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

Cochonou Re:Taxi Drivers are NOT Taxi Owners (295 comments)

In France, taxi drivers are taxi owners (more than 80% of them).

5 days ago

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

Cochonou Re:I am wondering (295 comments)

This is not really about Uber drivers "stealing" customers from taxi cabs. This is about regulation.
The taxi drivers we are talking about are independant workers who paid in the 100k€ - 300k€ range to get a state-regulated taxi licence plate. These plates are resellable, and their number increase very slowly: this means that their price is driven by supply and demand. If new players such as Uber can enter the market, operating under legal loopholes (considered as car sharing and not transportation), the price of the taxi plates will drop because of less demand. This may be good for the customers (increase of the number of cabs, increased competition...) However, you cannot say this is fair for the taxi drivers who took out a lengthly loan to pay for their licence plate - and will not be able to resell them to recover their investment.
So, the way forward for the governement should be pretty clear: either ban Uber, or go for a deregulation of the market. In the latter case, buy back at a fair price the taxi plates from their owners. However at that time, the government has not made a clear choice, which explains the unrest.

5 days ago

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

Cochonou Re:Why are taxi drivers all so horrible? (295 comments)

As we are talking about a strike in France, you may be interested to know that it really does not work like this in France. Actually, there are basically three different kinds of taxi drivers:
- Drivers on a payroll (3%) - working for a company who bought the taxi plates. They are paid at a percentage of income.
- Renters (11%) - they rent the car with a taxi plate. They keep all the income, but have to pay the rent of the car each month.
- Independant workers (86%) - who bought a taxi plate (from 100 000 to 200 000 €). They keep all the income.
So in France, most of the taxi drivers are independant workers who took out a loan to buy their plate - and intend to sell their plate at a high price when they retire.

5 days ago

Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

Cochonou Re:I hate electronics consumer culture (269 comments)

Would you call keeping old hardware a "counterculture" then? Because I certainly see a lot of this behaviour around.

about a week ago

CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

Cochonou Re:As for the people who say "XXX kills more than. (769 comments)

Yet, you have surely seen a lot of insects, leaves or rain drops splashing on the windshield. Now compare that to the fight against terrorism...

about two weeks ago

Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Cochonou Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

It's a convenient shortcut you make here. One of the main justifications of the invasion was that there was a massive and secret program of WMD production conducted by the regime. mobile weapons laboratories, new chemicals being produced and moved around, et caetera. And now we know there was nothing of this - just some degraded remnants of the old stockpiles that were largely destroyed.

about 4 months ago

Australia Rebooting Search For MH370

Cochonou Re:Why the Australians? (92 comments)

Yes, but you should read the investigation report which is publicly available instead of second sources on the internet.
You would see that both the pilot flying (junior) and the pilot non flying (senior) successively had the controls. You would also see that they had the same reaction: pull back on the stick.
The point is at no time, any of the 3 pilots were aware that they were in a stall, despite the stall warning sounding repeatedly. They were just puzzled at what was happening. And one of the main reasons for this is that they were inadequately trained to recognize this situation.
Finally, you would see that the investigation authority made numerous recommendations about pilot training, about the display of the cockpit instruments (behavior of the stall warning, behavior of the flight directors, etc..), and none about the control inputs.

about 4 months ago

Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Cochonou Re:my ipad 2 still works (281 comments)

You can't really say the same about the iPad 1. It's much slower on iOS 5.1 than on iOS 3.2. Of course, these operating system revisions don't have the same features...

about 5 months ago

Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

Cochonou Re:"Compatible" (94 comments)

Along with libaacs, the libbdplus library can decrypt commercial discs to play them. Of course the situation is not ideal, and you still need stuff like a database of aacs keys, but it works.

about 5 months ago

Norway Scraps Online Voting

Cochonou Re:What logic! (139 comments)

I don't know how they do it in Norway, but I can tell you how they do it in France: you cannot mail a ballot. You need to designate a proxy to vote for you on election day. This proxy can only collect a very limited number of mandates. This prevents vote buying on any significant scale...

about 6 months ago

Google Has Received Over 41,000 Requests To "Forget" Personal Information

Cochonou Re:Actually, it happens all the time (138 comments)

For sure the internet makes the information flow easily, but it also makes disinformation flow easily. It seems to me that from what we have seen in recent history, the internet also makes much easier to deny the truth or to cling on on fringe theories. I am sure that people denying the Holocaust find plenty of websites and forums on which they can learn about the "hidden truth" and reinforce their beliefs. I am also sure that you will find much more rewriting of history happening on websites rather than on japanese schoolbooks.
So in this regard, the situation is not that clear cut.

about 6 months ago

Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?

Cochonou Re:Well ... (298 comments)

Those systems basically consist in a very advanced inertial measurement unit coupled with daytime star trackers - which limit the drift of the inertial measurement unit. They cannot find where you are if your initial position is unknown. They can therefore be hardly be compared to GPS... even if they are very useful in stratospheric bombers or ballistic missiles.

about 7 months ago

It's Time For the Descent Games Return

Cochonou Re:I loved descent.. (251 comments)

I have very good memories of Descent 3 online (maybe not has crazy as Descent 2 online because the maps were not as cramped). What did you find so poor about Descent 3 ? The hitscan sniper gun ?

about 7 months ago

NYC's 19th-Century Horse Carriages Spawn Weird, Truck-Size Electric Car

Cochonou Re:30 MPH (204 comments)

Well, have you seen how a cable car is in San Francisco ? I don't know how these fake cable cars are, but real cable cars are nothing like a city bus... first of all, they're wide open, and secondly, there are actually people hanging outside of the car... To get a better idea, have a look at that picture.
So, in the event of a crash, I really wouldn't compare them to city buses.

about 7 months ago

$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

Cochonou Re:Obamacare exists because... (288 comments)

I don't know how it really works in the U.S., but in France, if you called an ambulance for a cold, for sure it would be free, but you would end up in the emergency room of the hospital waiting for hours and hours because your condition is not critical... who would do that when you have much better ways to spend a day, especially when you have a cold ?

about 7 months ago

They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

Cochonou Re: Bad summary (206 comments)

You'd probably lose your dollars. For instance, under French law, there are two exceptions to this rule.
- When there are maintenance or urgent works to be done (and actually not for just any work)
- When you have noticed of your intention to leave, to allow for visits
In these cases, the schedule of the visits must be agreed by both parties. They cannot exceed two hours or occur during weekends. In any other instance, there is no right of access. Of course, the landlord can ask (like any other person), and he may be denied access without any justification.
But of course, there is no such thing as an universal european law for renting. This may vary from country to country.

about 9 months ago

Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

Cochonou Re:Can != did (664 comments)

Did it actually happen? That is the question.

From an engineering standpoint, it's not really the question - if there is a design flaw so that the system can fail with a non-negligible probability, it will eventually fail. Bits flip everyday, everywhere, but there should be mitigation in place to take care of that (at least a watchdog).

about 10 months ago



Google reportedly asked for 1 billion euros for tax evasion in France

Cochonou Cochonou writes  |  about 10 months ago

Cochonou (576531) writes "French tax authorities have reportedly submitted a record-setting tax claim of 1 billion euros to Google. The company is accused to have channeled most of its French revenue through a Dutch intermediary and then to a Bermuda-registered holding, before finally reporting it in Ireland in order to avoid French taxes.
This claim follows a two year-long probe during which Google offices in Paris were searched, and evidence of abusive tax optimization techniques were discovered. On its side, Google maintains that it is in compliance with French national legislation.
Other internet giants keep a close eye on the development of this situation."

Chinese Icebreaker is Stuck in Ice After Antartic Research Vessel Rescue

Cochonou Cochonou writes  |  about a year ago

Cochonou (576531) writes "In an unforeseen turn of events, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long is now stuck in heavy antartic pack ice, just a day after its helicopter was used for the rescue of the passengers onboard the ice-trapped MV Akademik Shokalskiy. The Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis, which is now carrying the passengers of the Shokalskiy, has been placed on standby to assist."

Microsoft releases h264 extension for Firefox

Cochonou Cochonou writes  |  about 4 years ago

Cochonou (576531) writes "After waiting for Wild Fox Project to deliver a way to play HTML5 video encoded with h264 in Firefox, it is finally Microsoft that has released an extension with such functionality. It is currently a bit of a kludge, replacing the HTML5 video tags by calls to the Windows Media Player plugin. As could be expected from the company, the extension is only available for Windows 7 users."
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