Posts Tagged ‘ip’

New “iCars” On-Demand Car Service? Looks Like It’s From That Horrible Bauer’s Limo / Bauer’s “Intelligent” Transportation

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Well here’s something new – it’s “iCars” from that horrible Bauer company.

See?

Click to expand

That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

” iCars® service is a network of luxury cars, SUV’s and Mercedes Sprinter vans in San Francisco. This network is accessed through a sophisticated mobile application that allows riders to book and pay for on-demand, private and eco-Iuxury transportation service.

iCars® is managed by Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation, leveraging its transportation expertise and quality standards to ensure responsive, safe and superior transportation. iCars® service combines one of the best high-end transportation companies in the USA with the latest mobile technology to improve the ease and experience of on-demand transportation.
What is it? Luxury car service ordered “in the moment” for 1 to 12 passengers—in and around San Francisco, to SFO (San Francisco International Airport)

How to book? Through your smart phone—Apps available for iPhone and Android phones—reserve and pay online”

Hey Gary Bauer! Doesn’t your company(ies) kind of suck?

I think so!

I say that because your Yelp ratings are pretty low even including all those five-star shill reviews. Check it:

Bauer’s Limousine

Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation

What good does social media branding do if your service sucks?

And hey, speaking of Bauer’s social media branding and purported blogger Zennie62 / Zennie Abraham, what’s up with this?

“Note: Bauer’s Transportation is a Zennie62.com sponsor”

Is this arrangement still going on now? I don’t know.

It’s mighty interesting tho.

IMO.

Hey Gary Bauer! Isn’t a Sprinter van mostly a delivery vehicle? I think so. Do you really consider it a “luxury” vehicle?

Hey Gary Bauer! Why don’t you raise your rates so that you can improve your services so that your customers could be a little happier?

Just asking.

Bro-ham.

World Series Bootleg T-Shirts: Win on Monday, Silkscreen on Tuesday, Sell on Wednesday – Financial District, $10 Each

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Montgomery Street, October 24, 2012:

Click to expand

Yelp Throws Down: Starts Up a Shame Campaign Against Businesses That Pay For Positive Reviews

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

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)

Check it:

“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.

About Yelp

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 press@yelp.com.

(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:

Via Big Rye

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.

Is that enough to stop Yelp Fraud?

No AT&T LightSpeed Internet Service Anytime Soon – NIMBYs Win Against City – A Stay from Judge Harold Khan

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

The hard-core NIMBYs at San Francisco Beautiful (our Comcast monopoly’s L’il Buddy) ended up going two for two yesterday in their crusade ensure that dial-up internet service is the best that some San Franciscans can get. That is, they won a stay from Superior Court Judge Harold Khan temporarily blocking the installation of AT&T sidewalk boxes and they’ll have no requirement to post a bond to keep their stay.

This is, of course, despite the fact that the Board of Supervisors recently approved the installation.

Let’s hear the reaction from AT&T Regional Vice President, Marc Blakeman:

“Residents across the City, as well as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, have voiced support for competition and choice when it comes to TV, high speed internet and digital phone service. 

Despite today’s decision to issue a temporary stay, AT&T believes it ultimately will prevail in the litigation and it remains committed to bringing San Francisco a next generation IP network.”

Which, you know, sounds good to me, but I’m not a NIMBY.

So, when you see these existing boxes, which Judge Khan has no control over, what’s your reaction? Do you say, well there’s graffiti on a telephone box or an electricity box or a mail box so we shouldn’t have telephones and we shouldn’t have electricity and we shouldn’t have mail service? I don’t know.

Click to expand

Let’s hear from the NIMBY side of things after the jump, but I warn you, it’s barely legible.

On It Goes…

(more…)

Supervisor Scott Wiener’s “Dear NIMBY” Letter for Those Distraught By Yesterday’s Vote to Allow AT&T U-Verse Service

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Well, here it is, via Noe Valley SF, a Hyper-Local Guide to Noe Valley … With Attitude, it’s Supervisor Scott Wiener’s address to the NIMBY associations of District 8 regarding his approval of U-Verse Internet/TV/Phone service for San Francisco after all those years of delay.

See below – it goes on and on.

I myself don’t recall seeing too many AT&T boxes in the 415 with graffiti. The shots produced by the NIMBYs generally are from out of town / out of state. Anyway, here’s one of the genuine AT&T utility boxes already in town. It sort of has graffiti:

Via Eric Fischer – click to expand

Leave us begin:

From: Date: Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 4:41 PM
Subject: My vote on the AT&T issue
To: Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org

I’m sending this email to a number of neighborhood association leaders and other involved folks in District 8, in order to explain my vote yesterday on the AT&T environmental appeal. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to your boards, memberships, and neighbors who have an interest in this issue. The voters are entitled to an explanation of all of my votes (and I cast many each week), including votes as controversial as this one. People can agree or disagree, but they deserve an explanation.

I will start by saying that I struggled mightily with this issue. Like many of you, I do not like these boxes, or any of the utility boxes that are already on our streets. Part of me very much wanted to vote against AT&T and for an EIR simply because I dislike the boxes. But one of the commitments that I made to myself, and to the voters, was that I’m not just going to be a reactive elected official. I committed that I was going to be the kind of elected official who tried to find solutions to hard issues. I also committed to myself early on that I would not abuse CEQA by ordering EIRs where the law doesn’t support it simply because I have policy issues with the underlying project. As described below, ordering an EIR here probably would have been illegal and certainly would have fed into our City and State’s addiction to environmental review, with the effect that good projects (including public projects) are delayed, killed, or made much more expensive than they need to be.

The issue here was very hard — pretty much everyone agrees that Comcast is in desperate need of competition while also agreeing that these boxes stink. There were also incredibly strong views on both sides of this issue. I received many emails from opponents, passionately and articulately describing the issues with the boxes, and from proponents, passionately and articulately describing why we need the service and competition. This was a no-win vote for me in terms of popularity contests. Either way I voted was going to make one group or the other upset with me. But, for better or for worse, casting controversial votes is what we do at the Board. If I wanted to be loved by everyone all the time, I wouldn’t have run for office.

And, this issue pointed to a major problem we have in San Francisco. We do a bad job managing our sidewalks. Our departments don’t coordinate well. We don’t have a strong master plan. We haven’t fully implemented the Better Streets Plan. That plan is how we should be managing our sidewalks and deciding what to put on them and where. Not through CEQA, which is a blunt instrument that doesn’t get you much other than delay and expense, but through actually having a plan for our sidewalks. As described below, through a strong and well-planned permitting system, we can do that.

So, why did I, in the end, tip in favor of voting to reject the appeal?”

It continues.

(more…)

The NIMBYs Just Can’t Win in 2011: Here’s a Blow-By-Blow Account of the AT&T U-Verse Utility Box Vote. Poor Comcast!

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

[UPDATE: And oh, yesterday's vote at the Board o' Supes will have no effect upon cell phone service in San Francisco, despite what some might tell you. Uverse is about TV and wired Internet and wired phone service, for the most part. It's FttN, Fiber to the Node, bro-ham. It's not Fiber to the Cell Phone Antenna, no, not at all...]

The selfish, aging, rich, white, property-owning NIMBYs of San Francisco are having a tough go of it in the 415 during 2011. I mean, we just had the approval of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center and the (effective) approval of the King Edward II project and, now, a whole mess of utility boxes from AT&T.

Am I saying that San Francisco should “push projects into neighborhoods without input?”

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. The thing is though, even when you allow the NIMBY’s to give input before you start building a community service center or apartment building or brace of utility boxes, they’re still not happy.

Isn’t that funny?

Don’t you think that ugly people from San Francisco Beautiful had more than a little input on the long-delayed project to bring regular San Franciscans U-Verse Internet and TV and phone and WiFi service? (Way too much input, IMO.)

Anyway, Sunglint was all over yesterday’s action at the Board of Supervisors. See below. (Sunglint is not without strong feelings on the matter, so you’ve been warned.)

Is this an AT&T box? No it’s not. Should area NIMBY’s want it banned? Well, not if they want electricity:

Click to expand

Here’s an excerpt from Sunglint, who later goes into what was behind each pro-NIMBY vote:

“At approximately 4:45PST, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to affirm the exemption determination for AT&T’s once-in-a-century telephone infrastructure upgrade project, aka “Project Lightspeed.” This means that AT&T can now start to implement their plan to upgrade the telecom infrastructure in the city, with the goal of delivering higher-speed 24Mbs DSL service within all San Francisco districts. AT&T also calls this as “Uverse” which can be any combination of television, telephone, and internet.

The final proposal seems to allow 495 cabinets to be installed throughout the city of San Francisco by AT&T. Multiple potential sites for each cabinet location are to be evaluated. When AT&T seeks an excavation permit from the DPW, besides doing the usual permit stuff, DPW will also notify that site’s supervisor. Then, that supervisor signs an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with AT&T regarding the site, or one of the alternative sightings are considered. Something like that: the specific details seem fuzzy. There seems to be a formal and sane DPW appeals process, and a  my-supervisor-is-crazy-curve-ball appeals process.

Voting against were the following sorry lot of supervisors, with their comments below.

District 1: Eric Mar

District 3: David Chiu

District 5: Ross Mirkarimi

District 6: Jane Kim

District 11: John Avalos

Note to the supervisors listed above: I will be voting against you in future elections, geography permitting, and consider your conduct in this matter anti-internet, anti-technology, anti-jobs: death eaters, all! Here are specific comments.”

Get Sunglint’s summary of comments here.

All right, I have to go talk a suicidal Comcast executive down from the roof right now. He’s yelling, “Millions, millions, our precious monopoly is going to lose millions!”

Oh, and after the jump, a list of NIMBY fellow travelers, the people who don’t want you to have high-speed Internet and whatnot.

(more…)

The End of the Comcast Monopoly Might Begin Today: Boo, Comcast! Hurray, Free Infrastructure from AT&T!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

[Well, the can got kicked down the road today at the BoS of course. Oh well. BTW, can your neighbors band together to prevent you from getting your mail? Not that I know of. So why should your neighbors band together to prevent you from getting your Internet at faster than dial-up speed? I don't know. Once again it's Rich White Homeowners 1, You 0.]

I don’t know, I think I’ve weighed-in enough already on the whole AT&T LightSpeed / U-Verse situation. But anyway, once more into the breach, my friends, once more down to City Hall for another Board of Supervisors meeting, starting at 2:00 PM this afternoon.

Now I know this might come as a shock to the easily shocked homeowners at San Francisco Beautiful, but, you know, most of the existing AT&T utility boxes in town don’t have graffiti all over them.

And remember, there’s graffiti in town that’s on other, non-AT&T utility structures.

Can you imagine?

All right, let me be your Sightsee M.C. – let’s take a tour of the Western Addition, the NIMBYs’ Fortress of Reaction.

Check it, is this a graffitoed AT&T box? No it’s not:

Click to expand

So what, should we take it out to satisfy the millionaire homeowners across the street? You know, just do without whatever utility this utility box provides? Is that what you want, NIMBYs?

I think that one above is about electricity.

I know this one here is about electricity or gas, one or the other or both – see the new SmartMeter stuff? Is this array considered blight? So then we should live in the dark with candles, maybe?

Oh here we go, look at all this telephone pole “blight.” Should we get rid of land lines now?

Now, I don’t think you people need to watch any more TV than you already do. But U-Verse is a utility, right? Just like phone service and electrical and gas and whatnot, right?

So what gives wealthy, influential, white people* the right to put the kibosh on somebody’s Internet / Phone / Cable TV triple play for $99** a month?

That’s what I don’t know…

*What’s that NIMBY? You’re not wealthy? Oh yes you are! What’s that NIMBY? You’re not influential? Oh yes you are! You’ve got Supervisor Scott Wiener shaking in his boots, as ascared of you as he is of area dog owners. What’s that NIMBY? You’re not white? Oh, forget it, you already know you’re white, right NIMBY?

**For the first six months, but then, look out, brother!

We DON’T Need An EIR Before Utility Boxes Are Installed – Welcoming AT&T U-Verse Service to the 415, At Long Last

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Get up to speed on the U-Verse issue right here and Fog City Journal has coverage of yesterday’s rally at City Hall right here.

Oh, look, yet another “utility box” on the sidewalks of San Francisco. But, kell domaje, it’s covered in graffiti. Let’s solve this problem by cancelling mail service to the 415 – does that make sense?

Via Don BeetleDick

Now, let’s hear from the West Bay:

“My final words to SF Beautiful. Keep your hands off the neighborhoods of others. You don’t speak for us. We can speak for ourselves.”

Harsh. Now, I’m not sure how real a group the Ocean Beach Condominiums Homeowners Association is, but you can only get Comcast or dial-up internet out there near the ocean? Wow. Those poor devils, poor poor devils.

And, generally, do young people like judgmental homeowners associations? Apparently. (You mock twisted copper into the home? All right, but some people would like that. Deal with it. Who is stepping up for Fiber Into the Home or whatever they call it? Who is going to pay for that? Oh well, in the meantime, we’ll have AT&T as another choice.)

Anyway, appears as if those AT&T boxes will get approved today at the Board of Supes, but that will come with the chance that your neighbors will still say neigh and you won’t be able to get U-Verse after all.

Consider that a partial victory for Progress.

Additional Environmental Review NOT Needed on Massive AT&T Utility Box Project – Connectivity is a Human Right

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Well, here’s the other viewpoint, from that blog what doesn’t allow The People to make comments, what gets five-figures a year of taxpayer money to express its leader’s political views, what’s run by the King of the Tenderloin, the NIMBY King, who lives in a six-bedroom, four-bath mansion somewhere in the East Bay, fair ‘nough.

Hey, NIMBYs, infrastructure isn’t beautiful.

Click to expand

Sorry.

Is this what the NIMBYs want more of, laughable infrastructure?

Via Sunglint: “‘What is this, Mumbai?” Said by a visiting Canadian engineer while looking out my study window in the Mission”

How about this, NIMBY’s? Why don’t you get together and deal with AT&T on a more local basis, the way your elected and appointed officials have already worked out.  Frankly, I don’t care if you want to shake down T for money in my hood, if you all want to hold connectivity hostage to your demands, cause I don’t want the U-Verse.

But other people do. Try to not be so selfish, you NIMBYs.

Try to think of something besides your precious real estate, you fucking NIMBYs.

Yet Another Delay in Installing Fiber Optic Communications in San Francisco: Shakedown of AT&T, Customers Continues

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Well, AT&T Regional Vice President of External Affairs Marc Blakeman had his hands full yesterday at the Board of Supervisors over the whole AT&T U-Verse NIMBY shakedown issue.

Here’s what he had to say after the Board of Supervisors voted to kick the can down the road for a few weeks:

“Tonight the SF Board of Supervisors recognized and praised the unprecedented community outreach AT&T has conducted as we work collaboratively with neighborhoods to site the infrastructure necessary to bring San Franciscans choice and competition.  They provided a roadmap to getting the approval needed to begin the largest upgrade in our 130+ year history. We look forward to working with them in the weeks ahead and continuing our dialogue with community groups across the city.”

OK then. That’s that for the time being.

Now, read a blow-by blow account from Sunglint, below.

AT&T RVP MB at the BoS:

Here’s Sunglint’s statement for the record:

“As a San Francisco resident, I am concerned about the present state of our communications infrastructure. In my professional career, I interact with many software engineers all over the world. When they visit San Francisco, one of the items that invariably comes up is our woeful internet infrastructure.

How can it be, visiting engineers will ask, can the city minutes from the heart of Silicon Valley, with Google, Twitter, all of media gulch, have both poor wireless capability for mobile devices and ancient DSL? In Europe, “regular” DSL, nothing fancy and available for ~$40 a month, is capable of 18M bps downstream, and 2 M bps up. This includes free VOIP, digital television, and more. But let’s just concentrate on bandwidth capability, regardless of cost.

A San Francisco resident is hard-pressed to find such bandwidth, at any price, in San Francisco proper. There are three obvious choices for wired, residential high-speed internet in SF:

1) Verizon FIOS. This is only available in SF’s Financial District, and in select parts of Mission Bay.

2) Comcast cable. For just internet alone, this would be around $120. Some companies are pooling employees and negotiating better rates, but this is not an option for the rest of the public.

3) ATT Uverse fiber. This is not available in SF due to well-known issues. The highest-bandwidth Uverse in SF is Plain Old Copper DSL and stuck at 6Mbps maximum.

High speed internet access is vital for collaborative software development, and sadly San Francisco is not competitive with cities such as Austin and Chicago in the United States, and Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and London in Europe, or Tokyo and Bangalore in Asia.

Allowing ATT to proceed with its Uverse installation in SF would be a small step to help restore competitiveness. And a welcome sign. I would like to see the SF Board of Supervisors go much further, and allow all three network providers equal access to San Francisco property owners, with the end goal to make San Francisco a true world competitor in internet infrastructure, with all residents having access to high-bandwidth internet from multiple providers.”

And here’s the rest.