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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

SvnLyrBrto Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (820 comments)

I wonder if we'll be able to buy "exhaust tones" like we do ringtones? It might actually be amusing if you could download a $1.99 file from the iTunes store to make your Prius have the "exhaust" sounds of a Lamborghini. And by "amusing" I mean "a big steaming pile of suck". FFS people, we've been trying to cut down on noise pollution for decades! We finally have a good way to get rid of a large chunk of it and now we have people whining about it!

I swear... if any car I buy comes with this crap, there'd better be a way to turn it off. Otherwise, I'd be looking to find a way to make the (external) speakers play a non-stop mix of Katy Perry, Rebecca Black, and Hanson; so as to have at least a little bit of revenge against the luddite brigade for making my car more noisy than it properly should be.

about two weeks ago
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US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

SvnLyrBrto The wars of the future... (208 comments)

Sounds familiar:

"The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots.

Thank you."

about two weeks ago
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Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

SvnLyrBrto Re:Makes sense. (629 comments)

Thing is... Windows XP's lifespan wasn't short. It was unnaturally long for any OS that doesn't run on IBM big iron. It was absurdly long even my Microsoft's own development cycle.

Just look at what came right before XP from Microsoft. In the same 13 years that XP was around; everyone would previously have gone from Windows 3.1, to 95, to 95 OSR2, to 98, to 98 SE, to NT 4, to 2000, to ME, and then to XP. And even that's actually skipping a few versions that were especially craptacular or never really escaped from some very specialized use cases like 3.11, windows for workgroups, pre-4.0 versions of NT, and that bastard hybrid scheme of Windows running inside Novell Netware.

I may even be missing a few more versions there. I also didn't include the half-dozen service packs for NT 4; any one of which (But especially the odd-numbered ones.) was just as likely to break everything as a full OS upgrade. Plus a decent number of people still ran on various versions of MS-DOS for about half of that time frame.

So when I hear whining about the hassle of finally having to upgrade from XP, or about Linux vendors LTS being "only" five years, I really have to wonder just how the hell did these people manage before Microsoft went stagnant for a decade? Were all of the 1990s basically a solid, continuous, hissy-fit on the part of the world's MCSEs?

Sorry. But for all the other reasons I hate Microsoft, finally taking XP out back and shooting it just isn't one of them. It was one of MS's GOOD moves. And it was long overdue.

about three weeks ago
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Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

SvnLyrBrto Re:Uber's in a completely different market (183 comments)

See... if there is a narnia somewhere that the legacy taxi companies don't suck and aren't a bunch of scumbags, and Uber is unnecessary there... why not let it fail on its own merits instead of squashing it at the political level?

No corporation... not YellowCab, not LuxorCab, not Uber or Lyft... is entitled to its profits and whatever profits they bring in should *not* be protected by the law. If the legacy taxi companies really *do* provide better service in some area than Uber, then they should be able to beat Uber in that area without buying off politicians or bullying the public.

about a month ago
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Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

SvnLyrBrto Re: Stick a fork in, Uber is done. (183 comments)

Yeah. I know the feeling. The REAL solution here is, of course, to fix and enhance public transportation so that Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, taxis, and owning a car, are all unnecessary in the first place.

I despair of that ever happening in this country though because public transportation is, you know, communism and makes the baby jesus cry and all that.

about a month ago
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Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

SvnLyrBrto Re:Uber's in a completely different market (183 comments)

Cute how you lot will defend the legacy taxi companies under-serving people in areas where they don't prefer to go; but scream bloody murder when Uber initiates surge pricing in order to get the people who need rides in those areas served.

about a month ago
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Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

SvnLyrBrto Re:Uber's in a completely different market (183 comments)

In that case, the solution is to simply mandate the appropriate minimum insurance coverage, and be done with it. But that's not what these governments are doing, is it?

Actual restrictions on Uber and the like, rather than your simple insurance requirement, ARE there just to protect the monopolies and cartels that have sleazed their way into their protected positions. Said monopolies and cartels need to be broken. And the politicians supporting them need to be brought low. A pox on all their houses.

about a month ago
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Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

SvnLyrBrto Re:Stick a fork in, Uber is done. (183 comments)

Uber may be have some ethical issues compared to Lyft or Sidecar, but they're practically saints compared to the scum of the legacy cab companies.

For all of the bad press that seems to get heaped onto Uber, I really have a hard time understanding why people steadfastly refuse to look at the dirty laundry of the cab companies and their legacy of corruption, bribery, croneyism and nepotism, and sometimes outright violence. And that's before taking into consideration their absolutely appallingly poor service, lack of cleanliness, lack of availability and timeliness, and ripoffs and scams from a customer viewpoint.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. I use Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar pretty much interchangeably these days. Any one is superior to taxis from every customer service standpoint. And any one... even Uber... is significantly less sleazy than the taxi companies. But I hope never to have to set foot inside a regular taxi again. In fact, here in SF, I'll happily resort to MUNI's owl service before I'll use a cab again.

about a month ago
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Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

SvnLyrBrto Re:As expected... (400 comments)

Yeah, but "good enough" isn't good enough now to make going to the theater worth it in the majority of cases. I swear... it just seems sometimes like the theater chains are actively trying to discourage people from coming.

Overpriced tickets that are sometimes twice the cost of the Blu-Ray (Seriously... I bought Prometheus at Best Buy for $7 a few weeks ago.), screaming brats that parents refuse to rein in, sticky floors, uncomfortable chairs, no good place to put my coat, obscenely overpriced food and drinks (And the popcorn is often stale.), and sometimes outright being treated like a criminal (The Metreon in San Francisco actually had hired thugs searching and threatening people last time I was there, when some co-workers and I scored passes to the preview of Jobs.) by the management; all combine to make me just say: "Screw those guys. A pox upon their house."

For Jedi Knights and the Millennium Falcon, the Starship Enterprise, armies of orcs vs elves plus a dragon, or jaegers punching kaiju in the face, it's worth dealing with the theaters' BS to to see it on an Imax screen. But for anything less visual-effects intensive, not so much. The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, for example, will be perfectly cromulent at home on my 50" TV once they hit the iTunes store.

about a month ago
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North Korean Internet Is Down

SvnLyrBrto Re:Interesting.... (360 comments)

Really, I don't see why Sony should be considered any *less* legitimate than North Korea. There's even a fairly good argument that pretty much ANY publicly-traded corporation's governance is actually significantly MORE legitimate than North Korea's... or that of ant other dictatorship.

Corporate leadership is, after all, at least somewhat answerable to its public, in the form of annual shareholder motions and elections which do occasionally change board of directors membership and force actions upon said board, and therefore the corporation.

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

SvnLyrBrto Re:To hell with taxis... (295 comments)

Uber is usually more expensive, true. But unlike taxis, they:

- Reliably show up when and where you summon them.
- Will take you out to the avenues without pitching a hissy fit.
- Will actually pick you up in the avenues.
- Don't try to pull the: "My credit card reader is broken, cash only." scam.
- Are paid for entirely through the app with no fumbling for cash OR credit card.
- Have nicer, cleaner, cars.
- Are not infested with bedbugs. (Seriously... last year one of the cab companies here (San Francisco) had a bed bug infestation in their cabs.)
- Do not stink of smoke, vomit, or pee.

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

SvnLyrBrto Re:So basically.. (295 comments)

Yeah... I've never been taken by surprise bu surge pricing. It's always been announced in the app. Though, if I recall correctly, originally you didn't have to explicitly acknowledge and approve of it before summoning an Uber.

Also, they publish an API that other app developers can use to integrate with Uber. And surge pricing is usually in effect only in certain areas. Sometimes, only a block or two is the difference between normal pricing and up to a 4x surge... when major events like concerts of ball games end, for example. So, there are apps available that will show you where to walk from your current location so that surge pricing will not be in effect, and even summon your car to that location for you independent of Uber's own app.

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

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

You might want to look up the term "de facto", and contrast its meaning to "de jure". Assuming that you're not being deliberately obtuse to troll the thread, I think you will find that the definition will clear up your confusion.

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

SvnLyrBrto Re:I am wondering (295 comments)

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!

Well, it's pretty telling that Uber got it's start in San Francisco. Our taxi system is just as corrupt, and the taxi companies and cabbies just as sleazy, as any that you mentioned. And they're engaged in the same sort of anti-Uber shenanigans as these frenchies. Just a few weeks ago, actually, they blockaded the airport.

I, for one, will never get into a taxi again. A pox upon their house and all their works. It's Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar across the board for me. And pretty much everyone I know thinks of the taxis the same way. Hell, even if by some freak chance the axis win and get the government to ban the ride-sharing services, I'll brave MUNI's owl service (About the only time I need a car service anyway is going home from a bar or club late-night.) before I get in a taxi again.

about a month and a half ago
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Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

SvnLyrBrto Re:Wait. Are gov't regs good or bad? (280 comments)

Easy enough. The question to ask is what does more good for more people? The government is a tool, nothing more or less. And like any tool, it's suitable for some purposes, and unsuitable for others.

The legacy taxis are just utterly terrible services on so many levels. About the only thing they're useful is for trips between the downtown hotels and the airport. That's fine for tourists; but if you actually live here, taxi's are all but useless. Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar show up on time where you need them, don't bitch about trips to or from the avenues, don't play the "the credit card machine is broken, cash only" game, and don't stink of smoke, pee, or vomit. None of that is true of taxis. So breaking the government supports for the legacy taxis is good.

Internet monopolies harm the consumer and stifle the economic development of new and innovative businesses. Obvious and iconic example is the extortion of Netflix by Comcast and Verizon, resulting at first in crippled performance of the service and eventually an increase in the price. That's direct and measurable harm to millions of consumers and an innovative and useful startup business, and hardly the only case of consumers or new businesses bering harmed. The bandwidth monopolies are causing harm and need to be broken. And if government action is what it takes, then so be it.

And on the cops thing, I think what people want is accountability. "Evil and racist pigs" do make it through whatever screening processes the police have for their recruits. When discovered, they need to be punished: thrown off the force and locked away. And when the "good cops" cover for the "evil and racist pigs", refuse to remove the bad ones from the force, and make sure that they are not punished for their crimes and abuse, the "good cops" cease to be good. "One bad apple spoils the whole barrel", as the proverb goes. The bad apples need to be purged before they are able to spoil that barrel.

about 2 months ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

SvnLyrBrto Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (454 comments)

The problem is, that the dumb rules are enforced and the good rules are routinely ignored.

Illegal turns, failure to yield the right-of-way, improper merging, passing on the right, and puttering along in the passing lane (which provokes people to pass on the right), and various other forms of careless driving are all more dangerous than speeding. Single occupancy cars in the HOV lane or cars in general in the bus/rail lanes muck up the flow of traffic a lot more than speeding does. And then there are those pricks who drive into an intersection when there isn't room for them on the other side and stop in the crosswalk, or even in a crossing traffic lane; turning a traffic slowdown into a traffic jam.

But much of the above is routinely ignored and unpunished, while the vast bulk of traffic enforcement is based on catching speeders; often on the freeways, where the potential for them to harm themselves or others or to disrupt the flow of traffic is at the minimum. It's ludicrous.

about 2 months ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

SvnLyrBrto Re:Dumb-asses! (Fry's is not so dumb...) (287 comments)

In addition to said shenanigans, some of Best Buy's employees are just flat-out dense.

One time, I had a case where the in-store price was higher than the internet price on Best Buy's own website. I don't know if it was an error in their database, or if stores in more expensive areas (This was in San Francisco.) have the ability to set their prices higher. Regardless, they refused to price match their own internet price. The excuse they gave was that bestbuy.com was not on the list of sites they price match. I was told this by both a sales associate and his manager, when I asked to kick it up a level.

Thing is, bestbuy.com allows you to place an order online and pick it up in-store from their inventory. So I just placed my order on my iPhone, took off for lunch somewhere, about 45 minutes later got the email that my order was ready for pickup, and dropped by the same store on my way home and grabbed the thing at the lower price from the customer service counter.

Stupid and obtuse behavior across the board on their part.

about 2 months ago
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Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

SvnLyrBrto Re: Getting tired of this shit (282 comments)

Except this is not a race to the bottom. The ride share services are offering a higher quality product at, at least in the case of Uber, a premium price. It's the cabbies who are, and have been for many years, the bottom of the barrel.

about 4 months ago
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Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

SvnLyrBrto Re:Getting tired of this shit (282 comments)

Indeed.

Some people have also been living in a city and needing the occasional hired ride since before Uber and Lyft were around and remember well just how damned awful the medallioned taxis are. Seriously... screw the taxis. A pox upon their houses and I hope Uber or Lyft or Sidecar or whoever really does run them out of business entirely. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Yeah, I'm opposed to the laws that prop up the legacy taxi companies; but I've no love for the libertarian fringe. The ride-share companies simply provide such a vastly superior service that I want them to win.

I own a car too. And I usually use Uber or Lyft to get home so I can drink when I go out for a night on the town. And the regular taxis are just so bloody terrible that if the ride-sharing services DO lose the war and go out of business, I'll go back to the tedium of waiting for and navigating MUNI's Owl schedule to get home in the wee hours of the morning before I ever get in a cab again.

And yeah... User's tactics against Lyft are kind of scummy. And I do wish they'd, instead, focus on putting a few more nails into the coffins of the taxis. But Uber's tactics are significantly less scummy than the taxi industry's and, for that matter, the actual cabs themselves. So anything that strengthens Uber is still a win in my book.

about 4 months ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

SvnLyrBrto Re:We need more of this (275 comments)

Yes, so very yes.

Severability clauses in general need to be outlawed. I'd say that sneaking something that's illegal into a contract, in the hopes that the other party won't realize that it's illegal, is a crystal clear indicator at the very least of "negotiating" in bad faith and SHOULD be prosecutable fraud. Try to pull a stunt like that on someone; and his obligations to you should be wiped clean.

about 5 months ago

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