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Comment Re:Without government... (Score 1) 464

The evidence of history (and present day developing countries) is that an absence of building regulations (or enforcement of them) results in "politically well connected group of businesses" building sub-standard housing on the cheap, which are then crammed with "poorer people", who are the ones who suffer the slum conditions and disasters that befall them

So the exact opposite of what you suggest. It's the poorest who benefit most from these regulations.

Comment Re:Without government... (Score 3, Interesting) 464

Everybody knows what they are getting and that the usual "protections" from a government-licensed taxi service don't apply.

Really? I don't believe this to be true, and your argument from this point on fails because of it. Everyone doesn't know that they are not getting the protection of a licensed taxi. Maybe they don't know anything about Uber other than it provides what they understand to be taxis. Maybe their friend ordered the car and they think they're getting in a taxi?

And there are many regulations that people are legally not allowed to "opt out" of. For instance, I'm sure that many would be happy to build their house without following building regulations. Much cheaper. But they're not given that option. Many would be happy to accept a supply of gas from an unregulated supplier. All those rules add to the cost, and if you're prepared to accept the risks why not? Except the law is sometimes there to protect people from their own folly.

Comment Re:Without government... (Score 4, Interesting) 464

People on slashdot go all moist about Uber because they love the technology it uses. They don't care that Uber also ignores all the laws put there to protect passengers and drivers.

The solution is for proper taxi firms to use the same technology. It's not unusual for the established organisations to be slow off the mark on these things, and for an upstart new-entrant to make the running. If Uber was just adding tech to the business that would be great, but they also decided to break the regulations that are there for good reason. And why are they doing that? Not for anyone else's benefit. But because it's cheaper and easier for them to pretend the rules don't apply to them.

Comment Re: Both types of learning are important (Score 5, Insightful) 307

The best explanation I have ever heard is that an extrovert gets energized by being around people. An introvert gets tired.

Worth repeating.

Being an introvert does not mean you hide in your room, hate people and avoid talking to everyone. An evening to yourself is bliss, whereas an extrovert would consider it torture. An evening in a crowd, talking to people you don't know, is hard work, whereas an extrovert would consider it the best party ever.

Comment Re:Nail everyone? (Score 1) 618

It's not always a clear case of cheating/fraud/whatever. Often it's a case of how you chose to interpret the rules, and if you're in the mood there will be plenty of lawyers who will take your money to debate them.

I can think of at least one project I've developed for where we questioned what the software was doing, because it didn't seem "right". We were told it wasn't our job to interpret regulations. End of conversation.

Comment Re:Considering how fast Google ditched China (Score 2) 381

Many of the search results that are removed are clearly in the public interest

The thing is that you don't know on whose request a web page has been removed. You could claim a news story about a murderer is in the public interest, and that murderer has no right to be forgotten. But what if that particular page mentions members of the murderer's family, who are completely innocent of his crime? Maybe it is they who have asked to have the page removed.

So it is not easy to spot obvious abuses of the system, when you don't know the basis for the removal.

Comment Re: Dupe (Score 1) 206

You are seriously out of touch. You must either love Android, or you love iPhone, and you must hate the other with a passion. You must pick a side for the forthcoming religious Smartphone Wars, that will lay waste to the internet.

People like you will be shunned by both sides as contemptuous cowards. Your execution will be streamed for all to see, right after the shooting of the heretical Windows Phone users.

Comment Re:And it has been fixed (Score 1) 170

If you RTFA you'll see that the problem is (and this is nothing new for Android) that patches take ages to percolate from Google down to the various distros managed by manufacturers and phone networks. And that's only if the end user allows updates.

So this hack is likely to be live and exploitable for some while yet.

Comment Re:Homeopathy as euthanasia. (Score 1) 414

All of which are nothing compared to the scandal of the astronomical sums charged for basic healthcare in the US, the ridiculous profit margins enjoyed by the companies that run it, and the tragedy of millions of Americans being unable to afford it.

This, in the richest country on the planet.

Comment Re:Stupid people are stupid (Score 1) 956

If they'd bothered checking, they would have found that practically every child in the class had an electronic device on them that could be used to disguise or trigger a bomb. Many of them would even have a digital clock displayed on them too.

Usually, you're going to give a child in class the benefit of the doubt and assume that they're not bombs. Usually. It saves a lot of time. Otherwise you'd be arresting the lot of them every morning.

But I guess this child made the mistake of being Muslim in a town of crazy people. That clearly made all the difference.

Comment Re:US Bill is only 4 Trillion? (Score 1) 528

> The only way this isn't true is if the tree was going to burn anyway.

Well what do you think is going to eventually happen to the tree you didn't burn? It's going to decompose, which as far as the carbon cycle is concerned amounts to the same.

The only way your use of a "tree-worth' of coal leaves the amount of carbon in the cycle unchanged is if you then immediately go bury a tree for a few million years.

The life of a repo man is always intense.