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Comment Blame your phone (Score 1) 88 88

So, you remain in one place, silent, immobilized, inactive, and unconcious for 6 to 10 contiguous hours each and every single day of your life. But that's not enough down-time for your phucking phone.

Maybe, just maybe, you should throw out your shitty phone, and get one that can last as long as you can.

Comment Re:Think taxes, not taxis (Score 1) 247 247

You might want to put your name to your arguments, if you think them worthy of anything at all. But I'm not surprised that you don't stand behind your arguments. According to you, nothing in Canada is regulated, limited, or restricted competition at all. Oh wait, you're an idiot.

Canada isn't a small town. Small towns don't have this particular problem.

Maybe you ought to stop taking economics classes, and stop researching what other people have already searched. Maybe, instead, you ought to actually do some first-hand observations, do your own measurements, and see what's actually true.

Remeber when your "classes" told you that the three primary colours are red, yellow, and blue? They lied, flat out.

Comment Re:Think taxes, not taxis (Score 1) 247 247

Sometimes real-world things have real-world costs. Prices can't fall below costs. So if a taxi winds up only making $1 per hour, it can't operate. Since you need to buy a car, and you need to keep it maintained, lowering prices can mean lowering car safety too.

In a physically huge region like Toronto, with traffic like Toronto, let's pretend that no one takes a taxi when they could walk faster. And since there's traffic, that mean the only time a taxi is used is for very long distances that exit or enter the core. That means airport, since no one takes a taxi to another city.

So you wind up with a situation where the only way a taxi can truly profit is to have enough airport runs to offset the crappy small stuff in-between.

But there are only so many airport runs to be had. Divide that by the number of taxis operating on a given day, and you have "your share". More taxis, lower prices, "your share" is worth less.

At some point, "your share", which is the same as everyone else's share, simply becomes too small to be worthwhile. So you stop operating.

But you don't stop on day 1. You hope on day 1. It's day 366 when you stop, bankrupt. And so does everyone else.

And you aren't a taxi driver. You are a taxi service. So you fire a few thousand drivers. Your "competition" closes doors too, because it isn't profitable to run a taxi service anymore, and he's got another side business to kickstart.

There isn't enough business to have prices change smoothly. So they change suddenly. That dumps owners pretty quickly.

Your economics curves are smooth, with infinite data points. Now picture the same curve with three data points, and you see the triangle spike that it is.

Remember, 10% of the population, 10 times the geography, half the history.

Comment Re:Think taxes, not taxis (Score 1) 247 247

Toronto is 6 million people over 40'000 square kilometres. And in all of canada, that's the only city anywhere near that density.

Our radio stations are restricted for the same reason -- not enough listeners to go around. Same with our telecom companies -- cable, cellphone, internet -- for the same reasons.

You're just incorrect. Too much competition can easily kill any big industry with a limited market. That's exactly what we are.

And in many ways, it's a great thing. That's why we have high speed internet in the most remote locations -- because the very same regulation that limits competition forces companies to invest in remote areas, not just in Toronto.

Think of the alternative: no telecom company would ever build infrastructure in northern Alberta for the 1 person per square kilometre. Think about that. What company would have wired a kilometre of cable to a single house? Or a cell-tower for a single house?

Canada is way more than Toronto, even though the population and tourism often is not.

Comment Think taxes, not taxis (Score 3, Insightful) 247 247

Uber isn't paying Ontario taxes. Their entire "distinct business model" will quickly fall apart the moment they become forced to pay things like sales taxes.

It's not just the taxes themselves. Around here, paying taxes means you're regulated, and being regulated means that the government is responsible for the public safety surrounding you.

So the moment Uber gets forced to pay sales taxes, is the moment that they are forced to control their drivers, is the moment their drivers become employees, is the moment they get to pay employment taxes, is the moment they get to safety-certify the vehicles, is the moment their "distinct business model" needs to raise prices to cover all of the added expense.

That will take them half-way to taxi fares. What people don't know is that the big expensive taxi licence isn't simply a money-grab. It's specifically to reduce the number of taxis. Around here, we regulate in order to reduce competition. With a tenth the population of the USA, and even lower population density, there simply isn't enough business out there to support the number of taxis that would set out to try.

Unlike in the USA, where too much competition would eventually result in a natural balance, around here it results in an entire industry going belly-up -- i.e. no taxis at all.

So, the moment that Uber is large enough to compete in the full market, that market won't be big enough to support Uber, taxis, and the next new Uber-like competitor that would be able to destroy Uber instantly simply because they will be newer. And as a result of that market-is-too-small-to-support-the-low-cost-of-entry, we artificially raise the cost-of-entry with a nice expensive licence.

But hey, electric cars are cheaper because they don't pay gas prices...which are most road taxes. Do you honestly think that in a world of everyone-drives-an-electric-vehicle that there won't be road taxes?

Welcome to new "distinct business models". They work only while they are new. That's the distinct part.

Comment Re:Does the update improve my LIFE? (Score 1) 319 319

I'm afraid that you've misread my entire post. I was never talking about the benefits of the features to the user at all. I wasn't talking about whether or not I use them, nor whether or not they exist. I was talking ONLY about whether or not they are worth UPGRADING the OS, as an intrusive effort.

I won't take an existing machine, and upgrade the OS just because a new set of features is available -- because, as you've said, they are only incremental improvements, and hence are worth nothing individually.

I did say that I get the latest OS with each new computer. As a result, I am currently using four different OSes across four differently aged computers.

The new features are not worth upgrading for. They are worth purchasing.

Comment Re:Does the update improve my LIFE? (Score 1) 319 319

Heh, trollin'. I think I meant that I pre-date the ubiquitous versions. Or the mass-market versions of those things. "in the lab" doesn't count. Quite frankly, I don't think it counts until it has a price -- and that price needs to be accessible to that market's intended use.

Comment ball-bearings, tire spikes, sand, and debris (Score 4, Interesting) 65 65

I'm becoming more and more disappointed with my techie breathren for things like this. No part of life is anywhere near as safe, or secure, as the current internet already is.

And yet, we trust all of it, every day, with things far more precious than our communication and finances.

We even trust these things despite countless and routine and frequent demonstrations of catastrophic failures.

We have political systems that squander money on a global level. And yet, we still elect leaders through campaigns of obvious horse-shit. Alex ran for student-body president 20 years ago on the basis of getting rid of homework.

We also have roads. We have highways where anyone from across the planet can show up, 'accidentally' drop sand and ball bearings and tire spikes and chunks of metal.

There is NOTHING that stops my car from flying off the highway at 140kph and falling 2'000 feet off the mountain.

But good news! There is something stopping my car from slamming into an on-coming car -- at an impart speed of 280 kph, by the way -- there's a two-inch strip of yellow paint; sometimes two.

And, as discussed earlier, every single day there're another many traffic collisions. And every single day, multiple people die in those collisions. It's so continuous, that the city actually pays for tow-trucks to sit at the edge of the highway in order to clear away accidents that much faster.

So, my e-mails to my grandmother, and to my clients, my banking transactions and my phone bills, while all important, pale in comparison to the vitality of the many other things in my life.

Oh yeah, and my front door, to my house, where I keep virtually all of my stuff, every one of my posessions, and many of my loved-ones -- some not able to protect themselves from a flood, let alone an intruder -- is protected by a very-easy-to-pick lock. Which wouldn't benefit from sophistimication because next to the door, is a big glass window.

Oh yeah, and the alarm wouldn't cause police to show for about 10 minutes anyway. Oh yeah, and the house is mostly wood.

Oh yeah, and my beautiful grass lawn, can be totally destroyed by anyone casually dropping a handful of dandilion seeds.

Nothing we do is secured for trust. That's what the word trust actually means, by the way -- if things were proven secure, you wouldn't be trusting them.

The internet is good enough as-is. Try focusing on the roads please. How about we trust hospitals to not screw up during surgery. How about we work on having enough water next year, or food during droughts, or maybe we could work on not killing people with military super-powers.

These techies are stuck in the wrong rut. They (we) were supposed to be using technology -- like the internet -- as tools to solve real-life problems. This article discusses uses tools to solve problems with other tools. That doesn't help anything.

Scratch that. Improving the security of tools does do one very significant thing. It's called one-upmanship, and it creates better criminals.

Solve the global food problem. Not because people far away from me are starving -- I'm not responsible for them, I've got my own problems. Solve the global food problem so that I don't need to have my yummy cooking show show me a gorgeous sizzling steak, and then break to commercial to see starving children in africa, who've been starving for fifty years now. It does nothing more than to put me off my dinner, and ruin the cooking show..

Comment Does the update improve my LIFE? (Score 4, Insightful) 319 319

I also have a friend who upgrades everything all the time. "the new phone's amazing" either means that the "old phone sucks" -- which makes no sense since the old phone was "amazing" when it was new too -- or that the new marketing is amazing -- which makes sense because the old marketing was also amazing.

There are countly amazing things that can be added to anything. Some new features are just really impressive. But being impressive doesn't mean that it improves my life at all.

A frisbee that can be thrown over a half-mile is really cool (and called an aerobe, by the way, and I love them) but I don't have a park that large, nor would I enjoy playing catch with a friend that far away.

Similarly, most new OS features might be neat, but they don't actually change my life at all. Perhaps the best example I can give is with regard to office/productivity suites.

Between word, excel, wordperfect, lotus 123, and-if-you-thought-wordperfect-was-dating-myself wordstar, I've been writing essays and poems and business documents for close to thirty years. Before the computer "clipboard", before 3d text-art, before pivot tables, before ribbon bars, before toolbars, before menu bars, before arrow-keys, even before the mouse. In the end, the business documents that I produce today, to earn a living, aren't any more sophistimicated than the ones that I producted 25 years ago, early in my career. Believe it or not, youngin's, business invoices and quotes and proposals existing before XML. So none of these new features actually provide any additional benefit to my life. They only change the way I create the very same invoice -- whether for dot-matrix, inkjet, laser, PDF, or e-mail.

How many new OS features actually add to my life? The answer is: none. So I upgrade my OS when I upgrade my computer. When is that? When my computer is too old to play the almost-latest games -- because games are entertainment, and entertainment is my sole purpose in life.

The OS is very definitely secondary.

All that said, there have been OS upgrades that have improved my life. Win 95 let me switch between games and work faster, which meant that I could play more games. Vista let me have more pixels so I could work more at a time and keep the tv playing in the corner at the same time. Win 7 added nothing. Win 8 added nothing. Win 10 would let me work cross-device better, if my work were capable of being done anywhere but a desk, but it ain't.

Comment Have you tried not working all day every day? (Score 1, Interesting) 340 340

You shouldn't need modern science to tell you that working all day every day, especially in your older years, is bad for you. Standing, sitting, laying, bending, reading, writing, seeing, listening, . . .it all doesn't matter. If you're concentrating on anything -- mentally or physically -- to the exclusion of all else, it'll be bad for you.

But you really ought to be thankful that you'll die sooner, since you're just working your life away.

Instead of trying to work in a healthier manner, you might want to try working less. Move thirty minutes farther from down-town, drop your cost-of-living by 50%, and start enjoying the kinds of hobbies that are effectively free.

Happiness is a positive cash flow.

Working...