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Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 1) 154

by smartr (#48915411) Attached to: Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

Just a thought experiment for you here involving gouging. Say there are 100 nuts available every month due to inherent tree production, and on any normal day of the year, the going market rate averages to $1. While production could increase, increasing production will take time and money where there will not be any sustained demand to make it efficient to do so. Suddenly, one day before a giant blizzard, all the squirrels go bat shit crazy and buy all of the monthly nuts in a single day. The bat shit crazy squirrels are not taking their $1 nuts and re-selling that at some higher price. In the immediate term, nothing is going to produce nuts out of thin air, not even higher prices. There are only 100 nuts. While raising the prices of the nuts to $500 a pop will make the nut vendors more money, it will not increase the supply of nuts. Will some poor lucky squirrel who got a $1 dollar nut sell his nut for $500? In the immediate short term, the value of said nut is worth just as much as anyone else is going to pay for it and it is not worth giving up. In effect, allowing price gouging in this scenario only encourages squirrels to buy more nuts and price gouge each other, but it serves no useful market purpose....

  Of course, these aren't nuts that can easily be imported to increase supply New York, these are Uber drivers. Price gouging only makes sense socially if it is viable and reasonable to increase supply to fill the demand. The fact of the matter is, after a certain price increase you're simply auctioning off scarce resources and rewarding hoarders.

Comment: Re:This was to be expected? (Score 1) 290

by smartr (#48821265) Attached to: Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

I too find it amazing that people find this surprising. Given the rapid upward trajectory the bitcoin has had, a downward correction is not the least bit surprising. It may have great traits as a currency, but stability is not one of the traits bitcoin has been able to demonstrate. I also don't understand why inherent volatility should necessarily preclude its use. People still play the stock market, and volatility does not necessarily destroy the market.

Comment: Re:JAVA (Score 2) 230

by smartr (#47818771) Attached to: Akamai Warns: Linux Systems Infiltrated and Controlled In a DDoS Botnet

Nope... A vulnerability in a library is not a vulnerability in the underlying programming language. Just because the JRE *is* an execution environment, does not mean that the execution environment being run by a malicious user is a vulnerability in the JRE. That's like saying, there's a vulnerability in C, because Flash is written in C and there's a Flash vulnerability. The point is there is a **critical** vulnerability in older versions of the Struts library, which is used to escalate privileges to the JRE. Once you have rights to the JRE, you can copy files and have the JRE execute system commands using the rights given to it by the OS which should not be a root user(honestly, if they wrote the payload in Java this step would not be needed, a server environment is entirely capable of performing DDoS attacks). Also, I'm calling BS on this exploiting a known Tomcat vulnerability. There are no known "critical" vulnerabilities in any version of Tomcat : ...
Basically, people need to patch Struts 2 because of this fucker:
which was fixed in July 2013:

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 748

by smartr (#47703707) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

The belief that homosexuality is not a choice is one I generally concur with. What assumptions and definitions I make about the world are pretty arbitrary. Obviously, every individual has a choice about who they choose to fuck and marry. What defines the start of your life, your sexual identity, and your sexual preference are as arbitrary as those who think God is self evident. Not being shitty tribal jerks over queer ideology would be nice, but I don't really blame the tribe for being feeling vengeful for the way they're generally treated.

Comment: Re:Why? It's not always necessary (Score 1) 148

by smartr (#47626233) Attached to: Google Will Give a Search Edge To Websites That Use Encryption

hear hear! Sure, encryption is great and has its uses... But also comes at the cost of processing, configuration, maintenance, and low cost 3rd party providers. GoDaddy is about a to get a shitload of extra customers. When the products in the market are comprable, the well known low cost one is frequently the winner. Thanks Google.

Comment: Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (Score 4, Funny) 435

by smartr (#47468119) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Not needing a passenger happens to be one of the more awesome features of driverless cars... People can effectively have valet drop off for wherever they go. Cars can be shared because you're staying put at a given location for a period of a time. Cars can drive themselves to maintenance. Cars can make delivery runs. Sure, it's another attack vector, but so is putting salt in your eyes. The danger is imminent, don't put salt in your eyes. I think the more eminent threat is that automated cars are going to result in lots of sex happening on the road. I mean really, what do you think happens when you put people in a close quarters private 15 minute outing, with a virtual guarantee of no interruptions and no need for any person to be paying attention to what's going on outside of the car?

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 309

by smartr (#47223989) Attached to: Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages

GWT is just a normal server-client web architecture with the bonus of a component architecture that makes everything like Swing, which is kind of to say you're avoiding Javascript and the DOM, when it's actually your primary presentation layer. Why not just use Ruby on Rails, Struts 2, or Django? In theory, local storage with ECMA might bridge the gap some. CouchDB theoretically supports this so called always online-offline architecture, where you sync everywhere eventually and could run chunks of the system offline (assuming you get everyone to install their own instance of CouchDB). Node.js at least keeps you in mostly one language set... Of course, then you're in a mess of figuring out to use things like Backbone.js and Angular.js...

Comment: Re:Ah so that explains it (Score 1) 142

by smartr (#47179351) Attached to: Cable Companies Use Astroturfing To Fight Net Neutrality

I'd recommend asking the libertarians:
A. Do you think Comcast sucks, not just for terrible quality support, but for extorting money from the people you already paid them for the privilege of communicating with a la Netflix? If you desire access to the fastest connection available, Comcast is your provider in most of the country. Should not paying for the highest bandwidth access contractually cover your connecting with whoever you damn well please without Comcast extorting money from the endpoint you are communicating with?
B. Comcast is given exclusive rights to use those lines through local governments. This is the case with pretty much all the cable companies. How do you feel about this collusion?
C. The wires and airspace frequencies are given a free pass through private property. Why shouldn't private property owners use the wires on their land how they wish?
D. Do you think Comcast sucks? Do you have any actual plans that have a chance in hell of working besides telling people to move across the country or swap to a slower connection?

Comment: Re:basic economics (Score 1) 1040

by smartr (#47157153) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

I imagine the more successful businesses will hire quality employees who they can demand more productivity from. Less productive employees and the unemployed will have less work opportunities. Workers who keep their jobs will be better off but will face a higher level of competition. Prices will increase slightly. Profits might decrease slightly. The gradual phase in will smooth things over. It seems like a pretty clear win for the short term. Getting a job in the long term will be harder and might solidify an underclass that does not earn minimum wage.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 3, Interesting) 192

by smartr (#46902261) Attached to: How 'Fast Lanes' Will Change the Internet

Netflix is a perfectly good example to look at. There's no reason Netflix's media should be getting privilege over Amazon media, AT&T media, Google media, Comcast media, or some guy in Delaware's media. If I want to use a less popular service or run things over a corporate network linked through the internet, it should not be throttled so that Netflix gets priority. The two main problems seem to be:
1. The internet service providers don't want to upgrade their infrastructure.
2. The internet service providers are unwilling to meter the activities that would actually make them upgrade their network because they can make more money degrading service, not upgrading the network, and not fixing their peering arrangements. ...
How do you "meter" Netflix? ICANN has the root addresses to blocks in networks that can very easily be used to calculate an abstract "distance". If a customer exceeds a certain amount, say X gigabytes from a "long distance" provider, you need to "meter" it and bill them more. This would be neutral and a way of fairly charging customers for their usage. Shady backroom deals with Comcast and Verizon are no way to do honest business when the wires have a right of way through my property.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990