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Comment Re:Path to profitibility (Score 1) 174

Establish a user base, put the current cab system out of business then raise your prices.

Uber can't do that without winning their legal battles, and if they do that then any competitor can waltz in and do the same thing Uber did. Given Uber's past and reputation, all they have to do to be different is not be sleazy.

Comment Re:Uber may be in trouble but no self driving cars (Score 1) 174

Even auto makers are in big trouble because you will need far fewer taxis as they can service more people per vehicle.

The automakers are not collectively in any trouble at all, because someone is going to have to build these vehicles and that someone is going to be the automakers. Remember, there are literally billions of humans without mobility today. If these new types of transportation network permit more of them to have mobility, that represents a need for more vehicles. Some automakers will almost certainly fail, or at least some redundant marques, but there will continue to be a need for a large number of vehicles in the future. Also, for the foreseeable future, people with money aren't going to want to share their cars. And then there's also the possibility that as the car changes into something else that people don't actually drive themselves, it might actually change a lot. For example, we might wind up with a whole bunch of low-powered RVs tooling along at low speeds, with people reducing the square footage they have at home in exchange for more mobile area. No one is really sure what will happen next, which drives the economists nuts because it totally screws up all of these predictions.

Comment Re:As much as I dislike Uber.. (Score 1) 174

When did Starbucks become "okay"?

It's because the bar is so very low. Starbucks treats their employees well and they pay more than fair trade prices for the coffee, so they are in fact a better influence on the neighborhood and the world than plenty of small coffeeshops. Sure, your favorite $8-a-tall-coffee joint is better than they are, but they're not going to be the dominant paradigm in a world without Starbucks' burnt-ass coffee anyway.

When did Starbucks become "okay"? When did 5 corporations owning over 90% of all US media become okay? (Thanks telecommunications act of 1995.)

Bill Clinton was a business-as-usual politician, not an actual liberal.

Comment Re:Uber is pursuing the wrong thing (Score 1) 174

Their fundamental issue is how to turn their network profitable before the traditional Taxi companies are able to get their own app out there.

Some of them have apps, but they are garbage. None of them do what the Uber app does, and none of the cab drivers want it to. They're probably just as likely to fire all the drivers and go self-driving as they are to implement a useful app. They would have to change their entire business model first.

Comment Re:Uber is pursuing the wrong thing (Score 1) 174

I'm 90% sure that their push to do 'self-driving cars' is primarily an attempt to push up valuation for an IPO (or series X round). The work they've done so far seems more aimed at publicity than basic research (self-driving cars now picking people up!............with two software engineers behind the wheel. And has trouble recognizing pedestrians).

Comment Re:FINALLY! (Score 1) 129

I wonder if carpenters feel the same way about hammers or if developers are just way to opinionated...

Yeah, typical carpenter hammer arguments:

*) Hammer weight (usually 16-24oz for house framing)
*) Handle type (wood? Fiberglass? (fiberglass hammers suck tbh))
*) Is the face of the hammer smooth or textured?

Comment Re: In other news (Score 1) 129

Another way of looking at it: if you have a team with a single, centralized repository, why waste everyone's disk space by distributing to everyone?

I like Git, and prefer its pleasant UI, but I can see there are definitely reasons people would use SVN. (I can even think of reasons a team would use Visual Source Safe, although that's more of a stretch).

Comment Re:The sharing of table scraps economy not viable? (Score 1) 174

They're transporting people in bulk, that means some oversight from a public safety perspective is warranted

In some places, taxis are actually subject to some oversight from a public safety perspective. In those places, it's reasonable to be upset about Uber not doing those things well. In other places, they really aren't. There's really no oversight occurring. In those places, it is not reasonable to be upset at Uber, because they at least do minimal background checks in at least most places where they do business. Taxis are not as safe as you imagine, nor are taxi drivers (in any sense.) Taxi drivers who have been reported repeatedly as rapists continue to work, and rape again. With Uber, those people would get poor ratings and eventually be worked out of the system. It's terrible that it takes such a cold, impersonal, and capitalistic system to remove rapists from the transportation system, but that is still an improvement over at least some licensed taxi services.

Uber (as a corporation) is, drivers aside, no doubt made up primarily of sleazebags. But the situation is far more complex than "Uber is dangerous and irresponsible1!!!11!ones!" and complaining about it without acknowledging that seems sophomoric at best.

We'll see if taxis survive self-driving cars.

Of course they will. They will be self-driving taxis. The difference will be your contract terms.

Comment Re:Apples and Oranges (Score 1) 65

It seems 2 different things to me. The content producers and the content distributors are different groups with different specialties. The top producers and physical studios can rent themselves out to Netflix if the deal is right, for example. Neither is stapled to each other.

Most of the top producers today are the physical studios, and the publisher/distributor. That's what this question is about; can new media companies like Netflix and Amazon achieve dominance over the entrenched megacorporations which make the majority of the top-grossing movies today? And of course, the answer is yes. The people who actually do the technical things rarely work directly for the studio on an ongoing hourly basis; companies which make movies which are entirely CG aside, most of the employees are contractors, and it doesn't take an act of God to build a sound stage. Christ, the studios don't even own the camera equipment, everyone rents that from the same small group of businesses.

Comment Re:Five bucks says they get sued (Score 1) 44

Touch the ECU and they'll void the entire warranty.

Sure, they could do that. And then you could take them to court to cover the cost of repairs. And you'd do it in small claims court, unless you were into the big big money because you bought a big expensive automobile, in which case you can afford to go to real court.

Comment Re:Cue Automakers (Score 1) 44

It already is an EPA regulation. Companies, by law, have to make a best effort to avoid people trying to change anything that can affect emissions regulations.

The automakers have to do that. The rest of us can sell auto hacking tools with impunity as long as they have substantial non-infringing use, and our right to develop them is actually explicitly protected by law (even through reverse engineering.) So the automakers might well be prohibited from giving us the information we need to tune the vehicle, but it's legal for us to sniff the bus while they do it.

Comment Re:Five bucks says they get sued (Score 1) 44

I've got a $5 bet that says automobile manufacturers file for an injuction against them and/or sue them and/or file for a DMCA takedown because they're violating copyright.

How long do we have to wait to collect our five dollars from you? They're not getting sued. There's already a ton of devices which do this.

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