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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.

Comment: Re:If people would fight their tickets... (Score 1) 286

I really hope you're missing a sarcasm tag there. The primary purpose of the mail system today is to waste resources (paper, ink, fuel, labor, space, etc.). There's a secondary purpose of providing a crutch for those businesses and individuals that haven't 'gone digital' yet, but that becomes less important by the day.

Now of course, parcel mail is still useful, but most of my packages are delivered by OnTrac or directly by Amazon (they're running their own trucks now). Outside CA you're more likely to see FedEx or UPS, but the point remains.

USPS is dependent on junk mail for revenue now, which will be its downfall. The moment there's an opportunity people will gleefully rip down the USPS just to stop receiving junk.

Comment: Re:It wasn't just private opinion. (Score 1) 824

by andymadigan (#46599761) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down
First, it's not a union, it's what the individual employees actually think, and those employees are critical for the company to succeed. Plus, they're not threatening to strike, they're threatening to quit, which could be fatal for Mozilla.

Secondly, while Prop 8 may have passed in California, it's offensive to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley in particular. Santa Clara and San Francisco counties actually sued to overturn it. Even Republicans here aren't suicidal enough to support Prop 8.

Third, how you voted or which party you're registered for is very different from actually financially supporting such an offensive piece of legislation.

It's perfectly acceptable to say you don't want to work for someone who has taken a public political position like this, especially if they backed it up with cash. If it so happens that there are so many like-minded employees willing to do the same that the company is threatened, then it's time to find a different CEO. Though I think Eich could probably resolve this by outright saying he now thinks that Prop 8 was wrong.

In this industry, in this area (I'm an engineer for a tech startup in SF, and I used to line in San Jose) supporting Prop 8 is as far to the right as banning birth control would be in the rest of the country.

I don't know what it's like at Mozilla, but I know the CEO of my company. Everyone knows everyone here. If a Prop 8 supporter suddenly became the CEO of my company, I'd likely turn in my resignation the same day. I really doubt I'd be the only one either.

Comment: Re:It wasn't just private opinion. (Score 1) 824

by andymadigan (#46597489) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down
Whether it's related to his job or not, if people are willing to stop working for Mozilla because of his beliefs, that is related to his job. This isn't some low-level lackey threatened with termination because he voted for the wrong party. This is his subordinates threatening to leave because they don't want to work for him. If enough people are willing to leave, firing him will do less damage.

Comment: Re:No (Score 4, Insightful) 824

by andymadigan (#46597423) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down
Mozilla can absolutely fire them, but how much talent are they willing to shed so that this guy can be CEO? In Silicon Valley, a lot of these people can probably walk across the street and get a new job, even if their explicit reason for leaving the last one was that the new CEO supported Prop 8. Mozilla's board has got to be thinking about how much damage could be done before this guy has really even started.

Comment: Re:its not uncommon.... (Score 1) 572

What you're describing would still be visible to someone using their own device on the network, or if they checked the computer's list of trusted certificates and found the one that allowed the firewall to do this.

I actually disagree that companies have an absolute right to do this. Whatever your policy may say, employees are going to do personal tasks at work. Some activities would fall in to a grey area:
- Signing up for direct deposit may involve logging on to your bank to get your acct #
- Some new health insurance plans incentivise participation in "healthy living" programs, including filling out surveys about your personal habits on your health insurance website, that should not be intercepted
- Emergency communications (which may still be over e-mail, or SMS via google voice)

Even logging in to one's personal e-mail is to be expected. Except in cases where such security is legally mandated, I don't think it's ethical to implement something like this. Even in cases where it is mandated, a "secure mode" would be better. Perhaps keep the really secure corporate information in a VM that is subject to SSL interception, but provide non-intercepted browser with no access to the secured data.

Comment: Re:Let Me Get This Straight (Score 1) 204

by andymadigan (#45701329) Attached to: Investor Lawsuit Blames NSA For $12B Loss In IBM Value

Only sovereign states can ratify treaties, yet the 50 states are barred from conducting foreign affairs. The United States, on the other hand, has ratified treaties. You're actually describing the European Union, which may negotiate jointly but ultimately treaties are ratified by the member states.

The civil war pretty well put to rest the idea that the idea that the states are truly sovereign. They may have been before they signed the constitution, but today there isn't even a way for a state to leave the union (we have no Clarity Act). I don't see how a state in such a situation could possibly be considered remotely sovereign.

Also, a republic is merely a type of government. The legal status of the states would not really be different if the U.S. were a direct democracy, a monarchy, or an empire. We're a union of 50 states, which happens to be governed as a presidential republic.

Comment: Re:England (Score 1) 470

by andymadigan (#45552737) Attached to: EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem
Actually Aldi does that in the U.S., but I've seen other supermarkets implementing anti-theft devices on carts. You'll see signs warning that the cart won't work off the property (I believe they have brakes that 'lock' if you try to roll them away). Homeless people will steal them otherwise. There's no Aldi's where I live, good thing too, I never carry change.

Comment: Re:Sabotaged (Score 2) 309

by andymadigan (#45450963) Attached to: Blue Light of Death Plagues PlayStation 4
The workers who wanted a union would shut down the factory, they would stage a sit-in, form a picket line. The idea was "we do good work, we should be treated properly for it". The was NOT "treat us right or we'll do shoddy work". What if they had sabotaged the power supply and they started catching fire? Would you still say they were just trying to be taken seriously?

A worker is supposed to take pride in their work and demand proper compensation and conditions, not the other way around. You can refuse to work, you can't do shoddy work.

Comment: Re:world ramifications... (Score 1) 388

by andymadigan (#45380237) Attached to: The NSA Is Looking For a Few Good Geeks
You can't sue if every discovery motion gets met with "we can't tell you that because of National Security concerns". You can't sue if the court order permitting the search is sealed and you don't even know it exists.

The NSA has managed to shield itself from the legal system. Congressmen have said that the concept of congressional oversight of the NSA is a joke, the intelligence services routinely withhold information from congress, and it took FISA years to find out about a collection program that was deemed unconstitutional.

Recently we found out the NSA has tapped into Google's internal networks. In non-technical terms, this is the equivalent of stopping every FedEx truck and searching every package, then closing the packages and never telling you they were searched (and swearing the drivers to secrecy).

Thankfully, we'll soon have all the evidence we need to prove that rights are be eroded. The question is, how far down this road are we willing to go? Given the apathy I'm seeing from most of the people around me, I think the U.S. is going to go much further before I realize how wrong it is.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.