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A.M. Splash: Oakland Police Union Resists Sheriffs’ Aid; Google Settlement Changes Patent Wars; Netflix Signs Warner Bros. Deal

| January 7, 2013
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  • Oakland police union slams plan to help (SF Chronicle)
    Oakland’s plan to bring in Alameda County sheriff’s deputies to help patrol crime-ridden streets is being resisted by the city’s police union – the very group that has long been crying for help. “I wouldn’t say I’m that surprised, but it is disappointing,” Mayor Jean Quan said of the Oakland Police Officers Association’s objections to seeking outside help. At issue is a plan put forward by council members Libby Schaaf and Larry Reid to spend $530,00o in city money for 10 Alameda County sheriff’s deputies and a sergeant to help out the understaffed Police Department until new cadets now being trained are street-ready.

  • Google’s FTC deal could alter tech world’s patent wars (SJ Mercury News)
    While the focus of last week’s agreement between the Federal Trade Commission and Google was search, the deal’s restrictions on how Google uses its patents could have a broader impact on the technology industry. Under the deal, which ended an antitrust investigation by the FTC and disappointed many critics, Google will make only minor changes to its search business. But Google is also now limited in when it can seek injunctions against products from rival companies that use certain of its patents. Throughout recent smartphone wars and other major patent litigation, holders of so-called standard essential patents have been accused of using them to bully competitors into paying high licensing rates or as leverage in patent disputes.The FTC’s deal with Google clarifies the uncertainty

  • Netflix signs deal for new Warner Bros. television shows (SJ Mercury News)

    Netflix will carry previous seasons of some popular shows produced by Time Warner’s Warner Bros. Television as it braces for stiffer competition from new video-streaming rivals. Netflix said its U.S. subscribers will be able to watch “Revolution,” a drama set in a post-apocalyptic America; miniseries “Political Animals,” starring Sigourney Weaver; and Western mystery series “Longmire,” among other shows.

  • Oakland cost for star officer: $250,000 (SF Chronicle)
    Oakland’s plan to bring in former New York Police Commissioner and ex-Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton to help reshape the city’s troubled Police Department will come at a price – $250,000, to be exact. That’s on top of the $100,000 that the city is already paying Bratton’s associate, Bob Wasserman, who was hired by the city last year to make suggestions for improving the department.

  • Pelosi defends doctored House women photo (SF Chronicle)
    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi often cites San Francisco’s diversity as a model and a goal for the nation, saying “the strength is in the mix.” But on Friday she found herself defending a photograph doctored to include four female Democratic House members who failed to arrive in time for a class picture on the Capitol steps Thursday, the first day of the new 113th Congress.

  • S.F. begins charging for Sunday parking (SF Chronicle)
    A 65-year-old tradition died quietly this weekend, when for the first time, San Francisco started requiring drivers throughout the city to feed parking meters on Sundays. The tradition’s end came so quietly, in fact, that many drivers didn’t notice.

  • New online marketplaces bring mechanics, barbers and more to your door (SJ Mercury News)
    Tech’s “sharing economy” movement has spawned companies like Airbnb and Relay Rides, which let people save and make money via exchanges for things like spare bedrooms and car trips. Now a new slew of startups is using the model to match consumers with professional services for less. YourMechanic, for instance, has a mobile network of certified auto mechanics who’ll come to your home or office; Pathjoy promises “maid service for the masses,” booked online. Similar exchanges are popping up for chefs (Kitchit) and barbers (GoHaircut).

  • Now you again may get a vintage license plate (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
    There’s something nostalgic about California’s license plates from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Now, you may be able to have them again or for the first time. The DMV this year started taking $50 pre-orders for what it’s calling legacy license plates. That’s the yellow one with black lettering issued from 1956 to 1962, the black with yellow lettering handed out from 1963 to 1969 and the blue with yellow lettering distributed from 1969 to 1986.

  • Burning Man 2013 Ticket Policy Draws Mixed Reviews (Huffington Post)
    When organizers of the rapidly-growing Burning Man festival announced plans to sell coveted tickets via a lottery system last year, veteran attendees were outraged… It seemed nearly everyone involved experienced some form of migraine and money loss. So this year, organizers decided to try something new: Eliminate the lottery and instead sell the majority of the 55,000 tickets at one universal flat rate. The $380 passes will go on sale mid-February for those who pre-register. In the past, tickets have been priced in a tiered system, and last year’s cheapest went for $240.

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