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Comment Re:How is Uber a ride sharing service? (Score 1) 231

I'm not sure that I agree with this position.

Uber is no saint here - they're profiting from bypassing a broken system (actually they're not profiting at the moment - they're slowly going broke).

However, Uber is not the evil enemy here either. They've simply identified a situation where the state has imposed restrictions on a marketplace, and the marketplace has become disproportionately expensive and prone to corruption.

The taxi drivers are not at fault. They have to charge ludicrous fees because the licenses are limited by the state and have become too expensive.

The problem is the flawed economic model around taxis. That is where we should be targeting our thoughts.

One state in Australia has offered to buy back the taxi licences - with some degradation of the value of the licence based on how long it has been owned, and how much profit has been drawn from it. This is the kind of solution that serves everyone best. It also opens the door for an intermediary licensing scheme that allows for a distinction between Uber and taxis but still permits the government to tax the drivers appropriately.

Comment Re:I live in Hong Kong and this is my impression (Score 1) 231


It saddens me that this post is scored 0, as I think you've accurately summed up the situation. Uber is what happens when the state imposes limits on a free market. By restricting the licences, the sequence of events is well known and documented:
1. The market becomes closed.
2. The licences become a commodity.
3. The value of those licences climbs disproportionately to the value of the service.
4. Gradually, the price of the service rises above CPI due to the prohibitively expensive licences.
5. As the cash flow exceeds the value, corruption and rorts are introduced to the system.
6. Eventually, someone reveals the problem. In this case, it is Uber.

One state in Australia has taken the courageous step of offering to buy back the taxi licences. I think that this is potentially the best possible outcome for all involved.

These arguments about untested drivers are not true in all countries. And the arguments about uninsured drivers are invalid - that is a self correcting problem. The state does not mandate insurance for surgeons. Why should it do it for drivers?

I am also immensely saddened that so many /. readers don't get this. We like to think that we're smarter than the average bear. Apparently not.

Comment Needs fairly strong justification (Score 5, Insightful) 700

I have two step-children who fled their abusive father to come and live with me. Both of them were home-schooled for a time (about 12 months each). We learned a lot of powerful lessons from the first one, but even then, we faced huge challenges with the second one.
Some significant points:
1. Mum and/or Dad are not teachers. We're not qualified to be, and re-assurances from the homeschooling organisation are vacuous. Don't kid yourself about this. Being a teacher is a career choice, and there are very specific skillsets involved.
2. Mum and/or Dad don't want a teacher-student relationship with their child. You can't just throw a switch at 3pm and turn back into a parent. The child is not old/mature enough to process that changeover.
3. The child will lose out on a huge amount of 'non-curriculum learning'. Things like 'how to avoid the schoolyard bully', 'how to read a schedule and navigate to classrooms', 'how to meet project deadlines without parental intervention', 'how to negotiate the fickle friendships that happen in life', 'observe adult role models outside the family'. There are dozens of things like this.
4. There is research to support the position that children perform better when parents are 'hands off'. I can't remember the link, but one interesting one was posted to /. in the last 6 months.
5. Some children need real parental nurturing to get over a major life crisis. Most children do not. If your child needs that kind of care, be very careful of breaking your relationship with them by spending 6 hours every day with them.
In both cases, after 12 months, the children returned to regular schooling to a) escape mum and/or dad; and b) get a life/friends. The second one needed a little more encouragement than the first.
Good luck with it! Its been a hard road, and its only two-three years after they returned to regular school that their behaviours are starting to normalise.

Comment Re:Disable the turbo (Score 1) 325

I'm running an Alienware M18X with an SSD instead of a traditional HDD and I have not experienced any problems yet. The only issue I have is that it weighs a ton! So heavy that its technically not allowed as carry-on luggage on the plane. I sneak it through anyway, but its an issue.

Speed and heat have been no issue at all.

Comment Re:Overblown concern by the anonymous submitter (Score 1) 91


Being a software exporter, I was concerned by this post, so I went and read the material. Not all of it, but fairly large swathes of it. I'm actually a little bit disappointed that Slashdot would greenlight the original submission when the abstract is so sensational and misleading.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What to do when your hotel WiFi is filtered

Wolfling1 writes: So, I arrived at the hotel, connected their WiFi, and promptly discovered that my feed is filtered. Web pages appear different. My immediate action was to connect the VPN back to the office, and run all my data through a (relatively) safer feed. Things return to normal.

But the question is : What to do now? Should I tell the hotel? Should I just do nothing? Should I book in for treatment because I'm being paranoid?

Comment Missed the point (Score 5, Insightful) 224

As is typically the case, the survey overlooks one of the most compelling reasons to run Gigabit: Latency (or as the plebs like to call it these days; ping).

Having an uber fat pipe is not really what most people need. Having a nice low latency (eg below 10ms) is what will really enable realtime thin client apps, cloud based n-tier apps (where part of the business logic layer is on the client), MOBAs and MMOs. I don't want Gigabit because I pump huge volumes of data (about 50Gb per month), I want Gigabit because I hit my latency wall several times every day.

Comment A drink for chilli lovers (Score 1) 285

My partner and I are very fond of super spicy food, but we've backed it off as we're getting older. The backside doesn't cope so well these days :)

Anyway, here's a simple drink we invented for those who really love the sting of a hot chilli:
Jalapaccini (pronounced Hal-a-pa-chee-nee)
1 nip of vodka
1 nip of dry vermouth
1 piece of your favourite chilli (not the full chilli, just a piece about the size of an olive)
Its just like a dry martini - but hot!
In the first 5 minutes, the sting isn't fully released into the fluid, but after 20 minutes, its at about 70%. If you make up a little bottle of the stuff and leave it in the fridge overnight, all the flavour is released from the chilli, and you can throw the chilli away - though you might want to keep it for decoration. I tend not to cool it though, as its best served at room temperature.

Comment Two change logs (Score 1) 162

We encountered the same problem, so a few years ago, we started running two changelogs. One of them is the full changelog, with every ridiculously miniscule change listed. This is made available to customers, but not promoted to them.

The other is the 'enhancements only changelog' - or what we colloquially refer to as 'the readme'. It only contains feature enhancements or significant bug fixes.

Comment Re:Happening everywhere on all levels (Score 5, Interesting) 285

I'm astonished at the posts in this thread that have been modded up, but just don't get this point. This is about the only one I've seen so far that is truly insightful. The NSA's dragnetting is why we can't have good things. It will progressively push all other countries to legislate that information on their citizens must be hosted inside their borders. And Brazil's approach is the right one. They won't go after their citizens, or the big bad NSA. They'll just go after the businesses themselves. For companies like Google, this will be an inconvenience, but for any small company wanting to do international business on the internet, their options just evaporated. Here's hoping that they'll get some international law in place to declare the NSAs actions illegal - and some decent penalties applied at a 'per capita' rate.

Comment Re:The 400 reading is from atop Mauna Lua (Score 4, Insightful) 232

OK. It doesn't sound like you're trolling, so I'll give a more useful post this time:

Check out this site. It has some really good material and references about the science behind this stuff.

You might also find this interview with one of the key scientists interesting.

I don't profess to be a climate change guru, but this stuff looks reasonably legit to me.

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