Posts Tagged ‘google’

Does San Francisco Really Have a “French Quarter?” Not Really, Despite What Microsoft Says

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Well, here it is, from the Bing Maps:

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(IDK, this is less offensive than “Uptown Tenderloin,” one supposes, you know, coming from San Francisco’s non-profit profiteers.)

French Quarter sounds a bit, grandiose?

Here’s the cure, as usual, from wilds of the Internet:

Ha. No one here knows by that name. There’s not a distinct boundary for the collection of French-serving restaurants and businesses near the French Consulate, the church and school of Notre Dame des Victoires on Bush Street. But apparently it’s been dubbed by some hotel marketing person as the “French Quarter.” Belden Alley and Claude Alley intersect with Bush Street, and each have some French cafes. On Bush/Grant Ave. is the Cafe de la Presse — a coffee house with French and international newspapers, and restaurant. There’s Cafe Claude on Claude and some other bistros. Plouf! is an excellent mussel house on Belden…”

All right, keep on Binging, Microsoft.

UPDATE: Facebook is Routinely Double-Parking Its Buses on Busy, Busy Masonic Avenue’s “NO STOPPING” Zone

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Get up to speed here.

And now for an update since that last post.

Here’s a 43 Masonic using the #3 southbound lane of Masonic to get from its Hayes stop to its Oak stop, with no interference from any Facebook double decker buses:

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But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:

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With all the recent changes to our corporate bus bus routes, I thought that maybe this was a legit, SFMTA-approved staging area for the Facebook, but no, it’s still a NO STOPPING ZONE:

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Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:

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Now it could be worse, of course, as a Teamster just told me on Friday. And I’ll concede that point. But we can’t just have FB contractors deciding on their own to double park on a bus line all the live long day.

The Teamsters, they covet a staging area in the 94117. They’ve already gotten kicked out of the other places they’ve tried. I’ve suggested the already-existing area on Fell near Alamo Square, the one that the tourist buses use. Just an idea.

Oh, here we go – sometimes the 43 needs to wait with the blinkers on, to beg drivers in lane #2 for, you know, a little help. Isn’t that sad? Anyway, our sad-sack SFMTA navigating around a company worth nine figures:

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Oh what’s that, really this bus is a WEDRIVEU or a Lux or a Loop Transportation and who the fuck knows who’s inside? Yeah, right. [Sarcasm.] MPK = Facebook, non?

I’ll tell you, I don’t know who is the Facebook analog for Google’s Rebecca Prozan* in the 415. If I did, I already would have contacted him/her. As it was, I simply shot a note to London Breed’s office.

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So yes, Facebook, I understand why you were able to get away with this for a while, owing to the fact that this lane was blocked already due to all the recent construction. But FB, you have no idea how much you stick out when you park on Masonic like this.

And yeah, the cops don’t care and no millionaire homeowners are around to complain at you, but this bus standing area will not stand.

*Appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who, really, is lucky to have his gig, and really, is nobody special, thinks he’s REALLY REALLY SPECIAL. So when the Googlers came to town to meet with him a few years back they’d say stuff like, oh, good idea Mr. Mayor – we’ll get back to you on that, that kind of thing. Well, our Dear Leader, who bruises easier than a Cavendish banana, hit the ceiling and ended up all sore, due to the fact that Google sent some, some underling up to Frisco, an underling who couldn’t make a deal with SFGov. Well, G learned its lesson after that – it hired Rebecca Prozan and it gave $6.8 million to the SFMTA and it did a host of other good deeds, you know, to ease the pain. Of course, G was stupid to allow its contractor drivers to make such a low hourly wage. Why? Because it invites the Teamsters to move on in, right? What G should have done was say to the bus contractors, OK, what’s your lowest bid assuming that you’re going to pay your drivers extra for split shifts and that you’re going to pay them, IDK $40 per hour, something like that. Now what’s happened is that the Teamsters are fully activated and a begrudging 20% pay bump to fight off further unionization, and more and more “work rules,” isn’t going to help, IMO. Google went hog-wild outfitting these buses, but it forgot about some pretty basic stuff. IMO. IMO, based upon observing this GBus program for the past nine years…

How the “Walk For Life” Anti-Abortion People Used Reuters to Exaggerate the Number of Participants

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Here’s your search:

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And here’s the kicker, in super small type:

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Oh, so it’s a press release.

OK.

What the Walk for Life people are really touchy about are crowd estimates. At the beginning, they’d have realistic crowd estimates, then a few years later, they started exaggerating. I don’t know if they’re still doing that. Maybe I’ll check next year.

Anyway, this kind of press release on Reuters is one way to promote yourself and your movement via the M$M.

Help Break the SFMTA’s Secret Shuttle Bus Code: Send in Your Photos of the ID Numbers You See on All Those Buses

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

This older post from Nitasha Tiku of ValleyWag might be a bit out of date, as I know some of the codes listed there don’t match what I’ve been seeing IRL.

This is what I’m talking about here:

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So, “Loop Transportation Inc” uses SFMTA code “07” – are there other names for this outfit? I know not. Anyway, they have at least 74 vehicles, one assumes (based upon observations).

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Here’s the list:

1. Bauer’s IT
2. Sunset Development/Bishop Ranch
3. Black Tie Transportation
4. WeDriveU
5. SFO Airporter
6. Royal Coach Tours
7. Lux Leasing
8. Storer Coachways
9. MV Transportation
10. LOOP Transportation
11. Corinthian

So if you see a bus that has a different code than what you see here, take a photo and send it in to the email address you see on the top of this blog. Or really, I don’t need a photo, I just need to know the Pilot Program ID number and then the “Operated By” info on the side of the ride.

Then I’ll look into things and then post an updated list complete with the highest bus number observed and then I’ll post it for tout le monde to see. (I don’t know why the SFMTA considers this info so supr secrt but it does.)

And of course, if you have some big beef against some bus, what you’re supposed to do is call 311 and then tell them the five-digit code so they can take action, if necessary. That’s the system, baby.

“Marissa Mayer in Conversation with Marc Benioff” at the Castro on October 30th – Via INFORUM, the Commonwealth Club’s “Innovation Lab”

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

I’m figuring Marc’s going to go all 60 Minutes on Marissa during his hard-hitting “interview” at the Castro Theatre, j/k.

More seriously, check out the “nosebleed” tickets for just $10.

Hey, both these people have had photo shoots at San Francisco Magazine. Benioff was so enamored, he’s using one of their photos as his g0-to headshot these days. Mayer was featured about six years ago – I remember ’cause I had one of my photos taking up two pages – I should dig up that issue sometime. Anyway, the title of the piece had the word “Googirl” in it and I was thinking, “That’s not cricket.” So they Googled the term and then decided to change the title. These days, they don’t deign to fix their mistakes (like talking about diesel powered Boeing jets) after publication. Oh well.

And now, on with the show:

Marissa Mayer in conversation with Marc Benioff – A Visionary Award Event

INFORUM is awarding Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, our 21st Century Visionary Award. Marissa is only one of 25 women to run a Fortune 500 company, and No. 1 on Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40″ list. She began her career as the 20th employee at Google.

In 2012, Mayer claimed a bigger stage with her appointment as CEO of Yahoo! In two years, Mayer has launched Yahoo! Screen Live, acquired 17 companies including Tumblr, and spearheaded facelifts for the mail app, homepage, and Flickr. Her boldness has made her a household name.

Marissa will be interviewed by Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will present the award to Marissa via a video introduction.

Join us for an evening with two giants revolutionizing the tech industry at The Castro Theatre.”

(more…)

A Case Study of SFMTA’s Controversial “MUNI-COMMUTER” Shuttle Program: The New Stops at Hayes and Clayton

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Here’s what things looked like on August 1, 2014 at a MUNI bus stop that just debuted as a new “commuter shuttle” stop:

I think MUNI meant to say MUNI/COMMUTER SHUTTLES instead of MUNI-COMMUTER SHUTTLES, but who knows.

Note that the small print advises those with Concerns or Complaints to go to Hell call 311.

Here’s the place, on Hayes at Clayton:

Things were pretty sedate around here before the shuttle program began. (Yes, Hayes is a thoroughfare, as it has the 21 Hayes bus line but that bus doesn’t run as much as the nearby #5 Fulton just to the north or the lines on Haight just to the south.)

Anyway, some of the area NIMBYs are upset, so they started a direct mail campaign and they posted fliers about.

Like here on this rather dirty building, which lost some paint when the fliers came down cause the tape they used was extra strong oh well:

So that’s it – life here is pretty much the same as far as I can tell. I’ve jogged past these two stops, the inbound and the outbound right across the street from each other, four times now, during times when I know that there are hundreds of people milling about the 415 / 628 waiting for dozens of shuttles, and I haven’t seen nothing.

Perhaps the NIMBYs were wrong? Perhaps all good and bad points about life in the 94117 will remain unaffected?

We’ll see.

Google Seeks the “Right Balance” on the Right To Be Forgotten: “Expert Advisory Council” to Hold Meetings in Europe Soon

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The latest from the Google Blog on the so-called Right To Be Forgotten in the First Amendment-free EU:

Searching for the right balance

[So in five words I’m counting two puns and one subtle jab at the possibility of an absence of balance in this latest unappealable edict handed down from the Court of Justice.]

So here’s the wind-up:

“In May, the Court of Justice of the European Union established a “right to be forgotten.” Today, we published an op-ed by David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, in the U.K.’s The Guardian, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, France’s Le Figaro and Spain’s El Pais, discussing the ruling and our response. We’re republishing the op-ed in full below. -Ed.”

And here’s the pitch – the final two grafs:

“That’s why we’ve also set up an advisory council of experts, the final membership of which we’re announcing today. These external experts from the worlds of academia, the media, data protection, civil society and the tech sector are serving as independent advisors to Google. The council will be asking for evidence and recommendations from different groups, and will hold public meetings this autumn across Europe to examine these issues more deeply. Its public report will include recommendations for particularly difficult removal requests (like criminal convictions); thoughts on the implications of the court’s decision for European Internet users, news publishers, search engines and others; and procedural steps that could improve accountability and transparency for websites and citizens.”

“The issues here at stake are important and difficult, but we’re committed to complying with the court’s decision. Indeed it’s hard not to empathize with some of the requests we’ve seen—from the man who asked that we not show a news article saying he had been questioned in connection with a crime (he’s able to demonstrate that he was never charged) to the mother who requested that we remove news articles for her daughter’s name as she had been the victim of abuse. It’s a complex issue, with no easy answers. So a robust debate is both welcome and necessary, as, on this issue at least, no search engine has an instant or perfect answer.”

“Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

Well played, G!

A Plea from “NoPa Neighbors” to “Protect” a Solitary 21 Hayes Bus Stop from Being Used by Too Many People

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

[UPDATE: Oh, here you go, NIMBYs:

“Carli Paine, an SFMTA transportation manager, said about 80 percent of shuttles using Muni stops take passengers to destinations within San Francisco, while the other 20 percent take passengers to destinations outside the city.”

So I don’t know what that means for this particular stop – it could be that only one entity wants to use it. So it could be 100% intra-city, who knows. Oh, what’s that, NIMBY. You’re still upset? You’re all offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline? OK fine. Have it your way. But keep in mind that most of your “neighbors” aren’t up in arms over this issue, most of your “neighbors” disagree with you. And in any event, August 1st, 2014 will not be the End Of The World As We Know It. You’ll feel fine.]

Here’s a direct mail campaign to “save” the SFMTA MUNI DPT bus stop at Hayes and Clayton.

It comes from somebody who has a lot of energy to post and mail flyers, but this effort is coming waaaaay too late in the process.

Now I’m probably a little too close to this issue myself, but I’ll point out that UCSF employees could be the biggest beneficiaries of having the corner of Hayes and Clayton included as inbound and outbound stops during the trial. And I’ll note that UCSF simply gives money to the SFMTA by, among other things, using the bus stops of the 21 Hayes for public relations advertising. And actually, there are so many UCSF shuttles on Fell and Oak that the unneighborly “neighbors” of NoPA probably don’t even notice them any more.

In any event, it’s a free country so you’re free to mail anybody anything.

And I’ll say that it would be nice if our slow and expensive MUNI system would itself use these bus stops more often. (And the 21 Hayes, in particular, still has too many stops.)

Reader Note: If you can’t read the above, I took another shot and posted it below. One photo used a smaller lens and the other one, well, it has focus issues owing to the bent paper, oh well. And I amazed by how different the yellow-y colors look using auto white balance from two different cams, oh well.

Lisa: I’d like 25 copies on Goldenrod.

Clerk: Right.

Lisa: 25 on Canary.

Clerk: Mmhmm.

Lisa: 25 on Saffron.

Clerk: All right.

Lisa: And 25 on Paella.

Clerk: Ok, 100 yellow.

When Visiting Chinatown, Be Sure To Take a Selfie with a Banksy – “Peaceful Hearts Doctor” at 799 Commercial Near Grant

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Thusly. Strike a pose, mate: 

Click to expand, Gov’ner. Right!

Of course this shot was from back in the day, from back before the Black Paint Attack of 2013, which damaged the appearance of the famously peaceful heart doctor.

But a genuine 2010 Banksy is a genuine 2010 Banksy, right? So check it out the next time you’re on Eddy Grant Avenue – it’s electric!

Here’s your Map, from all the way back in 2011. Can you spot the Banksy

Sure you can!

Be Sure to Smile When You See Giant This Ladybug Crawling Up Your Street

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Although they’ll probably blur out your face anyway…

Click to expand