Dog Bites

Talk About Mud Flaps! My Gang's Got 'Em!
In a breathless Page One story last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a dangerous new Chinese crime syndicate from Canada has arrived in California. The article, written by reporter Bill Wallace, said crime analysts have identified the gang as the North American offshoot of a mainland Chinese crime syndicate with ties to former Red Guards.

The organization is said to be notoriously violent, with about 100 members in Vancouver and Toronto and 30 in California. American and Canadian law enforcement agencies have implicated the organization in crimes ranging from prostitution to credit card fraud and heroin smuggling. The syndicate, Wallace wrote, is known as the Big Circle Boys; or, in Chinese, Dai Huen Jai.

This is terrifying indeed — since Dai Huen Jai translates as the “Big Bottom Boys.” (“Big Circle” would be Dai Yuen-Huen.) San Francisco has plenty of big bottoms already. Canada should keep its big bottoms to itself.

— T.S.

Disgruntlement: We Oblige
Is the San Jose Mercury News trying to egg CNET and Wired News into open battle? “Things are getting ugly in the competition among online publishers,” writes reporter Chris Nolan, obviously set to stir them up. “The folks at CNet in San Francisco have printed up T-shirts emblazoned with a parody of the Wired logo ….” Actually, as reported here last week, the infamous Fired shirts are being produced by the significant other of a current Wired employee. At least, that's what we hear — but several factions seem to want to take credit for the garments.

In the same story, the Merc speculates that CNET CEO Halsey Minor, worried by the distant clamor of low morale, may rescind the $45 charge for employees' partners who wish to attend the company Christmas party. CNET officials did not return Dog Bites' anxious calls.

Meanwhile, hard by South Park, Wired magazine is gearing up for its February relaunch, code-named Wired 2.5 because, the executive suite decided, the release of every 2.0 version of most anything has just basically sucked. The slogan for the relaunch is “From Revolutionary to Authority.”

Former contributing editor Katrina Heron has been named the magazine's new editor in chief. But staffers were perhaps most surprised to hear (in the Chron, yet) that their managing editor is to be Martha Baer, who left HotWired last spring to write a follow-up to her heavily publicized cybersex-and-shopping epic As Francesca. Dog Bites remains concerned by that book's failure to caution readers about the dangers inherent in the unsafe exchange of credit card information, and hopes that any sequel will remedy this oversight — although, of course, not at the expense of the further development of the black leather miniskirt, easily the tome's most compelling character.

— Laurel Wellman

Rampant Confusion
An alert Weekly reader (and aren't you all?) called to say she'd just seen work crews taking jackhammers and chain saws to the Muni platform at Ninth Avenue and Judah. Curious, she asked the rain-soaked workers what they were doing. They replied that they were ripping out the new wheelchair ramp because someone had figured out it was too narrow to accommo-date wheelchairs.

Muni spokesperson Sharyn Saslaf-sky responds that the workers had it all wrong. “They're just providing a little more leeway where the LRT turns,” she says. “They just needed a little more clearance. It has nothing to do with the disabled or with wheelchair access.”

We provide the above photograph as an illustration of how the confusion could have developed.

— Laurel Wellman

Dog Bites welcomes tips, especially those pertaining to disgruntlement. Write to Dog Bites, c/o SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Lobby 4, Suite 3800, SF, CA 94107, or e-mail

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