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News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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