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Comment Re:So what. (Score 1) 120

I'm wondering why they don't do the same with blurays.

It seems like many (most?) Blu-Rays come bundled with a digital copy from Ultraviolet or somesuch. I don't really know what that is, never having looked into how it works, but it may be that Amazon doesn't bother because the studios are doing it themselves.

Comment Re:That doesn't change anything (Score 1) 49

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 2) 49

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) 49

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 Re:Extrapolation? (Score 1) 114

ike I said, to keep it sexy and keep the money flowing, AI researchers have changed the definition of AI to

The definition has been consistent since the 60s. Really, do you imagine universities and tech companies have been trying to create machine consciousness for all this time? What would be the point? They've been working on practical stuff all along.

As an aside, you do know that "quants" don't "predict" anything, right? There's a (or many) formula(e) that determine whether a stock is "undervalued".

No, that's the opposite of what a quant does, as those terms are normally used. Caring about whether a stock is "undervalued" is all about the stock's fundamentals. Value guys use words like "undervalued". But maybe that's just semantics. Quants look at movement of stock prices in the abstract, it's why there are names for every second derivative of the theoretical value of an option. Predictions of change in price or uncertainty of price or price volatility or what-have-you over time, over price, as volatility changes. Every sort of quantitative prediction you can name has been researched to death. James Simons turned his math skills into 14 billion dollars, and the whole industry followed.

Comment Uber drivers also earn a living wage. (Score 1) 49

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) 49

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....

Comment That doesn't change anything (Score 1) 49

Uber is losing money

The fact that they are losing money overall says nothing about them MAKING money in any one area to begin with. It simply means they have more overhead still. I said nothing about profit.

In any case it doesn't change my main point at all. In fact it makes the point stronger, in Ubers desire to turn a profit they will want to grow as fast as possible with cars that have as little overhead as possible. They can grow much faster by pushing automated cars into a market they aren't allowed to operate in today than by adding such cars to existing cities where they would be competing against their own drivers for work.

Comment What taxi advantages does Uber get? (Score 1) 49

Taxis still have designated taxi pickup points all over the city (and especially airports) at which they are just handed business.

The Uber driver has no such location, having to park somewhere close to where potential business may be, often taking minutes to get somewhere a taxi would just be hanging out at.

In terms of employees taxi companies are highly exploitive of workers, vastly more so than Uber. Uber drivers can choose where and when they want to work with complete freedom. How is that not giving an inherent advantage to taxi companies that can order drivers to service unpopular locations?

Comment Careful Seattle, payback is coming (Score 1) 49

If I were building a giant fleet of autonomous robot cars, guess which markets I would absolutely flood with them as soon as they were ready? Any markets that tried to block my human driver efforts today... after all Uber is already making lots of money from the cities where they are allowed to operate, so the quickest expansion in the future is through the most resistant places today.

If Uber really wanted to, they could absolutely destroy the entire taxi market of a handful of cities with a targeted deployment of many more vehicles than were required to meet passenger demand, and with no human to have to pay they could undercut taxis even more than they do already (in my experience Uber is usually 50% cheaper than a taxi for the same ride in most cities).

Comment Re:Potential military applications are really scar (Score 3, Funny) 74

George Washington and his patriot army had mad ninja skillz.

They did. The old story goes that Ethan Allen was brought back to England as a prisoner in the Revolutionary War, he was housed with a English merchant who to goad the patriot put a picture of George Washington up in the outhouse. Much to the merchant's chagrin, Allen approved. "Nothing," Allen said, "will make an Englishman shit faster than the sight of George Washington."

Comment Re:Edge supports VP9 (Score 1) 71

That leaves Apple as the holdout supporting only codecs that require payment of a royalty to a patent pool.

Alternative, that leaves Apple as the holdout of supporting a codec whose intellectual property is not well understood, and might infringe on some submarine patents waiting to surface...

Comment Re:This story sponsored by (Score 1) 80

Well, the answer might be to try a morning cup of decaf coffee. Why? Because caffeine isn't the only active ingredient in coffee; the anti-cancer properties of coffee appear to be in the phenols which are still present in decaf. And you'd still get the stimulant benefits of caffeine because you're more sensitive, although I'd avoid even decaf after noon.

A cup of decaf coffee has between 2-10 mg of caffeine depending on the process; an ounce of dark chocolate has about 20 mg of caffeine; a twelve once coke has 34 mg of caffeine; a cup of regular coffee has 90-200 mg of caffeine.

Comment Re:Is it me? (Score 1) 114

Call it what you want, it's what the field of "AI research" ... researches. There's no vast research effort to create machine intelligence - but lots of people have been working for decades on much more practical efforts. There's not much difference (yet) between the marketing term and the term of art. This whole "strong AI vs weak AI" - yeah, science fiction.

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