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Comment Re:Don't worry (Score 1) 254

I'm not right-wing at all, but I was wondering what all the hubbub was about here. As far as I know, Uber didn't even exist just a few years ago. Furthermore they billed themselves as a "ride-sharing" company, which to mean means you'd be a lunatic to quit your day job and drive for uber full time. Presumably those driving for uber did something else not so long ago for their primary income.

But if your sentiment is that Uber should be treated as any other taxi company, I agree with you there. And stories like this drive home the fact that Uber really is a taxi company but it wants to play by its own rules because Internet.

Maybe if Uber drivers knew about the taxi industry they'd be more realistic about their expectations.
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I've talked to taxi drivers all over the world and the vast majority of them work many many hours each week, often 60-80 hours, to provide for their families. It's very hard work. And in several countries I've visited, taxis are owned, operated, and maintained by the driver but all fares go through the taxi company which takes its cut. In Israel, it's sometimes best to negotiate a fare when you get in the taxi, since if it goes on the meter, the driver doesn't get as much of the fare, and I'd rather he get a good fair share of it.

Comment Re:User Convenience? (Score 1) 178

Yet somehow millions of people managed the risk of traveling without a cell phone, and did it their entire lives. Sometimes they weren't heard from for months at a time by friends and relatives. Life managed to continue.

I would say they lived to tell the tale, but pretty sure life had a 100% mortality rate back then. Good thing we live nowadays!

Just a thought, but do you suppose that these days with all of our cell phones and connected devices that we are much less inclined to look out for and help each other in daily life because we assume that everyone has a phone and someone they can call for help for things like a broken-down vehicle, a flat tire, or worse? Seems like we're more in bubbles than ever before.

Comment Hype is a two-edged sword (Score 4, Interesting) 109

Years ago my boss worked for a software company that sold layout and design software (desktop publishing essentially) to newspapers. They were quite successful and had a lot of clients across the world. They had a few ideas of some cool new features that they would like to build into their next release, and the boss thought it would be neat to demonstrate these future features at a major trade show, to get the clients excited. So they mocked up a convincing demo of how the product *would* work, complete with scripted mistakes (undo) and everything. They did this all live with a guy pretending to interact with the software. But it was all faked.

Well, they were right about the clients and potential clients. They were pretty excited. Very excited as a matter of fact. So excited that all of the companies that had signed on to buy their current version of the software immediately canceled their orders in anticipation of this new version. The problem was of course that it didn't exist and wouldn't for years if ever. Unfortunately that little demo completely killed the company. Their real product just couldn't compete with the hype of their imaginary product. Had they been honest about it up front, they would probably done fine and eventually implement many of those cool features.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 5, Insightful) 456

The dumbest thing Americans do is assume that consumers act rationally, never-mind should be expected to act rationally. Health care is an insurance product that you want everyone to be forced to pay into so that they take the quickest path to getting back to contributing towards the GDP. None of this should be up to "consumers" in so far as somebody who needs health care gets to shop around if they're sick, blind, alone, or otherwise disadvanted in a miriad of other ways - nor providers, who shouldn't be looking at competition and profit margins for the kind of work they're in.

But I get it - you grew up with a hammer, and everything looks like a nail.

Comment Re:ARM Server CPUs, x86 on ARM (Score 4, Insightful) 84

So far in the micro server and embedded space, ARM has been particularly disappointing to me. I have a drawer full of ARM devices I've accumulated over the years. SheevaPlugs, GuruPlugs, RouterStation, etc. All are potentially useful devices, but ARM is hobbled by proprietary boot systems and differing device trees and proprietary supporting hardware. These devices rely on customized linux distributions, and they are often fairly hard to update to new kernels and new flash file systems. Some of these devices have good CPU performance specs, but in practice I've never had them outperform an intel-based server, even a small low-powered one like the atom.

And now in embedded space we have a plethora of Arm-based devices based on lots of different SoCs from companies all over the world. All with their own forks of Linux. We've got Raspbery Pis, Orange PIs, Pine64s, etc. All very interesting and probably useful. But a nightmare to do anything with in a sustainable way.

The Pi (and some of these devices) at least is easy to update since everything comes off of the sd card, with no kernel flashing required. And some of them like the Pi have a fair amount of hacker inertia behind them, so they are capable of doing cool things (maybe not as server replacements though).

With x86-based embedded systems and small servers, at least I can run more standard, off-the-shelf distros on them. I'd far rather deal with a conventional linux server than a sheevaplug, even if the sheevaplug is a nice tiny thing with lots of potential.

In fact my current home office router is a small, low-power Intel-based computer running bog standard, minimal install of CentOS 7. Wifi is hung off of that using a consumer-grade access point running in bridge mode.

If arm devices had a standard boot process like ufi or even the bios, and could boot off of a variety of devices in a standardized way, including ssds, hard drives, usb sticks, and internal flash storage, and could run stock distributions downloaded from distribution web sites, without custom kernels, then I'd say for sure x86's days are numbered. Arm is good at remaining fragmented though.

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 3, Interesting) 217

I would say it's a large percentage, actually. In fact I was astounded to find out a few years ago that college-age kids quite often listen to music exclusively on youtube while they are working on homework or hanging out in their flats. An astounding waste of bandwidth but it doesn't matter.

But comparing percentage of users is kind of silly. Yes 100% of spotify users are there for the music. A certain percentage of youtube users are there for the music as well, but the question is how many of them in total? I would not be surprised if youtube's total viewership that was there for music at any one time was greater than spotify's.

That said, how many billions would the record companies think is fair? 2? 10? infinity? Obviously I'd like a much greater salary too. But the market decides the fair price and if that doesn't match their greed, so be it.

Comment Re:Think of the target audience (Score 1) 137

I have to say I have complained a lot about the mouse on all Macintosh systems I've ever used. Compared to Linux and Windows I find it quite mushy feeling and slow. So I understand how frustrating that is.

I suspect the mouse is not your only reason for not switching, though. If the mouse is really your only reason, it's worth looking fairly deeply into how to correct the mouse tracking to suit your needs. If switching to Linux is important to you, and would provide utility, which I kind of doubt.

And I suspect strongly that most Windows users on Slashdot would never switch to Linux (or to Mac OS X) no matter what MS does. Handily there's a whole litany of Linux shortcomings to use as excuses.

Comment Re: Thanks Trump! (Score 3, Interesting) 242

Talking to Taiwan sounds smart, if you're an idiot who doesn't have the most basic grasp of the nuanced dynamics at play. He'll do all the things people like you will think is bold, smart, independent, whatever - and predictable reactions from China will happen, just somewhat small but meaningful consequences. And people will keep wondering why they have to live in a world the way it is, not the way they think it should be. Much like the adage that there's no such thing as a stupid question, it sounds like a cool move emotionally, but in reality, leaders need to know how to tread.

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