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Comment "Ridesharing" or taxi? (Score 5, Insightful) 584

Both Uber and this service seems to provide a service where you order someone to drive you somewhere, without that person actually having any errand of their own to that place. To me that's not "ridesharing", it's taxi. "Ridesharing" to me is when you intend to drive somewhere, and check if someone else wish to ride along. And share expenses like fuel and perhaps vehicle depreciation, but nothing more.

Just having drivers being independent contractors instead of employed doesn't make a big difference end-user-wise to me (well except a lack of quality control, as shown by Uber) - it's still functionally a taxi service. This service (with good intentions) seems to make it even more like regular taxi operations by also emphasizing background checks and such.

Have I misunderstood "ridesharing", or are the "ridesharing" companies just trying to change the word to use for their "sure-not-a-taxi" taxi service?

Comment it worked before without ads (Score 1) 287

I wouldn't be too sad if Facebook or twitter went away. Facebook is basically blogging and blog syndication plus chat / calendar and such. Ad-supported and super invasive. Being popular because it's popular ("everyone else is using it"). It's a one-provider system. Without facebook (you could hope) we would perhaps get a multi-provider system for social networking, event invitations and such - where you can choose different client software and providers (or perhaps operate your own server) with UI, feature set, and privacy policy that actually suit your needs.

Anyway, ads are not needed - it has been done before without ads. You could get the social network - e-mail, a good NNTP newsfeed and perhaps some web space as part of the deal with your ISP. Or perhaps from a separate paid provider, or from your university. There are pros and cons - but you sure *can* do without ads.

Comment Re:Not putting globalist propaganda all over the p (Score 1) 1839

Slashvertising should go, for sure.
And try to go to whatever source, not a Forbes article if there is a perfectly fine Arxiv article or even original blog post.

I found articles on Gamergate interesting (didn't know about it otherwise). I hope we can accept that there is a problem with the views on gender by far too many gamers, without claiming that "all men are bad". All men are *not* bad. But I hope we can discuss social structures - like far too wide-spread particularly toxic gender roles of masculinity - as well as software structures. It *is* for example also interesting reading about when CS - pretty recently historically - started being a "mostly for boys" thing, also.

And we should certainly be able to question anything. Including what causes climate change. Thoose questions *are* raised in the science community all the time. I hope we can discuss even if many popular media "AGW sceptics" seems to be as close to normal "sceptics" as "evolution sceptics".

"tech" > conservatism, i hope.

Comment Re:ARGH (Score 1) 720

As for the ${x}00K cost to upgrade your legacy software, you're going to have to eat it some time within the next four years...

Not certainly. In four years (which is quite a time), a legacy system might have been replaced with a web-based or portable system, so that your workstations could be simple chromeboxes or at least switching to free operative systems. Or the legacy system may be of less use and, run virtualized. Or the company switching to do something completely different.

Comment Re:Cracked solder joint (Score 3, Insightful) 226

Are you sure it cracked because of lead-free solder? Instead of, say, poor soldering process, impurities in the solder, wrongly designed PCB, stress from bad installation? Or perhaps that the should redesign the PCB specs for a new solder composition, but didn’t? It sure could be specifically because of lead-free solder (hard to get the same elasticity or such) but I just don't see that from The Fine Article linked above.

Comment Re:In Soviet Russia (Score 3, Insightful) 334

With a still amazingly unequal (and inaccessible) health care system, large wealth differences and general lack of social security, I wouldn't call USA "socialist" by any means. Leaning towards totalitarian, certainly. But without the socialist things like equality (seems like the super-rich are more catered for). Note that I mostly compare with the "socialist" North European countries. The USSR sure called themselves "socialist" too, and was a very non-agreeable place to live in ...

(not a socialist myself)

Comment well described in "The New Hackers Dictionary" (Score 2) 67

The Eric S Raymonds jargon.txt or "The New Hackers Dictionary" has a series of illuminating illustrations on the features of a water-powered computer, made by Bells & Whistles incorporated.
No cooling problems, good floating point performance, but the overflow error and subsequent core dump is to be taken seriously ...

See http://www.catb.org/jargon/htm...

Comment Seems to work for OSM and Wikipedia (Score 5, Insightful) 207

Well, Wikipedia seems to work pretty fine without commercial ads (they do some fundraising sometime). And Open Streetmap seems to do fine, as are the plethora of services built upon it. Sometimes NGO:s and individuals do stuff and share it just because they want it done. Finding sponsorship or donations for the hosting fees are a minor problem then.

Comment Large net existed in Chicago - the tunnel company (Score 1) 117

The mail tunnels have been mentioned. A somewhat similiar system was operating in Chicago for the first half of last century : The Chicago Tunnel company. It was a system like the UK mail tunnels with electrical narrow-gauge trains in tunnels. The cars were not driverless, but the network was larger, and open to any customer . Access was often with an elevator carrying a whole narrow-gauge car from the basement of buldings down to the tunnels. Pretty impressive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

Who knows : with some standardisation and - especially - automatic loading / unloading and integration with existing delivery terminals, maybe it could work?

Comment Perhaps teenagers shouldn't drive at all (Score 1) 224

Perhaps teenagers shouldn't drive at all? At least, we have had serious proposals from researchers in several EU countries that rising the legal driving age from 18 to 20 years or above would be a pretty sensible thing, and save quite a few lives. Seems like the younger drivers are over-involved in accidents not just because of a short driving experience, but also lack of general perception and judgment skills. (30-45 km/h mopeds would still be allowed from 15-16 years old)

Of course, this would be a (independent) mobility impairment in a car-centric society, with extensive suburbia, without adequate public transportation and cycling facilities. In a car-centric society it would of course also raise a big cry deny access to the instrument of "freedom and unhindered movement" (don't mention congestion ...)

However, at least over here, thar car is (slowly) losing status, at least in urban areas. In many European cities, the response would probably be "meh" - or "good damn time". In many cities most 20-year olds don't have a driving license already, and driver license rates are pretty steadily declining.

Comment loose coupling would be a good thing (Score 1) 765

It seems highly illogical that even a desktop environment should depend on a particular piece of init software. It Loose coupling - it's a good thing ...
Maybe if we could have some standard that both upstart and the more byzantine init deamons could parse. Perhaps like the extra parseable properties in init files.

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