has made riding bicycles to work more attractive to its employees by providing bikes and lockers. Now the tech giant wants the Silicon Valley to follow their lead by pushing for the region to be more bike-friendly. 'It could spread," said Colin Heyne of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. "It could change the way things are done throughout the state and country.'

"Google is offering up a matching $5 million grant to South Bay cities that change their roads." 

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49ers: Santa Clara seeks data on booze troubles at Levi's Stadium // San Jose Mercury News

"Hours after prosecutors charged three 49ers fans with assaulting a man rooting for the football team's opponent outside Levi's Stadium, city leaders early Wednesday demanded more information on alcohol-fueled incidents and how they are handled at NFL games.

"Though it is unclear to what extent alcohol played a role in last week's videotaped beating that sent a Minnesota Vikings fan to the hospital, it wasn't the first violent incident among fans at the $1.3 billion stadium that opened in the city last year. Council members floated ideas ranging from cutting off drink sales inside the stadium at halftime to drunken-driver checkpoints near the exits to quell the violence."