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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

BlueStrat Re:I am wondering (295 comments)

Why couldn't he have saved $5-6000 working other jobs to buy a used car to use as a cab instead of this renting his cab from a company? Then he could've kept 100% of his earnings, and the fares would also be a lot lower for the consumers.

It's quite possible that even barring any laws or regulations restricting/forbidding such a move, the cost of renting a taxi might well be a net savings over footing all the costs of ownership & operation as an individual due to things like group rates for liability insurance and fleet maintenance contract cost savings over costs for individual trips to the local auto mechanic's garage, etc.

Strat

about a week ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

BlueStrat Re:I am wondering (295 comments)

That would be different based on the city and state (US)

A friend drove a cab for years and around here that is not how it works. The cab company rents the cabs to the drivers at a set amount per day. The driver can accept jobs that come in across the computer but there will be a small handling charge that is built into the price per mile printed on the side of the cab and used in the meter. If they pick up some one who flags them down or some one who calls their Cell and requests a pickup then there is no handling charge.

The friend of mine that did it treated it like a small business. He had cards made with his cell on them and kept his car immaculately clean. After the first year 90% of his calls were from customers and word of mouth. He would also give discounts to his regulars. Really the discounts were nothing more than him deducting the handling fee from the printed cost.

I don't know enough of the facts & details of the particular situation you describe, but just from your description, that's not too bad. Especially if the driver rents the cabs and pays no maintenance, insurance, tags, etc etc.

Sadly though, that's not typical in many urban/suburban areas with denser populations (where taxis are needed most) in the US. Most often, you see some sort of local taxi commission that's usually corrupt "regulating" a small number of taxi operations, sometimes just one.

NY's system is one of the most infamous, with Chicago's corrupt system at their heels with Washington D.C. in there too, vying for "Most Corrupt & Broken US Taxi System". Many others are equally bad, heck, I haven't even mentioned anything west of the Mississippi, and there are no lack of bad & corrupt taxi systems!

What's happening here regarding the new online independent private taxi services is really not much different in principle to what has and is happening to the old business models for media/news/entertainment monetization, sales, and distribution.

This time, there are a lot of locally-powerful corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, and unions in major cities around the world that stand to personally lose out if the old taxi systems go extinct, never mind the corrupt taxi company owners' anger and resistance.

The politicians and bureaucrats, as is typical with government (and the larger it is, the more "inertial resistance" to change there is), will have to be brought kicking & screaming into the modern age. This is particularly true if that change means those in government lose money, power, and/or control.

Strat

about a week ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

BlueStrat Re:I am wondering (295 comments)

what would happen if the cab drivers would also act as Uber drivers?
If you can't fight them, embrace them.
Haven't seen this anywhere yet.

1. They could not charge as much as they used to. as a regulated taxi.

2. The taxi company would fire them if they found out they also drove for Uber/Lyft.

3. Having been forced to charge less, they'd have to work longer and compete for customers.

4. Being that Uber/Lyft have ways for customers to send feedback to report bad drivers/performance/cleanliness and hold drivers responsible, the former taxi drivers would have to actually put in effort to make the ride safe, comfortable, pleasant, punctual, and convenient.

So they'd rather protest than compete.

Strat

about a week ago
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Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

BlueStrat Re:It won't be long (325 comments)

There are a lot of unsupported assumptions being made all around.

Moderated "Flamebait".

Classic Slashdot.

about two weeks ago
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Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

BlueStrat Re:It won't be long (325 comments)

It is an avoidable risk, in that we can tell idiotic humans to stop flying quadcopters near planes, you fools!

I've only read TFS not TFA, but how do we know that this wasn't a government drone and/or operated by or at the government's direction? Either as part of some unrelated police or intelligence/surveillance operation, or even possibly as a "false-flag" operation to provide the government public opinion leverage for heavily restricting/licensing and/or banning regular citizens from owning/operating drones.

Another point, TFS quotes an altitude of 700 feet for the aircraft. That would mean that a drone would not need to be operated at a very high (or technically 'illegal') altitude to be "near" the extremely low-flying aircraft.

There are a lot of unsupported assumptions being made all around.

Strat

about two weeks ago
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Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

BlueStrat Re:Yep (103 comments)

That's right! Hand over power to the states! Because unlike the fed, state government officials are totally immune to power grab and corruption!

If you have all the other states along with federal executive/judicial/legislative branches that are not so corrupted to the degree they are currently, the problem would self-correct. The Rule of Law instead of the Rule of Men would prevail.

It's like a computer network; A system built from independent machines with a varied 'ecosystem' of software, hardware, and security systems is a much harder 'nut' to crack than a single machine that operates a network of 'dumb' terminals.

In a very real way, those who wrote the US Constitution were network design geniuses. It makes little difference whether one is discussing a computer network or a government. Whether it's a network for data or for government power, many of the basic principles governing their operation, behavior, and security remain identical.

They were the ones introducing the new & disruptive concepts of their age, like all rights and powers originating from and by the People, and that government exists at the People's pleasure to protect and defend those rights equally, and has only those powers loaned to it by the People, and those powers may be altered or abolished by the People as described in the Constitution as they see fit.

Go and read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers and the associated letters exchanged between the authors of the US Constitution if you want to understand these concepts. Of course if you're already fixed in your beliefs, then you may as well save time & bandwidth.

Strat

about two weeks ago
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Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

BlueStrat Re:Yep (103 comments)

Because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

So, remove the over-reaching power.

The republic was never designed for a federal government with so much power. That was one of the basic tenets of it's design, to not allow the central government too much power.

Break it up like Ma Bell of old. Do away with the unnecessary/harmful/unconstitutional parts, and allow the states more control.

Note; I am not advocating doing away with a central government. Just reducing it's size, scope, power, and cost to more closely resemble what the founding documents say it should look like.

Nobody is going to pay off an official who hasn't enough power to accomplish the goal(s) of the pay off. It's also hard to politically influence a federal agency/department/bureau that does not exist.

Strat

about two weeks ago
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18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

BlueStrat Re:Setting aside that old Constitution (446 comments)

And America's modern right often argues that portions of the US Constitution can be safely ignored because CommunistsXXXXXX terrorists.

No, those are Progressives who are in both camps (Left-Right, Republican-Democrat).

Progessives are the problem. As their name suggests, they want government to "progress" past the limits of the Constitution. Progressives are the ones who push for the "living" Constitution that allows "creative" re-interpretations of the limits on government scope & power which enable government abuses and corruption.

Stop electing Progressives in either major Party and things will get better. Keep electing the same Progressives in the major Parties, and things will continue to get worse.

Strat

about three weeks ago
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Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

BlueStrat Re:Value your prefrontal cortex? (233 comments)

Do you like the capabilities your pre-frontal cortex gives you, like executive functions, impulse control, etc?

Then don't play football.

Avoidable brain damage is stupid. Avoidable mechanical brain damage twice so.

But...but...where will we get future cops and politicians from, if there are no more government-indoctrinated violent and aggressive brain-damaged.individuals being turned out by schools?

Strat

about three weeks ago
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FAA Report Says Near Collisions With Drones On the Rise

BlueStrat Re:*sigh* (115 comments)

I agree, you're the first one besides myself I've seen mention this.
They have already been used to present evidence of corporate wrong doings.

1 example.
http://consumerist.com/2012/01... [consumerist.com]

Yes, they are a force multiplier for people against both public and private sector corruption, criminality, violence, and tyranny.

That's why unelected bureaucrats creating regulations with the force and criminal penalties of a Federal felony are an unconstitutional abomination and a clear assault on individual freedom and civil rights, plus accomplishing further destruction of the separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches of the US government.

Strat

about three weeks ago
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FAA Report Says Near Collisions With Drones On the Rise

BlueStrat Re:*sigh* (115 comments)

Funny how this revelation comes out just before they are about to release their regulations for "drones".

The biggest dangers that drones present from the perspective of those in government are that drones in civilian hands are a force-equalizer and also hamper the ability of those in government to operate without being observed.

Any other reasons for government regulation of drones are secondary to those primary motivations and also serve as a smokescreen to cover for those primary motivations.

Strat

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

BlueStrat Re:Oven Tech (145 comments)

Surely there's better tech than what we use today to prevent our automobiles from becoming lethal ovens.

Certainly there is. You can just cook your kids and pets at home, no need to waste the gas going out at all. Home ovens have been large enough to do this for decades now. People are so wasteful!

--Hannibal

Now, see!?

That is the kind of straightforward and direct, logical, practical, problem-solving engineer-style thinking /. *used* to be known for right there, something that seems to have almost disappeared from /.!

Bravo Sir, bravo!

Strat

about three weeks ago
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Fly With the Brooklyn Aerodrome (Video)

BlueStrat Re:Howdy (22 comments)

I am on Slashdot! Holy crap! I am so excited!

Nice to see that even Apu reads /.

Strat

about three weeks ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

BlueStrat Re:Pathetic (1128 comments)

It's ok to be a thug who roughs up old shopkeepers to steal form them, and then punch a cop and try to grab a gun? I'm supposed to feel sorry at the death of that kind of low life?

Brown was just trying to "spread the wealth"!

Then an obviously-racist cop stopped him (Wilson is white and Brown was black, so racism on Wilson's part is automatically a fact). Brown was simply defending himself against being prevented from "sharing" more of other people's hard-earned wealth. Brown is a warrior of Social Justice and an obvious victim of racism! /sarc

The cognitive dissonance displayed here by Brown supporters is stunning. The reality-distortion field generated rivals that of Apple/Jobs.

Strat

about a month ago
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DHS Set To Destroy "Einstein" Surveillance Records

BlueStrat Re:Before everyone goes too conspiracy overboard.. (71 comments)

Keep in mind that Einstein is a DHS program for monitoring the security of government networks from an internal point of view. It consolidates information from participating agencies' firewalls, intrusion detection systems, malware detection, anti-virus scanners, etc,. It has nothing to do with monitoring anyone or anything aside from government-owned systems, government-owned internal networks (i.e. the LAN in a government office building), and the actions of government employees using those internal government-owned stems and networks. In other words, it's exactly the same sort of thing every major company, university, or other organization does in their security operations centers.

Whether or not the data should be kept around for research purposes is a worthwhile question, although publishing it would require a lot of sanitization to avoid revealing data that would be useful to attackers (for instance, the name, IP address, and precise version number of every firewall within a given agency).

But in this case it's not about covering up any surveillance or information gathering on public behavior.

How about records of one or more government agencies intruding into other government agency's or branch's networks?

For instance, could there be evidence contained in those logs of TLAs intruding into the networks of Congress, the SCOTUS, etc?

Never mind TLAs spying on normal everyday citizens. The Executive Branch has been quite cavalier of late in spying on those in the other branches of government, particularly when said other branches may be deciding whether or not to exercise their duty and ability to limit the Executive Branch's power and scope.

This data could provide hard evidence regarding just how extensive and pervasive these practices have become.

Strat

about a month ago
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Judge Unseals 500+ Stingray Records

BlueStrat Re:Are these cell emulators licensed by the FCC? (165 comments)

If a device is used on the airwaves in the cell phone bands to emulate a tower, then necessarily, it will have to have a transmitter. Is the device type registered by the FCC, does each emulator have a site license? Does each operator have a license to operate the device?

If it is a "cell phone test device" then it must be associated with a properly licensed technician.

The legal requirements to simply operate the device include much more than the rights of the person of interest. For that reason alone, the concealment of the use of the device would be reason enough to throw out any information obtained from it, even before any case law is considered.

IANAL, but I have had 6 different FCC licenses, and have had to jump through many hoops. (I think only 3 are current now).

The FCC is an Executive Branch agency, the same as the NSA, DoJ, etc.

If any bright-boy at the FCC *did* bring up the legal status concerning use of Stingrays FCC-regulation-wise, he'd be told to shut up, and also quite likely put on a surveillance list as a possible security/leak threat. "The most transparent administration in history" is extremely aggressive about stomping on whistelblowers and their families with government jackboots.

Strat

about a month ago
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US Gov't Seeks To Keep Megaupload Assets Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive

BlueStrat Re:Fair play. (173 comments)

Do you have some mechanism for seizing US government assets? Particularly if you aren't another government?

Yes.

It's called a 'scoped high-powered rifle in the hands of tens of thousands of citizens.

Apply to political leaders until resistance to citizens seizing (reclaiming their stolen) assets stops.

Strat

about 1 month ago
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Scientists Discover Diamond Nanothreads

BlueStrat Re:The best application isn't a space elevator.... (79 comments)

Maybe a Variable Sword?

http://news.larryniven.net/con... [larryniven.net]

I was thinking that such an incredubly thin and strong filament would make an ideal ultra-sharp cutting edge for a Vibroblade type of weapon utilizing ultrasonic vibration to multiply the cutting effectiveness even more..

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki...

Now, if one were to have a handle from which sprang an end-disc by a telescoping rod, and attached to the circumference of that disc, and extending back down to the handle, were these insanely-sharp nano-threads, heated possibly by electricity akin to an everyday electrical heating element, or by the energy of the ultrasound energy itself such that it appeared like a column of glowing light growing out from the handle, you'd have a good approximation of a Light Saber.

Heck, the slight differences in the precise frequency each thread would be vibrating at would likely cause relatively-low frequency harmonic notes equal to the difference in frequency between each thread. You would have the humming and slight frequency & phase shifts produced by light sabers being swung around.

Wish I had the resources to throw at the problem. Heck, even if it didn't turn out to be exactly a "light saber", an ultrasonic nano-thread sword that could slice through heavy armor like butter would be awesome, not to mention all the practical industrial and medical potential such a tool would posses.

Strat

about a month ago
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Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

BlueStrat Re:If they're going literal.... (251 comments)

There was plenty of information there, IN THE FUCKING ARTICLES. A crew member testified that he was told to change it out.

Don't jump to conspiracy theories without even bothering to look for the 'missing' information, especially when you've already been pointed towards it.

"Look, you play ball with us and give us the testimony we need against your old boss, and this can all go away."

Don't jump to normalcy bias without even bothering to look at the details of and circumstances surrounding this case.

Strat

about a month and a half ago
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Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

BlueStrat Re:If they're going literal.... (251 comments)

Well, I'm kind of with you that this is evidence tampering.

Are we certain that what was described in TFS actually happened? Are we all certain that the fishermen actually tampered with evidence? Has that been determined to be fact in a court of law?

Could this be a case of low-level government agent acting with incompetence or personal malice, and unwittingly starting a cascade of CYA up the chain resulting in this case? Seems to be a lot of that going around in government circles these days, so it's not an unreasonable question

I mean, did some Fish & Game (or whatever department/agency/bureau was involved) officer miscount either accidentally or intentionally, and this prosecution is simply a CYA for incompetence and/or malice on behalf, at first, of just the field agents/officers, then after it snowballed, also in defense of the prosecutor/AG's office in a double-down on government thuggishness to cover *their* incompetence/malice in pursuing this initially?

That might be a motive for throwing SARBOX at a fisherman like using a nuke to get rid of cockroaches.

There is far too little information here to make any kind of reliable determinations.

Strat

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Apple Patent May Pose iPhone Privacy Threat

BlueStrat BlueStrat writes  |  about 4 years ago

BlueStrat (756137) writes "MacWorld reports that Apple has submitted a patent application for remotely and stealthily activating features like the camera as well as using other features remotely without giving any visual or audible indication to attempt to identify users by voice and even heartbeat. Even the accelerometer, combined with other features, are envisioned as being used to identify if the phone is traveling, in which direction, how fast, and even the type of transport (train, plane, car, etc). The concept is said to be aimed at recovering stolen iPhones, but the possibility exists for many other more-invasive uses to which these features could be put, particularly by domestic intelligence, security, drug enforcement, and local/state law enforcement agencies.

From the MacWorld article regarding hacking/jailbreaking/etc prevention possibilities:

"While the proposed system could appeal to businesses concerned about securing data that workers access on their iPhones, it could also potentially be used by Apple to prevent so-called jailbreaking, which lets users load unauthorized software onto the phone. The patent application says that ways the technology would determine if an unauthorized user had the phone include identifying activities such as hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking, removing the SIM card and moving a predetermined distance from a synced device""

Link to Original Source
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Legal Threats From A Company On A Forum?

BlueStrat BlueStrat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

BlueStrat (756137) writes "A company or business owner threatening lawsuits against posters to an online 3rd-party community forum doesn't seem like a productive marketing move. I recently came across a possible example that got really, really ugly!

Being a builder of custom vacuum-tube musical instrument amplifiers, I frequent many online forums and specific tech sites. During a typical browse today, I came across this forum thread in Harmony-Central http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2232581.

Apparently, the owner of Sozo capacitors http://www.sozoamplification.com/ a maker of "boutique" tube-amp capacitors got into a flame-war with some of the denizens. Accusations of re-labeling of other manufacturers' parts were followed by legal threats to the posters. Which, being the 'net, naturally escalated to profanity and beyond.

Even if this fellow from Sozo was totally legitimate and his companies' products were everything he claimed and more, is it worth this kind of display in defense of your company & products?

Strat"

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