( Jeff Chiu )
Million-dollar-plus home sales hit record in Bay Area

Fueled by the booming tech economy and seemingly insatiable demand for housing, the Bay Area set records in the second quarter of this year in the number of homes sold for $1 million or more as well as those costing at least $2 million, according to a real estate information service.
 
((Jacqueline Ramseyer/SVCN)
Tesla Motors revealed Thursday that it is drastically ramping up production with a new final assembly line at its Fremont factory while breaking ground on a potential site for its much anticipated gigafactory just across the California border in Reno.  
 
 
REVIEWS & TIPS
( Ted S. Warren )
Wolverton: Amazon's Fire phone good for a first effort

Amazon’s new smartphone offers the basics, plus unique feature, but needs some polish — and more apps. 
EAST BAY
( )
Blackhawk Network's Talbott Roche helped push gift cards into the mainstream

A relentless focus, a strong work ethic and a drive to innovate have bolstered Roche as she helped transform Blackhawk into a worldwide network for prepaid cards with $1.24 billion in yearly revenue.  
SPOTLIGHT
Use of illicit drugs becomes part of Silicon Valley's work culture

With a tech boom lubricated by VC cash, a startup culture cranked up by fiercely competitive VPs and adrenaline-driven coders, and a corporate model that encourages stressed-out managers to look the other way, illicit drugs and black-market painkillers have become part of the landscape here in the world's fountain of tech. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
07/31/2014 11:34 PM PDT - Fans at Levi's Stadium can get instant replays, have food delivered to their seats and get point-by-point directions to the nearest bathroom, thanks to an app and high-tech features.  
 
07/31/2014 05:28 PM PDT - A judge has ruled against Microsoft, saying U.S. law enforcement can force the company to turn over emails it stores in Ireland.  
 
 
 
This barren, desert prison is where O.J. Simpson lives

Some here call it the 'O.J. House,' the only gated community in a vast stretch of desert rich in gold and silver, pioneer trails and proud, isolated towns north of Reno. 
(D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)
Removing a lawn? Check out synthetic turf

Long scoffed at as the bad toupee of the landscaping world, today's high-end fake grass is realistic-looking, kid-friendly, nonflammable, nontoxic, recyclable and low-maintenance. Better yet, hosing it off once a week, which is recommended if you have pets, consumes way less water than a live lawn.