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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.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 4, Interesting) 454

by SvnLyrBrto (#48444985) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

The problem is, that the dumb rules are enforced and the good rules are routinely ignored.

Illegal turns, failure to yield the right-of-way, improper merging, passing on the right, and puttering along in the passing lane (which provokes people to pass on the right), and various other forms of careless driving are all more dangerous than speeding. Single occupancy cars in the HOV lane or cars in general in the bus/rail lanes muck up the flow of traffic a lot more than speeding does. And then there are those pricks who drive into an intersection when there isn't room for them on the other side and stop in the crosswalk, or even in a crossing traffic lane; turning a traffic slowdown into a traffic jam.

But much of the above is routinely ignored and unpunished, while the vast bulk of traffic enforcement is based on catching speeders; often on the freeways, where the potential for them to harm themselves or others or to disrupt the flow of traffic is at the minimum. It's ludicrous.

Comment: Re:Dumb-asses! (Fry's is not so dumb...) (Score 1) 287

In addition to said shenanigans, some of Best Buy's employees are just flat-out dense.

One time, I had a case where the in-store price was higher than the internet price on Best Buy's own website. I don't know if it was an error in their database, or if stores in more expensive areas (This was in San Francisco.) have the ability to set their prices higher. Regardless, they refused to price match their own internet price. The excuse they gave was that bestbuy.com was not on the list of sites they price match. I was told this by both a sales associate and his manager, when I asked to kick it up a level.

Thing is, bestbuy.com allows you to place an order online and pick it up in-store from their inventory. So I just placed my order on my iPhone, took off for lunch somewhere, about 45 minutes later got the email that my order was ready for pickup, and dropped by the same store on my way home and grabbed the thing at the lower price from the customer service counter.

Stupid and obtuse behavior across the board on their part.

Comment: Re:Getting tired of this shit (Score 1) 282

by SvnLyrBrto (#48126931) Attached to: Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

Indeed.

Some people have also been living in a city and needing the occasional hired ride since before Uber and Lyft were around and remember well just how damned awful the medallioned taxis are. Seriously... screw the taxis. A pox upon their houses and I hope Uber or Lyft or Sidecar or whoever really does run them out of business entirely. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Yeah, I'm opposed to the laws that prop up the legacy taxi companies; but I've no love for the libertarian fringe. The ride-share companies simply provide such a vastly superior service that I want them to win.

I own a car too. And I usually use Uber or Lyft to get home so I can drink when I go out for a night on the town. And the regular taxis are just so bloody terrible that if the ride-sharing services DO lose the war and go out of business, I'll go back to the tedium of waiting for and navigating MUNI's Owl schedule to get home in the wee hours of the morning before I ever get in a cab again.

And yeah... User's tactics against Lyft are kind of scummy. And I do wish they'd, instead, focus on putting a few more nails into the coffins of the taxis. But Uber's tactics are significantly less scummy than the taxi industry's and, for that matter, the actual cabs themselves. So anything that strengthens Uber is still a win in my book.

Comment: Re:We need more of this (Score 1) 275

by SvnLyrBrto (#47878073) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

Yes, so very yes.

Severability clauses in general need to be outlawed. I'd say that sneaking something that's illegal into a contract, in the hopes that the other party won't realize that it's illegal, is a crystal clear indicator at the very least of "negotiating" in bad faith and SHOULD be prosecutable fraud. Try to pull a stunt like that on someone; and his obligations to you should be wiped clean.

Comment: Probably, it's just lying salesdrones. (Score 1) 63

by SvnLyrBrto (#47819323) Attached to: Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims

A friend of mine used to work at Yelp When he did, I asked him about this. (Accusations of cooked yelp reviews are far from a recent development.) For whatever itâ(TM)s worth⦠but I have no reason to suspect he was lying to me⦠he told me that sales and operations absolutely ARE firewalled from each other, that by no means do the sales types have the necessary administrative or database access to adjust a business' ratings, and that theyâ(TM)re not the sharpest tools in the shed anyway and probably wouldnâ(TM)t understand how to use said access if they had it.

He also told me, though, that their sales department was one of the slimiest bunch of lying scumbags heâ(TM)d ever encountered; and he wouldnâ(TM)t doubt for a moment that they were TELLING businesses that they could have their ratings adjusted if they bought ads.

Comment: Re:Planned obsolescence (Score 0) 281

That's funny.

Every iOS upgrade I can recall, even since Apple made OTA deltas available, has required affirmative permission from me before it installed. Would you care to enlighten us as to exactly which versions were pushed out and automatically installed without users' consent?

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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