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Comment Re:Mixed (Score 3, Interesting) 350

While I also hate tailgaters, as a European who spends many months each year in the U.S. I have to say average American driving habits sometimes make me pull my hair out. I know driving rules and habits are different, still, if most drivers would at least try to keep to the right, to at least try to drive fast enough to be close to the speed limit on highways (not forcing 65-goers to constantly change lanes), to signal lane changes (left and right, yes, both), and not to break randomly on the open road (i.e., even when there's nobody ahead for hundreds of yards), well then maybe I wouldn't curse so much while driving. Oh, and for f* sake, if you enter the freeway and don't plan to leave at the next exit then you might sometimes consider shifting left 1-2 lanes.

You know, it's interesting--I would say there are even huge changes in driving habits between different parts of the country. This is obviously all anecdotal, but my experiences in parts of the midwest have been that people are very good about staying out of the left lane and allowing people to pass them as necessary. OTOH, in North Carolina, people are very bad about that. There are big differences in tailgating, use of the horn, passing on the right, etc. It seems to b e a fairly "southern" driving trait (I've heard northeasterners comment about this) to swing widely in the opposite direction before turning.

I just wish people would freaking pay attention at stop lights and watch for the light to change to green. It's almost always this excruciating ballet of watching the cars ahead of me "Oh, the light changed? *2 seconds to process before starting to accelerate" followed by the car behind them seeming to only realize it's time to go after their own two second pause. I'm hoping for network aware (or just aware!) autonomous cars that can all start rolling at the same time after a light change.

Comment Re:If... (Score 1) 363

It's really interesting. I work at a small independent (family-owned) academic publishing house, and we actually have a textbook with an author at Cal State Fullerton. That author foregoes royalties on any sales to Cal State Fullerton. I had thought that was a school policy (this kind of policy is pretty common--and becoming more so--actually), but I guess not.

$180 seems like a crapload for a math textbook that probably doesn't change much between editions. Our most expensive book is a real monster at something like 1800 pages, and comes in around $140. Having said that, I can absolutely understand the desire to have all students in different sections use the same book.

Maybe the authors should volunteer to give up royalties (or donate to a charity, etc) for sales to their own school as a good faith gesture?

Comment Re:The car is great to drive, but... (Score 1) 222

Actually the controls are very easy to use and the steering wheel has mechanical controls that adjust fan speed.

Definitely not on the Odyssey (2014) middle trim--there are no fan control buttons on the steering wheel.

Here's another example of the utter idiocy of the UI. Climate controls:

1) Turn knob for temperature
2) A multiple push button (toggles between states) for where the air blows, with only a TINY hard-to-read icon on the greyscale LCD to show you what mode your own
3) Two buttons (Up/Down) that control fan speed.

Did they not have room to put on a slider switch too?

Comment Re:The car is great to drive, but... (Score 5, Insightful) 222

I think the touch screen console was a big mistake. You need to be able to manage things like climate settings, radio stations, etc. by touch.

Knobs and buttons in a car seem to be going the way of the dodo. It's a major pet-peeve for me--I can't stand the idiocy of car user interface design--they seem to be getting so much worse. Wife's Honda Odyssey has two screens (one touch, one not), and it's never clear which information will display where, the climate control is dreadful, tuning the radio is time consuming and attention-grabbing. It's just awful.

Nice car though.

Comment Re:Said it before (Score 1) 385

Wow, that's a bit pissy of you. I didn't even deny your assertion (other than through my initial assertion that in most cities--like NYC--a college kid driving 20 hours a week could not be a taxi driver), and just asked if you had any evidence, even going so far as adding that I didn't have any to back up my own assertion! That's how conversations are supposed to go, instead of jumping in with "bullshits" and "you don't know enough to be worth listening to." If you have data or proof to back up your statements, that tough talk has legs; if not, you're just a troll.

Comment Re:Said it before (Score 1) 385

I'm sorry, I didn't get that at all out of your post--I didn't know what the "one" you mentioned referred to. I see now that it's because you don't understand how taxis work, nor did you RTFA. I was also confused since you mentioned me being down-modded (must have been momentary), but that's neither here nor there.

You found one example of a taxi company that doesn't treat their employees well.

No, that's not remotely accurate. For one, RTFA. Many--if not most--taxi drivers are already dreaded contractors who own their own cars. They just also have to do stupid regulatory crap like buy horrifically expensive government-mandated monopoly medallions. No, I didn't find "one example of a taxi company," read the article:

The Alliance estimates that about half of New York City's taxi drivers don't have health insurance, since there's no employer to provide it, and projected that many wouldn't be able to afford even the plans offered on an exchange when the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

Yet, you won't find any employees of uber (or contractors) getting any benefits at all.

The "benefit" of driving for Uber is that you can do whatever you want.

So your 'point' really isn't all that valid - it's a moot point, to be honest.

Your 'analysis' (nice scare quotes!) is lacking in background information. We can certainly moot more, if you're up for discussing further.

Comment Re:No, I don't (Score 1) 385

I want _all_ employees to stop being abused. The argument that it's OK for Uber to abuse employees because someone else does it is something like what a toddler says when they're caught stealing cookies. What I don't understand is how the hell an argument this ridiculous is resonating with people.

Any Uber driver can choose to stop being "abused" at any time. Nothing at all--other than their own desire to drive for Uber--makes them drive. They're not battered spouses who are afraid to leave a dangerous relationship.

To be 100% clear, I want _both_ groups to be treated as employees. I want to put an end to the practice employers using the word "Contractor" to get out of the social obligations we have place on them. I don't care if you're Uber, a Taxi company, and IT service company or bloody part runners for an auto shop. If your business depends on those people and you wouldn't have a business without them they're employees. If they work they do is an ongoing part of your business they're employees. If you exercise significant control over their day to day work (how and when) they're employees. Enough with the bs already. If we're going to base 90% of our quality of life on employment then employers don't get to bitch when they're given obligations. Period.

I want the exact opposite of that. I don't want where you choose to work (or how you choose to work) to have any impact on your healthcare and insurance and retirement. None of those should be linked to employment at all. The fact that they are is only an outgrowth of bizarre government regulations that attempted to make the market more "fair" and managed to accomplished the exact opposite. Despite how inept the development of the Obamacare exchanges was, and despite how ineptly they seem to be run even now, I think they are a step in the right direction.

Companies like Uber exercise NO control over the lives of people who choose to drive.

Comment Re:Uber actually comes (Score 4, Interesting) 385

I generally avoided Uber, but last year I needed a taxi to get to the airport. I called two different taxi companies, and neither one had any taxis available to pick me up. Uber came right away, and was cheaper than a taxi.

I had the exact same experience. I've ridden Uber exactly three times. The first was after I tried getting a taxi to the airport in a medium-sized city around 3pm on a weekday. 45 minutes before a taxi would show, plus some kind of surcharge for the hour--was going to be like $35, pre-tip. Uber arrived in about 45 seconds and was $18. I even tipped the guy a $5 because he carried 3 of us and he picked up our suitcases...

Comment Re:Said it before (Score 4, Insightful) 385

Wait, you think most taxi drivers are employees with full benefits? Not so at all. So are the evil taxi companies just selfishly "externalizing" all their costs?

See, e.g.:

I took two Ubers a month ago in Minneapolis. The first driver was a young woman, an undergrad, studying computer science. She drives Uber about 15-20 hours a week to help cover college and living expenses. At 20 hours a week, she would not be eligible for full benefits anywhere.

The second driver was a retired lawyer who drives Uber whenever he feels like it, to keep active and talk to people (we shared some law stories, so I'm quite sure he was telling the truth about being a lawyer--not that *I'm* a lawyer!). He's retired and doesn't drive enough hours--or regularly enough--that any business in the country would consider him an employee.

Small sample size, but pretty interesting.

Uber drivers do not work set hours, have no obligation to Uber (other than completing a drive if they agree to start one), do not give two weeks notice when they quit, can work for the competition any time (simultaneously even!), etc. It baffles me that anyone would consider them employees.

I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.