Thanks for noticing. Fixed.
In Baltimore or DC you could have arranged for me or my buddy Charles to meet you at the airport in a clean stretch limo, complete with soft drinks and bottled water in the ice box, for about 20% more than a *legit* cab fare, and *less* than a jacked-up one. And we had maps and could find literally anything. Nowadays, of course, everyone has GPS. But there have always been small, squared-away local car services and limo companies. You just had to be smart enough to find them, maybe by using that Inter Net thing I keep hearing about. Or recommendations from friends or business associates. Our basic business model was to be just like your private chauffeur, except you only paid for us when you needed us, not all the time.
Most of our transport customers, after the firs year, were regulars. You could be on your way home after an exhausting flight, and know the driver who was picking you up well enough that you could go to sleep in the car. We knew where you lived, and were kind enough not to wake you until we had your luggage out of the trunk and (if applicable) got your wife/gf/bf to come wake you up with a kiss.
It's a service business. We succeeded by giving better service than our competition. And that red carpet we laid down all the time? Remnants we got for $2 each. Why didn't other transport companies do that? Got me. And on hourly charters, a rose for each lady -- or femme-ish gay.
We had all kinds of customers, which is what made the business fun.
If my eyes hadn't gotten shitty and if I still had any stamina, I'd go back in the limo biz. Still have the roblimo.com URL.
"Shouldn't the existing laws be sufficient to shutdown uber?" They usually are, if anybody bothers to enforce them.
I jumped out of the cab into a "limo' that was a heavily-waxed Buick with "for hire" plates and commercial insurance. I sat on the Hyatt's parking apron and the doormen and concierges referred rides to me, and I gave them 10%. Totally legal. And over the next few months I built enough private trade that I didn't sit in front of the hotel very often, and not long after that I bought an old but low-mileage stretch -- and did well enough with it to buy a house trailer on a very nice lot in Elkridge, MD.
Uber isn't the first company that has taken on the cabs. How about Boston Coach? Or Carey Limo? Or.... hell, there's lots of them out there, all making a decent living. Uber just whines louder than the others, and is bilking investors in a big way instead of quietly running a transportation business.
I had to get a background check and provide proof of commercial insurance to operate a limousine in Maryland. The insurance was not expensive due to my clean driving record and extensive experience as a cab & limo driver, and the background check was maybe $25, plus I had to supply 2 passport-sized photos for my passenger-carry license. BFD. Took me maybe a couple of hours, and once I was in business I did just fine.
I'm starting to think 'Uber' means 'crybaby' in the Shoshone Indian language.
AND - my friend Cate, who used to drive for Uber and Lyft at the same time, has now dropped Uber. 'They're just too flaky,' she says, and tells me just sticking with Lyft has made her life easier without cutting her income. Nicer customers, too, she says.
Back in the present, dronemaking is still a hobby for Mark and Joel, something they do for fun after spending their workdays as software engineers at Intel. Joel says there is 'remarkably little' crossover between their jobs and their hobby, and that (so far) Intel has contributed little beyond some Edison modules (which you can buy for less than $50) and travel to the Embedded Linux Conference, where they gave a talk accompanied by these slides. NOTE: We have a little bonus for you today. We try to keep videos to 10 minutes or less, but we have no such constraints on transcript length. So if you want the 'full' version of this interview, please read the transcript.
If you submit a video and we run it, it would show up in the feed, too. I haven't seen this behavior myself, but I'll try to replicate it. Thanks for the heads-up.
I've had problems logging in and sometimes can't post as other than AC even when logged it, too. Try emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. That should bring your comment to the attention of people who can help. (I'm can't help because I'm an old retired guy now, and do a little work on Slashdot videos as a contractor.)
This is a "don't give me any ideas" idea. I don't live in Comcast territory myself, but could moderate/narrate. Get some people who have webcams and speaker phones *and* have Comcast, and.... email robin at roblimodotcom and we'll see if we can make it happen
If you don't want to watch Slashdot videos, don't. If you want the *information* in them, read the verbatim transcripts we include with almost every one. And if you don't like the info in our videos, Don't click on them.
Believe it or not, many different people look at Slashdot every day. Some want to read about *BSD, some want science news. Some -- usually many thousands -- watch the videos, while 10 (on average) complain about them. I learned long ago that not every story on Slashdot is going to please everyone. Such is life.
AND if you think you can do better or more informative videos than we do, XLNT! Submit a video -- or maybe an idea for one, along with links to videos you've done elsewhere. We stay simple on purpose, because our job in these videos is to introduce you to the people in them, often with a "you are there" feel at conferences and shows where background noise is part of the environment. Remember that we are not looking for star wipes and such. We can do them as well as anyone else, but we know that just because you *can* do something doesn't mean you *should*.
Something that happened all the way back in 2000: We did a reader-generated questions interview with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. He'd been complaining that nobody was ever fair to him; that they edited his words to twist their meanings. So, being us, Timothy talked to Lars for hours because Lars said it would have to be verbal, that he wasn't going to do all that typing. So Timothy transcribed every word of that interview verbatim, including every "uh" and mumble and obscenity.
Lars was not thrilled to be quoted verbatim even though that's what he said he wanted. But that interview gave Slashdot people a better sense of who Lars was as a person than all the laundered interviews in the world.
So we do video interviews with people a Slashdot editor considers interesting, often after a reader suggests interviewing that person (and includes contact information). Or they're people Timothy meets at conferences and trade shows. Some interviewees are making major contributions in one field or another. Some think they are, but aren't. Some are well-known. Some aren't - - but should be. And some live in obscurity and should stay there.
It's a mixed bag. I say again: if you want to suggest video interview subjects *or* want to be interviewed yourself *or* do an interview, let's go!
PS - Slashdot has always done a little original content, and for many years was associated with original content sites NewsForge and Linux.com. If you dip into the pool of internet content every day, shouldn't you be obliged to add to it?
'...for now, the only workaround is to simply not be in range of such a malicious network.' Really? How about not owning an iOS device?