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Comment Re: fair competition (Score 1) 155

Funnily enough, in some places in Europe there are different driving license requirements for the cab drivers and the bus drivers. Because they tend to drive 8+ hours a day and clock insane mileage in a year, unlike the average driver.

We are not talking about a strenuous job. We're talking about sitting on ass and swearing. But let me pick this apart point by point.

Annual full medical checkup

Here's the thing, this is equally valid no matter how much you drive. If you have a health condition like to cause problems while you're driving, you've no business driving a taxi or driving to the shops.

Annual driving test

Because you're going to forget how to drive? Now a vision test, that's apt. But that's part of automobile licensing already, which ought to be on a schedule that makes it meaningful for all drivers for the safety of all drivers.

Regular inspection of the vehicle (time-based or mileage based, whichever is reached first)

This in particular should be applied to all vehicles, regardless of purpose. When they reach certain mileage targets they should be inspected, period. It shouldn't matter if they are a taxi or not. There is no reason for these targets to differ. There's also not much sense in having time-based targets, because time is not equal. How a vehicle is used (or not used!) determines how it wears, not the amount of time which passes. Miles are the best surrogate which can reasonably be logged.

Comment Re:fair competition (Score 1) 155

You might say pretty much exactly the same about cooking, but I still think it's fair to hold professional food serving businesses to a different standard than me inviting a friend over for dinner.

Right, the way it works is that if you run a restaurant you need to be licensed, and the city or county will become cross with you if you feed many people anywhere but inside of a restaurant. So if you feed enough of your friends at your house on a regular basis, the city is going to want you to get inspected and licensed. The premise is public safety.

But wait, taxi drivers are at more risk from their fares than the other way around! Arguably, it's passengers who should have to pass a background check, and have their identity logged. If we're talking about vehicle safety, shouldn't all vehicles be getting inspected, especially if they have many miles put on them? Shouldn't all drivers be responsible drivers who are familiar with the rules of the road?

As for insurance, the rates reflect the risk and letting commercially operated cars pool with your average commuter unfairly shoves their risk over on us.

Uber provides additional insurance while carrying a passenger, and the driver's ordinary insurance premiums are already based on mileage, so if they put more miles on their car in between passengers that's also already accounted for by their insurance. Their risk is already being accounted for without you having to pay for it.

This isn't a phone book, Uber is taking a cut for every ride.

What does that have to do with anything?

Imagine a P2P program with a central server that charged you to pair up, if you want to download game of thrones season one that'll be $0.50 of which we'll take $0.10 and the uploader $0.40. Oh and the peers are legally responsible for whether the files are legal, we're only a matchmaker. How long do you think they'd be in business?

Not very long, because they would be knowingly enabling illegal activity. Nobody is arguing about how legal Uber is. The argument is about how legal Uber should be. It's notable that if any of us tried this as an individual they would just take our car and put us in jail, but as a corporation Uber is able to mount a meaningful defense, and actually go to court and make their own arguments. Corporations are the only entities with meaningful legal rights any more, because they can afford them.

But more to the point, in your supposedly congruent example they are helping to resell someone else's "property". That example is only applicable here if you assume that the monopoly that the entrenched taxi operators and services have purchased legitimately best serves the public interest, and many of us do not.

Comment Re:Cabs (Score 1) 155

If the laws aren't making taxi's you like, then, again.. Why is this so hard to understand... HAVE THE LAW CHANGED.

So if the people propping up the bad law have more money and influence, then it just never gets changed, and society never moves forwards, that's your plan? That's a shit plan. It's way worse than civil disobedience.

Comment Re:Expect drama (Score 1) 72

Merely disagreeing with Thunderf00t or Sargon makes you a target of them and their followers. Does that mean they are SJWs? That term seems rather ill defined.

SJW just means anyone who cares about anything that the person using the term SJW thinks is stupid, or bad, or wrong. If you have the gall to care, even though they are apathetic fuckheads, then you're a SJW. They have to deprecate you because they know they're shitbags and you're making them feel like what they are. And they will happily lump people with sensible ideas in with assholes.

Comment Re: The new normal for Android (Score 1) 123

If this is such a non-issue, then why have there been hundreds, if not thousands, of posts by frustrated Android users, and dozens of articles ( including the one you and I are posting under), that say differently?

Because there are so many more Android users than iOS users, and because they are less willing to give Google a free pass than iOS users are Apple.

But even after that completely reasonable length of OFFICIAL support, those few that are still rockin' that "antique" kit are free to Jailbreak their iOS devices, and take their chances with "Custom ROMS" from sources like Cydia.

Cydia offers an alternate app store, not iOS updates. It's equivalent to rooting, not to reflashing.

Comment Re:Yeah, I thought this problem was solved (Score 3, Interesting) 75

that's actually the problem with most technology

nuclear for example

i haven't a single doubt that we have the technological means to maintain nuclear plants forever without a single accident

but what we don't have is the social and political means to do that

money is always being cut, indefinitely, and the people making that decision are not exactly technically proficient. the incentive to cut costs form the general public and bosses who want to trumpet cost cutting trumps all other concerns, because other concerns, no matter how vital, are simply not understood. combine that with a technical person that responds with anger and arrogance at the idea of vital safety mechanisms being underfunded, the manager will simply disregard him or her as a person with a personality problem, and then disasters happen

people who champion nuclear, especially on a website like this, understand the technology well, and are correct when they announce we never have to have a nuclear accident ever again due to technological issues

but they don't consider the political and social aspects of our species that means vital funding of safety mechanisms and maintenance of absolutely crucial technology *will* be broken. it's simply a matter of when, not if

and then people who champion nuclear get angry at people like me, and accuse us of not understanding the technology. oh we understand the technology is wonderful. but it is you who doesn't understand humanity

the imperative on cutting costs and doing as little effort as possible is always trumping all other concerns. always. and people like this wind up being the managers, not the underlings. they can't be fired, they do the firing

incompetence is a force that destroys everything. sober up and accept that

Comment Re:Cabs (Score 1) 155

Listen, this is the way that the society you live in was built. People come up with laws to make the society better for everyone

No. I mean, yes, sometimes. That's nice, when it's true. But often, laws are there for other purposes. Sometimes those purposes are at cross-purposes with progress. In some places, taxis are pretty good, so I understand why people would defend them there. In a lot of places, taxis are very crap, and the system is clearly not serving the people. In at least some of those cases, it clearly was not intended to serve the people.

and people are expected to follow those laws.

Oh sure, some people. You and I small fries, we are expected to follow those laws. Those of us who are not officials or officers or employees of the state have to follow those laws. Laws are for little people. The State of California Franchise Tax Board can take your money and not give it back even if seizing it was unwarranted; any money they've had for more than a year is theirs forever, even if they weren't entitled to any to begin with. But if they think you owe them some money, look the fuck out. That's just my pet example right now, of laws being created just to steal from people. You think that's justifiable?

One such set of laws are the ones governing the taxi industry. They ensure there aren't too many cabs on the road so that it doesn't become dangerous, people can access cabs fairly in the eyes of the law even if they are challenged in doing so, and that the people and driver are adequately protected.

Again, maybe they do that in some places, but certainly not in the USA, certainly not in Panama or Costa Rica... I've heard plenty of tales here on Slashdot which suggest they aren't actually that good in England after all... where are these mythical unicorn taxicabs that are always clean and safe and never rip you off or just fail to come pick you up if they don't feel like it? Or who never take another fare before you and therefore show up massively late? I call shenanigans.

These are good things.

I agree that they are laudable goals, but not that taxi licensing achieves them. Also, if you need taxi licensing to achieve most of those goals, it can never provide for them. If your cars aren't safe without taxi licensing, taxi licensing won't make your cars safe. There's more cars around them than there are taxis. If your people aren't safe without taxi licensing, taxi licensing won't make your people safe. Nutters don't give a shit about consequences. That's part of what makes them nutters. Taxi licensing may be part of a successful scheme to provide access to the disabled, I personally have no experience of that so I can't speak for or against it in terms of efficacy. However, I believe that if the state wants such a thing to exist, then it should be providing it at cost, rather than mandating that someone else provide it. That does tend to inflate the state, but there's lots of things I think make more sense as a public service than as a private one, and mandatory access for the disabled is one of those things. Otherwise, the costs are unfairly paid for only by other taxi users, rather than by society (which is supposed to be deriving the benefit, right? not just taxi riders.)

Comment Re:Against the law (Score 1) 155

The thing is, you live in a country that is governed entirely by a full legal system. Move to a place that doesn't have a legal system then and tell us how that works out for you.

What does "governed entirely by" mean? Because I'm detecting a strong smell of bullshit about that phrase. There are plenty of people to whom the law simply does not apply, or to whom it is applied extremely unevenly.

Comment Re:Uk legionella engineer here (Score 1) 75

It would work if you could cover every inch of the inside of the air ducts, which you probably can't. I doubt it would have any effect at all on fast flowing air.

Nope. You would have to use Ozone, if even that works. Then you get into the position to having to make sure you're not making too much, but that seems solvable.

Comment Re:Congestion (Score 1) 155

No one seems to have picked up the one thing that city hall seems to be worried about, which is real, which is congestion.
In a free market the streets would be extremely full of taxis

No. London already has congestion charges. It costs you money to do that. Right now they have exceptions for hybrids, hilariously that includes full-size land-yacht S-Class hybrids and the like, a small car has better mileage and emissions than they do but still has to pay congestion charges if it's not an EV or a hybrid.

Comment Re:fair competition (Score 1) 155

At that point very few honest people will be driving the taxi. They will be honest only to the extent the honesty could be thrust on them.

That is how the world generally works now. Honesty is not rewarded by the public, so it's scarce. The Uber model includes ratings for drivers, so if they are assholes repeatedly, they'll get kicked out of the system... unlike actual taxi drivers, who appear to be a specially protected class.

Comment Re:Against the law (Score 1) 155

Oh the laws are just,

Because you said so, right?

Since the courts have said so. Unless you're saying that you don't believe in the rule of law.

I don't believe that the courts decide which laws are just, no matter how you stretch that statement. Not only do the courts not make laws, but legality still doesn't equal morality.

Uber provides additional insurance while carrying a fare, and insurance premiums are already assessed for mileage which accounts for the additional mileage between fares.

And that isn't legal in many places of the world. The vehicle itself has to have the insurance coverage directly on it. Which isn't happening.

Again, two separate claims were made. One claim was that they were breaking the law. This was a stupid claim, because it was not disputed. That was stupid of you. The other claim was that Uber is not providing additional insurance. Uber is in fact providing additional insurance. They are complying with the spirit of that law (if not all of them) if not the letter. You are complaining that what they are doing is unjust, even though they are complying with the spirit of the law which you believe to be moral. That is stupid.

having a chauffeurs license,
A worthless thing which does none of the things it is claimed to do.

Except it has a higher level of testing, requires the person to know and understand local laws before passing,

A driver is already required to know and understand traffic laws. If your licensing permits someone unfamiliar with the law to get an ordinary driver's license, then your licensing system is broken and it should be fixed, because the ramifications go much deeper than cabs.

and it's a prerequisite in many cases for carriage insurance for taxis.

Uber is using insurance which doesn't have that prerequisite, so it is stupid to mention that.

And in many places is the requirement to waive liability in the case where a passenger refuses to use a seatbelt and so on.

That's not a problem for society, that's a problem for the driver. Also, liability for not wearing a seatbelt should always fall on the party not wearing the seatbelt if seatbelts are provided and that person is not a minor, who really should not be held responsible for much of anything given how few rights they have.

You're a liar.

Well, I suppose that makes you an idiot who doesn't understand law.

No, it makes you logically fallacious, because you're moving the goalposts. You said Uber wasn't providing insurance, now you're saying Uber isn't providing the specific legally mandated insurance. Make up your fucking mind, and also, the specific legally mandated insurance is a legal and not a moral issue. If they're providing adequate insurance, what's the problem? It is wrong to mandate specific procedures, only requirements should be mandated. If they're providing enough coverage, who cares if it applies to the vehicle, the driver, or the situation?

All your arguments are based on the idea that all laws are equally valid, so you really don't have a single valid argument anyway, since we know that to be false. But I was considerate enough to dismantle your ranting one blather at a time.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford