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Comment Crayola and crayons (Score 0) 102

AFAIK Crayola failed to defend the name and it became synonymous with a wax colored stick rather than a specific product produced by a specific company. Windows is much the same, prior to M$ windows, if you can remember back that far referred to a virtual window on an IBM mainframe, but M$ failed to vigorously defend the term and it became an industry wide term used by all.

Comment A service is a service (Score 1) 245

Either regulate UBER just like you would the competing service, in this case a Taxi service, or DON'T regulate the taxi service and let them openly compete with UBER. It seems foolish to have 2 standards. After having ridden in a cabs frequently, on a regular schedule I worked out a deal with the drivers myself and was never disappointed, as I headed out the door at 06:30 every morning to find one waiting at the end of my drive way.

Comment I live in San Jose if anyone wants some opinion (Score 2, Interesting) 258

I grew up here, I can explain why the city council is seeking this.

A few years back the city implemented huge cuts to it's police department in salary and benefits. Before the cuts, we had 1400 officers (not bad for a city of a million people) After the cuts our police has dropped as low as 700 officers.

With a reduction in the number of officers we have, bay area criminals have taken it as a "Vacancy" sign to do business here. Every type of crime has shot up. Violent crimes, we're a magnet for package theft, prostitution runs rampant, with one spot having as many as 50 girls walking one particular street corner, and car theft.

San Jose just voted to restore some of the pay last week, but it still won't be anywhere near 2010 levels. Cops continue to leave.

So now San Jose is in a situation of having to make due with what they have. Cops won't even consider this place for a job any more. Since they can't get another 700 officers to replace the ones lost, they're leveraging technology to fill the gap. Myself, and many other residents welcome any effort to clean up the streets.

Comment Could someone ELI5 how Macbooks retain value? (Score 2) 433

There was a time I understood this during the PPC era of mac, but now that macs run on commodity, non specialized CISC based x86, I have no idea why they retain their value. A lot of PC makers are starting to make machines that look *almost* as nice as a MBP. My HP Envy Beats laptops have a nice aluminum case.

Comment Re:No, not economics at all (Score 1) 185

I don't have to apologize for national fiat currency, it's silly too, and I don't keep my assets in cash. My problem with Bitcoin is that it is even less credible than "the faith and credit of the United States government", which has been the justification of the Dollar since it was allowed to float. It seems to be nothing but "wish and it will come true".

Comment Re:Are they going to fine airlines for doing the s (Score 1) 188

No, the small-aircraft owners aren't at risk of messing up their avionics. They are, however, consciously messing up the cellular network for everyone else. You see, you are supposed to be in range of just a few cells when you use your phone, so that we get frequency reuse between cells. If you are at altitude, you are in line-of-sight communications with all of the cells out to the visible horizon on all sides. And the frequencies you are using are probably locked out from reuse over that entire vast area. It would not take very many phones at altitude to disrupt the entire system.

Comment No, not economics at all (Score 4, Insightful) 185

People who received a play-money system from a mysterious unknown person and actually convinced themselves that it has value are now facing a schism over the money market failing to grow without bounds. Unless, that is, the software is modified in a way that might, over time, disincent people from playing the game.

I can't be the only one who is thinking that the only problem is that these folks believe bitcoins have value.

Hell, I thought that the fiat currency of nations was a bad deal. This is an order of magnitude worse.

Comment Re:Are they going to fine airlines for doing the s (Score 1) 188

No, the real problem is that you have line-of-sight communications to every cell site until the visible horizon. This tends to use up frequencies over a very large area. In general the antennas have been engineered not to work at high angles, but this can't be complete and the ones on the horizon may see you at the same angle as their regular users.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec

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