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Comment: Re:only trying to help? (Score 2) 151

by John Jorsett (#48916597) Attached to: Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

Exactly my point. They are only trying to make money for themselves, and if exploiting a disaster make them more money, they will do that. Yet here we have people (like the OP) trying to claim that they are 'ensuring there are enough drivers'. Bullshit.

In crises, you get rationing no matter what. If you don't regulate prices you'll get rationing thru price. If you do regulate prices, you'll get rationing thru scarcity. Putting limits on Uber means you deny some billionaire fat cat some money, but you also deny the people who really need a ride and are willing to pay for it the ability to get one. I'd rather have the latter system where I can get what I need and am willing to pay for, because I can always decide I don't need it that bad, but I can't conjure a car out of the air when prices are cheap but cars aren't available.

Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 1) 151

by John Jorsett (#48916501) Attached to: Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

They could still pay the drivers more, without charging the passengers more, if they actually want people to believe they are only trying to help.

If Uber were smart, they'd do just that in order to establish themselves as a reliable resource during emergencies. It would be good PR and also make it politically tougher for the local power structure to shut them down. Sure they'd lose money during crises, but they'd make up for it with a ton of revenue during normal operations.

Comment: Claymores and Mexican meth drones (Score 1) 232

by John Jorsett (#48916171) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

A claymore mine is significantly heavy. A small autonomous drone is incapable of achieving the lift necessary to carry one. A drone large enough to carry one would be military grade hardware anyway. Military grade drones can be spotted quite easily.

The scenario you have painted here is a farce.

The typical payload of a domestic RC plane (the usual device to be refit as a domestic drone) is around 2 ounces. The extended battery and the flight control system take up the vast bulk of this. Hobby "Drones" can't carry much more than a ball point pen around.

According to Wikipedia, a Claymore weights 3.5 pounds. The "Mexican Meth Drone" that crashed in a Tijuana parking lot recently was carrying 6 pounds of drugs, and pictures of it don't scream "military grade hardware". Granted they got greedy and overloaded it, but sounds like 3.5 pounds would have been no problem.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 134

That's not an answer. Slashdot headline says, "Driven largely by oil price weakness." Where's the evidence for that statement? It makes no economic sense that renewable energy investment increases because its competition gets cheaper unless 1) It's due to subsidies, and/or 2) It's due to the coming on line of projects that were in the pipeline before oil took a dive.

Comment: Re:why start after the fact? (Score 1) 219

They should do what traffic cams do and keep a constant feed that overwrites itself, then if it triggers that it needs to keep the recording it has the last 30 seconds already. Seems stupid to start recording after they're already suing a taser...

If the LAPD uses the same policy as other departments with body cams, the officer will be instructed to activate the camera whenever about to interact with the public. In which case, the Taser activation would be backup just in case that didn't happen for some reason.

Comment: Detection? (Score 1) 303

Couldn't one write a program to detect Stingray presence by having a database of all possible cell tower IDs and matching the ID of the one to which you're connecting against that list? Since the Stingray relays your intercepted call to a real cell tower it presumably doesn't spoof a real ID. Now that I think about it, I guess in order to prevent the Stingray just using an ID for a cell tower that's out of range but real, you'd have to add in knowledge of your geolocation so as to exclude distant towers.

Comment: Re:Can you say... (Score 1) 266

by John Jorsett (#48594765) Attached to: Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

yes, requiring a company WHO IS IN THE HEALTH-CARE BUSINESS to continue saving lives and not taking profits as the first thing.

yes, makes sense to me. but then again, I'm a human being, not a pycho CEO or politician.

there should be a law: if you are in the healthcare business (which is your choice) then you MUST put patients first above all else.

doctors have to swear this. why not the makers of drugs and such? it would fix a LOT of what is broken with the western world, if we did that. think of how much GOOD would be done to humanity, as a whole!

Why stop there? Let's force more companies to GO INTO the health care business, and sell the products the government mandates at prices government specifies. Google and Apple have a lot of cash on hand, let's make them put it to work for the benefit of "humanity, as a whole".

Comment: Re:Time to openly admit... (Score 2) 187

by John Jorsett (#48594705) Attached to: Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever

Nothing new here. Everybody in the field (and most people outside it) know the limitations of weather forecasting.

And yet we're hectored continually that we need to implement costly and Draconian programs based on the predictions of models that don't match observed reality. That's not science, that's some unholy amalgam of politics, fear, profiteering, and insanity.

Comment: Re:Loss of context and common sense (Score 1) 116

by John Jorsett (#48539837) Attached to: NSF Accused of Misuse of Funds In Giant Ecological Project

a) Strawman. No one is arguing that the expenses should just get a pass.

b) The article says "there was no legal wrongdoing, DCAA director Anita Bales told the hearing".

c) The cited expenses, which the parent refers to, are all in the range of categorization error rather than corruption. However, the article say that "36% of NEON’s budget proposal was questionable or undocumented". The article was silent on how much of the budget spent to date was questionable or undocumented, or whether the problems with the budget proposal were very many instances similar to the cited expenses or larger unmentioned problems were needed to get to the 36%. SO the article fails to give insight on whether the proximate problem is sloppy budgeting or something more nefarious (though you can make the case that sufficiently advances incompetence is indistinguishable from malice).

My late father, an accountant, always said that if you lack controls, it's a virtual certainty that you'll have people stealing from you. The description of the chaos in their bookkeeping, in which a third of their expenditures were unallowable or couldn't even be determined by an audit, is just the sort of situation he was describing. It's also reasonable to think that if they were that sloppy/incompetent/crooked in one area, that other areas of the project were equally affected, like the engineering.

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.