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Comment: Re:not original (Score 1) 187

by N1AK (#48658633) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

Yes, but how to you measure supply and demand? How do you set prices? Those are the details that define the patent.

I'd be interested to hear of a method for measuring supply (number of drivers) and demand (number of potential customers) that wouldn't be considered obvious. It is after all one of the most basic areas of economics. Setting prices will be an algorithm and they aren't eligible for patenting in a lot of countries and difficult to protect in others. Remember that patents aren't for things that are hard but for things that aren't obvious.

Comment: Re: not original (Score 1) 187

by N1AK (#48658615) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

I hope one day you find yourself hanging from a cliff and just before the person reaches down to help you they say, agree to hand over all your assets or I will divert my resources to else where and assure you,

I hope one day you're dying of thirst somewhere, and no clean water is coming because charitable groups can't mobilise fast enough and anti-price gouging laws make it uneconomical for private enterprises to sell where you are.

Your fire brigade example is especially ignorant. If you aren't in an area where general taxes pay for the fire service it is common for fire services to either a) refuse to put out fires or b) charge eye bleedingly large amounts to put out fires, if you choose not to have a policy with them.

Perhaps you'd like to share some examples of disasters created by people intending to exploit them by price gouging? Maybe even one where the actions taken to create the disaster wouldn't be a crime anyway? Because if you can't it just looks like you're making up issues because you don't have real ones to use.

Comment: Re:not original (Score 2) 187

by N1AK (#48658611) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

Actually it is normally called price gouging or profiteering [] and is normally considered illegal in most modern democracies

No it isn't. Price gouging laws almost universally are limited to disasters and to critical items. Even if you consider taxis critical the vast majority of surge pricing on Uber is for things like sporting events, rush hours etc not hurricanes.

If you have 100 taxis, and 1,000 people want one then what is the correct way to decide who gets one if it isn't price? Chance, local knowledge, friends at the taxi firm... If surge pricing has the additional benefit of encouraging more drivers to enter the market at times of need then even better.

Comment: Re:Decentralization (Score 1) 76

by N1AK (#48611833) Attached to: Uber Limits 'God View' To Improve Rider Privacy

Between the extortionate prices they gouged Australians for to escape the shooting, and crap like this ..

Oh come on. They have an algorithm that detects high demand and increases prices. It's not like someone was sitting there watching the news and salivating at the idea of ripping off terrified Aussies. If that surge pricing actually got more drivers into the city, and more people out, then it achieved exactly what was intended.

I agree with just about every other criticism so there's no need to try and imagine up new attacks like this.

Comment: Re:Now if only... (Score 1) 187

by N1AK (#48608677) Attached to: Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

e.g. how come my local chinese food deliverery guy uses an electric scooter but not a segway? 'cause the scooter is a few hundred bux at best.

A segway would be a rubbish delivery vehicle for fast food, perhaps for something like delivering the post where you're stopping constantly and don't have time to reach a high speed between stops. Segways could be a couple of hundred quid and they'd still likely be a failure. I can already walk, and although the segway could speed me up a little the hassle of charging it, being unable to use stairs, avoiding obstacles in tight spaces and having to secure it when I need to leave it to enter buildings would make it a massive pain in the ass. If I can't walk it, or don't have time, then a car/motorbike/scooter/bicycle can all get me there faster than a segway.

Comment: Re:duh, it doesn't have to be complicated (Score 1) 190

by N1AK (#48608621) Attached to: Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

duh, it doesn't have to be complicated

The only people who think it doesn't need to be complicated are the simple; any method of splitting the Artic and its resources would have winners and losers, and the losers are likely to oppose it. Any fool can come up with a way of splitting land up, getting it accepted by dozens or hundreds of countries...

Comment: Re:Quashed? (Score 0) 130

by N1AK (#48599825) Attached to: Sony Pictures Leak Reveals Quashed Plan To Upload Phony Torrents

Sony Pictures legal department quashed the idea, saying that if pirate sites were illegal, it would also be illegal for Sony Pictures to upload onto them

Is Youtube a torrent site? The summary is pretty clear that it was the status of torrent sites that stopped them, so it neither relates to Youtube or does anything to suggest they wouldn't do something similar with 'legal' video sharing sites.

Comment: Re:Imagine that! (Score 1) 191

by N1AK (#48599255) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

Google, being in a monopolist position may not be in a position where it can extort entire countries by just walking away (which it is doing in Spain). With current mood being like this across the EU, it just may trigger a pan-EU response.

You can't be a monopoly when you don't even offer a product in the country anymore! It isn't extorting Spain by no longer offering Google news there, anymore than it is extorting any other country it doesn't offer a dedicated service in. Existing, and alternative, operators can contest the market without competition from Google and unless it abuses its monopoly in search to stop them filling that niche they're doing nothing wrong.

Comment: Re:HAHA! (Score 1) 191

by N1AK (#48599229) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

That being said, are people too stupid/too lazy to just go to the newspapers' websites and browse the articles?

Well some people are stupid enough to think using news aggregators is stupid/lazy so anything is possible... Google's entire business model is collecting information together so you don't have to search through hundreds of seperate sources.

Comment: Re:macro assembler (Score 1) 641

by N1AK (#48553869) Attached to: How Relevant is C in 2014?

Any good programmer should be able to program on any level from assembler to C and C++ to Python and shell-scripts and up.

And every good butcher should be a great farmer, every good soldier an expert weapon maker, every good driver a world class mechanic ;)...

I learnt assembler, I think it was valuable to do so and I'd still suggest it to others, but it's nonsense to suggest that you need to know it to be a good programmer.

Comment: Re:No bigger than ... (Score 4, Insightful) 325

by N1AK (#48546009) Attached to: Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

But a bird is made up of meat and feather...whereas the drone could potentially contain titanium or other such strong material. It could contain explosives too. So size shouldn't matter.

What on earth is the point you are making. He said drones shouldn't be near airports then made the valid point that a typical drone would almost certainly not cause a crash when hitting a large plane. Obviously if you strap a bomb to one the calculation changes, but then so would the calculation if you shoved a grenade up a ducks ass and managed to hit a plane with it! Neither point is counter to his post.

Comment: Re:I've hired people with misdemeanors before (Score 1) 720

by N1AK (#48545689) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Your statement seems to imply that a felon is some sort of untouchable non-human.

Only as much as your statement implies you can't resist trying to mold other people's points into hyperbolic strawmen! He wasn't suggesting anything about felons other than that some people would consider drug charges a non-issue and yet would reject immediately other types of felon. You yourself used violent crime as a line in your example, should I assume you consider them untouchable non-humans?

"Flattery is all right -- if you don't inhale." -- Adlai Stevenson