Posts Tagged ‘VP’

Harsh: San Francisco is Still Dancing on the Grave of Sarah Palin, Six Years Later – It’s Halloween 2014

Monday, October 27th, 2014

As seen in Corona Heights:

7J7C8596 copy

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?

So Far, the SFPD and George Gascon Have Handled the Chris Bucchere Case Perfectly. But Does Divis Have Stop Signs?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Boy, the Internet is full of criticism these days over how the SFPD and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office have been handling the cyclist Chris Bucchere vs. pedestrian Sutchi Hui case.

And yet, what have they done wrong so far? Nothing that I can see.

Wisely, they aren’t trying to prove things that are tough to prove to the very high standard required, so stuff like who used Chris Bucchere’s online accounts to post his post-accident thoughts and what color what traffic light was when – that stuff, isn’t going to matter all that much if a criminal trial comes.

So that’s fine.

But there’s this:

““We have a witness that puts him blowing stop signs and lights on Divisadero Street,” the captain added.”

But the part of Divisadero that’s in the area doesn’t actually have stop signs.*

Check it out on the YouTube. The beginning part of this video, The Strava “Castro Street Bomb” (aka Castro Street Descent) shows the southern terminus of Divisadero.

As you can see, there aren’t any stop signs there.

But maybe the captain was talking about Castro Street?

If that’s the case, the question then becomes what would motivate a cyclist to behave in the ways alleged.

But we’ll find out soon enough…

*And the other part of Divisadero up in Pacific Heights far to the north? Wow, that’s probably the last place in the world where you’d want to be blowing stop signs on a bike.

Did Cyclist Chris Bucchere Discuss Prizes for “Winning” Strava Segments Just Four Days Before His Castro Collision?

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Well, you make the call:

Of course you can conclude, at this early date, exactly this:

“Strava is not responsible for Chris’ actions…”

(That one comes from one of Chris Bucchere’s cycling buddies, BTW.)

Or, of course, you can conclude that Strava is totally responsible for the recent collision in the Castro.

Or you can be like me and remain unsure of the connection between the death of pedestrian Sutchi Hui and Strava.

Your choice.

Hey, let’s see what cyclists are saying about Strava and the recent pedestrian death in the Castro:

“as a STRAVA user, my first thought when I saw that he was using STRAVA was that he was trying to post the best time on a segment (STRAVA’s social aspect includes public leaderboards, which is actually kind of fun). looks like that stretch of Castro is, indeed, a marked segment, which is absolutely fucking stupid and likely encouraged in some small way his reckless behavior.”

And there’s this:

“I actually think the social media angle — especially the Strava stuff — the the most interesting part of this story. I’m not sure I’m ready to fully demonize Chris Bucchere quite yet — presumably he’s a human being and, thus, a crooked timber like the rest of us. But as someone interested in social media including the effects of the “gamification” movement on our culture, I find Strava’s role fascinating. And a great example of “gamification” being applied to something haphazardly and without thinking through the negative consequences… (Yes, I fucking hate the word “gamification,” but that’s all I can think of.) STRAVA’s probably going to have some liability here.”

And then there’s this:

“Strava removes segments flagged as dangerous for exactly this reason. But a lot of riders (myself included) complained that it wasn’t effective, because people with axes to grind were flagging all segments in certain places, rendering the site effectively useless. I don’t know what their policy is on dangerous segments now.”

And here’s some more, from Alan of Scarlet Fire,  on gamification and Strava in general:

Strava ‘s biggest strength lies within the ingenious “segments” feature.
Upload a gpx track of your completed ride, and Strava analyses the data with all the usual stats you’d expect, plus a breakdown of specific segments of the ride, eg hill climbs.

Here’s the clever bit -
It knows who else has completed those segments, and ranks everybody according to time. The fastest gets a KOM, King of the mountain achievement. (Yes, girls, you get QOM’s).
Most people wouldn’t bother to go to the trouble of timing themselves on individual climbs within their ride. Way too much hassle! Strava does it automatically, and awards you an achievement when you beat your personal best (PB).

Strava app screenshot (Samsung Galaxy S2)

If a section of your route doesn’t already appear as a segment, no problem – simply define it as a new segment and see how you rank. The premium version of the service also allows you to break the table down by age range and weight ranges.

Recently, whilst out on a ride, I was aware that a friend had been the first to log a new segment for a particular climb (there aren’t that many Strava users in North Wales yet!) and had the KOM award. Instead of going at my usual pace, the gaming instinct kicked in, and I found myself visiting a very high heart rate zone, and putting in a lot of effort. Later, when I uploaded my GPS data to Strava it was hugely satisfying to realise that I had beaten his time by almost 2 minutes and claimed the KOM. He also got an email from Strava saying I’d beaten his time. Nice.

Silly and childish? Very, I know.
Did it feel good? Hell, yes..
Did I get a better workout? Definitely.
Will I work harder on future climbs because this technology will let me know automatically whenever I set a new PB on specific climbs? Very likely.”

 

Video of What It Looks Like to Ride Strava.Com’s “Castro Street Bomb” – Was Chris Bucchere Racing Down Castro Street?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Here’s the latest regarding the Castro District’s international news:

Expect Strava to get subpoenaed if this tragic story of reckless cycling and a pedestrian death goes to court.”

And here’s the Strava.Com segment what used to be called the Castro Street Bomb (and then the Castro Street Descent). It’s not too exciting. Rather sedate, actually. But I’m sure if you’re hauling butt to become the latest Strava.Com “KOM” (King of the Mountain) and you may or may not be “Idaho Rolling” through red lights, then it could be very exciting / addicting:

Strava still has lots of downhill “bomb” segments listed about town of course. How about the Hyde Street Bomb or the 20th Street Bomb?

What if I started a Market Street Drag Race website for car drivers? They could make a segment like “Second Street to Sixth Street Drag” or something and people could keep track of their times using the GPS. Would you say that I was encouraging recklessness? Or not?

And here’s part of the Strava Kills” topic at the MTBR.Com forums:

Unfortunately, there is no simple way for the biking community to pass on the message of “we are really sorry for your loss, please don’t judge all bikers. this particular individual is an a-hole, please stick it to him in every way possible”.

Sad thing is, even as this story makes it’s way around the cycling community, there are people that pull the same **** — running reds/stop signs/etc. from SF down to SCruz — that won’t connect this situation with possibilities around their own actions.”

And I’d link you to what they’re saying at the SF Fixed.Com boards but I don’t know how to do that. (It’s a bit contentious over there these days, I understand.)

And this just in:

…nothing is worse than red lights.

CVC 21456: Did Pedestrian Sutchi Hui Have the Right-of-Way When He Walked Onto Castro Street? Possibly Not

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Let’s review:

“The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions.

So it looks as if cyclist Chris Bucchere didn’t run a red light.

Now, what about the law?

“21456.  Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown….”

What this is saying is that pedestrians in California need to let traffic clear an intersection before walking when the WALK turns on for them.

(Most pedestrians in San Francisco don’t seem to know this….)

Did STRAVA.Com Help Kill Pedestrian Sutchi Hui? Timing Yourself on the “Castro Street Descent” (AKA Castro Street Bomb)

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I don’t know, did Chris Bucchere’s speed going down Castro Street last week have anything to do with STRAVA?

You know, the way it had something to do with a death in Berkeley back in 2009?

You Make The Call:

Do you see the “Castro Street Descent” there? Up until March 29, 2012, that said Castro Street Bomb. Like when you go “bombing” down the street.

Check it:

I don’t know, Strava.

Care to say anything about this?

Michael Horvath 
Co-Founder & CEO
Jordan Kobert 
VP Business Development
Mark Shaw 
VP Engineering
Rachael Parsons 
VP Marketing
Greg Gretsch 
Board Member
Jamie McJunkin 
Board Member
Mark Gainey 
Board Member
Ariel Poler 
Board Member

 

OMG, PG&E has a “Chief Nuclear Officer” for Real? Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Hey, remember what Mayor Ed Lee said on September 1, 2011, during the one-year anniversary of PG&E’s incompetance killing eight people in San Bruno:

 “They’re a great company that gets it.”

Uh, nope!

Via David Yu - click to expand

Anyway, that’s how they handle natural gas, let’s see how they handle nuclear energy.

Here’s the latest:

“PG&E Names Industry Veteran as Chief Nuclear Officer

Ed Halpin Will Oversee Operations at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced the appointment of Edward D. Halpin as its new Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer.  Halpin will be responsible for the continued safe, efficient, and reliable operations of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (DCPP) and the decommissioning of Humboldt Bay Power Plant. He will also serve as the utility’s lead contact with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Halpin is a veteran of the nuclear power industry, with almost 30 years of experience gained at STP Nuclear Operating Company (STP) in Bay City, Texas and with the U.S Navy’s nuclear submarine service.

“Ed Halpin is an exceptional industry leader who has amassed an impressive safety and performance record in leading nuclear operations,” said Chris Johns, President of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “His drive for excellence will serve PG&E and its customers well as he takes on his responsibilities as our Chief Nuclear Officer.”

Halpin is assuming the role from John Conway, who in addition to overseeing nuclear generation at PG&E as the Chief Nuclear Officer, has been leading all energy procurement and hydro, fossil and renewables generation functions as Senior Vice President of Energy Supply. Halpin will be based full time at DCPP concentrating solely on leading the utility’s nuclear program. He will report to Conway when he joins the utility in early April.

Conway added, “Ed is a talented leader and will be a great asset to our team. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role and I am confident that under his leadership we will continue Diablo Canyon’s strong record of providing safe and reliable energy to our customers in Northern and Central California.”

Halpin comes to PG&E from his current position as the President, CEO, and Chief Nuclear Officer at STP.  He previously served in a variety of positions at the South Texas-based company, from Startup Engineer to Site Vice President.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join an outstanding organization at PG&E,” said Halpin. “PG&E has a strong history of customer service and performance, and a great culture of collaboration. I look forward to joining the team and to the opportunities ahead.”

Halpin holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and Master of Science degrees from Seton Hall University and Fielding Graduate University. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Senior Nuclear Plant Manager course. He served for five years in the U.S. Navy.

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/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company”

Harsh: San Francisco Apple Fanboys and Fangirls Get Cruelly Mocked in New Samsung Galaxy S II Phone Commercial

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

[UPDATE: Comments Camarografo:

“Dude, you’re a barista.”]

Dude, harsh:

Via bcasement 

Samsung 4EVR.

And HTC in the hiz-ouse.

Wow: Complete Poll Results for the Mayor’s Race from The Bay Citizen and USF – A Ranked Choice Voting Simulator

Monday, October 17th, 2011

[UPDATE: Luke Thomas of Fog City Journal offers a listing of reactions from many mayoral campaigns.]

[UPDATE II: Feisty TBC Editor-in-Chief Steve Fainaru promises there’s more to come:

“We are analyzing and pumping out this information as fast as we can. The package you see today — including San Francisco’s most sophisticated ranked-choice voting simulator, masterminded by news applications developer Shane Shifflett and lead software engineer Aurelio Tinio — was completed around 2 a.m. Monday; it was up on our website at 4 a.m. Next we will bring you information about the controversial pension reform initiatives and the races for district attorney and sheriff. Finally, we will put up the full data set, so people can take their own look and draw their own conclusions.”]

Well, here they are, the results of the big The Bay Citizen / University of San Francisco poll on who will be Mayor of San Francisco for the next four years.

See?

Click to expand

The Bay Citizen political writer Gerry Shih* has the deets.

Writing history as it happens:

“When the Board of Supervisors named Lee interim mayor in January, after former Mayor Gavin Newsom was elected lieutenant governor, Lee promised not to run for a full term. But after two of his biggest political supporters — Rose Pak, the powerful Chinatown lobbyist, and former Mayor Willie Brown — led an effort to draft him into the race, Lee changed his mind.”

[I should note that infamous Rose Pak, for some reason, operates as an unregistered lobbyist, apparently, AFAIK.]

Are you surprised by any of these results? I’m not.

But what’s nice about this independent exercise is that it shows you how RCV “works.”

Oh, and don’t miss the breakdown for gay and Chinese-American voters.

Anyway:

“Exclusive Bay Citizen/USF Poll: Ed Lee Dominating San Francisco Mayor’s Race

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 17, 2011  – An exclusive poll conducted by The Bay Citizen and the University of San Francisco (USF) Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good shows interim mayor Ed Lee poised to win the November 8 mayor’s race handily. The poll shows Lee with broad support across the city, particularly among Chinese voters.

Lee won 31.2 percent of first-place votes, surpassing his closest challenger, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who won 8.1 percent. Supervisor John Avalos finished third, with 7.4 percent of first-place votes.

At baycitizen.org, the poll results power a computer simulation that shows how the election may unfold under “ranked-choice voting.” This is the first competitive San Francisco mayor’s race to use the system that asks voters to select their top three candidates in order of preference.

The Bay Citizen simulation allows readers to view how votes are redistributed after candidates are eliminated. It projects Lee the winner if the election were held today.

On Tuesday, October 18 The Bay Citizen and the University of San Francisco will release poll results on the San Francisco District Attorney’s race, the Sheriff’s race, and Propositions C and D, the two pension reform measures on the ballot.

For more information and deeper analysis of the Bay Citizen/USF poll please visit: www.baycitizen.org/data/polls/sf-2011-elections/

The poll results are based on telephone interviews of a random sample of 551 likely San Francisco voters between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13, 2011. The survey was conducted by MAXimum Research, an independent research firm, in English and Cantonese; Spanish was not used because only 1 percent of San Francisco voters request ballot materials in Spanish. Of the respondents, 115 were contacted by cell phone and 436 by landline. After the interviews, the data were weighted to match the demographics of the known likely voting population. The sampling error for findings based on the overall pool of likely voters is +/- 4.2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error for population subgroups is larger.

About The Bay Citizen

The Bay Citizen is a nonprofit, nonpartisan member-supported news organization that provides in-depth original reporting on Bay Area issues including public policy, education, the arts and cultural affairs, health and science, the environment, and more. The Bay Citizen’s news can be found online at www.baycitizen.org as well as in print in The New York Times Bay Area report on Fridays and Sundays. For more information, please visit www.baycitizen.org.

About the University of San Francisco (USF)

The University of San Francisco is in the heart of one of the most innovative and diverse cities and features a vibrant community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields while building a more humane and just world. University of San Francisco students, faculty, and alumni are involved in the entrepreneurial city of San Francisco and work in all industries, from technology to nonprofits. With dedicated professors and exceptional academic programs to choose from, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to develop into ethical leaders who are sought after in their professions. USF’s diverse student body benefits from direct access to faculty, small class sizes, and a broad array of programs and co-curricular opportunities. Informed by the university’s 156-year-old Jesuit Catholic mission, the USF community ignites students’ passion for social justice and the pursuit of the common good. For more information about the University of San Francisco, please visit www.usfca.edu.

About USF Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good is dedicated to inspiring and equipping students at USF to pursue lives and careers of ethical public service and service to others. The Center provides a non-partisan forum for education, service and research in public programs and policy-making. The McCarthy Center values civic engagement and seeks to promote public interest research that encourages civil discourse and constructive interaction among the great diversity of residents and officials in the Bay Area. The Center strives to accomplish its goals by being transparent, nonpartisan and rigorous in designing its work and products. For more information please visit www.usfca.edu/centers/mccarthy

Contacts: The Bay Citizen, Keith Meyer, VP Marketing, media@baycitizen.org

SOURCE The Bay Citizen

CONTACT: Keith Meyer, VP Marketing of The Bay Citizen, +1-415-852-5100, media@baycitizen.org

Web Site: http://www.baycitizen.org”

*The uncredited instigator of this recent bit here in the San Francisco Chronicle