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Comment Re:That $290M isn't impressive (Score 1) 110

Actually, I have. It doesn't help. If I'm waiting on a taxi I don't have time to go to Yelp and see if anyone has complained on there about the specific driver who is picking me up.

It's amazing to me the contortions that the taxi cartels' looney supporters will come up with. There is nothing equivalent to Uber's simple rating of drivers for the taxi industry - and this is because the taxi cartels don't want it. It would be easy for them to implement.

Comment Re:Teens shouldn't have access to guns... (Score 1) 350

There are many people that harvest wild game to eat. Cars don't work well for that.

I totally agree with you, but, well, funny story (kind of). I knew a poor family back in Indiana who lived way out in the boondocks. The father welded a formidable 2-inch pipe "bumper" on front of the old pickup that he drove just for "hunting". He averaged 3 deer/year with that thing. If a deer ran out in front of him - he swerved *toward* it.

Comment That $290M isn't impressive (Score 1) 110

And I'll tell you why - read this:

Here's the short version. The taxi industry in San Francisco is $140M/year. Uber's business there is $500M/year. Note that Uber hasn't taken that much business from the taxi industry - that's on top of it.

So, right now we can see that the actual taxi industry in that one city was 1/4 of the potential. That is seriously damaging the economy, particularly when you multiply it out among every city in the US. Put another way, the taxi regulations (bought by the cartels) were causing $500M less money to change hands every year in one city. Just so that they could keep competition low.

There's a great rant on here earlier about what the taxi industry does that stupid (hiring non-English-speaking-just-off-the-boat foreigners, etc.) and it's really kind of amazing to me. Uber's model is simple to replicate, and would be pretty simple for the taxi industry to take on at least parts of it. Have an app so I'll know who my driver is and can rate him. I saw a loon on here a couple of weeks ago claiming that the traditional taxi industry is better because there's a centralized complaint process. Uh, yeah, right. How does that work? How about after my ride I just click a button on my phone? That's a true "centralized complaint process" that even my mother could figure out.

It's clear that the taxi industry doesn't want to change, but it'll be the death of them. They've been buying politicians for years, and with Uber bringing in 3X the revenue the whole "buy a politician" business model is about to get priced out of the taxi industry's league. That really sucks because I don't have any reason to believe Uber will be any nicer than the taxi industry was from a regulatory standpoint, but at least it'll likely allow more competition.

Comment Re:Yeah, I thought this problem was solved (Score 1) 101

that's actually the problem with most technology

nuclear for example

i haven't a single doubt that we have the technological means to maintain nuclear plants forever without a single accident

but what we don't have is the social and political means to do that

Actually, a lot of us are simply numerically literate and realize that *every* a) energy source suffers from the issues that you whine about and b) nuclear has a great history despite having accidents sometimes.

Comment Re:Are they actually powered down? (Score 3, Insightful) 52

Agreed, unwanted shutdowns seem to be a thing with mobile devices in general.

I wouldn't quite agree. Most often I see it happening when people are using custom ROMs on Android and the kernel-dev screwed up with timings or undervolts the device a bit too much when it goes idle and it basically crashes when it goes to sleep. There are the occasional SoCs that got through the testing at the factory, but when in actual use they still end up crashing during sleep due to lower clocks than usual, but usually raising the clocks slightly fixes that. I would assume all it takes for Apple to fix this is a quick kernel-patch.

It's anecdotal evidence, sure, so take what you will from it, but I certainly haven't experienced sleep-of-death on any of my devices nor have I heard of anyone in my circles having such and therefore I find it hard to believe it was some sort of common issue.

Comment Re:Translation ... (Score 1) 144

That's not very good advice. What if there is a vulnerability discovered in gitolite or any of the underlying libraries or OS? Am I competent enough to make sure that I keep Linux always up-to-date? Do I stay on top of security news enough to know that I need to work around the newest hole in ssh?

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 4, Interesting) 303

Note that in the case of Vorbis Stallman actually endorsed the BSD license because he understood that there was no other path to wider adoption. FLIF is the same - it'll remain nothing but a little-known oddity unless they decide to use a BSD license that will allow Microsoft, Opera, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari to use the code.

Comment Re:Software Engineering as unskilled labor (Score 1) 144

Even when management can't do it, Visual Basic can cause trouble simply because they know about it. I was once paid to create a huge abortion of a personnel/resource tracking application inside of Excel, where the managers could each work on a sheet and then through the magic of VBA, upper management could combine all of the data, query Exchange for personnel data, and then make pivot tables. I tried to talk him out of it, but he insisted - so I made it.

He got fired, but the behemoth lives on. For a while I would get asked to help debug it, as it was delicate. Eventually they had me hand it off to this poor bastard in IT, but as far as I know they are still using it.

To my delight, Dilbert published this strip right in the middle of it all.

Comment Re:If this is winning... (Score 1) 109

They financed Cuba's cable? Doesn't sound like much of a win to me. Who better to set up the authoritarian Cuban network than the Chicoms?

We have a winner. My assumption was that China will get the deal by default since they know how to set up a censorious and more easily spied upon network.

Comment Re:O Rly? (Score 1, Insightful) 109

They were also an invaluable electronic listening post, an embarrassing counter-example to American and western democracy's political claims against communism

You're kidding, right? The only embarrassment here is that somebody would suggest that Cubans have a good life. As has been noted elsewhere, you can read up on slaves' rations in the writings of Frederick Douglass (as I have) and you'll find that slaves in the antebellum American South ate better than modern day Cubans.

Well, except for the Castros. I'm sure they're eating well.

, and a critical exporter of communist ideology to all of Latin America.

Then they Soviet Empire went bankrupt, and the economy tanked.

In other words, the "economy" was simply a sham that was exposed when the Soviet Union quit pumping money into the island. The Soviet Union - with the Castros - spent as much money destroying Cuba as the US spent on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after WWII. Think about that.

But they've still managed to avoid the boom-bust and destructive mismanagement of Haiti, and the third class US protectorate status of Puerto Rico, and they've managed to survive the devastation to their most critical trade good, tobacco, as worldwide smoking habits shifted. They still have one of the highest literacy rates in the world and lowest lower infant mortality rates, both notably better than the USA or Canada. They're making do with an economy that is stretched very, very thin, but give credit where it's due. They've avoided the murderous puppet governments of other desperate Caribbean islands such as Haiti and Jamaica.

Yeah, they've avoided "murderous puppet governments" while maintaining what simply a "murderous government". Lovely. I'm sure the dead people are grateful that the word "puppet" wasn't in there.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?