Posts Tagged ‘visa’

Twitterloin Update: “VILLA AROMA,” Where Something Smells – Recalling SFChron’s “DIARY OF A SEX SLAVE” Brouhaha of 2006

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

As always, start with the Yelp:

“There is a certain je-ne-sais-quoi, a special sort of class, that imbues a neighborhood when it is sporting its very own windowless massage parlor with neon lights and a locked gate even during business hours (ring bell for admittance–I guess they don’t take walk-ins). The “carvings” on the wall seem to be intended to be reminiscent of something Roman.”

Here’s this place today in 2015:

7J7C7130 copy

And now let’s learn about how things were back in aught-six, via the San Francisco Chronicle:





IIRC, this series was the talk of the town. Even back then, it was unusual for a newspaper to devote so many resources on one basic story.

And the story itself was single-sourced for the most part – it seemed as if the Chron simply assumed that everything the subject said about the journey from There to Here was true. Oh well.

Anyway, right from the get-go, the Chron started pulling back a bit, getting rid of photos what were “too sexy,” or something, IIRC.

And then came the blowback, hoo boy. This forgotten webpage has the deets:

“Instead of educating Chronicle readers about the cultural background of South Korea, the world’s 10th largest economy, the “Diary” series dwells at length, and with questionable purpose, on the titillating details of one individual’s forced sex acts and non-typical family history. The Chronicle series includes many cultural inaccuracies and paints a distorted picture of Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city. Busan is an international coastal resort known for its open-air seafood — not sex — markets, and as host of the annual International Film Festival, the largest such event in Asia.”

Oh, here it is, the full Monty, blow-backwise. (And the non-SFGate version is here.)

Oh, scratch that, oh here it is, the Great Concessions:

Among the promises won, the San Francisco Chronicle (owned by the New York-based Hearst Corporation) pledged “in principle” not to syndicate the series, to provide the community more “constructive coverage” and access to the paper, and to continue a dialogue with the community to improve development of stories and their sources. Kim herself remained cautious, however: “We need to maintain a vigilant posture to ensure that there is, in fact, meaningful follow-through based on our initial meeting.” “[The syndication] was of utmost concern to our community members, as we feel the culturally damaging impact would be magnified,” emphasized Kim. ”We had also pointed out to the Chronicle’s management that based on the underlying facts of this case, there is a clear legal case to be made for racial bias,” said Kim.

Now, I may be just a simple hyperchicken, but I don’t think you can sue the Chron in a “legal case” for “racial bias” just because you don’t like one of its stories. Or if you do, you’ll get hit with an anti-SLAPP motion what will suspend your discovery process cold, and then make you wish you never ever sued the Chronicle, like the hardest work for the Chron’s attorneys would be proving up the $50,000 in attorney’s fees that you’ll end up paying to the Chron for bringing your nonsensical suit, for “racial bias.”

Or something like that.

Anyway, that’s what I think about whenever I pass by the Twitterloin’s  Villa “Aroma,” where something smells, even today…

SUPER BOWL 50 CELEBRATION Kicks Off Sept 10th – ELLIE GOULDING AND TRAIN Play Justin Herman Plaza – Free Concert

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

At 4:30 PM on Thursday, September 10th, 2015 you can head over to Justin Herman Plaza to see Ellie Goulding and Train perform live.

Hey, you know who’s hosting Super Bowl 50? That’s right, “the San Francisco Bay Area” is. (Shhh. Don’t tell our SFGov City Family about that.)

Speaking of which, SFGov is probably looking forward to getting some national attention for something other than the shooting of Kathryn Steinle.

All the deets:

NBC/NFL Network Special on Thursday, Sept. 10, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Precedes NFL Kickoff Game:

The NFL kicks off both its 96th season and the season-long celebration of Super Bowl
50 with “2015 NFL KICKOFF PRESENTED BY HYUNDAI” – 7:30 PM ET Thursday,
September 10, it was announced Sunday night during NBC’s national broadcast of the
annual NFL/Hall of Fame Game. Festivities will take place in both New England, home
of the Super Bowl XLIX champion Patriots, and the San Francisco Bay Area, host of
Super Bowl 50.

Celebrations will begin in San Francisco with a free concert featuring multi-platinum
singer-songwriter ELLIE GOULDING and San Francisco’s own Grammy Award-winning
band TRAIN live at Justin Herman Plaza across from the historic Ferry Building. The
musical performances and activations in San Francisco are part of the year-long On
The Fifty campaign dedicated to celebrating the Super Bowl and commemorating Super
Bowl 50.

Performances by Goulding and Train will be featured in simulcast coverage of a 60-
minute pregame show from New England 7:30 – 8:30 PM ET on NBC and NFL
Network. The live pregame broadcast also will be available via NFL Mobile from

The concert and pregame show lead into the season opener between the Pittsburgh
Steelers and Patriots at Gillette Stadium (NBC, NBC Sports Live Extra on desktop and
tablet, Westwood One Radio Sports, 8:30 PM ET).

This is the 14th consecutive Kickoff celebration to start the season and the 11th time the
NFL has saluted the Super Bowl champions with the opening game in their stadium on
a Thursday in primetime. As part of the Kickoff events leading up to Super Bowl XL ten
years ago, the NFL incorporated musical performances from Los Angeles (home to the
first Super Bowl), Detroit (host of Super Bowl XL) and New England (which won Super
Bowl XXXIX).

Television’s most-watched studio show, NBC’s Football Night in America, will be live onsite
in New England.

Fans nationwide will participate in Kickoff festivities leading up to the season’s first
games. For example, in Chicago the Bears will host the “2015 Super Bears Shuffle 5K”
at Soldier Field, while Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will be home to the “Ravens Kickoff
Party” at Power Plant Live. In Pittsburgh, the Steelers will host the “Gatorade-Steelers
5K” at Heinz Field benefiting the Art Rooney Scholarship Fund. These are just a few
examples of the many ways teams and fans are getting back to football.

2015 NFL KICKOFF will be produced by RICKY KIRSHNER, the Executive Producer of
the Super Bowl pregame and halftime shows, and directed by GREGG GELFAND.
In addition to presenting sponsor Hyundai, top tier sponsors for the NFL’s Kickoff
platform include Bridgestone, Bud Light, McDonalds, Microsoft, Pepsi, Snickers,
Verizon and Visa.

Media may visit to apply for credentials to cover the “2015 NFL Kickoff”
concert. The credential deadline is Friday, August 28. Media interested in covering the
game may apply for credentials through the Patriots.

Visit for tickets to NFL games.

Good News for San Francisco Criminals: Visa Raises “No Signature” Limit to $50 at Discount Stores and Supermarkets

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Here’s why you don’t need to sign your name when you buy stuff with a Visa or MasterCard sometimes, below.

Read and learn the best way to get stuff with that Visa card you just stole, or rather, picked up on the ground, yeah, that’s the ticket.

“Visa Raises “No Signature” Limit to $50 to Increase Merchant Efficiency & Consumer Convenience – Visa Also Streamlines Dispute Resolution Process to Reduce Merchant Fraud Management Costs

SAN FRANCISCO, May 7, 2012 — Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced plans to raise its Visa Easy Payment Service “no signature required” limit from $25 to $50 for two key U.S. merchant categories. Starting in October 2012, discount stores and grocery stores/supermarkets in the U.S. can accept Visa cards for transactions up to $50 without requiring a cardholder signature or PIN, or providing a customer receipt unless requested by the cardholder.[1] This change is designed to increase speed at the point-of-sale, cardholder convenience and operational efficiencies for a large number of merchants.

Previously known as the No Signature Required program in the U.S., Visa Easy Payment Service allows merchants to eliminate cardholder verification and receipts on qualifying smaller value transactions. This helps make the payment process easier and more convenient for both merchants and cardholders. The program has been available to the majority of merchant categories in the U.S. since July 2010, for purchases up to $25.

As the $50 limit is introduced, Visa will review merchant, cardholder and card issuer feedback and may expand this higher transaction limit to additional merchant categories in the near future. Approximately 80 percent of face-to-face Visa consumer transactions in the U.S. are under $50.[2]

“Visa is committed to delivering solutions to help our merchant and financial institution partners better serve their customers, reduce costs and grow their businesses,” said William M. Sheedy, Group President, Americas, Visa Inc. “Visa Easy Payment Service has been extremely popular with merchants and cardholders in busy retail environments. As a result, merchants have asked us to expand the program to purchases up to $50, so that they can more efficiently support consumers’ growing preference to use cards instead of cash or checks for everyday purchases.”

Streamlined Dispute Resolution Process

Visa also announced changes to its dispute resolution process to reduce unnecessary chargebacks and merchant documentation requirements and promote faster, more efficient dispute resolution for all participants in its payments system.

Starting in April 2013, merchants will be protected from fraud chargebacks on transactions that have been electronically read (i.e., swiped or dipped in, or waved past, a card reader), helping to reduce merchant fraud management costs when appropriate acceptance procedures have been followed at the point of sale. In addition, Visa will eliminate the requirement for its card issuers to ask merchants for a copy of the receipt when a cardholder disputes a transaction, resulting in back office operational savings for everyone. There is no change to existing fraud liability associated with these changes.

The changes to Visa’s Easy Payment Service and dispute resolution process will help its merchant and financial institution partners to better serve their customers and grow their respective businesses.

About Visa Inc.

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks-VisaNet-that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit”

OMG, It’s “VISA Free Deal” Day – $80 Worth of Food at Tokyo Gogo in the Mission for Just $20!

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Here’s what you do, you buy a $40 credit at four-star Yelp-rated Tokyo Gogo for $20 on your Visa Card, and then you choose the person you want to receive another $40 credit at four-star Yelp-rated Tokyo Gogo.

That’s it. Now, you’re not allowed to take your friend to scarf down $80 worth of fish in one sitting, so that’s the catch, if you’d call it that. You’d need to invite your friend on one night and then s/he could pay you pack another night. (Oh, and if you refer three friends who fork over their $20, then you get another $40 credit to give to someone else. Quite iterative, non?

Otherwise, today’s deal is the sweetest social deal I’ve seen since Tsunami a few months back.

“Limit 3 per person, buy as many as you’d like as gifts • Limit 1 per party of 4 people (maximum of 2 vouchers can be used for parties of 8 or more people) • Gratuity not included (Be nice and tip on the pre-discounted total!) • Dine-in only (not valid for takeout or delivery) • Not valid during happy hour • Other conditions apply • Promotional value expires on 04/08/11″


OMG, Use a Visa Card at to get an $80 Credit at Tsunami Sushi in the NoPA for $20

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

[UPDATE: The official rating of this deal is now Beyond Excellent. More than a few buds have referred their buds and ended up with three $40 credits for just $20. (Our corporate overlords must have gone hog-wild.) Now, you’re too young to remember, but this is like the dotcom days of the late ’90s when you could get 50 pounds of dog food delivered to your house for like $8 ‘n stuff. Anywho, thank you India, thank you terror, etc…]

Word on the street is that August 5, 2010, is a gonna be a Visa Free Deal Day at Living So, that means you should be able to get two $40 credits at the Panhandle Tsunami Sushi Bar at 1306 Fulton for just a $20 charge on your Visa card.

Per my Huggy Bear

“You pay $20 with your Visa card (debit or credit) to get your $40 credit, and then receive another $40 credit free to give to a friend (or keep for yourself, it’s not at all required to send the second credit to someone else). So that’s an $80 credit for only $20.”

And then if you refer three friends then you can get another $40 credit. That’s the deal as I understand it.

Tsunami looks appetizing from this angle:

I’m failing to see any unexpected downsides* here, people. (Be sure to tell me if you have any probs with this brand of social shopping.)

See you there!

*“Limit 1 per table per visit • Gratuity not included (Be nice and tip on the pre-discounted total!) • Dine-in only (not valid for takeout or delivery) • Not valid on happy hour items • Call 415-567-7664 to make your reservation • Other conditions apply • Promotional value expires on 12/30/10″ Needs an American Editor in Australia – A $400 per Week Working Holiday

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Let’s review here – Tourism Queenland’s recent Best Job in the World promotion had some bloke getting paid $100k to be a caretaker on an Australian island. The whole thing was quite popular worldwide and some people figure that it got the Australian tourism industry eight figures worth of free advertising all told. (Or course, if you wanted to be considered seriously, it really helped to be young and cute, just like in the real world.)

All right. Today, comes now to offer you another job down under. They want you to apply by February 15th, 2010 to be their new part-time online editor in Melbourne (it’s near Cindy, I think) starting September 1, 2010. They’ll pick up your airfare and they’ll put you up for 12 days but it’ll be up to you to live on $400 a week for a year or whatever.

And, oh yes, you’ll need to qualify for a Working Holidays in Australia visa and that means you’ll need to be between 18 and 30 years old. So you have to be kind of young, but nobody will care what you look like. Bonus.

Just think, this could be you with a cute attentive beach kangaroo:

And this is how you’ll look surfing down under with your cute, attentive boyfriend:

This is something betwixt the best and worst jobs in the world. Keep that in mind as before you become one of the world’s highest-paid part-time bloggers (as you struggle to afford a daily cup of coffee.)

Its you:

Come Out and Live, Play and Work in Australia as the New Flavorpill Melbourne Editor! Flavorpill Announces Job Opportunity for a Young American; Visa Program and Travel Deals Available for Others Wanting to Work and Play in Australia

Los Angeles, CA – (February 9, 2010)  Thanks to a visa program and some great travel deals available on, Flavorpill, an online source for culture, events and current news in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and London, is getting ready to launch Flavorpill Melbourne! There’s just one thing missing: an editor.

Americans ages 18-30 can apply for the Managing Editor position at Just tell why you deserve the position and what experience you have with writing, editing and social media. The deadline for entries is February 15, 2010.

“The ability to go to Australia for up to 12 months, get a job and experience our unique and diverse adventures through the Work and Holiday Visa program makes the opportunity with Flavorpill’s new Melbourne newsletter a dream job. This is a great way to add to one’s resume by joining the locals and getting off the beaten path,” said Tourism Australia Vice President Americas Daryl Hudson.

More deets, after the jump.


Sorry Visa, But Your New Black Card is Not the World’s Most Prestigious Credit Card

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Visa Inc. claims its new Black Card is “the world’s most prestigious and versatile credit card.”

Srsly, Visa? Haven’t you all ever heard of the Centurion Card from the American Express?  That thang is certainly more prestigious than your Black Card.

Visa, please correct your ad campaign. Forthwith.


These cards are made with carbon, just like a rusting, broke down Ford Pinto.

Did Visa actually apply for a patent for the idea of carbon-fortifying these rectangular pieces of black plastic? Sadly, yes.

In Visa’s own words:

“For those who demand only the best of what life has to offer, the exclusive Visa Black Card is for you. The Black Card is not just another piece of plastic. Made with carbon, it is the ultimate buying tool.

The Black Card is not for everyone. In fact, it is limited to only 1% of U.S. residents to ensure the highest caliber of personal service is provided to every Cardmember.

Become a Black Card member today and enjoy our 24-hour world class Concierge Service ready to assist you with all your business, travel and leisure needs.”


“The Black Card is made with carbon, creating a more unique card, guaranteed to get you noticed.”

O.K. fine.

If your sugar daddy and/or mommy ever tries to impress you by whipping out a Visa Black Card, you ought to end it right there and start yelling about how you “don’t want no scrub.”

Anyway, just don’t know what you’re thinking here, Visa. Using this new piece of plastic/carbon merely serves to show how somebody doesn’t have a Centurion, right?

In closing, hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!