Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Business Briefs

WIMM partners with Foxconn

Los Altos-based WIMM Labs received a second round of financing from Hon Hai Precision Industries, which will enable a new class of personal connected micro devices.

“As digital information becomes increasingly vital to our daily lives, we need ways to make it more accessible, timely and relevant,” said Dave Mooring, WIMM chairman and CEO.

Foxconn was a trade name of Hon Hai before becoming a subsidiary of the company in 2000. WIMM initiated technology collaboration with Foxconn and received a Series A investment from the company in 2010.

The WIMM platform includes embeddable, touch-screen-driven hardware, an open-application environment and tightly integrated Web services. The company enables consumer brand licenses in mobile, sports, health, fashion, finance and consumer electronics to roll out connected smart devices that deliver functionality such as command and control, personal productivity and information monitoring and display.

To expand its platform in the market, WIMM Labs has access to Foxconn’s development resources, reach and turnkey scale.

“Foxconn is synonymous with world-class manufacturing and supports many of the largest names in the computer and consumer technology industries,” said Michael Gifford, WIMM’s vice president of product development. “We have had the unique opportunity to collaborate closely with an exceptional development team on a new platform for connected wearable technology and other types of smart devices.”

Guardian Analytics earns ‘visionary’ distinction

Gartner Inc. has positioned Los Altos-based Guardian Analytics in the “visionary” quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Fraud Detection. Gartner’s quadrant applies graphical information and a uniform set of evaluation criteria to assist people in analyzing a company. Other quadrant categories include challengers, leaders and niche players.

Guardian Analytics focuses on preventing Web-based banking fraud and offers advanced solutions to institutions of all sizes. The company’s approach to detecting account takeover and fraudulent transactions is built on behavioral analytics, online banking and online fraud.

In Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report, the company’s vice president and analyst, Avivah Litan, reported that the Web-fraud detection market grew 35 percent in 2010 as cybercrime and malware-based attacks proliferated. Banking Trojans, such as Zeus, spread across the globe, circumventing strong user authentication, often stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time.

“Some hackers studied user and account behavior before pouncing on their targets, and were able to evade some advanced profiling systems where models were not tuned or were out of date,” Litan wrote. “Thus, the ability to ward off these online attacks was an important factor that went into the product rating for the vendors evaluated in this Magic Quadrant.”

Guardian’s FraudMAP protects financial institutions and their customers by identifying suspicious activities relative to normal behavior that inform the detection of account takeover and fraudulent transactions, identifying a wide range of manual and malware-driven attacks.

Guardian uses a mathematically predictive-behavior scoring model that is self-learning, as opposed to a rules-based system, to detect fraud.

“Our customers say that FraudMAP has been very effective at stopping fraud, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as reputational integrity,” said Guardian CEO Terry Austin. “We believe the recognition as a ‘visionary’ coupled with our rapid new customer acquisition is proof that our approach is what is needed to prevent fraud in the online banking environments of today and the future.”

Senate bill expands small-claims court access

The state Senate last week voted unanimously to approve SB 221, a bill to expand access to small-claims court by raising the jurisdictional limit from $7,500 to $10,000.

Authored by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), the increase follows the senator’s successful effort in 2005 – SB 422 – to increase the previous limit from $5,000 to $7,500.

“This bill seeks to close a gap in the justice system,” Simitian said. “For individuals with damages of less than $10,000, justice is difficult to come by, and the usual result is to settle at the jurisdictional limit – just $5,000 a few years ago, and now $7,500. Senate Bill 221 will help close that gap, and provide civil litigants access to a process that is fair, timely and affordable.”

Early concerns that a jurisdictional-limit increase would generate an unmanageable rise in new cases proved unfounded following SB 422’s implementation, and the Judicial Council of California subsequently concluded that small-claims court “provides a more speedy and efficient forum for resolving relatively small disputes.”

The council’s senior attorney, Daniel Pone, said rising litigation costs make it difficult to find attorneys willing to take cases valued at relatively low amounts.

“The current jurisdictional limit forces individuals with claims between $7,500 and $10,000 to represent themselves in a limited civil case, which is inefficient and burdensome for both litigants and the courts,” he said.

The new bill retains key protections in the 2005 legislation, including enhanced training requirements for temporary judges and increased funding for small- claims advisers.

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