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Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

John Jorsett Re:only trying to help? (154 comments)

Exactly my point. They are only trying to make money for themselves, and if exploiting a disaster make them more money, they will do that. Yet here we have people (like the OP) trying to claim that they are 'ensuring there are enough drivers'. Bullshit.

In crises, you get rationing no matter what. If you don't regulate prices you'll get rationing thru price. If you do regulate prices, you'll get rationing thru scarcity. Putting limits on Uber means you deny some billionaire fat cat some money, but you also deny the people who really need a ride and are willing to pay for it the ability to get one. I'd rather have the latter system where I can get what I need and am willing to pay for, because I can always decide I don't need it that bad, but I can't conjure a car out of the air when prices are cheap but cars aren't available.

4 days ago
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Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

John Jorsett Re:So what will this accomplish? (154 comments)

They could still pay the drivers more, without charging the passengers more, if they actually want people to believe they are only trying to help.

If Uber were smart, they'd do just that in order to establish themselves as a reliable resource during emergencies. It would be good PR and also make it politically tougher for the local power structure to shut them down. Sure they'd lose money during crises, but they'd make up for it with a ton of revenue during normal operations.

4 days ago
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White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

John Jorsett Claymores and Mexican meth drones (235 comments)

A claymore mine is significantly heavy. A small autonomous drone is incapable of achieving the lift necessary to carry one. A drone large enough to carry one would be military grade hardware anyway. Military grade drones can be spotted quite easily.

The scenario you have painted here is a farce.

The typical payload of a domestic RC plane (the usual device to be refit as a domestic drone) is around 2 ounces. The extended battery and the flight control system take up the vast bulk of this. Hobby "Drones" can't carry much more than a ball point pen around.

According to Wikipedia, a Claymore weights 3.5 pounds. The "Mexican Meth Drone" that crashed in a Tijuana parking lot recently was carrying 6 pounds of drugs, and pictures of it don't scream "military grade hardware". Granted they got greedy and overloaded it, but sounds like 3.5 pounds would have been no problem.

4 days ago
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Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

John Jorsett Re:Please develop for my dying platform! (307 comments)

He is not an idiot, he is a politician trying to twist the meaning of the word "Net" and make it mean "Application".

That makes him an idiot.

No, it makes him another participant in rent-seeking, which is what net neutrality is about, at its core..

about two weeks ago
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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

John Jorsett Just canceled my order (450 comments)

I had just submitted an order for Turbotax on Amazon, then came here and saw this. I just canceled that order while I assess what to do about this situation. Hope Intuit loses a lot of business.

about three weeks ago
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For the First Time In 3 Years, Investments In Renewable Energy Increased

John Jorsett Re:Huh? (134 comments)

That's not an answer. Slashdot headline says, "Driven largely by oil price weakness." Where's the evidence for that statement? It makes no economic sense that renewable energy investment increases because its competition gets cheaper unless 1) It's due to subsidies, and/or 2) It's due to the coming on line of projects that were in the pipeline before oil took a dive.

about three weeks ago
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LAPD Orders Body Cams That Will Start Recording When Police Use Tasers

John Jorsett Re:why start after the fact? (219 comments)

They should do what traffic cams do and keep a constant feed that overwrites itself, then if it triggers that it needs to keep the recording it has the last 30 seconds already. Seems stupid to start recording after they're already suing a taser...

If the LAPD uses the same policy as other departments with body cams, the officer will be instructed to activate the camera whenever about to interact with the public. In which case, the Taser activation would be backup just in case that didn't happen for some reason.

about three weeks ago
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FCC Favors Net Neutrality

John Jorsett The future and its enemies (255 comments)

If services like Google Fiber are made Title II, watch how fast those sorts of projects come to a screeching halt. Telling a company that the return on its investment is going to be subject to somebody else's view on how it should be run is a recipe for shutting it down.

about three weeks ago
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Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

John Jorsett 5 stages of handling a PR problem (341 comments)

1. Profess shock 2. Start an investigation 3. Promise to do better 4. Apologize and abase yourself to every aggrieved group you can find 5. Throw some money at anything related, esp. self-appointed "community spokesmen"

Looks like Intel has hit stage 5.

about three weeks ago
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FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use "Stingrays" In Public Places

John Jorsett Detection? (303 comments)

Couldn't one write a program to detect Stingray presence by having a database of all possible cell tower IDs and matching the ID of the one to which you're connecting against that list? Since the Stingray relays your intercepted call to a real cell tower it presumably doesn't spoof a real ID. Now that I think about it, I guess in order to prevent the Stingray just using an ID for a cell tower that's out of range but real, you'd have to add in knowledge of your geolocation so as to exclude distant towers.

about three weeks ago
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Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

John Jorsett Re:Can you say... (266 comments)

yes, requiring a company WHO IS IN THE HEALTH-CARE BUSINESS to continue saving lives and not taking profits as the first thing.

yes, makes sense to me. but then again, I'm a human being, not a pycho CEO or politician.

there should be a law: if you are in the healthcare business (which is your choice) then you MUST put patients first above all else.

doctors have to swear this. why not the makers of drugs and such? it would fix a LOT of what is broken with the western world, if we did that. think of how much GOOD would be done to humanity, as a whole!

Why stop there? Let's force more companies to GO INTO the health care business, and sell the products the government mandates at prices government specifies. Google and Apple have a lot of cash on hand, let's make them put it to work for the benefit of "humanity, as a whole".

about a month and a half ago
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Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever

John Jorsett Re:Time to openly admit... (187 comments)

Nothing new here. Everybody in the field (and most people outside it) know the limitations of weather forecasting.

And yet we're hectored continually that we need to implement costly and Draconian programs based on the predictions of models that don't match observed reality. That's not science, that's some unholy amalgam of politics, fear, profiteering, and insanity.

about a month and a half ago
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Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever

John Jorsett Re:Good luck then (187 comments)

It's the quite before the storm.

Based on what's been happening lately, the safer bet is that it's the quiet before the placid.

about a month and a half ago
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Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th

John Jorsett robots.txt? (183 comments)

Does Google ignore robots.txt for news sites? If not, those sites could just set it to make all their content invisible. Viola, problem solved.

about a month and a half ago
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NSF Accused of Misuse of Funds In Giant Ecological Project

John Jorsett Re:Loss of context and common sense (116 comments)

a) Strawman. No one is arguing that the expenses should just get a pass.

b) The article says "there was no legal wrongdoing, DCAA director Anita Bales told the hearing".

c) The cited expenses, which the parent refers to, are all in the range of categorization error rather than corruption. However, the article say that "36% of NEON’s budget proposal was questionable or undocumented". The article was silent on how much of the budget spent to date was questionable or undocumented, or whether the problems with the budget proposal were very many instances similar to the cited expenses or larger unmentioned problems were needed to get to the 36%. SO the article fails to give insight on whether the proximate problem is sloppy budgeting or something more nefarious (though you can make the case that sufficiently advances incompetence is indistinguishable from malice).

My late father, an accountant, always said that if you lack controls, it's a virtual certainty that you'll have people stealing from you. The description of the chaos in their bookkeeping, in which a third of their expenditures were unallowable or couldn't even be determined by an audit, is just the sort of situation he was describing. It's also reasonable to think that if they were that sloppy/incompetent/crooked in one area, that other areas of the project were equally affected, like the engineering.

about 2 months ago
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Romanian Officials Say Russia Finances European Fracking Protests

John Jorsett Thee not me (155 comments)

Already seeing some quasi-defenses of this here. Guess the "get the money out of politics" folks actually mean "get YOUR money out of politics, ours is fine."

about 2 months ago
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Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

John Jorsett You're making the problem worse! (203 comments)

If you sell the stock, somebody has to buy it. You've now spread the problem of owning this filth to other people. Better to keep it sequestered in your enlightened hands, where it can't blight any further lives.

about 2 months ago
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Drone Sightings Near Other Aircraft Up Dramatically

John Jorsett This has the smell (132 comments)

This has the smell of a government agency putting out a story to justify the actions it has taken or is about to take. The FAA is obviously getting concerned that there's too much loose talk about reining in its rulemaking in this area, or circumscribing it, and wants to get out ahead of that. What better way to achieve that than to portray drones as endangering the public's lives every time they fly?

about 3 months ago
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Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

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

Hey dope. The Senator (former Senator Ted Stevens, D-AK) who said the internet was "like a series of tubes" was referring to the fact that it has a finite throughput from any point A to any point B, which means that more traffic is likely to slow any individual packet down. The only way to relieve this pressure is to replace the infrastructure with new infrastructure with a higher capacity. Stevens was right.

So you're saying that when evaluating a statement, the context is revelatory of what was actually meant? Like, for example, when a law refers to "objects"? I'm in complete agreement. Apparently some others here on /. aren't.

about 3 months ago
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Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA

John Jorsett I'm not clear (142 comments)

After reading the links it's still not clear to me why this is occurring. Is it that sellers charge Australians more just because they can, and if so, are they not able to get away with it elsewhere? Do even huge online retailers like Amazon charge different prices depending on the country the items are going to? I'd have thought the US Federal Trade Commission would be scrutinizing these practices.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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A new form of click fraud?

John Jorsett John Jorsett writes  |  more than 3 years ago

John Jorsett writes "Lately I've been getting a lot of calls from various outfits saying that I'd filled out an online form asking for more information on sleep apnea, college financial aid, etc. At first I thought that I had pissed off some telemarketer and this was revenge harassment. Now as the calls have continued for weeks with a widening array of solicitors, I'm beginning to think that it's a new form of click fraud. If these companies are paying for these leads, my name and number might be being sold as phony online submissions. Are any other Slashdotters experiencing this?"
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Ask Slashdot: Telling vendor email was compromised

John Jorsett John Jorsett writes  |  more than 4 years ago

John Jorsett (171560) writes "I create for myself a unique email address for every vendor with which I do business, and that address isn't kept in my address book. When a spammer sends something to that address, I know that the vendor's email address database has been compromised. Trouble is, when I notify the vendor that their customer's email addresses are leaking and that they should check their security, I get no response and, as far as I can tell, no action is ever taken. I just change to a different email address, so should I even be bothering with notification, and if so, what's the best way to inform a vendor that their security needs attention?"
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Google to offer encrypted searches next week

John Jorsett John Jorsett writes  |  more than 4 years ago

John Jorsett (171560) writes "CNet reports that, embarrassed by the revelation that its Street View program had improperly collected usage data from WiFi hot spots, Google attempted to repair its image by announcing Friday that it would begin offering an encrypted version of its search service next week."
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