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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Just starting now? (Score 1) 373

Seriously, has this ever been a problem?

Yes. Exact weight of passengers and cargo is needed to estimate the amount of fuel needed to get from A to B. To prevent fatal fuel mishaps the traditional approach was to carry plenty excess fuel. But fuel might be expensive in the airport you're starting from, and carrying 20 klbs expensive fuel to a destination where fuel is much cheaper isn't smart business. Weighing passengers, obese or not, makes for more accurate margins and thus less wasted cash.

And the bottom line is what it's all about these days.

Comment Re:Just swear at the agent (Score 1) 479

- just swear at the first agent.

At the ISP I used to work for, some years ago, swearing would have the agent pressing a button on the phone. This would save the recording of the call for later review by the owner of the company. Depending on what you would have said you'd get a letter warning you not to swear at the staff, a letter terminating your service, or, in the worst case, the owner would take the recording to the police-station and file a complaint against you. About half those complaints resulted in suspended sentences and hefty fines.

The average call center agent 'survives' the first line a few weeks before burning down. He averaged three years for his call center staff.

Comment Re:What's bad about Uber drivers? (Score 3, Informative) 48

The Uber drivers I have used have all been great.

Under Dutch law taxi drivers need a number of additional courses and successful completion of the certifications associated with them. In addition they are required to be screened for previous convictions pertaining to alchohol- or drug abuse, traffic violations, and inter-personal violence convictions.

There's no 'uber' in the Netherlands, just 'uberpop' which is an illegal taxi-driver with none of the training and none of the safe-guards 'normal' taxi drivers have to conform to. 'Uberpop' is promoting illegal taxi services.

Taxi drivers in the Netherlands behave themselves because the first DUI means they will never drive a taxi ever again. They don't beat up customers because they will never again, ever, work as a chauffeur, not even on a freight lorry. Run a number of red lights in a few years and you'll lose your VOG and with it your license to drive a taxi.

We used to have an America-styled mob company in every city. For instance: the TCA, Taxi Criminals Amsterdam, required large fees from its drivers, to protect them from 'damage' and to assign them rides. Heavy-handed law-enforcement did a lot of good. Uberpop seems to be determined to re-establish the New York-style cabbie from the late seventies.

Comment Re:Well what do you know (Score 1) 71

The point about the Dutch Sandwich is that an amazing array of companies and artist manage to export their earnings to a tax haven with almost any taxation at all.

Rumours has it that U2's 2011 world tour had a turnover of 750 million dollar and a profit of 150 million dollar, which shipped to Bermuda taxed at 0.25%. Thanks to a special deal with one Gerrit Zalm.

Sales tax eats away at the income of the record shop, the wholesale supplier and the CD factory. But the income of the record company and the (BIG) artist goes almost completely untaxed. Likewise, a big party of your Billy's price is intellectual property licensing ending up in other tax havens.

With regards to Ikea: The Delft store, sized 30.000m^2, shares it next to bottom-place with equal sized stores in Hengelo and Zwolle. Only the store in Amersfoort is smaller, with 29.000m^2. The nine other Dutch stores are larger. The store in Utrecht seems to be the fourth largest in the world.

Comment Re:Delivery drones (Score 1) 162

"There are thousands of cars and trucks driving around, literally filling and overcrowding the streets. Now, what would they all be doing?

Carrying a thousand packages each.

Now imagine not thousands of cars and trucks on the road but literally millions of drones buzzing around, each with a single package.

Imagine the sound, the inevitable crashes, the energy consumption. (I'm lousy at math and making unsound assumptions but the figure I got was ten thousand times more energy to deliver a pound a mile away.. Keep in mind that the price of energy rises, and rises, and rises..)

Comment Re:well.. (Score 5, Informative) 760

It hurts revenue generation for the police force

Top Tip: In Finland the police isn't depending on 'revenue'. Policing Finland as a preset, defined budget. Any fines levied are a surplus to the states income, and police forces do not benefit in any way from their law enforcing activities. Finnish police has to account for security, safety and crimes solved, not for income from speeding tickets.

Slashdot Top Deals

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)