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Comment Re:Before anyone bangs on about bedallions and so (Score 1) 181

You've fatally misunderstood Uber's business model and why they do what they do.

Uber is not anti-regulation and does not engage in a "race to the bottom" where they ignore the fact that some cab drivers are crappy.

Rather, Uber is the regulator and prevents the race to the bottom in entirely different and more modern ways. Instead of using the (literally) steam-era approach of forcing cab drivers to memorise street maps, they use GPS. Instead of setting high and constant fees with mandated pickup to make prices predictable, they use global knowledge of supply and demand to show you a price ahead of time. Instead of attempting to judge a cabbies integrity and character through some bullshit interview process they gather real time feedback from actual riders.

To see Uber as anti-regulation is to miss the point. They are merely a much better regulator that uses 21st century tools.

Comment Re:Against the law (Score 1) 181

The correct process for Uber and the like to take is to challenge the unjust, anti-competetive laws first, potentially citing public demand for their services

How do they demonstrate public demand for their services if they haven't got any customers yet? And why do you think the taxicab regulators in each jurisdiction where they do this would care even one tiny bit?

It'd be great if all you had to do to get dumb regulations dismissed was 'challenge' them. I used to think this way too - surely these people are just reasonable and they can just be talked to? Then they'll see the light?

But if it was so easy, it'd have been done years ago already. It's not. You can't simply change laws by arguing in front of a court that the laws are dumb, especially not against entrenched interests. Only massive public support can change these things, and to get that, you need happy customers.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 3, Informative) 217

Instead of rejecting the payment outright and freezing the card, text message my phone IMMEDIATELY and I can read a 6 digit code to the cashier to allow the transaction

How about an even better solution - insert your card into a reader, type in your PIN and that's the two factors right there. You know...... the system that's already used everywhere in the world except for America? It works pretty well. I think the USA is starting to roll it out now, albeit a slightly crippled form of it (they managed to take the 2-factor system everyone else uses and make it 1-factor).

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 2) 217

Yeah, it is completely broken. This is a problem more or less specific to America.

I have several cards. I travel constantly. I have never, not once, told my bank where I am going and I have never, not once, had my card declined.

How do they achieve this witchcraft? Well,

1. The cards are all EMV. The magstripe can be cloned, but you can't use it in most countries (other than America)

2. Many online purchases are protected by 3D-Secure, which basically just lets your bank put a login/ID verification screen after the card number is entered

3. Their fraud models expect people to travel whereas lots of Americans don't

Comment Re:sounds an awful lot like (Score 1) 5

Thanks, I'll look into Web Parts, might make it a good deal easier.

MVC is largely overkill, but I've gotten used to breaking the model with code generated views. After that, going back to codebehind web forms seems hard to debug again- especially using entity framework to access a cloud database that I have zero control over. But at least it's work.

What is going to be fun, this time around, is figuring out where I can plug my widget data into their data model. I may have to abuse some of their tables to do it.

Comment Re:I can understand the change in motto (Score 1) 230

It dates from the really early days when Google was basically just a bunch of engineers doing R&D. It was cutesy, the brand they went for was cutesy, it fitted.

The problem with it IMO is that, basically, too many people can't handle it. "Evil" is a really high bar. It's a word that smells objective. But not many business activities really qualify for such a strong word. Drone striking a wedding is evil. When Microsoft tried to take over and then kill off the web (or rather, progress in the web) because they wanted everyone to write Windows apps instead of using open infrastructure, that was roaming around in the general area, maybe, if we want to be hyperbolic. Though it's debatable.

Changing the colour scheme in Gmail is clearly not evil. Attempting to integrate social features of products together is not evil, even if you didn't like it. But unfortunately as Google got big enough it reached the point where basically any change resulted in this motto being thrown back in their face. So it ended up being meaningless. Someone saying "don't be evil" just became some sort of trite cliche. Worse, internally some of its own employees would tend to describe any action they didn't like as "evil" which of course wasn't great for team building and morale (I used to work there so I saw this problem in action many times).

I'm not surprised they have eventually changed it, although even that change will itself be described as evil in a sort of implosion of recursive irony. "Do the right thing" might seem watered down, but by taking out the cartoon emotive character assassination words, it sets a probably more realistic goal by accepting that "the right thing" is inherently subjective and debatable.

Comment Re:More bad (Score 1) 40

You think the dairy industry is the big problem here? Or having to gut the CBC? Terrible problems to be sure, but they're the tip of the iceberg.

Have fun when the American health insurance companies notice that having the Canadian government pay for health insurance violates TPP.

Oh, the federal government subsidizes post-secondary education? Can't have that.

New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you. - David Letterman