Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 1) 85

by Tom (#48914375) Attached to: Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

In Econ 101 you also learn about horizontal and vertical pricing.

Basically, if the surge price is reasonably high, most drivers will be available. From 1.0 to 1.5 you may raise the number of drivers considerably, but from 3.0 to 3.5 you will probably not motivate many more drivers to go out and drive - most available drivers will already be on the road, and the few who decide against it will not change their mind here because if 3.0 doesn't motivate them, then 3.5 most likely won't because they have important reasons to stay home.

A cap on such elastic pricing is almost always a good idea.

Comment: Re:Escaping only helps you until a war. (Score 1) 246

by Tom (#48914325) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

This exactly.

Why do rich people not live in Africa and Asia where the climate is good? Safety and convenience. If you don't want to spend your life in a castle defending your riches, you go somewhere where culture, society and government will do that job for you.

Strangely, many don't see this as a service worth paying for, which is largely a semantic problem. Maybe we should tackle it there, and instead of taxes, we should collect a "wealth-protection service fee".

Comment: Re:"They" is us (Score 1) 246

by Tom (#48914267) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

From the very article you link to:

But Credit Suisse's report doesn't tell the whole story.

It doesn't take into account how much it costs to buy goods in each country, for example. Half a million pounds might buy a one-bedroom flat in central London, but in other countries it could buy a mansion.

It also doesn't take into account income. As a result, many well-paid young people in Western countries may fall into the bottom 50% of wealth - either because they still have student debt to pay off, or because they know how to live well, and spend all their income.

Comment: never believe PR (Score 1) 246

by Tom (#48914189) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

I am extremely sceptical about all these doomsday scenario media reports.

If you do not know something for sure, "follow the money" is always good advise. For example, why would someone who makes his money on the stock market give free advise to the rest of the world by warning them about an imminent market collapse? It makes no sense. If I knew (or were sure about) such an event, I would put my money into short options and become mega-rich.

But, of course, if you expect the opposite, such a press statement can lead a critical mass of people to disinvest, temporarily lowering prices, convincing others that you are right and the crash has begun, so they do the same, and then you buy at the low point.

The same with all the "super-rich are investing in getaways" bullshit. It's a really great tool to convince the wannabe-super-rich (aka the simply rich) to follow (or believe they are following), because that's what they do. In all layers of society, people tend to emulate the next-higher-up from their own status, because that is where they want to be.

Maybe I'm overly cynical or just blind, but thinking about not only what is being said, but also who is saying it and why seems to me to be a good idea.

Comment: Re:Lack Of Faith (Score 1) 83

by Tom (#48914101) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Could be, as I rent and don't buy, I don't drive cars older than a few years.

I know the Toyotas and Hondas are famous for their reliability. My first car was a used Honda and it had almost no signs of being used before.

That said, old Mercedes cars are also legendarily reliable. My GF wants to buy a used SLK for exactly that reason - they are cute and almost as good as new, for a fraction the price.

Comment: Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 1) 362

by plover (#48913523) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

I was recently doing 29 and a mobile trap claimed I was doing 35. Fortunately I have video camera evidence from the car to prove that I wasn't, but it means I have to go to court and argue it.

You might want to check your camera before heading into court. I have a gray market cam from that under-reports speed by a wide margin (it displays about 60MPH when my speedometer shows 70); when I use the viewing app they provided, it shows the GPS-plotted path on Google maps, and it shows my true speed.

You want to be sure it's accurate because there is no benefit to you in angering a judge by presenting incorrect evidence.

Comment: Microsoft has never been unprofitable recently (Score 1) 349

by rsborg (#48908641) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

the start menu still contains a mini start screen. George Lucas pulled this shit in the prequels by wedging jar jar binks into the last one, and you know what it has in common? Lucas and Microsoft are doing it as a big "Fuck You" to their respective audiences for refusing to accept what everyone but the author knew sucked. Saying "continuum is the future" is a strange way of saying, "Listening to your fucking customers is a novel approach microsoft is begrudgingly accepting piecemeal after a blinding 2 years of profit loss"

Huh - 2 years of profit loss eh?

I'm no friend of MS, but you really need to work on your facts. The rest of your comment I can agree with.

Comment: So it was the 1950's PATRIOT ACT (Score 5, Interesting) 265

Because short of the martial law of troops in the streets with body armor and M16's..... Oh wait... Our COPS have those now.
Well they dont have assult vehicles...... Wait....
Nor do they have grenade launchers...... Welll.....

So basically they have been planning on the shit we have today for decades?

Comment: Re:Lack Of Faith (Score 1) 83

by Tom (#48907991) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Are you aware that BMW and Mercedes reliability has gone into the toilet since the 1980s?

The M3 I drove last year begs to differ. As did the SLK the year before. :-)

Maybe they have problems, I don't know, I don't own a car, I just rent them pretty often, and I'll take one of those every day over almost any brand. At least until my car rental company gets Teslas.

Comment: Re:what about liability? and maybe even criminal l (Score 2) 83

by Tom (#48907729) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Just think of a auto drive loosing control and plowing through a school crossing killing a dozen children. Who or what is responsible? The passenger? Or the computer?

The school that put its children on the fucking Autobahn, a high-speed road that is by law off-limits to pedestrians, bicycles and anything else that can't reach and maintain the minimum speed of 60 km/h.

Comment: targets (Score 1) 375

Intelligence agencies are not going to give up trying to get the bad guys.

I'm glad to hear that as I'm sure everyone else is.

Now if you could give up trying to spy on all the other guys, we could become friends. You see, the problem is your "kill 'em all, let god sort 'em out" approach of just vacuuming everything in and leaving the decision about who the bad guys actually are until later.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 4, Insightful) 375

Me too. It's a hell of a lot harder to bug every man, woman, and child in the west than it is to intercept and crawl their communications. Having them have to actually spend time, effort, and money and risk discovery to obtain information makes it far far less likely that they will collect it just because they are able to. It's a check on their power that's sorely needed.

I came here for this exact sentiment. Spying has always had a component of risk of exposure, and that is needed to keep spying at a small scale. Drift net sieving of all our communications is the abuse.

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY (#7): April 2, 1751 Issac Newton becomes discouraged when he falls up a flight of stairs.