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Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 625

by gerardrj (#47230709) Attached to: EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

My point is both issues were self inflicted and so there is some parity between the two.
On a less severe note, if you choose to snow ski and break your leg, in most states you can get a temporary handicap placard.
The "will you get better" question doesn't seem to come in to play when the government assigns the designation of handicapped.

Comment: Re:Not SHARING (Score 1) 507

by gerardrj (#47230681) Attached to: Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

I used my own car's real-world operations numbers and increased all my costs a bit.
2004 Golf TDI

These are number for operating the vehicle, not owning and so do not include depreciation, payments, repairs, etc. Just the wear and tear on normal service items. Uber does not claim their drivers are professionals or running a business so they don't get to do depreciation for purposes of "ride sharing". If they were taxi/limo drivers they could do that. Yes is costs more than this per mile to OWN a car, but not to drive it.

(all figures are $/mile)
fuel: $.09 [$3.77/gal at a real-world usage of at least 40mpg) (price/gal currently in Phoeinx, AZ)
tires: $.02 [$1,100 every 50,000 miles. I use really nice tires]
oil change: $.008 [$90 every 10,000 miles. includes air/oil filters]
insurance: $.02 [$480/yr at 20,000 miles per year]
miscellaneous: $.01 [washer fluid, headlights, etc. $200/yr assuming 20,000 miles]
Total per mile operating cost: $0.18 or about 5.5 miles per dollar.

Sure if you have an SUV getting 16mpg or a high performance car with really expensive tires or carry boat loads of insurance you can increase the cost per mile substantially, but that is an average car driven by an average person.

So let me do an "average" truck the Ford F150 which is the most popular vehicle in the US line according to a quick search.

fuel: $.17 [$3.55/gal 20mpg average estimated] (again price in Phx,AZ as of today)
tires: $.03 [$970 every 30,000 miles (assuming Nitto 420s) and they are worn down faster than the tread warranty]
oil change: $.005 [$50 every 10,000 miles] ) (10,000 is factory spec. even at 5,000 miles the cost is only a penny per mile)
insurance: $.06 [$720/yr assuming 12,000 miles/ year]
miscellaneous: $.03 [washer fuid, lights, etc. $360/ys assuming 12,000 miles]
Total per mile operating cost: $0.29

Comment: Hmm (Score 3, Interesting) 625

by gerardrj (#47227351) Attached to: EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

So the people who could most use the exercise are going to have to walk the least.

I guess the overall plan makes sense; if you were to chop off your own leg you'd be considered disabled; I don't think the law makes any exceptions for self inflicted disability. It just seems wrong, though. Eat your way to not being able to fit in the office cubicle and your boss has to accommodate your mass by re-engineering the doors and floor to handle your breadth and heft.

Comment: Not SHARING (Score 3, Insightful) 507

by gerardrj (#47213811) Attached to: Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

When you share something you don't charge for it. Uber drivers charge so this is a very simple vehicle/driver for hire setup we commonly call a taxi. If they are a taxi then they must abide by the taxi laws: meters inspected by weights and measures, taxes paid, licensing requirements met. (call them a Limo if you want, the term is irrelevant for most all regulation issues)

To be a "ride share" scenario the driver would have to have already been going to, near to or past the place you want to be. You could pay a little bit of money to cover the cost of fuel for the time the passenger is in the car.

This is all pretty well spelled out in the aviation laws already and my guess will be those laws/regulations will wind up as precedent against Uber/Lyft. As a commercial pilot you may charge whatever price you can for flying a passenger to a destination. As a private pilot you may only share a minority of expenses with the passenger and not make any profit. Ex: if it costs $50/hr to fly your plane then you can share that cost with the passenger up to $25/hr. The passenger must also have a common destination/purpose. I suppose you could itemize your charges as $25 for flight sharing, $200 for valet service on the airport ramps but due to oversight and licensing I don't know any pilot that would risk that maneuver.

So let's apply those same tests to the Uber/Lyft services:

Cost to operate a vehicle: in the range of $.12 to $.25 per mile, Uber rate: ~$1.50 per mile, 6 times the actual operating cost:
      cost share: fail
Common destination/purpose: The driver's goal is to get the passenger to the destination, the driver has no business at the destination:
      common purpose: fail

Comment: "Wants to computerize"? (Score 1) 191

by gerardrj (#47164659) Attached to: Intel Wants To Computerize Your Car

Is there a current model year car in the US that will run without computers today? Engine management, automatic transmission, RFID key systems, remote/button start, airbags, traction control, collision avoidance, backup cameras, auto headlights, the entire instrument cluster, the entire entertainment system.
I'd guess each and every car in production today in the US has at least 20 computers in it, doesn't that seem sufficiently "computerized"?

Understand that the processors in the computers are highly specialized to use the least amount of electricity and be the most reliable they can be. Has you engine every shut off because of a computer failure? The power usage is one that people don't seem to fully grasp. Your car generates its own electricity via the engine drivel alternator. IF you start tossing in high power general purpose CPUs and computer in the car you will increase fuel consumption for the added weight and power draw. It MAY be that the computer could offset those variables with added intelligence. Electricity use is one of the major reasons manufacturers are moving to LED lighting systems.

Comment: Re:Good luck with that. (Score 2) 225

by gerardrj (#47038947) Attached to: US To Charge Chinese Military Employees With Hacking

So stop complaining that we did the wrong thing and tell us what we should have done. Put up or shut up. There's a LOT going on politically behind the scenes with ambassadors and such chatting in isolated rooms.

There are three options I can see:
1. Ignore it and let the EU sort it out
2. Sanctions and hard rhetoric, some military posturing in the region
3. Invasion to reclaim the occupied lands. we (US, GB, etc) invade, China assists Russia, India assists us, Pakistan, Iran and the reset of the nuclear nations join in short order... see where this goes?

We chose the middle ground, what's your plan?

Comment: Isn't it important... (Score 4, Insightful) 355

by gerardrj (#46996717) Attached to: Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

That we keep talking about the two in language that exactly describes the two, but we completely ignore the language?
EVERY spec for USB refers to the "up to" speed and quotes the maximum theoretical burst transfer rate that is sustainable for only fractions of a second in host to single peer communication.
Thunderbolt's speed is the speed. period. 1 peer or 16 peers doesn't matter. You get 20Gb/s every second after every second. USB has never and is likely to never achieve that.

This was true of Firewire vs USB as well; USB claimed "up to 480Mb/s" but could never sustain that for any human sense-able time. Firewire 800 was flatly 400Mb/s. Firewire didn't advertise a theoretical maximum speed that you could get once in a while; it was a real-world measurable throughput when you were copying files.

So as long as people are ignorant enough to fall for marketing hype instead of actual useful data then USB will continue to dominate (and people will continue to purchase cars based solely on HP ratings)

Comment: Re:Hahahahahaaaahhhaaaaa (Score 1) 202

by gerardrj (#46955349) Attached to: Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy

The parent was referring to his state's law enforcement personnel. They may well provide the scanned data to another provider, but the police themselves can't just randomly run license plates in the states I know anything about, they must have probable cause. You can, of course, debate that they can "make up" probable cause but I don't think you'll find a police officer that runs a plate without seeing something that they can cite or arrest for.

Comment: Re:Hiding shady practices (Score 5, Insightful) 202

by gerardrj (#46930657) Attached to: Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy

If you are going to detain people under the laws of the United States then those people should have all the protections of the laws of the United States. Equality under the law is a core principle.

The people in Guantanamo are not terrorists. They are accused terrorists. Send them to the international criminal court for proper trial.

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