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Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 1) 221

No, not really. They didn't pay for any software at all; that's the whole problem. They paid for a service. If they paid for some software, they could just stick with what they have instead of pissing off users by divulging their identities when the users had never agreed to that before, at least until they could get the software made so that old comments used the pseudonyms while newer comments switched to the new policy.

Instead, they bought a service which apparently doesn't offer this ability. I don't know if there's a legal case to be made here, but it seems to me that their website had a policy before where people could make posts anonymously (or pseudonymously), and now they're changing to a real-name policy. That would be OK, except they're making it retroactive, which is certainly wrong ethically, and quite possibly legally, depending on the wording of their prior user agreement policy. You can't just go change agreements like that retroactively. And the fact that the SaaS vendor doesn't support this is no excuse. Either they need to switch to a new vendor, get the vendor to change, or eliminate the service (and comment section) altogether.

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 86

Well again, given that a gas giant can only block 1-2%, this would have to be a really friggin' huge comet, right? A comet bigger than Jupiter? That doesn't sound likely. Sure, the tail might help, but still comet tails don't block light the way a planet does, they're just a collection of dust.

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 1) 221

Now you're talking about absurd and unaffordable amounts of money. Can you imagine how much money you'd need to pay Microsoft to make a custom version of Windows 10 for you without Metro? It's just not something they want to do. They might not even do it for any amount of money, unless you buy out the company outright, because it goes directly against their corporate vision.

With FOSS, this isn't a problem; there's always someone willing to do the work for you. And you don't have to buy out the original company to get what you want.

Comment Re:There needs to be a very detail visual 4D sim (Score 1) 86

The thing I don't get is how comets could possibly block 20% of the star's output. From what I remember, some astronomer said that if there were a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the star, that would only block 1% of the star's output. If a Jupiter-sized planet would only block 1%, how the heck would some comets block 20 times more?

Comment Re:unpossible software hack? (Score 0) 221

If it's possible to do with "free" (open) software, it's possible to do with proprietary.

Absolutely wrong.

If it's proprietary, and you ask the vendor to make a change, and they say "no", then you're out of luck. They have total control over the software, so if they refuse, even with you waving money in front of their noses, there's nothing you can do. Proprietary companies frequently refuse to do custom work or listen to customer feedback, because they're selling to lots of people and don't want to deviate from their corporate direction or invest the resources necessary to please a single customer.

With open-source/Free software, you don't have this problem. You have access to the source code, so worst case, you can hire someone to make custom changes for you. It probably won't be that cheap to get a freelancer or some small software house to do it for you, since they're working with unfamiliar code, but it's better than nothing.

Comment Re:Easy solution - COSTCO does it better (Score 1) 455

Real estate prices are ridiculous everywhere these days, unless you live in some backwater where there's no employment. Cheap real estate isn't of much use if you're unemployed, unless you're retired.

As for rain, you sound like you've never been to northern California. How do you think all those forests grow? The pictures I've seen of Florida only show palm trees, same as southern California.

Comment Re:Just stop now (Score 1) 111

Having a preset price is not how taxi regulations work.

So what? Ubers aren't taxis, that's why they're not subject to taxi regulations. They're limousines, so they operate under those laws. Limos have preset prices.

So they have to have technology in the cab to charge a credit card.

Sure, and then they refuse to use it.

Uber does not have to have equipment in the cab because they charge the card at the home base.

Right, but you still haven't explained how the taxis are "more advanced". They're clearly not. Charging a pre-set price is a superior method, and it's simpler, faster, and easier to do the transaction through a smartphone app rather than on a card reader in some car. This is a pretty good example of KISS. Uber has no need to pollute cars with unnecessary and extremely expensive payment terminals because they've come up with a superior alternative.

Comment Re:As a techie (Score 1) 111

(Actually, if any city tried to do THAT, I'd imagine the discussion here would be the opposite and it'd end up in "Your Rights Online" -- "How DARE they force us into a cashless economy! Today it's forcing businesses to accept credit, tomorrow it's no cash allowed! My right to anonymous transactions must be upheld!!!")

I'm sorry, this is BS.

Cabs accepting credit cards doesn't mean that cash-payers are stuck having to use a card. They can still pay cash. No one is proposing to change this. Uber doesn't take cash, but for the YRO people, that's not a problem because it's well-known up front. You just can't even use Uber without getting cashless payment set up through them. It's not like an Uber car is going to show up and drive you somewhere and then you need to figure out how to pay with a card.

The problem with these stupid cabs is that they'll say they take cards, but then when you try to actually pay with a card they tell you the card reader is "broken". It's a case of simple lying, and bait-and-switch. I can't image how any anti-cashless-economy or YRO people would be in defense of this; the libertarian crowd is all about people and businesses having maximum freedom within the law, not for them to lie and advertise one thing and do something else, which sounds a lot like fraud to me. I've never heard of any true libertarians being in favor of fraud.

If the cab companies want to advertise that they accept cards, then they need to do so, plain and simple. This is what people are complaining about: a cab shows up, it may or may not accept cards, they just don't know. You don't have that problem with Uber: you know up front how you have to pay, and you already have it set up to automatically charge you. Uber also gives you a close estimate how much it'll cost up front, whereas with a cab you have little idea, especially if the cabbie drives you in circles or some circuitous route to get a higher fare. In short, Uber's singlehandedly fixed everything wrong with the cab industry.

Comment Re:yet more engineer bashing (Score 1) 488

Well, a couple of points here:
1) Slashdot does not represent software engineers as a whole in the US. Many SW engineers I've met don't seem to be Slashdot users or care about it.
2) Slashdot seems to have an older crowd, since it started back in the 90s. A lot of SW engineers these days are younger, in the Millenial generation. They're not on Slashdot, they're on Reddit or something else I don't know about.
3) Even on Slashdot, there's a bunch of liberals. Remember the Brendan Eich incident? There were people on both sides of that one here. I do think the extreme right + libertarians outnumber them though.
4) Slashdot is not confined to SW engineers; there's a lot of other engineers here too, and in my experience they're frequently even worse than SW engineers.

I do think you're onto something with the libertarian angle; from what I can tell, it seems that the SW engineers tend to be more libertarian and not as religious, whereas the other engineers tend to be more old-school and religious conservative. However even the religious conservatives these days are worshiping the "free market"; the churches here have all bought into that stuff plus Prosperity Doctrine ("God loves rich people more than poor people, and if you're rich, it's because God has blessed you.").

Comment Re:YEs, don't try to make it better (Score 1) 100

WTF? If you think Cox is worse than Comcast, you're a fucking moron. And if you think that bitching and complaining is going to improve the state of ISPs in this country, you're also a fucking moron. You sound like a naive idealist who complains if everything isn't up to some lofty, unrealistic standard. Maybe after you get past the age of 18 you'll see the real world isn't like that.

MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way. -- Henry Spencer