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Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 5, Informative) 209 209

by chihowa (#50016111) Attached to: Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company

WTF have your shares got to do with your desire to deliberately trash the life savings of millions of taxi drivers in the western world?. They entered into a contract with the government...

Typically, taxi medallions aren't sold by the government anymore. They're typically sold by their previous holders and the high prices reflect their scarcity and perceived value. The market decides this value (even when they're auctioned off by the state), so there isn't any guarantee that they'll maintain that value. Any contracts that exist say nothing about limiting the supply or compensating medallion-holders for any speculative prices they paid. Buying a medallion for $800k is just as speculative as buying an $800k house or $800k worth of stock. There are no government guarantees that they will maintain value.

tl;dr... The economics of the taxi medallion situation are extremely similar to shares in a company. The "contracts" that you're referring to don't exist (at least in the form that you image).

Comment: Re:Oblig. Musk stroking (Score 1) 236 236

The so called RDF Is a simply a trustworthy brand. A brand is a promise of quality, and even though they aren't perfect, they do deliver better quality than any other manufacturer. They deliver on their promise. They beat all other companies in customer satisfaction surveys year in year out.

In our contemporary world where any sort of "promise of quality" is seen as quaint and most companies see their established brand names as something to be cashed in for executive bonuses, people are trained to not give any weight at all to brands. See the AC response for a great example of that.

Comment: Re:I hope it rolls out in more cities (Score 2) 68 68

by chihowa (#49979535) Attached to: Google Takes Over NYC's Free WiFi Project

In fact, i would very much like to see relevant & useful ads. Right now, almost none of the ads i see are useful for me.

You would very much like to see relevant & useful ads, or you would very much like to stop seeing irrelevant & useless ads?

Because while the latter is true for me and most of the people that I know, the former is not quite so popular and doesn't necessarily follow from the latter. A much more palatable way to see fewer irrelevant & useless ads would be to stop seeing so many ads altogether. The more Google's hand touches things, the less likely that is to ever happen.

Comment: Re:Perhaps this is why some places are better to l (Score 0) 108 108

by chihowa (#49957243) Attached to: The Science of Incivility

Perhaps a huge component of "politeness" is the ability to personally identify with the people around you in a significant way. Most of Northern Europe has a remarkable cultural homogeneity. Denmark, for example, is occupied by around 90% people of Danish descent, and even the 10% is a relatively recent phenomenon. Even the religion of Denmark is homogeneous, with the census reporting 80% belonging to Church of Denmark. The rest of Northern Europe is similarly homogeneous, even including the UK.

So often your countryfolk seem brusque at best and just plain rude a lot of the time.

The rudest people I've ever met in my life have all been European. I'm a very polite person, so I presume it's because they knew that I was American and were unable to stir up any empathy for somebody so culturally different and "other". Perhaps it isn't valid to take your trans-cultural interaction as an accurate representation of intra-cultural interactions.

Comment: Re:Good for the consumer? (Score 2) 116 116

by chihowa (#49957143) Attached to: Amazon Overhauling Customer Reviews

"Average score" is a stupid metric for comparing ratings anyway. Here's a little discussion about several different utterly wrong ways to make sense of ratings, "average score" being #2.

Your "average score" would rate a product with a single 5 star rating higher than one with 45,000 ratings averaging out to 4.999. Their "proprietary algorithm" is likely to be more useful to everybody than a bunk rating system like "average score".

Anyway, if all of the ratings go up, then you just continue to compare them to each other like you did before. It's not like anyone bases purchases on the absolute star rating of any particular product.

Comment: Re:Grand opening! (Score 1) 97 97

And they most definitely DO NOT need continuous access. The 'software' you're speaking about is simply a set of scripts to handle the domain ownership verification and certificate issue. It doesn't need access to anything but your HTTPD configuration files and/or DNS.

That's not entirely true, at least in the long term. Domain ownership verification could be done entirely through the configuration files or through access to the served content. They claim to handle revocation and reissue of certificates through their site as well, which is going to require at least some sort of polling from your server.

Comment: Re:Why oppose nuclear powered satelittes? (Score 1) 419 419

by chihowa (#49916119) Attached to: Philae's Lost Seven Months Were Completely Unnecessary

RTGs != lightweight

Depending on the mission and compared to the alternatives, yes they are very lightweight. Solar panels can quickly become much heavier once you start outfitting outer solar system probes. Also, if you need continuous operation without solar exposure, you start needing heavy batteries and power-wasting heaters. Large arrays require supports and actuators to deploy and present more failure modes.

The RTG used in Curiosity, for example, is only 45 kg, which sounds like a lot, but Spirit and Opportunity carried nearly half that mass in just batteries and panels, produced less power with them, and still needed to carry a radiothermal heater.

Distant missions like New Horizons would have been prohibitively heavy had they not used an RTG.

Comment: Re:Knowledge (Score 4, Insightful) 312 312

by chihowa (#49911335) Attached to: US Teen Pleads Guilty To Teaching ISIS About Bitcoin Via Twitter

Is imparting (academic, general) knowledge really "aid", though? And where do you draw the line?

"Hey, I'm going over to Syria to kill westerners and enslave Christians for the raping and whatnot..."

"but my car broke down Ms Librarian. Do you have a book on automotive repair?"

"but my car broke down Mr Mechanic. Can you point out the distributor for me?"

"but it costs money to get there. Do you have any investing advice?"

"but I have no idea where Syria is. Can you point me in the general direction?"

At some point, you can't be held for responsible for the intentions of others, even if they tell you what they are.

Comment: Re:Marijuana should be legalized (Score 1) 132 132

by chihowa (#49903651) Attached to: Dark Net's Top Selling Drug Dealer Is Making $1.5 Million This Year

The DEA's MO on all drugs, beyond just marijuana, consists entirely of overhype. Have you ever looked at the schedules? Schedule I, which consists almost entirely of psychedelic drugs is described as such (hilarious emphasis added):

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:

heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote

Of course, Schedule II drugs are by far the most abused drugs, including things like prescription opiates, methamphetamine, cocaine, ritalin, etc. But Schedule II is described as having "less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs". It's BS all the way down.

Comment: Re:Huh? Wasn't it clear that he was joking? (Score 1) 412 412

by chihowa (#49903509) Attached to: Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Criticizes Role of Women In Labs

You made a post explaining to me why his joke was funny.

So you do have a problem with reading comprehension.

Here's a tip for successfully debating with people: argue against what they are actually saying, not against whatever nonsense you assume someone idiotic enough to argue against you would say.

Comment: Re:Huh? Wasn't it clear that he was joking? (Score 1) 412 412

by chihowa (#49896223) Attached to: Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Criticizes Role of Women In Labs

So in addition to not understanding the human sense of humor, you're also incapable of reading and comprehending a simple post. Do you really not understand what I said, or are you just too offended and outraged to think straight? I hope you're happy with the trashing that you gave to those strawmen.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (4) How many times do we have to tell you, "No prior art!"