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Comment Uber advertising itself (Score 4, Insightful) 132

Like many other "tech" companies, Uber tries to show that they are innovative. However, they are not. Lets illustrate that with flying cars. The topic of flying objects which are heavier than air has been discussed lengthly in engineering. Therefore, it is relatively good understood. First, you need some force to counteract gravity (or disable gravity) and then you need additional forces to move around. In airplanes, this is done with wing which transform kinetic energy of the moving plane in lift. Therefore, either an engine is required to resupply the system with new kinetic energy or you require thermal lift. For vertical lifting, we developed rockets and helicopters which provide a counterforce + some extra to move an object up. All these technologies already exist. Yet they cannot be used to create a flying car which is cheap enough to make is an alternative to a car. Just compare the price and fuel consumption of a small helicopter and a car to see that this is not economical realizable for most people. Therefore, it is not an engineering problem, but a problem of theoretical physics to come up with a way to cancel out gravity. Unfortunately, Uber is not investing in that.

Second, average humans are not capable of flying devices. That is why pilots require a lot of training. Lets assume computer scientists and robot developers are able to create an autonomous flying machine, which is an enormous engineering task, as we are barely able to get it done with cars. Some might say, yes but we have autonomous flying drones and autopilot. The first fail often and military drones need supervision. Autopilots are able to steer a system through the air until something happens which requires human interaction. Also current flight is heavily regulated and controlled by pilots and controllers on the ground. In a "Fifth Element"-like scenario, thousands of cars are flying around. Therefore, you need additional rules, as they are closer together. Just like nowadays on the ground. An autonomous flying machine would have to mange all these rules and understand all other moving objects together which is much more complicated than 2D.

Therefore, such effort is futile, which let me conclude this is just a marketing scam used to show Uber is so great company. While the truth is, they are just a company with a lot of money form venture capitalists which provides an app and enterprise software behind it. Thus, they are just a business model not an engineering company and definitely not a company capable to come up with new physics.

Comment Re: The way the web works (Score 1) 119

Web systems are reactive systems. Therefore, you have events which trigger functions/transformations wich modify data and returns an reply. This can best be realized with functional programming style and object types. But, yes, technology stacks go in circles instead forward. And with JavaScript it can cycle back. Using a duck typed language is a nightmare for software evolution. Fortunately, Google advices to use TypeScript which fixes this issue. Again.

Comment Disruptive Innovation (Score 1) 311

Apple has often brought 'Innovation' in form of new jakcs often even incompatible ones. Now they removed one perfect standard plug again. And some Android phones, especially from Samsung, will also skip the old jack. But they are not the only ones. In recent PC hardware the sound quality of the analog output is degrading . It is in fact an industry thing. USB and Bluetooth headsets bring in more money and computers can get cheaper, was they do not need a real audio device.

Comment Two ton vehicle? (Score 1) 77

What do they use to deliver pizza? A SUV? Here in good old Europe(tm) they use bicycles, ebikes and scooters to deliver pizza. This has the additional advantage that I do not need to run X stairs down to the street, pick up the pizza and get back up to my flat. All that before someone else takes the pizza.

Comment Visiting the GDR (Score 1) 348

Dear US customs,

from past experience visiting the (now no longer existing German Democratic Republic (Democratic as is Congo)) you could do so much more to make your country save. First, do not use Facebook or Twitter to find out anything about people. These services are used to project your public image. Second, in the old GDR no filthy foreigner could simple visit (except for those from West Berlin to East Berlin). You required an invitation. Third, everyone required a visa and you had to exchange some money on a per day basis into local currency on a one-to-one ratio. Fourth, as people must be invited you know the motivation for the trip and can in addition assess the visited family or group to make sure they are not terrorists.

Hope that helps.

Kind regards
prefec2 (yes this is also my twitter account, I think, maybe I changed it I forgot, ask my phone if you really need to know)

Comment Depends in your funds (Score 1) 159

First of all collect the complete story. Then make it public. Name the company. And depending on your country get legal advice. In many cases US EULAs are not valid in the EU to their full extend, as we have other regulations and a lot of fraud protection. In case the support was the usual thing a customer expects, they would have to deliver that. As you are a little vague on the issue and company it is hard to give you definitive advice.

Comment Re: And here it comes... (Score 1) 373

A human body is not a cellphone. It is not a understood technology. In fact we know that cell reproduction in a human body is limited to a certain number of cell divisions before this cannot be done again. Therefore, all these tricks will not work in the end. But this story perfectly suits Thiel as he thinks in himself as a better or the best human and all other are lesser subjects.

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