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Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 1, Insightful) 129

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) 666

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:They already have (Score 1) 666

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) 666

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."

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 666

by Bruce Perens (#48882193) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

I imagine that the major financial companies make this part of their economic modeling. Most of them do publish weather-related and climate-related advisories regarding commodity and company price trends, etc. How detailed do they get? The wouldn't tell and I am the wrong kind of scientist to ask. Can we make a government or public one? Yes, the level of detail is the big question.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 666

by Bruce Perens (#48882135) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Oh, do I have to qualify that for you, like the hottest outside of a period of Milankovitch Forcing? Gee, maybe the Earth's orbit changed, like back then, and we just didn't notice.

Let's take a look at one of the references you cited:

A section of a draft IPCC report, looking at short-term trends, says temperatures are likely to be 0.4 to 1.0 degree Celsius (0.7-1.8F) warmer from 2016-35 than in the two decades to 2005. Rain and snow may increase in areas that already have high precipitation and decline in areas with scarcity, it says.

It sounds like we have reason to be alarmed.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 666

by Bruce Perens (#48882097) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Well, I am trying to get through to you. You wrote that the hiatus was widely acknowledged by scientists! It's like talking with someone who believes in god - they have no facts, and no facts will convince them, and they create their own "science" which is nothing of the sort to bolster their viewpoint. So, I tried another another argument. But let's go back to the first. Nobody credible believes in a hiatus.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 666

by Bruce Perens (#48882067) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Calling names isn't going to advance your argument.

Orbital models only have two variables when there are two bodies. In reality we are always dealing with an n-body problem. Regarding atmospheric models, we have weather, which is too chaotic to forecast, and climate, which should not be.

We could sit back 100 years and see what is happening then, so that we have lots of good data points, but potentially at the cost of widespread famine, death, etc.

We have excellent reasons to stop releasing sequestered carbon even if we ignore global warming.

Comment: Re:Yeah! (Score 1) 512

by Bruce Perens (#48881555) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

If they can pull more people out of poverty, what the U.S. does won't matter to China and India because their domestic markets will be larger than the United States. Currently they have even worse social inequity than we do, and the poor performance of their own markets forces their own people to look elsewhere for work.

Comment: Re:Yeah! (Score 1) 512

by Bruce Perens (#48881503) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

Yes, I'm also a solid Democrat. But this has been a long time coming and IMO it's even in line with Obama's recent agenda on the Middle Class! The problem with the guest worker programs is that they devalue the local workers by diluting the market for them. The effect is to create a sort of "disposable worker" from our own citizens.

Now, of course jobs can be sent overseas too, but if the alternatives are to have foreign workers work at home, or in the U.S., neither choice is a win for our own citizens.

It continues to seem silly to have such a thrust on STEM education in the U.S. when the job market for STEM workers consistently goes to overseas hires, whether they are here or in their home nations. We need to work on the job-export issue as well.

Comment: Re:Not about code (Score 1) 307

by danheskett (#48878609) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

When Apple's prices change (actually, has that happened in the last few years? I think the price has been steady for a while) the market doesn't reconfigure around that price.

Apple has effectively raised prices. The Iphone 5 and 6 lines both have less stuff (namely, storage) for the same amount of money. This is a price increase in everything but optics. While prices should be declining, they are actually stagnant (while adding higher price points).

Apple's control extends only to their own product

No, I don't think this is true. Cell phone sales slow and crawl for all carriers and brands before a new Apple product announcement or release. Additionally, what's unusual, is that typically if there is a constrained supply of a product, some of the unfilled demand bleeds off into other competing products. Like, around Xmas, you go to the store, Toy X is gone off the shelf. Do you give no present? Nope. You substitute a competing product. There is surprisingly little of this in cell phones. One good theory why is because of platform lock-in. In this way, Apple is able to constrain the ability to switch to a competing product effectively. It produces a magnifying effect to their market share. This is very similar to the tying claims that Microsoft go in trouble with in the 90's.

If Apple disappeared tomorrow, the world would still have smartphone manufacturers.

This is true, but not that relevant. There's always another dog.

The only way this monopoly argument could hold water is if we decide that Android and the handsets it runs on should be considered a completely different category of product.

I don't think this is true. Android is not a thing you buy, just like iOS is not something you buy. You buy the phone, with the OS. So for comparison purposes, you can't say it's "Android v. iOS". It has to be handsets for the iPhone. Until you can reasonably buy phone OS's, really, there is no such thing as a market for Android the platform. Since the platform is so fragmented, switching between Android platforms is non-trivial.

In this regard iPhone is a huge market leader and has a greater share than competing products. And that gulf is wide enough that in other industries, combined with the market power, there is a reasonable case to be made that Apple has monopoly control of the smartphone market in the US.

Comment: Re:Not about code (Score 1) 307

by danheskett (#48876779) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

As people are always delighted to point out, Apple's market share is by no means the majority. Apple isn't a utility.

I agree, but only for now. In the future, if they are running a communication service over a public utility (i.e. regulated internet access), it certainly seems iMessage is exactly like other communication services over regulated infrastructure, namely phone service. Carriers can't lock out each other from similiar over the air services, like SMS, for the same reason.

BlackBerry missed the boat about a dozen times at this point and that's their fault, not Apple's.
Yeah, BB is totally irrelevant to the meat of the discussion. They are screwed.

As far as Apple and monopoly power, it's an interest case. A company does not need to have X% of a market to have a monopoly. Companies have monopoly power with much smaller shares. In some industries, a company can have monopoly power with even 20% of the market. In terms of Smartphones, it's often seen as "Google v. Apple". But really, Google is just a small player. Just because Android runs on many smartphones, does not mean that Google is a direct actor in the market. Apple competes with partnerships of Google/Handset maker. If you were to look at share in this light, I think Apple is by far the largest player. (But I can't find any numbers. Last I found was in mid-2014, with Apple around 40% and Google around 45% and everyone else doing the rest).

The key elements of Apple's monopoly power are there though: they can effectively set prices in the market, they have the ability to raise or lower production to affect prices and availability of the good, they can suppress or increase the market by withholding or releasing products. This last one is important.

This is an interesting time to see what happens with Apple. The practices and behavior of Apple right now are not far off from where MS got itself into trouble in the 1990's. Especially with regards to bundling, tying, and price controls.

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