Tag Archives | san francisco

Being Uber Ain’t Easy: Why Drivers Should Support Regulation

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The global pushback against Uber domination continues to gain momentum. Over the past few weeks, the ride-hailing app was banned in IndiaThailand and Francesuspended in Spain and challenged in BelgiumGermanythe Netherlands and South Korea. Across the US, local governments in OregonArizonaNevadaTexasPennsylvania and California are cracking down on the San Francisco-based behemoth, as well as its smaller rival, Lyft. Every day there are more and more articles in major news outlets documenting the growing rideshare backlash.

Uber responds to the lawsuits and rampant criticism with aplomb, holding the ship steady amid a tempest of dissent. They are always quick to fire back. When they’re not threatening journalists, they accuse city councils of subjecting them to unfair burdens. They claim their model of ridesharing is under attack by government overregulation. Since they profess to be a technology and not a transportation company, they argue they’re immune to the same laws that taxi companies must adhere to.

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A Day in the Life of an Uber/Lyft Driver in San Francisco

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Most days, I wake up around noon. Usually hung-over. My first thought is always the same: probably should’ve skipped that last drink. At the time, though, it felt absolutely necessary. Vodka has a way of alleviating some of the physical stress from driving a car all night. At least temporarily.

After several months of driving for Lyft and Uber, my neck is like an open wound. The muscles that run from my shoulder to my jaw are steel rods. I have very little radius when I turn my head left or right. The tension never goes away. It makes my teeth ache. There is a real possibility that I have some dislocated vertebrae. My joints hurt. My right ankle has a creak in it. And I have a chronic case of hemorrhoids. No matter how much ointment I apply, they remain perpetually enflamed. Old age has not only crept up on me, it has run past me and turned around to taunt me.… Read the rest

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Media Roots Radio – Occupy Silicon Valley

Abby and Robbie Martin discuss the potentiality of an ‘Occupy Silicon Valley’ protest movement in a similar mold to ‘Occupy Oakland’ taking place in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. They address the ethical issues revolving around tech-companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Soundcloud and debunk the notion that private corporations will install privacy safeguards on their own without the pressure of public consumer outrage. Robbie goes into the history of Silicon Valley’s roots, which tie directly to the Pentagon’s post-WWII defense industry private sector push.
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Altered Smartphone Advertising In San Francisco

dronesSF Weekly notes the latest work of the California Department of Corrections, who suitably update street-level advertising to better inform the public:

Muni bus shelters are supplying a blank canvas for the California Department of Corrections, a media organization that distorts other people’s ad campaigns in order to reverse their message.

This month, the CDC decided to confront America’s drone policy by adulterating a series of smartphone ads on Muni bus shelters, including the one at Seventh and Market streets.

The new ads show a cellphone picture of predator drone strike, with the word “Pakistan” swapped in for the phone logo.

“As these operations are shrouded in secrecy, the California Department of Corrections released the rehabilitated smartphone ads to assist our colleagues in the federal government and explain the benefits of drones to war-weary Americans,” the organization explains, in a statement.

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Jonestown: Paradise Lost (documentary)

This is a hybrid documentary about Jim Jones, Peoples Temple, Jonestown, and the victims. This includes the words of some of the survivors and dramatization of the real events. Please feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations.

via Top Documentary Films

An evangelical preacher led nearly a 1,000 followers from the United States deep into the jungles of South America. They would build a new community free of oppression and violence and it was to be their paradise on Earth, but outsiders threatened to expose the dark side of their leader. In one day two worlds collidedand paradise was lost. In November 1978 reporters around the world broke the news that Jim Jones and more than 900 of his followers died.

By the late 1960s and early 70s the streets of America erupted in violence and civil strife. War in Vietnam, civil rights marches and political assassinations played out on television.

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Welcome to Paradise

Jodorowsky?

If you follow my posts and podcasts here at Disinformation and elsewhere, you probably know that I’m also a musician in Nashville, TN. Here is the new video for my song “Paradise.” The song and the video both point back to the kind of counter-cultural posts you’re familiar with.

Conceived, directed and edited from public domain footage found at Archive.org, “Paradise” combines images of San Francisco in 1941 with shots from the city captured in 1968 during that era’s counter-cultural revolution. The video takes the song’s declarative chorus as a jumping-off point to celebrate the Utopian impulse that has defined that city.

Welcome to “Paradise”

“Paradise” appears on my CD BLUE TURNS BLACK.

Stay Awake!

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The Forgotten Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, Norton I

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Emperor Norton Making His Daily Rounds Inspecting the City

An  odd tale about an eccentric old timee entrepreneur.

via Today I Found Out

Today I found out about the largely forgotten colorful benevolent dictator of the United States and protector of Mexico, Emperor Norton I.

His Imperial Majesty Joshua Abraham Norton I was born between 1811 and 1818 in England. Records of his birth date vary considerably, but it’s likely that the latter date is the correct one. His family immigrated to South Africa when he was quite young, where his father headed a small Jewish community. As a young man, he initially attempted to run his own business in Cape Town but quickly went bankrupt and started working at his father’s ship chandlery instead.

By 1848, Emperor Norton had suffered some severe losses: his mother, father, and both of his brothers had died. With no other family, Norton inherited all $40,000 of his father’s estate and was eager to search for a new beginning.

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San Francisco Loses Legal Battle Over Warning Public About Cell Phone Radiation

cell phone radiation

Major phone companies appear to be winning the battle to suppress information about possible cancer risks from mobile phone usage, Reuters reports:

San Francisco city leaders, after losing a key round in court against the cell phone industry, have agreed to revoke an ordinance that would have been the first in the United States to require retailers to warn consumers about potentially dangerous radiation levels.

“This is just a terrible blow to public health,” Ellen Marks, an advocate for the measure, said outside the supervisors’ chambers. She said her husband suffers from a brain tumor on the same side of his head to which he most often held his mobile phone.

The 2011 ordinance mandated warnings that cellular phones emit potentially cancer-causing radiation. The statute, which a judge blocked before it took effect, also would have required retailers to post notices stating that World Health Organization cancer experts have deemed mobile phones “possibly carcinogenic.”

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Ken Goldberg’s Seismic Signals

Screenshot of Bloom, 2013, by Ken Goldberg, Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg.

Venue interviews one of the more interesting professors you’ll run into at any university, Ken Goldberg:

The Hayward Fault runs through the center of the UC Berkeley campus, famously splitting the university’s football stadium in half from end to end. It has, according to the 2008 Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, a thirty-one percent probability of rupturing in a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake within the next thirty years, making it the likeliest site for the next big California quake.

Nonetheless, for the majority of East Bay residents, the fault is out of sight and out of mind—for example, five out of six Californian homeowners have no earthquake insurance.

Meanwhile, three-quarters of a mile north of Memorial Stadium, and just a few hundred yards west of the fault trace, is the office of Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Berkeley.

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UFOs Over San Francisco’s Mission District?

Multiple San Franciscans captured footage of mysterious lights flying over the city's Mission District. The local CBS affiliate reports: (Apologies for video quality. The station's own embed code was non-functional.) Via CBS:
In the video, a series of lights fly in formation above the city before appearing to take a diamond shape and eventually disappearing. Several commenters on the Mission Mission blog said that they had also noticed the aircraft. The video, which shows seven lights in a row, was shot by Enrique Barrios with his cellphone. “Looked like flame, you know, fireballs in the sky,” Barrios said in an interview with CBS 5. David Shelley took pictures as the lights hovered over him early Sunday Morning. “Kind of looked like a fiery, floaty thing,” he said. Witnesses said the lights flickered on and off, then took different shapes.
What do you think? Ball lightning? Swamp gas?
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