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Comment Re:Gay people (Score 1) 379

I believe him. He doesn't need to be amazingly attractive. He just needs to be moderately attractive. Also, if he's from the East Coast and in SF on business, that probably means he is well dressed too. Personally, I've been propositioned a couple of times in the Bay Area, plus I've been groped by another guy once during New Years, and I'm not the most attractive guy around. That being said, I'm surprised he found it that annoying.

To me, the most annoying is the aggressive panhandling. Just yesterday night, I had to yell at a panhandler at a gas station in Berkeley just because he was so determined to wash my cars' windows (despite the fact that it was raining cats and dogs and the fact that I had already said 'no' to him). This kind of thing happens constantly in San Francisco. "Hey, I want to ask you a question!" "Yes?" "Listen to me friend. I'm going to be honest with you. [2 minutes later after a long explanation of his life's story, he finally gets to the point] I need money to get on Bart. Whatever you have? Pennies would do." And whatever you do, don't give him pennies (even if he says that's sufficient). I did that a few years ago and I just got them thrown back at my face.

Comment Income distribution (Score 1) 288

Do you really want a gaming company to sell its games to an oligarch in Russia at roughly 3.7 times less the price of what they would cost in the US? Besides, it's not like a game is a vital piece of software to own. And in poorer countries, it's not like everyone owns a computer fast enough to run the latest game, or owns a computer at all.

And where it comes to non-gaming software, there are other ways a company can make sure its software goes to people who can afford it. It can create student licenses, language localized editions, versions for non-profits, nagware software, software which produces watermarked assets, web hybrid applications, open source software with various levels of support, etc. There are thousands of options, but ultimately the company making that software has to make this kind of decision for itself based on its own capabilities and based on what it thinks the market can bear.

In some countries, making payments can be so difficult as a consumer, that selling a piece of software at a fraction of the cost based on a country's gdp wouldn't necessarily work. And in other cases still, a company could easily cannibalize its own local customer base by providing competing foreign customers with cheaper software.

Comment Re:Misused access rights (Score 1) 50

They're asking about access to the external sdcard (not root access to the entire phone).

Because while every app has access to internal memory, if the app deals with any large amount of data like pictures, videos, mp3s, or games with lots of graphics, it could easily fill up all the internal memory on your phone.

Comment Re:It's a way to hail a cab (Score 3, Interesting) 26

Can someone explain to me why this takes billions of dollars and a building full of PhDs???

If you're using UberPool, the app needs to match riders going the same way. For that, it needs to take into account distance and traffic conditions. The same thing goes when an Uber driver is trying to get home and sets the destination filter, so the Uber driver doesn't ride back in the general direction of his home without passengers.

There is also supply and demand to consider. Uber needs to predict which areas are going to have higher demand and then it needs to provide enough incentives for Uber drivers to alter their daily routines to go to those areas with higher demand. And of course, that demand will fluctuate from year to year based on different events, different weather conditions, Uber marketing, public transportation outages, and other unknown factors...

In a small town in the middle of nowhere, all this work may show no result. But in cities like San Francisco or New York, where you absolutely can not hail a taxi downtown during rush hours (even if you happen to be white and well dressed), this makes a huge difference and usually means the difference between taking your car to work and paying $60 in parking for the day, or taking a combination of public transportation and Uber to work and paying a total of $20 a day.

Comment Re:Uber caught lying? (Score 1) 79

...not a single one of their drivers is picking up people who want to go the same direction as the driver.

Not to disagree with your main point. I actually agree with you for the most part.

But this is called a destination filter. As drivers, we're only allowed to use this feature twice a day. For a part-time driver who's only driving to work and back each day, this is ok. For a full-time driver, the idea is to use that destination filter once at the beginning of your shift and once at the end of your shift, so as to not waste gas when you're ready to go home. But in between, you don't want to move your car too much while waiting for the next fare, because as an Uber driver you're operating on razor thin margins and you'd be wasting gas if you did that.

By the way, this is one reason the taxi system is so antiquated. Some taxis from outside the suburbs of a city with hard-to-get medaillons are only allowed to drop off passengers in that city, but not pick them up. In other words, in those cities where the medallions are very expensive to get, the system forces outside taxis to do return trips without passengers in the back. This is actually super wasteful. This increases gridlock, doubles the price for those trips, and reduces the number of available taxis at a time when they're really needed. If you ask me, taxis should be only regulated at the state level, not at the city level. Taxis regularly cross city boundaries. That's a fact of our modern era.

Also, there is something called UberPool (or LyftLine if you use Lyft), which is only available in some areas. The idea is that we pick up person A at one location, pick up person B on the way, pick up person C on the way, drop off person A on the way, drop off person B on the way, and then drop off person C. This actually works extremely well. Several times, I've actually picked up three people that didn't know each other from the same exact night club, just because they were all going in the same general direction. Or I've done the reverse, and picked up three different people at different locations, only to bring them to the same exact location. Although, if person A agrees to do UberPool and we don't pick up anyone else on the way, their fare still gets a discount of 20%. And where fares are not fixed by government regulations, UberPool passengers save more money than 20% the more they can split their journey with other passengers that we've picked up on the way. This feature is especially popular with University students, young professionals, and newbies who got confused by the interface.

...despite all the money they're bilking from people, still can't turn a profit.

By the way, Uber is profitable in the US. It's just not profitable worldwide.

In any case, I do agree that the company is very deceptive with the way it compensates drivers, it basically lies to us all the freaking time, but I just wanted to set the record straight about a few things.

Comment Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 161

So they're going to spend $$$$$ for something of marginal use. Unless they can take over my USB, in which case I'm screaming bloody murder.

The student's pitch makes it sound like this is a government backed project. It is not. Right now, it's a student's project, and a potentially future startup idea, but nothing more than that. Whether this idea will be backed by the government is another matter entirely. Also, countries like Norway are already turning off analog FM broadcasting beginning this year in favor of digital FM. The UK and others will follow after that. Even if the AM band remains, this idea can not be implemented on the AM band which is designed to travel much longer distances than FM.

As to digital HD FM, I have no idea how that works. Could such a project be able to hijack digital FM signals without revisions to the current digital FM standard? Maybe yes, maybe not. Perhaps, someone who knows more about digital FM could chime in about this.

But like you said between USB music, telephone calls, 4G/3G music, satellite radio, AM analog radio, CDs, etc. Digital FM radio may constitute only a tiny portion of what people are actually listening to in their car. And one could argue that the problem with ambulances is not that drivers can't hear them/see them, it is that some drivers just act stupid when they hear/see an ambulance behind them.

Comment Re:Emergency response (Score 1) 140

Nice try Airbus, but I can't image the local yard Nazis allowing giant mutant bumblebees to knock over the azaleas early in the morning. Those tiny-tiny ducted fans would just shriek.

You think leaf blowers were bad....

Maybe that's why they have wheels, so they drive a to a suitable location where they can lift off.

Comment Re:Why "I" shouldn't trust Geek Squad? (Score 5, Insightful) 389

Shouldn't TFH be "Why someone who engages in criminal behavior shouldn't trust Geek Squad?"

What about if you have legal adult naked videos/pictures of yourself having sex with your wife? Do you want the teenage geek squad employee to look through those videos/pictures too? After all, he would need to look inside those videos/pictures if he wants to ascertain what they contain.

Not only that, but he's looking at the deleted files too. So even if you or your wife deleted that content, he will be able to find it. The same goes for your phone. I assume the FBI has the same deal with cell phone repair technicians. Do they also look scan/watch all your pictures/videos including your deleted ones too?

And at Best Buy during work, how does it work if a manager catches an employee going through the private videos/pictures of customers? Does the manager give the employee a free pass if the employee offers to split the FBI reward with him? Or does the employee need to make a copy of the hard drive to bring home to review at home at his leisure? How does that work exactly?

Comment Re:The only way to make AIs safe.. (Score 1) 74

is to make sure they have no urge to reproduce or continue their existence. In fact, I would install a negative urge to reproduce, just to be sure.

Your suggestion comes a bit late. Some types of AI are all about mimicking biological evolution by replicating themselves with the positive urge to improve themselves each time (killing off the inefficient AIs and keeping only the most efficient variations of its children AIs)

Comment Re:Easily done (Score 2) 183

Ad-free solves 90%+ of the bandwidth problem for many uses. And killing off the financial viability of youtube and facebook is a great idea.

Yeah, that's not the solution they're going for. Instead of a killing ads, they've decided to kill off net neutrality instead. My US cell phone carrier for instance, T-Mobile, is receiving money from Google to stop counting the bandwidth used by youtube against my quota.

Plus, cell phone carriers are already receiving a rev-shares of the google ads that flow through their networks, so an ad-free experience is the last thing that Google has on its mind (not that I am surprised of course, advertising is the bread and butter of Google).

Comment Re:What is shared should be indexed (Score 1) 29

It's a problem if search engines are indexing private URLs based on toolbar usage.

The toolbar example is but one example I chose. There are others that are even more subtle.

That is not box.com's problem though, it is Google, Microsoft and other search engine providers'. They should be limiting their indexing to publically reachable URLs.

Great! Teach corporations morality, or create new laws and pass them internationally. Either way, I'll be waiting, so get back to me when you're done.

In the meantime, if your company is using box.com, you should probably consider switching provider. If geocities is still around, I'd recommend that service instead as a way to share documents online. The geocities I remember is nearly as secure as Box.com, but only comes at a fraction of the price of Box.com.

Comment Re:What is shared should be indexed (Score 1) 29

It's not too effective anymore because lots of spiders give zero fucks about the robots file. BaiDu.cn and Yandex.ru will slurp up everything they can, no matter what your robots file says.

I know, but I'm just responding to the article at hand which says:

a researcher found confidential documents and data belonging to Box.com users via Google, Bing and other search engines.

This means that Box.com didn't even take the most basic precaution they could have taken.

Comment Re:What is shared should be indexed (Score 4, Insightful) 29

Box should just have used a robots.txt and disallowed /* everything by default. It's not that hard.

It's a given that users, whether they know it or not, are going to leak private urls to search engines. The Alexa toolbar, the Google toolbar, the Microsoft browser, etc., they all leak that kind of information. This is not a new problem. This is why the robots.txt file is there (not to inform hackers of the exact links they must not index, but to inform search engines that if they find themselves on a particular domain, or in a particular directory, that they should not index any file/folder below that level).

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