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A Backhanded Defense of Las Vegas' Taxi Regulation

chaboud Re:We've already seen the alternative to regulatio (93 comments)


There have been allegations of sexual assault and kidnapping, both of which aren't particularly good news. Uber's early responses were poor (e.g. not doing anything), but the most recent sexual assault has resulted in a suspended driver.

I agree that taxi lobbying has been disturbingly effective over time, resulting in diminished service quality, high prices, and licensing conditions that favor taxi dispatch companies rather than taxi drivers. These artificially restricted markets have effectively created environments ripe for disruptive alternatives.

That said, what Uber is doing with Uber X is typically illegal. For instance, in California, vehicles transporting fewer than 15 passengers one-way on a hire basis are required to file for a TCP P permit. The filing fee is $1000, and renewal is $100 every three years. Additional liability insurance (typically for $750k for Uber-type vehicles) is also required, as is controlled substance testing (drug, alcohol).

So when you got in Uber Black cars back in the early days (when that was the only type of Uber), you hopped into the vehicle of a state-licensed driver with an investment in the profession. These days, when you hop into an Uber X, it's a less consistent experience. Sometimes it's a lost out-of-towner. Sometimes there are groceries in the trunk (not a joke). Sometimes the drivers are dangerously sleepy/incompetent/distracted.

Oddly, one impact I've noticed in Uber X cities is that the Uber Black drivers have toned down the limo aspect. Most Uber Black drivers that I encounter don't wear suits, supply water or mints, help with bags, or make an effort to stop accurately. The overwhelming majority of drivers that I talk with have dropped non-uber commitments (e.g. airport runs for known contacts), so it's probably just part of the evolution of the service.

Back on point, the "entitled Valley logic" point is, at the very least, founded in the evidence of a company knowingly profiting from poor enforcement of local/regional laws and deferral of responsibility to "private contractors" (stretching the envelope of the IRS definition of a contractor).

Code first and ask lawyers later (or never) is more the hallmark of San Francisco than the Valley/South-bay, but it feels like a fair point. I'm a fan of Uber, but I can take a reasoned view of the organization and its actions.

about 2 months ago

FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading

chaboud Re: Ok, but (580 comments)

The FBI is going to be restricted to people with a particular set of biases. It's likely an effective way to control the shape of FBI enforcement focus for years to come.

about 4 months ago

Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

chaboud Re: Here's the solution (577 comments)

I'll have to be the "arguably" part of this one. Junk is left on Macs, and a lot of settings and special folders can screw you pretty hard on a Mac. From plist files to Library litter to temporary files to /usr/bin linkages to /Developer folders, there are plenty of gotchas, secret handshakes, and areas where you can screw yourself or removal of an app can screw you. I don't know about you, but my user/Library folder on my machine is 38GB out of 256GB on this Mac, and if I delete all of the applications on this machine, that crap will still be there.

Same thing goes for my Linux machine. Cleanup and maintenance are tough problems to solve completely. iPhones and Androids serve as pretty solid rethinks of this (though they can also suffer from some rot), but I haven't used a desktop/laptop OS yet that doesn't rot over time without solid maintenance. For me, I'm looking at about 20% of my local storage on my two Library folders. Making .app folders skips out on any sort of cleanup responsibility, and 20% isn't chump change to me.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

chaboud Re: Alright smart guy (504 comments)

There's more than one?!? Ooooooooh... That makes *way* more sense.

I thought you were a self I contradicting idiot who posted a lot.

about 4 months ago

Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

chaboud Re: Expert?? (442 comments)

Read up on (or chat with) auto designers. Material choice absolutely plays a role in what shapes are possible. Steel body panels are generally made via sequences of stampings, and complex compound curves and fine intersecting forms are very difficult to do in steel. This is why Audi talked up their engineering around hydroforming and welding. It enabled new forms in metal that weren't achievable previously. Auto designers have a love/hate relationship with the engineers, as they both enable and snuff out good designs.

Carbon fiber cloth let's you do more, and carbon composite castings allow for pretty insane shapes more reproduceably. This guy may be talking out of his ass, but the assertion that composites enable more aerodynamic design flexibility is in line with industry expert statements.

about 5 months ago

Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

chaboud Re: I know you're trying to be funny, but... (739 comments)

I'm not missing anything. I think there is a balance between abusive language and professionalism to be had, and nothing in his incensed email steps over the line. Would I write it? No, but I wouldn't quit over it either.

It takes time to be measured and restrained, and the party that never snaps at someone doesn't have the hidden backstop of snapping to keep things in line. People should want to avoid disappointing Linus, and negative reinforcement matters.

It can't be all carrot. There has to be a stick.

What happens when you only stick to professionalism? I've worked in a couple of companies that stuck to professional communication only and strongly frowned upon brutal honesty. Guess what? They're inefficient, bloated, bureaucratic messes that allow horrible engineers to get by (or even ahead). Have I learned to play in that environment? Sure, but it's a losing formula.

Likely couples, teams should learn how to fight. If they don't, passive aggressive sniping and collective failure are almost certain.

about 6 months ago

Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

chaboud Re: I know you're trying to be funny, but... (739 comments)

Sorry, but in an environment driven by praise and scorn more than money, this type of feedback is not only effective, but also probably essential. The absolute sharpest development environment I've ever worked in (in 16 years as a professional programmer) was an environment of harsh, ultra critical abuse and genuine unadulterated excitement and praise on success.

Linus verbally abuses people who shit out bad code because it reduces the likelihood that others will shit out bad code. He also cares about the code base and tool chain and expects others to do the same or get out of the sandbox.

In an environment where people can't be fired, this type of political play is all that exists. Growing up in an environment of complete terror of sloppiness mixed with genuine comraderie was the single best thing for my growth as an engineer that I have ever experienced.

In an environment of people who can take it, it works. An environment of people who need only positive reinforcement or carefully metered criticism is one that will almost certainly produce shitty code and operate inefficiently.

Besides, head-dropped sloth? That shit is just funny. If that is too much for you, good luck in the real world.

about 6 months ago

Verizon and New Jersey Agree 4G Service Equivalent to Broadband Internet

chaboud Re:Democracy at work (155 comments)

Technically, those unions are generally corporations.

about 9 months ago

Minecraft Creator Halts Plans For Oculus Version Following Facebook Acquisition

chaboud Re:Unsurprising ... (300 comments)

They probably wanted to play with it, didn't want to wait for their order of the new dev kit to show up, and needed some BS excuse to justify a clearly ridiculous purchase (Worlds Chat, anyone?). They are a public company, after all...

about 10 months ago

Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment

chaboud Re: That's capitalism. (710 comments)

That is classic Slashdot. Oversimplification and grand declarations regarding the behavior of others at the helm of businesses.

How about this: Social interactions, personal conflicts, and politics are all part of business (and, really, any team environment), and you'd better be ready for it or be ready to get out.

It is completely unrealistic to expect business to somehow be an antiseptic environment, like some ideal altar of pure motivation. When people hide behind claims of protecting shareholder interest, it's the same shit.

It's still a group of people, behaving like, shocker, people...

about 10 months ago

Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

chaboud Re:Qt? (240 comments)

I came here to say this.

I'm quite the fan of Qt, but it's far from an industry standard. HTML5 + wrapper probably has as much, if not more, adoption.

And, once you use iOS or Android to dev GUI, some modern, convenient, and well-crafted patterns begin to emerge. They're not perfect, but they're nice to use. Honestly, if Google wants to use their own toolkit and publish it as open source, why should anyone complain about that? Some very interesting ideas may come out of it and be brought into other projects. Just as Mozilla's XUL was clearly aped for Microsoft's XAML, open source contributes to the field as a whole, not just one particular project. There's no need to lick the pizza with open source.

Only the ever-trolling slashdot community could turn Google releasing and dog-fooding an open source project into a bad thing.

about a year ago

NASA Admits It Gave Jet Fuel Discounts To Google Execs' Company

chaboud Re:Not a subsidy? (126 comments)

I've been on base to get a tour of the Solar Impulse plane.

I filled out a half-page form and brought it with me.

There are a number of smaller operators that operate out of Moffett. Of course Lockheed Martin has some operations there (They're a couple blocks away), too, but don't make it out to be some grand government conspiracy. A place in desperate need of money and planes, with spare space for planes, found a private party that was:

A) Willing to give them lots of money.
B) Wanted to park planes.

Now and then, they make them available for experiments (i.e. joy rides).

And despite the billboard advertising it, there's no way that I'd eat at the commissary.

about a year ago

NASA Admits It Gave Jet Fuel Discounts To Google Execs' Company

chaboud Re:Not a subsidy? (126 comments)

A number of public and private entities use the field. H211 (and others) typically do two things:

1. They pay fees to NASA for the storage and operation of their aircraft at this airfield.
2. They agree to allow NASA to install equipment in these aircraft and afford NASA the use of these aircraft for experiments.

In exchange for this, they get cheap fuel, but not below NASA's cost. Sure, they're not paying the normal taxes on this fuel because federal regulations prohibit the taxation of fuel sold from government owned airfields, and federal regulations allow for private operations to use NASA facilities under contract with NASA.

NASA has hangars, fuel storage/delivery facilities, a short supply of aircraft for research, and no money. Private entities have aircraft, no place to park them near their bases of operation, and money.

Would it piss you off if frequent government contractor Lockheed Martin operated private aircraft out of Moffett? Oh! Wait! They do! Would you be pissed if the highly publicized and technologically interesting solar plane venture Solar Impulse parked their plane in one of the hangars and threw parties around it while in the Bay Area? Oh! Wait! They did!

People need to chill out about this. This is no big deal. Either change the laws creating this condition or kick private entities out of Moffett, an idiotic action that would likely result in the financial collapse of an already under-funded operation of NASA.

But, yes, I'm willing to grant your first statement... you are simple minded.

about a year ago

Decision, EA: Judge Reverses Multimillion Dollar Award To Madden Dev

chaboud Re:perhaps. Did they subpoena the source? (125 comments)

If that is the case (I haven't read the trial transcripts, just short trial summary reporting), then, yeah, that would be pretty effed.

Even if the code differs, if it can be shown (or suggested) that the code is a derivative construction, it would still be subject to copyright. Anyway, it's still a strange place to end up determining the case. Unless it's in East Texas, one would typically expect instructions to the jury to be sufficient to sway their directions (e.g. Lucy Koh in Apple v. Samsung).

1 year,4 days

Decision, EA: Judge Reverses Multimillion Dollar Award To Madden Dev

chaboud Re: statutory law requires evidence of identical s (125 comments)

First off, the plaintiff brought in an expert who *did* make an assertion of source-code similarity. As programmers, we do this all the time. (Raymond Chen calls this "psychic debugging")

Secondly, without an understanding of how to identify underlying coding patterns from exhibited high level traits, how can the jury be expected to make a reasonable determination of code copying from a visual analysis of the *compiled* product? It's an on-the-face absurd assertion.

It is still surprising to me that decompilation didn't surface as an option when the source code was not produced, but sitting back and cruising to a jury verdict only to leverage a *really* rare motion to take a verdict notwithstanding judgment is bad news. This is *not* how we want to have our cases conducted. We want judges to have the latitude to correct for off-the-wall juries, but, in this case, this effectively signals that expert, aggregate, and indirect evidence is insufficient for jury determination of infringement, suggesting that respondents should just clean up their tracks after they've illegally copied code.

1 year,4 days

Decision, EA: Judge Reverses Multimillion Dollar Award To Madden Dev

chaboud Re:The appeal process, bought and paid for (125 comments)

No. This is the original judge overturning a jury determination. It is a legal determination, but he's not ruling on the law. I'm pretty sure there isn't any case law requiring side-by-side game demos in order to make a determination of infringement/contract-breach in the presence of analysis-based expert testimony for one party and thumb-up-ass rebuttal from the other.

This is blazing new (and stupid) ground.

1 year,5 days

Decision, EA: Judge Reverses Multimillion Dollar Award To Madden Dev

chaboud Re:As usual, the rich win. (125 comments)

I disagree on this one.

Let's take a car analogy.

If I bring suit because you hit my car and drove off, then bring a witness who says you hit my car and drove off, and you do jack+shit in the case only to claim in a post-verdict motion that I didn't provide photographs of my car in support of my case, you will get laughed out of court.

Unless you're EA. The judge may have thought that the judgement was high, but a jury found that the preponderance of the evidence supported the plaintiff's claim. Remember, that burden is a greater than 50% chance that the plaintiff's claim is true. Sure, showing the games might help show that, but an expert witness who has made a deep inspection of the games in question can determine if the underlying mechanics of scoring, play selection, and player rating are derivative, without getting bamboozled by 16-bit graphics.

In this case, the staggering move is the absolute lack of source code. Sheesh, people. Just subpoena the source. Oh, it's not available? How about expert analysis determining the algorithmic similarity? Oh, surprise, here we are.

We need more judges who want to learn to code. The rest should sit the fuck back and stop screwing things up.

1 year,5 days

Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview

chaboud Re: Interview ending question (692 comments)

Wait, did I interview and bounce you?

I mean, sheesh. Just give me a bad yelp review. AC on a stale /. story? Sad...

Worse if I gave you a thumbs up...

1 year,6 days

Blowing Up a Pointless Job Interview

chaboud Re: Interview ending question (692 comments)

More than that, in most companies I've been with, if you are unable to answer the "what are your weaknesses" or "what is your largest professional mistake" question, you're out. Even if the rest of the loop didn't catch on to what a self-satisfied dope you are, your failure to answer that question is enough to let us know that:

- You have an ego problem, or
- You don't have a solid memory for (and learn from) failures, or
- You have no real experience, or
- You are an absolutely impossible rock star who doesn't know how to fail or have deficiencies.

We take the relatively safe bet that the last one is a really small proportion. (i.e. zero people) of the population.

1 year,10 days

US Coast Guard Ship To Attempt Rescue of 2 Icebreakers In Antarctica

chaboud Re: America, FUCK YEAH! (382 comments)

How would you know unless... You saw it?

Minds. Blown.

1 year,25 days



Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

chaboud chaboud writes  |  more than 3 years ago

chaboud writes "Apple has announced the death of Steve Jobs today. Regardless of your opinion of Apple or your technical/commercial affiliations, it is hard to not feel a great sense of loss for the tech and design communities today."
Link to Original Source

How to act like Microsoft? Get sued over Java...

chaboud chaboud writes  |  more than 4 years ago

chaboud (231590) writes "Like a blast from Microsoft's past, Java's new keepers at Oracle have filed what will probably end up being an unfashionably out-of-style double-breasted lawsuit over Google's use of Java in Android, throwing in all of the usual sweet legal nothings, such as "willful," "injunction," and "damages." I wish someone had told me earlier that the way to make money off of software was to stand around with a law degree."




chaboud chaboud writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Protohiro1, if you ever look at this, composite NTSC has trouble representing colors (relative to PAL), not because of a reduced color gamut, but because of the compression of the Q component of YIQ colorspace. Q is only allotted ~600KHz, where as I receives ~1.3MHz.
Not that it makes a difference, but I thought you might want to know. They probably skipped that one in film school and just said that composite NTSC sucks.

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