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Comment Re:He did this to his own car and drove it? (Score 1) 128

From TFA:

federal and state laws probably don’t pose much of a barrier to those with a desire to upgrade their vehicle to share driving duties. NHTSA has authority over companies selling vehicles and systems used to modify them, but consumers have significant flexibility in making changes to their own vehicle, says Smith, who advises the U.S. Department of Transportation on law and automation.

Anyone using a home-built Neo will still have to comply with state rules requiring responsible driving, though. (Comma’s Openpilot software tries to help with that: it complains if the driver doesn’t touch the wheel every five minutes, and it asks for human intervention if it’s having trouble interpreting the road ahead.) And in the event of a crash, using a home-built driving aid might raise eyebrows. “Just because you can legally operate it doesn’t mean you are not civilly liable,” says Smith.

Comment Re:Who ships packages without proof of delivey??? (Score 1) 38

The default for UPS in the US is that they require someone to sign; however, you can instruct them to not need a signature and they will just leave the package at your door. If something's really valuable I'll get it shipped to work, but in 20 years of having stuff left I haven't had a single problem. Sometimes the package will sit there over a weekend or longer.

Comment Re:Okay - that was quick. (Score 2) 895

I was aware that some Obamacare exchanges had had significant price increases (Arizona appears to have had price hike in the exchanges of 50-75%, which is high but not "more than doubled"). What I am referring to is, why are these self employed farmers using Obamacare? Presumably they had health care before, but did the ACA force the removal of their plans? In which case, my understanding of how that was supposed to work is that only plans that didn't meet minimum standards would be removed. But you said they now have less coverage, so I'm wondering what has caused this.

Disclaimer - I am covered through my employer, so I haven't actually dealt directly with Obamacare. My (perhaps incorrect) assumption was that the ACA expanded coverage somewhat, forced some minimum levels of coverage, and that there were some penalties (minimal at first) for people who persisted in remaining without coverage. Nowhere in my understanding were people (other than the ones with cheap-but-subpar coverage, whose plans were removed) who already had coverage forced to use Obamacare. But it does seem that a lot of people started to say "Obamacare" when they actually were referring to "my insurance provider", and I'm wondering if that's the case with your farmer friends. Certainly it's easier to vent on "Obamacare" if you're just sitting around talking.

Comment Re:Okay - that was quick. (Score 4, Insightful) 895

It's amazing how many of my friends lost their insurance and are now paying double or triple for less coverage. And this was all fully predictable to anyone paying attention.

Can you elaborate on this? I'm truly curious, because most of the times I've come across stories of people blaming Obamacare for rising costs, it turns out that they weren't actually using Obamacare and that their increases were pretty much in line with the trend which has been going on for decades. Are these people who were using high deductible plans which were phased out, or did their employers drop coverage, or what?

Comment Not an Aussie but... (Score 2) 68

I don't know who in this fight I dislike more. Sure, Apple is going to be gouging the retailers and banks. On the other hand, the only reason that the retailers and banks want to access the NFC chip is so they can try to lock people into their own systems, which may well be more painful to use and certainly will involve tracking of purchasing habits etc. Now, it might be useful to just wave your phone when doing a return rather than keeping track of a receipt, but I wouldn't trust either side further than I could throw them.

Comment Re:The republicans will... (Score 1) 399

Now, suppose we decide to take a billion dollars away from Bill Gates and distribute it to one thousand people in San Francisco, giving them an additional $100,000 over what they might already have in their possession. Bill Gates isn't likely to sell any of the properties he owns as a result of that, however now we have a lot more people in SF that might decide they want to upgrade their living conditions.

My understanding of most UBI plans is that taxes would be levied such that most people wouldn't see much difference; Bill Gates would be paying a lot more, and some of the very poorest would be getting some more, but most people in the middle would net out about the same as now.
This differences would be that you'd no longer need a bureaucracy for means tested benefits since the UBI would set a floor, and there would likely be more people who choose not to work/work less. Now poor people do spend more of their income so you would indeed be increasing the money suppy, but not on the scale you're depicting.

Who knows for sure how it will pan out in reality? This sounds like an interesting experiment to get some data.

Comment Money (Score 1) 267

The line in the summary about one of the people running a hotel got me thinking "huh, why would they object to someone renting out hotel rooms?" Well, I found this article: ...which states:

Freid, owns and manages an Upper West Side hotel called The Marrakech and was reportedly putting some of the rooms and suites on Airbnb and other short-term booking sites instead of listing them as proper hotel rooms.

Basically, he was probably dodging the NYC hotel taxes, but otherwise just renting rooms to tourists same as any other hotel. So in his case at least all the outrage above about innocent neighbors not wanting transient guests is not applicable.

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