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Posts Tagged ‘fraud’
Attention SFMTA: The Big Beneficiaries of Charging for Parking on Sundays are Placard Holders and Rich PeopleWednesday, May 29th, 2013
Well, here you go, the first four vehicles I saw on this block of Clement in the Inner Richmond District on a recent Sunday had handicapped placards and the fifth one was a new Jaguar.
Is this what you want, SFMTA? Placard fraud ripping you off and richers paying you a few shekels per hour?
Oh, it is?
Well then, keep up the good work.
‘Cause I’ll tell you, all these drivers appreciated the easier parking opportunities I’m sure.
Oh, and your goal of 15% of the parking spaces on Clement being free at any given time will never ever come True.
On It Goes…
How the Falun Gong Defeated Google – The Shen Yun 2013 “Extravaganza” Plays San Francisco’s Orpheum TheatreThursday, March 21st, 2013
All right, let’s say you’ve heard about the big Shen Yun 2013 show at our Orpheum Theatre and you want to find out a little about it, m’kay?
So you type into Google and this what you get:
What you won’t get is something like this:
Or Yelp reviews neither, like these:
And you certainly won’t find the official Chinese Communist Party (“Socialism, with Chinese Characteristics!”) website on Shen Yun all that easily, oh no:
Cult Studies [Uh, FYI, CCP, your agitprop website looks a little crude, like it's from your little buddy North Korea, just saying.]
So I guess the lesson to be learned is that if a small group of people want to game Google so that you’ll buy tickets to this show without knowing, in a general way, what it’s about first, then they can.
Things I now know:
SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE;
THE BOLD ITALIC IS GANNETT COMPANY, INCORPORATED; and
SHEN YUN 2013 IS FALUN GONG
That’s something to consider when you’re getting the hard sell at San Francisco Costco #144, as seen last week on 10th Street:
Another Sad Case of MUNI Fraud – And Yet, Does the SFMTA Give Tickets to Cable Car Drivers Who Steal $6 Fares? NoWednesday, November 14th, 2012
This is the face of MUNI Fraud.
North Face Girl didn’t pay her $2 fare, looks like.
So a crew of three SFMTA Inspectors had to take her down, for tout le monde to see.
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But what happens when a cable car driver steals a six dollar fare, like something that happens all the time every day?
Do MUNI Inspectors ever hand out citations for that?
I don’t know.
So basically Yelp is now announcing a new shame campaign against businesses what break the rules to get an inflated Yelp rating.
(I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen footnotes in a press release before, but that’s how area Yelp flack Stephanie Ichinose rolls, I guess)
“Yelp Rolls Out Consumer Alerts to Educate and Inform Consumers
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2012 – Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, announced today that it will be taking additional steps to protect consumers from biased reviews. The company will place a consumer alert message on a business’s profile page when it determines that there have been significant efforts to purchase fake reviews to mislead consumers.
“Yelp has become so influential in the consumer decision making process that some businesses will go to extreme lengths to bolster their reviews,” said Eric Singley, vice president of consumer products and mobile, Yelp. “While our filter already does a great job of highlighting the most useful content, we think consumers have a right to know when someone is going to great lengths to mislead them.”
The consumer alert will call attention to attempts to purchase reviews for a business profiled on Yelp. When consumers click on the alert, we will show them screenshots exposing the effort to mislead our users.
The alert will be removed from the business’s Yelp page after 90 days, unless evidence of ongoing efforts is discovered, which may renew the warning period. Initially, nine businesses will have the consumer alert message posted on their profile page, but the company will be posting alerts like these on an ongoing basis as warranted.
Beyond alerting consumers to attempts to purchase reviews, the next step in Yelp’s Consumer Alert program will be to let consumers know if a business has had a large number of reviews submitted from the same Internet Protocol (IP) address, which can be a helpful indicator that they lack authenticity. While the review filter already takes this type of information into account, we believe that consumers also have a right to know if this activity is going on.
Consumer trust is essential to the utility of a user-generated review service. Since early 2005, Yelp has taken an aggressive stance to protect the quality of the content on its site, namely in the form of its review filter which aims to highlight reviews that are helpful and reliable. This automated program is applied continually and equally to all reviews submitted to Yelp. Reviews that have been flagged by the filter can be viewed by users if desired. Yelp has become a trusted source for more than 78 million monthly visitors in large part because of this focused quality-over-quantity approach.
An independent Businessweek(i) report confirmed the success of Yelp’s efforts to protect consumers. The article details the efforts of a Texan business owner who purchased 200 online reviews in an attempt to artificially bolster his business’s online reputation. The report found that Yelp’s review filter returned “impressive results” catching every purchased review, while the shill reviews remained up on seven other review sites.
Academic studies from Harvard Business School(ii )and UC Berkeley(iii), have demonstrated the impact a business’s Yelp reviews can have on its success. These findings indicate a strong incentive for some businesses to try to game the system, and explain why Yelp must continue to innovate in the steps it takes to protect consumers.
Yelp exists to help consumers find and support local businesses. In its ongoing efforts to help local business owners make the most of their presence on Yelp, the company has built a robust online resource (biz.yelp.com) and offers regular workshops for business owners, both via webinars and locally in more than a dozen cities across the US.
Yelp Inc. connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Poland. Yelp had a monthly average of approximately 78 million unique visitors in Q2 2012(iv). By the end of the same quarter, Yelpers had written more than 30 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Yelp’s mobile applications were used on approximately 7.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during Q2 2012. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(i) Source: BusinessWeek “A Lie Detector Test for Online Reviewers”, Karen Weise (September 29, 2011)
(ii) Source: Harvard Business School, Michael Luca (October 2011)
(iii) Source: The Economic Journal, Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder (March 2012)
(iv) Source: Google Analytics”
I’ll tell you, shame works. Just look what my local bodega did to me after I passed a whole bunch of bad checks, you know, to get delicious Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the occasional Cheetos Natural Puffs White Cheddar. They posted them for tout le monde to see:
All the shame is making me consider not defrauding area business, you know, someday.
Anyway, Yelp is disciplining a total of nine bidnesses in all of Yelp-land, for sdtarters anyway.
Non-Intuitive Parking Assist: Why Is It That Most of the Handicapped Motorists in SF Drive Luxury Cars and Park for Free?Friday, April 6th, 2012
Maybe the perfect option for your luxury car is a handicapped placard?
Your license plate says that you’re an SF Resident, so of course a placard hanging from the rear-view:
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Think about it – which is the better option? Something like Intuitive Parking Assist, which will park your car for you only after you’ve found a space, or a placard, which will allow you to park wherever you want all day for free?
I’d prefer the placard.
You’re on the honor system with this one. If you feel as if you deserve to park wherever you want for free all day long, then you’ll be able to get one.
It’s not hard.
The Shame of San Francisco: People Abusing the California Handicapped Placard Program for Easy ParkingThursday, December 1st, 2011
Most of the cars parked in this area just south of Market Street had handicapped placards.
Here’s three in a row, the most my wide angle lens would let me take in. This is typical:
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The fact is that most of the people who use handicapped placards to park in San Francisco are abusing the system.
DPT Stakeout at Costco – Disabled Placard “Street Team” – Expired Permit – Jersey Plates – Lonely PoochMonday, November 21st, 2011
(Check it, my first pro-SFMTA post.)
This cute pup was guarding an Acura parked on 10th Street while its owner visited our SoMA Costco (I assume, I mean, why else would anybody park down there?)
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Problem? The disabled placard hanging from the rear-view has expired. See?
So guess who was waiting for this car’s owner to show up – it was DPT’s Disabled Placard Street Team with their bright blue shoulder patches.
Les mise-en-scene avec Etat de Jardin* license plates sur la Acura bleu:
This issue could end up costing the driver thousands of dollars, when all is said and done.** (I can’t say for sure because I don’t get paid by the City Family to stakeout cars, plus I had to split. Oh well.)
Now, WWSD? Like What Would KRON-TV’s Stanley Roberts Do if he came upon this scene? Oh yes, something like this.
But, you know, I might possibly be beefier than Stanley (I know I’m taller than he but I could actually outweigh him) and, you know, I wouldn’t want to get into an another Elmo situation.
Bon courage, Acura pooch. Your owner will need all the love she can get today.
*Garden State – it’s a Jersey Thing.***
**The funny thing is that Costco has plenty of free parking. And honestly, I don’t think the good people of Costco would care all that much if you parked in their garage while shopping elsewhere. As stated, there’s nothing else going on ’round that area so it’s not like they’re on the lookout for renegade parkers.
***YouTube, you’re too funny. Oprah + Snooki = ???
OMG, Now You Can Read “The Real Ed Lee – The Untold, Untold Story” Book Online With Searchable Text – Just Click the LinkThursday, November 3rd, 2011
Apparently, there aren’t enough printing presses available in the Bay Area to keep up with the enormous demand the public has for “The Real Ed Lee – The Untold, Untold, Story.”
(Uh…, moving on.)
Anyway, the upshot is that now you can see the text online in a searchable format. See below.
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“The book goes through the details of how Lee rose through the ranks at City Hall, along the way approving a couple of fraudulent vendors and getting caught up in Willie Brown’s sleaze. It discusses how his campaign is taking credit for other people’s work and ideas. It describes how he promised over an over not to run, then went ahead and did it anyway. It’s got a great picture of him steering a 139-foot yacht with the caption “I’m on a boat.”
(Nice link there, Tim Redmond – I hadn’t made the connection.)
All the deets:
“The Untold, Untold Story” Goes Online - Leland Yee campaign can’t print “The Real Ed Lee” book fast enough for demand
SAN FRANCISCO – The reviews are in and the “The Real Ed Lee: The Untold, Untold Story” is a smash hit!
Has a serious political point, but it’s actually funny, sometimes really funny, and it’s much easier to read than the plodding “Ed-Is-Greater-Than-God” prose of the original…. For once, we have a campaign piece that made me laugh instead of crying. - San Francisco Bay Guardian
OMG, A new best seller to be! – Some guy on the internet
Everyone is talking about it! – SFist
The 55-page parody shows Lee on the cover as downcast, grumpy and triple-chinned. The book recounts dozens of previously published stories detailing everything from the two district attorney investigations into alleged ethics violations by his supporters and alleged cronyism. – San Francisco Chronicle
The 56-page booklet is heavily footnoted with URLs – The Bay Citizen
I totally LOL’ed – The San Francisco Citizen
((*sound of crickets*)) – Interim Mayor Ed Lee
The slim volume oozes sarcasm as it covers the history of Ed Lee’s tenure as mayor, including his promise to not run for a full term and charges of inappropriate campaign donations from contractors. - San Francisco Examiner
This is the first “hit” recipe in political history. - Eric Jaye
Less than three-months hence, Lee’s campaign is beset by multiple criminal investigations into alleged campaign money laundering, ballot tampering and other campaign election violations. – Fog City Journal
[Ed Lee staff] were pretty disgusted by it. – Tony Winnicker
Painstakingly put together to resemble the original propaganda mailer to the smallest detail. The type fonts are identical. The jaunty writing style is mocked all too well. – SF Weekly
The Leland Yee for Mayor campaign has already distributed thousands of “The Real Ed Lee: The Untold, Untold Story” to voters throughout San Francisco, however, the demand for the book has been so great that today Yee’s campaign launched the book online at http://www.lelandyee.com/the-
“We can’t print the books fast enough,” said Jim Stearns, Yee’s campaign manager. “Now that it is online every San Franciscan will have the opportunity to read this accurate account of our interim mayor and be able to compare his tarnished and corruption-filled record to Leland Yee’s 23 years of leadership and experience fighting for our community, especially seniors, students, and the most vulnerable.”
“The Real Ed Lee: The Untold, Untold Story” is a response to a book produced by one Ed Lee’s billionaire IE committees, which falsely glorified the interim mayor and ignored the multiple scandals and ethics violations of his campaign. The highlights of “The Real Ed Lee: The Untold, Untold Story” include Lee becoming interim mayor on false pretenses, his approval of fraudulent contracts, giving “golden parachutes, embracing cronyism, failure to follow ethics laws, illegal campaign contributions, money laundering (well, the first time), voter fraud, and the city’s future if Ed Lee were elected. The book also includes “Willie [Brown] & Rose’s [Pak] ‘No Longer Secret’ Make-A-Mayor Recipe.”
By comparison, Leland Yee has released several detailed plans on job creation, environmental protection, transportation, and schools. Maybe the most important of his plans – “An Independent City Hall” – would clean up City Hall, bring real transparency and accountability, kick out the powerbrokers, and return our local government to the people. To read Yee’s plan, visit http://www.lelandyee.com/
Mayoral Candidates Stand United in Their Opposition to Ed Lee Campaign Money-Laundering – A Call for Election MonitorsThursday, November 3rd, 2011
Well, here they are this morning, on the steps of City Hall.
It’s Jeff Adachi, Michela Alioto-Pier, Dennis Herrera, Joanna Rees, and Leland Yee.
“We stand united in our outrage and opposition to he illegal activities that have been going on in the Ed Lee campaign. Recently, there was another revelation about money-laundering…”
I don’t know, click here to see the whole story these past several months.
Le mise-en-scene a l’Hotel de Ville:
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Michela: ”Any strong leader would have stopped this from happening.”
Joanna: “Ed Lee saying he can’t stop this from happening is totally ludicrous.”
Jeff: ”Ed Lee gave a large pay raise to city management, and weeks later received their endorsement.”
On It Goes…