New Startup Sells Hot Restaurant Reservations for $20-$25 a Pop

Categories: Tech

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Flickr/CityFoodsters
A new way to skip the line at popular restaurants, if you've got the dough.
Restaurant reservations have never been exactly democratic -- claiming a coveted timeslot at a popular restaurant usually requires knowing someone or lurking on the reservation website like you're ordering front-row tickets to a Beyonce concert. Now there's a new startup purporting to take the legwork out and make it easy for you to get a great table on a Friday or Saturday night, provided you have some extra cash.

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Dangerous New App Delivers Hot Pizza to Your Door With a Touch of a Button

Categories: Tech

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Flickr/Instant Vantage
Now it's dangerously easy to get this delivered to your door.
Right after you request an Uber after a long night, you can now place your order for a pizza to devour entirely by yourself when you get home (no judgment, we've been there). Pizza the App, created by Stanford grads Adam Ting and Michael Brandt, lets you sit in your underwear and order a hot pizza with just a few taps.

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Nob Hill Bar Offers Free Cocktail to Google Glass Wearers

Categories: Tech

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Stanford Court Hotel
A new place to not hang out.
In a bold move bucking the Google Glass-banning trend currently sweeping S.F. bars, the Stanford Court Hotel at California and Powell is now offering a free cocktail, beer, or glass of wine to anyone who arrives wearing Google's controversial eyewear. Would-be Glassholes just need to show up at the hotel's Aurea Lounge proudly wearing their Google Glasses, take a photo of the hotel or their beverage, and post it on the social medias (Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram) with the hashtag #stanfordcourt.

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Hip L.A. Chef Roy Choi Attempts to Make Google Glass Cool

Categories: Tech, Video

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Google Glass may be banned in bars across our fair city, but L.A. chef Roy Choi sees a different application in restaurant kitchens. The hipster chef responsible for the Korean tacos at the Kogi Truck made a propaganda-ish video for Google Glass showing the controversial technology's potential for finding, creating, and sharing recipes.

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These S.F. Neighborhoods Contain the Best and Worst Tippers

Categories: Tech

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Square
The darker green the neighborhood, the more likely customers will tip there.
Tipping used to be a matter between yourself, your server, and God (unless you're Larry David), but with the advent of mobile payment systems like Square, now a third party is privy to how generous or miserly you are. Square's done some number-crunching to reveal the most important data of our time: Which S.F. neighborhoods contain the best and worst tippers.

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Judge OK's Low-Flying Drones. Is Taco Delivery Next?

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abine.com
The future of drones might be a little more complicated than a dystopian police state.
Like most people, I dread the not-too-distant day when armies of weaponized drones perfect a totalized surveillance state, terrorizing the populace and raining fire from the sky in the name of safety. However, a judge recently OK'd low-flying drones, opening them up for more banal purposes -- namely food delivery. It's entirely legal, now that the National Transportation Safety Board has triumphed over the Federal Aviation Administration. Move over drone warfare. Now it's just drone fare.

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New Restaurant Tablets and Apps Want to Make Asking for the Check Obsolete

Categories: Tech

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Ziosk/Google Plus
Could you resist the lure of a margarita with marketing like this at your table?
Asking for the check is so 20th century. OpenTable's latest iOs app update lets diners settle their check on their iPhones. That's right: If you've made your restaurant reservation through the app, you no longer have to wait to flag down your server at the end of your meal, give them a credit card, have them run it, and go through that whole tiresome human interaction. The new payment system is currently found at 12 pilot restaurants around S.F., including Radius, the Boxing Room, DOSA on Fillmore, and Jardinere (see the full list on the OpenTable website). Currently there's no functionality for splitting the check, but the company says that's on its way soon, along with an Android update.

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New Food Truck Debuts Recipes Designed by a Supercomputer

Categories: Tech, Video, WTF?

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Flickr/IBM Research
Watson's first food truck.
In our age of ramen burgers and tikka masala burritos, food trucks already seem like they've broken down cuisine boundaries pretty well. But here's a new twist. IBM supercomputer Watson -- the one who outsmarted humans on Jeopardy! a few years back -- has taken a new position in the kitchen. IBM recently teamed up with the Institute of Culinary Education in New York to use Watson's incredibly, superhuman database recall skills to come up with new recipes and flavor combinations for a food truck that's making its rounds in the U.S.

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Yelp's New List of Top 100 U.S. Restaurants Has Bewildering Bay Area Representation

Categories: Tech

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Data. Sometimes it illuminates patterns and trends that the human brain didn't pick up on, and sometimes it's downright misleading. The latter is the case in Yelp's new list of "Top 100 Place to Eat" in the country, compiled by Yelp engineers.

"This method takes into account both star rating and number of reviews to reveal which spots not only have top notch ratings, but also which are most popular in the Yelp community," explains the blog post re: its methodology, which seems pretty logical, but as you will see from the choices it worked better in theory than in practice.

See also: Yelp's New Wordmaps Show Where to Find Bacon and Yuppies

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Credibles, a New Culinary Crowdfunding Site, Asks Investors To Put Money Where Their Mouth Is

Categories: Tech

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Petaluma's St. Benoit Creamery is using Credibles to get more money for expansion.
It was only a matter of time before someone distrupted Kickstarter and Indiegogo for the food industry. Welcome Credibles, a new S.F.-based crowdfunding website specifically for culinary endeavors. It's actually sort of brilliant -- you buy food from your favorite restaurant or artisan producer upfront, in increments like $50 or $200 or $400, and then the restaurant or food producer can invest that cash in their business to reach specific goals without having to go through a bank or lender.

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