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Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 1) 149

by Wycliffe (#48919891) Attached to: Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

You guess? Well lets just throw out the Iron Clad Law of Supply & Demand, on which almost all of the worlds productive economy is based, because you guess.

I agree completely with the rest of your post. My "guess" is not about how supply/demand works.
My "guess" was that occasional short-term higher pay for drivers won't increase the supply much.
From what I've heard alot of uber drivers are either people who do it as a job or people who pick up
someone when they are going that way anyways. At only 3 times normal pay and only a temporary
price hike, you aren't going to see a huge number of people who aren't already set up to do it jump
in and start being an uber driver. You might get a few and longterm if prices stayed high then yes,
people would enter the market but in most areas especially labor the supply side is much less
elastic than the demand side so a price hike shortterm usually decreases demand much more
quickly than it increases supply. In some areas you can even see prices stay high for long
periods of time when the cost to increase production is expensive and noone is willing to invest
because they are scared the demand will drop before their investment pays off.

Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 1) 149

by Wycliffe (#48914513) Attached to: Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

They could still pay the drivers more, without charging the passengers more, if they actually want people to believe they are only trying to help.

Why is this rated 5? Yes, paying drivers more *might* slightly increase supply but my guess is that the number of drivers is somewhat
fixed so without also charging passengers more you do nothing on the demand side. The point of demand pricing is to reduce demand
so that you don't overwhelm the relatively fixed supply. If your goal is to always have cars available, then increasing the price while
paying the drivers the same would actually be a better solution than increasing the pay while charging the same but that would also be
There are only two scenerios where increasing driver pay while keeping price the same makes sense.
1) If the supply drops because the regular drivers don't want to go out in the cold, etc.. and can be enticed by more pay.
2) There is a HUGE capacity of dormant drivers and Increasing the pay can cause alot of people who usually don't drive to decide to drive.

But my guess is that most of the time the reason the price goes up is because the demand is up. If the demand is
up then paying more on the supply side without also increasing prices on the demand side does absolutely nothing
besides making uber go broke.

Comment: Re:life in the U.S. (Score 1) 254

by Wycliffe (#48907075) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

I call BS on this one. I'm on an 10+M connection, and movies are unwatchable. Then again, it has nothing to do with my connection, but the source.

youtube at 240p works fine at 768/128 for me as does amazon prime. I don't have netflix but I
remember it working fine too. I can't watch HD and 320p requires me to buffer it first but is doable.
Hulu also works fine but amusingly enough I can't see any commercials as the commercials are
hardcoded at 320p or possibly something higher so it just jumps all around for me. Luckily it still only
lasts the same length of time so I only ever see half the commercials. So yes, video is completely
doable at 1M or slightly less if you go with the lower resolutions.

Comment: Re:The utterly obnoxious part... (Score 1) 254

by Wycliffe (#48906987) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

I hit the upload limit pretty frequently too, but the average user doesn't upload much. Your ISP offers the average user better service by favoring download bandwidth based on usage statistics.

We're back to the chicken/egg problem. Your average user doesn't upload much because they
have a crappy upload and it's even sometimes actively discouraged.
If the average user had a 25/25 connection then you would see alot more services catering to
things like online storage of photos, online backups, or even storing your entire desktop environment
online aka thin clients.

Comment: Re:The utterly obnoxious part... (Score 1) 254

by Wycliffe (#48904025) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

If I could mod you up, I would. You hit it dead on. The only counterargument I see to this though is that you still have the
chicken/egg problem if 25/3 is available and most people aren't willing to pay extra for it because they just don't need it.

On, a bit of a side note, as you mentioned yourself, the upload speed still sucks. Why 25/3? That's actually a worse
ratio that the current 4/1. If we really want new and interesting cloud services then upload and download should be matched.
Given the choice, I would take 10/10 or even 10/5 over 25/3. 10/10 would allow much more interactive cloud services than
25/3 does.

Actually, An even better solution is make it a pipe and give them 10M, 20M, etc... and don't let them hide a crappy upload
speed in the fine print. If they say it's 4M, it should be 4M whether that's 100% upload or 100% download. My 100M
ethernet doesn't have a different speed for a different direction and neither should my internet.

Comment: Re:life in the U.S. (Score 1) 254

by Wycliffe (#48903893) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

This change should either make your 'net cheaper, or increase your speeds. Either way, you win.

I disagree. The cable company where I lived started offering a 256/64 package a few years back for $20 a month (basically
the same price as dialup at the time) in order to get people to switch to cable instead of dialup. They quickly ended this
because it was costing them more than it was making them as people were downgrading to it or choosing that over the other
more expensive broadband connections. Upgrading to 25/4 when most people don't currently need it is going to cost alot of
money and only a few people are going to be willing to pay the premium for it so in order to cover that cost they will need to
increase the cost on the low end. I'm on a 1M connection and can surf the web, watch movies, etc.. with no issue.

The FCC would be much better off leaving the broadband definition alone and instead try to figure out how to get at least
3-4 independent providers in every area so there is real competition.

Comment: Re:life in the U.S. (Score 1, Insightful) 254

by Wycliffe (#48903827) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

If you want our internet to remain third world, by all means, stand against the FCC in attempting to revise their definition of broadband.

Competition and/or expanding access would go alot further to bettering the internet than increasing the broadband definition.

Dialup or using a cellular hotspot with speeds less than 1M is painful. 4M not so much for everyday use. I'm a programmer and
work remotely via vpn, ssh, plus browse the web, watch amazon prime, etc... on a 1M connection and I have no problems with it.
I do wish my upload speeds were faster. The fastest upload speed I can get is 768k so I guess by the FCC's definition I'm not
on broadband. Even this is not a huge problem. The only reason I wish I could do faster uploads is so that I can do online backups
but that's probably a niche market.

Even if 25/3 was available where I live, I probably wouldn't pay for it. I just don't need that much and can't justify the extra cost right now.

Comment: Re:Simple solution (Score 1) 422

by Wycliffe (#48895921) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Who puts three fingers on the surface of a mouse?

Everyone with the normal human number of digits, I would think.

I've always just used my pointer and middle finger with my middle finger operating the right button and my left finger operating both
the left button and the scroll wheel. It's feels very awkward for me to either operate the scroll with my middle finger or to operate
the right button with my ring finger.

Comment: Re:Now if I could just type... (Score 1) 165

by Wycliffe (#48860877) Attached to: Your Entire PC In a Mouse

Seems like it makes more sense to build the computer into the display or into something the size of a small portable hard disk drive, so that it can have USB ports or bluetooth for the keyboard and mouse, and could literally hang on the HDMI port on the TV like the "Amazon Fire TV Stick" works.

Inside the TV is not very portable. I don't like smart tvs either because they are a one size fit all, you're stuck with a single app.
Inside a usb/hdmi stick though makes a lot more sense. I could see you going to a friends house and just plugging your computer into their TV.
Going one step further, a "smart tv" that would be useful would be a tv that when multiple dongles were plugged in, they would allow you to
either toggle between them or even let you splitscreen the two mini-computers.

Comment: Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (Score 2) 388

by Wycliffe (#48807619) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

This is another indication of how far out of whack our priorities are as a country. You make money based on how much money you make for someone else, or how hard your position is to fill. But we won't spend money just because something is important; like teachers or quality infrastructure or mitigating climate change or whatever.

The linked article talks about how hard it is to get good teachers for computing because anyone who's any good at it can make a lot more money elsewhere. Is anyone proposing paying a computing teacher $90,000 a year, or whatever is competitive, to compensate for that?

I had an excellent electronics teacher in HS who mentioned once that he took a 50% paycut when he switched from industry to teaching so I agree
with you completely but what system would you propose? Should we rank occupations and pay them what we value them? This might be possible
in a controlled economy but I'm not sure how you would do it in a free market. Do people who are more skilled at that occupation get paid more?
Even unions have a hard time with this, do you pay based on skill level or senority or something else?

Everyone seems to want to pay teachers less because they get summers off. Nobody wants to pay them more because for the vital function they serve in our society. Like I said, priorities out of whack.

Besides the other benefits of year round school, this might be an added benefit to help eliminate this excuse but it's not the complete fix for it as
police officers, etc.. are also underpaid and don't have that excuse.

Daycares have a similiar problem. In order to make day care affordable, they cannot afford to pay the staff hardly anything because it soon becomes
cost prohibitive. Where I live, daycare workers make about $8 per hour but it still costs $4 per hour to put your kid in daycare so if you have only 2 kids
you need to make over $8 per hour to even pay for the cost of the daycare.

The only semi-reasonable solution I can think of to the education problem would be conscription or some sort of co-op system where everyone reaching
the age of 40(or even 65) is required to teach a number of years. This would get the experienced people you want and you could even make it a condition
to receive social security like mandatory registration is for college aid. The biggest problem I see with this (besides the fact that conscription isn't ideal) is
that you are getting experienced teachers who are experienced in their field but not necessarily experienced at teaching.

Even this solution though only solves a fraction of the problem and doesn't do anything about the football player making millions while the other presumably
more important occupations like research or people making the world a better place make a fraction of that amount.

Comment: Not Surprising (Score 2, Informative) 324

by Wycliffe (#48802887) Attached to: How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

Free software and free hosting has to make money some way. Even the more legitimate ones tend to bundle stuff like
adobe acrobat, google chrome, google toolbar, or some other random search engine toolbar that presumably gives them
a kickback. As long as people keep demanding free apps and free software then you will continue to see sneeky ways
to monitize their software. That being said, some of the worst offenders I've seen are PAID software like norton and

Comment: Re:Makes sense. (Score 1) 629

by Wycliffe (#48801813) Attached to: Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

Actually, one should write a worm that exploits vulnerabilities that Google won't patch which launches a DoS attack on Google servers. That might convince Google to pay more attention to standard product support issues...

It's not just google. Even if google release the patch, the handset manufacturers don't have to make it available to their customers (the carriers).
And even if google and the handset manufacturers release the patch, the carriers don't have to make it available to their customers.
The final customers don't seem to care so there is no incentive for anyone else up or down the chain to care. Also, noone in the chain has
any power to make the other people move. Android is mostly open source so google can't require the people downstream to release the patch.
Likewise, the handset carriers have too many competitors to force the carriers to update their phones, etc, etc... Until there is some incentive
for someone in the chain to act, it will probably remain this way.

Comment: Re:Sorta related... the teletype machine (Score 1) 790

by Wycliffe (#48795899) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

In the trucking industry not only are faxes still relatively common but fax "mailing lists" are still common where people
sign up to receive daily faxes from other companies. Recent regulations have made signing up harder as they have
to get written permission to add you to their lists but this hasn't stopped people from using these lists.

Even more mind boggling is that we have people that have requested that we send them a blank template via fax
every day so that they can fill it out and fax it back.

Comment: Re:Makes sense. (Score 5, Insightful) 629

by Wycliffe (#48793959) Attached to: Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

I've been wondering when people would start to take notice of this problem with Android.

930 million phones might be enough. Now we just need someone to write a worm that uses this to get noticed by taking
down the cellular network for a few days and then maybe someone will get smart enough to require phone manufacturers
to push updates for a reasonable amount of time (say 5 years after they stop selling the phone).
I've seen phones stop receiving updates before their 2 year contract is even up. This should be breach of contract.

Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.