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Comment: Texas economy not reliant on oil industry (Score 1) 55

by SuperKendall (#48902535) Attached to: Ed Felten: California Must Lead On Cybersecurity

In the past the oil industry was a much bigger part of the Texas economy than it is now. It's still a large part, but there is a ton of high-tech stuff all around Texas - Apple is building all of its Mac Pro units in Texas, for example...

They also have a lot of international trade, including a major airport and shipping port too. All of that adds to economic diversity.

Comment: Outside auditors for CA government? Ha! (Score 2) 55

by SuperKendall (#48901569) Attached to: Ed Felten: California Must Lead On Cybersecurity

What they propose is not going to happen simply because of this:

He calls for the state government to protect critical infrastructure and sensitive data, relying on outside auditors and experts.

Outside auditors doing anything in CA government? We'll see that only when all else is lost, and people are starting to go to prison.

Comment: Still joking? (Score 1) 173

If somehow the cost of driving went steeply up, you (and your competitors) can switch to an alternative means of transportation and still keep doing whatever you do for a living.

If the cost of driving went substantially up, then taxis and public transport would also increase in cost. At some level of increase, no I could not do what I do.

That's not the case of uber

Why not? New service, UberRickshaw. Many Uber rides are short enough that would work.

It'a no more ridiculous a thought than you trying to create an arbitrary separation between me driving a friend across town and someone I don't know.

since their for-profit use of publicly-funded infrastructure

Which I and my rider pay for regardless of us knowing each other or not.

Comment: Quote for articles including Uber and regalation (Score 1) 173

âoeOf all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
- C.S. Lewis

Comment: You have got to be kidding (Score 2) 173

You could potentially walk, bike, take public transport or a cab to get to your clients.

No, I really can't - mostly I'm driving about 30 minutes at 50-60MPH average to reach them. Considering the fact that as a consultant I get paid by the hour it would cost me vast sums of money to bike to them, and probably an hour longer each way taking any public transport (I've looked into that). A cab is not a bad idea if you live in a city but I'm working between multiple areas and also take very long road trips all the time (partly for business) so it would be stupid to also spend money on a cab when the marginal extra cost of using my car is vastly less.

it's not an absolute requirement for your business

My clients disagree which is why I drive to them. If I don't have a job because I do not drive, it's a requirement.

Your argument is way, way weak. There is no "key difference". The fact is that driving for Uber and driving friends around has zero actual difference in terms of external risk or ability. That's the core argument where you simply cannot distinguish, thus either everyone needs a commercial license or no-one does.

Comment: Totally wrong there buddy (Score 1) 173

Even as a contractor you may not deduct mileage driving to and from clients as that is considered non-commercial commuting by the IRS

Good thing I listen to my accountant and not idiot AC posters on Slashdot:

One way to avoid the harsh commuting rule is to have a home office that qualifies as your principal place of business. In this event, you can deduct the cost of any trips you make from your home office to another business location.

From one of a billion links that tell you how the world actually works

I mean, what consultant these days is not going to have a home office? Sheesh.

Most states, for example, have a taxi drivers endorsement for their regular drivers license.

Yes they do. The point is that is as stupid as it is unnecessary; it's just a revenue collection scheme and has zero to do with keeping people safe (the supposed intent).

Comment: Wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 173

You are not being paid to drive to work. You are being paid for the work you do there.

I am a contractor. I drive to clients, all of my driving to clients is directly related to the job.

I also write iOS applications, sometimes I drive around testing the GPS aspects of the apps. In those cases I am billing while driving.

Why do I need a commercial license tags for that again? How is that in any was reasonable except you simply want more money from me and that seems like a fine angle to use to extract it? It wouldn't make me any safer to have a license where I answer questions about driving tractor trailers. Insurance wise I had damn well better be covered for anyone else getting injured in my car anyway, and insurance is already calculated based in part on miles you drive per year (not to mention Lyft/Uber provide extra insurance on top of what you have).

Why would I need commercial license/tags to drive a few people around few days a week? I already do that with family and friends. Why is is so different when it's someone I don't know at the start?

Comment: Why should the requirements be onerous?? (Score 2) 173

Maybe the DMV should streamline the process instead of lowering the requirements?

Part of the Commercial Drivers License Test includes questions like "The phrase gross combination weight is figured by adding together what?". Is it reasonable to require you know the answer when you are just driving a person around in a passenger car?

The reason why the commercial drivers license test is way too onerous is that it's really meant for people driving trucks or other specialized vehicles. What aspect of the existing drivers license test does not cover what a person just driving a few other people around in their own car would not cover? After all, that's exactly the same as if they were simply driving friends and family around... if the test can't help you be a decent driver doing that, then improve the basic test instead of requiring you to know a truck swinging wide is called Offtracking...

Comment: Answer: Uber/Lyft provide extra insurance (Score 1) 173

Why, exactly, should Uber drivers get to drive passengers using regular non-commercial drivers' insurance?

They don't really, this is why Uber and Lyft both provide supplemental insurance for drivers.

Commercial insurance costs more because people who drive people around for a living are much more likely to cost the insurance companies more money

That's bullshit because the cost of personal insurance is partly factored in by miles driver per year, so that risk is ALREADY INCLUDED.

If you're letting them drive on non-commercial licenses than that means that regular drivers are subsidizing Uber-drivers.

No more than people who drive a lot for drives or commute already are.

+ - Is Pascal an Underrated Programming Language? 6

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the recent Slashdot discussion on the D programming language, I was surprised to see criticisms of Pascal that were based on old information and outdated implementations. While I’m sure that, for example, Brian Kernighan’s criticisms of Pascal were valid in 1981, things have moved on since then. Current Object Pascal largely addresses Kernighan’s critique and also includes language features such as anonymous methods, reflection and attributes, class helpers, generics and more (see also Marco Cantu’s recent Object Pascal presentation). Cross-platform development is fairly straightforward with Pascal. Delphi targets Windows, OS X, iOS and Android. Free Pascal targets many operating systems and architectures and Lazarus provides a Delphi-like IDE for Free Pascal. So what do you think? Is Pascal underrated?"

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 300

by tverbeek (#48895761) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Blu-ray is already a physical-media format that we don't need. The CD isn't obsolete simply because a higher-capacity disc came along to replace it; it's obsolete because there's a better way to music files: the internet. The DVD is on the way out for the same reason. In fact, if not for the streaming rights being a licensing clusterfuck, Netflix would have completely shut down its DVD-mailing business by now. We don't need another higher-resolution media format. We just need a convenient way to watch movies at whatever resolution our display devices can manage, and that's the internet + a licensing clearinghouse.

Comment: Of course it is stupid. From both sides. (Score 1) 359

by SuperKendall (#48889559) Attached to: Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

There may have been a perception of power which may be enough

How? That does not seem reasonable.

Either way, it's incredibly stupid for someone in his position to get involved at all with a current student.

What he did is INCREDIBLY stupid. I'm not saying he does not bear primary fault in this. He had the most to lose also, it was just idiotic. Although if you were playing devils advocate, couldn't you claim he had a sexual addiction that compelled him to ask? That sounds as reasonable as saying the women had some kind of illness that compelled them to submit; in fact his actions speak even more strongly to there being a mental issue that overrode strong rational and moral reasons not to act as he did. The potential impact to him was proportionality much greater than any one of the women, exactly because of his position and status - and yet he appears to have contacted hundreds of women. How can you look at that and not claim he was mentally ill?

What the women did was stupid also though. They had no reason to send him nude images or video. At any time they could have simply ceased communication, and gotten what they wanted (physics education) from some other source.

Comment: Where is it addressed in EITHER article (Score 1) 359

by SuperKendall (#48889345) Attached to: Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

That's addressed in the article.

The fact you say "The article" makes me wonder if you read either. There are two...

The thing is, I read both articles. Neither of them address the position of power issue. One says "she felt trapped". But how? That makes NO SENSE when you can so easily block or otherwise ignore people communicating solely over social media, which offer many means for blocking annoying people. There is no means of trapping someone.

I would understand how someone might "feel trapped" if they were a student attending a college into which they had put forward substantial tuition. I would understand if they were to gain credit from a course needed to move forward in education. Even just being in physical proximity I could see it. There are a lot of circumstances in which I can image someone feeling trapped in some way, where there was a small amount of power to leverage - but not in this case. The course was free, the grades if any counted for nothing. The moment the contact started getting lewd the person should have broke off contact, and could easily have done so.

I'll leave the RRTFA to the person willing to make an argument/ask a question that takes the entire article into account, as you have utterly failed to do.

"Don't think; let the machine do it for you!" -- E. C. Berkeley