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Comment: Re:Uber has demonstrated contempt for the law (Score 1) 327 327

So what? Have you seen who writes laws? A bunch of vote-leeching sociopaths that span the moral spectrum between used car salespeople and outright pedophiles... Let's just support the whims of every elected bunch of assholes. War, slavery, genocide, hey, gotta do it! It's the law!

Seriously, this is one of the lamest reasons for anything, ever.

Comment: Flagrantly anti-consumer (Score 0) 327 327

Let's be honest: in most countries, taxis suck and belong in a forgotten age. They're the epitome of tightly-government-regulated industry: slow, filthy, rude, overpriced - assuming you can get one to actually show up. Uber is fast, clean, polite, and - most importantly - reliable. The whole argument here is that some group of people paid the government a stupid amount of money for the special privilege of shitting all over a captive customer base, therefore throw the Uber guys in jail, take or smash the driver's cars, throw rocks at them, riot, jump up and down, scream and shout, and take Courtney Love hostage (OK, that last one I can get behind).

If some government is going to ban Uber, just go ahead and consider yourself a third-world country. If you're going to start piling stupid inconveniences onto my visit, you might as well go ahead and make me boil my drinking water as well.

Comment: Jargon them and sound patiently condescending... (Score 1) 479 479

... like you're dealing with a toddler that you really like because it's yours or its mom is a total MILF or something. No, this is not ordinarily a good way to initiate a conversation with another human being, but in this case it's pretty effective. I've found that in the overwhelming majority of the cases I can get passed up a few levels very quickly.

Comment: Re:They throw money at shit they don't need... (Score 5, Interesting) 235 235

Having witnessed first hand how the Red Cross spends its money on IT infrastructure it doesn't need, I refuse to give them a single dime.

This! I've seen this in other large "non-profits" as well. It's like they don't even know how to do more with less (I own two businesses and could speak volumes on the subject) - they just declare that they "need" more money, fundraise, and then blow it out the way their high-priced consultants tell them to. I don't think they're necessarily evil, but they are run by people whose good intentions far outweigh their management skills (to be charitable, pun intended).

Comment: Poisoning fish? (Score 1) 247 247

Are the fish capable of digesting plastic? One would think that it would just pass through. It's hard to know whether or not to take the matter seriously, as (sadly) the average environmentalist has no idea what the definition of toxic is. One would think that if there were some interesting data the article would at least link it.

Comment: I've got something like this; it's not perfect. (Score 1) 287 287

I've got a system in my current car (BMW M5) that uses a camera to read speed limit signs and puts the current speed limit on my heads-up display. It's a cool system, but it's not perfect. It frequently has problems in school zones where it sees the 25 MPH sign and displays that whether the "school zone" rules are currently in effect or not. I'd agree with most of the posters here that allege that speed limits are set by ass-covering bureaucrats with absolutely zero consideration to actual public safety. Slow zones in residential areas are fine - I don't even have to be told to drive between 20 and 25 MPH is a neighborhood with kids out and about. But the speed limits on major roads and highways are ... I would say "childish," but that would be an insult to children. We're living with generations of people who grew up playing video games, and our car's steering, breaks, suspension, steering, etc. are massively superior to what our parents had (or even what we had a decade ago). When speed limits are set too low people get bored and find other ways to distract themselves, which virtually all more dangerous than going faster.

Comment: Luddism never dies (Score 2) 110 110

Like any new tech, data mining and psychological optimizations can be used for positive or negative purposes and will drive its own bevy of bullshit management fads. The author, like most progressives and conservatives, would throw the newly born baby out with the bathwater to go back to a easier, simpler day where they understood everything and before these young whippersnappers with their "computers" and "smartwatches" started making things move too fast for the old people to keep up with. I'm at the point in my life where I've seen almost two generations of essayists crank out screeds like this and while I have that nagging fear that one day I will be the old fuddy-duddy... it hasn't happened yet. Still wish those damned kids would get off my lawn, though...

Comment: Metered access, here we come! (Score 0) 550 550

Has nobody stopped to consider the fact that Net Neutrality (or, more appropriately, Net Neutering) more or less guarantee an eventual transition to metered pricing for customers, that metered pricing will be far more horribly abused by cablecos and telcos than any of this hypothetical preferential treatment could be, and that you'll have absolutely no recourse because the conditions will be fixed in place by regulations?

The "why" should be pretty damned obvious: you have a certain small percentage of users who consume orders of magnitude more bandwidth than others, mostly bittorrent users. ISPs deal with this in some legitimate ways like throttling (deprioritizing bittorrent packets so that they're first to drop when congestion occurs or policing the endpoints to a maximum throughput rate) and some not-so-legitimate ways (injecting connection reset packets to disrupt sessions). If you have to suddenly start treating your teenage neighbor's 8,000 pr0n torrent seeds as "equal traffic" then you either have to expand capacity by orders of magnitude to deal with it, driving up costs for everyone, or you have to introduce metered pricing (or worst case is you can just ignore it and everyone in that neighborhood has crap Internet speed). If you are worried about pricing abuse with so-called "fast lanes," that ain't nothing compared to the abuse you'll get with metered pricing.

Yes, cablecos and telcos are run by shitheads who do want to play stupid fast-lane games with their connections, but a certain amount of outrage can eventually correct that or make it livable. Getting rid of that without consequence would be desirable, but with an almost certain consequence of metered access it seems to me like people are doing an extremely poor job of picking their poisons. And for those who don't think metered access will happen haven't payed much attention to the FCC's history...

This is a practical worry about the ISPs, but it's not the worst one. The FCC is also the group of milquetoast, any-way-the-wind-blows political hacks responsible for freaking out every time there's a nipple slip on public television or somebody says a dirty word where The Children's fragile eyes and ears may be burned with hellfire. Because Satan is in boobies and f-bombs or something like that. And the only people they're semi-accountable to is Congress, who has a 9% approval rating. These are the people you want in charge of our Internet. Seriously? Yes, again, the people running telcos and cablecos are shitheads, but whenever there is hierarchy you will wind up with a shithead in charge. The only way you control these shitheads at all is by having as many as possible choose from. In this case, sorry, I think the supporters of Net Neutering have chosen their shitheads extremely poorly.

+ - Patent Trolls and Trial Lawyers->

Jayson writes: Steve Malanga takes down patent trolls and trial lawyers. Automated Transactions to the EFF to Judge Posner to sewing machines in a (very) long form article.

In fact, the opposition ran deeper than the trial bar, threatening future patent reform. Flaws in our patent system, which the distinguished appellate judge and law professor Richard Posner dubs “dysfunctional,” have transformed the technology market, making ceaseless litigation lucrative not only for Automated and patent trolls like it, but for others, too.


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