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Comment: Re:Just say "No". (Score 1) 140

There's a similar paper here in San Francisco, Street Sheet.

I really hope Google doesn't decide to help them, I've seen their "vendors" chasing and screaming at people right in the middle of the Castro here.

I've also seen others blocking exits from BART escalators (meaning they're either begging or selling newspapers inside the paid area of the station, the first is illegal and the second requires a license. Street Sheet is an organization that just needs to stop existing, they just give homeless people an excuse to scream at people and threaten them.

Comment: Re:looks like Indians are smarter than us (Score 1) 75

Disclaimer: I have T-Mobile service, and I'll tell anyone I meet that I'm happy with the service. I don't work for them.

The problem with T-Mobile's policy is that it creates a barrier to market entry. If a new streaming service starts they have to come to T-Mo, hat in hand and ask for zero rating. If T-Mo says no, well, would you use a streaming service that eats your data allotment if you have other choices?

I use Spotify, but when looking at other services I specifically check if they're in T-Mobile's list. If they're not, I tend not to investigate further.

In this case, internet.org includes 8 providers, so I assume rather than being a relatively small part of the mobile market, this group is probably dominant. That means if your service isn't in their list, you'll probably get a lot less traffic. It also likely makes it easier to price real data service as a "premium" product. With internet.org gone there would be a lot more pressure on the mobile carriers to provide affordable data service.

Comment: Re:Yeah ok (Score 2) 212

Even if it's completely illegal for the NSA to get the other pieces, they'll try. They'll hack in, or they'll snoop into the lives of everyone with access to find something they can use for blackmail...

Which is why, if this insane policy is enacted, there needs to be another requirement: if the NSA tries to get the other pieces, the director of the NSA gets executed on live TV for treason. So does every official or agent involved in the operation. Same goes for every other government agency.

Really, though. Hearing the NSA complain that they can't access my private data sounds exactly like complaining they can't bug my apartment. If they want to stop the "turrists" they'll have to learn to do it without creating a worldwide police state.

Comment: Re:Missing the point. (Score 2) 330

by andymadigan (#49411575) Attached to: Inexpensive Electric Cars May Arrive Sooner Than You Think
Would you rather have:

A) An electric car with a petrol-powered generator on board to extend the range.

or

B) An electric car with a hydrogen fuel cell to extend the range.

If you're concerned that there are loopholes in the green laws, get the laws changed, rather than banning technologies because they create a loophole. That's like banning the internet because you might download copyrighted materials.

Also, I have yet to see a hydrogen powered car that isn't an electric car.

You want to talk about physics problems? Tell me how you move 40 killowatt-hours of electricity in less than 10 minutes safely and efficiently. We can't replace poison-belching petrol vehicles until we have something that can make long trips, go periods of time without a charging station, etc. My apartment complex, built in 2013, in San Francisco no less, doesn't have a single EV charging station in its underground parking lot. How do you expect the millions of us who live in apartments to charge these batteries you speak of?

A car that solves 95% of the problem doesn't get rid of petrol cars. Why? Because families still know they'll need to drive their kid to summer camp. Or they'll want to drive for vacation. My family used to drive 500 miles each way every Christmas. We once drove from NY to Florida and back.

If electric cars really can solve 95% of the problem, the efficiency of the backup is irrelevant. If 95% of the time you/re running at 80% efficiency (battery charged by grid) and 5% of the time you're running at 20% efficiency (hydrogen), your overall efficiency is 77%. That's a hell of a lot better than a gas-powered car.

Comment: Re:Missing the point. (Score 1) 330

by andymadigan (#49407413) Attached to: Inexpensive Electric Cars May Arrive Sooner Than You Think
I really don't understand this hostility towards hydrogen. Is it really worse than gasoline? Why not build an electric car with a hydrogen range extender? No smog, no CO2 from the car itself. 95% of driving could be done on the electric battery, with the hydrogen system serving as an extender for long trips. Meanwhile, as green power generation gets better, the environmental downsides of hydrogen will decrease. Plus, the battery can also be smaller because it only really needs to cover your "normal" travel.

Comment: Re:Tsk. And they wonder where employee loyalty wen (Score 5, Insightful) 331

by andymadigan (#48977211) Attached to: Massive Layoff Underway At IBM
That may be true, but they're being very underhanded in the way that they're conducting these layoffs. Apparently some employees took a deal in the past couple of years that protected them from layoffs, in return for early retirement after a few years of reduced hours. The only exception was if they got the lowest score on their evaluation. Suddenly competent employees are being found incompetent, so that they can be fired.

That's one example. I don't work for IBM, never did, and after they pull this, they'll have trouble convincing anyone who has another option to work for them. They've screwed themselves for years, any agreement they make is clearly not worth the paper it's written on.

I think IBM's management must know the company is in its death throes, they're just slowly shedding people to minimize chaos.

Comment: Re:You're still doing that? (Score 1) 274

by andymadigan (#48510585) Attached to: A Mismatch Between Wikimedia's Pledge Drive and Its Cash On Hand?
I don't see what any of the links have to do with Wikiwand, which is what both my comments were about.

I should also point out that if you do install their Wikiwand's highjacker extension, the constant begs to install their extension are replaced with begs to spam your friends/contacts. It's utter shite. According to their Wikipedia article, they plan to monetize by running ads for books and courses. I'll bet the next incarnation of Corinthian ends up advertising through them (they'll pay the most).

Comment: Re:You're still doing that? (Score 1) 274

by andymadigan (#48509713) Attached to: A Mismatch Between Wikimedia's Pledge Drive and Its Cash On Hand?
To add: If you mouse over the wrong part of their stupid hovering toolbar, it will pop-up yet another message to dismiss (without being clicked, it activates on hover). Also, try searching for "Java". Notice that they've "improved" the content by removing the the link at the top to the disambiguation page. Because clearly, there's only one thing called Java.

Comment: Re:You're still doing that? (Score 1) 274

by andymadigan (#48509665) Attached to: A Mismatch Between Wikimedia's Pledge Drive and Its Cash On Hand?
Why would they be worried about Wikiwand? Within the first five minutes I first got a "pop-up" begging me to "switch to Wikiwand" and then a minute later an annoying, intrusive banner comes up for the same thing. When I try to close it it doesn't go away, but instead tries to make me answer what is essentially a push-poll question. (Why don't I want to "switch"? Because I've only been here 5 minutes, not because I'm a luddite).

Wikiwand seems at least as annoying as Wikipedia's donation ads, except Wikipedia seems a bit less annoying (at least you only have to dismiss one message instead of three).

Comment: Re:Zoo what? (Score 1) 189

I've heard of them, somebody managed to steal my CC # and spend $150 on Zoosk, followed by charges at Target and Macy's. I didn't find out until Macy's called me to confirm the purchase. Bit odd the first transactions were Zoosk. You've gotta wonder what kind of site would cost $150...

Comment: Re: Good? (Score 2) 273

It's worth remembering Uber started in a city with one of the worst Taxi systems in the country - San Francisco. Regulatory capture from the taxi cartel meant the city had far fewer medallions than it needed. Even in the densest commercial districts it was difficult to get a cab. In residential areas it was impossible. It was in the medallion owners' best interest to keep it this way, because the medallions can be sold and will keep their value better if the supply is over-restricted.

I hear they're auctioning additional medallions, probably because the cabbies realized SF residents would gleefully allow Uber to destroy the taxi cartel. After waiting 30 minutes in a dense area of SOMA for a cab over a year ago I've never taken a cab since. They don't patrol near my apartment anyway, but Uber drivers do.

In my experience every part of Uber works better than Taxis. They're easier to hail, easier to get to where you want to go, and easier to pay. The taxi industry could and should have done this too, instead thry decided to dig their feet in and demand the government defend their bad service and luddite attitudes. They're already paying for it dearly in SF, which is no better than they deserve.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin

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