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Comment Re:How to make it cheaper? (Score 1) 63

I've got to say though - Uber seems like it pays much better than most courier services used to pay drivers to deliver things!
I tried working for one of them, once -- and quit within a week. During the lunch rush, they had us delivering boxed lunches to various locations where we were only compensated about $1.50 for each successful delivery. Since you had to seek out people, parking your vehicle and taking things into buildings to them, you wasted a lot of time too.

The vehicle maintenance is always a factor -- but for people doing these jobs part-time, I think most rationalize some of it away, so to speak. (If you drive your car or truck a lot for various activities, adding some Uber trips means at least you're offsetting the total cost of its operation by doing some things that actually bring in revenue. With or without the Uber driving, you were going to have items breaking down and wearing out anyway.) The fact is, vehicle purchases are terrible investments. They depreciate 20% the minute you drive a new one off the lot, and in many cases, keep plummeting in value based on nothing more than the whims of the buying public, as the years pass. Viewed that way? I guess ANY time you can drive one someplace and get paid something, you're lessening that overall bleeding of money.

Comment Interesting .... but .... (Score 1) 63

As others commented, this really seems to just be part of a "long play", ensuring a piece of the self-driving taxi business once it becomes possible. As heavily as Google has invested in self-driving vehicles, it seems obvious they wouldn't want to just give the whole market for self-driving cabs up to business like Uber or Lyft.

If they just want to establish their name in the market, in the meantime? Google could operate something like this at a loss, considering that "marketing expenses", as they evolve towards eliminating the human driver.

(I also get that the "original" part of this is supposed to be the idea that it works more like carpooling, where it tries to match up groups of people all headed the same direction to share costs. But really, I doubt that business model will be too effective. If people hailing a cab have to wait for others interested in heading the same way at the same time, they'll often find that's too slow except in major cities around "prime time" travel hours. And unless the driver has a full size van or bus or something -- you're not going to get that many people you can take around at one time.)

As a side note? I don't know what the experience of others has been, but I'm finding Uber going downhill. I was truly impressed with the service the first few times I used it, in the DC metro area. But more recently, like during our weekend trip in Ocean City, MD last weekend? I've had some struggles with the iPhone app where it offers to auto-fill your start location from the GPS location detected on its map. But I wind up where it gets my start and destination info reversed, or doesn't get the start location just right - so the driver goes to the wrong place to try to pick us up. Then, it seems like the drivers try to resolve it by calling me, but are invariably nearly impossible to understand due to bad cell connections and thick accents.

Meanwhile, the Lyft app just seems to get things right on the first try -- working more smoothly. Unfortunately, Lyft seems to have much less presence around here so most of the time, it says there are no available vehicles.

Comment Re:For what, the last 20 years? (Score 1) 199

I have never heard of it happening

Just google. You know google, right? Immediate results include operations like Arthur Anderson ... formerly one of the biggest corporations of its kind in the world. Now essentially dead after the corporation was found criminally guilty in the Enron mess.

Submission + - Bandcamp: the Holy Grail of online record stores (

David Gerard writes: Is Bandcamp the Holy Grail of online record stores? Hell yes. Unencumbered downloads in any format you like, excellent discoverability and a ridiculously better experience than any other download store. Musicians too: "The interface and the available tools are all so well-thought-out it’s genuinely a pleasure to use." They also like that they straight-up get 85% of the take.

Comment I don't have any yoga emails .... (Score 4, Insightful) 563

But I can say that something like this isn't too surprising, assuming you hired a lawyer with a brain in his/her head. They really like the idea of deleting evidence that could be used against you in a court of law, if they're hired to work FOR you.

This is why businesses are being pushed to start purging all of their employee's email on a regular basis. They want to preserve that plausible deniability and ensure some former employee didn't say something in a company email you weren't aware of that winds up costing you $'s in a lawsuit.

If this is an attempt to discuss if Clinton is guilty of anything or not with running her own private mail server? I think the answer to that is really pretty obvious.... Yes, of course she is. If any of us worked for an employer who provided us with a company email system for use with company-related things and we just decided to conduct business via our personal Gmail accounts, or some home-brew Linux server? How long do you think we'd stay employed there once that was realized? In a case like hers, it's only magnified as a problem because we KNOW she was allowed to handle classified content in her mail. So the hunt is on to prove she actually possessed some of that on this unofficial server. And if her lawyers did their jobs properly, there won't be much concrete proof that she did so, or at least that she ever accessed it once it was sent out. That doesn't make her less guilty though .... just smart enough to dodge some legal repercussions for her behavior.

Comment Unacceptable! (Score 5, Funny) 140

This sort of reckless openness in communications sends the message that so called 'disasters' are a free-for-all for pirates, child pornographers, and terrorists.

Any right-thinking citizen would agree that a few unimportant people staying buried in rubble is a small price to pay to secure the internet against intellectual property theft and anonymous communication by evildoers.

Comment That's honestly pretty surprising. (Score 1) 175

It's not a huge surprise that the reliability of Apple widgets isn't appreciably better than high end Android gizmos; Apple is hardly the only company in the world that knows how to shove a bunch of solid state hardware into a tight space; and to the degree they are atypically skilled at it they usually end up focusing on extra skinniness and similar aesthetic considerations that don't necessarily enhance reliability.

What is surprising is that 'Android devices' as a whole would perform so well. It is the blessing, and the curse, of Android that pretty much anyone can slap it into almost anything; and vendors take full advantage of that. I would have expected the floods of dire crap to drag down the average reliability rating considerably.

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