Water Cooler 12/14/17 Open Thread; Sending Out The Robots To Harass The Homeless


What If Skynet Were Run By A Woman With A Poodle ?

Turns out the San Francisco SPCA wasn’t so concerned about cruelty to people that it couldn’t send robots out to harass the homeless.

In a controversial move, the San Francisco SPCA, an animal advocacy and pet adoption group, is using an autonomous security robot outside of their facilities in an explicit attempt to keep homeless people off of the sidewalk.

The security robot, which the SF SPCA calls K9, is part of a fleet of security robots operated by Silicon Valley-based robotics company Knightscope. These bots are armed with cameras, lasers, thermal sensors, and GPS, and they are designed to serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for security guards and law enforcement.


Somehow this doesn’t look like the future anyone wants the tech revolution to deliver.


Speaking of the Homelessness and Poverty Problem in SF, Seems 1 in 4 Are At Risk Of Hunger

This article from the Guardian probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to conservatives. The degree of regulation in San Francisco is legendary and as always government doesn’t make things better, it makes them worse for those least able to work the system.

Karla Peralta is surrounded by food. As a line cook in Facebook’s cafeteria, she spends her days preparing free meals for the tech firm’s staff. She’s worked in kitchens for most of her 30 years in the US, building a life in Silicon Valley as a single mother raising two daughters.

But at home, food is a different story. The region’s soaring rents and high cost-of-living means that even with a full-time job, putting food on the table hasn’t been simple. Over the years she has struggled to afford groceries – at one point feeding her family of three with food stamps that amounted to $75 a week, about half what the government describes as a “thrifty” food budget. “I was thinking, when am I going to get through this?” she said.

In a region famed for its foodie culture, where the well-heeled can dine on gold-flecked steaks, $500 tasting menus and $29 loaves of bread, hunger is alarmingly widespread, according to a new study shared exclusively with the Guardian.

One in four people in Silicon Valley are at risk of hunger, researchers at the Second Harvest food bank have found. Using hundreds of community interviews and data modeling, a new study suggests that 26.8% of the population – almost 720,000 people – qualify as “food insecure” based on risk factors such as missing meals, relying on food banks or food stamps, borrowing money for food, or neglecting bills and rent in order to buy groceries. Nearly a quarter are families with children.

–The Guardian

If this wasn’t so predictable it wouldn’t be nearly as sad.

Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread.

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