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Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 134 134

by PopeRatzo (#50016223) Attached to: Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company

There has been an effort pushed by cabdrivers in Chicago to do exactly what you describe. It has been resisted by the city's Taxi Authority, which despite what people here might think, are definitely not in bed with the drivers. In fact, the city government HATES cab drivers. They make their lives miserable in ways you can't imagine. Minor parking violations can go $800-1500. The city treats cabbies like dirt.

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 134 134

by PopeRatzo (#50016169) Attached to: Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company

Is there really that many people who can't find a cab? If so, there should be more cabs.

Depends on where you're at, and that's the whole point. If you're on Michigan Avenue at 11:30am, you could toss a pebble in the air and it will probably come down on a cab. If your grandmother on the Northwest Side wants to take a cab to the doctor, she might have to wait an hour.

The idea is how to get the right number of cabs, and because of uneven distribution of demand (and supply) it's not something that the "free market" will fix. That's why you find so many more Uber drivers in certain neighborhoods and none in others, even adjusting for property values and crime statistics.

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 134 134

by PopeRatzo (#50015913) Attached to: Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company

Medallion owners bought the medallions with the understanding that they were buying into a limited monopoly.

Maybe it should be clarified here that when you see someone claim that it's not the government charging $200,000 for a taxi medallion, that's just the going price on the secondary market. You know, good old capitalism, where people are bidding up the price of a necessarily limited commodity.

The taxi authority looks at population, traffic flow and transportation needs and comes up with a number of taxis that they think should be on the street. Every year, they add new medallions into the system, usually with a lottery. The idea is not so much to protect the cab drivers (cities don't care about cab drivers. If they did, they wouldn't make the minor traffic fines, like your cab being 10 inches over the line of a designated taxi waiting zone, as much as $500 (which practically wipes out the cab driver's week), but to keep the number of taxis from getting so crazy that you have cabs clogging up city centers, fighting for fares.

Another think medallions are used for is to ensure that someone in an underserved part of the city can get a cab. In my city, certain medallions are required for certain times to initiate or terminate a certain percentage of fares in certain parts of the city.

Comment: Re:Look outside, not inside (Score 1) 90 90

by PopeRatzo (#50015805) Attached to: Study Suggests That HUD Tech May Actually Reduce Driving Safety

My wife's 'vette has a hud in it and the first thing I do when I drive the car is turn the hud off. When flying the best advice is to keep your head 'out of the cockpit', in other words scanning the skies around you. New pilots' are always glued to the instruments, mature pilots eyes are focused outside except for quick scans of the instruments.

Your wife has a flying car? That is so cool.

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 134 134

by PopeRatzo (#50015779) Attached to: Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company

I would have the slightest shred of sympathy if taxi unions hadn't used their protectionist racket to provide the nastiest most unpleasant rider experience.

What was the last time you took a taxi, and in what town? Maybe I notice because I drove a cab some decades ago, but I take cabs in almost every city I travel to - and I travel a lot - and I can't remember the last time I had a rude cab driver.

Maybe the reason your experiences (if they're real experiences and not just more bullshit) with cabs are bad is because cab drivers - being human - tend to treat people the way they are treated, and maybe you're an asshole.

In fact, to support this possibility, I'm going to quote from another one of your comments a few levels down from this one:

You have proven to us that the Statists dont give a fuck about the facts, that we have to argue endlessly in circles with you. Go fuck yourselves.

Yep, you're an asshole. I believe I have proven my hypothesis.

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 134 134

by PopeRatzo (#50015705) Attached to: Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company

Standards of cleanliness? In what city? I would never wear white in a cab. A lot of cab drivers also stink almost as bad as your average pan-handler.

When I was in grad school, I drove a taxi. This is a pretty long time ago, but let me tell you, y'all passengers don't always smell so great, either. I remember an August day when a guy got in my cab at O'Hare just drenched in Calvin Klein cologne (which was a fad at the time and smelled like a skunk in a whorehouse). I had to drive him all the way downtown, with my eyes watering and me choking. I had the AC on full because it was hot and finally by about Belmont I just said, "fuck it" and opened my window, wanting to stick my head out like a labrador retriever. This is before they forced cabs to have the plastic barrier between the driver and passenger.

The worst part is he gave me a two dollar tip. Another Gordon Gecko yuppie throwing nickels around like they were manhole covers.

Comment: Courage (Score 1) 98 98

by PopeRatzo (#50015229) Attached to: My relationship to 4th of July noise:

I don't mind fireworks and I used to love setting them off (especially in model cars and school toilets). But now I've got a 15 year old border collie who hates those things. She'll face down pit bulls, coyotes and patiently lets kids crawl all over her, but when the fireworks start, she shrinks into the closet, shaking, and tries to dig her way through the rug hoping to create a hole big enough to hide in.

Plus, every year the Fourth of July seems to last longer. Now it starts somewhere around June 20th and runs through at least to the second week of July. And there will still be explosions going off way past midnight on the 4th (though given that this is Chicago, it might be gunfire - it was the home of Al Capone after all). Two years ago, I went out at about 10pm and coming down my street was a Mercedes full of what looked like wealthy frat boys with one having his arm out the window drunkenly firing an H&K into the air.

I am fond of the Fourth of July, but I'd rather watch a professional fireworks display from the relative safety of my porch (I can see the big Grant Park display from there).

Comment: Re:GUNS (Score 1) 248 248

by PopeRatzo (#50009207) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: For What Are You Using 3-D Printing?

Why can't he use them? Does he not have any high ranking federal government officials within reasonable traveling distances? :)

No, it's because a 3D printed gun is not anywhere near as good as a gun made by a gunsmith. I guess if he has a need for a gun that will pass a metal detector or something (though a 3D printed gun probably wouldn't) then I guess he would find some actual use for one, but 3D guns are still not practical. If you want to shoot reliably, would you choose a 3D printed gun over something made by a professional?

Think about the cost of a 3D printer. Now think about the cost of a serious handgun (or as he said, an "assault rifle", though I doubt he knows what that actually is, or what it's for).

Can you think of a legitimate application for which a 3D-printed gun would be superior to a weapon made by a real gunsmith?

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."