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Comment Re:But... but? (Score 1) 131 131

The opposite of "online privacy," in many cases, is "personal brand value." I'm not sure that maximizing privacy online makes a lot of sense for most people.

Agreed. The trouble arises though when the personal brand and the person don't always mix.

I had a young real estate mortgage broker once, who as part of her attempt to develop her personal brand and maintain contact with clients sent everyone in her contact list an invitation to follow her on her then new twitter feed.

I never followed her, but I clicked on the link once some months later to review her tweets and see how it had worked out. Naturally it was a disaster.

She started out with the odd tweet about relevant news, interest rate changes, those common sense tips but as it was under name and clearly all her friends and family followed her, precisely the sort of thing one would have wanted or expected from following it. But it quickly devolved into a rapidfire feed where she used it to comment on everything from restaurants, concerts, clothes, politics, retweets of cat videos, argue with friends, etc. There's no way anyone whose only connection to her was her mortgage brokerage services would have even the slightest desire to constantly receive this stuff, and it certainly did nothing to improve her 'personal brand'.

The upshot is that the idea that she'd have a twitter account in her name to develop her personal brand wasn't a bad idea. But it ended up being a far to direct window into her personal life, which her clients neither needed (nor wanted) to see. She needed an anonymous twitter feed disconnected from her personal brand to shoot the shit with her friends with.

Last time I checked she no longer has twitter on her mortgage broker website.

Comment Re:Uber should countersue (Score 1) 236 236

if you're selling something it is concerning that you don't know where they come from.

Just as uber asserts that it assumes its drivers are properly licensed and insured to operate as a car service transporting passengers commercially; and the vehicles would pass all safety requirements. Right?

That is the 'product' they are selling.

Comment Re:Uber should countersue (Score 1) 236 236

And yet one party provides better service at a better price to more people, who (democratically!) vote with their wallets and clearly prefer one service over the other.

And if sell big screen TVs cheap in private meetings in public spaces coordinated via craigslist listings? The product is sold as-is, no warranty, no box, no manuals, cash only.

And inventory acquisition? I don't know where the TVs come from; I buy them from independent contractors. Its up up to them to source the goods. I assume they obtain them legally, and I encourage them to follow all the applicable laws.

And in the meantime I'll have no trouble finding customers who "democratically" vote with their wallets and clearly prefer my services to purchasing them at retail prices in retail stores.

I'm not sure you should be drawing any grand conclusions about how good my business model is from that though.

Comment Re:Uber should countersue (Score 5, Interesting) 236 236

So you go out and buy chocolate bars for $1 each and sell them for $5 and people only have to wait a minute or two to purchase them

And you don't bother getting a business license. Your business entrance isn't accessible to disabled people.

When asked whether you are insured against someone breaking their neck on your premises you mention that you've registered your place of business as your home, and that you have basic residential insurance. Besides its like having a garage sale... so its all casual and informal.

Sure its all organized and run by multi-billion dollar multi-national corporation... but other than connecting buyers with sellers with an app, handling all the money, advertising, and deciding who is allowed to participate, well... its still casual... like a garage sale.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have serious issues with the 'medallion' system and think its fundamentally wrong. But uber is a bunch of crooks.

Comment Re:Why are websites dragging their feet on this? (Score 1) 93 93

THE CODE IS ALREADY DONE!!!! Why don't they just throw the switch?

Good question. I don't know the answer, but there's probably a reason.

Bandwidth? Is the flash version lighter than html5? Better buffering? Better caching?
Client performance? Does the flash version run smoother on older hardware?
Features? Is the flash version more functional? (Pause, volume controls, seek, etc..?)
Advertising? Is the flash version integrated with their advertising while html5 is not (yet)?

Comment Re:Are drones really THAT dangerous? (Score 1) 368 368

My guess is that the damage to the tail rotor will be major and the helicopter will experience yaw stability issues, but a decent pilot should be able to make an emergency landing.

An emergency landing onto a flat open field? Sure.

An emergency landing from a small distance above the tree line above a dense forest? And don't forget there is smoke everywhere obscuring visibility... because the forest is on fire right below you where you are now trying to... "land".

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 1) 226 226

What did the world look like before the British Empire? Because that was what it was like before you had a great sea power patrolling the sea lanes and making it clear that anyone that fucked with shipping was going to get shelled.

I think there's been more than enough change in the world since then that we can't assume its going to look anything like that ever again. And again, safe shipping lanes in east asia... benefit american citizens in ways that are difficult to quantify. Yes, imports/exports... but access to cheap offshored manufacturing goods at the loss of local manufacturing and local manufacturing jobs. Market efficiency realized to be sure, but the benefit of that market efficiency is largely privatized while the tax payer funds the security enabling those profits.

Our reasons for that are complicated and I won't get into it unless I I know you're asking in good faith.

Yes. I'd be interested in your argument.

A better question would be why don't we collect tribute.

Tribute implies coercion and is rarely agreed to. A more constructive approach would be to negotiate funding... it amounts to the same dollars from the same places but is nonetheless significantly different. I completely agree countries that are hiring our security should be paying for their share of it.

I'd also stipulate that corporate interests benefitting from it should likeways fund it. If goods from china for company X flow to the US in shipping lanes protected by the US military, then company X should be paying their share of the cost. The cost of the goods goes up, the cost of the military to the tax payer goes down... so its a 'wash' right? Not quite... the higher priced goods are paid for in all ports of call... western europe, south america etc. So its not solely borne by the US taxpayer. Further, by having the cost of securing the goods reflected in the price of the goods, a market distortion is eliminated. Perhaps it is cheaper to manufacture things in the US rather than manufacture them in China, and then pay an aircraft carrier to guard the shipping lanes. If so we should be making the thing here.

Having the tax payer cover the security cost allows the business to artificially externalize a cost component of the goods. I'm not some free market extremist, and I do think government is in the role of security for its citizens. Securing a shipping lane in east asia? There are lots of good reasons to do that... but it shouldn't be paid for directly by the US tax payer.

You'd have to show instances of the US navy for example interdicting trade to profit US corporations.

I'm not thinking interdiction of trade per se, but rather more along the lines of my example of it amounting to a market distortion; favoring off shoring and corporate profits. The cost of securing those lanes should be in the goods that pass through them, not funded via a taxation back channel.

The US was a very profitable exporter

Key word is *was*. Today we are a net importer to the tune of 3/4 Trillion dollars*. Today its very profitable for other countries to export to the USA. Perhaps at one time it was sensible for the US citizens to secure the shipping lanes, but today, other nations should be paying to secure the shipping lanes they are using to profit from us.

Clearly the idea that the us tax payer should pay all costs of securing foreign profits is even more unsupportable than the idea that we should be securing profits for domestic companies.

* and its even more an issue because so much of our export is intellectual property, which doesn't get moved around in shipping lanes.

Comment Re:$805M budget (Score 1) 226 226

No patrolling sea lanes? No maintaining an international military logistics network? No investing in air superiority? No protecting Japan? No protecting South Korea? No protecting Israel? No protecting Europe? No protecting Eastern Europe? No defense agreements in South America to defend country X if attacked by country Y?

Because if the US wasn't doing that the world would fall apart? Typical American jesus complex. What would the real impact be of not doing all that all the time?

And why, pray tell, is it on the American tax payer to fund it, exactly? And why *just* the American tax payers? Nobody else pays as much per capita as the USA does... why does the USA do it?

In a word: money. Big profits reaped by corporations both by having the force projection we have, and reaped by corporations actually providing and maintaining the 'war machine' itself. Between them its very good for business, especially since they were able to find a sucker to pay for it all: The American tax payer.

Privatize the profits, socialize the cost; the ultimate winning play in this fine republic.

Comment Re:11 rear enders (Score 1) 549 549

Ask your insurance company and they will tell you that damage to the front of your car = your fault. Damage to the rear of your car = not your fault.

The first half, pretty much yes. The 2nd half not even close.

One time I was travelling straight through an intersection on a green light; and struck a vehicle performing a turning turn. He evidently didn't see me coming and pulled out right in front of me. I hit him in the passenger side door with the front of my car.

The 2nd attempted an illegal U-turn in an intersection. Again, I was just sailing straight through on a green light, and hit him in the passenger side door too.

I was also once stopped at an intersection, with a green light, waiting to make a left turn due to oncoming traffic. I was rear ended and pushed into oncoming traffic where I then proceeded to have a head on collision with that oncoming traffic. (Fortunately they were able to hit their brakes and slowed enough that injuries were minor.) I was found 100% not at fault.

Fault is a lot more complicated than "front = your fault"

Comment Re:How is it cheaper? (Score 1) 55 55

Imagine if you received a notification saying it was at the post office and then you replied to it, and it arrived shortly afterwards....

Imagine all that happened, and then I wasn't there to receive it. Because: life.

And it still doesn't address everything from bad weather to drone malfuntion...

Comment Re:How is it cheaper? (Score 2) 55 55

Not necessarily. On the upside, the drones only weigh a few kilograms, compared to a tonne or two for a truck,

For dispatching a single rush package sure, it could be faster. But what does it do when it arrives? drop it on my front step where anyone can get it, or does it ring my bell, and politely hover at my door? Will it ensure i sign for it (typically rush packages are traceable)...

What if I'm in an office building? Does it drop it on the busy front steps, or does buzz in and drop it off at reception?... What if im a tenant in a skyrise the 30th floor?...does it take the elevator to the 35th floor?

Just doesn't make a lot of sense.

And for traditional daily bulk delivery; you are delivering along a street / superboxes etc... and the 1 ton truck probably carries half a ton of mail on its route, if not more.. how many drones will that take?

What is the drone range relative to a truck? What does the drone do on rainy days or windy days? How does it cope with snow? sleet? hail?

What happens when it malfunctions and has to land? (or crash)? Is my high priority rush delivery now sitting in someone's back yard or on their roof or in their swimming pool? Or up a tree? (that's what happens when you fly as the crow flies right? It may not be be next to a major road.) While a human postman is dispatched to find it..?

I may be missing something, but i just don't see where this makes sense in general. Maybe extremely cherry picked niches... but that's it.

It's great to be smart 'cause then you know stuff.