Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Why is this so hard to understand? (Score 1) 192

Everyone here is all about "Net Neutrality," because they are against monopolies, yet pile on something like Uber which is an alternative to the licensed taxi monopoly.

Good lord, there's a lot wrong with this sentence:

  1. Net Neutrality is a solution to a problem that is exacerbated by telecom monopolies. It is not a problem that even purports to prevent monopolies.
  2. Taxis are not monopolies. They are however highly regulated.
  3. The appropriate analog would actually be that people like Taxi services over Uber for the same reason they like Net Neutrality: A small oligarhical set of providers held in check by governmental regulations.

f Uber is a crappy, dangerous way to get a ride, that reputation is going to spread and the company is going to fail. If it's as safe as a regular taxi and provides benefits that people would not find with normal taxi service, it'll prosper.

An in between, if it is dangerous, people will die. There's a reason we invented regulations. It wasn't for shits and giggles. It was because we, as a society, and Korea, as a society, decided that waiting for a sufficient number of people to die to start a class action suit to gain attention for the problem and punish Uber was an inferior solution to just making up some rules designed to prevent that and forcing people to live by them. This isn't Uber using speech to try to change the law. This is Uber trying to undercut the will of the democratically elected government.

what is the practical difference from me asking a person if they will give me a ride for gas money and an extra $20 for their time, even if I don't use an app?

Scale of the operation. Ability to prevent it. Anonymity of the transaction. False perception of safety.

Look, no one cares about a one off like that. Certainly no one cares about friends sharing rides for gas money. Or people carpooling (hell, the government sponsors carpooling matchmaking). But Uber is doing it a ton. And it's pushing a lot of externalities on the system, so they can make a buck.

If Uber sees that people don't have confidence in the trustworthiness of their drivers, then they are going to have to respond to that, or lose business.

Over what timeframe, at what cost? A system that corrects itself after a decade of bad acting isn't a system that we allow.

Comment: Re:"Fairness" (Score 1) 303

There's no such thing as "fairness"

Well, why not? I mean, if you are making an empirical observation, sure I agree with you. But if you are claiming there is no reason to aim for more fairness, I wholeheartedly disagree.

You're making a case that you with you got paid more money, but not any kind of case that that would be more fair.

But fundamentally, we can all agree that morals exist. And fairness seems to be a natural outgrowth of said morals.

Comment: Re: your uncle (Score 1) 672

But demanding people spend billions of dollars to try to "fix" the whole climate situation? That just seems like a REALLY tall order...

Well, you made a large jump: that it's not worth spending billions of dollars even if there is no problem. There are people who suggest just that as an economic stimulus. But heck, people certainly disagree about economics.

I've read enough compelling information from both sides of the argument to feel like the "best stance" to take is one of questioning everything

Which is kinda meaningless. You're trying to say you're a skeptic. But anyone can say "I need more info to make a decision" The question is, what decision do you make today.

If you really question everything, if you really are undecided, a few billion at the government level to prevent an ELE seems like a no brainer.

Comment: Re:Good grief... (Score 1) 672

I should have no reasonable expectation that a farmer (Nye wrote "regular software writers and farmers") would have expertise in astrophysics for example.

Farming is hard and pretty science driven. I mean, not for the person who owns a small farm that doesn't earn enough to pay the bills. But for someone who's making a living off of it, they have to know a lot about weather, seed types, interactions with a whole range of chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.). In general, a farmer is going to be more impacted than most by climate change, and should have enough of a background to be able to understand it (in the high points).

Comment: Re:Brought to you by the same government (Score 1) 127

by Actually, I do RTFA (#49096025) Attached to: Fedcoin Rising?

I have no sympathy for idiots who think bank tellers are able to give tax advice. But certainly, if they do, their recourse should be against the bank if they trained the teller to answer like that.

Do I think they should get screwed... no. But am I concerned that they have to prove where the money came from if they are obviously trying to skirt the regulations? Not really. I like the idea of a law that says "don't go out of your way to avoid these reporting regulations."

Comment: Re:Brought to you by the same government (Score 1) 127

by Actually, I do RTFA (#49095543) Attached to: Fedcoin Rising?

If someone tells me, if I make deposits worth more than 10,000, I will be taxed a second time, I for sure will stop making deposits above 10,000.

Then you are an idiot. Because that person is wrong. 10,000 just means it gets reported to the IRS. And if the money was in paychecks or whatever, it already is, and they cross-reference.

However, it is illegal to try to skirt the 10,000 reporting limit (by making many 9,999.99 deposits, for example). That's prima facia evidence you are trying to avoid reporting... and therefore the funds are likely untaxed. Therefore, taking the advice of someone making minimum wage... the legal advice of a non-attorney and the tax advice of a non-CPA, will cost you a lot.

IANAL and IANACPA, so you probably want to double check a random person on the internet before making tens of thousands of dollars decisions.

Comment: Re:Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. (Score 1) 96

by Actually, I do RTFA (#49095489) Attached to: How Machine Learning Ate Microsoft

If machine learning is such a great thing, why is Microsoft giving it away?

Because Google, esp. with their investments in DeepMind, are investing in Machine Learning. Giving away what Google's been investing in is a great way to try to encourage lots of start ups to compete with Google's 20% projects.

These startups will be relying on Microsofts services, not Googles. Which has at least some benefit.

Besides, they have had a few huge machine learning projects (Dozens of PhDs... they've invested far far more than that, and built giant stacks of hardware optimized for machine learning) that they may as well leverage somehow.

I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning. -- Plato