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Comment Re:When was the last time you were in a cab? (Score 3, Interesting) 274

In the last 2 weeks I have taken licensed taxis in the Netherlands, UK, and USA. In all cases the drivers were reasonably competent, at least as well groomed as me, and either quiet and polite or jovial and talkative.

In the USA, the main problem with taxis is in the places with a limited number of licenses for taxis, possessed by rentiers who have no incentive to improve service and whose employee drivers have no autonomy and earn very little. Un-limit the taxi number and give them autonomy and quality would greatly improve.

Comment Re:HOW are they NOT a TAXI service at this point? (Score 1) 274

The way Uber gets away with this is by being faster and more widespread than regulators. This doesn't happen in countries where the regulator covers the whole economy, like in most European countries. US-wide companies against individual State regulators means the regulators are rarely effective and can rarely keep up.

Yet Americans widely oppose "The Feds" regulating anything - so they get the companies they want, because they oppose regulation of them. They get the country they want.

Comment Lyft (and Uber) good for the drivers? Hah. (Score 1) 274

So Lyft (and Uber) are good for the drivers, eh? All the claims of offering people flexible work, improving earning chances of people without firm employment, etc, turn out to be complete rubbish.

Lyft and Uber are after the money, not helping anyone, not creating jobs, just the money. I feel sorry for anyone tricked into expecting Uber (especially) would be a long lasting way to work for money; they were just a disposable tool on the way to more money for the investors and executives of Lyft and Uber.

Comment California technology for Californians (Score 1) 167

More technology designed for use in a temperate location - more Californian technology for Californians.

Outside the bubble of perfect dry weather that California tech companies live in, it rains, it's cold and you have to wear gloves, sometimes it snows and is frosty.

iPhones you can't use with gloves or in rain, Tesla "autopilots" that can't handle snow and rain, Google self-driving cars that only work well on quiet, dry, well-marked roads, and so on and so on.

iPads you not only can't use with gloves, but which you can't use easily with lights behind you, sun at a low angle, or so on - only suitable for rooms with subdued lighting.

Services that assume you have a mobile data connection at all times.

From the rest of the world to California: Get out of your state more and make us things we can use where we live.

Comment Youtube never liked G+ (Score 1) 73

Youtube never liked G+. They didn't like the integration removing their independence and they only gave in and G-plussed themselves when Vic Gundotra put on his "I AM THE VOICE OF LARRY" [1] act and ordered them to do so. I am sure they didn't like G+ then either and were happy it failed.

This is Youtube taking control of their community services and features instead of letting the G+ guys do it, and providing better community features than Youtube had before it got G-plussed. Youtube always felt it had a separate brand image and separate community of users, and they do - that's why it's still called "Youtube" instead of "Google Video".

Of course the Youtube "community" is a sewer of rancid toxics that makes the Twitter trolls and the racist parts of Reddit look quite reasonable, so they're not improving the Internet in general by fostering it. Youtube: NEVER READ THE COMMENTS.

But they are taking more control of their own destiny and seeking more autonomy in how they interact with their users.

[1] Imagine a bad version of Alan Rickman as the Metatron in "Dogma".

Comment weight (was: Re:Meh) (Score 1, Informative) 113

The Model S is quite heavy. Bear in mind the Model S has the interior space of a Mercedes C-Class or BMW 3-series.

Comparing the curbside weights of the high-performance versions of saloon (American: sedan), as the Tesla markets itself as a high-performance car.

Tesla Model S 85D: 2188kg
Mercedes AMG C63: 1785kg
BMW M3: 1646kg
Audi A4 3.0V6 TDI: 1540kg

The Tesla is over 400kg heavier than a comparable internal combustion car.

Considering larger cars, the Mercedes AMG E63 estate (American: wagon), a significantly larger car with significantly more space inside, weighs 1945kg. The Lexus LS, also a larger car weighs 1965kg. The Tesla still weighs over 200kg more.

The Tesla is heavy. Significantly heavier than its direct internal combustion equivalents.

Comment Free speech is no right to be heard (Score 4, Insightful) 465

"Free speech" doesn't mean anyone has to listen to you. Unfortunately the Twitter staff act like it does.

Twitter lacks effective ways for people not to listen to things. Users lack ways to filter the content they see, filter who can send to them, filter seeing third party mentions of them, and so on.

The asshole problem on twitter is that they can be effective assholes: twitter makes it hard, or impossible, for the targets of attack to block or filter out the messages, so the targets of abuse receive the messages, so the assholes succeed in abuse. "Not using twitter" is not a realistic option for many people who work in media, PR, or whose jobs and lives are about communication - so they end up in a situation where they are the targets of the assholes and cannot do much about it.

Twitter should care more about the recipient users, not the sender users - and they can do that without compromsing anyone's ability to speak.

Comment Trailer under run bars would have saved life (Score 4, Informative) 623

Look at the way the trailer took the top of the car off while barely slowing it down. This shows how trailer under-run bars would have prevented this death. In Europe they are required, and we basically don't have this sort of side collision decapitation horror accident.

Comment Property values for property developers (Score 1) 175

Higher property values, that is also higher property cost, benefits only a few: those who own a lot of property to sell. It does not benefit most people, who only buy the property they have for its utility - their house, their company office, etc. They just have to spend more of their money on something they need anyway.

You should not seek to "increase property values" and "increased property values" as a reason to do something is "to make a few people richer".

Comment Reality has a liberal bias (Score 0) 206

Their problem is that reality has a liberal bias:

The planet really is getting warmer. Trickle-down economics really doesn't work. Socailised, single-payer, single-risk-pool healthcare really is cheaper and more effective for the whole population, vaccination does prevent spread of infectious diseases, homosexuality is normal and harmless, and so on.

It is a fundamentally different way of thinking: Conservative, reactionary people think that you can decide how things are and will be. Progressive, liberal people think that you discover how things are by experience, by the scientific method, and by other means. So when things turn out not to be as the Conservative, reactionary people think they are, it must be a conspiracy and a bias against them - they can't be wrong, because in their world they can't be wrong, they decide how things are.

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