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Silicon Valley News Notes

Scene and No Scene

The launch party for the Merc's new mag Scene last Wednesday was held at the upscale downtown high-rise condo The 88. The food was awesome, the tequila bar was a stroke of genius and the beautiful, tall, slender models parading around the party in chic outfits were beautiful, tall and slender. On the downside, as far as Fly and a smattering of hearty party guests were concerned, it was really freakin' cold and windy, and the old-man band was so far off to the side they were basically an afterthought—which might have been an upside. Also, Fly got glared at by a man with an uppity little shaking dog (that admittedly was dressed much better than Fly). The magazine itself sounds kinda interesting, and from what Fly could hear the editorial content might be a good. Scene's editor, Katherine Fong, arrived at the Merc from the Miama Herald, where she was fashion editor, and she also did a stint at Mother Jones, a pretty good mag itself. But it's a bit of a head-scratcher that a company that has been slashing employees and pages has decided to release a brand-new, shiny magazine—and in this iffy economy. Judging from the ho-hum turnout at the party, the reception might be disappointing. The party fizzled by 7pm, so Fly left—but as it happens, the Scene party coincided with Metro's Best of Silicon Valley Winners Party, which took place a few blocks away at the 360 Residences, where it was warmer, DJs had house and techno pumping, and the best and beautiful mingled.

iGotta Problem

As the capital of Silicon Valley, it stands to reason that San Jose serves as the testing ground for the latest iPhone app: an app that tells City Hall whenever there's a problem. Everything from graffiti to gang wars, potholes to public nuisances can be reported directly to the city, along with a picture and GPS location, through the new app called CitySourced. Councilman Pete Constant, who now monitors the complaints, is optimistic about the app's potential: "I think it's going to be just a steady flow of information so that we can deal with things without small problems becoming big problems." CitySourced will soon be available on Blackberries and other phones as well. If the project succeeds, it is likely to be adopted in other Bay Area cities and from there it is expected to reach nationwide. But Fly predicts that Constant is about to be deluged.


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