Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 1, Insightful) 114

by danheskett (#48915433) Attached to: Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

Why is this rated 5? Yes, paying drivers more *might* slightly increase supply but my guess is that the number of drivers is somewhat

You guess? Well lets just throw out the Iron Clad Law of Supply & Demand, on which almost all of the worlds productive economy is based, because you guess.

fixed so without also charging passengers more you do nothing on the demand side. The point of demand pricing is to reduce demand
so that you don't overwhelm the relatively fixed supply. If your goal is to always have cars available, then increasing the price while
paying the drivers the same would actually be a better solution than increasing the pay while charging the same but that would also be
idiotic.

You cannot look at one side of the equation.

When demand is up, there are only two options. Option number one is shortages (of supply). Option number two is that supply must increase.
When supply is down, there are only two options. Option number one is shortages (of demand). Option number two is that supply must decrease.

In either case, the solution is price elasticity. When the price drops, because supply is too high or demand is too low, drivers will drop out of the market. When the price raises, because supply is too low or demand is too high, drivers will enter the market.

Uber has a flexible work force, and it is no way fixed. They also posses 100% more information about the market and their drivers than you do, or the AG does.

This is the case of government using consumer protection laws in a way that will hurt consumers. Economics and the market are not friendly, but they do produce desirable outcomes. If the desirable outcome is fairness, than what the government and AG are doing will produce a fair outcome - everyone regardless of ability to pay will have an equal chance of getting or not getting a car, based on random luck, your skin color, or whatever else motivates you.

If the outcome is to provide as many rides possible, this requires a market with supply and demand efficiency. By curbing supply efficiency by limiting price elasticity, you provide fewer rides than the market will optimally support. If you are frequent driver, you know that by going to where the demand is, to when the demand is, will produce more and more profitable rides. If you are a rider, you know that by relying on Uber during exceptionally busy times, you will only be able to get a ride by paying far more than you would otherwise.

This is really a great case of the nanny government stepping into a situation which is drastically over it's head, in the name of "fairness". Fairness is not an economic goal, it's a social goal, and it's stupid to try to enforce a social goal like this on the very tail end of the policy stack.

Comment: Re:"A hangar in Mojave" (Score 3, Informative) 38

by Bruce Perens (#48908157) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

That's actually what it's like at "Mojave Spaceport". Hangers of small aviation practicioners and their junk. Gary Hudson, Burt Rutan, etc. Old aircraft and parts strewn about. Left-over facilities from Rotary Rocket used by flight schools. A medium-sized facility for Orbital. Some big facilities for BAE, etc. An aircraft graveyard next door.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 665

by Bruce Perens (#48897151) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

There is no reason that we have to pick one and abandon work on the others. I don't see that the same resources go into solving more than one, except that the meteor and volcano problem have one solution in common - be on another planet when it happens.

The clathrate problem and nuclear war have the potential to end the human race while it is still on one planet, so we need to solve both of them ASAP.

Comment: Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (Score 4, Insightful) 109

by Zocalo (#48895581) Attached to: Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport
Aside from the few hundred lives vs. a few thousand lives if the plane was actually hijacked and attempted another 9/11 style crash into a metropolitan area there is another reason you might want a chase aircraft - obtaining camera footage of the plane should the threat prove genuine and the plane is blown up. I would imagine such data might prove quite useful to the resultant investigation in terms of narrowing down where the bomb was located, how powerful it was, whether it was carried on or checked, and potentially even narrow down who might have got the bomb onboard.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 665

by Bruce Perens (#48887305) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sure, there are going to be mediating forces in the environment. Melting is an obvious one. The positive feedbacks have been getting the most attention because they are really scary. It appears that there are gas clathrates in the ground and under water that can come out at a certain temperature. The worst case is that we get an event similar to Lake Nyos, but with a somewhat different mechanism and potentially many more dead. The best case is a significant atmospheric input of CO2 and methane that we can't control.

I don't think I have to discount Trenberth. He's trying to correct his model, he isn't saying there is no warming.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 665

by Bruce Perens (#48884865) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Thanks.

McKitrick is an economist out of his field. Trenberth and Fasullo cite many of their other papers and the publications to which they were submitted, but it seems mostly not accepted. But their conclusion seems to be that there were other times in recent years that the rate of warming decreased for a time only for it to return to its previous rate. I only see the abstract for Kosaka and Xie, but they state "the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase."

+ - Rare astronomical event will see triple moon shadows on Jupiter->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Stargazers are in for a treat as they will be able to witness a rare astronomical event early tomorrow morning (January 24, 2015) where shadows of three of Jupiter’s largest moons — Io, Europa, and Callisto — will fall upon Jupiter simultaneously. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will provide a live online broadcast on its Livestream channel. The event is slated to being on January 24, 2015 at 4:30 AM GMT and should end by 7:00 am GMT. For those in the PST, the event will happen today from 8:30 pm to 11:00 pm."
Link to Original Source

+ - Should Disney Require its Employees to Be Vaccinated? 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "According to Joanna Rothkopf Disneyland is already a huge petri dish of disease with tired children wiping their snot faces on Goofy and then riding log flumes through mechanized rivers filled with the backwash of thousands of other sweaty, unwashed, weeping toddlers. Now John Tozzi reports at Businessweek that five workers at Disneyland have been diagnosed with measles in an outbreak that California officials trace to visitors at the theme park in mid-December. The measles outbreak is a publicity nightmare for Disney and the company is urging its 27,000 workers at the park to verify that they're inoculated against the virus, and the company is offering tests and shots on site for workers who are unvaccinated. One thing Disney won't do, however, is require workers to get routine vaccinations as a condition of employment. Almost no companies outside the health-care industry do. "To make things mandatory just raises a lot of legal concerns and legal issues," says Rob Niccolini. Disney has been working with public health officials, and Disney has already put some employees on paid leave until medically cleared. "They recognized that they were just a meeting place for measles," says Gilberto Chávez. "And they are quite concerned about doing what they can to help control the outbreak.""

+ - Extremely rare Star Trek Phaser prop is going on sale for $60,000

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The latest Star Trek item that’s going on sale and expected to go for a doozy of a price. A 47 year old Star Trek Phaser from the original show featuring original Enterprise Crew led by Captain Kirk, Spock, et al, is reportedly going to be sold for a price of a whopping $60,000 (£40,000). This fiberglass prop is apparently one of the two that are currently in existence and hence the fantastic price tag."

+ - Microsoft Announces Office 2016 And Office For Windows 10 Coming Later This Year

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "At its Windows 10 event yesterday, Microsoft unveiled the touch-optimized version of Office. Today, the company offered more details about that version, and then snuck in another announcement: the next desktop version is under development, it is called Office 2016, and it will be generally available “in the second half of 2015.” Office for Windows 10 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook), meanwhile, is also slated to arrive later this year, though Microsoft has shared more about it and plans to offer a preview in the coming weeks. These new Office apps will be pre-installed (they will be free) on smartphones and small tablets running Windows 10. They will also be available to download from the Windows Store for other devices."

+ - Bill Gates Needs an Online Education History Lesson

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""We're not fond of Bill Gates," wrote Philip Greenspun in 1999, "but it still hurts to see Microsoft struggle with problems that IBM solved in the 1960s." And, after reading the 2015 Gates Annual Letter, one worries that BillG might be struggling with online education problems that PLATO and other computer assisted instruction systems solved in the '60s and '70s. One of the five breakthroughs Bill and Melinda foresee in the next 15 years is that Better Software Will Revolutionize Learning, but the accompanying narrative suggests that Bill still doesn't know much about TechEd history. "Think back 15 years," the Gates write, "to when online education was first gaining traction. It amounted to little more than pointing a camera at a university lecturer and hitting the 'record' button. Students couldn't take online quizzes or connect with each other. It wasn't interactive at all." Think again, Bill. Check out A 1980 Teenager's View on Social Media, Brian Dear's ode to his experience with PLATO. Or ask ex-Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie to share his experiences with PLATO in the '70s, a decade that saw PLATO teaching reading to young children and computer science to college students like your then 18-year-old self. And while cheap microcomputers eventually killed the expensive PLATO CDC mainframe star, there are some lessons today's MOOCs could learn from studying their PLATO History, like providing easy-to-learn-and-use authoring software to allow courseware to be built by classroom instructors (pdf), not just Gates Foundation and Google-funded engineers. Keep on keepin' on Bill, but make sure your MOOC Research includes some history lessons!"

Error in operator: add beer

Working...