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Comment Re:Honest question.. (Score 1) 122

People complain about taxi's denying riders because they are only taking short trips that aren't worth it..

Who complains about that? Shorter trips are more profitable for cabs because of the "flag drop" fee.

Red herring.

How does Uber encourage drivers to take less profitable fares? What keeps Uber drivers from flocking to an area where they make more fare and totally ignoring areas where the fare is lower?

Nothing prevents this. It's free association and supply and demand. Have you seen anyone actually complaining about Uber drivers ignoring certain areas though? I've never heard of that. The only complaints I ever hear about Uber are about them skirting the corrupt taxi laws and about them treating drivers as contractors instead of employees; I have never heard of any actual usage complaints from paying customers, unlike with taxis.

Comment Re:I suggest we confuse the primary Uber benefits. (Score 1) 122

So what's the problem with that? It's allowing them to make ends meet; is that a bad thing?

When (if?) the economy improves, and the supply of drivers for Uber dries up, prices will rise so they can get more drivers. This is normal for many things when the economy improves.

What's the problem?

Comment Re:I suggest we confuse the primary Uber benefits. (Score 1) 122

...I would probably choose the regular taxi. In my country at least. In a different country I'd have to weigh whether I'd trust the country's (public) regulations on the taxi industry more than Uber's (private) 'regulations' of its drivers.

A lot of the strong feelings, on both sides, here seems to be from Americans. I'm an American and have used both; the problem here is that there is not a single taxi in this country of 310M people which is a "generally very clean, very recent Mercedes Benz", or anything close to it. At best, you might get a reasonably clean Prius in some cities, more likely you're going to get some old POS, probably a 25-year-old Ford Crown Victoria that used to be a police cruiser and which rides like shit and reeks of smoke.

Comment Re: I suggest we confuse the primary Uber benefits (Score 1) 122

"Stuffed with grease"? Do you know anything about modern cars at all? You can't add grease to steering or suspension components; zerks disappeared decades ago.

You act like cabs are specially-built vehicles. They're not (the old Checker cabs have all been removed from service); they're just regular cars painted yellow (and only in some locales) with a taximeter slapped in.

If a vehicle is falling apart, you can tell pretty quickly. Most cabs I've ridden in are like this: brakes squeal, inside is dirty, etc. In the Uber cars I've used, they're in pristine shape.

And have you never heard of a state inspection? Maybe your shitty state doesn't have them, but my state requires every car to be safety inspected every year.

Comment Re: I suggest we confuse the primary Uber benefit (Score 1) 122

Yeah, these Uber-haters are making me want to vote Republican.

Except that the Republicans are the ones pushing and defending laws to ban automakers from selling direct to customers, because they hate Tesla and love the stealerships.

It's weird how the Democrats are the statists when it comes to taxis, yet are all for the free market when it comes to electric car sales, and vice-versa for the Republicans.

Comment Re:"quality of finish" does anybody really care? (Score 1) 131

They're not going to survive getting dropped onto a pile of rocks without getting scratched up at the very least. IIRC, IP68 is just about weatherproofing. That's great, it won't get ruined if it gets a little wet, or maybe even dropped in the pool. But getting dropped onto concrete is a different matter. An Otterbox case handles that stuff.

Also, IP68 doesn't help you with battery life. There's been way too much of a trend lately towards super-slim phones. Everyone except the Apple cultists is screaming for bigger batteries, not a slimmer phone. I don't give a shit if my phone weighs 1 gram more, I want more battery life.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 410

It doesn't make sense any more because it's only raw PCM data, with no metadata, and no compression at all. This isn't 1990 any more; there's no reason you can't use compression as far as CPU/hardware resources go, and it doesn't even cost anything since the FLAC codec is FOSS. Just include the library and you're done, there's nothing to it from a development standpoint.

I guess if you're using an 8-bit PIC to play music for some crazy reason, WAV would make sense, but for any real consumer product, it just doesn't.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 410

Yeah, with a system that's nothing more than an embedded computer, I'm not sure why they don't just throw in all the codecs they can think of. It doesn't really cost anything, and is probably just a quick build-time option. Again I imagine it's engineers working exactly to specifications, and maybe some kind of mindset that adding anything extra is extra work (like for documentation and testing), and adding undocumented stuff is frowned upon perhaps.

I'm still surprised that a lot of systems now supported Oggs (Vorbis only of course, but most people have no idea that Ogg is a container format and not a codec). My new Mazda supports them (along with MP3, AAC, and WMA), and even mentions this in the owner's manual, however, only briefly as most places it says "MP3/AAC/WMA" only, but on one page it says "MP3/AAC/WMA/OGG", so it seems to have been added either as an afterthought or they decided it should be added for techies who care about it, and forgot to update all the parts of the manual.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 410

I'm sorry, there's no way you'd be able to tell the difference between, say, a 320kbps Ogg Vorbis and a FLAC. Humans don't have hearing that good, and even if they did, there's so much distortion added by amplifiers and speakers and imperfect listening environments that even sitting still it's all in the noise. While driving, that's total bullshit. Volvo C30s aren't *that* quiet, no car is that quiet, but C30s especially aren't that quiet. My wife has an S40 which is the same platform and interior, and it's not all that quiet compared to the newest cars (and it likely has a softer suspension and less-sticky tires than your C30, making for a bit less road noise). You want to try a quiet car? Go test-drive a Tesla. The lack of engine noise makes a huge difference. But even there the tire noise is very significant.

As for the option being removed, I'm not really sure; probably some software engineer wrote directly to requirements and the requirements didn't specify .wav. They probably didn't think anyone used that crappy format any more anyway. Does the new models support FLAC? It's utterly stupid to use WAV any more now that FLAC is here, and it's been that way for at least a decade.

Also, if you really think your ears are that good and that you can hear artifacts, try compressing the same song in both 320k MP3 and Ogg, and compare. Get a friend to do a blind trial too. I wouldn't think you'd be able to tell a difference at that bitrate, but at lower bitrates, MP3 is infamous for having pretty bad distortion at high frequencies (IIRC), usually making cymbal crashes sound wrong, while Ogg Vorbis is well-known for being much better at the same bitrates. For kicks, try out the new Opus codec too (it's also used with the Ogg container, but files are normally called .opus to differentiate them from Vorbis audio files). Opus is by the same people who did Vorbis, but is supposedly a significant improvement.

Comment Re:So I guess CEO's don't get hit with non-compete (Score 1) 131

In engineering, that's most people it seems. I'm constantly getting emails about cow-orkers from years ago, and most of them aren't even in my "friends list"; it still figures out I know them somehow and sends me an alert ("Do you know John Smith, principal engineer at XYZ Corp?").

Comment Re:Sony makes the best camera modules? (Score 1) 131

My wife has one of those Xperias too (not sure about the sub-model). I'm not impressed. Hers has an intermittent problem where she has to use a headset or it won't work (can't talk and can't hear); it seems pretty obvious it's a malfunctioning headphone jack that thinks a headset is plugged in all the time (when this problem happens; it comes and goes). However when she's taken it to repair places to get it fixed, they take one look at those stupid "liar dots" as you call them and just tell her it has water damage and can't be fixed. WTF? Do you want to get paid or not???

I just picked up a used Samsung Galaxy S4 and this thing is great, as far as I can tell. I'm just waiting on a SIM card to come in from Ting so I can activate it. I would have liked the S5 better (since it's water-resistant and has an excellent reputation), but it was a little too expensive for me; maybe I'll upgrade to that in a year or two when the price has come down. Even though the S5 is already "obsolete" (replaced by the less-capable S6), it has a ridiculously high resale value.

Comment Re:I understand this (Score 1) 410

Isn't the Jeep Wrangler also rated as one of the most unreliable cars being sold now?

I don't know about you, but one think I really don't want is to spend a bunch of money on a new car and then have to spend lots of time taking it back to the dealer to be fixed (and then, after the warranty expires, spending either a bunch of money or my time fixing more stuff).

Jeep has an absolutely abysmal reputation for reliability. I guess that saying really is true: "It's a Jeep thing. You wouldn't understand." No, I don't understand the appeal of an unreliable vehicle with a shockingly high sticker price and really crappy interior materials and fit-and-finish.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings