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Comment Re:News from other countries... (Score 2) 35

Well, when it comes to space budgets....

NASA: $19,3B
ESA: $5,8B
Roscosmos: ~$2B/yr
JAXA: $2,0B
CNSA: $0,5B official / $1,3B est.
ISRO: $1,2B

It's not just US bias that leads to most stories coming from NASA. NASA really does spend the most on space research and exploration, by large margins.

Still, the public perception is that NASA's budget is far more than it actually is.

Comment Re:Intelligence Busting (Score 1) 100

I actually agree with your approach but the problem is if Uber ignored this is would be one step closer to having the drivers classified as employees no matter what Uber thinks.

I don't dislike unions so much that I care to spend my own money against them. But it doesn't hurt to warn others of the dangers so I put forth effort to do that when I can.

Comment Re:Careful Seattle, payback is coming (Score 1) 100

The thing is that in not allowing self driving cars, now you aren't just affecting Uber but regular people as well. That's why it's a whole different level of political action than trying to muscle Uber into allowing union takeover of the drivers.

does it make sense to expect them to just allow driverless, or even autopiloted ones?

If they really want to be thrown out of office, up to them. Any trying to back technology that cans obviously benefit the elderly or other less mobile people is going to face a horrifically difficult re-election.

Comment Re: That doesn't change anything (Score 2) 100

I was where you were before I started taking classes covering self-driving car technologies and current start of the art in neural networks and deep learning. Yes that sounds very buzzwordy but the thing is, it's working really really well now... You have no idea how fast those obstacles are being blown past. Already the tech exists to recognize very well various objects like signs and people around the car, even in extremely bad weather. I still think snow may foul up some things but with a small enough area (camera lens) you can use a lot of advanced materials and techniques to keep the camera view clear enough to work...

Comment Re:Uber drivers also earn a living wage. (Score 1) 100

Well there is an inherent guarantee about being on a payroll

AHAH HAHAHAH AHAHA AHAH AHA HAHA HA H A HA HAH A HA HA H!!

*gasp* When are you from gramps?

I haven't been on a payroll in ten years now and am wholly better for it.

So, if you're not one of the drivers that hangs out with SuperKendall...

Then you are one of the many other drivers making a decent living with great job flexibility. I have personally come to value job flexibility vastly more than money.

Comment Good counter-argument, but I think it won't happen (Score 1) 100

There's a gaping hole in your logic: governments that can block your human driver efforts could (would) also block your autonomous vehicles.

I consider that a good counter-argument, but I have thought about it and don't think that will be much of a problem... I think there would be a lot more pushback around most cities blocking self driving car technology than there is to simply extend union rules to ride sharing cars.

After all, self-driving cars should reduce cars on the road and also reduce accident rates, so there are a lot more parties interested in protecting the ability of self-driving cars to operate than there are to protect Uber from unions.

A current test-bed of this is New York City, where the drivers unions want a 50-year ban(!) on driverless cars to protect driving jobs.. note that doesn't mean they don't want self driving cars, they just want someone to have to pay for a butt in seat in the front.

Comment Re:That doesn't change anything (Score 1) 100

If they don't have a viable one which doesn't try to run over cyclist and run red lights and requires 2(!) drivers to operate

You obviously have no idea how technology improves, nor how rapidly it improves. Yes the current ones were missing some lights and sometimes did not see bikes. But that tech is rapidly improving. Today it's two drivers (really a tech and a driver) monitoring, tomorrow it's one guy sitting monitoring, the day after that it's one guy monitoring fifteen Ubers from a chair and a handful of support vans for a city of Uber cars.

Comment Don't realize who the robber barons are, do you? (Score 3, Insightful) 100

All hail the new Robber Barons!

That would be the unions of today, who steal from their members to give to themselves. Why do you think so many unions make it MANDATORY for workers to become members?

If a union was useful to a worker, workers would be eager to join instead of being forced to. Being forced to pay for an organization that provides no goods or services to you is the LITERAL DEFINITION of robbery.

Comment Re:The truckers union is not that bad. (Score 1) 100

Uber drivers can already deduct all milage driving while they are listed as active even when not carrying a fare.

If uber wants an lot of drivers ready for fairs then they should be paid

Why if the drivers are willing to just wait for a fare? One Uber diver I talked to in Long Beach was a writer, and simply worked on writing while he was between fares. There are a lot of people like that, who may as well be killing time sitting in car as at home. If there were a shortage of such people then yes, Uber would have to also pay for people to wait. But they do not have to so why SHOULD they?

Comment Uber drivers also earn a living wage. (Score 1) 100

Taxi drivers can actually earn a living wage.

So do all of the Uber drivers I have talked to. If they want to work mostly full time, they can easily make a living wage by taking advantage of surge pricing earnings (which is after all the reason surge pricing exists).

To help them out I usually tip them (even though you are not supposed to). Even with tip an Uber is less than the base fare of a "real" taxi and usually far nicer to ride around in. On a recent trip I took an uber one way, and a taxi back the other - Uber was totally clean and had a nice driver. In the taxi someone ad left discarded yogurt containers in the back, which I had the pleasure of riding with - the driver was OK though not as friendly. And of course, the fare was 2.5x that of the Uber ride for exactly the same endpoints...

Comment We are much closer than you imagine (Score 2) 100

Stop already. We aren't even close to real autonomous cars.

We are just years away from cars that work extremely well within a defined target area, like a city, or a narrowly defined route, like trucking - so companies like Uber will be the first to self driving cars and trucks on a wide scale.

I agree general purpose fully autonomous cars are a ways off more. But not as far off as you think, research has increased dramatically in this regard and huge leaps are being made every year now. Maybe ten years but probably not that long. It's only ten years because most car companies are so slow to design the bodies....

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