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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

Apotekaren Medallion vs Commercial license/insurance (341 comments)

I'm fairly libertarian in my views, but I do agree with the City of Berlin in requiring commercial licensing and insurance on Uber drivers, as a consumer protection issue. How Uber chooses to solve this is up to them. They could require commercial licensing for all driver applicants, and provide the insurance on a per-ride basis, if this is legal in Germany.

HOWEVER, while this problem is separate from the medallion issue that Uber has faced in the US, only time will tell how the German local and national government treats Uber and other ride-sharing services. AFAIK, there is no set limit on the amount of commercial licenses and insurances in the city of Berlin, which is unlike how the medallions work. Medallions are not in place to provide consumer safety, but to limit the availability of providers. And protecting profit margins.

If Uber solves the issues presented and starts working with commercially licensed and insured drivers, but keep getting into trouble with the government, then we can start suspecting foul play.

And I'm not saying the official taxi companies played no part in this, they probably were very eager to tip off the local government of this legal issue

about a month ago

Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them

Apotekaren Re:The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Science (322 comments)

Exactly. For example, every time Krugman gets involved in a debate about the banking sector, it becomes clear why he got the award. The Honorary Nobel Prize he got was handed to him by the head honchos at the Swedish Central Bank, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when his views are heavily leaned towards a more finance sector friendly Keynesian way of thinking.

So trying to boost his credibility with this "Nobel Prize" will only work on people who don't know what kind of a rigged anti-prize it is.

about 3 months ago

Official MPG Figures Unrealistic, Says UK Auto Magazine

Apotekaren It's just the way they're tested. (238 comments)

The testing standards for the EU fuel consumption numbers are very strict and stringent and have never actually stated that you'll be able to reach these figures yourself. The cars are tested indoors, and are not in any way subject to real world conditions during this test. It's just a tool to standardize the way the cars are tested so as to give the consumer a clue when comparing different cars.
Because of course the car manufacturers are going to game the system by not only "cheating" with taping, over-inflated tires and such like mentioned in earlier posts, but also building cars in a way which makes them more optimal for this test.
The test itself includes both a urban-cycle and a non-urban cycle, which are then combined for an EU-average. The scores for all three measures are then stated by the dealership and as I said, they are mostly for comparing between cars and not estimating any real world consumption, because that would be almost impossible to do because of varying temperatures, road surfaces, drivers.... The list is long.

about 4 months ago

Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases

Apotekaren Re:Just call the credit card company and tell them (321 comments)

Nope, people *think* they only authorized one payment, because they don't know how the system works.
What they actually are authorizing is a 30 minute windows of purchases.

How can Google fix it? Just remind them at every log-in. "The device will have authorization for payments for the next 30 minutes."

about 6 months ago

Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases

Apotekaren Please.... (321 comments)

For once, won't someone think of the PARENTS?

about 6 months ago

EU Commission: Corruption Across EU Costs €120 Billion

Apotekaren Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (196 comments)

Well, least corrupted if you look at how corruption is defined in the laws of the land. A lot of the corruption is legalized by law(state sanctioned or state run monopolies, or oligopolies run by politicians) and thus not counted towards the corruption score in international rankings.

Funny that, just invent a BS reason for a protection racket(protecting the state's or your own profits, not the people...) and BANG! Not corruption, just the way the country is run.

BTW, in socialist countries, welfare is a kind of bribe, it keeps the poor masses living on those welfare payment in line, making sure they keep voting for the political parties who keep promising them the best short-term deal.

about 7 months ago

Jolla's First Phone Goes On Sale

Apotekaren Re:Hmm I might get one (307 comments)

One of the most important features is the "Other Half" or whatever they're calling it, which is basically a back cover with a digital interface. There are already projects in motion to produce back covers with slide-out keyboards, extra batteries, among other things.

This feature has been seriously underplayed, it's one of the most exciting things about the whole phone!

about 10 months ago

Jolla's First Phone Goes On Sale

Apotekaren Paired with.... (307 comments)

Paired with here means that the phones are sold by the telecom operator in their stores(first the pre-orders are fullfilled), but there are no requirements for contracts and no sim-locking.

The online shop is Jollas own. I just paid for my pre-order phone through their website.

about 10 months ago

EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

Apotekaren Re:The cost and use of plastic bags (470 comments)

It's rare that the trash I produce takes up more space than the groceries I've carried home. Right now I have 4 or 5 plastic bags from previous trips waiting neatly rolled up under my sink. For when I take out the next filled bag. I've never run out of trash bags, and never bought a roll specifically for that use.

My recommendation; ban flimsy bags, and make only the big (40L is almost standard here) strong ones out of biodegradable materials.

about 10 months ago

EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

Apotekaren Re:The cost and use of plastic bags (470 comments)

But saving time and bother. Some plastic bags here are some kind of biodegradable plastic(or they offer them), and when I throw them they'll end up in the municipal incinerator anyway. Doesn't matter.

about 10 months ago

EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

Apotekaren The cost and use of plastic bags (470 comments)

Ok, so plastic bags in the grocery stores here in Finland have cost somewhere between 15-30 Euro cents for, well forever. I could get a proper cloth grocery bag to reuse, or buy paper bags instead, but I choose not to. Why? I use those plastic bags for my trash!

So if I did go cloth or, heaven forbid, paper, I'd still have to buy plastic bags to put in my trash cans. It doesn't matter if I buy them separately or on a roll, I'm going to keep buying those plastic bags until I come up with a better way to get rid of my trash.

about 10 months ago

Finland's Upper Secondary School Exams Going All-Linux

Apotekaren Re:BYOD is doomed for tests (55 comments)

In this case, some of these problems are non-issues. The exam is a national exam, taken simultaneously all over the country. So a "leaked exam" doesn't really matter once the exam has started since everyone that's supposed to be taking it, is sitting there taking it. The test timing is done on clock. The real one on the wall. Time from 9am to 3pm. Doesn't help if you can pause the program...

As for the internet part, they just need to have bootable USB-sticks, with the exams on them, tagged with the name and ID of the exam taker. The students boot the exam under supervision, and start. The answers are then saved locally onto the stick, and collected at the end of the day. Alternatively, a central exam server is put up locally(with no internet access), the computers connect to that for login/exam saving.

Also, these exams are overseen be at least 2 people at all times, and they're were sensitive to people breaking rules. Carrying a mobile phone is enough to get your exam failed, sometimes even all the exams of that spring/fall nulled. So any activity that's off from the normal test-taking would raise suspicion.

about a year ago

No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV

Apotekaren Re:Why the anti-electric car meme? (559 comments)

Every iteration of diesel vehicles are proclaimed as wonderful high-efficiency non-smoking vehicles, but they all emit clouds of smoke anyway.

Just by this statement alone I'm assuming you don't live in Europe. Europe has had 20 years of HUGE improvement in diesel cars, and VW has been exporting this to the US for quite some time. Just because U.S citizens haven't adopted it doesn't mean the technology isn't there. Today diesel cars are way cleaner than comparable gasoline cars(if equipped with a particle filter, which all but the cheapest ones are), and in some European countries have a 50% market share for new car sales.
As for CFLs, if you can tolerate the 10 second "warm-up", the 90% energy savings are quite amazing and even the CFLs from IKEA are good enough to use around the home in places where you don't need glaring "office-type" lighting. Not the mention the longer lifetime. And soon those will be replaced by LED lighting anyway. Hell, the bulb in the reading light I have on my desk and next to my bed is LED, and it's brilliant. I'm curious to see how long this will work. I'm worried I might not see the day it burns out.

about a year ago

No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV

Apotekaren Re:Bad comparison anyway (559 comments)

First of all, this comparison is ridiculous because it's an attempt at FUD by the ICE proponents. "OMG! Electric car less efficient than SUV, so now you can buy this SUV without feeling bad about it!"

Let's do this right, let us find a rear-wheel drive 300hp U.S-made luxury sedan, like the 2008-2012 Cadillac STS with the 3.6L V6, and for extra fun the Mercedes CLS 350 BlueEfficiency.
NOTE: The Mercedes has an impressive fuel efficiency of 35mpg/32mpg!

Now compare these RWD luxury sedans in efficiency through a highway cycle, city cycle, and around Laguna Seca raceway!
And then take into account lifetime costs for use, production and compare the differences in technology that have been mentioned earlier in this discussion.

about a year ago

High Tech Vending Machines Transform IT Support At Facebook

Apotekaren Re:Will it get stuck? (210 comments)

If those hard drives experience a 250G+ shock(shock tolerance of modern hard drives when not powered) when hitting the bottom of the vending machine I'd be surprised. Especially since it seems to bottom is slightly padded, for sound deadening and protecting against damage.

Or did you mean using them as a means to unstuck other items?

about a year and a half ago

Kaspersky Update Breaks Internet Access For Windows XP Users

Apotekaren Good Guy Kaspersky (92 comments)

Protecting users of more up to date Windows versions from those malware infested botnet-targets.

about a year and a half ago

Finland Is Crowdsourcing Its New Copyright Law

Apotekaren Re:Expect Astroturfers by the thousands... (103 comments)

A voter must register and identify themself via their online banking, and they double-check this against the records in the magistrate.

Also, the text for the legislation is now finalized, and only accepting "up-votes" towards the 50 limit. Nothing you can do to astroturf that.

about a year and a half ago

Finland Is Crowdsourcing Its New Copyright Law

Apotekaren Re:Brown Trousers Time (103 comments)

As for the watering down, if the proposal (a complete law text) passes the 50,000 vote mark, the Finnish parliament has to vote on it AS IS.

about a year and a half ago

iPhone 5 Scorns Standards Promise To European Commission

Apotekaren Re:Hyperbolie much? (543 comments)

First, yes Apple is keeping to the requirement with the micro-USB adapter, but since no-one will be carrying it around, the iPhone 5 users will not get the advantage of just using a friends charger(especially now that their friend needs to have a Lightning-charger instead of the quite ubiquitous 30-pin).

One link to refute your point on digital video:
Uncompressend 1080i. Yup.

about 2 years ago

Researchers Turn Home Wi-Fi Router Into Spy Device

Apotekaren Get the trickle-down effect right (108 comments)

"...and could even be used in military applications."

The naiveté is overwhelming. Military applications, if even remotely plausible, would be the first to get this technology, not high-tech baby monitors.

more than 2 years ago



Finnish ISP is forced to block The Pirate Bay

Apotekaren Apotekaren writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Apotekaren (904220) writes "The Finnish ISP Elisa has been forced to block several domains leading to the infamous torrent-tracker site The Pirate Bay following a court case initiated by IFPI Finland, the Finnish branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The Helsinki District Court ruled in favor of IFPI Finland in October, but the ISP resisted implementing the block until today because of the terms of the block not being specific enough. The ISP is calling the block "temporary" and is appealing the court decision."
Link to Original Source

Finland to legalize use of unsecured WiFi

Apotekaren Apotekaren writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Apotekaren (904220) writes "The Finnish Ministry of Justice has started preparing changes to the current law that criminalizes using unsecured wireless hot spots. The reasoning is the impossibility of tracking unlawful use, the ease of securing networks and the lack of real damage done by this this activity. It has also been proven hard for a user to know if an unsecured network is intended for public use or not. The increased ubiquity of legal open networks in parks, airports and other public places has also influenced this move by the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry has stated that the legal rights of the owner of the network have to be protected in the case of misuse.
Googles (poorly) translated version here."

Link to Original Source

ZX Spectrum reveals satanic message from song

Apotekaren Apotekaren writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Apotekaren (904220) writes "A blogger has found a satanic message embedded into a song by the Scottish band Urusei Yatsura. The blogger, named Alberto Garcia, thought the intro to the song "Thank You" sounded alot like a ZX Spectrum program casette. He proceeded to load the sound into a ZX Spectrum emulator, and found a little message codec in BASIC."


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