What’s Coming to San Francisco Next Week? “Crowdfunded Supercars” from Blancfleet.Com

July 22nd, 2014

Sadly, most supercars you see in San Francisco aren’t properly registered in California. The reason mostly has to do with CA use tax, which comes due the second you start “using” your new ride by driving it around.

So some people end up paying $10, or $20, or $30 per mile during the short time  they own and drive a Ferrari, for example.

So other people simply dispense with paying CA use tax, because it’s so pricey.

Here’s an alternative – Blancfleet. They say they’re opening up next week in the Bay Area.

“Blancfleet is the world’s first supercar sharing platform where car enthusiasts crowdfund and timeshare the supercars they love. Timesharing allows car enthusiasts on Blancfleet to spread the cost of owning, operating, and insuring a supercar with other car enthusiasts. On Blancfleet, there are no annual membership fees, no refueling requirements, no car insurance requirements, no car maintenance fees, no car storage fees, and no security deposit requirements. Timesharing also allows members to enjoy supercars with unlimited miles”

More deets here and here.

Is this a good idea for you? IDK. But it will be refreshing to see valid CA license plates on these cars. So you’ll still end up paying a little bit of money to the state, but indirectly and only just a little.

So that’s a good thing.

Heh: Incompetent SFMTA MUNI DPT Parking Control Officers are Repeatedly Citing Security Guard Cars at Our Chinese Consulate

July 22nd, 2014

So the guards at this troubled location have resorted to posting long messages in car windows.

“Attn DPT: Please do not ticket this vehicle…”

Click to expand

The current SFMTA position is that only security guards and cops can legally park at this location. This is a result, one supposes, of that Chinese citizen firebombing the front door of the place on Laguna not too long ago…

Aviation Writer James Fallows Commits the MSM Blunder of the Year with “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines” in the NYT

July 22nd, 2014

Hoo boy: “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines

“Was this disaster somehow the airline’s fault? The answer is no — but to understand why, you have to look at the complex realities of modern commercial aviation.”

My isn’t this a touch patronizing? Well, obviously the primary fault is with the crew and commanders of the Gadfly missile system used to shoot down the plane. But Malaysian Air Systems is partially to blame for its negligent operation.

“Malaysia Airlines, already world famous because of the still-missing flight MH370, appears to have been following all normal safety rules.”

Is anybody suggesting that this flight was somehow illegal? I don’t think so. So talking about Malaysian following the “rules” is pointless.

“…explicit prohibitions are critical, because the entire aviation system works on the premise that unless airspace is marked as off-limits, it is presumptively safe and legal for flight.

OK again, Jimmy, the flight was unsafe but legal. Nobody’s suggesting that the flight was not legal.

“…when they crossed this zone at 33,000 feet, they were neither cutting it razor-close nor bending the rules, but doing what many other airlines had done, in a way they assumed was both legal and safe.”

Again, Jimmy, why are you harping on what’s “legal” to make your point that Malaysian wasn’t negligent? It’s as if the New York Times has turned into the Public Relations arm of Malaysian Air Systems or the government of Malaysia.

All right, it’s time to review. Here’s a partial list of airlines that were specifically avoiding this part of eastern Ukraine before the shootdown:

Asiana Airlines

Korean Air Lines  

China Airlines

Air France

British Airways

Air Berlin [Germany's second-largest airline]

The operators of these airlines would have been able to fly over eastern Ukraine legally, but they chose not to. Why’s that, Jimmy? Why would these airlines spend more on kerosene for no reason?

Mr. Fallows continues in The Atlantic:

Somehow I suspect that if it had been a Lufthansa plane that was attacked, there would be fewer starting-point assumptions that the carrier had somehow been cutting corners at the cost of its passengers’ safety. 

This sounds like it came straight from Malaysian Airlines, this racism (or whatever) argument he’s pushing. In any event, corner-cutting at the expense of passenger safety is exactly what occurred here.

And here’s the stinger:

“If a government or rogue faction shoots down a commercial plane, is that really an “air safety issue?” 

Well, hell yes it is, Jimmy. It’s exactly an air safety issue. That’s why all those airlines cited above, plus others, were avoiding the area. For safety.

Comes now aviation writer Christine Negroni to offer views contrary to that of flyboy fanboy James Fallows:

So while Malaysia is self-evidently correct it its statements; the airspace was open and hundreds flights between Europe and Asia were using it every day, it is a weak reply to a valid question of responsibility

Indeed.

Why James Fallows wants to shut down the conversation about the question of responsibility is a mystery to me…

Well Look, Gannett Co Inc’s “The Bold Italic” Venture is Operating a _Paid_ Intern Program – But What About Before?

July 22nd, 2014

[UPDATE: IMO, The San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner (and family) are conducting their intern programs properly. IMO, San Francisco Magazine is not. Those are the ones I’ve looked at.)

Here’s the current ad from TBI:

“Hello writers! Are you a Bold Italic fan looking to get on the other side of the screen with us? We’re looking for two social media-savvy bloggers interested in interning at The Bold Italic HQ (Hayes Valley, SF) for the fall season. The gig lasts four months (mid-August through December), and is for 3-5 days a week. And yes, we pay our interns ($15/hr). We can give you school credit if you need it.”

That appears to be fine, so it’s time to take TBI off of secret double unpaid intern probation.

But how did Gannett / the Bold Italic get on intern detention in the first place? Well, it was the offers of unpaid internships. You can see an example of one below. (It’s the sort of thing that can get a Fortune 500 chain store outlet like The Bold Italic sued, you know, for not paying at least the minimum wage.)

All right, TBI, Go Forth And Sin No More.

Ah mem’ries:

The Bold Italic is looking for an intern!

The Bold Italic is a website about local discovery in San Francisco. Our mission is to help people become better locals by equipping our members with rare intel, backstories, and potential adventures. The Bold Italic is a project of Gannett, the publishing company that owns USA Today and other media outlets.

Most recently our writers engaged in shooting guns, performing stand up comedy, working a day at a pot club, and getting hands-on lessons from a butcher – all right here in San Francisco.

We’re looking for a cracker-jack intern to help us inspire San Franciscans to interact with their city.

Duties to include:
– General office administrative duties.
– Helping to draft promotional material.
– Contributing ideas for editorial, publicity, and marketing projects.
– Assisting with events.
– Other duties assigned by the Producers and Merchant Relations staff.

Skills we are looking for:
– Strong familiarity with San Francisco.
– A people person.
– Detail oriented.
– Responsible and on time.
– Excellent communication skills; writing experience a plus.
– Social media savvy.

This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is looking to get involved with an online publication.

This is an unpaid 3-month internship, but we can offer hands-on experience and college credit.

Please only apply if you can dedicate 10-15 hours per week.

Send your resume and cover letter to info@thebolditalic.com

Abbey Road, 94115 – Typical San Francisco Pedestrians

July 22nd, 2014

Bros on Geary:

Vision Zero is SFGov’s commitment to having MUNI bus drivers and other SFGov employees* stop killing pedestrians by the year 2024.

Why can’t the SFMTA just simply stop killing pedestrians right now in 2014?

The World Wonders…

*And, of course, everybody else in the world as well, but your odds of getting killed by one of those billions of non-SFGov employees is infinitesimally smaller than getting killed by an SFGov employee. The SFMTA could take steps right now for safety, steps that wouldn’t cost all that much money, but it simply doesn’t want to. 

848 Yelp Reviews, Four-and-a-Half Yelp Stars – The King of the Middle Richmond is Pizzetta 211 on 23rd Ave

July 22nd, 2014

Pizzetta 211 is King.

Pizzetta 211 is King.

Oh, Costco is Selling Apple Stuff Again: iPods and iPads with a Modest Discount of $15 Or So

July 22nd, 2014

One supposes the great Apple Costco Spat of Aught-Ten is over, seeing as you can walk right in to Costco #144 and score an iPod Touch or Nano or, soon enough, an iPad Air or Mini or whatnot.

Apparently Canadian Costcos are getting iPhones now but supplies will be spotty in the U.S. depending on region and carrier.

(The last time I bought an iPod at a Costco it was co-branded with HP, believe it or not.)

Or if you really want to save money, there’s always the Apple Refurbished Store.

Anyway, enjoy.

OMG, It’s the Great Post-Ramen Festival Japantown Volunteer Cleanup! Today on Post at 6:00 PM

July 21st, 2014

All the deets on this “emergency” cleanup that will occur today, July 21st, 2014

“There is a lot of trash littering the streets of Japantown following the massive crowds of 100.000+ visitors this past weekend for the J-Pop Summit and Ramen Yokocho Festival. If you are available, please join other concerned members of the Japantown community TONIGHT as we pitch in to clean up the trash on the streets. We’ll be meeting at Japantown Peace Plaza starting at 6pm and will provide disposable gloves and trash bags. Any help or additional cleaning supplies or equipment you can contribute would be greatly appreciated.

Event organizers are unable to completely clean up the mess, although they are providing steam cleaning for the sidewalks where ramen vendors were situated.

Let’s take care of our community together and clean up Japantown! Thank you so much to everyone coming to help tonight.”

This news comes via Akit:

Akit ‏@AgentAkit  29m

SF Japantown looks like a trash dump after the #JpopSummit #Jpopfestival & the ramen event. Help cleanup area 2day: https://www.facebook.com/events/581464565305622 …

Holy Toledo, Check Out All These Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotors Flying Over the Presidio Today – “Military Training”

July 21st, 2014

Via PresidioSF:

Click to expand

Yowzer. I myself have never seen a tilt-rotor IRL

Bob Smolenski has the deets and some video:

“Three V-22′s landed at Crissy Field in San Francisco. Followed by 2 Presidential helicopters. Not sure who was riding on them today. Both Pres. Obama and VP Biden are in Washington DC”

Rec and Park Employee Busted by a Google Maps Car in Golden Gate Park

July 21st, 2014

Reader JR sent this one in. Read his words below.

If you want to see for yourself, take a look at the Streets View of JFK Drive near the Rose Garden, a little west of “425 JFK Drive, SF”

I think the bigger crime here is being oblivious to the big old honking Google Maps car going down JFK, but anyway.

Hey, is that Phil Ginsburg? (I can’t tell, but check out those sideburns. Does he wear a watch? Not that I know of.)

Anyway:

“I stumbled across your website. I was reading through the pages. 

I was disturbed by the recklessness of a San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Employee killing a person (1). I looked  further online into that.

 I continued reading your website clicking through the pages. I was interested about the re-stripping of JFK DR in Golden Gate Park. (2) I clicked the link for public radio. I did a Google street view of JFK Dr and found what appears to be a San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Employee Driving while talking on the phone. See attachment. According to Google’s photo taken was Dec. 2013. San Francisco Recreation and Park Department vehicle identification number 651-6035.