CONSTABULARY NOTES FROM ALL OVER
From the Oak Harbor (Wash.) Whidbey News-Times.
At 7:48 a.m., a caller reported being assaulted at a location near the intersection of SW Fort Nugent Avenue and SW Union Street. Then she said she was in a car accident in South Carolina. After that, she changed her story to say she had an abortion three weeks ago. Then she said she was asked to leave a house. She finally said she just wanted a ride to work.
Via The New Yorker
Two weeks ago, the story of a gay waitress who said she was refused a tip by a New Jersey couple went viral. But now, as with so many other viral stories, the account appears too good—or, in this case, awful—to be true: The couple has come forward with their copy of the receipt and their credit card statement as proof that the whole thing was a hoax.
On November 13, Dayna Morales, a former Marine and current server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, New Jersey claims she waited on a couple that insisted on calling her “Dan” and left a hateful note instead of a tip: “sorry I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle & the way you live your life,” the note allegedly read. Morales sent a photo of the note to Have a Gay Day, and it quickly went viral, generating thousands in donations for Morales.
But this week, a couple claiming to have been Morales’ customers that night contacted NBC 4 New York with seemingly irrefutable proof that Morales—or the restaurant—made the whole thing up: a copy of their receipt—with generous tip—that matches the total and timestamp of the receipt that Morales posted with a corresponding credit card statement.
It’s weird how often these stories turn out to be untrue, or at least only half-true. It does so much damage to the people who might actually experience something like this, because you know it does happen irl, and 99% of the time we never hear about the real cases because the person it happens to doesn’t call the local tv news about it.
I like this discussion that took place among the publisher, editor, and writer at Gawker over another viral event that they reported on but found very suspicious. I’m not encouraging people to dismiss stories like this just out of hand, entirely. But a dose of skepticism is healthy, pretty much always. Also, where money is involved, even tangentially, skepticism is demanded.
SAN FRANCISCO — If there was a tipping point, a moment that crystallized the anger building here toward the so-called technorati for driving up housing prices and threatening the city’s bohemian identity, it came in response to a diatribe posted online in August by a young Internet entrepreneur.
The author, a start-up founder named Peter Shih, listed 10 things he hated about San Francisco. Homeless people, for example. And the “constantly PMSing” weather. And “girls who are obviously 4s and behave like they’re 9s.”
The backlash was immediate. Fliers appeared on telephone poles calling Mr. Shih a “woman hatin’ nerd toucher.” CheapAir offered him a free ticket back to New York. Readers responded that what they hated about San Francisco were “entitled” technology workers like him.
Mr. Shih, who said he received death threats after the post, deleted it and apologized. But a nerve had been struck.
(via Backlash by the Bay - Tech Riches Alter a City - NYTimes.com)
The rules of the Dreamforce 2013 hackathon were clear: team entries had to be a mobile app developed after October 25th, created solely for the purposes of the competition. So it’s strange that the team behind “Upshot,” which nabbed the $1 million check, was showing off its prize-winning app as early as October 9th. It had a huge headstart. One tipster emailed us saying Upshot had actually been worked on for over a year before the contest, as opposed to the rest, who’d worked on their entries for about a week, and had to work within the constraints of the contest. That’s supposed to be the point—you know, the challenging part.
Weird! Also weird: Thom Kim, co-creator of the million dollar app, was very recently employed by Salesforce, which handpicked the five finalists… (via The “Biggest Hackathon Prize In History” Was Won By Cheaters)
God, I love Valleywag. I only wish it was even meaner. Silicon Valley deserves it.
Earl Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years.
He’s been searched more than 100 times. And arrested and jailed 56 times.
Despite his long rap sheet, Sampson, 28, has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of marijuana.
Miami Gardens police have arrested Sampson 62 times for one offense: trespassing.
Almost every citation was issued at the same place: the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store on 207th Street in Miami Gardens.
But Sampson isn’t loitering. He works as a clerk at the Quickstop.
So how can he be trespassing when he works there? It’s a question the store’s owner, Alex Saleh, 36, has been asking for more than a year as he watched Sampson, his other employees and his customers, day after day, being stopped and frisked by Miami Gardens police. Most of them, like Sampson, are poor and black.
And, like Sampson, many of them have been cited for minor infractions, sometimes as often as three times in the same day.
Saleh was so troubled by what he saw that he decided to install video cameras in his store. Not to protect himself from criminals, because he says he has never been robbed. He installed the cameras — 15 of them — he said, to protect him and his customers from police.
Since he installed the cameras in June 2012 he has collected more than two dozen videos, some of which have been obtained by the Miami Herald. Those tapes, and Sampson’s 38-page criminal history — including charges never even pursued by prosecutors — raise some troubling questions about the conduct of the city’s police officers.
The videos show, among other things, cops stopping citizens, questioning them, aggressively searching them and arresting them for trespassing when they have permission to be on the premises; officers conducting searches of Saleh’s business without search warrants or permission; using what appears to be excessive force on subjects who are clearly not resisting arrest and filing inaccurate police reports in connection with the arrests.
JP Morgan had to cancel it’s Q&A after twitter responded to their hashtag with relevant, perfectly reasonable questions…
David Karp, the 27-year-old founder of Tumblr, may be a creature of the tech world. But he has had a rapid education in the ways of Wall Street.
Tumblr’s board hired Qatalyst Partners, the boutique investment bank founded by Frank Quattrone, to sell the company to Yahoo this year, agreeing on a price of $1.1 billion. But Mr. Karp made sure to note some of the fine print underlying that big number.
“Banker fees come out beforehand,” he said at the DealBook conference on Tuesday. “Everybody gets their piece before the thing ends up part of Yahoo.”
Mr. Karp, interviewed by David Carr of The New York Times, was joined on stage by Bijan Sabet, a partner at Spark Capital, which was an early investor in Tumblr. “We didn’t have to sell the company,” Mr. Sabet said. “There was plenty of appetite to finance the company.”
The video of the interview doesn’t seem to be shareable, but it’s worth watching at the link above.
ComScore’s data suggests though that comparatively few iPhone owners actually take the trouble to use Google’s maps rather than Apple’s - in part because Apple’s maps are the default for any driving directions or map-related search on iOS 6 and above.
According to ComScore, in September 2012 - just ahead of the introduction of Apple Maps - there were a total of 81.1m users of Google Maps, out of a total of 103.6m iPhones and Android phones users. But a year later, its smartphone data says that the total number of Google Maps users is much lower, at 43% of iPhone and Android users - or 58.7m, despite the user base growing to 136.7m.
"For the average user, even if they have the Google Maps app, they don’t use it a lot," said Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at ComScore. "In a narrow window [after the iOS app download became available] I’m sure there was a ton of activity, but only for a short period."
I like Apple’s maps on iPhone better than I liked Google’s old maps. It never occurred to me to download or use a separate maps app from Google after Apple made their own maps app the default. It’s had a few trouble spots, but nothing major for me. Google maps on more than one occasion seriously misdirected me and made me late for meeting friends at bars or restaurants or hotels. Usually only be a few blocks, but enough to make me later than I always am all the time for everything everywhere anyway.
ANTAKYA, Turkey — The activist threw himself into Syria’s revolution from its early days. He organized protests, documented the deadly crackdowns and disseminated the news, risking his life. When the opposition took up arms, he worked closely with rebel groups, helping to spread their message of resistance and taking toll of the war’s carnage in places journalists couldn’t reach. He has won widespread recognition for his work, and he remains deeply involved in the struggle today — though he no longer calls it a revolution. In fact, he thinks it needs to end.
The activist works under his real name, but he requested anonymity to give the candid assessment of the conflict laid out in these remarks, which are compiled from a recent in-depth interview. Asked to speak on the record, he deliberated with friends and colleagues and ultimately declined. He says he fears a backlash: His words could be used to undermine his work, or he could be misunderstood. He also cites safety concerns. But he believes that his message, unpopular among his revolutionary colleagues, is one they need to hear — that their revolution has ended; that a dangerous wave of Islamic extremism has welled up in its place; that they should work to stop the fighting now; and that if they can’t, they should hope it’s Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who wins.
You know it’s bad when it comes to this.
But over the past five months, Rolling Stone has interviewed more than two dozen eyewitnesses and victims’ families who’ve provided consistent and detailed allegations of the involvement of American forces in the disappearance of the 10 men, and has talked to Afghan and Western officials who were familiar with confidential Afghan-government, U.N. and Red Cross investigations that found the allegations credible. In July, a U.N. report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan warned: “The reported disappearances, arbitrary killings and torture – if proven to have been committed under the auspices of a party to the armed conflict – may amount to war crimes.”
In addition to its usual articles devoted to the importance of Maroon 5 and the 10-page examinations of what Huey Lewis and the news are up to today, Rolling Stone still does publish some very interesting investigative journalism.
If there’s a social/content network that could be voted as most likely to succeed in 2014, it just might be Yahoo’s biggest recent purchase, Tumblr.
That’s perhaps odd to say, as the massively popular network of microblogs currently hosts almost 150 million blogs, sees 99 million posts every day, has over 65 billion posts, and has a very nice site ranking of fifth in the U.S. In other words, it has already succeeded. Monetization has lagged, however.
But that may be about to change. A new Adobe digital ad study has found that Tumblr’s value to advertisers has been undervalued by a huge margin — as much as 450 percent. That’s due to both the nature of the network itself, and to its place in the digital purchasing pipeline.