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Comment Re:And we STILL can't read it (Score 1) 142

Some, like extending copyright 20 years to match the (overlong) US standard, is suboptimal but not the end of the world.

I wonder if there are provisions to extend safe harbor to companies that respond quickly to copyright violation claims, rather than just allowing immediate lawsuits. That has massively benefitted the US. I don't know if this is in there though.

I do see blocking and some other crap which might not pass constitutional test due to freedom of speech. The exact relationship between treaties and the constituion is not fully resolved, with some believing a properly approved treaty could, say, abridge freedom of speech. If so, said treaty should be soundly rejected.

Logically, a treaty would be above national and state laws, but below the constitution. So any law conflicts with a treaty, the treaty wins, but if the treaty conflicts with the constitution, the constitution wins. That is not how some of those covetous if power want it though.

Comment Re:Queue the misinformation... (Score 1) 28

The guy who discovered penicillen (and got the prize) ran a few tests, decided it wouldn't work in a human, and shelved it.

20 years later another guy unshelved it, got it working in humans, and under mass production for WWII. He got his own belated Nobel decades later.

Comment Re:About damn time (Score 1) 108

Even in good areas, you have occasional bottlenecks as servers hiccup and reboot. Is the train supposed to safely stop? And others notified to stop then? You will have stoppages all the time, and you will fail to get the trains "running on time", as they say.

Now a computer that looked for the same cues an engineer did should be possible. Then the trains will safely run.

Comment Re:Why don't taxis just provide good service?! (Score 0) 102

What I don't get is why taxi services don't just provide good service. If they really want to crush Uber, that's all they need to do. It shouldn't be hard or costly to do, either.

They could start with these changes, which would make a world of difference:

1. Ditch the third-world drivers. It's frustrating dealing with taxi drivers who don't know where they're going or what they're doing, since they only arrived in the country a month before. It's also frustrating when they can't speak or understand English, which is the international language of the travel industry worldwide, especially in countries that are natively English-speaking. And it's utterly disrespectful when they spend the whole trip chattering loudly on their phones or headsets in Arabic or some other obscure language the entire trip. Instead, they should hire locals who know the area, who know the local language (plus English, if they differ), and who won't treat the customers like utter shit.

2. Charge reasonable fares. A $6 starting fare, plus $8/mile after that, plus $1 for every 5 seconds idling at a light makes short taxi trips unbearably expensive, and it makes medium and long voyages pretty much impossible. The rates are excessive even if they were providing excellent service. But as we saw in the first point, the taxi customers are paying top dollar for third-world service. Short trips should be competitive with public transit fares. Longer trips should still be within reason. If an airline charges $800 to fly thousands of miles, it should not cost $100 to take a taxi just a few miles to get to the airport to catch that flight!

3. Never refuse rides. Despite even short rides costing the customer a lot of money, it's still not uncommon for taxi drivers to outright refuse to drive customers because their trip is too short, or may take the driver to say a residential area where there won't likely be other fares to pick up afterward. Pick up the customer promptly, drive the customer to where the customer wants to go, and don't bitch about it.

4. Stop resorting to third-world harassment tactics. This is also tied in with the first point, but we've seen many taxi drivers in Western cities around the world continually resort to really pathetic third-world harassment tactics in their fight against Uber. That's not how business should work in Western nations! If you can't keep up with your competitors, then you go out of business. You don't resort to criminal or quasi-criminal behavior. It just makes you look sleazier and shittier than you already look when you do stuff like that! So don't go blocking major roads. Don't go attacking Uber vehicles with passengers in them. Don't go attacking normal, non-Uber vehicles where the one passenger just happens to be sitting in the back instead of the front.

They should start with those four basic things. Even then, they all boil down to: don't treat your customers like shit, and don't subject them to a shitty experience.

Uber is only a threat to taxi services that provide shitty service. Uber really offers no advantages beyond taxi services that provide good service. It's not like the customers really give a fuck how they get from here to there. They just don't want to be subjected to the shitshow that taxi drivers have typically subjected them to. If taxi drivers just did a good fucking job for once, then Uber couldn't do a thing to them.

Fuck, these taxi services might even see an increase in business, and profit, if taxi rides started to become known as something convenient and enjoyable, rather than the third-world screw job they tend to be these days.

So you want a cartel that has successfully performed regulatory capture to respond as if driven by competition, or just to be nice?

Why do you think they used government and police to take over to begin with?

Comment Re:Anti-science is a PR plague (Score 1) 172

I'll bet not. I'll bet it's driven by the frankenfood oh noes folks, who are themselves interested in power and selling books.

In any case, if it's not frankenfood fears, it's genetic diversity fears. If not that, fear of lawsuits by Monsanto of poor farmers whose seed got tainted.

A prediction: And if not that, something else.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 338

2. You get on the news and the President mentions what you did

This is a big, big part of it. These guys are small men in the making who've realized they'll never be the kind of people who make the papers for something good. And they desperately want to force everyone to hear their primal scream. Just like suicide clusters, the more it happens the more unbalanced people think about it and start to think it might be a good idea. It's a price we pay for a free press. I'd bet any amount of money if these things just weren't reported they wouldn't happen nearly as often.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 338

1. There are a lot of people there
2. You get on the news and the President mentions what you did
3. Everyone went to school. It's a familiar place. Shooters probably don't have happy memories of school.
4. Kids don't know how to fight back. Most of the staff are women. It's a gun free zone. If you do it there, you have the maximum relative power over everyone else.
5. When something bad happens at a school, they go on lockdown and all your victims are stuck in the building. When someone shoots up a mall, everyone runs and soon the place is empty of victims and the only people left are threats to you.
6. Politics reigns. There's a good chance the incident will be blamed on someone/something besides the shooter.
7. It worked for the last school shooters, and the ones before that. Shooters are learning. The people who are supposed to protect the schools aren't.
8. Why not? (Seriously. This is a challenge. Come up with a good answer that can't be countered with the grievance mixed with nihilism that US culture has become.)

No other target is so soft or so well known to the shooters. Maybe someone should come up with a realistic security plan someday? You know, after the politicians get done playing it up for political advantage and fundraising.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 382

With JDAMs you can get pretty damn close to 100% perfection. The most likely scenario here is the USAF hit what they were trying to hit. From the Telegraph link in the summary:

Witnesses said that for more than an hour, beginning at 2:08am, the hospital was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids every 15 minutes. The main central hospital building, housing the intensive care unit, emergency rooms, and physiotherapy ward, was repeatedly hit very precisely.

So we're not just talking about a single bomb that failed and flew off course.

I suspect, based on the first article, US troops were taking fire from that area and called for air support, and due to time constraints nobody who knew it was a hospital was in the loop. Technically if the Taliban were firing from or from near the hospital it's a legitimate target and any civilian deaths go to the Taliban. Technically.

"It doesn't much signify whom one marries for one is sure to find out next morning it was someone else." -- Rogers