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Comment: Re:America (Score 2) 117

by wired_parrot (#49511643) Attached to: Pull-Top Can Tabs, At 50, Reach Historic Archaeological Status

It's not about the can tabs per se. The can tabs have changed often enough in design that the can tab design can be used to date sites from recent history. Their historical artifact status also makes them a useful proxy to protect sites like campgrounds or festival sites that otherwise have little in the way of artifacts. Both of these properties make them useful in dealing with recent historical sites from the last 50 years in both North America and Europe.

Comment: Re:It does get more drivers on the road (Score 1, Insightful) 90

by wired_parrot (#49507001) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works

The problem is, as the article noted, is that the surge pricing is fluctuating too much for it to be predictable and for drivers to adapt their habits accordingly. When the surge price is fluctuating from 1x to 2.5x the price and back to 1x in the span of a few minutes, as noted in the article, it's not predictable enough for one to add more cars to the road. The best one can do as a driver is take advantage of those surges by taking the most expensive fares possible - which means those with short routes and inexpensive fares are actually seeing their wait time increase despite an increase in surge pricing.

If Uber tweaked its algorithm so that the surge pricing was based less on instantaneous demand, and more on long term trends - so that for example at rush hour prices reliably rose every week - then you might see more drivers getting to the road at those times to take advantage of it.

Comment: Re:Still works, just not the way people thought (Score 1) 90

by wired_parrot (#49506273) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works

As the article and the summary itself notes:

It moves current drivers from one side of town to the other. It does not put new drivers on the road.

His analysis shows that the surge pricing is not increasing the number of drivers working, it is only shifting drivers from one neighbourhood to another. This means that the unexpected side-effect noted in the article is that in some neighbourhoods the wait time actually increases along with the surge price increase.

I'm not against a market-oriented approach of surge-pricing to solve a supply need, but the way it is implemented by Uber the prices are changing too fast to serve as a meaningful incentive, so without an increase in drivers you're only shifting drivers from one neighbourhood to another and aggravating the problem in certain places.

Comment: Re:Honestly ... (Score 1) 342

by wired_parrot (#49471983) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

And if you read about the 1980 Pennsylvania Lottery scandal, you'll see that it failed because for it to be pulled off it required a half-dozen people to be involved in the conspiracy, which made it very likely that someone would be careless and talk. There were multiple security precautions, and overcoming them all involved multiple people and left a very easily traceable chain of evidence back to the perpetrator.

With the computer RNG, there was a single point of failure that could be overcome by a single well connected person, without any physical record except circumstantial evidence. I'd say the 1980 case, if anything proved how difficult it is to tamper with the spinning ball system without getting caught.

Comment: Re:Sensors wrong (Score 1) 460

by wired_parrot (#49422431) Attached to: Planes Without Pilots

To add to this, people seem to forget everything that happened more than a month ago or so. I'd like to see the computer that would have ditched US flight Airways 1549 perfectly into the Hudson River just minutes after the start.

And the main reason flight 1549 landed perfectly in the Hudson river was due to the A320's fly-by-wire system, which allowed the pilot to maintain aircraft nose up and as low a speed as possible for landing without stalling. He had to maintain a fine line between gliding in slow enough to avoid injuries and not stalling, and without the onboard computer this would have been a difficult maneuver for a human pilot to accomplish with his workload.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 2) 385

by wired_parrot (#49357153) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

I think if one is a depressed anything at all they should not be allowed to control the fate of hundreds of people. If a doctor finds any hint of depression then the airline and maybe FAA should be notified. Fuck doctor patient confidentiality when peoples' lives are directly at stake.

The likely reason the co-pilot hid his depression was due to the stigma that mental illness carries. If companies end up instituting a policy that people with signs of mental illness be immediately fired, it will end up stigmatizing them further. Instead of trying to seek treatment for their problems, pilots with depression will just hide their issues. Particularly if you get rid of doctor-patient confidentiality, as it would mean a pilot seeking treatment would be reported by the very person supposed to be helping them and might lose their jobs.

Comment: Re:"to provide support for the cultural sector" (Score 2) 237

As an life-long anglo-Quebec resident, I feel I have to respond this unfair characterization of our province that you and many others outside of here have:

In Quebec they choose to actively suppress English and promote French ... the the extent you can't have English signage unless it's smaller than French, and they've ever tried to get companies like Best Buy and Home Depot to change to French names,

Most of us anglo-Quebecers are actually at ease with the fact that French is the dominant language and we need to adapt ourselves to it. I just consider a matter of common courtesy and politeness to make an effort to communicate with your neighbour. Sure, we will whine about the ridiculousness of the language police at times, but not many people argue with the principle of the language laws in trying to build a common society

Quebec are a bunch of whiny assholes, who increasingly are trying to pass laws which actively discriminate against anybody who isn't white, French, and Catholic -- to the extent that they want to ban religious symbols, unless of course it's a cross, and then it's OK.

We had a democratic debate on the matter, and showing that despite your characterization the overwhelming majority of Quebeckers, 75% of them, voted against the party that proposed to ban religious symbols. Showing that we're more tolerant than most of the US, we're legislators in Indiana made discrimination against minorities legal, or in Europe, where bans against religious headgear are part of the law in France. Quebec, on the other hand, has had an openly gay head of government, has a permissive attitude towards weed where it is openly smoked alongside cops in our parks (come to Montreal's park Mont Royal on a Sunday if you don't believe me), and brothels (aka massage parlors) openly advertise their storefronts downtown.

They think they're preserving their culture ... when their "culture" is bigotry, a ruined version of the language, and a sense of entitlement mixed in with being whiny cunts.

And then you finish your rant with a bigoted racist attack against la belle province. If you really want to find bigotry, look in the mirror.

Comment: Cost (Score 2) 79

by wired_parrot (#49330711) Attached to: Better Disaster Shelters than FEMA Trailers (Video)
How much do these cost compared to FEMA trailers? As maligned as the FEMA trailers are, I suspect the reason they are widely used in disasters is because they are cheap and can therefore be deployed in large quantities. Sure you could do something of higher quality, but if it raises their unit cost it will significantly affect the ability to widely deploy enough shelter in an affected area. Having a low cost solution that can be deployed in large numbers may be more important than quality in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

+ - Uber shut down in multiple countries following raids->

Submitted by wired_parrot
wired_parrot writes: Worldwide raids were carried out against Uber offices in Germany, France and South Korea. In Germany, the raids followed a court ruling banning Uber from operating without a license. In Paris, raids followed an investigation into deceptive practices. And in South Korea, 30 people, including Uber's CEO, were charged with running an illegal taxi service.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:well.. (Score 1) 760

We sort of cover this in the US with points; you can't just drive recklessly and pay for it out of petty cash forever because you'll lose your license. But the day fine concept seems like a decent way to instill the same kind of aversion in everyone, fairly. Points are ephemeral but your money is obvious.

Except that rich people usually have drivers, and so whether you instill points or day fines they'll be mostly unaffected. At most, their driver may lose their license, in which case they'll just hire another one.

Rich people drive only as a form of entertainment and pleasure, and they can always take out their supercars to private racing tracks where a driving license is not a requirement.

Comment: Concept itself is flawed (Score 2) 169

The concept itself is deeply flawed. If you were a crewmember, would you entrust your safety to fellow crewmembers whose primary qualification is that they are willing to die (i.e. exhibit suicidal tendencies) ? There is a reason NASA carries out extensive psychological testing among its applicants. If you're going to entrust a multi-year multi-multi-billion dollar mission in the hands of a select group of people, you want those people to have strong survival insticts that will push them to do everything possible to overcome adversity to come out alive. You do not want people who are willing to give up on life.

Comment: Each method has its use (Score 1) 115

by wired_parrot (#49214705) Attached to: Preferred way to communicate with co-workers?

It depends on the situation....

When I have an issue to discuss, I prefer to start off with email. Email allows me to give a more detailed description of the problem than other methods, and being assymetrical gives time for the other side to review and consider the issue carefully before responding.

I then like to follow that up with a phone call and/or instant messaging to ensure the other side received my message, and understands the issue. Communication at this stage is to ensure the other person is engaged in my issue.

Only after all I'm sure the other person is engaged, and has had time to review the issue at hand, do I hold a face-to-face meeting. Face-to-face can be very effective, but I need to ensure the person is up to speed on the issue first, otherwise face-to-face will be a waste of both of our times.

And in any case, dealing with a lot of coworkers who are off-site, face-to-face has been increasingly substituted by online meetings and teleconferences.

Comment: Re:basically how the UAE works (Score 1) 247

by wired_parrot (#49190439) Attached to: Facebook Rant Lands US Man In UAE Jail
Slander laws exist in almost every country, including the United States. And what the contractor said went beyond a simple rant - he implored other contractors not to work with the firm in question (thereby causing commercial harm to the company) and used racist language in his diatribe. If I went on a similar rant against an American company that resulted in a substantial loss of revenue for that company because of my allegations, I would very likely also be sued. The difference is that US courts have a higher standard to meet in a defamation suit, but given the loss of revenue and the racist diatribe even under US standards this contractor would be in hot water.

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