Google gets butthurt over bus backlash; shuts down Gmail for the day

Just to make you all remember who’s really in control!

More on Techcrunch.


Honestly, the only way for the protesters to get the Google bus out of the Mission is for them to stage a pedestrian getting run over by one

Yesterday’s corporate shuttle hearing at SF City Hall brought out supporters from all sides of the transportation controversy to have their opinions heard regarding the recent proposal to allow the shuttles to share public stops with Muni buses for a mere $1 (instead of hefty $300+ fine leveraged on normal citizens who get caught using the stops).  Community members came to describe how the presence of these shuttles has affected their daily lives, while tech workers attended armed with scripted talking points provided by Google itself.

I’m not going to cover the entire proceedings, as SFist’s Andrew Dalton has diligently provided a full account already, but the main arguments of each side were as follows:

  • Tech:  If these shuttles didn’t exist, we would all just drive to Silicon Valley instead, and traffic would be terrible, pollution would run rampant, and the entire world would soon end.
  • Community: Private corporate shuttles shouldn’t utilize public infrastructure in the first place, but the fact that they also cause Muni delays and contribute to excessive rent increases for housing is unacceptable unless the companies involved provide a meaningful contribution to the communities they are disrupting

In the end, the Board sided with Tech and will charge private shuttles a pitifully insignificant $1 per bus, per stop used.  Which is ridiculous.  The fact is that these shuttles are used as a recruiting tool, making it convenient to transport tech workers (who might otherwise choose to work in the city) down to the South Bay without them having to interact with undesirables.  God forbid they use the public transit already in place.  God forbid their companies invest in said public transit to help bolster its ability to ferry workers of all stripes around.

And no, these people wouldn’t simply drive to work if the buses didn’t exist.  Most would either move closer to their work or find jobs here in the city.  Basically, it’s how a company like Menlo-based Facebook can compete for young talent against SF-based Twitter.

Look, I get it.  Muni, BART, and CalTrain aren’t perfect.  But they’re not bad, and with a little help and some extra funds, they could be a lot better.  However, based on the Board’s decision, this help isn’t coming anytime soon.

[Photo by Steve Rhodes]


Sooooo many photos of last night’s sunset

I’m sure your ‘gram feed, like Stokemonster’s, was full of sky shots yesterday evening.

Does this animated GIF explain why Google buses are a good thing?

Let’s see:

[GIF by The Atlantic]

The Google Bus: “If you want an iPhone, a Facebook profile, and Google Maps, this is part of the price you’ve gotta pay”

That’s the opinion of one insufferable tech dude* interviewed for KALW’s Google Bus Show, which fortunately offers a far more balanced take (than the privileged notion quoted in the title) on the recent phenomenon that’s become a symbol of the gentrification and influx of wealth currently reshaping the city. It’s a good listen; folks from the neighborhood, city officials, and tech companies themselves all contribute different viewpoints to illustrate why the issues at hand might not be solved by simply banning the corporate shuttles from city streets.

*Of course, what insufferable tech bro fails to realize is that perhaps not everyone is interested in having an iPhone, Facebook profile, and Google maps. While I can’t speak for that segment of the population, as I have and get great use out of all three of those products every day, their needs have to be considered as well.

Listen here.

[Photo via Mission Local]

What kind of weirdo prints out his own tweets and laminates them?

[via Ariel Dovas on Twitter]

Disembodied BART platform voice responds to news of the BART fuckers

Yesterday the internet was all abuzz over the video of two people fucking on a BART train.

One of the best bits of buzz, discovered by Mission resident Josh Ellingson, are field recordings of the BART announcements themselves reacting to the news. Click here to listen.


I just love this app Stilly. That is all.

Beating up the Google bus (piñata)


Not that many folks seemed to come out for yesterday’s gentrification demonstration, although that didn’t stop those who did from beating down the Google bus piñata as promised.

I think the police were the most disappointed, as they had all assembled nearby, zip-ties and paddy wagons waiting for protestor violence that never happened. Don’t feel sorry for them too much though; at least they got a chance to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at nearby Pancho Villa:


Celebrating 40 years of cellphones

Wired decided to mark the 40th anniversary of the first cellphone call with a look back at 12 very influential cellphones. Here’s what they have to say about the Motorola Razr:

The Razr was the first must-have phone. The thin flip phone was stylish and, if the commercials were to believed, would stick like a knife if dropped onto the floor.

While throwing the phone at walls like a knife was a bad idea, the Razr had a great four-year run, selling 130 million units. Is there any wonder why?

The Razr looked like it was straight out of the future. The numerical keyboard was cut from a single piece of metal. Its clamshell aluminum body and colored glass screen were gorgeous. And the damn thing worked like a charm. It was the last dumb phone that truly mattered.

Mission Mission wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for my old Razr V3 (pictured above). It took nice photos and browsed the web, and generally got me more in the habit of behaving like a blogger. Miss u bb ;)

(Oh and Hot Faces definitely wouldn’t have happened.)

Read on for the 11 other phones. [via]