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Comment: Re:Obsessed with keeping government out of busines (Score 1) 289

by youngatheart (#49721407) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

It's different because you can be called to court and/or have your property confiscated if you don't pay for municipal broadband and not even Comcast can do that.

I'm in favor of municipal broadband, and in one of the places where the state decided not to allow it, so I have strong feelings about the stupidity and blatant disregard for the good of the public that has been evidenced by my so called representatives.

Despite my preferences and irritation the difference between government and private enterprise is blindingly obvious.

  • Can Comcast representatives arrest you?
  • Can Verizon seize your property if you don't want to pay for their service?

The idea that

the government entity receives no unfair treatment and has to play by the same rules as every other company

has no basis in reality. Government has rights to force you to do things and private enterprise doesn't. That's what government is.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 302

by youngatheart (#49634853) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

Many times I've given a ride to someone I didn't know. Sometimes, it has been somewhere I wasn't planning to go. I've been the kind of person who doesn't ask for anything in return, but I don't think it would have been immoral (or against the law.) If I had, should I have been legally obligated to get the same insurance as a taxi company?

I suspect the reasonable difference between doing something for someone as a favor to be repaid, and doing something as a job, would be "obligation."

If I agreed to do transport because it was my job is obviously a taxi service. Compare that to agreeing to take someone somewhere with reasonable payment. There is a difference between being acting as a taxi service and being a reasonable guy. The question I have is: Does an Uber driver have an obligation or are they agreeing without obligation to do something?

Comment: Re: Good (Score 1) 302

by youngatheart (#49634741) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

Do they though?

A taxi is in service when they are in a company car and obligated to take work, while an Uber driver doesn't share that obligation.

That's a significant difference... but maybe I'm wrong about the difference between an Uber driver and a taxi driver. I'm interested if you have documentation you can cite to show they have the same obligations?

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 302

by youngatheart (#49634731) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

Claiming "I'm not a taxi company" while providing exactly the same services as one is disingenuous at best, and outright fraud at worst.

Do they?

I've never used Uber, and I don't have all the necessary information to make the call myself. Do taxi's have an obligation to provide a service without putting themselves "on the job" and Uber drivers have an obligation to provide service or is it only when they decide to take a job?

I suspect the problem that KS is struggling with is that taxi drivers are obligated to do things while they're in service (pick up someone) that Uber drivers aren't (they don't have to take fares.)

If there is a difference between the obligations of an Uber driver and a taxi driver, then it is reasonable to expect them to be subject to different laws, but if they have the same obligations, then it is fair to expect them to be subject to the same laws.

Does an Uber driver logging in to an app have the same obligations as a taxi driver? That's the key issue and I really am looking forward to a well documented answer.

Comment: Re:Sounds completely reasonable (Score 1) 302

by youngatheart (#49634661) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

Continuing your tradition of replying to yourself with another thought: Does logging into Uber's driver app mean you're at work?

Requiring commercial insurance when you're driving a stranger for money makes sense, but I believe Uber already does that. Requiring commercial insurance when you log into an app isn't something that affects anyone but Uber. After commenting I realized the key idea here is obligation. Until I clock in at work, I don't have an obligation to work. It is reasonable that I should abide by work rules and laws concerning my work when I have an obligation to be working. When I have no obligation to be working, then it is reasonable that I don't have a legal obligation to do extra things required when I am working.

Help me out here: Does an Uber driver have an obligation to do work when they log into the app? I think it's reasonable to require commercial insurance when obligated to do work. Do Uber drivers have that obligation when they log into the App and does Kansas' new law recognize the difference between an Uber driver who isn't obligated to do work and one who does?

Comment: Re:Sounds completely reasonable (Score 1) 302

by youngatheart (#49634609) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

Thanks for giving me the feeling I'm not alone in wanting to identify my governmental philosophy as libertarian but finding the general portrayal of that term distasteful.

I'm a hacker and I'm a libertarian but I'm not okay with engaging in illegal activities and I'm not okay with anarchy. By the common interpretation, if I call myself a hacker then I'm saying I'm doing something illegal and if I call myself a libertarian then I'm saying I'm against all government and law. I don't really care about the words themselves, but I do wish there were simple words to say I exercise my legally protected freedom to use the things I own to accomplish things they weren't designed for, and I believe the role of government should be to protect freedom, particularly where freedom of individuals is conflict. (I can commit murder without consequence is freedom that conflicts with the freedom of my neighbor [who has it coming] to live and make [irritating] choices.)

The role of government in my view, is to protect the public from choices people make that inhibit the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. The role of law in my view, is to make it possible to identify instances where the individual cannot be permitted freedom to make choices that will keep others from having freedom.

I think that if I were seated with the founding fathers at a table where we all had a chance to speak, they'd agree with my simple ideas and dismiss my contributions as so basic as to not warrant further discussion. If I could then spend a couple hours describing the outcomes of their decisions (and actually convince them that the future I come from is real,) then I think they would feel both proud and dismayed.

After discussing the issue KS is dealing with, I think they'd say that the idea of correcting the law so that it is applicable to everyone is noble, but the idea that people are responsible for actions that fail to directly involve participating is one that should be carefully and very specifically limited.

Logging into an app doesn't mean you're working unless it comes with an obligation to do specific work.

Comment: Re:Uber cars not covered by insurance (Score 1) 302

by youngatheart (#49634463) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

I really like the choice of analogy. I've never used Uber and don't expect to anytime soon, but I'm torn between wanting people to act responsibly (have reasonable insurance) and wanting to see stupid bureaucratic laws (you're commercial because that prevents competition) improved to be understandable and reasonable.

I believe there are a lot of US citizens like me who engage in and abstain from behaviors because it is critical to our employment while we're not actively doing the work we're paid to do. I went to bed early last night because I needed to in order to perform well at my job, got up early today, and I bathed, and I stayed sober, and I drove to work and I took an elevator and I logged into my computer but only then did I start to be considered "doing my job" even though everything leading up to that point was necessary to perform my work. Up until I logged into my computer at my job, I don't think my employer would assume any liability for anything happening to me. It is at that point which I would consider myself at work and I think the law would consider me at work. If I were a chef, I don't think the definition would change at all.

Uber drivers are apparently considered to be at work by this law even before they get to the point when they're actually doing the thing they get paid to do, unlike my situation where I'm not at work until I'm actually prepared to begin doing the thing I get paid to do. That strikes me as unfair.

Sticking to the chef analogy, lets say I'm a freelance private chef, which I think is a pretty good parallel. The expectation I'd have for my job is that I'd get paid starting at the time when I arrive at my destination and am ready to begin cooking. That leaves out the drive to the location, the shopping and planning prior and any semblance of sobriety I felt obligated to maintain. Apparently if I work in Kansas as a freelance private chef, however, I'm on the hook for being on the job from the moment I open my email to see if I have any jobs today.

No job works like that. Cab drivers are on the job when they get in the company vehicle and turn on the dispatch radio, but Uber drivers aren't in a company vehicle and logging into the app is the equivalent of me checking my email.

I grok the problem Kansas is trying to resolve: Kansas requires specific things in order to participate in a market in order to keep the public safe and Uber is not participating in that market in the expected manner and so didn't expect to have to follow the rules that didn't seem to affect the parts of the market they weren't participating in. When you have a situation where the laws don't fit the behavior and you think the laws should be applicable, it is absolutely correct to modify the laws.

So I'm happy to see Kansas taking the approach they have to a problem of legal loopholes by closing the loopholes. At the same time, I'm concerned that in the process, they're also eroding the freedom to engage in commerce without an unreasonable legal burden. If the same thing happened to freelance chefs, they'd go from being able to provide a reasonable service at a reasonable price to being out of business with no gain to the public.

If an Uber driver isn't actively doing something they're paid to do, why are they forced by legislation to do something nobody else logging into an app is forced to do?

I honestly believe that the answer to my question is: This is to use the law to create an artificially high barrier to participating in this type of activity in order to protect the status quo at the cost of the public good. I'm interested to see any better explanations.

Comment: Re:Silly (Score 1) 118

by youngatheart (#49545627) Attached to: Swallowing Your Password


In this scenario, you have a public key and a private key embedded, you identify yourself with the public key and the validating system encrypts something with that public key, then passes you the result which you can then decrypt only by using your private key.

Ergo: "pass on a piece of information describing yourself to another party without that party having to know that information already to validate it" and also prohibiting the possibility of a replay.

The key to PKI is that you can encrypt something for me that you cannot decrypt but I can.

Comment: Re:The real reason... (Score 1) 197

by youngatheart (#49428471) Attached to: Windows 10 Successor Codenamed 'Redstone,' Targeting 2016 Launch

I was thinking specifically of HTML and JavaScript, which do have standards. Companies who have been programming to "work on Windows and IE" are the ones that have been discovering that their stuff is failing now that IE is finally starting to only work right with pages coded to those same standards. You're mistaking my preference for standards for a preference to code to MS, which is the opposite of what I endorse.

Comment: Re:The real reason... (Score 1) 197

by youngatheart (#49426413) Attached to: Windows 10 Successor Codenamed 'Redstone,' Targeting 2016 Launch

As someone embedded deep in the business world, I understand what you're saying and your analysis is valid to a point, but I think you're missing the bigger picture.

For years and years vendors have been refusing to code to standards because enterprise didn't demand support for the current OS. Now that MS is building an infrastructure where even enterprise is going to expect support for a current OS means that's finally starting to change. It can't happen fast enough for me.

I installed and switched to Windows 10 shortly after it came out, and there was some of the expected pain of running a beta system, but most things worked fine and now nearly everything critical does. The ones that don't are those vendors I already knew weren't investing in competent programmers and I'm thrilled that they will either have to adapt or die.

A software vendor should hire programmers who write to follow standards and test and fix things in beta releases. They should, but not all of them do. Now they're starting to realize they'll have to or they'll be out of customers and that makes me euphoric.

Comment: Re:They can hire a lawyer ... (Score 5, Insightful) 83

by youngatheart (#49426059) Attached to: TrueCrypt Alternatives Step Up Post-Cryptanalysis

Yeah, they could if they wanted to, and if they had the money to get the ball rolling, but.... I'm not convinced they want to keep it from being forked. I got the feeling that TrueCrypt was basically a labor of love where the creators wanted to keep control of it and avoid exposing themselves to getting strong-armed into building in back doors.

If you could ask them and get an honest answer, I suspect they'd tell you that government agencies figured out who they were. I think those agencies came to them and told them that they had no choice but to compromise the security "for the sake of the children." I think that's when they decided it was best to just exit rather than fight. I think that if they were given a choice between compromising their work intentionally and seeing other people take over, they'd support other people taking over even if they couldn't publicly endorse the efforts.

That's all conjecture of course, but as a long time fan of their work and someone who listened to many analyses of their exit from the stage, I'm moderately confident in my guesses.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose