I agree that there's some weirdness here. Uber drivers aren't quite the same as completely independent contractors. But they are also clearly pretty different from traditional employees. They have complete freedom in what hours they drive and what areas they drive in. They can work 200 hours one month and none the next. They can drive for Lyft tomorrow if it has better rates.
Trying to force them into the mold of traditional employees is wrong. It defeats a lot of the things that make Uber work. Have to pay them a minimum wage for driving when there are no rides? That breaks the elastic supply of drivers model because a bunch of people will sit around in a parking lot watching movies all night when there are no rides to give. Have to pay benefits to full time employees? Who's a full time employee?
On the other hand, they should probably get some protections. Workman's comp seems reasonable here, as does some sort of government insistence that the rating system (which determines if a driver is fired) is being fairly applied. At the current rates, I think Uber is a shit gig...but clearly there are people lined up to do it (otherwise they would have to raise rates to attract more drivers).
When prices go up, it pushes consumers to consume less. You still get a market-clearing result--everyone who needs a ride is able to get one quickly, because those people who can wait or go by some other means (or can't afford the new price) will remove themselves from the market.
Turns out that the effect on demand is much stronger than the effect on supply. Customers drop their requests faster than drivers can get to the area. Uber probably sees it as a failure internally because they make less money when prices go up (even though it is still a success at ensuring availability and short wait times).
If surge is low, it isn't worth a driver heading across town without a fare just for a 20 or 40% bonus in fares (especially if surge is gone by the time he gets there). Low surge doesn't do much to increase supply.
However, if surge is high, customers won't want to pay. At least in my market, taxis are still a perfectly viable option (and can be flagged off any street corner), and last I checked, a surge of 1.7x or more made UberX more expensive than a taxi. I would also be willing to take a bus or ride a bike in some instances (or simply wait for surge to go away). I think I have only paid surge over 2X once, and it was for a short ride where the money just didn't matter much.
High surge is great at reducing demand. This helps clear the market and is overall a market success. Unfortunately, Uber is in the business of selling you a ride. Reducing demand for their own product is not exactly a success.
The only times that it is really a success for uber are times where many drivers expect surge in advance. New Years Eve is a great example of this. In my city, there weren't crazy surges on NYE like there were a few years ago. Drivers knew there was money to be made and they went out. They may have been disappointed that they weren't seeing huge surges (averages were less than 2...probably a lot in the 1.2-1.4 range), but they were out there driving, and customers were surprised by the low fares and took more ubers.
I think the idea is that they could use machine learning to predict the non-obvious times. Get drivers on the road in time to meet the demand...thus increasing supply rather than decreasing demand.
But looking at the tweet that announces it, I'd say it is just a judgement of "what idiot uses their government work email to sign up for a dating site"
So I rarely post anything and mostly browse through photos, events, and articles posted by my friends...because I only care about myself?
It's a tool. It is a way to connect with others. You can use it in a shitty way, or you can use it in a positive way. The only downside I see is that it gives the shitty people a lot more reach. Those people were shitty and obnoxious before they had facebook accounts...it was just that you only saw it if you were in the same room as them. Now you can see their dumb thoughts in comment sections across the globe!
My thinkpad sits in a docking station. It has DVI connections to two displays, USB to keyboard and mouse + accessories, headphones/speakers, power, and ethernet.
I press one button and it pops free. Can take it to a conference room and attach it to a projector. Then go push it back on the dock and it switches back to my chosen display setup and everything is how I left it. No bunch of cables to plug in, no need to worry about which order I connect the displays (and heck, I don't even know how to connect two displays over digital connections without using the docking station...can it be done?).
I hate to break it to you...but where you live, you are poor. Nobody said you couldn't be happy and poor, but you're poor all the same.
There are all sorts of places where you wouldn't be poor on 50k, You don't even have to live in bumfuck nowhere...you wouldn't be poor in Nashville.
But, R is all about stats. It has great charting and analysis libraries, far exceeding those that exist in Python or any other general purpose language.
SAS is kind of the corporate standard if you want long term maintainability and a large selection of potential workforce...but it is expensive and if I were starting out today, I am not sure I would pick it. It is however much more easy to scale to huge datasets than R...SAS pretty much works as long as you can fit the data on your hard drive. No need to fuck with breaking up projects into small pieces or investing in boxes with 1TB of RAM. Millions and billions of observations are totally OK as long as you are willing to wait for the program to finish running.
R has been making inroads at replacing SAS and Stata as the teaching language of choice (mostly because it is free)...so it is probably easiest to find straight college grads with some R experience than anything else.
Some days I can load up a citrix desktop from across the country, RDP to a machine back in my state from that citrix session, and use it so well I almost forget I am remote (although for some reason, Chrome is barely functional over this connection...lags like hell, even if it is just in the background and not the active window
And then other days, somewhere in the middle, something chokes and even a bare citrix session is barely usable
It's not perfect...for instance, while I don't own a car, it often alerts me to traffic conditions that would slow my commute (but don't impact my train)... It works pretty well, but considering whenever I ask for directions, I ask for either Public Transit or Cycling, you would think it would stop giving me traffic alerts.
Or it will scan my email, notice that I replied to an email that appeared to be a party invite, and then notify me "You had better leave now to make it to this event by 8pm". Oddly, here it often gives me public transit directions instead of car.
It has some synchronization with your computer if you use Chrome, although it isn't complete.
Its not that they didn't market the shit out of star wars back then. Because we all know how much star wars merchandise there was.
The point is that they already did it--back in the 70s, someone came up with Star Wars, made some movies, and marketed the shit out of it. Now, here in 2015, instead of finding someone with a new idea and backing it, Disney has simply bought the franchise, rehashed it, and turned the marketing machine up to 11.
They don't want to take the risk anymore, so we don't get cool new things.
I can't quite envision exactly why you would need this, but lets say you have a compute cluster spread out across many locations. Additionally assume that you are using this for something internally on-demand rather than automated or in response to customer/user interaction. Things you might use AWS for like ad-hoc queries and machine learning exercises being run by your analytics team instead of whatever it is your company actually does for money..
If some of your systems are down, it doesn't have a real impact on the bottom line. Your data scientists might be delayed (or temporarily halted), but not your customer facing systems. Perhaps you can even mix and match within the same datacenter. Storage and processing for your core business go in the $$$ high-redundancy racks. Toys for the PhDs go in the cheaper low redundancy racks.
These gentleman's agreements are bunk, making the very idea of sports competitions a joke. These are not the best of the best, they're the best of what they feel like allowing - for now.
Maybe they need to have both. For instance, in sailing, there are several types of competition. There is One Design racing, where the boats are all required to be pretty much identical. Different boats have different restrictions (some restrict costs by doing things like limiting how many sets of sails you can buy each year, others pretty much say no limits), but within a fleet, the boats are pretty much identical. At some events, boats are even provided and/or you rotate between boats. This really means that the best sailor wins since they can't do anything to significantly alter the boat.
Then there are classes where the boats are all similar, but not identical. They are built to a specific rule, e.g. "As long as the boat fits in X dimensions and has sail area less than Y and the ballast doesn't weight more than Z". The boats tend to be fairly even, since a fast design soon takes over the competition, so the best sailors still tend to win. But it also leads to innovation. For instance, the Moth class has evolved from a boat that looks like this, to a crazy high performance design that hydrofoils above the water like this. The old moth would never be able to compete with the new designs...but that's ok. That's the price of allowing people to innovate.
There are even events that really have no rules...but generally people don't care much about them since the competition completely turns into a money pit. Generally what happens there, is a standards body assigns a handicap to level the playing field. So the super rich dudes still compete for who can have the flat-out fastest boat, but everybody else (and the people who have the fastest boat from 10 years ago) just compete for the best corrected time according to handicap.
A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.