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Comment Re:Bow to your Amazon overlords. (Score 1) 186

They were saying humans would soon be "out of business" at the turn of the 20th century, too. Huge machines, steam engines, automobiles, the world was changing fast. A lot of people did lose jobs and fall into deep poverty. Eventually, technology spread and new jobs were created to replace the ones that were gone. Various New Deal programs like the Rural Free Electrification Act and the TVA helped with that. Now, of course, state governments are doing their best to limit the availability of internet service, so it will take a while for those jobs to be created this time around.

Progress is going to keep happening. It's profitable to replace humans with machines that can't get sick, deported, imprisoned, or addicted to heroin. Changes in technology and fluctuations in the market cause jobs to be created and destroyed. The problem is a weak social safety net that allows people to fall into long term unemployment.

The Republicans of course want to go back to the system we had at the turn of the century, where the people who lose the coin flip end up trapped in poverty, producing less than they could if the system were better, and thus depriving the whole nation of the fruits of their labor, making it all the harder for the nation to prosper.

The Republican solution seems to be yelling and theatrics. Oh, and more sick people.

Comment Re:I don't want to pay for this. (Score 1) 77

Half the reason I don't have a traditional satellite/cable account is because I don't want my money going to ESPN in particular, or really sports in general.

If people want to watch live sports, they ought to pay for it themselves. It can be a separate package, or a separate product, I already pay enough for sports through taxes.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 1) 1081

Republics have representatives, members of the electoral college can't be because no one knows who they are and they're not even really expected to represent the people of their state. They're just expected to vote the way a majority of the voters in their state voted in a single event. The Electoral College has nothing to do with being a republic, it's just a strange way to count votes.

Another commenter said that the system exists this way to ensure the needs of each state aren't forgotten, but it certainly doesn't accomplish that for any states west of Nevada. Splitting by state is an arbitrary decision, you could have also divided the electorate by race, gender, economic class, etc. Splitting up the electorate based on some specific criteria, and then forcing each section to vote as a bloc just screws with the results for no real benefit, and any EC result that doesn't match the popular vote ends up looking illegitimate.

Comment Re:Muh Rights (Score 1) 197

Actually, as far as I can tell the law says that the advertisement can't contain an exclusion (i.e. "blacks need not apply"). I think a court would have to decide whether you're required to push your advertisement to users without regard to race.

It's worth pointing out:

A) the feature isn't actually checking the race of the user, it's guessing.
B) there are other ways to limit based on race without using race. For instance, FB could easily provide an option to filter based on zip code. If an advertiser targets their ads at all zip codes within a city except those with large black populations, is that also against the law?

I wonder if this applies to other publications. If I only advertise my apartments in a Chinese-language newspaper in San Francisco, is that discriminatory?

Comment Re:The ending comment (Score 3, Interesting) 60

What are you talking about? Is UberPOOL different in Mexico City? In SF, UberPOOL is just another mode of UberX. Same drivers, same cars. UberPOOL is a dynamic ridesharing system because the app basically finds other people on the same route when you request a ride. It's not set up in advance, and the driver doesn't set the destination. It's not like a carpool to work, it's more like sharing a taxi.

UberPOOL drivers aren't typically driving to work, they're at work. I think the point of the ads is that if you have 2-4 riders (not including the driver) in each car, then the number of cars on the road should go down, reducing congestion and pollution. Of course, making access to anything cheap and fast tends to drive up the usage, so it may actually end up with more people taking an Uber rather than walking or taking a bus.

Comment Re: Vuze is malware too (Score 1) 61

Yes, in Ubuntu I'm using the qbittorrent-nox package and running it as a daemon with a web UI. It can also monitor folders for torrent files, move them when it loads them, and have default directories for in progress and completed downloads. Or you can load torrents via the Web UI, or from the command line.

Comment Re:Ride Sharing is hype. (Score 1) 72

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about Atlanta.

Kennesaw seems to be a decently distant suburb of Atlanta. From there to Downtown is 26 miles (31 minutes according to Google Maps). Uber claims it costs $23-30 on UberX. UberPOOL isn't available. That makes a big difference. A similar trip (in time and distance) where I am costs $32-40, but right now on POOL it would be $20.80. Back of the envelope math means the Atlanta trip would be $15-20 for on POOL, if it was available. That's pretty cheap when you consider the IRS says driving your own car 26 miles costs about $13. Of course it will be a lot cheaper when UberROBOT comes out.

Mind you, in San Francisco crossing the city from east to west costs less than $9 on UberPOOL.

Comment Re: Wow, the UK is even more screwed up than the U (Score 5, Insightful) 238

You're forgetting a lot of downsides of the U.S. system, and the fact that individual states do have referendums, and you're oversimplifying the UK system.

David Cameron wasn't ousted, he pushed hard for a specific outcome in the referendum, and he lost. The voters rejected a deal he had negotiated, and a policy he willingly bet his premiership on. All that said, he could have stayed as long as the Conservative party wanted him, but it's reasonable for him to step down after losing.

The vote itself also wasn't binding, it's up to Parliament to execute it. This wasn't a law that was passed by referendum. Unlike in the U.S., Parliament (technically the "Queen in Parliament") is supreme in the UK, and can change any law it wants. There's no written constitution, and thus not really the concept of an "unconstitutional" law. The PM is elected by a majority of parliament. This system means that a government usually can get its manifesto legislation passed, and it's easier to hold a government responsible for keeping its promises. The U.S. system can allow for years of deadlock, and whereas an independent commission is responsible for defining constituency boundaries in the UK, they're set by politicians in the U.S. If a party can gain control of the legislature of a state (quick - name any member of your state legislature), it can effectively control that state's seats in Congress for a decade. All of this lends a lot more legitimacy to the UK government.

So yes, getting things done in the U.S. system is harder, and it's easier for a few states to block legislation. That doesn't mean the U.S. system has greater legitimacy, quite the opposite. The state governments are barely accountable for their actions, and even a party with strong popular support can fail to get its legislation passed thanks to the byzantine electoral system.

Comment Re:Uhh... (Score 1) 240

making a living off the arts is like winning the lottery.

There's too much free/discounted stuff out there for the masses to want to pay top dollar for something that can be easily acquired for free.

Just because there's free art out there doesn't mean that's why people aren't buying. I don't buy CDs or books because I find them inconvenient, but that doesn't mean I'm replacing them with something that's free. I don't buy paintings either, because I don't find them interesting. In fact, there's a lot of 'art' (be it a painting, book, film, photograph, song, poem, etc.) that gets produced that nobody finds interesting. The reason it's hard to make a living as an artist is the same reason it's hard to make a living as an actor - many people try, very few people are actually any good at it. I'd bet that more than 99% of the art that's produced each year couldn't be given away for free. Just because an artist likes their own work doesn't mean anyone else would be willing pay for it, no matter the condition of the market.

Comment Re:Ban Uber (Score 5, Insightful) 96

If those medallion owners (many of whom, by the way, rented their medallions out, and thus were also rent seekers) had kept their businesses up to date then Uber wouldn't exist. They spent years fighting Uber, even trying to ban the idea of smartphone ride-hailing, rather than building their own alternative.

Don't feel bad for the taxi business, it stagnated and had to be replaced before it became a drag on society.

I don't like a lot of things about Uber. I'd really prefer that all of the vehicles and drivers be tested thoroughly for safety. Up front fares (which they seem to be implementing) would be nice too. I do like the idea of being able to report bad drivers, and pooling cars. I also like that Uber can review routes taken by drivers, it's a frequent problem in NYC that drivers intentionally take a longer route to increase their fare, or refuse to take riders to or from certain parts of the city. Don't forget that Uber was founded because the taxi cartel in San Francisco had successfully captured its regulators, keeping the number of medallions too low (restricting available service, but increasing the resale value of their medallions).

Banning Uber and forcing us all to go back to the discriminatory, fraud-ridden, unreliable taxi system is just not an option.

Comment Re:Fuck Spotify (Score 1) 327

In fact, Apple should go further and block their macOS app from installing as well, for one simple reason: every time the app updates it sets itself up to run on login. I used Spotify from the week it launched in the U.S. until Apple Music launched. I bought a Pro subscription almost immediately after I started using it. But every time the app updated it would throw itself into the login items list again, like this is Windows 98 and we need 80 programs to start and put themselves in the System Tray before you can use your computer.

Then Apple Music came out. Sure, the UI isn't as good, and it took me hours to manually transfer my playlists. But hey, I finally have all of my music in one app (yeah, Spotify has the ability to sync songs, but the feature was very flaky, and it wasn't easy to organize hundreds of songs). But, iTunes never starts up when I login to my computer, and I've long since made sure the iTunes "helper" was permanently disabled (by "damaging it).

Spotify could have kept at least one customer if they just hadn't been so damn pushy.

Comment Re:Stupid people (Score 1) 129

You're sent a document from someone you interact often with. Maybe it's a business that might use odd security measures (like a lawyer, bank, or doctor's office).When you open the document it says:

Click to view document

That's it, no more content.

Now, I wouldn't click on it, you might not either. But there's enough people out there who will follow instructions, or will click on the most obvious button to make an annoying alert go away.

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