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Comment Re:Grossly misled how much they could make? (Score 1) 277

Not necessarily... even an independent contractor can be expected to do a job for the client at a rate the client has specified or else not get the job for that client at all. You can argue that an independent contractor could still negotiate their price, but if the client doesn't want to negotiate, then that's still exactly the same story.

If Uber workers were independent contractors, then Uber, in this case, would be the driver's client, not the passengers, and Uber, as it happens, has specified the rate they are willing to pay. Dissatisfaction with how much one is making by no means any kind of pre-requisite for being an employee.

If, however, Uber workers were truly independent contractors, they could freely subcontract other drivers to drive multiple passengers at the same time and get paid for all of them (and presumably pay their own drivers a percentage of the rate that Uber offers per ride). Uber disallows this however, thereby exercising too much control over the work that their drivers do, and clearly placing them in the category of employee.

How much the workers make and how they cannot negotiate the price with the passengers is as far removed from what makes them employees as is imaginable, because actual independent contractors could easily be in the exact same situation. If an independent contractor can't find work at a rate that is satisfactory to them, then that is not the fault of those who might otherwise hire them, and does not make them employees when they happen to accept a job they are only taking because nobody else has jobs for them.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Halting problem disproves deterministic universe?

If the universe were deterministic, then it must be possible to, given sufficient data about the universe and its current state, predict what the state of it will be at some point in the future. We shall confine our predictions for this purpose only to the outcome of a single experiment, and let us take a black box that can tell us what the outcome of the experiment will be. If such a black box cannot exist for any reason, then it follows that there are at least some factors in the univ

Comment Re:Reduce tomato sauce wastage (Score 1) 178

I make a point of buying viscous products in flat-topped containers, but standing the bottle upside down is a poor alternative even for those wide-topped ketchup bottles that are designed to be stored that way.

If they are designed to be stored that way, then they aren't being stored upside down in the first place, are they? If the writing on the bottle appears right-side up, but the opening for dispensing is on the bottom, how can you say that it is being stored upside down?

You may, however, have to manipulate the bottle to be upside down briefly while you are opening and closing it in order to have some control over exactly how much of the contents you dispense.

Comment Re:Fake news (Score 1) 130

While I'm sure you are right that it is not what they mean, it most definitely is what they said. They said "each" without qualifying it with "average", and as such have said something that at best is simply factually false, and at worst just plain confusing.

For example, while it's true that there is an average of approximately one human testicle per human being, it is ludicrous to think that each human has one testicle.

Comment Re:I knew Wheeden was from the future... (Score 1) 273

Except for the fact that the Firefly 'verse had "dozens of planets and hundreds of moons", sure. I'd say that to measure up to that, it would need at least 3 or 4 times as many rocky worlds as they've found in what seems to the habitable zone in the Trappist system, and probably have another dozen or two of gas giants in the habitable zone as well.

Comment Re:Senator Wyden: (Score 2) 193

Would *you* risk getting detained for an indefinite period, however illegally, just because you want to assert that your constitutional rights are being violated? Of course I can appreciate the sentiment behind what you are saying, but people are bending over and taking this kind of crap at the borders not because they particularly *want* any appearance of increased security, but because they just want to fucking go home, and cooperating fully with the border agents, even the ones who might abuse their position, and even if your rights are being violated, is generally expected to be the most expedient path to that end.

Comment Re:What does this mean for free software copyright (Score 1) 144

Oracle vs Google re: the Java API comes to mind as one noteworthy example...

But what, exactly, makes their use of this work "fair"? They rebroadcasted the work without permission of the copyright holder, and I'm not sure they even acknowledged the copyright holder in their rebroadcast. Unless facebook live's terms of usage states that they own the content that is uploaded to it, I think that the guy's copyright was most definitely infringed.

Comment Re:CRISPR for the masses (Score 1) 168

Eugenics became a dirty word because of Nazis, who would improve humanity by killing off the "degenerates". But there is nothing wrong with improving the human stock per se..

Perhaps not, except for the fact that if you *don't* "kill off the degenerates", then they will continually breed with your so-called "improved stock", defeating any attempts to improve them over the course of generations, unless you legislate mandatory sterilization for absolutely everyone that does not fit certain criteria, which itself poses no small ethical problem for those that might consider it... Perhaps almost ironically, it has much in common with the ethical problems created by outlawing abortion.

Comment Re:If the *.AA think it's bad (Score 1) 134

Nothing in the definition of property necessitates that it should necessarily be physical or tangible, that is a wholly arbitrary distinction that you have randomly chosen to apply to it.... The only criteria for property is that it belongs to someone... and at best the only reason why the exclusivity of control would not be considered property is because perhaps you, personally, do not recognize it as such.... but because that exclusivity is entirely the point of having copyright in the first place, the law recognizes that this exclusivity *does* belong to the copyright holder, and so any unauthorized copying of their works amounts to theft of that property to a commensurate degree. You can steal cable and internet bandwidth, for example... neither of these have any tangible component, but they are the property of those who have rightful access to them, and as such can most *definitely* still be stolen.

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