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Comment This is not surprising (Score 5, Interesting) 245

After their interference in the last election where the FBI was on the same side of a US election as the GRU, is this any real surprise? The perception it creates is an image of a law enforcement agency that's gone off the rails. Snooping without a warrant and the nearly unchecked expansion of surveillance powers makes me wonder where this country is headed and whether the FBI needs a reboot.

Comment Re:What in the blue hell are you talking about (Score 1) 834

there's a lot of opportunities to reduce our costs in this area, and the alternative of keeping all the work here in the States just got a little worse.

And if the big boss knew they were going to pay a tax or tariff on outsourced services, that might also change the decision math.

Maybe the only good thing Trump has done so far is to put companies on notice that if they keep dicking over American workers it's going to catch up with them at some point. It doesn't even have to be 100% enforcement. Stomp on one, scare 10,000. At least he's doing something, as much as it gags me to support that idiot on anything.

I see outsource providers who think they have a right to US markets and foreign workers who act like they have a right to the US labor market. Trump has proven that both of those assumptions may be false.

Comment Re:OK, help me out... (Score 1) 834

So, what's the "group think" on this one?

I'm not certain about the group think but maybe we could admit we were letting too many people into the country in general and letting too many companies get away with abusing work visas.

I don't think it's racist or xenophobic to suggest we needed to clamp down on abuses in the H1-B program long ago. What makes people from other countries feel like they have a right to our labor market?

I hate Trump but can we at least admit he identified a real problem that was eating at many Americans? Or are we beyond the capacity to have a rational discussion about anything related to his policies?

Comment Re:Convenience, assurance and cost (Score 1) 61

I don't have to pull out my wallet, worry about tips or even talk to the driver.

Drivers have a word for people like you, Captain One Star. Keep that up and your user rating will eventually drop low enough you'll start having trouble getting a ride.

Tip your Uber driver...every single time. Just a couple bucks is enough. Most of them are making between $9 and $13 hour, before expenses. In a few major high density areas (LA, New York, Boston, Seattle) they're making between $18 and $25 but that's not normal. Working the surge at LAX, some really good drivers can average $27 over a ten hour shift. You try operating a car profitably on $13/hour. Write back, I'll wait.

Some of those poor chumps are sleeping in their car trying to squeeze out a living and you can't part with a couple bucks in spare ones?

Comment Re:6% yearly? I find that hard to believe (Score 1) 61

not because if price (it's expensed after all), but because of quality of service.

If Uber keeps promoting Pool, the quality of service is going to decline dramatically. Experienced drivers won't take Pool rides, even in the face of being deactivated. That means the best cars and best drivers are the most likely to go do something else rather than be forced into competing with mass transit with bottom feeder rates. Uber had a great business model but Pool is corrupting the entire industry.

Comment Absolutely. I never give it a second thought (Score 4, Insightful) 257

I pay for a lot of content through Dish, Netflix, iTunes, etc but if there's something I can't find there (and it happens more than I would have thought possible) then I don't even hesitate. It's 2017 and I want everything ever made and I want it at the click of a mouse or press of a button on my remote. I understand that it isn't something I'm in any way entitled to but that's how the world works a lot of the time now. Sorry.

Comment Re:Bigoted much? (Score 1) 404

Expelling diplomats and seizing property is outrageous behavior if it's believed that it was done for no reason.

Not really. What the administration did was actually pretty much the least retaliation they can do. On MSNBC, they asked an analyst what the actions were on a 1-to-10 scale and it was called a 1, maybe a 2.

There's not much else less severe that could have been done.

Comment Retaliation..again (Score 3, Insightful) 821

This is like groundhog day. Putin very likely struck out at Sec. Clinton because of the damage her claim that the 2011 elections in Russia were illegitimate. That claim from the United States, by the way, is effectively like what Russia is accused of doing in 2016 - interfering in national elections of a rival.

This is a fools game. Retaliating by interfering in Russian politics will simply invite more of the same. There is no sense of balance or proportionality here.

It would have been nice for the Obama administration to have done a policy change here at the end, that put some teeth into a rule that prohibits the United States from interferring in the elections or politics of any foreign nation. But of course that's not in the cards.

Comment Uber is off mission (Score 1) 92

Uber started out as a simple middleman, matching up people with a car with people needing a ride. Now they're burning billions of dollars trying to shape the future of transportation. Instead of letting market forces shape the future transportation market and adapting to it, Uber has a grandiose vision they're trying to cram down the market's throat.

I don't think people really want the future Uber is trying to push. They should stop the self-driving car research, today. That future will happen anyway but it's not clear when cars will be able to transport passengers without a driver. Uber and Lyft are already treating human drivers like the machines they're working on to replace them. Neither will survive until robots are ready to take over unless they go back to basics. They'll need human drivers at least three years, probably closer to five. They can't survive that long burning through cash like they are today. The rider experience is already suffering from second rate drivers and high turnover.

Think about self checkouts at grocery stores when contemplating how long it will be before cars can drive themselves.

Comment Who has to pirate anything anymore? (Score 1) 79

Every person I know who spent any time at all ripping, downloading, trading or sharing is sitting on a small mountain of music. Terabytes of high quality MP3 files that contain months of music, most of which I've barely had time to grow tired of. We each serve as one another's off-site backup and we all buy the relative handful of new music because at this point we don't have to go back and re-buy libraries of music we'd purchased time after time as formats changed. We didn't get more conscientious or more law abiding. We got full. Seriously, when I see that some older act is releasing new versions of their catalog that have been magically remastered or whatever I don't look to see if I can afford to buy them. I say "Fuck off, I'm stuffed!" like the fat guy in Monty Python's History of the World (which I also have in BluRay ripped MKV files thank you).

Comment Have they actually prodcued anything? (Score 4, Interesting) 99

I know they have concepts and maybe some engineering drawings but have they actually contracted out for the development of anything? There has to be some supporting equipment they could be accumulating right now, right?

I wonder if they ever considered partnering with a company like SpaceX?

I could see this going somewhere with the right mix of companies, but right now I just don't see one organization pulling it all together.

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