Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Extradition? (Score 3, Informative) 299

by sl149q (#48817727) Attached to: Uber Suspends Australian Transport Inspector Accounts To Block Stings

The cost structure for Uber drivers is very similar to taxi services and over time will approach them.

Except for the cost to the taxi operators for their medallion. Since there is a a limited number of medallions and you need one to operate they tend to get transferred at great cost. For example a quick Google query for cost of taxi medallion nyc tells us that the current cost is down to $840,000 from a peak of $1.05 million in June 2013.

So the major cost of operation becomes the cost of financing the medallion. In fact (again according to Google) in most instances the medallions are owned by investment companies and leased to actual drivers.

Uber exists to disrupt the requirement for the medallions. They provide a lower friction billing system that makes it easier for both users and drivers to participate.

The ONLY people who are against Uber in the long term are the current owners of medallions. If Uber succeeds their investments will be valueless.

Comment: Re:Cameras only a partial solution (Score 2) 368

by sl149q (#48669921) Attached to: Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Part of the problem with the recent shooting of the kid with a toy gun was the cop's arriving in a car at full speed and stopping literally a few feet away from the kid. They then had no opportunity to assess the situation and instead pulled out the guns and shot him because they now where afraid they might get shot.

Since the park was empty it would have been far more appropriate to stop and assess from a distance.

So a (possibly) correct reaction to the circumstance they arrived at. But they arrived at that circumstance because of some very bad decisions made as they arrived.

Comment: Re:Land of the free (Score 1) 580

by sl149q (#48629215) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

The movie will be released when they can find the backup copy of the official version!

When they went to do a final review on the release copy of the movie they discovered that there had been a final edit courtesy of the "hackers" that apparently changed the ending. Lets just say that Seth Rogan was not amused at how his character ended up.

Comment: Re:Hiding evidence (Score 1) 192

by sl149q (#48562891) Attached to: Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

That is the point.

If the US court wants this data it needs to subpoena the document in an IRISH court and have the Irish division of Microsoft (which operates under Irish law) deliver it.

The current situation is that the US court wants to compel a company (owned by a US company) that is based and operated in Ireland to do something that may break Irish law.

Comment: Re:Environmentalists is why we still pump carbon (Score 1) 652

by sl149q (#48464445) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

How is/was Fukushima a deadly reminder?

Other than perhaps some deaths from the mishandled (over reaction?) evacuation?

And projected deaths from (drum roll....) computer models on increased cancer deaths.

Compare that to anything else (disasters involving or manufacturing or operating other types of power plants) and nuclear still smells pretty rosy.

Comment: Re:If you're not driving and not owning... (Score 1) 454

by sl149q (#48446645) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

And the companies that will finance these fleets and deploy them really really really do not want them be considered as taxis which would bring them under (mostly) municipal taxi regimes.

You can bet that the taxi companies will be all for forcing all self driving cars to have a taxi medallion and a "driver" to ensure that it is safe for the passengers.

It is likely that Uber et al consider their current solution as a market maker to get them into this type of solution. Their app will work just as well for cars with or without drivers. And if cars without drivers are no longer taxis, so much the better from their perspective.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 454

by sl149q (#48446603) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

There are still people who like to smoke in public and other people who would love to be able to drink and drive. Neither of those groups is terribly happy that they don't live in the fifties or sixties. Those of us who grew up in the fifties and sixties are happy that the fifties and sixties are over and that the smokers and drunk drivers are unhappy with life.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 454

by sl149q (#48446593) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

People riding horses and bicycles don't usually kill too many people in traffic accidents.

People driving cars kill roughly 30,000 people a year in the US. As soon as a replacement shows up that can reduce that significantly there will be a huge push to implement it quickly. It will take about a for human drivers to get to same place as smokers and drunk drivers are today. Shunned and stigmatized because they make life dangerous and unpleasant for everybody else.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 454

by sl149q (#48446575) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

And is more convenient. Book your UHaul on line and the truck drives itself to where you need it. You can fill it up and it will deliver its load to where it is needed (and you don't need to go with it.) Once unloaded it will deliver itself back to UHaul (or its next customer.)

So you save time. And in many instances day or multi day rentals can be reduced in length so can be cheaper. But UHaul probably can keep the vehicle rented out more often so still get more revenue per vehicle.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 454

by sl149q (#48446557) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Cheap and ubiquitous Self Driving Cars means that there can be (unlike medallioned taxis that are limited to ensure cash flow for the owners and drivers) as many as needed. You leave for work at 8:00 so you have a standing order, and the car arrives at your front doorstep at 7:55. It drops you off at work and then drives itself to some other customer.

If you really want to own your own, you can even have it parked somewhere else at night (where it can recharge, get serviced, cleaned etc) and have IT arrive at 7:55 to pick you up and drop you at the front door where you work. Then drive to the closest cheap parking and self park itself. Or maybe drive home and take the kids to school first.

Comment: Re:Alternative? (Score 1) 377

by sl149q (#48376323) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

Yes, but.... with all the "greenies" also trying to force the food chains into dropping GMO at the same time... it looks like GMO labelling is just a way to make the green agenda that much easier to accomplish.

First we scare people into fearing GMO. Then we force the food to be labelled GMO so that people "will have a choice".

Some choice. Personally I would just buy anything labelled GMO. But I fear that I won't have the choice because the food retailers will have dropped those because of lobbying from the greens.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire