Daily Archives: May 2, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 05.02.12

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

New: Sanctuary
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VIRTUAL VOYAGE Trips Out Travel, which has been operating for 42 years from a storefront at 2987 College Ave. in the Elmwood, is taking its business online. Owner Ellen Thatcher, who started at Trips Out in 1970, says the service will remain the same, just without the store. The space, which, among other things, was known for its creative window dressing, closed on April 1. The phone number for vacation and corporate travel planning services is the same: 510-549-0950.

ASIAN FUSION  Terry Wang and Kenny Le, owners of sushi and roll spot CU Japanese on Center Street in downtown Berkeley, recently launched Crunch, a restaurant that serves food from Japan, China and Korea. The new place, also on Center Street, between Oxford and Shattuck streets at number 2144, opened in late April and offers many types of ramen noodle bowls, cutlets, sushi, katsu of chicken, salmon and tofu, skewers and stir-fry. … Continue reading »

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Dozens speak out about controversial West Berkeley plan

More than 60 people lined up in City Council chambers Tuesday night to speak about proposed zoning changes in West Berkeley. Photo:Frances Dinkelspiel
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So many people came to the City Council meeting Tuesday night to talk about a new plan that could put 100-foot towers in West Berkeley that they could not all fit into the chamber.

Artisans, manufacturers, businessmen, large developers and long-time residents thronged into the main room, stood in the hallway outside, and gathered on the ground floor around a remote projection of the meeting until 10:30 pm. More than 60 people testified about the proposed changes to the area of Berkeley west of San Pablo Avenue.

The City Council last considered the West Berkeley plan — which aims to expand the area’s manufacturing base to include more green businesses, R&D, and housing uses — in June 2011. At that time, councilmembers instructed planning staff to study height limits, residential density and other issues more closely and prepare a supplemental environmental review. … Continue reading »

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Creator of automated dorm room: ‘It’s a learning process’

Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 3.30.50 PM
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It’s been a hectic 36 hours for UC Berkeley freshman Derek Low. Ever since Monday, when he posted a smartly edited video of his automated Berkeley dorm on YouTube, he has been fielding enquiries from the media. The video has popped up on news and tech sites around the country, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo, HuffPo, TIME, Washington Monthly and CBS — as well, of course, as on Berkeleyside in Low’s backyard. It currently counts more than 110,000 viewers on YouTube

In case you missed it, we’ve included the video of the kitted out room below. The Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm, or BRAD, features automated lighting and drapes that can be operated by voice command or an iPad, as well as motion sensors and various “mood modes’, be it when homework, romance or parties are on the cards.

Low sat down at 2:00am this morning to answer some questions Berkeleyside put to him via email.

What are you studying at Cal?
I’m majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (no surprises there). … Continue reading »

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Program trains girls to build phone apps, embrace science

Students from Technovation Challenge show off their Android ap idea. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The mood was serious at 8:00 am Saturday at the David Brower Center. Fifty girls from Berkeley and Albany high schools were milling around the lobby in anticipation of showing off the Android apps they had spent weeks designing.

In one corner was a team of five girls from Berkeley High with “EcoPrint,” an app that helps people trace their carbon footprint.

“It’s like a quiz. It asks questions to get a sense of your impact on the environment, like how many times did you eat meat or do you drive,” said Lauren Hoffman, a junior in Berkeley High’s International Program. “Then we give them suggestions on how to reduce their carbon imprint.”

In the opposite corner another Berkeley High team was showing off “Connect the Stars,” an app that teaches kids about the constellations.

“It’s like connect the dots,” said Donntay Moore-Thomas, a senior in the International Program. “It helps children learn about the constellations in an engaging and fun way.” … Continue reading »

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Where in Berkeley?

Where in Berkeley?

Know where this is? Take a guess and let us know in the Comments.

Update, 9:45am: It didn’t take long for DanaB to identify this as an arrow on the fence of a house situated on the corner of Ashby and Pine. The arrow points to a garbage can where packages should be deposited. Congratulations, DanaB, on being this week’s winner.

Photo: Sandy Friedland.

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