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Comment Re:Chinese-ruled gambling hub (Score 1) 31

In most jurisdictions, you need special permits and/or plate and/or insurance and/or background check and/or to pay taxes when you offer taxi service, which is exactly what Uber drivers are doing.

Yes, they do go through some background checks, although it's usually not as thorough as some of the taxi cab drivers have to go through, they carry commercial insurance, and they do pay special taxes to some of the cities and airports they service.

That being said, Uber cars are more like limousines, black-for-hire cars, or airport shuttles, not taxis, they're not allowed to pick up people who flag them on the streets, nor do they have special taxi stands that they can wait at, but they're allowed to pick passengers up if the service was pre-arranged by telephone just like a limousine driver would be allowed to do.

Comment Re:Global ride-hailing company? (Score 1) 31

Yes, "ride-hailing" doesn't work. Also, hailing implies the visual flagging down of the Uber car on the street, which Uber drivers are not allowed to respond to.

A more accurate label is ride-sharing. After all, taxi cabs do not pick up different people who do not know each other at different points on a route to share part of their journey. That is more like airport shuttles, or buses, except unlike airport shuttles or buses, Uber/Lyft does the matching of riders in real-time.

Comment Re:Will the renters be COMPELLED to rent? (Score 1) 314

That will mean violating the customer's trust — if I am sorting by rankings, the site will be lying to me if they let (alleged) bigotry weight somebody down beyond the low rating the alleging party has left.

Uber already does that to a degree. If you ignore three requests in a row for pickups, the driver is kicked offline for 30 minutes (in some areas).

The same thing could be done with AirBnB. It doesn't matter if the AirBnB owner is racist, or just unavailable. And it's too difficult to tell anyway. It's just that if the owner of an AirBnB is too unresponsive to some of his/her potential customers, AirBnB should just place that specific AirBnB at the back of the queue for a couple of days.

Comment Re:Triggering on the wrong bias point (Score 1) 314

First off, I would never rent my house for a week or two. I just don't trust people that much.

Renting your own house is one thing. All your stuff is in there. But if you had a duplex for instance or a second apartment, that might be a different story. In my area, the riskier tenants are the ones that stay for more than 30 days, because then rent control and renters rights go into effect, and it becomes almost impossible to evict them (even if they decide to stop paying rent).

Second, if I was going to rent my house out for a week or two I would look at age first. That 50-year-old black couple is going to beat the 20-year-old single white dude. Every. Single. Time.

Does Airbnb give you their age? And what about the parent who gets an Airbnb for his/her 20 years old son? Are you allowed to refuse someone because their parents booked the room for them? I am sure you wouldn't know, but I assume that someone else reading this may know the answer.

Comment Re:He can buy it back ... (Score 2) 111

Exactly. He chose his name as a "brand", he trademarked that name/brand, he sold that name/brand. He received large sums of money so others could exclusively use that name/brand. If he wants that name/brand he can buy it, just like the people he sold it to.

Actually, he may have a case.

Intel did rename MacAffee Security to Intel Security.

The phrase "use it or lose it," while cliché, aptly describes the underlying principles for obtaining and maintaining trademark rights in the United States.
Use, not registration, matters most in the United States.
See article.

And it's not like Intel doesn't have lawyers on staff.

Comment Re:Misleading (Score 1) 154

The driver will not be able to reactivate the Autopilot until the car is stopped and put in 'Park.'

That's a really bad idea. If they really want to punish them, they should use a timer instead.

A few years ago, a friend drove a Prius and the GPS navigation input function didn't work unless she went less than 5 miles an hour, so what my friend ended up doing was slowing down at the most inappropriate places on freeways and highways just so she could use the built-in navigation.

No doubt, frustrated Tesla drivers will just start parking their car in the middle of the roads just so they can re-engage their auto-pilot. That's what happens when one tries to use technology to control human beings. Those human beings start rebelling and start acting like even bigger idiots, possibly causing even more accidents. Also, I suspect that many Tesla owners will just try to disable/postpone this last update for as long as they can.

Comment Re:38,000 cubic meters of helium? (Score 5, Informative) 173

An MRI machine needs 1,700 litres of liquid helium, which needs to be topped off regularly. That's the equivalent of 12,724 cubic meters. The airship needs 38,000 cubic meters of helium, which I assume also needs to be topped off regularly.

In other words, the airship uses Helium at the rate of three MRI machines (according to my layman calculation). I'm not making a judgement one way or another. I just wanted to quantify the comparison.

Comment Re:Credibility of the system (Score 1) 242

What happens when someone asks for a judge to recuse themselves because the litigation value tripled when the judge got assigned? It's a lot harder to defend the integrity of the system when supposedly impartial actors have quantifiable effects.

Lawyers, the media, and insurance companies already do try to quantify the rulings of judges.

It's not like this is anything new. Plus, it's not like these reports will be posted online for free. Some parts will, to gain attention and get publicity, but most of these won't since obviously the founder is trying to a make commercial product out of it since he's using YCombinator funding.

Comment Re:I really do think (Score 1) 198

I don't see how that's relevant. If Google antagonizes some of the carriers, that will just fragment the mobile space even more, because those carriers will just find a different OS that allows them to install whatever crapware they want on it (for instance: Tizen, CyanogenMod, Windows Phone, etc.).

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