What's really interesting, however, is that the postal carrier's union was a strong proporent of that 75-year prefunding law.
True Libertarians don't think the government should be able to regulate the frequency spectrum either, and that anyone who wants to should be able to broadcast anything they want, on any frequency they want, using any encoding they want, even if it's incompatible with everything else or even jams someone else's broadcast.
That's totally impossible to do in reality. Making it so the media companies can't own the DVR companies would require non-corrupt government regulation, which is impossible in the USA. That's like asking for financial regulation that doesn't reward big finance companies for failure, and prevents them from gambling banking deposits on housing.
Amazon drones aren't going to gun down your grandma. They're probably too small to even carry firearms (and fire them accurately) in the first place.
Seriously, as long as drones are operated by private companies and don't feed any info back to the government, and they're really small (these Amazon drones are the size of R/C toys), I don't have a problem with it. The problem with them comes if they're operated by the government (either directly or indirectly). Private companies aren't interested in oppressing people; they just want to make money, so as long as they aren't making money by working on behalf of the government (like the private prison companies), there really isn't much to worry about.
Paypal provides little more than illusory obfuscated security for those worried about typing in their card numbers.
That's just plain ridiculous. Paypal offers fairly secure online CC processing to smaller vendors, which should make customers feel a little safer: with traditional CC processing, the customer sends his CC info to the fly-by-night vendor, who then sends that to the CC processor. With Paypal, the customer gets directed directly to Paypal's site, where they enter their CC info (using an SSL encrypted session). The big difference here is that the only entity you're trusting with your CC info, as a customer, is Paypal: the fly-by-night vendor never sees your CC info at all, they just get the money in their PP account. Obviously, no company, even a big one, is perfectly safe and trustworthy, but I trust Paypal a lot more with my CC info than some random little vendor operating out of someone's house. When was the last time you heard of Paypal getting hacked or peoples' CC info getting leaked from there? If it does happen, there can be serious repercussions to Paypal.
Google I am begging you please offer us an alternative to shitty eBay/PayPal.
Last I checked, Google did offer an alternative: Google Payments (or is it Google Checkout?). They've since shut it down because it wasn't popular enough.
I believe Amazon has a payment system now that competes with them, but I don't know anything else about it.
What the hell are you talking about? This is completely false; as soon as a buyer transfers money into your Paypal account, you have immediate access to it. (It'll take a few days to ACH transfer it into a different bank account, but that's not their fault; there's faster ways of getting to it, including by using a Paypal debit card linked to your account.)
For a great deal of items, local is better because you A) can see what shape it's in before you buy it and B) don't have to pay shipping.
These are indeed extremely useful traits IF the item you're looking for is fairly common, and there's plenty of the available in your local area. For instance, if you want a washing machine, chances are you'll find tons of them nearby on Craigslist; you don't need to look 2 states away for one, even if you are willing to drive that far. But if you're looking for a particular piece of specialized industrial machinery, you probably need to expand your search area, and better yet have some sort of automated search agent to periodically notify you if someone posts an item for sale matching your search terms. This is where Craigslist really falls down. Cars too: sure, I'd like to buy a car a few dozen miles near my home, but if I'm looking for a particular make and model, I probably won't find many matching that so close to home. Ebay really works better for all this stuff, because there's only one Ebay (unlike CL, where there's hundreds of CL sites you have to look at one-by-one unless you use something like searchtempest.com, which Craigslist hates and doesn't want you to use), and Ebay lets you specify a search radius from your location, and set up search agents. Ebay is better all the way around for these things, except for the high fees, which is why people still use Craigslist for these high-ticket and not-so-easily-shipped items. If it weren't for those damned fees (both Ebay's and Paypal's, since Ebay doesn't like you using cash either), Craigslist would be mostly dead except for its horrible personals section.
Bullshit. Google takes time to index sites; with Craigslist sales, time is of the essence many times. I've sold stuff on CL and had people calling mere minutes after posting the ad, and sold the item before the day was over. With Google searching, you'll be waiting a day or two just to see the ad, and that's only if it doesn't sell and/or the poster doesn't take it down. Because ads are posted most-recent-first on CL, the most-recently-posted ads get the most attention.
True, however the drone delivery thing really only applies to goods that are shipped from an Amazon warehouse. So for third-party businesses who use Amazon warehouses, it's applicable, but for those who don't (which is still a lot of them), it's not. I don't think any of those third-party bookstores use Amazon's warehouses; they just send by USPS Media Mail.
How did Ebay "annihilate" Paypal? They acquired them, and nothing's really changed much, except for a bit more integration between the two. Paypal is very important to their core business since it makes it easy for Ebay buyers and sellers to exchange funds, and also Paypal is linked with USPS and UPS to make it easy for Ebay sellers to buy postage (at a discount) for shipping the goods to the buyers.
Of course Ebay would want to poo-poo Amazon's drone delivery idea, because it's something Ebay has no ability to do and it makes Amazon look better. Ebay could never do it because in most cases, the goods are being shipped a large distance (Ebay sellers can be anywhere in the country, or frequently in China), and Ebay doesn't ship, they just try to help their sellers ship with existing carriers (USPS and UPS), whereas Amazon ships many of their goods directly from warehouses that are located close to their buyers (for buyers who live in metro areas, which is a lot of them). Why anyone would bother listening to Ebay's public comments here is a mystery (given their obvious bias), but the press will listen to anyone it seems, even when it's pretty obvious their opinion isn't worth considering.
Good point, I never thought about the inheritance tax angle.
However, the main problem with these flights of fancy is the extra energy expenditure involved. It is perhaps the least energy efficient method of transport you could possibly come up with.
What the heck are you talking about? Flying tiny little R/C quadrocopters around is highly energy efficient, when you compare it to the amount of fuel you need to propel a 10,000 pound UPS van on city streets.
Assuming the Amazon warehouse is within a short distance of the customer's location, the quadrocopter has an enormous cost an energy advantage. 1) It's electrically powered, so it doesn't suffer Carnot inefficiencies like diesel trucks. 2) It travels directly between the two locations, regardless of any obstructions in the way, traffic, poor street layouts, etc. With UPS, you have to ship the package first to the UPS warehouse where it has to be sorted, then load it onto another truck for delivery. If the UPS warehouse isn't too close, that's a lot of extra distance to travel, all using diesel fuel with big, heavy trucks. 3) It uses no labor, as it's entirely automated. The UPS delivery requires human labor for pickup, sorting (perhaps multiple times), and finally delivery to your doorstep. Human labor is expensive. Amazon's idea is really great; the only Achilles' heel is that it entirely depends on the distance between the warehouse and the customer. These drones will only have so much range, and can't group together packages to build economy-of-scale savings, so the farther that distance, the less viable this delivery method becomes. But for metro areas, it makes pretty good sense.
Most of eBay's operation (and their desired method) is the seller goes to the local UPS store and ships it himself.
Exactly. Also, a lot of their operation involves the USPS, especially for smaller items. This is why Ebay's Paypal unit makes it easy for sellers to ship with USPS (and also UPS) by integrating that into Paypal, so you can buy USPS postage and print out a mailing label right from your Paypal account.
FTFY. It is becoming increasingly difficult to determine the country of origin for anything you by from eBay.
On searches there's a checkbox to select North America or US-only. Of course this won't stop a shady vendor from claiming to ship from the US, and shipping from China instead, but the capability is there to screen the shipping location.
I don't think so. The Wright Brothers didn't compete against bike shops with their airplane (people wanting to buy a bicycle aren't going to be talking into buying an airplane instead). They created a whole new market, separate from the bicycle shop market. If anything, the bike shop competitors were better off with the Wright Brothers spending their time and money on airplanes instead of concentrating on selling bikes. It worked out well for the Wrights of course, but it didn't detract from their competitors in any way. And bike shops are still around; the bike market was only hampered by the rising automobile industry, not by airplanes.