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Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 809

by SvnLyrBrto (#48881055) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

I wonder if we'll be able to buy "exhaust tones" like we do ringtones? It might actually be amusing if you could download a $1.99 file from the iTunes store to make your Prius have the "exhaust" sounds of a Lamborghini. And by "amusing" I mean "a big steaming pile of suck". FFS people, we've been trying to cut down on noise pollution for decades! We finally have a good way to get rid of a large chunk of it and now we have people whining about it!

I swear... if any car I buy comes with this crap, there'd better be a way to turn it off. Otherwise, I'd be looking to find a way to make the (external) speakers play a non-stop mix of Katy Perry, Rebecca Black, and Hanson; so as to have at least a little bit of revenge against the luddite brigade for making my car more noisy than it properly should be.

Comment: The wars of the future... (Score 1) 208

by SvnLyrBrto (#48862967) Attached to: US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

Sounds familiar:

"The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots.

Thank you."

Comment: Re:Makes sense. (Score 2) 629

by SvnLyrBrto (#48795149) Attached to: Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

Thing is... Windows XP's lifespan wasn't short. It was unnaturally long for any OS that doesn't run on IBM big iron. It was absurdly long even my Microsoft's own development cycle.

Just look at what came right before XP from Microsoft. In the same 13 years that XP was around; everyone would previously have gone from Windows 3.1, to 95, to 95 OSR2, to 98, to 98 SE, to NT 4, to 2000, to ME, and then to XP. And even that's actually skipping a few versions that were especially craptacular or never really escaped from some very specialized use cases like 3.11, windows for workgroups, pre-4.0 versions of NT, and that bastard hybrid scheme of Windows running inside Novell Netware.

I may even be missing a few more versions there. I also didn't include the half-dozen service packs for NT 4; any one of which (But especially the odd-numbered ones.) was just as likely to break everything as a full OS upgrade. Plus a decent number of people still ran on various versions of MS-DOS for about half of that time frame.

So when I hear whining about the hassle of finally having to upgrade from XP, or about Linux vendors LTS being "only" five years, I really have to wonder just how the hell did these people manage before Microsoft went stagnant for a decade? Were all of the 1990s basically a solid, continuous, hissy-fit on the part of the world's MCSEs?

Sorry. But for all the other reasons I hate Microsoft, finally taking XP out back and shooting it just isn't one of them. It was one of MS's GOOD moves. And it was long overdue.

Comment: Re:Uber's in a completely different market (Score 1) 183

by SvnLyrBrto (#48731367) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

See... if there is a narnia somewhere that the legacy taxi companies don't suck and aren't a bunch of scumbags, and Uber is unnecessary there... why not let it fail on its own merits instead of squashing it at the political level?

No corporation... not YellowCab, not LuxorCab, not Uber or Lyft... is entitled to its profits and whatever profits they bring in should *not* be protected by the law. If the legacy taxi companies really *do* provide better service in some area than Uber, then they should be able to beat Uber in that area without buying off politicians or bullying the public.

Comment: Re: Stick a fork in, Uber is done. (Score 1) 183

by SvnLyrBrto (#48731097) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

Yeah. I know the feeling. The REAL solution here is, of course, to fix and enhance public transportation so that Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, taxis, and owning a car, are all unnecessary in the first place.

I despair of that ever happening in this country though because public transportation is, you know, communism and makes the baby jesus cry and all that.

Comment: Re:Uber's in a completely different market (Score 1) 183

by SvnLyrBrto (#48729247) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

In that case, the solution is to simply mandate the appropriate minimum insurance coverage, and be done with it. But that's not what these governments are doing, is it?

Actual restrictions on Uber and the like, rather than your simple insurance requirement, ARE there just to protect the monopolies and cartels that have sleazed their way into their protected positions. Said monopolies and cartels need to be broken. And the politicians supporting them need to be brought low. A pox on all their houses.

Comment: Re:Stick a fork in, Uber is done. (Score 1) 183

by SvnLyrBrto (#48729217) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

Uber may be have some ethical issues compared to Lyft or Sidecar, but they're practically saints compared to the scum of the legacy cab companies.

For all of the bad press that seems to get heaped onto Uber, I really have a hard time understanding why people steadfastly refuse to look at the dirty laundry of the cab companies and their legacy of corruption, bribery, croneyism and nepotism, and sometimes outright violence. And that's before taking into consideration their absolutely appallingly poor service, lack of cleanliness, lack of availability and timeliness, and ripoffs and scams from a customer viewpoint.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. I use Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar pretty much interchangeably these days. Any one is superior to taxis from every customer service standpoint. And any one... even Uber... is significantly less sleazy than the taxi companies. But I hope never to have to set foot inside a regular taxi again. In fact, here in SF, I'll happily resort to MUNI's owl service before I'll use a cab again.

Comment: Re:As expected... (Score 1) 400

by SvnLyrBrto (#48725949) Attached to: Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

Yeah, but "good enough" isn't good enough now to make going to the theater worth it in the majority of cases. I swear... it just seems sometimes like the theater chains are actively trying to discourage people from coming.

Overpriced tickets that are sometimes twice the cost of the Blu-Ray (Seriously... I bought Prometheus at Best Buy for $7 a few weeks ago.), screaming brats that parents refuse to rein in, sticky floors, uncomfortable chairs, no good place to put my coat, obscenely overpriced food and drinks (And the popcorn is often stale.), and sometimes outright being treated like a criminal (The Metreon in San Francisco actually had hired thugs searching and threatening people last time I was there, when some co-workers and I scored passes to the preview of Jobs.) by the management; all combine to make me just say: "Screw those guys. A pox upon their house."

For Jedi Knights and the Millennium Falcon, the Starship Enterprise, armies of orcs vs elves plus a dragon, or jaegers punching kaiju in the face, it's worth dealing with the theaters' BS to to see it on an Imax screen. But for anything less visual-effects intensive, not so much. The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, for example, will be perfectly cromulent at home on my 50" TV once they hit the iTunes store.

Comment: Re:Interesting.... (Score 1) 360

by SvnLyrBrto (#48657385) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

Really, I don't see why Sony should be considered any *less* legitimate than North Korea. There's even a fairly good argument that pretty much ANY publicly-traded corporation's governance is actually significantly MORE legitimate than North Korea's... or that of ant other dictatorship.

Corporate leadership is, after all, at least somewhat answerable to its public, in the form of annual shareholder motions and elections which do occasionally change board of directors membership and force actions upon said board, and therefore the corporation.

Comment: Re:To hell with taxis... (Score 1) 295

by SvnLyrBrto (#48598429) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

Uber is usually more expensive, true. But unlike taxis, they:

- Reliably show up when and where you summon them.
- Will take you out to the avenues without pitching a hissy fit.
- Will actually pick you up in the avenues.
- Don't try to pull the: "My credit card reader is broken, cash only." scam.
- Are paid for entirely through the app with no fumbling for cash OR credit card.
- Have nicer, cleaner, cars.
- Are not infested with bedbugs. (Seriously... last year one of the cab companies here (San Francisco) had a bed bug infestation in their cabs.)
- Do not stink of smoke, vomit, or pee.

Comment: Re:So basically.. (Score 1) 295

by SvnLyrBrto (#48598325) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

Yeah... I've never been taken by surprise bu surge pricing. It's always been announced in the app. Though, if I recall correctly, originally you didn't have to explicitly acknowledge and approve of it before summoning an Uber.

Also, they publish an API that other app developers can use to integrate with Uber. And surge pricing is usually in effect only in certain areas. Sometimes, only a block or two is the difference between normal pricing and up to a 4x surge... when major events like concerts of ball games end, for example. So, there are apps available that will show you where to walk from your current location so that surge pricing will not be in effect, and even summon your car to that location for you independent of Uber's own app.

Comment: Re:I am wondering (Score 1) 295

by SvnLyrBrto (#48597423) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

NY's system is one of the most infamous, with Chicago's corrupt system at their heels with Washington D.C. in there too, vying for "Most Corrupt & Broken US Taxi System". Many others are equally bad, heck, I haven't even mentioned anything west of the Mississippi, and there are no lack of bad & corrupt taxi systems!

Well, it's pretty telling that Uber got it's start in San Francisco. Our taxi system is just as corrupt, and the taxi companies and cabbies just as sleazy, as any that you mentioned. And they're engaged in the same sort of anti-Uber shenanigans as these frenchies. Just a few weeks ago, actually, they blockaded the airport.

I, for one, will never get into a taxi again. A pox upon their house and all their works. It's Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar across the board for me. And pretty much everyone I know thinks of the taxis the same way. Hell, even if by some freak chance the axis win and get the government to ban the ride-sharing services, I'll brave MUNI's owl service (About the only time I need a car service anyway is going home from a bar or club late-night.) before I get in a taxi again.

Comment: Re:Wait. Are gov't regs good or bad? (Score 4, Insightful) 280

by SvnLyrBrto (#48556411) Attached to: Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

Easy enough. The question to ask is what does more good for more people? The government is a tool, nothing more or less. And like any tool, it's suitable for some purposes, and unsuitable for others.

The legacy taxis are just utterly terrible services on so many levels. About the only thing they're useful is for trips between the downtown hotels and the airport. That's fine for tourists; but if you actually live here, taxi's are all but useless. Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar show up on time where you need them, don't bitch about trips to or from the avenues, don't play the "the credit card machine is broken, cash only" game, and don't stink of smoke, pee, or vomit. None of that is true of taxis. So breaking the government supports for the legacy taxis is good.

Internet monopolies harm the consumer and stifle the economic development of new and innovative businesses. Obvious and iconic example is the extortion of Netflix by Comcast and Verizon, resulting at first in crippled performance of the service and eventually an increase in the price. That's direct and measurable harm to millions of consumers and an innovative and useful startup business, and hardly the only case of consumers or new businesses bering harmed. The bandwidth monopolies are causing harm and need to be broken. And if government action is what it takes, then so be it.

And on the cops thing, I think what people want is accountability. "Evil and racist pigs" do make it through whatever screening processes the police have for their recruits. When discovered, they need to be punished: thrown off the force and locked away. And when the "good cops" cover for the "evil and racist pigs", refuse to remove the bad ones from the force, and make sure that they are not punished for their crimes and abuse, the "good cops" cease to be good. "One bad apple spoils the whole barrel", as the proverb goes. The bad apples need to be purged before they are able to spoil that barrel.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn