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Comment: Re:Pro-bono? (Score 4, Informative) 65

by TapeCutter (#49748435) Attached to: Australian ISP Offers Pro-bono Legal Advice To Accused Pirates

extracting "settlements" from random people

Although there have been threats to do so, this isn't happening in Oz any day soon, the court specifically warned the MAFFIA not to use US style extortion letters. Any letters they send must be pre-approved by the court. If they do it now they WILL be held in contempt and possibly disbarred for abuse of process.

Comment: Re:The (obligatory) Missing Option.... (Score 2) 169

by TapeCutter (#49747723) Attached to: When it comes to Slashdot ...
When replying to a post I barely notice who wrote it. A reply post is not just a message for the author it's a statement for all of slashdot to consider. In other words it's about the content of the comment, not the identity of the poster.

I'm a prolific poster (5000+ last time I looked), I was a subscriber until dice took over. My Karma has been stuck on excellent for a decade and I get mod points every few weeks, yet haven't meta-moderated in years. I'm also modded troll quite frequently but it's never heartbreaking since I don't post to be popular. I normally blow my mod points on a single story that I don't want to comment on.

Like most people, I get modded up when commenting on something I actually know about and modded down for ignorant comments about things I don't know much about.

Comment: #define BITLEN 48 (Score 5, Interesting) 204

by TapeCutter (#49734299) Attached to: Australian Law Could Criminalize the Teaching of Encryption
Old fart Aussie software dev here, as recently as the early 90's Australia (and the US/UK) considered encryption techniques to be a "munition" for export purposes, it was illegal to export anything stronger than 48bit. Then some bloke put out some OSS called PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), he had stayed within the regulations by using something like #define BITLEN 48, but also given the world an algorithm that could be trivially changed to any arbitrary length and re-compiled. This created a legal paradox that drove the customs people nuts, there was a huge fuss about it at the time but eventually the various governments realised the regulations were unenforceable and dropped/ignored them.

Aussies made a huge mistake at the last election. This mob have managed to politically unite Aussies (against them) in a way I haven't witnessed since the downfall of Gough Whitlam (IMO - due to GW's "sore loser" re-election campaign). Trust us, we have mandatory voting and will boot this embarrassing mob out the first chance we get. There isn't a sector of Aussie society they haven't upset in the past year alone, the only chance the conservatives have of winning is if they put Turnbull back in charge and allow him to purge the "tea party" types from the current cabinet, they have way to much power for the tiny slice of Aussie society that they represent.

Comment: Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 1077

by smellsofbikes (#49732057) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

And the poor are more likely to put pretty much all their income back into the economy in their day-to-day living, whereas the rich don't.

I'm aware of the velocity of money and the perception that poor people pour money back into the economy rapidly while rich people don't (and it matches my personal biases, so I like the idea a lot) but -- I'm trying to figure out what the rich can do with money that actually takes it out of the economy. Unless they actually stick dollars in suitcases and store them in the wine cellar, almost anything else I can think of puts the money in someone else's pocket one way or another. Stuck in banks: used to back bank loans. Buying ferraris and Monets: money has gone to the previous owner. Investments, likewise. Taking money out of the country probably counts from a single country's economy standpoint, but not from a global standpoint. I'd be interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 318

by TapeCutter (#49730865) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
That's an excellent point, under the current rules in Oz, Uber and it's drivers should be classified and regulated the same as any other limousine service. All dispatcher services (including Uber) should be treated like the current taxi dispatchers, that is have their feet held to the fire if they fail to ensure they are supplying a licensed and insured driver whose vehicle meets mandated standards.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 318

by TapeCutter (#49730735) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
Ex taxi driver here. - When things go really bad what recourse do you have against the driver other than posting a bad review on Uber? How do you propose to force bad drivers out of the industry when you have torn up the rule book? Are you suggesting we simply hand the taxi industry to Uber on a silver platter secure in the knowledge they will police themselves - because freedom?

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 318

by TapeCutter (#49730689) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
There are good (and bad) historical reasons for the constraint but that is irrelevant to the ideology you have espoused. Let's take my home town of Melbourne as an example, there are 10,000 medallions (or "plates" as they are known here), that $5B in small business assets that will become worthless overnight if we follow the ideological path your suggesting. I doubt Uber are willing to cough up $5B in compensation for the taxi owners of Melbourne, my guess is they are expecting the government to fund the inevitable plate buy-back that would accompany dropping the requirement for medallions.

BTW: A "market" is a set of rules (artificial constraints) that govern trade, (eg:property law). A "free market" is one that is open to all. Therefore the highly regulated taxi industry is a "free market" in the original sense of the term.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 318

by TapeCutter (#49730509) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
Whatever the reason, simply dropping the requirement for a medallion (where it already exists) means you are deliberately screwing people who have paid as much as a house to own one, worked for decades to pay it off, and plan to sell it to fund their retirement. Changing the medallion rules to suit Uber's business model means bankruptcy is a certainty for a lot a very hard working small business folk, or (more likely) a huge compensation bill for the city/state.

In other words, if you change the market rules by removing medallions from where they already exist, everyone loses except Uber. Fine if Uber were offering some massive social benefit that outweighed those costs, but it's not, it's just a bunch of dodgy cheap-labour capitalists running a dispatch center "on the internet".

"A car is just a big purse on wheels." -- Johanna Reynolds