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Comment Re:i haven't bought a car in a while... (Score 1) 252 252

I think the point is price.

Cabs are expensive, but most of the expense is paying the driver. Once you get rid of the worker, it gets a lot cheaper.
Also, with centralized control, routes can be optimized so the taxis are always driving and carying passengers.
It's not slightly cheaper than driving, it can potentially cost an order of magnitude less, and be faster.
Where I live, public transport is easily 5-6 times less expensive than driving, combining bus and cab rides, including the labor cost of drivers.

About keeping it clean, and accountability, we are now used to be identified always. The cars can have cameras, and even require an id for you to ride them (they won't be taking cash, after all). There would be abuse, but it would be close to trivial to punish that kind of thing.

If there's vomit in the car, the car should be able to detect that, and go to a cleaning station. In the event that you do get an unsuitable car, you can just reject it. You could even look at a stream of the inside of the car before it gets to your home.

Also, think about the carpooling possibilities. While people don't like sharing space with strangers, price can change some minds.

Comment Re:I foresee a sudden demand for raises (Score 1) 429 429

You don't need to go as far as requiring equal pay. That can be your goal.
Knowing salaries is faster, and goes a long way.
If you are minority X, face discrimination, and are paid 80k instead of 100k for a white male, it will be hard to get that fixed, but knowing what others make will help you set your goals. Maybe you can get together with others and discover which companies discriminate the most. You might even find out that some company is not discriminating, just pays less to all their employees. Information itself is a very useful tool, and it's actionable right now.

Comment Re:Equitable pay? (Score 1) 429 429

A free market comes with the notion of a price equilibrium. Faster information means faster equilibrium, less room for inefficiencies.

Of course labor market is regulater by government so it's not really a free market. But witholding information from sellers only hurts a free market, as a whole. This makes it effectively a buyers market, which would behave closer to an oligopsony ( That's inefficient for the market as a whole.


Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin 359 359

An anonymous reader writes: Greece's economy has been in trouble for several years, now, and a major vote next weekend will shake it up even further. The country can't pay its debts, and the upcoming referendum will decide whether they face increased austerity measures or start the process of exiting the Euro. One side effect of the crisis is that alternative currencies like Bitcoin suddenly look much more attractive as the "normal" currencies become unstable. "Tony Gallippi, the co-founder of bitcoin payment processor Bitpay, tweeted on Sunday night that he expected the price of bitcoin to rise to between $610 and $1,250 if Greece exits the Euro. The currency is currently worth $250. Part of the reason why the crisis is so tempting for proponents of the cryptocurrency is the echoes of a previous crisis in the Eurozone: the banking collapse in Cyprus in 2013, which saw that nation also impose capital controls to prevent massive outflows of currency from the panicking country. That collapse came at the same time as the first major boom in the price of bitcoin, which began the year at less than $20 and peaked at ten times that by early April – before it all came crashing down."
United States

Google, Apple, and Others Remove Content Related To the Confederate Flag 818 818

davek writes with news that Google is removing results related to the Confederate Flag from Google Shopping, the company's online marketplace. They're also blocking advertisements involving the flag. They say, "We have determined that the Confederate flag violates our Ads policies, which don't allow content that's generally perceived as expressing hate toward a particular group." At the same time, Apple is removing from the App Store any games or other software featuring the Confederate Flag. This, of course, follows the recent shooting in South Carolina, which triggered a nationwide debate over whether the flag should be flown at government buildings (or anywhere). Major online merchant websites like eBay and Amazon have already taken the step of banning merchandise relating to the flag.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 272 272

I understand if there were some trademark issue, that they _removed_, and replaced it with 301 to . Replacing the page with something else completely will only harm those who try to access the old link. If the company wants anything, they can get or whatever, but they shouldn't misrepresent their content. Users who have the old link expect the old content, that's what URIs are for.

Breaking links is a bad thing (TM), and google has the knowledge to know that you shouldn't break the web. Not for something this lame, at least.


Are Girl-Focused Engineering Toys Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes? 490 490

theodp writes: VentureBeat's Ruth Read casts a skeptical eye at the current rage of toy segregation meant to inspire tomorrow's leaders in STEM: "Toys geared at girls serve to get them interested in coding and building when they're young, hopefully inspiring their educational interests down the road. But these gendered toys may be hurting women by perpetuating a divide between men and women." Read concludes, "Ultimately, girls (who will become women) are going to have to learn and work in a world where genders are not segregated; as will men. That means they need to learn how to interact with one another as much as they need to be introduced to the same educational opportunities. If STEM education is as much for girls as it is for boys, perhaps we should be equally concerned with getting boys and girls to play together with the same toys and tools, as we are with creating learning opportunities for girls."

(Your Job) Is a Video Game 36 36

arctother writes: UberDRIVE—Uber's simulation/video game/recruiting tool—is, at best, just a poor copy of a much more interesting video game – driving for Uber. The main innovation of Uber, and other smartphone-enabled "e-hailing" car services, is the insertion of a new interface into the human-to-human, on-the-street interactions between drivers and passengers. Uber attempts to transform the cab-driving and -riding experience through the deployment of an allegorithm: the productive joining of a framing narrative (or "allegory") and software-mediated control (or "algorithm"). Understanding how allegorithms shape experience will become more and more important as they are increasingly deployed with mobile interfaces to reshape and "augment" social interactions. "Ingress," you are already thinking; but you should really think of "Uber."

Comment Re:So, it's credit card fraud (Score 2) 86 86

Fraud is not the main thing here.
Uber is paying cab riders bonuses that make riding without passengers profitable. So, they ride without passengers and collect bonuses. Their using fake ids or other illegal is just incidental. Uber itself is probably operating illegally, and nobody cares about that.


Uber's Rise In China May Be Counterfeit 86 86

retroworks writes: Josh Horwitz' story in Quartz reports both the apparent rapid success of Uber adaptation in China, and a queasy footnote for shareholders applauding the rapid growth. While China is a natural ride-sharing haven, it also has a tradition of gaming the western system. From the story: "Accomplices can sit in their apartments, disable location settings, and specify a pickup not far from the actual location of driver's vehicle, the report said. The driver then accepts the hail, and goes on a trip without a passenger. After the accomplice approves payment, the driver will – hopefully – pay back the fee and share a cut of the bonus. It's not the most clever get-rich scheme on the planet. But for drivers, it's better than waiting for a hail in a parking lot." Uber's spokeswoman told the Quartz writer that the company has an on-the-ground team who investigate into these various type of fraud, then uses "deep analytics, and new tools developed by our Chinese engineers in our dedicated fraud team to combat against such fraud." The Uber spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the nature of these tools.

Comment Re:Why the need to detect if you know where stuff (Score 1) 108 108

This is their current situation. Stuff comes in different sized packages, and placement is not perfect.
Of course they could get improvements, even for human workers, if stuff came pre-checked, correctly classified and stuff. The thing is that's not their current status. The idea is to get rid of the picking human, without changing anything other than the human.
Self driving cars would be easy with the strategy you propose, just build intelligent roads, wired roads with wireless navigation, no people. Close to what a train is. It makes it a lot easier, but it just can't replace all driving, unless you change the whole infrastructure at once.


Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others 220 220

Vadim Makarov writes: Fifteen Chinese nationals living in the U.S. have been charged with creating an elaborate scheme to take U.S. college entrance exams on behalf of students. For the past four years, the accused provided counterfeit Chinese passports to impostors, who sneaked into testing centers where they took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and others, while claiming to be someone else, according to a federal grand jury indictment. Special Agent in Charge John Kelleghan for Homeland Security Investigations of Philadelphia said: "These students were not only cheating their way into the university, they were also cheating their way through our nation's immigration system."

Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing? 692 692

ourlovecanlastforeve writes: With biologists getting closer and closer to reversing the aging process in human cells, the reality of greatly extended life draws closer. This brings up a very important conundrum: You can't tell people not to reproduce and you can't kill people to preserve resources and space. Even at our current growth rate there's not enough for everyone. Not enough food, not enough space, not enough medical care. If — no, when — age reversal becomes a reality, who gets to live? And if everyone gets to live, how will we provide for them?

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong -- until the next person quits or is fired.