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back to article Google 'exploitation' protest takes to the streets

Plenty has been made of the biodiesel-powered, Wi-Fi-enabled buses that whisk San Francisco's Google serfs to and from their Mountain View jobs in comfort and style. According to most accounts, it's a win-win proposition that provides a highly desirable perk to employees while also reducing a significant number of cars in one of …

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Anonymous Coward

hmmm

"there's no denying proximity to a Google bus stop isn't something real estate agents believe is valuable."

so removing the double negative at the start and the end:

there is agreement that proximity to a Google bus stop is something real estate agents believe is worthless.

Which doesn't follow in the link, which mentions the Google Bus Stop.

Just confused, the piece looked interesting but I couldn't really work out what was going on.

The full circle thing is odd as well, it looks like the grungy hippy area is becoming more commercialised not less.

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Anonymous Coward

Elaborately Designed?

Eh? Google homepage, minimalist. Crappy stenciled parody (if thats the right word) of the Google homepage, elaborate? El Reg hacks getting paid by the word, possibly.

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Paris Hilton

$100k doesn't sound very wonderful

GBP55k? I'd reckon you'd make more than that as a mid-level tech in London? SFR must be not much cheaper than London, really.

I guess it's like Microsoft used to be (still is?) - you pay to have a sexy job.

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Cripes

They should take a look at London house prices before moaning!

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Dead Vulture

Hmmm

"there's no denying proximity to a Google bus stop isn't something real estate agents believe is valuable"

should be:

"there's no denying proximity to a Google bus stop *is* something real estate agents believe is valuable"

And no quibbling please - I'm right.

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Paris Hilton

@hmmm

Quite agree - the article sounds like it's complaining about something to do with the google bus, but I can't work out exactly what. I'm sure I've had conversations in the past that have gone along similar lines - usually after several beers!

PH 'cause she might be able to make some sense of it

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So...

A big company, with high pay, sets up in the area. House prices go up because people want to live there. So?

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Currency exchange: You're doing it wrong.

For god's sake, it's not that simple is it?

Yes, a hundred thousand American Pesos is worth 55K *over here*, but over *there* it's worth a hundred thousand Dollars. Think of it in terms of cheeseburgers. Cheeseburger costs a dollar in the US, cheeseburger costs a pound in the UK. You can buy X amount of cheeseburgers in your locale depending how much you are paid. The amount of cheeseburgers you could buy *on the other side of the world* isn't really important in that situation.

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Stop

So in summary

These people are pissed off because a huge multinational set-up in the area bringing jobs and prosperity.

Oh and get some blue paint. The attempt to recreate the Goggle logo is pathetic. F

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Unhappy

@Rich

£55k mid-level tech, you're having a laugh. With all the big companies outsourcing like it's their sole mission to get I.T. staff as far away from them as possible, salaries are plummeting. Any job that does offer a good salary gets so many applications, companies know they can pick and choose and lower the salary if they want cos they have a few hundred candidates to choose from. Somebody will work for whatever they offer.

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@Hmmmm

but as they'd say in SF "I could care less" ... clearly there is a major misplaced negative problem over there. (or is that there isn't?)

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Anonymous Coward

@Rich

"SFR must be not much cheaper than London, really."

Are you really so deluded? Britain is a rip off.

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Boffin

@Gilbert Wham

Quite right. The exchange rate of currency is only meaningful when you're actually exchanging money. Take your Sterling to the US, lots of cheap burgers. Take dollars to the UK, you have to make do with chicken nuggets.Of course, relative cost of goods and services is important. Your burger may cost $1 (~51p) in the US, but over in rip-off Blighty it'll probably cost you £2 ($3.96).

@4a$$Monkey, it's just people venting. People get annoyed at not being able to get a job, and start blaming those who have (normally well earned) money. Have you seen the number of anarchist symbols and slogans sprayed over northern cities? Sheffield is covered in them.

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@Gilbert Wham & cheeseburger economics

Your point is well made, but the problem is that now cheeseburgers in that area cost $15 and have some fancy-schmancy European cheese on them rather than good old fashioned American processed cheez substitute. Won't someone think of the children?

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Google Results?

Did anyone else tap in the search terms?

GalCiv2, whilst I'm sure is a pretty comprehensive game, is probably not trying to push up property values?

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Anonymous Coward

Big Mac

A Big Mac can be had for $0.55. And bigger than they are here. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C04E3DF1430F936A35750C0A961958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

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Bronze badge
Anonymous Coward

gentrification

It is infuriating to see a good used bookstore displaced by a Starbucks or an "arts space" of questionable artistry. Likewise with good crummy bars that turn into bagelries selling soft round breads.

However, the cycle of neighborhoods through seedy to gentrified seems all but impossible to break. Wyndham Lewis mentioned it in _The Apes of God_, published 1930. I don't think graffiti's going to do much to stop it. Though in a country where colored ribbons are a tool of foreign policy and biomedical research, why should we complain?

Almost sadder is to see the people who bought in to the urban mystique, imagining themselves Bohemian, when their mortgages and the private-school decals on the rear windows of their Volvos show so clearly that they aren't. Show up some time at an advisory neighborhood commission hearing on liquor licenses and see how they revel in that urban flavor.

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Anonymous Coward

San Francisco == expensive

San Francisco is one of the very most expensive places to live in the USofA. SF can proudly match prices with the most expensive european cities. A Big Mac, allegedly available for $0.55 somewhere, is twice as expensive in SF as in Redmond WA.

San Francisco is expensive because it is surrounded by water and other natural barriers. It's harder for SF to sprawl like most west-coast US cities have done. Housing is expensive, so wages are higher so housing is more expensive in a death spiral that is worse for punkers than it is for software engineers.

In SF, $100k buys you a software body with less than 5 years of experience, if you can find one at all.

And Geez, I'm sorry that after being ostracized in high school and slogging through six years of college, that I can get a six-figure job and afford to live right in town. If that's not ok with y'all, you can put down your xbox controller and re-take the SAT. Who knows, maybe you'll get to maintain my PC or run my test cases. Who's the punk now, huh?

All things considered, the 21st century is a pretty good time to be an engineer, and a rotten time to be practically anything else.

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Stop

Whatever

As a Mission-dweller myself, I would like to offer the stencil "artists" a free ride on the Whaaaaaambulance. Parts of the Mission have gone upscale, it's true, but there are still plenty of crack whores, drug dealers, and derelicts surrounding the BART stations (especially 16th Street), so it seems gentrification has not fully taken hold. Also, the locals have done a pretty good job so far of keeping independent bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants, and other businesses thriving.

The main problem with housing prices in SF is that the same people who bemoan the rising cost of housing are also highly active in making sure that only a paucity of new housing is built and therefore what gets built tends to be highly profitable luxury condominiums instead of more affordable housing.

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Anonymous Coward

599K

599K for 3br/2ba ANYWHERE in the Bay Area is cheap...even if it IS a shoebox. As for all you currency converters: It doesn't matter how much I make, only how much I keep. 100K can be a boatload of money...if you have the right accountant ;)

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