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Comment: Re:They hate our freedom (Score 1) 404

by Aristos Mazer (#47312443) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

This app is NOT paying for information. This is paying someone to hold the spot for you until you show up -- allowing those with higher financial status to take advantage of the common resource of parking spaces instead of leaving them open to someone who happens to be in the area looking for a parking space. "I won't leave until I get enough money to make it worth my while to leave" is holding the public resource hostage.

Australia

Melbourne Uber Drivers Slapped With $1700 Fines; Service Shuts Down 255

Posted by timothy
from the permission-is-mandatory dept.
beaverdownunder (1822050) writes "Victoria Australia's Taxi Directorate has begun a crackdown on Melbourne Uber drivers, fining them $1700 each for operating a taxi service illegally, with total fines apparently equalling over $50000. In response, Uber has shut down its Melbourne service, and has refused to comment on whether its drivers will be compensated, since Uber told them they were providing a legal service. (Fined Uber drivers could take the company to the state's consumer tribunal: stay tuned!) Uber is set to meet with the Directorate next week but it is likely the demands the Directorate will place on Uber drivers, such as mandatory criminal record checks, vehicle inspections and insurance, will make the service in Melbourne unviable. Meanwhile, the New South Wales government is awaiting a report to determine if Uber drivers operating in that state are doing so illegally, warning that drivers could face substantial fines if they are found to have been operating in breach of the law. In South Australia, it doesn't even appear Uber will get off the ground — the state has made it clear that those who operate as an Uber driver will be driving without being covered by the state's mandatory insurance coverage, essentially de-registering their vehicle and making them liable for fines and license suspension."

Comment: Re:What's somewhat funny about it (Score 1) 219

by Aristos Mazer (#46923229) Attached to: Help EFF Test a New Tool To Stop Creepy Online Tracking

It isn't a problem to link. The problem is *how* you link.
If you provide a link on your page that a user can click on to go to Twitter/Facebook/G+ and the URL embeds a pre-written "I'd like to tell you about XYZ..." then it is going to go through just fine. If the page pulls an image from Twitter/Facebook/G+ servers in order to draw that link, thus creating a tracking event for those services, then it is going to be flagged by the tool, and the image might at some point be scrubbed if the tool decides that it is being used to track across websites.

Comment: Re:I can emulate protein action in a cell; Checkma (Score 1) 209

AC: It's not an invocation of "quantum god-head" to state the fact that quantum behaviors are observed in our sensory and perception organs and that we probably need a better conception of quantum mechanics to match some of the computation aspects of human beings.

Dinkypoo: We don't know if there is anything special about the brain and its particular computation structure, but we're making progress on a lot of fronts very rapidly. I think the summary of the long post is that *thus far* nothing about the brain chemistry has stood out as fundamentally unsupportable by silicon and other forms of computation. And even if we have to maintain quantum states to achieve sentient machines, that doesn't mean that we necessarily will have to do it in the same way that the brain chemistry does. I think that's the main thesis of the long post and that it holds, even when considering the observed quantum effects.

Comment: Re:Doubt it will shut down cloud storage... (Score 1) 342

by Aristos Mazer (#46827343) Attached to: Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

It is closer to "you think you can get away with this by following the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law." The whole point of the Supreme Court is to interpret the gray areas where the law is imprecise in its attempt to express its attempt.

I think in this case, the intent is really "if the end user goes to a lot of work to record shows, that work justifies them having their own copy of this over the are streamed stuff. If a company wants to help a consumer decrease that work, they can do so by selling devices but not services. If the company tries to provide a service, then the company is involved in the duplication and that's illegal."

I don't know if I agree with that as the basis for copyright law, but based on earlier copyright rulings, that's my perception of how judges (both the Supremes and lower) typically view copyright infringement cases when they hit the gray areas and new tech is involved. It's not a bad way to split hairs. I think in this case, Aereo is likely to be burned because they provide the service of setting up the recording of all the shows (i.e. they tell that farm of antennas what to record instead of the consumer saying what to record). Yeah, I know that's a really technical point, but I'm betting that is a part of the final SCOTUS ruling. I am not a lawyer, just someone watching this case and similar for a long time now.

Comment: Re:Sick Society (Score 4, Insightful) 253

The administrator wasn't doing the teacher's job by disciplining the kids because the kids did nothing wrong. It was completely correct what they did. But the administrator disagreed. And that kind of disagreement is *exactly* why we have tenure: to protect teachers who actually teach something controversial.

Comment: Re:Why is no one talking about this being a donati (Score 1) 128

The article does talk about gifts not being taxable. The problem arises when you start giving rewards in exchange for those gifts. If you can run a Kickstarter in which people give you money and you don't give them anything back, then you're fine.

Comment: The devices make it obvious this isn't VR (Score 1) 61

by Aristos Mazer (#46262301) Attached to: The Road To VR

The summary talks about all the devices that you need to complete virtual reality. The fact that you need all those devices should make it clear: this isn't virtual reality, nor even a step toward it. It is immersive gaming, but until you are directly raising/lowering voltage on neurons, you aren't creating a virtual reality. You're just shaping this reality to create an optical illusion. Virtual reality means truly constructing a brand new reality for the mind to perceive, from the direction of gravity to the sensation of having eaten a satisfying meal or having additional (or fewer) arms and legs.

Comment: Re:"Excess insurance coverage" (Score 2) 123

by Aristos Mazer (#46205915) Attached to: AOL Reverses Course On 401K Match; CEO Apologizes

> he's a bleeding liar to suggest the two events were related.

No, he's not. I've been digging into this story a bit. This is what I believe to be true based on piecing together comments in several forums: AOL is self insured. They had acceptable risk levels. But they had events that blew away their risk assessments. They're having to reclassify their insurance, and that means higher cost for the system next year.

So, true, they didn't have to pay out for these two events. But they are going to have to pay more next year because these two events mean the computed risk of these events happening next year has been elevated.

I am not saying the above is factually true -- I am not a first source. I'm saying that's what appears to be the case based on many Internet posts. I welcome others doing their own digging for info that contradicts my hypothesis.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 2219

by Aristos Mazer (#46205785) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

It is the stories for some of us. Slashdot offers a somewhat odd prioritization of news for the tech world -- an odd blend of electronic libertarianism, open source ideology and hacker creativity. I could find all the stories that slashdot posts elsewhere, but they don't get prioritized the same way. They fall below the radar unless you're really scanning deep.

So, yeah, slashdot is an aggregator. But it might as well be the only source for about a third of its stories because its the only source that promotes those stories high enough that I end up seeing them.

And the community comments are good, too.

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