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Comment: From a non-driver perspective (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by dada21 (#47589001) Attached to: The Great Taxi Upheaval

I stopped driving 2 years ago, voluntarily. My SUV cost me around $800 a month in replacement costs. Another $200 in maintenance. I was burning through $12,000 a year in gas. I spent an average of 1000 hours a year in the car, for work, for groceries, for fun. 999 of those hours were spent focused on the road. I hate talking on the phone while driving.

Consider my annual total: about $25,000 + 1000 hours of my time. For the "privilege" to sit in Chicago traffic.

I'm a consultant. I now use UberX every day. I also use public transportation when I'm not in a rush or when someone isn't paying me to swing by.

I spent about $5000 a year on UberX. $100 a week. While I am being driven around, I can respond to emails, make phone calls. I bill for that time. When a customer wants me to visit them, I pass the UberX fee on to them plus 50%. No one scoffs at it. Some customers will realize the cost of me visiting them is more expensive than just consulting over the phone.

I figure I'm $20,000 ahead in vehicle costs, plus I've literally gained another 600-700 hours of phone and email consulting time a year. Call it $40,000 ahead.

I don't take cabs, because they don't like to come to where my HQ is (ghetto neighborhood). UberX comes 24/7, within minutes.

My little sister had an emergency surgery a few months ago. I immediately hired an UberX driver, who took me from the office, to the hospital. He waited. We then took my sister to her apartment to get her cats and clothes, then he took us to the pharmacy. After, he drove us to our dad's house to drop her off, in the suburbs of Chicago. Then he drove me back to work. 3 hours, $90. I can't get a cab to wait even 10 minutes while I drop off a package at UPS. Forget about them taking credit cards.

UberX charges my Paypal account and they're off. If they're busy, they charge a surcharge. I can pick it or take public transportation.

I know why the Chicago Taxi authorities want Uber gone. But a guy like me is their best customer. Next year I'll budget $10,000 a year for UberX, and it will make my life so much more enjoyable and profitable.

Driving yourself around is dead. It's inefficient. Ridesharing is "libertarian" because it is truly freeing.

Comment: Re:Thrown from the vehicle (Score 2) 443

by tempestdata (#47433837) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

" Emergency responders suspected that Slot was already dead when they arrived at the debris-littered scene. But he wasn't. Perhaps it's a testament to Tesla's safety measures that Slot remained alive and was briefly resuscitated en route to the hospital"

From the article...

Holy crap. perhaps he died of medical malpractice :O

Comment: Re:Ocean garbage patches? (Score 1) 139

by tempestdata (#47284635) Attached to: Continuous System For Converting Waste Plastics Into Crude Oil

We seem fine filtering out the sea life with our fishing nets. The smaller stuff is actually more robust and quicker to regenerate than the bigger fish stocks we are depleting. Atleast in this case we are doing something constructive over all. So what if a little algae and plankton get sucked up too. It's not like they are an endangered species.

Comment: Re:Faster than the global average? (Score 3, Informative) 182

There are other forces involved.. currents, water densities due to fresh water inflows, tides, topography, etc.. I do not personally understand these forces involved, I am just listing out what I think could be factors... but for instance the pacific side of the panama canal is widely known to be 8 inches higher than the atlantic side. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal)

Comment: Re:that's odd (Score 2) 182

China, not the US is the world's largest producer of CO2 emissions. And it is by a WIDE margin. China's CO2 emissions are almost double the USA's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

This does not mean that the USA isn't contributing to the problem. It definitely is.. but even if the US were to drop it's emissions by a Quarter (which is a LOT) it would barely have a 3% impact on worldwide CO2 emissions. I have no way of estimating the impact on the US economy if it were to drop it's emissions by a Quarter.

My point is even though you are right, the outcome of this debate in the US is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. My point is we are f*cked, this is a run away train, and there is no organizational or political entity big or strong enough to stop it.

Comment: Does not make sense (Score 4, Insightful) 519

by tempestdata (#46423587) Attached to: Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

Obviously, I imagine an upskirt picture does not reveal any more than what you would see at a beach in any western country. I think the issue is that, a person being made to reveal more of herself than she is consenting to, to a person she does not know, and usually without her knowledge. It would be the equivalent of someone being forced to take off her skirt in public without her consent.

Also, what if the woman is not wearing any underwear? It is her business if she is, or is not, and by wearing a skirt she has a reasonable right to privacy in that matter.

Comment: Wait and find a better opportunity (Score 5, Informative) 263

by tempestdata (#46336509) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?

Most decent programmers will find themselves in your position at some point in their careers. I did too. I know nothing of your financial situation and commitments (mortgage/family/etc.) but don't take a pay cut if you can at all help it. The fact that you feel any uneasiness would seal the deal.

I would readily agree to a pay cut in only the following situations :

1) Need a job desperately and gotta make rent. Hopefully this situation never arises
2) Major promotion or opportunity in a company I strongly strong believe in. The idea being that I will work my ass off for peanuts, but believe in my heart that I will come away with a huge sum of money at the end, or the ability to make a huge sum of money.
3) I am going to work for or with someone who is absolutely exceptional and is going to be teaching me something I couldn't already learn on my own.

It does not sound like you are getting any of those three. If you are bored, keep looking for a better or different job. In the meantime, If you want to scratch your intellectual itch, do it on the weekends.

You have my 2 cents worth.

Comment: Re:Darwin (Score 0) 923

by tempestdata (#45610135) Attached to: Thieves Who Stole Cobalt-60 Will Soon Be Dead

I am sick and tired of this racism against Mexican and latin american people. I do not find your racist joke funny. It is also perpetuating a completely inaccurate stereotype. Google "Mexican fertility rate" and educate yourself.

US Fertility Rate = 1.89 Births per woman
Mexican Fertility Rate = 2.28 Births per woman

US Life expectancy = 78.64 years
Mexican Life expectancy = 76.89 years

I am not Mexican or latin american. Mexico, and most of latin america, have a LOT of social, cultural and economic issues. But give them some respect, they aren't backward savages like most american's seem to believe.

Comment: Re:I sell actual things in Bitcoin (Score 1, Interesting) 293

by dada21 (#43493797) Attached to: Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility

Since my financial stability for the future doesn't correlate with income nor even profit, I think my risk is pretty low. Even if volatility continues, and even if my businesses took in 50% of their revenues in BTC, I still wouldn't see any actual harm. The businesses have been around for decades, and they're self-sufficient and stable.

Converting BTC to fiat currency puts a sell-pressure on BTC. Holding BTC would reduce the selling supply, thereby reducing volatility from the sell side. It's the same with dollars: I hoard my dollars in cash "under the mattress" rather than put it in a bank to get loaned out as debt (money multiplier effect).

The "market forces" in BTC right now are pretty unique because only a small number of BTC holders are actually transacting. Most people are "long game speculators", and are neither buying things with BTC nor selling it to liquidate for fiat currency. As the number of BTC users goes up (which will likely happen when volatility is reduced), I believe we'll see a more stable platform.

Comment: Re:I sell actual things in Bitcoin (Score 1, Insightful) 293

by dada21 (#43493765) Attached to: Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility

I'd be happy to throw back just to the 1800s or so -- when poor people could actually save their way to wealth, where credit addiction didn't lead to thrill-seeking behavior addiction, and where the money supply wasn't a medium to fund warfare and welfare entitlements benefiting the rich and powerful.

Business regulations, money regulations and savings dilution aren't modern in any way, but they've become the norm. I'd rather see all 3 go away, or at least just become part of the nanny-state economy, not my economies.

Comment: Re:I sell actual things in Bitcoin (Score 2) 293

by dada21 (#43493671) Attached to: Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility

Bingo. I may be aligned with the anarcho-capitalists, but I also have no issue with government regulating the people who want government.

I don't care for money stability, I just want a bartering medium that is freed from the pressures associated with money. Bitcoin is unlikely to fund government programs -- and if the day comes that a commodity currency becomes official, it will certainly restrict government to acting within their means.

I also appreciate that Bitcoin doesn't have the money multiplier effect of credit (cards, loans, etc). People have to live within their means with Bitcoin.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

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