Bay Area solar entrepreneur works to woo architects, builders

FREMONT – Suvi Sharma came to entrepreneurship early. Sharma started a non-profit while at Northwestern University dedicated to teaching and mentoring students in poor Chicago neighborhoods. Along with a desire to better his community, he said, “I realized I liked running things.” After a few post-college years doing consulting and banking, in 2003 Sharma joined a solar manufacturing startup in New Mexico called Solaria. He became CEO and moved the fledgling company to the Bay Area. During two different stints as CEO, Sharma has helped remake the company into a manufacturer of high-efficiency panels with architectural design in mind. The company manufactures some of its products in Fremont, with others… Read More

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Bay Area toy stores hold their own as retail industry shifts

Ask Mr. Mopps’ Toy Shop owner Devin McDonald what draws people into his store, and among the list of attributes is this: a sense of magic and what he calls “a sort of folklore.” People have stories about the Berkeley shop, said McDonald, who took over the store with his wife, Jenny Stevenson, seven years ago. From the mother who told him her daughter used to dress up as “Mr. Mopps” (complete with the apron and hat that McDonald typically wears, as there is no actual person named Mr. Mopps at the store), to the older customers who recount going to the store in its early days after it opened… Read More

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Troubleshooting a Windows 10 update that seems stuck

Q: I have a question re: Windows 10 Update Assistant. Windows tells me that I need to download the latest version of Windows 10. It says that I have version 10586 and the latest version is 15063. When I give it permission to download, it says CPU OK, memory OK, and Disk Space OK. Then it tries to download and it slowly downloads 1 percent, 2 percent, etc. and then it goes all the way to 82 percent and then it freezes and goes back to 1 percent. It is exactly at 82 percent every time. I have tried this at least a dozen times and I have given up.… Read More

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Study: Lower-income kids give more time to TV, digital media

Children in lower-income families spend more time watching TV and using electronic devices than kids in more affluent homes, according to a survey released Thursday. The report by the nonprofit group Common Sense Media on the viewing habits of more than 1,400 children nationwide age 8 and under found that less-affluent youngsters spend nearly three-and-a-half hours daily watching TV and using varied devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops and video game players. By comparison, kids in higher-income homes spend just under two hours on such activities. The offspring of better-educated parents also spend less time with media (1 hour, 37 minutes) compared with children of those with less education (2 hours,… Read More

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Are those 80,000 pound trucks tailgating each other? Soon it may be perfectly normal — and safe

If you look to the next lane and see two 18-wheelers roar past at 70 mph with just 10 yards between them, you’ll probably think they are dangerously close. In this high-tech age, that may no longer be true. In fact, it might be just the opposite, and it might even end up saving you money. A wave of new technology intended to make trucks safer – using radar, cameras and reflective light scanning – is sweeping the industry. By next year, much of it may be combined to put pairs of trucks on the road at a distance that before would not have been possible or safe. One reason… Read More

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New York advances drone industry with testing corridor

ROME, N.Y. — Envisioning a day when millions of drones will buzz around delivering packages, watching crops or inspecting pipelines, a coalition is creating an airspace corridor in upstate New York where traffic management systems will be developed and unmanned aircraft can undergo safety and performance testing. The unmanned aircraft traffic management corridor, jump-started by a $30 million state investment, will extend 50 miles (80 kilometers) west over mostly rural farmland from Griffiss International Airport, a former Air Force base in Rome that is already home to NASA-affiliated drone testing. It will be equipped with radar and ground-based sensors to enable what Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo boasted would be “the… Read More

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