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Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 267

It was about freedom more than anything else. I never had much luck with girls as a teenager, even though I had my own car, but having the car let me go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted, go visit friends (who usually wanted me to take them places because they didn't have a car), just get out of the house, etc.

If I had grown up in Manhattan, I wouldn't have cared about having a car because I could have gone anywhere at any time just by walking to the nearest subway station.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 267

I've gotta believe that this concierge service is mostly GM's OnStar. I think the biggest surprise for me in the statistic that 43% of the people never use it is that 57% have. Though I guess just trying it out one time to see how it works would no longer qualify you for the "never used it" category.

That would be my guess too. I got a new car recently with an infotainment system, and while it doesn't have any kind of concierge service (thankfully, what a waste; it's a Mazda BTW, which doesn't seem to have this available unlike the domestic brands), it does have an XM radio built in. I got a 3-month free trial subscription with the car, which of course is to get you hooked. So I went ahead and went through the steps to register (without giving them any credit card info of course; that would be a good way to get billed for something you don't want), and went through the trouble of getting it working on the car, mainly so I could try it out to see how it works, and to say that I have. So I've tried it: it has a bunch of stations, they play a bunch of commercials and have DJs yapping a lot, and when music finally does play, the sound quality is absolutely abysmal. I figured some of this would be the case before setting it up, just based on what I've read about XM, but I had to see for myself. Now that I have, when my 3 months is up, there's no way I'm going to actually pay $10/month or whatever for this crappy service.

And I think the monthly (/yearly) payment is definitely a big turn-off for services like this. It's bad enough we need to pay monthly payments for so many other unending services: ISP, cellular, etc., I sure as hell don't want to pay for radio or concierge.

Luckily, unlike your OnStar, my XM radio doesn't waste any space on useless buttons; it's all built into the infotainment system. It shows up under "AM" and "FM" in the device list. But thanks to some hackers, there's patches out there you can pretty easily use to modify the system to reorder these entries (placing XM at the end instead of near the beginning), or even remove ones you don't want.

This system also has BlueTooth so I can connect a phone for use for data, music, etc. You should have gotten a Mazda instead... :-)

Comment Re:Windows 10, it's free (Score 3, Informative) 315

Really? You are comparing Gnome 3/kde 4.x to a modern working start menu?

I'm not comparing Gnome3 to anything; Gnome3 sucks. KDE has a proper "modern" start menu, it's the way the Windows start menu should have been all along. The "menu" (which isn't a menu at all) in Metro is bullshit.

Is it crap because it is inferior?

Yes. It's absolute garbage. It's ugly, it's confusing, it even has two separate control panels for some stupid reason (there's a metro control panel, but it doesn't have much stuff in it, so you have to go find the hidden Win7-style control panel to actually change things). There is nothing good about it. It's obviously designed for tablets, but I'm not using a tablet. And if I were, it'd still be ugly as hell. WTF is with the ugly graphics and colors? It's like the Pontiac Aztek of UIs.

These applets you hate you do not have to use.

You still have to use the Metro interface any time you click on "start", unless you install some 3rd-party workaround software.

Comment Re:Windows 10, it's free (Score 1) 315

All those under-the-hood features sound nice and all, but the OS is completely and utterly unusable simply because of its shitty Metro UI.

Being flat is the new thing regardless of OS as every OS on the planet is following this new thing of turning it into a cell phone

My Linux systems with KDE don't have this problem at all.

Comment Re:What is really happening (Score 1) 315

Because of these attitudes towards privacy, I think it should be legal for the Windows 10 EULA to specify that your private data (including passwords, all your keystrokes, any and all private data they can find on your system) is subject to being copied to Microsoft's servers, and from there MS is free to do whatever they want with it, including selling it to marketers, Chinese hackers, or the Russian or North Korean government. And MS should be completely legally free to do these things, as long as it's spelled out in the EULA.

Then, when the inevitable happens, I wonder how many people would finally stop using Windows. Probably not many.

Comment Re:Lovely summary. (Score 3, Informative) 1010

And yeah, I hate politically correct bullshit too. I hate it whichever side it comes from. "Oh no, the Hugo voters picked something that offends me--they must be controlled by an evil liberal cabal! We must destroy them!" That's politically correct bullshit, and I despise it.

Actually, that's a slightly different form, called "conservative correctness".

Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 245

Uber claims to do background checks. And I have never seen a taxi with a camera in it. That might be certain jurisdictions. The shitty cabs I rode a few times in NJ a year or two ago sure didn't have any cameras; one of them looked like someone's personal (old and shitty) car and had no taximeter (but yes, it was a real taxi since I had to call a taxi company which sent him out to me; this was before I heard about Uber and decided to try it).

I like your compromise idea.

Comment Re: Surge Pricing - Why The Hate? (Score 1) 245

No, they're not, not really. People don't have infinite time to work. They're an incentive to move your working hours to the most profitable time blocks. It's just like shift differential (extra pay for working night shifts). Not everyone has the flexibility to work odd hours, but for those that do, they'll take the odd shifts so they can make more money. If they didn't have that incentive, many of them wouldn't bother.

Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 245

we have illegal businesses operating without any oversight or employee protections in a regulated marketplace.

The "regulation" is nothing more than the taxi cartels writing laws to protect them from competition. Why are you OK with this?

I've never had ANY problems getting a cab in any city I've been in. Ever. Not once. Anywhere. Neither have I found their pricing exorbitant.

Then you're a shill. Cabs are massively overpriced. That's what happens when you have "regulation" which limits the number of competitors.

Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 245

Are you slow? Increasing prices DOES magically create more drivers. If I'm a driver and I can work an hour for $X/fare, or I can work at a different time for $5X/fare, which do you think I'm going to choose? Now if the 5x pay rate is at some horribly inconvenient time I might not take it, but if I don't really care either way, I'm going to try to schedule my working hours so I get paid more.

This is exactly why 2nd and 3rd-shift workers get paid more than 1st shift workers for jobs that require people around the clock (like at hospitals). Most people don't want to work weird hours (late nights etc.), so you bump the pay and you get people who do want to take those hours.

Comment Re:Surge Pricing - Why The Hate? (Score 1) 245

20% cheaper? Try more like 100-150% cheaper. That's how overpriced cabs are over here. I don't know about the UK, but here Uber rides are far cheaper than regular cabs. And to my knowledge, no regulated cabs have any kind of busy/late night pricing like you have in the UK; it's all the same. This is likely why Uber is able to be so much cheaper. Maybe if the taxi regulations changed to be more like yours, Uber wouldn't have such an advantage, but that's completely impossible to do here.

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

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