Sep 24, 2013

NY Finally Cracking Down on Fake Reviews.

Remember a while back when I posted this rant about the way Yelp filters it's reviews, then tries to extort businesses to make their reviews look better?  

Yelp's Review Filter

There was mention of Yelp's review filter on the news because some lady got sued for $750K.  I'd never heard of this filter in my time as a pretty regular yelper so I looked at my friends business page and saw that it was being rated on 3 reviews. Two of them were five star and one of them was a two star, bad review.  I could have sworn he had more reviews because he'd mentioned to me a while back that business was doing good and his yelp page was blowing up with good reviews from his customers. When I looked today it said rating based on 3 reviews.... read more

Or when I wrote this about companies like saying they can get rid of the "malicous" reviews for your business?
I've been hearing radio commercials for a service called
They say they restore your online reputation by removing negative reviews about you or your business. They don't say negative i think they say fake or damaging but how can they tell what is a lie vs someone who was telling the truth about your shitty business? Seems like an easy way to buy your way out of having the dirty truth told about you. This pretty much renders sites like yelp useless. IMO, writing bad reviews when you have bad service is your constitutional right to protest.

Well now I just read on NPR that New York in particular is finally cracking down on this bullshit.
No doubt most of you reading this post have looked at Yelp or Google+ Local to check the user reviews before you tried that fish store, bakery or even dentist. On occasion, you may have wondered if some of those reviews were too good to be true.
It turns out that some of them were.
New York's attorney general revealed the results of a yearlong investigation into the business of fake reviews. Eric T. Schneiderman announced Monday that 19 companies that engaged in the practice will stop and pay fines between $2,500 and $100,000, for a total of more than $350,000 in penalties. ... In many cases, the agent was told that they would write fake positive reviews for a fee. read the full article

Meanwhile, despite the fact that Yelp says it welcomes the New York attorney general's crackdown on fake reviewers, it's still filtering out all the good reviews from your real customers because they signed up for Yelp just to give you a good review.  And who's to say these companies arent writing fake BAD reviews just to get you to use their services?  We already know that they have no problem writing fake reviews. 

Sep 21, 2013

Finally Finished FRINGE. (contains spoilers)

My dad, who's my authority on good sci-fi had been trying to get me to watch Fringe since it started like 5 years ago.  Given my current state of unemployment I decided to give it a go.  Seasons 1-4 of 5 were on Netflix so I started bingeing it a few months ago.  Bits and pieces here and there.  It's a really good show. I got through season 4 thinking it was the end, but then found out there's a season 5 which of course Netflix didn't have. They teased it last month by accident and I got to see like 4 episodes but then took it down after they realized it wasn't supposed to be out till last week.  So now that I'm finished with this my Dad's going to want me to get hooked on the sci-fi cult sensation Battlestar Galactica. It's always looked stupid to me but he swears its good.  

I just finished the last 3 episodes last night on my phone with headphones on in bed until 2am.  While I am thoroughly happy with the series and was highly entertained, I have to say I was disappointed with the ending. 

SPOILERS BELOW                                                              

Unless I'm remembering it wrong, The big plan was to take the kid through time to the scientists that invented the Observers so that they realise there are better ways to evolve humans and retain emotions so that the Observers are never created, to avoid the invasion. This creates a problem for me.  If the Observers never exist, not only is September not there to save peter from the lake but if you want to really get into it, he also isn't there to distract Walternate from realizing he was successful with the vaccine for peter. 

 So how does all this change the timeline of the lives of everyone on the show?  One thing is certain, Peter and Olivia never meet and have a daughter. Peter would most likely live out his normal timeline in the alternate universe where he was from.  Unless I'm missing something, I dont see how the Super Happy Ending they gave us is possible.  

From the moment Peter and Olivia have the conversation about getting Etta back all I could think of was the problem above.  I was writing an ending in my head where not only are they not reunited with Etta, but Peter dies in the lake and Olivia never meets him. I never considered the moment in the lab when Walternate gets distracted. But if you take into account the butterfly effect and all the things that the original 12 Observers intervened in to change time, who knows what would be different. As we learned from Lost, time travel is a bitch of a thing to write accurately

Sep 8, 2013

Not so Showy, Art Show (arts alive)

Well my art show wasn't really a show.  Here's the thing about this. Every first Saturday night of each month the city of Eureka has an event called "Arts Alive" where many of the businesses in the downtown/oldtown area stay open late, showcase artists and musicians for the night. The art usually stays up for the month until the next Arts Alive.  When I moved here and people we met found out I was an artist they all said "you should do Arts Alive!" As if all I had to do was ask.  I approached some of the   main places that looked like would fit my style of art and they all gave me the same line about being booked for a year and that they aren't accepting new artists...bla bla bla.  So I pretty much gave up on those clicky art snob fucks.

A few months later I saw a post on Craigslist looking for artists to show their work for Arts Alive.  So without any knowledge of which place it was, I immediately responded and did not hear back. I'd forgotten and given up on ever being in Arts Alive anytime in the near future.  But then.  A few weeks ago I got a reply.  A woman from the Adorni Center (no clue what that was) said they'd like to offer me a spot on their lobby walls for the September Arts Alive.  I was stoked.  I contacted her and saw the space which was some kind of community recreation center.  Later it was described to me by a local as an "old folks gym" which was basically what it was.  Slow paced Zumba classes and open gym type stuff.  Whatever tho, fucking Arts Alive!  I'm IN!  Suck it art snob fuckers!  I busted ass for a couple days and did like 4 new paintings.

Excitedly I told everyone I knew in the area and got the same basic reaction of "WTF is the Adorni Center?"  This wasn't looking so good.  I really tried to not get my hopes up for the big night but several people said they'd go check it out.

There was one big problem with my stuff being at the Adorni Center for Arts Alive though. It was all the way on the other side of town. A long walk from the main festivities of Arts Alive.  We tried to make the best of it. Met up with some locals we know who happened to live right in the heart of old town. We checked out the festivities and made our way...all the way down to where my art was being shown.

my art on the walls after I hung them. with lights.
(i'd have pics from that night but i left my phone at home. that's a whole other story)

the main wall in the lobby. they called the next day to ask me to bring more art for another wall (pictured above)

The event goes from 6 - 9:00 and we got to the Adorni Center around 8:00.  To my surprise the place was all dark and to anyone passing by, as far as you could tell it was closed. We checked the doors and they were unlocked so we went in.  There was one lone desk attendant looking at me like I was some drunk asshole who got lost and needed to use the bathroom.  I introduced myself and showed my friends my artwork in the dark lobby.  The attendant woman said a few people had been in and liked my art but said hardly anyone comes in for Arts Alive as most people don't know it even participates and that it's so far away from the epicenter of the event no one goes that far.  Great.  But she said they get a lot of people coming throughout the month who will see my work. Yay.

So, I'm in.. sort of. I made some good contacts that night for my art and my band, and met some really cool new people so it wasn't a total waste of time.  Here's my new pieces. I was going for an all Volkswagen Bus themed show but I needed to fill space so I put in a bunch of old stuff.

Sep 4, 2013

Photo Wednesday! (No camels)

Whats up September!  Here's a hump day photo fest. 

hung some new art for an art show. 

arting in the garden

new painting. 

photo for a painting i havent done yet. tweaked with #snapseed 

local landmark

foggy mornings here. 

crazy sunrises here.

we gots spiders too

won an art contest for tickets to see Cake! 

story of my life

scored some chairs to go with the table

moon action

cray sunsets too

my breaking bad wallpaper

culinary trip down memory lane. 

winning art piece

beach booty

faces in things

everything you like they discontinue. costco, if you're listening, bring back the gluten free cheese pizzas. 

unfortunately true.  honesty in journalism. 

hey whats up cat barf in the window. 

bones at the beach. 

escape artist. 

my adopted drums. I beat them as if it were my own.