Lauren Smiley

Lauren Smiley

Boots-on-the-ground tech reporter.

Writing about humans in the tech age. Stories at WIRED, Backchannel, San Francisco Mag, Cal Sunday, New York Mag. Staff alum of at Medium, San Francisco Weekly. Bilingual in Spanish.

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"Perverting Justice" - Crime Reporting for San Francisco Weekly

If you were to track the location of the GPS unit cinched to Mr. C's ankle on a recent Thursday at dusk, the red dot would veer northeast on Market and then head north on Grant. At Broadway, the dot hooks a U-turn &mdas

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"A Rat's Life": Investigative Crime Reporting for San Francisco Weekly

The MS-13 gangster leans toward a Plexiglas window in the Glenn E. Dyer Jail in downtown Oakland, speaking loudly over the desperate sounds of a man roaring and beating on the wall a few r

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"Worlds Apart" - Immigration Reporting for San Francisco Weekly

The U.S. Customs officer eyed Sang's well-traveled South Korean passport. 'What is your purpose in the United States?' she asked. Sang said he was 'on holiday' and would be going back to Korea in two weeks, yet agents s

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"Girl/Boy Interrupted" - Transgender Medical Reporting for the San Francisco Weekly

The breast bud popped up about six months ago, and Marty knew something had to be done. It was the slightest of puckers, just on one side, so small you wouldn't even notice it through a T-shirt.

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"Exporting the Dead" - Winner, Association of Alternative Newsmedia National Feature Writing Award

When Victor Cipriano Lopez collapsed and died in a driveway near the corner of 22nd and Valencia streets at 10:29 on a Sunday night last November, he was already supposed to be far, far away from San Francisco. At the mo

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"The rise and fall of an Internet sensation" - Tech reporting for San Francisco Weekly

On Feb. 15, Thomas Bruso's already unpredictable life took an abrupt detour. It was the day he ceased being Thomas Bruso and became Epic Beard Man, Internet sensation. That day, Bruso pulled on his custom-made 'I am a m

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"Overexposed" - LGBT Reporting for San Francisco Weekly

In Chinatown, it may be the Year of the Tiger, but in the Castro, it's almost always the Year of the Cock. Judging from a walk down Castro Street, cocks are the unofficial mascot. You've got the Sausage Factory (an Ita

Yelp article

"Faux-star reviews!" - Tech reporting on Yelp for San Francisco Weekly

Jason Braatz has been in the city's floral business for six years — enough time to know that it pays to keep Yelpers happy. And Panthea J. is not happy. 'Sadly, it was not the dramatic floral marvel that I had en

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"Scientology's Antagonists" - Reporting on Anonymous movement for San Francisco Weekly

Maybe it's his badass black outfit with blood-red letters screaming 'Scientology Kills.' Or possibly it's his crew cut, or his nose slammed 45 degrees left after catching one too many right hooks. Maybe it's the hardcore

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"Ballroom Starr" - A story on transgender teens in the underground ballroom scene for the SF Weekly

Starr shifted her weight as she stood on a mostly deserted Broadway in downtown Oakland, looking up at the second-floor windows of Historic Sweet's Ballroom. The pounding house music taunted her, convincing her the acti

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"BASE Jumping:" Sports Profile for San Francisco Weekly

A mud-splattered Jeep Cherokee pulls over on the shoulder of an empty road and stops. It is a gray, 40-degree January day, too cold for dallying. A man dressed in black with a sun-worn face and gray-nipped beard steps

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"Offline:" The story of a teacher who went too far with his students online

A day after he deleted his Facebook account last month, Terry Braye — exiled public school teacher — called SF Weekly in a panic. 'I'm in trouble,' h

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Sanctuary Sellout - Immigration and Political Reporting for the SF Weekly

If you were to compile a list of threats to San Francisco's public safety, Oscar Martinez probably wouldn't make the cut. The quiet 15-year-old soccer player with a peach-fuzz mustache and adolescent slouch has a demean

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"Score!!!" - Sports and Immigration Reporting for the SF Weekly

On a recent Saturday morning, a crew of aging former professional soccer players from Latin America huddled around Salvador Lopez, who drilled them on the strategy of how their team, El Farolito, would win the 10:40 game

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"Terminal People" - A boots-on-the-ground look at the city trying to move homeless indoors for the San Francisco Weekly

For the past couple of decades, San Francisco's Transbay Terminal has served as the de facto shelter for dozens of the city's homeless people. You saw them, anywhere from 100 to 150 on any given night, hunkered in and a