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Comment Re:the laws may take 3-5 years to get rid of drive (Score 1) 122

Yes - that thing the human drivers of Uber don't have when they are working as Uber taxi drivers.

That's not strictly true, since Uber insures them while they have a fare. The only time they aren't covered is while they are on their way to pick up a fare.

Which is part of the problem. Away from Planet Uber, if your journey is undertaken for work purposes (which going to meet a customer clearly is) you are "at work", and should be covered by work-related insurance. That's why regular taxi drivers have to have commercial insurance; private car insurance doesn't cover operating as a driver-for-hire.

The fun part is that, despite the all the penny-pinching (and the hype), Uber is hemorrhaging money.

Comment Re:Rose tinted glasses (Score 1) 516

Seriously this article makes it sound like life just after a devastating conflict is better than economic prosperity because most people are equally poor.

Well life after both world wars was certainly no bed of roses. But there is no doubt that both wars were major "disruptors"of the prevailing social order. The massive loss of life (especially men in their 20s, 30s and 40s), the destruction of whole countries (or continents) which had to be rebuilt almost from scratch, the changing attitudes towards authority figures as a consequence of the conflicts, and the influx of women into the workplace (with men away fighting) were all powerful drivers for social change.

Comment Re:Our society is fucked (Score 1) 158

No, they want to micromanage people in the name of profit.

No, profit doesn't have a factor in it, at least in what I've seen. It's just metrics for the metric god. The management bureaucracy wants to see numbers which they can then pretend to read like tea leaves. From that point they issue some nonsensical decree ("There are too many commits to the repository! Why can't you guys get your software right the first time! I want to see less commits!") and go pat themselves on the back for being effective managers. In the meantime, the employees who have to deal with that BS expend mental energy trying to make sure whatever they're doing results in good metrics, possibly at the cost of productivity and efficiency.

While I wouldn't disagree that metrics have become a fetish with many management types, and there is a lot of "metrics for the sake of metrics" about, the underlying driver for this kind of employee surveillance is still typically profit. It's the "crank out more units of work with fewer people" mentality. And it's close relative, the "hours at the desk = productivity" mentality which persists despite being debunked.

Comment Re: Giaa to the rescue! (Score 1) 136

Many years ago, local governments would dredge river channels every so often, so they wouldn't flood. Good. Then Britain joined the EU. Along came unelected Eurocrats, who imposed ridiculously punitive/expensive standards regarding the disposal of the dredged up mud/silt. Result... * local authorities couldn't afford to dredge river channels * river channels silted up * rivers flooded

Well... like... duhhhh. To add insult to injury, the flooding was wrongly blamed on global warming. It was crap like this that contributed to the Brexit vote result.

Except it had nothing to with the EU. In the UK we should be looking at our own national politicians, especially the Conservative Party. From TFA:

"Cameron cannot say he was not warned: he has ignored red flag after red flag, right from the start of his premiership. In the first year of the coalition, he cut capital spending on flood defences by 27% year-on-year. That was despite the 2008 Pitt Review – a systematic analysis of major floods in 2007 – concluding that much more funding was needed."

And their current plans to promote the construction of one million new houses while refusing to implement legal requirements for new developments to include sustainable drainage aren't helping either.

Comment Re:Censorship. (Score 1) 405

The Daily Mail is about as reliable as Wikipedia is these days.

I'm guessing you are not familiar with The Daily Mail then. It has long history of running sensationalist, and frequently fabricated, material. The Daily Mail gets a whole chapter to itself in the excellent book Flat Earth News. Personally, I wouldn't trust the Mail (or the Daily Express) to tell me what day of the week it was.

A few years ago, on the BBC satirical show Mock the Week, Frankie Boyle commented that the quintessential Daily Mail headline would be "Immigrants Carry New Form of AIDS That Lowers House Prices"; completely untrue but guaranteed to push all the hot buttons of their target demographic in the UK.

Comment Re:Is Wine Useful? (Score 2) 202

Well to use an old Jerry Pournelle catchphrase from his Byte Magazine column, "you maybe won't need it often, but when you do need it, you need it bad".

Case in point. I run Linux Mint 17 LTS. When I moved from Windows one of the few Windows-only applications I wanted to keep was my usenet client - xnews. It is, IMHO, the best usenet client I've found over many years and I have it tweaked just how I like it. YMMV. So being able to continue to run it under Wine was a win for me.

Comment Re:Make the banks take the risk when an driver hit (Score 4, Interesting) 139

The whole point of corporations in the US is so that nobody's liable for what corporations do. Corporations can't/don't go to jail, and a member of a corporations going to jail for something done under the auspices of the company is rarer than lightning strikes or lottery winners.

This is the result of corporate lobbying over the last 20 years, and the growing view (among the wealthy elite) that white-collar crime isn't really a thing. After the savings-and-loan collapse in the 1990s, over 900 bankers were convicted of criminal offenses; after the most recent (and much worse) financial crash, nobody in the banking industry has spent even a night in jail.

Comment Re:NIMBY in full effect (Score 1) 445

I just don't get the mentality of people who refuse organ donation. If you're dead, you're dead, why take other people with you?

The concern is not "If you're dead". The concern is, If i'm in critical condition, the hospital that knows I'm a potential organ donor may treat me differently in a manner that makes me less likely to survive, Or they may prematurely declare me dead out of concern for the organs they could get from me to save someone else..... perhaps someone they deem "More worthy" of being saved.

I think the real reason, for many, is not fear of not being revived in ER if they are a card carrying donor. It is the fact that many people, deep down, have an emotional attachment to the idea of being buried "intact". I've even seen cases where families have tried to override (sometimes successfully) the wishes of a deceased donor because "we want him to be buried whole".

Comment Re:Go ahead (Score 5, Informative) 85

I expect they will try the rubber hose method first. Not literally of course, they will pick someone who uses a VPN, take their equipment away for forensic investigation and maybe throw in some child porn charges for good measure. Make their lives a misery for a few years, then eventually return their equipment wiped and broken.

It will have to be someone who is innocent, so that people get the message that innocence is no defence if you use a VPN. You will be investigated and your life wrecked, name and face in the newspapers, unemployable and unable to afford legal council.

Unlike many other countries, the UK has no written constitution (despite periodic hand-waving about "Magna Carta"). The UK parliament can basically enact any laws they want. In the past, UK citizens could take a case to the European Court on the basis that a particular law contravened the European Convention on Human Rights. However leading Brexiteers, and even the current Prime Minister Theresa May (a notional Remainer), have made it clear that they want to plug that "loophole".

Makes you proud.

Comment Re:Steve Bannon, not a racist? (Score 1) 805

I'm genuinely curious, provide links to actual racist quotes made by him.

The summary of this article doesn't count, saying country is also it's citizens besides economy isn't racist

Maybe reading up on dog-whistle politics will help. Many on the alt-right will hear an implied "white" in front of "civic society".

Comment Re:Dear Kaspersky, and other upset antivirus maker (Score 1) 100

Even if the defender product was not bundled with windows, I find it very likely that users would prefer it over your advertisment laden, system resource hogging, nagscreen insistent offering of similar price. In comparison, windows defender consumes significantly fewer resources, wastes far fewer manhours of development on elaborate eye candy on an app that users would prefer did not have to be there in the first place, but simply need because of fuckwits who want to abuse the shit out of their computers when they arent looking-- and quite frankly, does not constantly demand money out of them every 6 months.

Great point. A couple of years ago I switched from third party anti-virus products on my (sole remaining) Windows 7 machine and on the Windows machines of family and friends I provide tech support to for exactly those reasons. Windows Defender does the job well and does it unobtrusively.

Comment Re:How so? (Score 1) 34

The hackernoon link seems rather oriented toward simple, hack-it-together sorts of applications. Yes, if you're just making a personal web page or something you probably don't need a complete build system or anything like that.

Sadly, that's not the case. The whole Javascript/front-end development scene is awash with tools/libraries du jour; what this article calls "magpie front-end developers". As the cited Airbnb example demonstrates, there's a quite a few large web development teams using shiny new things because they are "cool" but that don't add much (if any) business value.

Comment Re:Anti Trust (Score 1) 239

Hard to understand how we have not applied historical norms of Monopoly to Amazon

Because there are thousands of mail-order/online-shopping businesses in the country? Amazon isn't anything like a monopoly.

Except that the picture isn't quite that rosy; e.g. Monopoly power and the decline of small business.

From TFA: "In the 15 years between 1997 and 2012: 72,000 small US manufacturers shut down; as did 108,000 local retailers and 13,000 community banks (fully half of America's complement of small banks!). The number of US startups has dropped by 50% since 1970. These statistics are not the result of the changing times: they're due to massive, monopolistic corporations stacking the deck against small competitors".

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