Posts Tagged ‘communications’
YOU MIGHT BE A GADFLY IF … the SF City Attorney’s Office Makes a Webpage Just for YOUR Records RequestsTuesday, October 28th, 2014
Let’s see here, Presidio Heights has had fancier-than-average street lights for a while now, ’cause why not, right?
These days, LED lights are the new thang, so Presidio Heights is getting them as well. And SFGov puts up signs for the rich denizens asking, “Hey what do you think of the new lights, let us know,” kind of thing.
But these new lights are on like all the time. Like this:
Our streetlight people must think we’re made of money.
AND THAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS!*
Pick a stupid catch-phrase for the SFPUC to use about LED lights, which I’ve had in my crib for years:
1. leading edge
2. state of the art
The answers are #1 and #2 – I haven’t come across the SFPUC talking about the “world-class” lights they leave on all the live long day yet, but one of these days I prolly will.
Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to that feelin’
*Not really. But I’m pointing out just one example of a pretty big difference betwixt how our PUC sees itself and how it actually is IRL.
“The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission invites interested community members to attend a public meeting to discuss our upcoming Street Light Wireless Control Pilot Project.
The purpose of this pilot project is to test a suite of leading edge wireless technologies which will be mounted on several new, environmentally friendly LED street light fixtures in the vicinity of Washington Street between Arguello and Presidio. Some of the wireless technologies will enable more effective monitoring and control of LED fixtures (including adaptive lighting, which allows for off-peak hour modification of street light levels), and some technologies will support other services, like electric meter reading, pollution monitoring and traffic signal control. The pilot project will allow us to try out the proposed technologies before the City begins converting all City-owned street lamps to LED fixtures.
And there’s this:
“We’re testing a state-of-the-art street lighting system comprising light-emitting diode (LED) street lights and wireless monitoring and control equipment. The new remote controls and ultra-efficient LED fixtures, which replace high-pressure sodium street light fixtures, have been installed in these neighborhoods:
The Inner Sunset, on Irving Street between 7th Avenue and 14th Avenue
Presidio Heights, on Washington Street between Walnut Street and Maple Street
Our public survey period ended at close of business on February 24, 2014. Many, many thanks to everyone who participated in the online survey and live demonstration events. You can read a comprehensive analysis of the survey results here.
Residents and businesses in the test areas were briefed on the installations during community meetings last winter. The new, ultra-efficient LED street lights will consume 50% less energy and burn three-to-four times longer than existing lamps. In addition, the LED’s will be:
monitored and controlled remotely (removing the need for members of the public to report broken lamps)
equipped with an adaptive lighting feature which allows for energy-saving off-peak hour adjustment of street light levels
powered by 100% greenhouse gas-free Hetch Hetchy hydroelectric energy (just like all City street lights)
Thanks for your support! Please feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions at: LED@sfwater.org.
(NOTE: A third LED street light system with wireless controls, installed downtown on Pine Street between Davis and Montgomery, was not included in the online survey or live demonstration events. Live, on-site demonstrations of the Irving and Washington Street installations took place on January 22 and 23, 2014.)”
Horrible PG&E Offers Up Excuses for Dragging Its Feet Shutting the Pipeline It Was Just Ordered to Shut DownSaturday, October 5th, 2013
Sometimes it seems like PG&E is 100% run by MBAs. Anyway. here’s the latest in the ongoing San Carlos, CA fiasco:
“Pipeline Is Safe, PG&E Tells San Carlos Customers. Utility is taking steps to be able to safely and effectively shut off service to San Carlos pipeline in compliance with Superior Court order
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 5, 2013 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) today said customers in San Carlos, Calif., can be assured that a natural gas transmission pipeline in their community is being operated in a completely safe manner.”
Gee, PG&E, wasn’t that what you said before about the natural gas pipeline in the San Bruno community before your negligence killed eight people in 2010? Do you think it’s a common thing for utility to kill eight people at a time? Your assurances mean nothing, PG&E.
In addition, PG&E said that despite the line being operated safely, the company is taking steps to be able to safely and effectively shut off service to the pipeline in compliance with an October 4 temporary injunction order by the San Mateo Superior Court. PG&E expects to be in a position to shut off service as early as Monday or Tuesday. The plan must account for a number of important safety and customer impacts associated with shutting off service.
What’s all this “PGE said” crap? Aren’t you PG&E? So why don’t you just come out and make the claim to the world, instead of to the people of San Carlos? What’s the angle here? Anyway, this graf here sounds like you’re sassing the judge, doesn’t it? Like, despite some judge going stark raving bonkers, we’re going to do what the judge ordered us to do, eventually. And you’re not ready to shut the pipeline down now? You have to “take steps” first? OK fine.
“We are working diligently to comply with the court order to safely and effectively shut off service to the pipeline. However, in the meantime, I want all customers to know that this pipeline has been demonstrated to be safe using the leading and most universally accepted standard for assessing the integrity of operating pipelines. Under no circumstances would we operate this pipeline in an unsafe condition and any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong,” said Nick Stavropoulos, the executive vice president with responsibility for all PG&E gas operations since June 2011.
Yet a PG&E engineer asked, “Are We Sitting on a San Bruno Situation? Right? What about that, EVP Nick?
“PG&E is responding to the court order by developing a plan to shut down the pipeline in a safe and effective fashion as quickly as possible. The company noted that work is presently being conducted on Line 101 on the Peninsula – the pipeline stretches from South San Francisco to San Jose. This work must be completed before Line 147 can be taken out of service in order to avoid posing an unreasonable risk of loss of service to other customers. In addition, the company is completing an assessment of gas service impact to customers in the San Carlos community, which will be taken into account as the company’s analysis concludes by Monday.
Uh, PG&E? “Safely” means to not kill any more people. “Effectively” means shutting down Line 147 100%. That’s it. Obviously this isn’t going to be convenient for you but aren’t you worried about being in contempt?
“To ensure safe operations on Line 147 in San Carlos, PG&E conducted hydrostatic pressure testing on the line in September 2011 to validate the safe operating pressure. Hydrostatic pressure testing, including a spike test, is widely considered among state and federal regulators the leading industry standard to ensure the safe operation of a gas transmission pipeline. In addition, a third party consulting firm conducted independent metallurgical testing after further questions were raised about the pipeline by a company employee. PG&E is requesting that San Carlos officials consult with state and federal pipeline safety officials to validate the actions taken by PG&E on Line 147. To learn more about PG&E’s commitment to pipeline safety, please visit www.pge.com/pipelinesafety.”
Blah blah blah. Hey PG&E! Why don’t you just shut down the fucking line now before you kill any more people?
All right, play us out of here, you incompetent boobs:
“Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit: http://www.pge.com/about/
CONTACT: PG&E External Communications - (415) 973-5930
Web Site: http://www.pge-corp.com
So now, former BART spokesmodel Linton Johnson will move from being an overpaid talking head at BART to being an even-more-overpaid non-talking head.
Modest as always, Linton’s all:
They’re* telling me I no longer speak for the district,” Johnson said. “If you want answers, you’ll have to go the communications department that I built.
This whole affair** obviously wasn’t good for Linton or BART or anybody.
So why did BART allow it to happen for days and weeks?
Who at BART allowed it to happen for days and weeks?
I don’t know.
*”They.” Yeah, who’s they?
I don’t know.
**Yes, there’s talk of a right to safety in the California Constitution. (I know that now and I knew that before.) But that doesn’t mean that you were correct on that score, Linton. Not in the least.
“CTIA -The Wireless Association” Explains Why Its Suing Us Over Gavin Newsom’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” OrdinanceWednesday, October 5th, 2011
All the deets are below.
The friendly face of the Cellular Telephone Industries Association, aka CITA, The Wireless Association. This fellow has a big beef with our little town.
CITA Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls
“CTIA-The Wireless Association® Files Challenge to San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 – Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® asked a federal court to block the enforcement of San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. CTIA’s challenge argues that the Ordinance is barred under the First Amendment and conflicts with federal law governing the safety of wireless devices.
As CTIA explains in its motion, the Ordinance requires retailers to distribute misleading statements and graphics that send the false message that cell phones approved by the FCC are not safe. In fact, the FCC limits radiofrequency emissions from cell phones to ensure that phones sold in the U.S. emit RF energy far below levels shown in scientific testing to have any adverse health effects. The FCC’s standard includes a wide margin of safety for all users. Last year the FDA categorically concluded that there is “No Evidence Linking Cell Phone Use to Risk of Brain Tumors,” and earlier this year the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, said that he was “confident that [the FCC's] standards are protecting the health of people.”
CTIA-The Wireless Association Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls released the following statement:
“The materials the City would require be posted and handed out at retail stores are both alarmist and false. The FCC and FDA have repeatedly found that cell phone use does not pose a danger to human health. The Ordinance recommends such things as turning the phone off when not in use, a suggestion that would render critical emergency communications unavailable to San Francisco residents.”
More deets after the jump
Marin NIMBYs Tolerate a Verizon Cell Phone Tower Installation in Sausalito – Improved Service for Tennessee Valley – Hurray!Thursday, July 28th, 2011
I’ve never used the Verizon – I’m not sure what makes it so great, you know, the way people say it’s so great.
Or some people, anyway:
No matter. We all win when more cell towers go up, right? Hurray!
As here, with the news of a new cellie in the southern part of Marin County.
Of course it’s somewhat absurd to consider each installation a victory over the NIMBYs, but that’s what it’s come to. (When you’re participating in trench warfare, even moving the battle line forward 100 yards is cause for celebration.)
Here it is, a full-fledged press release for just one (1) tower going up.
“New Cell Site Helps Sausalito, California, Residents and Visitors Make More Calls, Download More Apps and Stay Connected
WALNUT CREEK, Calif., July 28, 2011 – Calling, downloading apps and surfing the web on the Verizon Wireless 3G network is now easier and faster for residents and travelers in the San Francisco Bay Area thanks to a new cell site, Sausalito, California. The site expands 3G wireless coverage and capacity along Highway 101, Highway 1 and Tennessee Valley Road.
Verizon Wireless has invested more than $5.7 billion in its California network since being founded in 2000. Nationally, the company has invested more than $65 billion over that same period to increase the coverage and capacity of its network, and to add new services.
In Northern California, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network covers more than five million people. In the San Francisco Bay Area, 4G LTE coverage extends south to San Jose and east to Oakland. In addition, Verizon’s 4G LTE footprint recently expanded in the Bay Area to include parts of Marin and Solano Counties, as well as Fresno and Sacramento. For more information, please visit: www.verizonwireless.com/4G.
Verizon Wireless on Twitter
To stay up-to-date on Verizon Wireless news in Northern California, Northern Nevada and Hawai’i, follow @VZWheidi on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VZWheidi.
For the latest network-related news, information and upgrades follow @VZWNetwork on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VZWNetwork.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/
All Electric Cars Suck (Except the Nissan Leaf): #1 – Tesla Motors Sues the BBC for No Apparent ReasonMonday, April 4th, 2011
And here’s some reaction from the media.
And here’s the defense from, more or less, the sainted BBC.
So Tesla, let’s agree that that Top Gear TV show has, at the very least, a flair for the dramatic, a bit of cheesiness built into its DNA. So, why then, did you give them cars to test?
Here are the first two grafs from Tesla’s corporate do-boy:
“Tesla Roadsters in over thirty countries have driven more than ten million real-world miles. [SO WHAT, WHO CARES?] That’s 500,000 gallons of fuel that didn’t burn [HEY TESLA, HOW MUCH JET FUEL DID YOU BUY FOR YOUR CEO OVER THE YEARS? 10,000 GALLONS? 100,000 GALLONS? JUST ASKING, BRO] and over 5.3 million pounds of averted carbon dioxide emissions. [WHY NOT JUST NOT DRIVE INSTEAD, TESLA? AND HOW MANY GALLONS WERE BURNED TO MAKE THE ELECTRICITY TO POWER THE CARS?] The credit goes to approximately 1,500 Roadster owners around the world who drive their electric vehicles in all conditions; [THEY'RE LIKE HEROES, OR SOMETHING, RIGHT?] they’re an enthusiastic group who often talk and blog about their experiences. ["HERE'S A SNAPSHOT OF MY BRAND-NEW SIX-FIGURE TOY" - IT'S JUST LIKE, "LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY GRANDCHILDREN."]
“Tesla is committed to building the best cars in the world. [HAHAHAHAHAHA! AFTER EIGHT LONG YEARS, YOU'RE "COMMITTED," HUH?] And in doing so, [IN DOING WHAT, ACTUALLY? THESE TWO SENTENCES DON'T BELONG TOGETHER - YOU DON'T THINK YOU'RE BUILDING THE BEST CARS IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, OR DO YOU?] catalyzing change in a very traditional industry [OBJECTION, FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE] by convincing drivers that EVs can match and surpass automobiles run by combustion. [BUT YOUR EV'S ARE MOSTLY RUN BY COMBUSTION] That’s not an easy task. [O RLY? TELL US ABOUT THE MISMANAGED TWO-SPEED TRANSMISSION FIASCO, RICARDO, WHAT ABOUT THAT?] But the Roadster has changed a lot of minds. [THE ROADSTER IS A FAT LITTLE PIGGY WHAT COSTS WAAAAAAY TOO MUCH MONEY. TESLA MOTORS IS A FAT LITTLE PIGGY WHAT SUCKS ON GOVERNMENT TEAT WAAAAAY TOO MUCH]“
Anyway, check the video, below, if you want.
Why yes, I’m extreeeeeeemely comfortable in this very small, very heavy, very expensive rolling toy. Why do you ask?
And leave us not forget: All hail the Mighty Tesla Driver: “Look at me! Look at me! Ooops.” That was on Geary in the Western A, I believe.
The video you’re not supposed to see. I’d never seen it before, personally. It makes the Tesla Roadster look like the overweight, overpriced, electrified POS that it is.
And here’s part of the defense from the BBC’s cheesy Top Gear show.
1. We never said that the Tesla’s true range is only 55 miles, as opposed to their own claim of 211, or that it had actually ran out of charge. In the film our actual words were: “We calculated that on our track it would run out after 55 miles”. The first point here is that the track is where we do our tests of sports cars and supercars, as has happened ever since Top Gear existed. This is where cars are driven fast and hard, and since Tesla calls its roadster “The Supercar. Redefined.” it seemed pretty logical to us that the right test was a track test. The second point is that the figure of 55 miles came not from our heads, but from Tesla’s boffins in California. They looked at the data from that car and calculated that, driven hard on our track, it would have a range of 55 miles.
2. We never said that the Tesla was completely immobilized as a result of the motor overheating. We said the car had “reduced power”. This was true.
3. Tesla claims we were lying when we said the brakes were “broken”. They now say that all that had happened was that the fuse to the vacuum pump had failed, which meant that the brake just had to be pushed down much harder than usual. Well – to my mind, if the brakes are broken, then they’re broken, and if this happened to your car, you’d take it to the garage to get it fixed. Odd it seems so trivial to Tesla now, because on the day of filming they insisted on repairing the fuse before we could carry on driving the car.
The above points will be argued over in the near future by brainy people wearing wigs, but in a layman’s nutshell, this is where we stand on the matter. Before I finish though, I must clear up one important issue: scripting. It’s alleged by Tesla that on the day of filming one of their employees caught sight of a script that had been written, before the car had even been driven, already containing the verdict that in the “real world” the Tesla doesn’t work. This, they say, proves our guilt, because we’d condemned the car in advance. May I just say in reply:
a) The truth is, Top Gear had already driven the car prior to filming, to enable us to form a view on it in advance
b) Our primary reasoning behind the verdict had nothing to do with how the Tesla performed; our conclusion was based mainly on the fact that it costs three times more than the petrol sports car upon which it’s based. It takes a long time to recharge, so you can’t use it as easily for the carefree motoring journeys that are a prerequisite of sports car driving. You can actually reach that conclusion without driving the car. As it happens, when it did come to the subjective area of how the car drove on the track, we were full of praise for its performance and handling.
c) Just so you understand there’s nothing devious going on, you need to know how this filming business works. When you film a car review, the reviewer is only the tip of the iceberg. Behind the lens is a film crew, and only a day’s worth of light to shoot the eight minute film. This means we have to prepare in advance a treatment – a rough draft of a script so that the director and film crew can get to work right away, knowing what shots they will need to capture. It will contain the facts about a car, and what we think of its looks and so on, but how well the car actually drives is added on the day. If we’ve driven it ahead of filming, as we do with most cars, we will also have an idea how it feels to drive. But, and this is crucial, as we uncover fresh information about a car whilst filming it, it is entirely normal for the treatment to be modified as the day unfolds. Jeremy is always tweaking the scripts to reflect what his driving experience has actually been on the day.
There you go. I’ve said my bit, and now we’ll hopefully shut up and prepare for our day in court.
PS: As this is going through the courts right now, we’re afraid we’ve had to turn off comments on this one, but we wanted to let you all know how we see it.
Andy Wilman is the Executive Producer of Top Gear”
Bon Anniversaire, Claude! California Academy of Sciences Offers Fish Cupcakes to Special Albino AlligatorWednesday, September 15th, 2010
KTVU TV has the best video of the affair, AFAICS (and there’s no pesky commercial so that’s a bonus).
The observation galleries were filled with sciencey-types:
Click to expand
Claude knew something was going on – he was looking upwards like a pup about to get a special treat:
A couple of human birthday boys brought over the special cupcakes as Director of Communications Stephanie Stone emcee’d the affair:
Then the chief gator wrangler went over the wall and down the ladder - once more into the breach, dear friends:
She quickly tamed the hungry beast and kept it under control until…
…the special gatorcakes came down:
Then it was a frenzy:
Chewing, sort of:
…but not all. Here, some green “frosting” ends up landing on his snout:
Afterwards, there were plenty of regular cupcakes to go around for those born on 9-15:
Joyeux anniversaire! Bonne fête!
See you next year.
San Francisco’s recently-passed “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance is now officially under attack from Big Wireless.
First the CITA convention boycott of the 415 and now this. Oh well.
The friendly face of the Cellular Telephone Industries Association, aka CITA, The Wireless Association. This fellow has a big beef with our little town:
CITA Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls
His message, in so many words: I mo sue you.
But first, let’s hear from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Via Chief Deputy Communications Director Francis Tsang comes this:
MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM’S STATEMENT ON CTIA LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO’S CELL PHONE DISCLOSURE LEGISLATION
Mayor Gavin Newsom today issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit by the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA) to block enforcement of San Francisco’s cell phone disclosure ordinance:
“I am disappointed that the association representing the wireless communication industry has decided to challenge our landmark consumer information law in court.
This law is not an attack on the wireless industry or their products. San Francisco is proud to be a magnet for technological innovation and an early adopter of cutting-edge communications devices. This is a modest, common sense measure which merely takes information already made available by these companies and makes it more accessible and easier to find by the point-of-sale consumer.
I am surprised that industry representatives would choose to spend untold sums of money to fight this in the courts, instead of cooperatively working with San Francisco to comply with a reasonable law that provides greater transparency and information without putting any undue burdens on small businesses or discourage cell phone use in any way.”
O.K. then. Now, all the deets from CITA:
CTIA-The Wireless Association® Filed Lawsuit Against San Francisco for the So-Called ‘Cell Phone Right-to-Know’ Ordinance
WASHINGTON, July 23 /– Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California San Francisco Division to block enforcement of the San Francisco “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. The ordinance challenges the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) determination that all FCC-compliant wireless handsets are safe by mandating that retailers post Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values. The ordinance misleads consumers by creating the false impression that the FCC’s standards are insufficient and that some phones are “safer” than others based on their radiofrequency (RF) emissions.
All phones sold legally in the United States must comply with the FCC’s safety standards for RF emissions. According to the FCC, its standards limit RF exposures well below the level where RF emissions are potentially harmful and thus all wireless phones are safe as measured by these standards. The scientific evidence does not support point-of-sale requirements that would suggest some compliant phones are “safer” than other compliant phones based on their RF exposure test results. San Francisco’s attempt to regulate the sale of wireless handsets improperly intrudes upon the FCC’s exclusive and comprehensive regulation of the safety of wireless handsets. The ordinance is thus not only scientifically unsupported, it violates the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the United States Constitution and must be stricken.
Ever more deets, after the jump