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Comment Re:Issue is more complicated (Score 1) 709

I lived for some years in Oz, and I can confirm that Aussies often show that they like you by having a dig at you. The correct response is to have a dig back at them.

In American terms, Aussies like to tease each other quite a lot, and it's considered entirely normal there.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 412

Homicide rates on the other hand are through the roof because it's so much easier to kill some one with a gun.

Except the FBI reports that the number of people killed with beatings by bats, pipes, and bare hands wildly eclipses the murders committed by any sort of rifle, shotgun, or other "long gun" (including things that look like military assault rifles). And yet every time the media talks about such things, they flash up pictures of scary looking rifles with black plastic parts on them, and focus on politicians who call for "assault weapon" bans. We've had multiple murders in our area just in the last couple of weeks. Stabbings, all of them.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 412

That does nothing to change the fact that we have a homicide rate 4 times that of any other Western nation.

In real terms, no we don't. We have three or four specific cities with highly localized cultural problems and an inexplicable political tolerance for persistent criminal activity that account for the lion's share of those numbers. If you remove places like Chicago and Baltimore from the numbers, the US drops to almost the bottom of the "Western nation" murder rate list. Talking in nation-wide generalities about what is essentially a severe cultural problem in a handful of neighborhoods is completely disingenuous.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 412

How about addressing the root problem of our excessive gun violence, there's too many guns!

Then why is there more violence in the places where gun laws are the most restrictive, and LESS violence in places where guns are readily available and very commonly owned?

When criminal elements or the mentally unstable types commit violent acts (which happens everywhere) they are so much more likely to do it with a gun here because guns are everywhere in this country.

Except reality doesn't agree with your assertion. Yes, guns are (more or less) everywhere. But violence crime (a la Chicago or Baltimore) is NOT everywhere. In fact it's easier to get guns outside of those places. And those places also have much higher rates of beatings, stabbings, etc. If you remove the four municipalities with the highest overall crime rates from the national statistics, the rate of murders for the country drops nearly to the bottom of the modern world's stats. Why? Because we have a few cities with major localized cultural problems and an inexplicable tolerance for persistent criminal populations. Take those out of the equation and there's almost nothing to talk bout here.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 412

There are places in EVERY country that are "far far more violent". Generally speaking they are called "major urban areas".

That's exactly the point you're missing. Chicago (for example) is far, far more violent than most every other urban area in the US. And certain vastly more violent than, say, Geneva, Switzerland. Do you really think that places like Seattle, or Houston, or Annapolis, or Des Moines, or San Francisco, or Miami even hold a candle to the sort of gang-related thuggery that's spiking in Chicago and Baltimore? Those ARE outliers, and distort the national numbers significantly. If the guns caused the crime (are you really that wrong-headed) then why aren't the guns causing crime everywhere else where there are MORE OF THEM, and they are EASIER TO GET AND OWN? Hint: because guns don't cause shootings any more than knives cause stabbings or spoons make you fat. If the presence or availability of guns drove crime, we wouldn't see places like Chicago as exceptions.

I mentioned Miami, above. Not cirme-free, to be sure. But they USED to be Chicago, and had a real problem with street-level criminal violence. They finally passed a concealed carry law and made it easier for people to own guns. That type of violent crime dropped immediately and precipitously and has been down ever since. Murders in general across the board nation-wide are at their lowest level since the 1950's, and murders using guns have - despite the ever-growing number of firearms privately owned - been going steadily down, nation-wide, for decades. That further exposes the exceptional local culture problems in places like Chicago and Baltimore. Do you really think that Baltimore's recent spike in street killings is tied in any way to a change in the availability of guns over the last year? Nothing has changed there except local human behavior. If gun availability caused it, why hasn't the exact same thing happened in all of the surrounding communities? Be specific.

Comment Re: Why not both (Score 1) 102

He's saying that his wife found them intuitive. And he never mentioned right-click, you came up with that all by yourself, genius.

FWIW, I suspect that theskipper, like me, is mostly just glad he's found something that (a) works for his non-techy wife, (b) doesn't depend on Windows, and (c) doesn't require him to provide constant support just for her to learn the basics.

In any case, you've attempted to troll someone based on things they didn't say. FAIL.

Comment Re:Hubris and Self-Interest (Score 1) 166

If you actually have a problem that decomposes nicely into lots of little, neatly contained, problems it might work really well. It's just that if you have that, you are among the blessed and probably don't need any fancy consultants in order to do just fine. You'd need somebody who is actively capable of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory to screw it up.

The sticking point is whether or not snake oil can dissolve seemingly insoluble problems into lots of little, neatly contained, problems.

Comment Re:Not a hard and fast rule... (Score 2, Interesting) 166

I don't know how broadly it can be applied(if it in fact works as well as they claim at all); but it would appear that the whole point of these 'microservices' is to produce smaller 'projects' so that you have more room to scale before complexity eats you alive. It's not so much a disproof of the 'mythical man-month'; but an adaptation to cope with it.

Getting purely linear scaling without some sort of zero-latency hive mind is unlikely to be possible; but it seems fairly obvious that the amount of overhead you incur by adding 20 extra people to a five man project is going to be rather higher than adding a second person to a one man project(though the jump between 1 person and 2 people might actually be pretty big, if helpful in terms of producing documentation that somebody other than the 1 person understands). If you can break your projects down into smaller pieces, with complexity better contained, and well defined interaction between the pieces, you have teams small enough that you might actually be able to make them faster by making them somewhat larger.

If your project is already a screaming heap of interlocking complexity, there simply isn't as much work that can be done in parallel. Aside from people stepping on each other's toes, there will just be a lot of "Part X can't be done until the guy doing Part Y finishes".

Not so terribly different(if likely to be even less predictable because humans are involved) than deciding how a problem will scale if you throw more computers at it. If your problem is actually a large number of mostly unrelated problems, it'll scale nearly perfectly. If your problem consists of lots of somewhat interconnected problems it will scale; but demands on interconnect will become increasingly expensive. If it's a purely serial problem, and each step depends on the prior step, it may not scale at all.

Comment Re:If the black cabs have a legal monopoly... (Score 1) 161

Note that mincabs are less strictly regulated than black cabs, but their prices are regulated, as are various other things (insurance that they must carry, the registration of their vehicles, requirement that the vehicles carry a taxi registration license plate, and so on). Uber is ignoring all of this regulation.

Comment Re:Monopoly on what exactly (Score 4, Informative) 161

Just saying "legal monopoly" doesn't mean much without details.

Licensed black cabs are the only vehicles that are allowed to be flagged down for in London. They're governed by Hackney Carriage laws in the UK[1] and also by some London-specific laws. Getting a license is relatively cheap (no medallion system), but does require passing a test that checks that has questions like 'what is the fastest route from A to B, assuming that it is rush hour and road X has road works?' There are 'mystery shoppers' who audit the taxi system: they flag down black cabs and take rides and, if the driver does not take the most direct route then they can lose their license. The mystery shoppers have varying ethnicities and manners of dress, and refusing to carry one will also result in a loss of the license. Black Cab drivers all know that if they break the regulations requiring them to carry anyone or try to scam a customer, then there's a chance that the customer that they're scamming may have the power to take their license on the spot.

The distinction between taxi and hackney carriage is increasingly irrelevant. I can't flag down a car owned by Generic Taxi Company #47 that's waiting near where I'm standing, but I can call the telephone number printed on the side from my mobile and have the dispatcher tell me that the car next to me is now assigned to me, and then get in. Before mobile phones were widespread, it was very different - you could only call that kind of taxi if you were near a landline (or used a public call box, which added a fairly significant amount to the cost for shortish trips). Uber and other taxi apps are the next step in this. It's now more convenient to press a couple of buttons on the phone than to flag down a passing cab, but the taxi that you get is not regulated in the same way. Uber attempts to claim that their reputation system and pricing model means that they don't need government regulation.

[1] This has caused some confusion in previous discussions: In the UK, legally speaking, a vehicle that can pick up people who flag them down on the street is called a hackney carriage, any vehicle that carries people for money is a taxi. In common usage, taxi is used for all categories.

Comment Re:None of the people I know that Like this Show.. (Score 2) 290

I don't see that. Black face is intensely offensive. Big Bang Theory only insults people without a sense of humor who can't laugh at themselves

Blackface is offensive because it insults black people be reinforcing stereotypes that are not really true outside of prejudiced perception. The big bang theory, in contrast, insults geeks by reinforcing stereotypes that are not really true outside of a prejudiced perception. It's therefore completely different and not offensive.

Comment Re:If the black cabs have a legal monopoly... (Score 3, Insightful) 161

Let's get one thing straight, in almost all jurisdictions where taxi's are regulated, Uber is not a "revolutionary" taxi company, it's not even a taxi company, it is a plain old 'limousine' company.

You book the limo over the internet and a sub-contracted driver+car turns up at an agreed time and place. Uber's "freedom loving" marketing strategy is to use the "on a computer" fallacy to undermine the existing market such that they can rebuild it in their own image. The people who will be hurt most by their racketeering are the workers, ie: the drivers in both camps.

This is just clever marketing in that the way to win an unwinnable argument is to convince the audience it is all about a higher morality, in this case Uber paints itself as a "Heavyweight freedom fighter for the little guy", IMO nothing could be further from the truth.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.