Thu12182014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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