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Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the go-home-jerks dept.

Google 692

mpicpp sends this report from Ars Technica: "Protests against tech giants and their impact on the San Francisco Bay Area economy just got personal. According to an anonymous submission on local news site Indybay, an unknown group of protesters targeted a Google engineer best known for helping to develop the company's self-driving car. ... The protest against Levandowski came the same day that the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) voted for the first time to take action regulating Google, Facebook, Apple, and a number of other large tech companies that shuttle workers in private, Wi-Fi-enabled buses from the Bay Area to points south in Silicon Valley."

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Wait so now (5, Insightful)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 10 months ago | (#46039891)

Being a Luddite is fashionable?

Re:Wait so now (3, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 10 months ago | (#46039975)

No, but being a liberal Democrat is. At least in the Bay area.

Re:Wait so now (1, Insightful)

DickBreath (207180) | about 10 months ago | (#46040009)

You're right. The article does not mention unions. But now that he, and you, brought it up, and now that I think about it -- who else would be opposed to self driving cars? It all makes sense.

Re:Wait so now (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 10 months ago | (#46040015)

Ooops. Sorry..Replied to the wrong. :-(

Re:Wait so now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040153)

I am and I have nothing to do with unions.

Re:Wait so now (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46040077)

Being a Luddite is fashionable?

Apparently so. They must have driven themselves, taking such an awful risk, when a self driving car would have been safer.

Re:Wait so now (-1, Redundant)

ka9dgx (72702) | about 10 months ago | (#46040079)

This isn't about being a Luddite, it's about pointing out the economic disparity at play in the world. When you create conditions in the rest of the world such that we give them pieces of paper, and they are willing to die trying to get something to sell for those pieces of paper... we have some social responsibility.

The US exports paper promises of ... (well, nothing actually, Nixon closed the Gold window in 1971) paper, and over throws any resource rich country that wants to sell for some other paper, or... gasp... actual Gold. We've got a gun to the heads of the rest of humanity.... ... is that enough of a rant to show it's not about the technology.... its the economics?

Re:Wait so now (5, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | about 10 months ago | (#46040195)

and that is this guys fault personally and somehow not the fault of the protesters who likely have their own phones and computers and used the same resources to print the very fliers that they used to protest this one guy who is just designing things and is really, in no way, more responsible for the economic state of the world than any of the people standing outside his house.

If you have a problem with this kind of economic inequality then you have a long journey ahead of you. Bitching about one engineer and the fact that he can cary a baby and check his cell phone at the same time (but what about the LIFE he carries in his HAND!) is sure as shit not going to change any of that.

Re:Wait so now (0)

GameMaster (148118) | about 10 months ago | (#46040097)

Have you actually read up on the issue? They're not protesting the technology, they're protesting the rising rents in the city due to Google (and other big IT company) employees moving in and commuting to their work outside the city. Do you actually understand what the word "Luddite" means?

Re:Wait so now (1)

GameMaster (148118) | about 10 months ago | (#46040145)

Never mind, the Ars story seams to specifically be dealing with a nutty fringe group in the issue.

Re: Wait so now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040235)

Sounds like it's time for those renters to move then. Why would you attack a company's employees because your rent is going up? I didn't attack people living in my Seattle suburb because my rent went up, I move somewhere cheaper.

These people have a very poor understanding of how to fix their problems and are using mob tactics to try to accomplish what they want. They aren't luddites, but they are very clearly an angry mob without any direction or understanding as to how they can fix their problems.

Maniacal (2)

jazman_777 (44742) | about 10 months ago | (#46039893)

This fanatical "activism" needs to be stopped.

Re:Maniacal (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46040099)

This fanatical "activism" needs to be stopped.

Boycott them!

If that doesn't work, organize a vocal protest.

Re:Maniacal (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#46040119)

This fanatical "activism" needs to be stopped.

Well, to do that, you're going to need to draft up a Constitutional Amendment that voids the First Amendment, then get 2/3 of state legislatures to ratify it.

Good luck with that, chief.

Re:Maniacal (-1, Flamebait)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#46040293)

This fanatical "activism" needs to be stopped.

Well, to do that, you're going to need to draft up a Constitutional Amendment that voids the First Amendment, then get 2/3 of state legislatures to ratify it.

Good luck with that, chief.

Perhaps you failed to realize that is exactly what the FBI and NSA are for, doofus. [wikipedia.org]

Even if your cultural narrative came from Fox News you should have found the FBI's Occupy Wall-street involvement odd. [huffingtonpost.com] I mean, here you are spouting off about activism and you don't know the first thing about your government policy about it. What the actual fuck? Have you had your head up your ass concerning the past 100 years of your country's history such that you missed that whole 'secret' police state doing heinous illegal shit and especially their anti-activism policy AKA "national security"? [theguardian.com] For fuck's sake, you morons would make me sick if your politics hadn't heaved me dry.

Thugocracy in Action (-1, Flamebait)

mlgunner (219100) | about 10 months ago | (#46039905)

Don't love it when Government and Unions get together to do things for the "common good"?

Re:Thugocracy in Action (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46039951)

I didn't see anything in the article about unions. Stop being an asshole.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 10 months ago | (#46039999)

Next you're going to ask him to stop keeping Rush Limbaugh quotes and take down his Ron Paul shrine.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

mlgunner (219100) | about 10 months ago | (#46040233)

Please, Rush is way too liberal for me, LOL!

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040021)

I didn't see anything about government, either. Why only take offense at the part about unions?

Re:Thugocracy in Action (1)

Altus (1034) | about 10 months ago | (#46040055)

There is a mention of the local government regulating the use of public transit stops for shuttle busses. Still, pretty tenuous.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040307)

Ah, I didn't count that as it seemed only related to the other Google-related protesting going on.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about 10 months ago | (#46040025)

You're right. The article does not mention unions. But now that he, and you, brought it up, and now that I think about it -- who else would be opposed to self driving cars? It all makes sense.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (2)

mlgunner (219100) | about 10 months ago | (#46040075)

Well, "Anonymous Coward", you should follow the money. Who does it hurt, really, for tech companies to bus their own people to work rather than have them drive their cars? Its much better on the environment, less traffic on the freeways, and better for the workers.
Its not that they are busing their people to work, is it?
Its the fact that they are not using MUNICIPAL i.e. government owned buses that exclusively use unionized workers, specifically SEIU, which has a habit of using this very tactic.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0, Offtopic)

admiralh (21771) | about 10 months ago | (#46040177)

So the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe are shuttled to work in their private Wi-Fi enabled comfort busses, free from having to deal with the riff-raff of society while the common folk are out their sucking on exhaust fumes.

I can't imagine a scenario where this turns out badly.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (3, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#46040211)

So the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe are shuttled to work in their private Wi-Fi enabled comfort busses, free from having to deal with the riff-raff of society while the common folk are out their sucking on exhaust fumes.

I can't imagine a scenario where this turns out badly.

I can imagine one scenario -- if the buses stopped overnight and suddenly 30,000 people decided to drive to work instead of take a shuttle since public transit is so unusable for their commute. So instead of hundreds of buses, you'd have thousands of extra cars on the road.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 10 months ago | (#46040171)

Of course it's about unions. Look who is being targeted. What other possibilities are there? These smart-phone toting "protestors" aren't protesting working conditions overseas, that would be amazingly hypocritical. It can't be the greenies, these ride shares are getting single occupant cars off the roads. It's not going to be any Democrat groups, many of those targeted are going to be liberal Dems given the region of the country. Who is left other than organized labor? Who else would have an axe to grind against these workers?

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#46040033)

No government or unions involved at all=blame government and the unions because those are who I'm told to hate.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040091)

Obviously U Kant Read because:

...the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) voted for the first time to take action regulating Google, Facebook, Apple, and a number of other large tech companies that shuttle workers in private, Wi-Fi-enabled buses from the Bay Area to points south in Silicon Valley.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040035)

Sounds like the Tech companies need to get the hell out of Commie-Fornia.

They are no longer welcome, and that state HATES businesses with a passion.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#46040115)

Sounds like the Tech companies need to get the hell out of Commie-Fornia.

They are no longer welcome, and that state HATES businesses with a passion.

If California hates tech companies so badly, then one must wonder why there are so many out there. I'm thinking that it takes more than cheap rent to attract a vibrant start-up culture. Perhaps it takes investment capital and qualified employees too. And good weather doesn't hurt either.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 10 months ago | (#46040247)

Sounds like the Tech companies need to get the hell out of Commie-Fornia.

They are no longer welcome, and that state HATES businesses with a passion.

More likely the city of San Fransisco hates having to provide the infrastructure for all of the tech businesses but not reap the benefits of tax revenues to pay for it because they built outside the city. States have this issue all the time, where the populace lives predominately in one state but work in the next state. It's not about being anti-business, it's about having to pay for the services provided.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040287)

Yeah, because having a whole bunch of high earning software developers paying income, property, sales, and liquor taxes within the city isn't enough.

Re:Thugocracy in Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040305)

If you're rich and powerful, it's much easier to whine about how complainers should pack up and move if they don't like what you're doing to their city, rather than pack up and move if you don't like what activists are doing in their city. Why should big businesses be subject to the same rules they expect the peons to follow? If a big business doesn't like what a city/state/country is doing, then clearly the city/state/country needs to change its practices instead of the poor, beleaguered billionaires.

morons (5, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 10 months ago | (#46039911)

So they're being too eco-friendly with the bus rides? Or everyone's jealous about the benefits? Or public transportation isn't crowded enough? I don't get it but I have the sneaking suspicion that these people are morons.

Re:morons (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 10 months ago | (#46039941)

So they're being too eco-friendly with the bus rides? Or everyone's jealous about the benefits? Or public transportation isn't crowded enough? I don't get it but I have the sneaking suspicion that these people are morons.

They probably just wanted revenue so they decided to tax the buses.

Re:morons (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#46040137)

So they're being too eco-friendly with the bus rides? Or everyone's jealous about the benefits? Or public transportation isn't crowded enough? I don't get it but I have the sneaking suspicion that these people are morons.

They probably just wanted revenue so they decided to tax the buses.

They aren't earning any revenue from the buses -- state law prohibits the city from earning a profit on the bus stop fees, so the fees equal the administrative overhead to collect them.

The problem with Google Bus (4, Informative)

Khopesh (112447) | about 10 months ago | (#46040255)

So they're being too eco-friendly with the bus rides? Or everyone's jealous about the benefits? Or public transportation isn't crowded enough? I don't get it but I have the sneaking suspicion that these people are morons.

I think you've missed the point. Dozens of companies in the peninsula have their own dedicated bus lines. The bus-to-person ratio is quite high, and this is not as eco-friendly as you might think. It also causes congestion in the city, and confusion at the shared bus stops (which are owned by the city of SF), both of passengers and of citizens looking for a bus they can actually ride.

The city taxing the bus services allows maintenance to be applied to the extra load of the stops as well as planning for the increased traffic these systems create. I think it is quite reasonable.

Daily Kos had a good explanation of the problem [dailykos.com] back in April.

Flat-earthers (1)

sabri (584428) | about 10 months ago | (#46039913)

Yes, these Indymedia commie's will go in the history book as modern day flat-earthers. What an idiots, targeting one of the brightest engineers working on cutting-edge technology.

If they were born in the 1900s, they would have targeted Nikola Tesla.

Re:Flat-earthers (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 10 months ago | (#46040295)

Yes, these Indymedia commie's will go in the history book as modern day flat-earthers. What an idiots, targeting one of the brightest engineers working on cutting-edge technology.

If they were born in the 1900s, they would have targeted Nikola Tesla.

Didn't Thomas Edison target Nikola Tesla? Sometimes people target others, not because they are opposed to the concept,but because they want people to buy their version of it.

Hierarchy of perceived victimhood (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46039917)

Levandowski should claim that the protesters are motivated by anti-semitism. Checkmate!

So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today. (5, Interesting)

t0qer (230538) | about 10 months ago | (#46039929)

I started thinking to myself, "Wow, I only live a mile from where they pick folks up, and they drop me off about a mile from work" Maybe SF should take into consideration that non-goog-app-fac employees might want to ride on the same line. These companies should consider allowing non-employees to pay a fare to use the busses.

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#46040029)

Ah, but then they become a common carrier, just like city buses, and competing with city buses.
We can't have any private industry competing with City mass transit in the race to the bottom.

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (1)

Enry (630) | about 10 months ago | (#46040127)

Given those services are usually a money pit for the city in question (albeit a necessary one), they'd probably love to have that taken off their hands.

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#46040243)

No, I think you'll find that cities guard their mass transit federal handouts "earned" by providing the least suitable services that just barely qualify, as if they were the goose that lays the golden egg.

They even pulled their precious obsolete streetcars off the line [sfgate.com] for fear of looting and rampage after last week's Football game.

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (4, Informative)

supervillainsf (820395) | about 10 months ago | (#46040283)

Except for the fact that there is no city bus that runs from San Francisco or Berekely to Mountain View, so the competition would be with CalTrain which is owned by Amtrak. As for Bus service, anyone who does the SF - South Bay commute will be familiar with Bauer's busses and they are a private company doing exactly what you are saying can't be done. So, the whole "can't compete with gubment" thing is a bit stupid in this context.

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 10 months ago | (#46040073)

Google probably does not want to run a public bus service. That is not their business. There would be many other legal, insurance and bureaucratic hurdles.

Google does this for their employees. I can understand why everyone would want to ride on Google's luxury buses. Heck, I would like to. It must be frustrating that they pick up and drop off so close to your own endpoints. I can sympathize.

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040107)

Does San Francisco not run buses on the same lines? If not, the problem is with the city, not Google.

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46040125)

I started thinking to myself, "Wow, I only live a mile from where they pick folks up, and they drop me off about a mile from work" Maybe SF should take into consideration that non-goog-app-fac employees might want to ride on the same line. These companies should consider allowing non-employees to pay a fare to use the busses.

Better yet, have these tech titans fund some Bay Area high speed commuter rail.

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (1)

mlgunner (219100) | about 10 months ago | (#46040261)

Ahem..
BART!?

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (1)

228e2 (934443) | about 10 months ago | (#46040155)

I think thats a great idea.
They should expand this to other heavily traveled businesses and venues and high traffic areas throughout the city so even more people can have the chance to ride at a convenient time. Why hasnt anyone thought about this before???

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#46040191)

I started thinking to myself, "Wow, I only live a mile from where they pick folks up, and they drop me off about a mile from work" Maybe SF should take into consideration that non-goog-app-fac employees might want to ride on the same line. These companies should consider allowing non-employees to pay a fare to use the busses.

There are few people that live in SF and work a mile from Google HQ in Mountain View that aren't already Google Employees -- I'm sure there are some, but few would choose to do that commute if they didn't have the bus service -- the peninsula is so spread out that there just aren't that many employers close to each other, which is why transit is so difficult t here . It wouldn't even be worth setting up a program to let those few people reserve a spot on a bus and pay the fare (which would likely have to be in the $20 range to cover costs of providing the bus service and fare collection)

Re:So I was sitting behind a Gbus/Fbus on 85 today (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040311)

The fact that the Google/Yahoo/Facebook/Genentech etc buses exsit at all is just a demonstration of the abject failure of SF Bay Area's public transportation system. This could have easliy been done by SamTrans, or Caltrain, or BART, MUNI or some combination. But those entities are too caught up in their inane union rules and they retarded management. Or Ed Lee who would rather make Muni free, and still crappy, rather than fix it. The politics around public transport are ridiculous. Everyone wants a piece of that big-money pie.

I live 1 block from the J Muni, but would rather ride my bike because Muni is uterly unreliable. For my spouse to get to Palo Alto she is stuck in a two transfer Muni nightmare to Caltrain, so mostly she drives.

First they came for the Engineers, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46039947)

and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Engineer.

Then they came for the Software Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because there was no Software Union.

Then they came for the Network Admins, and I did not speak out-- Because those guys are mostly assholes.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

Re:First they came for the Engineers, (5, Funny)

bunratty (545641) | about 10 months ago | (#46040027)

I joined a Facebook group in protest, so I'm good.

Re:First they came for the Engineers, (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46040135)

I joined a Facebook group in protest, so I'm good.

+1 Like

Austin Texas Bound (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46039953)

If this nonsense keeps up how long will it be before Google leaves SF for Austin Texas like every other California company?

Re:Austin Texas Bound (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040057)

Good lord please stay out of Texas, we have a enough morons from california in texas grrr...

The candlestick makers did the same thing... (0, Troll)

bazmail (764941) | about 10 months ago | (#46039959)

in the 1920s in rural USA when it was being connected to the power grid. "He took r jobs!!!!".
When society no longer values your skillset, its time to upskill of GTFO.

The protesting slime seem to think they have a god given right to be where they are.

Re:The candlestick makers did the same thing... (5, Insightful)

admiralh (21771) | about 10 months ago | (#46040071)

So the 55-year old candlestick makers were supposed to upgrade their skills or do what? Starve? I think that tech advances are generally good, but this "Creative Destruction" comes at a cost to certain individuals in society who were unlucky/unconnected enough to choose the wrong profession. You can't simply let all those people fend for themselves without any support.

The protesting slime seem to think they have a god given right to be where they are.

Wow. I think you would fit into Putin's (or Stalin's) Russia just fine.

Re:The candlestick makers did the same thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040141)

>So the 55-year old candlestick makers were supposed to upgrade their skills or do what? Starve?

They were supposed to have learned more than one skill in their entire lifetime. I have no understanding of why so many people feel they should go through life only knowing how to do one thing well. It's not a good idea. Personally, I can program, sysadmin, fix cars, and perform electrician work to code. If any one of those goes away, I'll survive just fine. In fact, if computers go away (fat chance) I will do fine. Even if electricity went away, I'd do fine.

Re:The candlestick makers did the same thing... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#46040151)

So the 55-year old candlestick makers were supposed to upgrade their skills or do what? Starve?

I think that tech advances are generally good, but this "Creative Destruction" comes at a cost to certain individuals in society who were unlucky/unconnected enough to choose the wrong profession.

You can't simply let all those people fend for themselves without any support.

The protesting slime seem to think they have a god given right to be where they are.

Wow. I think you would fit into Putin's (or Stalin's) Russia just fine.

I presume OP is the type who will dump their parents in the cheapest, shittiest nursing home they can, just as soon as mom and pop outlive their usefulness.

Re:The candlestick makers did the same thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040215)

So the 55-year old candlestick makers were supposed to upgrade their skills or do what? Starve?

Basically, yeah. And I say that as someone who has upgraded his skills and changed careers twice since I turned 50.

You can't simply let all those people fend for themselves without any support.

Change doesn't happen overnight. Even some animals are smart enough to stock up for the winter.

Re:The candlestick makers did the same thing... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46040157)

in the 1920s in rural USA when it was being connected to the power grid. "He took r jobs!!!!".
When society no longer values your skillset, its time to upskill of GTFO.

The protesting slime seem to think they have a god given right to be where they are.

Yes, evil microbrewers all over America are taking the bread out of the mouths of megaswill brew workers. Shameful!

Re:The candlestick makers did the same thing... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#46040165)

I find their choice of protest targets rather strange (If you think that autonomous vehicles are the biggest of your problems, or that Google is the major threat in that area, you are painfully uninformed...); but do you seriously expect people to just 'GTFO' (and to where?) whenever technological change comes knocking? Economic threats are one of the few things that reliably get people worked up, and technological change definitely is one, if you are the one being rendered obsolete at a given time.

Rhetoric for, or against, 'natural' or 'god given' rights tends to be nonsense; but expecting people to not get touchy when you come after their bread and butter seems like either profound ignorance of history and human nature, or a... perhaps unsteady... theory of social order. Hard to keep a game running if most of the players lose most of the time, no?

Re:The candlestick makers did the same thing... (4, Insightful)

frog_strat (852055) | about 10 months ago | (#46040207)

That's all well and good when the jobs are still there, they're just changing. That candlestick maker, he can retrain to work on robots ! But when jobs are shed and not replaced, this will eventually lead to big problems. Shaming the unemployed is not so effective when there are no jobs.

Dear San Fran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46039969)

You are morons.

If you push and push and push, Google will eventually decide it's best to just move their head office elsewhere (increased expenses, increased threat to their workforce, difficulty hiring new people due to growing animosity towards Google staff, etc., etc., etc. will eventually push them to say "screw this, we're gone!").

I'm sure you're thinking "YAY!! Please do!!" but that's damn short-sighted. If they pack up and leave, a MASSIVE amount of spending power will leave an you'll watch as restaurants and clothing boutiques and this and that start going out of business rather rapidly. Let's ignore the tax money that Google's employees bring to the city - they employees also bring their spending power. You want to kiss that goodbye? Go right ahead - keep doing what you're doing - but do so knowing that you will drastically harm the economy of your city and it will take well over a decade to recover (look at the effect any major business's exodus has had on a neighbourhood - at least a decade to recover).

But, hey, it's fun to watch you cut off your nose to spite your face so take this advice or don't.

Re:Dear San Fran (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#46040041)

You are morons.

Who is the bigger moron -- those that protest against a Google Developer for his work on technology, or someone that reads about a protest in Berkeley and tells the people of San Francisco to stop protesting?

That said, Google could pack up and leave SF without making difference in the economy -- there aren't *that* many Google employees in SF. But if all of the tech companies (iuncluding those with significant presence in SF) disappeared overnight (like they did during the original dot-com Bust), then it would have an effect on the city -- both good and bad. Not everyone saw the dot-com bust as a bad thing, and are hoping for another bust.

Re:Dear San Fran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040065)

There are plenty of other states in the US that would bend over backwards (possibly some even forwards) to have Google move there. If one wants the ocean, there is always Portland. A liberal population, Austin. An urban environment, NYC. Bay area, there is always Palo Alto or other places. More south, there is San Diego.

SF is a cool city, but there are many, many other places that would be just as good, if not better for a corporate HQ.

Re:Dear San Fran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040087)

Easy solution: These companies should open major offices in downtown San Francisco. Build a skyscraper (vertical campus!) that is walking distance from a BART subway stop. They already have one (very small) office in the downtown SF area (opened in 2007 [cnet.com] ). Same with Yahoo (though they can't afford a skyscraper), who recently bought the old SF Chronicle building [bloomberg.com] .

Re:Dear San Fran (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#46040327)

Easy solution: These companies should open major offices in downtown San Francisco. Build a skyscraper (vertical campus!) that is walking distance from a BART subway stop. They already have one (very small) office in the downtown SF area (opened in 2007 [cnet.com] ). Same with Yahoo (though they can't afford a skyscraper), who recently bought the old SF Chronicle building [bloomberg.com] .

Build a skyscraper!? You really don't know anything about SF, do you?

Re:Dear San Fran (1, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46040269)

San Francisco is Contrary City - Whinge - whinge, whine - whine, protest at the drop of a hat. "What are we protesting today, Fred?" "I don't know, Dave, I just looked up in the sky and saw the Protest Signal." The crazy thing is as screwed up as The City seems to be, it still works and people like living there. (It is a fine place to visit, just don't bring your car!)

The real problem here is the mobility of workers has caught up with the ability for them to get to work. 101 is a rotten old road, which seems to always be under repair in some stretch and those work zones play havoc with the dense traffic. I-280 is a pretty good bet for a sprint, until you get near Redwood City, where it begins to clob up (and there's just no good way of getting through these bay area cities and to the campus along Shoreline. Google should just open a campus in SFO (or expand whatever they have already.)

This moving people about in cars, when you are a tech company at the forefront of communications is an anachronism.

illiberal attack on technology advancement (4, Insightful)

zerosomething (1353609) | about 10 months ago | (#46039981)

This is a very good example of people who like to call them selves "Liberal" not being very liberal. Technology will advance and apparently some people don't like it in the same way some other people don't like gay marriage or pot smoking.

Protesting against themselves? (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#46039987)

Part of their flyer says:

There are men and women in the Congo, slaving away in giant pits in order to extract gold and other precious metals from the earth. This gold will go into phones and tablets made by companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft

Unless they all walked there and are wearing homemade clothes from home grown cotton weaved by hand into fabric, and "printed" their flyers by hand by writing them using sustainably harvested carbon pencils on home made papyrus, and organized the protest through word of mouth (which was probably aided by the fact that they all live in the same cave) rather than using email and iPhones, they are being disingenuous by protesting against resources used for technology that they themselves use and enjoy.

Re:Protesting against themselves? (1)

gordo3000 (785698) | about 10 months ago | (#46040239)

worse, it's not like the majority of any precious metal is used in technology. If we only used precious metals and stones for their technological uses, there wouldn't be massive exploitation in those areas because the money wouldn't be nearly as good.

Re:Protesting against themselves? (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 10 months ago | (#46040249)

Part of their flyer says:

There are men and women in the Congo, slaving away in giant pits in order to extract gold and other precious metals from the earth. This gold will go into phones and tablets made by companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft

Unless they all walked there and are wearing homemade clothes from home grown cotton weaved by hand into fabric, and "printed" their flyers by hand by writing them using sustainably harvested carbon pencils on home made papyrus, and organized the protest through word of mouth (which was probably aided by the fact that they all live in the same cave) rather than using email and iPhones, they are being disingenuous by protesting against resources used for technology that they themselves use and enjoy.

Now wait a minute. I'm as liberal as the day is long, and I say fuck these protesters. I mean, it's all good to be "protesting the man" for being the man and stuff, but showing up at some guy's house? Oh, but wait! Are they giving out cookies? I'll grab my pitchfork and be right over!

What they may *really* be protesting (whether or not this is the stated goal), I think, is that your average Googler is one of the "haves" who will always have a reasonably good job, be able to afford to live in SF or wherever. They, on the other hand, have worked hard for a long time, yet they see their standard of living slipping. They identify with the oppressed and their horrible living and working conditions. That is a noble cause perhaps, but they are obviously doing it wrong, like protesting against the bus driver over the bus fare.

Re:Protesting against themselves? (2)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 10 months ago | (#46040259)

It's typical moron drivel trying to drive their point home by attempting to induce guilt rather than by rational argument. It's a last ditch effort at trying to effect some kind of change in the world outside so they don't have to change themselves.

Re:Protesting against themselves? (5, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 10 months ago | (#46040265)

These idiots probably designed those flyers on a Mac using Microsoft Office, and used Google to find all the facts and allegations in their flyers.

Re:Protesting against themselves? (5, Insightful)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 10 months ago | (#46040277)

Hypocrisy is often lost on the hypocrite.

move to new York (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040001)

I'd love these tech giant's to move to long island. We could use the revenue.

Pile of fucking yes men (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040003)

Don't worry if you don't agree with the fucking neckbeards here - you won't be seen or read. Nice fucking echo-chamber. You should produce a site for Fox - faggots.

Let's prevent the future! (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 10 months ago | (#46040023)

It's the only way to not let the killer robots rule humanity after the Goopocolypse!

Re:Let's prevent the future! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#46040203)

What I find somewhat curious is that Google is the one taking the heat... I can certainly understand the lack of enthusiasm for a data-driven surveillance dystopia with killer robots; but anyone who thinks that stopping Google won't simply ensure that it'll be Acxiom or LexisNexis guiding General Atomics or iRobot deathbots instead seems like a serious optimist.

Money talks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040031)

...and bullshit walks.

That's it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040051)

Clearly, the only thing left to do is establish a secure employee enclave within a hollowed out mesa in Maricopa County Arizona.

Re:That's it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040059)

They already did that - Google fucking left before the year ended.

Not wrong, just ignorant. Not unimaginative, just (1)

deathcloset (626704) | about 10 months ago | (#46040067)

FTA:

There are men and women in the Congo, slaving away in giant pits in order to extract gold and other precious metals from the earth. This gold will go into phones and tablets made by companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Anthony Levandowski has never worked in a pit mine nor will his children...

And maybe if you would let him finish working on his robots, then no one's children will! Alas, it seems that no mind can be flexible enough to wrap itself around the reasoning of narrow-minded. I mean, these protesters' points are not so wrong, the problem is merely that their reasoning is so not complete - and yet they take complete action!

I wonder if ignorance must remain unaware of itself in order to survive...

Re:Not wrong, just ignorant. Not unimaginative, ju (1)

gordo3000 (785698) | about 10 months ago | (#46040273)

no, they are wrong, 100%. industrial uses of precious metals are a tiny fraction of the demand, and NOT what drives most of the practices people find abhorrent. Should we give up on technology because a lot of women(and men) like gold and diamonds? or maybe we should stop feeding the beast by validating a love for shiny crap.

Fail by all posters so far on the issue (5, Informative)

div_2n (525075) | about 10 months ago | (#46040069)

The protesters are part of a group that are upset about gentrification. In the event that you don't know what that is, I'll explain since all the posters so far clearly didn't read the actual article (another day on /.). Quite simply -- it's when people with significant wealth and/or income move into an area of people with less wealth/income and thereby drive up real estate prices beyond what the established population can potentially afford. Hint: property taxes start going up and the established population can't afford to buy/rent a new place in their current neighborhood and possibly can't afford their current residence anymore and will be forced to move potentially far from where they currently live. For families, this is a non-trivial challenge.

They've been protesting Google buses because this has put gentrification onto the fast track by making areas more attractive to Google employees that otherwise wouldn't have been due to transportation headaches. Getting a company funded ride straight to work is not a small deal.

Note I'm not taking a side on the issue, just pointing out what's going on. Essentially you have people that can see the time coming when they will have to move and it's directly the result of Google and its employees. I won't use the word "fault" because that implies wrongdoing.

The tactics of the protesters are clearly questionable, but I'll leave that up for the ensuing discussion.

Re:Fail by all posters so far on the issue (1)

Mr. Spock (25061) | about 10 months ago | (#46040201)

Mod parent up. This is why people are protesting. Love it or hate it, this is also the free market at work.

Re:Fail by all posters so far on the issue (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#46040231)

The protesters are part of a group that are upset about gentrification.

Fighting gentrification is anticapitalistic. In the long term, you will always lose to it in a capitalist system.

I'm boycotting Beverly Hills (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 10 months ago | (#46040081)

I'd like to live there but it's too expensive. Maybe I need a bigger sign?

Read TFA, still don't get it. (1)

davek (18465) | about 10 months ago | (#46040139)

I read through that entire sentence-fragment of an article, and I still don't see what people are protesting. Are they just OWS hippsters and neo-anarchists who will protest anything that isn't run directly by the state? Perhaps they just don't like the fact that some people have money? Surely it's not because some people choose to carpool. I don't get it.

P*nis Envy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040159)

He's got what they ain't.

Actually follow the link (2)

Tailhook (98486) | about 10 months ago | (#46040179)

Do actually follow the link. Don't worry; there is a great big picture with a few words, so you don't have to read much.

The very first thing you should notice is that this is about more than property values. This is also, and perhaps primarily, about hate for technology and technologists. The black-and-white image of Levandowski's house doesn't say "so and so is pricing you out of your neighboorhood." It says:

Anthony Levandowski is building an unconscionable world of surveillance, control and automation. He is also your neighbor.

So at this point we should be all done soft-pedalling these people (a la this submission) as good but misguided folks in fear of "impact on the San Francisco Bay Area economy," or whatever. These are neo-luddite libtards fomenting hate and using surveillance to intimidate individuals.

Re:Actually follow the link (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 10 months ago | (#46040329)

an unconscionable world of surveillance [and] control

You mean like having political activists publicising where you live so that anonymous mobs can threaten you for not obeying their political agenda?

rated yuk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040181)

almost never ends? http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=crown%20royal%20zion%20balance&sm=3 if we keep going backwards again

These people are fucking absurd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46040189)

The problem isn't tech companies... the problem is that San Francisco just doesn't have enough housing!

Byzantine regulations make it hard-to-impossible to rebuild or expand construction to include more units (this is pretty much the entire reason the whole "Twitter apartments" thing happened), and height and zoning limits keep large developers from being able to build enough high-density housing to meet demand.

The only reason tech companies are even noticed is because they're one of the few industries that can reliably pay employees enough to afford to live there at all.

From the Activists' Flier... (3, Funny)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 10 months ago | (#46040263)

The Nautilus Group is composed of designers and builders who have created military installations, malls, and hospitals.

Oh God! Not military hospitals! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

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