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Transportation

Why Didn't Sidecar's Flex Pricing Work? 190

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-get-what-you-pay-for dept.
Bennett Haselton writes Sidecar is a little-known alternative to Lyft and Uber, deployed in only ten cities so far, which lets drivers set their own prices to undercut other ride-sharing services. Given that most amateur drivers would be willing to give someone a ride for far less than the rider would be willing to pay, why didn't the flex-pricing option take off? Keep reading to see what Bennet has to say.
Education

2014 Geek Gift Guide 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-out-for-robot-santa dept.
With the holidays coming up, Bennett Haselton has updated his geek-oriented gift guide for 2014. He says: Some of my favorite gifts to give are still the ones that were listed in several different previously written posts, while a few new cool gift ideas emerged in 2014. Here are all my current best recommendations, listed in one place. Read on for the list, or to share any suggestions of your own.
Twitter

An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Bennett Haselton writes The corruption of the #Ferguson and #Gamergate hashtags demonstrates how vulnerable the hashtag system is to being swamped by an "angry mob". An alternative algorithm could be created that would allow users to post tweets and browse the ones that had been rated "thoughtful" by other users participating in the same discussion. This would still allow anyone to contribute, even average users lacking a large follower base, while keeping the most stupid and offensive tweets out of most people's feeds. Keep reading to see what Bennett has to say.
Cloud

Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Bennett Haselton writes A judge rules that a county has to turn over the IP addresses that were used to access a county mayor's Dropbox account, stating that there is no valid security-related reason why the IP addresses should be exempt from a public records request. I think the judge's conclusion about IP addresses was right, but the reasoning was flawed; here is a technically more correct argument that would have led to the same answer. Keep Reading to see what Bennett has to say about the case.

Comment: Re:Of course there will be... (Score 1) 171

by Dahan (#48438323) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

But that's not a Windows program. That's a Java program and that is the coder's issue not MS. The Windows API that returns the Marketing Name have been deprecated as far as I know.

I don't what distinction you're trying to make between a Windows program and a Java program. Windows is an OS, Java is a programming language. Java programs can run on Windows. And sure, it's a problem with the code, but Java programs are popular in big "enterprise" apps, so MS is especially interested in keeping those apps running. The last thing they want is for some company to not upgrade thousands of copies of Windows because a program that company needs won't run on the new version. "DOS ain't done until Lotus won't run" is a myth; MS jumps through a lot of hoops to make sure that almost all programs that run on an older version of Windows will continue running on the new version, even when the coder did something stupid.

Comment: Re:Of course there will be... (Score 1) 171

by Dahan (#48437145) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

Personally I think it's just an excuse. How many Win 9x programs still exist that would be tripped up by Windows 9?

Lots of programs that were written when Win9x was still popular are still around... an example given in the last /. story about MS skipping Windows 9 is jEdit. As of right now, the current revision of that file (r23738), last modified about a year ago, still detects the OS as Windows 9x if the OS name supplied by Java contains either "Windows 9" or "Windows M".

Comment: Re:Electricity can be erratic (Score 2) 223

by Dahan (#48390053) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Programming Education Resources For a Year Offline?

This "sheds" (gets rid of) the "load" (electricity on the line).

No, an electrical load is something that uses electricity, not electricity itself. E.g., "that circuit can handle a 20 amp load." And "load shedding" is shutting off electricity to certain users so that there are fewer loads on the system. See this definition, for example.

Comment: Re:NFC alone isn't enough (Score 1) 122

by Dahan (#48339519) Attached to: New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

But difficulty? You haven't used it have you?

The person you replied to didn't say it was difficult; he said it wasn't convenient: "it ... is simply not convenient to use compared to swiping a credit card." And it's not. You have to wake up your phone, unlock it, and then enter the Google Wallet PIN. With Apple Pay, you just have to hold the phone with your thumb at the correct location; the phone display doesn't need to be turned on first, and the fingerprint reader takes the place of the unlock and PIN entry.

I've tried Google Wallet a few times for the novelty value, but using a regular credit card takes fewer steps, and hence is faster.

Comment: Re:This is rich! (Score 1) 264

by Dahan (#48328501) Attached to: We Are Running Out of Sand

It was only 7 days before cases in the US skyrocketed, and no one with a brain would dare to repeat his retarded comment about how Ebola can't spread in the US. Keep trying though.

When did the cases in the US skyrocket? The number has always been extremely low. It's currently at 1, and the 21-day monitoring period for those in contact with the Dallas nurses ends tomorrow. Face it, your perverse wish for an Ebola outbreak in the US didn't come true. While I know you're disappointed, the rest of us are glad to see Ebola on the decline.

Comment: Re: Marked Paper Ballots FTW (Score 2) 388

by Dahan (#48314925) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

There will always be errors.

Which is why I objected to saying "It. Just. Works."

That's a silly objection. Errors that can be detected and corrected without much difficulty qualifies as working. As opposed to the electronic voting machines that are currently used in the US, where you have no idea if it recorded your vote correctly.

Comment: Re:Competition (Score 5, Informative) 265

by Dahan (#48262785) Attached to: Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

"CurrentC Allegedly Breached" would have been a more appropriate headline, that also doesn't necessarily expose anyone to a lawsuit if it turns out to be bullshit.

Did you read the fine article? MCX confirmed that "unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of our CurrentC pilot program participants and individuals who had expressed interest in the app." They also sent emails notifying their users, No "allegedly" needed; it's not bullshit.

Businesses

Can Ello Legally Promise To Remain Ad-Free? 153

Posted by timothy
from the anyone-can-promise-anything dept.
Bennett Haselton writes: Social networking company Ello has converted itself to a Public Benefit Corporation, bound by a charter saying that they will not now, nor in the future, make money by running advertisements or selling user data. Ello had followed these policies from the outset, but skeptics worried that venture capitalist investors might pressure Ello to change those policies, so this binding commitment was meant to assuage those fears. But is the commitment really legally binding and enforceable down the road? Read on for the rest.

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