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Comment Nothing except network effects. (Score 1) 196

The reality is that other companies are trying to match Uber in the UK. The problem of course is that Uber has got the momentum, so others are struggling to catch up; although the network advantage isn't as extreme as that which protects Facebook - 'everyone' is on it so you have to be to be in the game - it is still significant.

Comment Rule change v Uber is illegitimate (Score 1) 196

It's important to understand that the UK 'taxi' market already exists in two forms; the black cab which can be hailed or booked, and 'private hire vehicles', which can only be accessed via an office to which a phone call could be made. This bifurcation is probably 50 years old. When the only phone is a landline, this is very restrictive. When phones become mobile, it's less so, but you are still dependent a vehicle being near you. Now Uber offers automated, easy access - and reduces the bifurcation to very little; you spot the uber car on the screen instead of on the road.

Clearly there is no need for private hire drivers to become more proficient in English than was the case before uber happened, so it seems clear this is pure protectionism by politicians seeking to avoid being haranged or even maltreated by taxi drivers when they use them - which of course they do far more than the rest of us.

Comment Re:Ah - the excuse of the ignorant American abroad (Score 1) 176

'The Constitution's "Full faith and credit" clause, Federal Supremacy, and a "law of the land" legal tradition is how the "New Yorker in New Jersey" issue is handled.'

Very cute; so because it is now catered for under current legal doctrine, the clear issue is put to bed. Whereas the clear legal doctrine of the day - that the Crown in Parliament was the supreme ruler of the territories of the Crown - is not acceptable. Funny that.

"There's also the matter of the Social Contract, binding everyone to the outcome of a vote. Britain broke the contract, rescinding rights already possessed and imposing laws from afar, cutting the colonists out of the decision making process."

At the time Britain made no particular claims to be 'democratic' with 'rights'. The 'rights' were only ever what the law defined by the Crown in Parliament granted - or took away. What you are appealing to - the 'Social Contract' theory - was a new, self serving belief that suited the rebels of the day, along with their support for chattel slavery. It may well be progress that Lockean Social Contract theory has become more popular and chattel slavery less, but BOTH are disputable political / moral theorems.

"Keep in mind, the colonists were British citizens, and had all the rights that entails."

Hmm - dubious. Given the undemocratic nature of the Parliamentary electorate of the time, their rights were quite circumscribed.

' When Britain ceased treating them as citizens, well, the Declaration of Independance covers the response, it's legal and philosophical justification, and lists the grievances that motivated it.'

It offers a figleaf of self justification based on a conveniently self serving modern political philosophy. Marxism is equally a modern political philosophy; most of us wouldn't want to live under an implementation of that, especially one of the Leninist school.

I note you ducked: 'For the record, the Supreme Court rejected the claim of a non-citizen of the USA about not paying taxes quite early in the days of the Republic. Funny that...' as well as my little rant about the consequences of the American rebellion. The most important lesson from history is that we all have skeletons in our cupboards, and there are very few unambiguously positive events in history. Failure to recognise this is a form of idolatry, and like all idolatry, will lead you away from the truth.

Comment Ah - the excuse of the ignorant American abroad! (Score 1) 176

I didn't vote for these laws, so I don't have to abide by them... So does that mean that the residents of New Jersey don't have to obey the laws of New York when they visit the Big Apple? For the record, the Supreme Court rejected the claim of a non-citizen of the USA about not paying taxes quite early in the days of the Republic. Funny that...

The colonists in America were there by agreement with the sovereign power - Britain - and so should have obeyed its laws. The refusal to do so had disastrous consequences for African Americans, who were probably enslaved for an extra 30 years, given that slavery was abolished in the British Empire in the 1830s. And then of course the Germans had to be defeated TWICE because the Americans were free to play at isolationism until the consequences of their doing so finally got through to them.

Isn't thinking things through fun?

Comment Criminal damage and extortion charges (Score 1) 250

My machine was working, Now it's not. Therefore you have deliberately damaged it. And you are extorting money from me.

If each owner of an affected printer files a local criminal charge against the company, it will be forced to employ lawyers for each court appearance, they will soon be very very poor.

Comment What's wrong with this? (Score 5, Insightful) 199

"Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence officials are reportedly investigating whether Donald Trump's foreign policy adviser "opened up private communications with senior Russian officials -- including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president."

WTF? There's no reason for the 'intelligence officials' to get involved with this, it's perfectly legal behaviour for a candidate. That it is being sprayed about is a measure of desperation of some people to stop Trump. Whilst I have sympathy with their purpose, their behaviour is deeply wrong.

Comment This has happened in the car market (Score 1) 146

Seven year warranties are reasonably common for cars, reflecting the fact that reliability has increased massively. Applying this to other industries would be interesting; in cars I get the impression that it was the Koreans who broke ranks on the issue and used this to overcome people's suspicion of this new source. There's an interpretation of British law that suggests a six year warranty is now part of the package, but it's not being enforced as such.

The problem of course is that for the poor, the extra cost which manufacturers would legitimately impose to raise the standards of their products to make them last longer would be a serious burden. In the longer term they would benefit from cheaper second hand good; the rich will replace white goods, furniture etc long before they wear out, leaving a good amount of life in them. But in the short term there will be an issue.

Comment Don't blame 'capitalism' (Score 2) 166

It's all about who pays for what how. The fact that it is far easier to chuck the broken kit and buy new than get the upgrade / repair is a result of the incredible efficiency of mass production. If you want to avoid waste, you have to make the waste worth something - a standard trick in the Chemical industry, but one not associated with electronics because of the speed of change - or make visibly recycling electronics a mandatory requirement, to be paid for by a visible tax on electronic items. Which is the problem; the price of virtue is too high...

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