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Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 19

I've not tried Lyft yet, I'm assuming they're on par with Uber price wise?

But to me, Uber is priced just right....don't get me wrong, I love a good deal, but if the fares were any lower, I'd start to feel obliged to tip the driver every time...whereas the beauty of Uber is, I'm not expected to tip.

I have tipped before, especially if I was riding hammered...but also if the person was really cool, or maybe knew some good ways around traffic (and in New Orleans those special skills of drive-fu during Mardi Gras are VERY valuable)....I would gladly tip extra.

Comment Re:Gut check (Score 2) 47

As an IT person for over twenty years, I still pain at this cloud presence. Who owns your data? Google, Amazon, Microsoft?

What, specifically, are you afraid will happen?

I can see being worried about handing your business data to a service provider who may be a competitor, but are you actually competing with any of these? And would they really get enough value from looking at your data to justify the immense damage to their business if they were caught spying on customers in violation of contractual obligations? Not likely. I suppose I could see Wal-mart refusing to host their data on AWS because there's a clear competitive conflict, and Wal-mart is big enough that Amazon might want to spy on them, but those cases are pretty rare, I think.

If your concern is about data loss if the provider goes belly up or has severe problems (e.g. a data center burns to the ground) then (a) your fears are pretty misplaced with respect to AWS, Azure or GCE, and (b) you should be keeping backups regardless of whether you're running your own systems or using a provider. If your concern is about downtime, your fears are really misplaced. The big cloud providers are much better at that than you are.

I know a number of small and mid-size companies that have never operated their own data centers, or even had colos, and are extremely happy with the way that works. It makes them able to respond to changes in business much more quickly and keeps their overhead low, especially during the early phases. Sign up a huge new client and need to double your capacity? Log on and fire it up (assuming you've architected for scalability). No need to worry about floor space or purchase orders or installation schedules. Lose a huge client or find an optimization and need to cut capacity by 30%? Log on and shut it down. No need to figure out what to do about the idled equipment or floor space. These companies find it's much better to stay focused on what they do well, writing software and selling services, rather than staff up big organizations to manage data center operations.

One significant (~600-person) and quite profitable SaaS company I know doesn't own *any* computing hardware. Their computing equipment is completely BYOD, employees use their own laptops, tablets and phones (with reimbursement, so I suppose their accountants might argue they own some stuff, technically). When they had to move buildings recently (due to growth), they simply leased a new building and told everyone (those who don't telecommute) to show up at the new location the next week. The new building had cubicles and wired and wireless Internet in place (w/redundant providers), all part of the lease. They did contract some movers to haul boxes of personal items from the old building to the new one, including developers' large monitors. The CEO likes to joke that he could move the entire company to a beach-side resort in Belize and they could all continue working without the slightest interruption, as long as the resort had good Wifi.

That's a bit extreme, and there's no doubt that that level of flexibility isn't free, but it's not as expensive as you might think. Moreover, if your workload is very static, and your IT department is solid and smooth-functioning, and labor costs in your area are low, it will cost more to pay a cloud provider than to do it yourself. Or if you have particularly-sensitive data to manage (and actually know how to manage it... something that is *rarely* true in my 15 years' experience as an IT security consultant), you may need to have your own hardware. But for many, many companies, the cloud is cheaper, faster, more flexible and more secure.

Comment Does anyone really use these numbers? (Score 1, Interesting) 35

Does anyone out there really use these mileage numbers in the decision making part of buying a car? Really?

I mean, sure, they are there...everyone gives them a cursory glance, but do the numbers really play any meaningful role in most peoples' decision on which brand or model car to buy?

i buy cars that make me happy and will be fun to drive. All I'm looking for is what is the best can I can afford to enjoy driving for the money I can spend....gas mileage, I don't really even look at...

Comment Re:True by definition (Score 1) 115

But do you think the faceless bastards at Facebook/Google/LG/AT&T/whoever infected my phone with this crap will LET me uninstall it? Hell, no! That would be too sensible and respectful of the owner's choices!

Funny...I've never had a Facebook application on any of my iPhones I've ever owned....??

I've never had a Facebook account either....

Comment Re:Don't pay attention to the article and lie (Score 1) 137

Not sure if you're trolling or just displaying average ignorance from not reading the article, but if autopilot disengages the car will slow to a crawl and not go "careening out of control".

A better solution would be to pull over to the shoulder (safely changing lanes if necessary), and slow and stop there. Slowing to a crawl in traffic on a busy (but not jammed) freeway is very dangerous.

Comment Re:What did they do to their processors? (Score 1) 70

Which basically means that Apple will take advantage of it, but Microsoft won't. This was touted as one of the prime features of the Surface Pro 4, along with the deep sleep states. Except that the W10 OS is so horribly managed that it never turns over control to the CPU of clock speed, and any process of any type can prevent the OS from allowing the CPU from going into a deep sleep state. And, by all user accounts, that's exactly what happens on the Surface Pro. The SP4 team has pretty much given up on the connected sleep and you just expect that the machine will randomly stay awake until it hits 0% battery after 12 hours or so in your bag. The OS group, otoh, has made the Anniv. Update a CPU killer by locking the CPU at it's maximum 100% of the time under default settings, and there is no "fix" from MS - just users who have figured registry hacks to allow forced low power states so you can manage clock speed in meatspace. Not exactly a ms-level response time to changing needs.

Comment Re:We Americans should hit Apple with an European (Score 1) 191

what really happens is that Apple Ireland, which pays essentially zero taxes, claims sales volumes for markets outside of ireland, knowing that regulators cannot easily disprove that Apple Ireland is not just selling absurd numbers of apple products

Not quite.

Regulators can easily tell how much revenue was generated in a given country from sales in that country. But profit is the difference between revenue and cost, and it's easy for Apple to artificially inflate the costs of the various subsidiaries. It could do this by jacking up the price the subsidiaries pay for the products they sell, but the more common approach is to license IP, such as trademarks, for amounts of money chosen to ensure that the subsidiary makes no profit, or even generates a loss where that is advantageous.

That way, the profits can be realized in a locale with low taxes, like Ireland. This does mean that all of the cash flows to those low-tax locations, and that it's then difficult to move it elsewhere (e.g. to the US) without getting a big chunk eaten up by the taxes in the destination country. This is the primary reason why the tech companies that use this Ireland scheme keep huge piles of cash (like Apple's $200B), rather than paying out dividends.

Comment Re: Hardly news.. (Score 1) 88


The internet is creating links between people who otherwise wouldn't get those links in their own "local" tribe. The problem here is that technology we use to connect with others that we like (our tribes), is also used by people who connect up with people they like (their tribes). And while the internet has connected the world up, it is also caused us to disconnect from those around us.

The net positives (Progress) outweighs the negatives (previously isolated "nuts" are now forming their own tribes). You are one of those that simply wants those people to be isolated from the benefits of a globally connected world.

It allows ISIS to recruit and Doctors to collaborate. There is no solution that prevents bad things from happening, just a choice between which bad things are more acceptable. Again, this is part of why I am a Libertarian, you cannot prevent all bad things from happening, and liberty is best for everyone.

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