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Comment: All I can say... (Score 1) 533

by soccerisgod (#49508617) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Is that it works around here. You got your power companies, you got your power grid companies (they were forced to split those two businesses) and you got your people with solar power cells on their roofs who're happily putting their power on the grid with zero problems.

Of course you'd hear the same kind of FUD in the beginning, that it'd all break apart at the seams, brownouts, overloads what have you. The latest scare was that there'd be a brownout due to the solar eclipse the other day. Has any of that happened? Hmmmmm.... nope. It Just Works (tm)

Comment: Re:Why make it complicated? (Score 5, Informative) 366

by soccerisgod (#49290209) Attached to: Uber Shut Down In Multiple Countries Following Raids

Not true. Where licenses are available, there are in the order of 50 bucks. If they are expensive, they are because no new licenses are given and you have to purchase one from someone who already holds one - and that can get expensive. But it's certainly not true that local authorities are making big profits from this that they can't live without.

Around these parts, we have a very different idea of how society is supposed to work. Whereas countries like the US are run by free-market radicals who believe that everyone should be left to fend for themselves, we here in Germany any many other European countries have some notion left that sometimes, the weak and needy need to be protected and helped. For that reason, we have a lot of laws and regulations (like concerning public health insurance) that people like you would no doubt consider far-left.

The reason the taxi market is so heavily regulated is that taxis are considered part of the public transportation system. Taxis have to accept every passenger but also get certain privileges like being allowed to park where others aren't. And because they are part of the public transportation system, they also have to make extra sure that no harm comes to the passengers, and this includes a proper insurance for their passengers and having their car checked more often for technical issues.

This isn't some evil plot to rip off a poor poor American company, this is about basic safety standards.

It's probably also worth mentioning that the way Uber handles the (non)employment of their drivers is annoying everyone here, as well. If you are employed, you pay unemployment and pension insurance fees, and if/when you lose your job or you are too old to work, the insurance will pay for your needs. If you don't have such insurance, like the Uber drivers, the state will have to pay. While there sadly are many companies that handle things this way, it's not exactly met with appreciation by most people around here...

Comment: Re:I grew up next to this one (Score 2) 224

by soccerisgod (#48956623) Attached to: Nuclear Safety Push To Be Softened After US Objections

It's funny this sort of thing can happen when the nuke shills keep telling you that there's so many safety nets and inspections and regulations that nothing could ever possibly go wrong.

I personally think that it is probably possible to build a safe reactor, but there's no accounting for the human factor. That, and the unsolved waste problem. We here in Germany are also slowly realizing that nuclear power isn't quite as cheap as we've been told, now that waste disposal as well as decommissioning costs of plants come in to play...

Books

George R. R. Martin's "The Winds of Winter" Wiill Not Be Published In 2015 180

Posted by timothy
from the generalissimo-fransico-franco-is-still-dead dept.
Dave Knott (2917251) writes George R.R. Martin's "The WInds Of Winter", the fifth book of his bestselling fantasy saga "A Song Of Ice And Fire" (known to television fans as "Game Of Thrones") will not be published in 2015. Jane Johnson at HarperCollins has confirmed that it is not in this year's schedule. "I have no information on likely delivery," she said. "These are increasingly complex books and require immense amounts of concentration to write. Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers."
Instead, readers will have to comfort themselves with a collection, illustrated by Gary Gianni, of three previously anthologised novellas set in the world of Westeros. "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" takes place nearly a century before the bloody events of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Out in October, it is a compilation of the first three official prequel novellas to the series, The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight, never before collected.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov

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