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Comment Re:From TFA (Score 1) 116

most of the decline in capacity factors is due to expensive "base-load plants that are being turned on less because of renewables," according to BNEF analyst Jacqueline Lilinshtein. Plants designed to come online only during the highest demand of the year,

Translation: "Fossil fuel plants suck because they are more and more used only when solar and wind are not working, nights, cloudy, calm times, and peak times we cannot handle !!!1!111elev3nty1one!!!"

They note that with unobtanium batteries they will be able to take over peak loads too.

Comment Overrun (Score 3, Insightful) 157

Do wifi routers have their own spectrum? Perhaps there should be a set-aside just for short range, get-along-nicely protocols.

The clogging varies with the square of the range. It is stupid to allow a handful of transmissions to clog up a million houses in a city.

Alternatively, disallow telcos from charging for data sent over this spectrum. There you go!

Comment Re:This ruling won't fix anything (Score 1) 196

It's important to note the ruling did not judge if the US satisfied its requirements from the EU w.r.t. data handling. The ruling just loudly notes the NSA and any other legal entity may ignore those rules at will, so they are meaningless, and hence the EU commission was wrong to issue a judgement blanket approving the US.

There was also legal wrangling that a national commission (e.g. Ireland's, in this case) may examine protections independently of commission judgements (a clarification on how the protection enforcement rules are set up), and if it conflicts with a commission judgement, may kick it up to the EU court even if it cannot directly overrule the EU commission. This allowed the Irish high court to challenge the blanket US approval by doing just that.

Comment Re:Labor reduction (Score 2) 89

Other anthropologists claim they worked much less, as little as 2 hours per day "oh woe the modern worker".

In any case, their nutrition was vastly low, as much larger humans grew with farming, and much larger still with a free economy that choked aisles with cheap food. So I am not sure how well their lighter workday was for them. And forget tv and phones and modern medicine.

Comment Re:And we STILL can't read it (Score 1) 275

Some, like extending copyright 20 years to match the (overlong) US standard, is suboptimal but not the end of the world.

I wonder if there are provisions to extend safe harbor to companies that respond quickly to copyright violation claims, rather than just allowing immediate lawsuits. That has massively benefitted the US. I don't know if this is in there though.

I do see blocking and some other crap which might not pass constitutional test due to freedom of speech. The exact relationship between treaties and the constituion is not fully resolved, with some believing a properly approved treaty could, say, abridge freedom of speech. If so, said treaty should be soundly rejected.

Logically, a treaty would be above national and state laws, but below the constitution. So any law conflicts with a treaty, the treaty wins, but if the treaty conflicts with the constitution, the constitution wins. That is not how some of those covetous if power want it though.

Comment Re:Queue the misinformation... (Score 1) 36

The guy who discovered penicillen (and got the prize) ran a few tests, decided it wouldn't work in a human, and shelved it.

20 years later another guy unshelved it, got it working in humans, and under mass production for WWII. He got his own belated Nobel decades later.

Comment Re:About damn time (Score 1) 120

Even in good areas, you have occasional bottlenecks as servers hiccup and reboot. Is the train supposed to safely stop? And others notified to stop then? You will have stoppages all the time, and you will fail to get the trains "running on time", as they say.

Now a computer that looked for the same cues an engineer did should be possible. Then the trains will safely run.

Comment Re:Why don't taxis just provide good service?! (Score 0) 132

What I don't get is why taxi services don't just provide good service. If they really want to crush Uber, that's all they need to do. It shouldn't be hard or costly to do, either.

They could start with these changes, which would make a world of difference:

1. Ditch the third-world drivers. It's frustrating dealing with taxi drivers who don't know where they're going or what they're doing, since they only arrived in the country a month before. It's also frustrating when they can't speak or understand English, which is the international language of the travel industry worldwide, especially in countries that are natively English-speaking. And it's utterly disrespectful when they spend the whole trip chattering loudly on their phones or headsets in Arabic or some other obscure language the entire trip. Instead, they should hire locals who know the area, who know the local language (plus English, if they differ), and who won't treat the customers like utter shit.

2. Charge reasonable fares. A $6 starting fare, plus $8/mile after that, plus $1 for every 5 seconds idling at a light makes short taxi trips unbearably expensive, and it makes medium and long voyages pretty much impossible. The rates are excessive even if they were providing excellent service. But as we saw in the first point, the taxi customers are paying top dollar for third-world service. Short trips should be competitive with public transit fares. Longer trips should still be within reason. If an airline charges $800 to fly thousands of miles, it should not cost $100 to take a taxi just a few miles to get to the airport to catch that flight!

3. Never refuse rides. Despite even short rides costing the customer a lot of money, it's still not uncommon for taxi drivers to outright refuse to drive customers because their trip is too short, or may take the driver to say a residential area where there won't likely be other fares to pick up afterward. Pick up the customer promptly, drive the customer to where the customer wants to go, and don't bitch about it.

4. Stop resorting to third-world harassment tactics. This is also tied in with the first point, but we've seen many taxi drivers in Western cities around the world continually resort to really pathetic third-world harassment tactics in their fight against Uber. That's not how business should work in Western nations! If you can't keep up with your competitors, then you go out of business. You don't resort to criminal or quasi-criminal behavior. It just makes you look sleazier and shittier than you already look when you do stuff like that! So don't go blocking major roads. Don't go attacking Uber vehicles with passengers in them. Don't go attacking normal, non-Uber vehicles where the one passenger just happens to be sitting in the back instead of the front.

They should start with those four basic things. Even then, they all boil down to: don't treat your customers like shit, and don't subject them to a shitty experience.

Uber is only a threat to taxi services that provide shitty service. Uber really offers no advantages beyond taxi services that provide good service. It's not like the customers really give a fuck how they get from here to there. They just don't want to be subjected to the shitshow that taxi drivers have typically subjected them to. If taxi drivers just did a good fucking job for once, then Uber couldn't do a thing to them.

Fuck, these taxi services might even see an increase in business, and profit, if taxi rides started to become known as something convenient and enjoyable, rather than the third-world screw job they tend to be these days.

So you want a cartel that has successfully performed regulatory capture to respond as if driven by competition, or just to be nice?

Why do you think they used government and police to take over to begin with?

Comment Re:Anti-science is a PR plague (Score 1) 324

I'll bet not. I'll bet it's driven by the frankenfood oh noes folks, who are themselves interested in power and selling books.

In any case, if it's not frankenfood fears, it's genetic diversity fears. If not that, fear of lawsuits by Monsanto of poor farmers whose seed got tainted.

A prediction: And if not that, something else.

Nothing recedes like success. -- Walter Winchell