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Comment Re:London Too (Score 1) 378

I'm in an outer London suburb - and a fairly wealthy one at that ("leafy Tory suburbia" pretty much nails this place). Back at the start of December, a huge number of Deliveroo drivers started congregating on the market street every evening, and then drifting off to a nearby park as the night goes on. It's not quite become a permanent encampment yet, but it's well on its way. From what I've observed, very few of these guys have more than a few words of English. It doesn't really feel like a healthy situation for anybody.

There's only one local takeaway that I use and it's an old-fashioned one that still employs its own driver. For all I know, he's horribly downtrodden and oppressed, but at least he's not part of that slightly creepy pale-green army.

Comment So long SPARC? (Score 1) 122

I guess this coupled with the announcement about Solaris last week means Oracle is finally finished squeezing the last pennies out of the SPARC/Solaris architecture. Admittedly it's very rare to see new implementations of a proprietary UNIX...every place I've dealt with in the last few years is trying to rid themselves of all the legacy code and hardware that keeps them on Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, etc.

I wonder what kind of cost/benefit calculation they came up with. The company I work for has a bunch of mainframe stuff still in production, and they pay a king's ransom to CA to license a package that hasn't changed in ages, but must keep running no matter what. I can't imagine Oracle is giving away Solaris and SPARC support contracts and licenses...it must be a massive amount and certainly enough to keep a bunch of Solaris engineers on staff to fix the occasional bug. 1000 people is a lot though -- I wonder how many of those were in sales? Salesmen are expensive in terms of all the meals, rounds of golf and strip club visits they have to give away to customers.

You know what would suck? Oracle kills the old Sun, then miraculously opens a new office in a "low cost geography" so they can keep squeezing for another 20 years! This is what HP did with OpenVMS for a long time before they got tired of supporting it and sold it to a third party.

Comment Hooray for the gig economy (Score 2) 378

I hear so many people saying what a wonderful thing the gig economy is -- how much freedom they have, how much they love not working a traditional job, etc. All of that may be true, but just wait until all the traditional jobs go away and most people are forced into squeezing out a tiny living doing things like driving for Uber. I highly doubt everyone would be super-happy at that point.

The relative economic stability of the last century was driven by consumers consuming, buying stuff, paying taxes, etc. and that was driven by those consumers having a stable paycheck or other source of income to fall back on. When that gets kicked away in the name of disruption, society needs to have a better answer than "oh, we'll figure something out later." I've been lucky to have stable work, but I know that I cut back on spending when I think something might be afoot at work. I can't imagine never knowing whether I'm going to have a good or bad week coming up.

  I think a lot of the gig economy cheerleaders are mistakenly thinking that Uber drivers are in the same league as, say, a flavor-of-the-moment software or IT contractor making $200+ an hour. I know a lot of people like this, who do nothing but travel around the country and get paid obscene amounts of money to implement the new hotness at random businesses. It's not super-stable, but they make enough to survive bad times. Uber drivers are barely breaking even, especially if they're financing their own vehicle purchases, etc. Like them or not, their business model is exploitative at best. Driving a cab is often the last resort job for people.

Comment Re:DMCA is a federal law (Score 1) 191

There were a few skirmishes, sure. But notice how the feds didn't go on a crazy all out assault in spite of the location of each and every dispensary being well known and there being thousands of them.

Instead, they picked on a few where they had some shred of evidence (often bogus, but still) that the state law wasn't being strictly followed.

In return, they lost support of state law enforcement and their costs shot up.

Comment Re:Subject (Score 1) 258

software of all industries is one of the industries where strong IP laws are least necessary

You'd probably change your mind if every piece of software you wrote was copied by someone else and sold using a marketing budget you can't afford with none of the revenue coming to you.

The only thing preventing that from happening are the strong IP laws on software.

Comment Re:Gay people (Score 1) 359

Of course, women bitch when nobody propositions them, they don't proposition men, and you end up with articles like this:

Oh no, where are all those attractive single men? Why aren't they propositioning me? And can someone stop this ugly/poor/uneducated guy from harassing me with his raised eyebrow trying to catch my attention, as if he was even remotely good enough for me.

No, I'm not feeling the empathy for these poor abused women.

Comment Re:Gay people (Score 1) 359

As someone that looks very male, has no interest or desire in other men and is definitely not physically attractive (let alone amazingly so) I think you're likely to be the anomaly here.

I've been propositioned in a generic city-centre pub in Coventry. This is, trust me, not a gay mecca.

I've been sexually assaulted by a man in Bristol. That was admittedly at a remarkably diverse event.

I've been flirted with a number of times. Had I shown interest, yes, a proposition would've been forthcoming. It's flattering in a way, but it takes more than flattery to get me to shag someone.

However, if I can get that sort of attention with my looks and body shape, I can easily believe that an athletic man will be propositioned in the Bay Area, whatever his personal preferences.

Comment Re:Not so fast. (Score 4, Insightful) 191

Actually, lets.

It is perfectly legal for me to repair my own brakes or steering. People have done so for decades even though a failure while driving could be very bad. The upshot is simple, if you're going to work on safety critical parts of your car, you'll want to make sure you know what you're doing. If you screw up, you might face significant liability.

Comment Re:DMCA is a federal law (Score 4, Interesting) 191

He did that because he HAD to. Otherwise, he starts a small scale war where the state then makes most activities that might support enforcing the federal law illegal. Next thing you know, there are DEA agents sitting in jail while it all winds it's way slowly through the courts. Worst case (for the president), the legitimacy of invoking interstate commerce to permit the federal laws to exist ends up in court with an opponent that can actually afford to fight it.

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