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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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