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Disruptive thinking with Cruz Foam co-founder John Felts. 

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By Joel Hersch 

California’s technology sector comprises a vast range of products, but at first thought, many will think of things such as “apps,” “programming,” or “virtual reality.” So, as Surf City Santa Cruz unfurls its fledgling identity as a wonderful home for tech startups, what traits help to qualify an industry or new product as fitting within the “tech sector?”

Conversations with Robots: UCSC’s Marilyn Walker on the Future of AI

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Discussions about artificial intelligence tend to the extremes: AI is either going to transform life as we know it for the better, or else, as my brother in-law is convinced, we’re engineering robots that will destroy us.

Marilyn Walker, a Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz and a fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics, isn’t terribly worried. The way she sees it, we have a long way to go before anything dystopian is even a consideration.

Keri Waters on Water Conservation, Long Showers, and the Tight-Knit Tech Community in Santa Cruz

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Keri Waters, CEO and co-founder of Buoy Labs, Inc. believes that long showers and water conservation aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, long showers were the inspiration for creating Buoy—well, that and California’s water crisis. In case you didn’t hear all the buzz after this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Buoy is a smart home water device that helps you track your water use, detect leaks, and ultimately save water without forgoing showers, pools, or even a lush, green lawn.  

We asked Waters to give us her take on water conservation, Santa Cruz tech, and why she’s good friends with Inboard founder Ryan Evans yet doesn’t ride an electric skateboard to work.