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Comment: From a non-driver perspective (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by dada21 (#47589001) Attached to: The Great Taxi Upheaval

I stopped driving 2 years ago, voluntarily. My SUV cost me around $800 a month in replacement costs. Another $200 in maintenance. I was burning through $12,000 a year in gas. I spent an average of 1000 hours a year in the car, for work, for groceries, for fun. 999 of those hours were spent focused on the road. I hate talking on the phone while driving.

Consider my annual total: about $25,000 + 1000 hours of my time. For the "privilege" to sit in Chicago traffic.

I'm a consultant. I now use UberX every day. I also use public transportation when I'm not in a rush or when someone isn't paying me to swing by.

I spent about $5000 a year on UberX. $100 a week. While I am being driven around, I can respond to emails, make phone calls. I bill for that time. When a customer wants me to visit them, I pass the UberX fee on to them plus 50%. No one scoffs at it. Some customers will realize the cost of me visiting them is more expensive than just consulting over the phone.

I figure I'm $20,000 ahead in vehicle costs, plus I've literally gained another 600-700 hours of phone and email consulting time a year. Call it $40,000 ahead.

I don't take cabs, because they don't like to come to where my HQ is (ghetto neighborhood). UberX comes 24/7, within minutes.

My little sister had an emergency surgery a few months ago. I immediately hired an UberX driver, who took me from the office, to the hospital. He waited. We then took my sister to her apartment to get her cats and clothes, then he took us to the pharmacy. After, he drove us to our dad's house to drop her off, in the suburbs of Chicago. Then he drove me back to work. 3 hours, $90. I can't get a cab to wait even 10 minutes while I drop off a package at UPS. Forget about them taking credit cards.

UberX charges my Paypal account and they're off. If they're busy, they charge a surcharge. I can pick it or take public transportation.

I know why the Chicago Taxi authorities want Uber gone. But a guy like me is their best customer. Next year I'll budget $10,000 a year for UberX, and it will make my life so much more enjoyable and profitable.

Driving yourself around is dead. It's inefficient. Ridesharing is "libertarian" because it is truly freeing.

Comment: Fuck dam stupidity ... (Score 1) 1216

by argoff (#45502109) Attached to: Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

The wage gap is a symptom, not the problem. The problem is self entitled democracies, and the fiat money banks created to accommodate populist demands. It'd be like trying to cover up herion convulsions, with seizure medication. It reminds me of the old south. When the plantation masters beat the fuck out of their slaves, they wanted to micro-regulate the treatment of slaves, instead of getting rid of slavery. In retrospect, the people advocated those regulations, were just prolonging the problem, and head so far up their fucking ass, they were beyond stupid.

Today, our fiat/populist systems create all these credit bubbles, housing bubbles, stock bubbles, excessive government debt, high prices, inflated executive pay. And these retards want to go around regulating everything, instead of attacking the problem at the source. Fuck them, just fuck them. Irrelevant worthless idiots who will accomplish nothing anyhow.

Comment: Impartial journalism is a farce (Score 1) 143

by argoff (#45152841) Attached to: Online Journalism Is Becoming a Billionaires' Plaything (Again)

For chrissake, there has never been a day since the birth of humankind where journalism has been impartial. Right now, the powers that be seem to be changing hands, and so all the old partialities are falling to the new ones. Maybe the old minions are whining about impartiality, but in practice they are really just whineing that their partiality is being subbed out for somebody elses.

Comment: The problem is copyright (Score 1) 259

by argoff (#44511281) Attached to: Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans?

IMHO, copyright is a manifestation of a severe misunderstanding of why a society even has any property rights at all. Property rights do not exist to help people make profit, that's a consequence property. Property exists to deal with the truth that not everybody can use everything at the same time. We create property so we can resolve disputes over scarce resources without beating the crap out of each other. While it's true that when people stop knocking the crap out of each other, society tends to be prosperous and happy. That is a consequence of property rights, not the reason for them.

Well, with content and information, everybody can use everything at the same time. Copyrights impose a restriction on use, not for the sake of resolving conflicts over scarce resources, but for the sake of controlling how people distribute information for optimum profit. They are an abomination of everything free markets, property rights, and capitalism were ever created for. They are a fraud, and likewise everything we have ever been taught about them is a fraud too.

Ever since childhood, we have all been taught that copyrights are a property right that protects creators and incentives creation. But in the real world copyrights act nothing like normal property rights, they protect cartels, and incentive lawyers. This is a fact, it is impossible to deny. The few creators who do win the copyright game are like people who win the lottery, no mention of the countless others locked out. They don't incentive creation, all they do is force the market to centrer around creation controls instead of creation services. They aid the people who control, far more than they aid the people who create.

Comment: What MS must do is become less PROPRIETARY (Score 2, Interesting) 230

by argoff (#44392983) Attached to: Nokia: Microsoft Must Evolve To Make Windows Phone a Success

All Microsoft problems really indirectly boil down to one problem. They try to be a licensing company, rather than a technology solution company.
This is why google nailed them in both search and phone and now tablet. Even IBM got the message, and moved toward a Linux datacenter strategy.

I just amazes me to see all their "reforms" all their "restructuring" all their products that have been doomed to fail, and they still don't get it.

Comment: No, somehow - I smell bullshit (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by argoff (#44365151) Attached to: Congress Voting On Amendment to Defund NSA Domestic Spying Tomorrow

I'll believe it when the NSA is actually defunded.

The more cynical side of me says this is bullshit politics as usual.

Here's what's really going to happen: the congressman is going to go to the NSA leadership, and say "look, I have hundreds and thousands of constituents who want to shut you down, but if you let me spy on my political opponents, and listen in on their calls, and help me sabotage them, then I can justify and risk continuance of your funding"

The more we petition them, the more they will be able to use shutting them down as a threat to get more political power that is turned against us. I predict it will be a cold day in hell before political leaders in DC give up that kind of power to spy on and blackmail people.

Comment: HFT benefits small traders more than large ones (Score 0) 152

by argoff (#44041421) Attached to: HFT Nothing To Worry About (at Least In Australia)

If you have billions in capital, it is extremely hard to move around billions in assets without all the small traders taking notice, and piling on before you can reach your full position. That's why large traders like Buffet absolutely hate day traders, and has never split his stock, causing shares in his company to be valued at over $65000 per share last I checked. Being able to trade freely and quickly is one of the few great equalizers in large capital markets.

Comment: Better to just rid ourselves of copyright (Score 0) 356

by argoff (#43990493) Attached to: Your License Is Your Interface

I think the problem is that people find themselves going to the licensing zoo, because they need to find a way to undo a lot of the damage caused by the very nature of copyright and patents (and the DMCA, etc ...). A better solution is just to get rid of copyright and patents (at least on things like media and software)

Comment: that argument is bullshit (Score 1, Insightful) 716

by argoff (#43784659) Attached to: Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds

>So instead of the load being distributed properly, you want the government to shift most of the load to your back?

that argument is no logically different than saying, "well if that nigger escapes from the plantation, the master will make us other niggers work harder"

It's just plain stupid.

Comment: IMHO, this is why bitcoin has a max limit of 21mil (Score 1) 160

by argoff (#43674509) Attached to: Integer Overflow Bug Leads To <em>Diablo III</em> Gold Duping

2^31 = 2,147,483,648 = $21,474,836.48 when counted in pennies. I once worked for a software company where a call came into the support desk from one of our customers accounting departments. Once their sales reached a certain point, their books were suddenly off by exactly that amount (minus 1 cent). While everybody else was scratching their heads about the missing 21 million dollars, I recognized the number, and knew exactly what the problem was. They were storing the number as a 32 bit signed int which had overflowed. That's also how I got promoted from the support desk to a software developer.

IMHO, this is possibly why the max number of bitcoins was designed to be 21 million. Even though the number is not stored as an int in the bitcoin clients, it still avoids a lot of potential problems across platforms, and in scripts, and in data transfer to other systems in other formats. Just a thought.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.