top Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry
Uber is abusing its drivers. It advertises "1 million dollars!" of insurance. But that insurance only covers your passengers and victims, and only if you're at fault. It doesn't cover you, or our vehicle, or anyone at all if you got struck by another vehicle, perhaps one without insurance. And your private insurance on your car will not cover a thing if you're driving the car for hire.
There are perfectly good reasons for regulating taxis. As well, there are good reasons for building solid mass transit options so taxis won't be so needed. Allowing Uber to operate puts the public, and its drivers, at risk for no reason beyond the desire to drive down pay below the already barely-subsistence rates that taxi drivers earn. If you don't have a commercial drivers license, and you're not driving a licensed commercial vehicle, and you don't have full commercial insurance, you shouldn't be taking fares. If you are, that's criminal in many places, as it should be. Uber's executives should be arrested for criminal conspiracy.
top WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement
a diplomat can say "we don't need the unions to have disproportionate control over production costs"
Good example. Let's posit a world where
we do need the unions to have a large say in production costs. This is a world which is rapidly sliding to political and social instability because the gains in GDP over the last 40 years have not been shared with the working and middle classes, due in large part to concerted, successful efforts to undermine the unions. Let's further posit that the results of prior transnational treaties have led to the political destabilization of many nations, and the rise of neofascist populist parties there.
Where are the union representatives at these treaty negotiations? Where are the consumer advocates? If they're not there, this whole process isn't just bogus, it's a threat to future political and economic stability. Heavy-handed, opaque rule always leads to either collapse or revolution, or both.
top WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement
Why not? It would only create additional, unnecessary public anxiety about stuff that might never even see the paper.
As long as the final version (release candidate would be a better expression here) is properly publically analysed (and, if needed, rewritten), there's no problem.
Stuff that "will never see the paper" can be implicit in the terms which end up in the public release. A lot of negotiation is in the form of, first, defining the goals (removing laws in various nations that limit the power and profits of transnational corporations), and then finding terms which enable those goals while presenting a veneer of respectability for the public. The consequences of the treaty language, if put into effect, are implicit, not stated plainly on the surface of the treaty. Of those in the US Senate who can follow through on the implications, most are complicit in the goals, effectively paid off. The rest are either too lazy or stupid to work it out, or will find their only route to a wider public audience through being interviewed on prime oulets like Russia Today.
top WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement
Do you really think it would be effective for every draft to be gone over and commented on by every "expert" in the world? The group would spend all it's time fixing misunderstanding and misrepresentations.
Yes. Yes I do. The group
should fix misunderstandings and misrepresentations. This sort of treaty impinges on the rights of people across much of the world. It needs to be written in clear terms that average citizens who want to study it can comprehend. We should not be surrendering our rights without clearly knowing what we're getting in return. Even better, we should not be surrendering our rights at all, as individuals or as nations.
top EU, South Korea Collaborate On Superfast 5G Standards
If we but allow the several remaining cell phone companies to merge, the efficiency of scale will enable them to bring us infinite, affordable bandwidth. It is only our law against monopolies that prevents OUCH (One Ultra Cell Honcho) from delivering everthing we deserve.
about a month and a half ago
top Did Russia Trick Snowden Into Going To Moscow?
So Boris, who depends on Western intelligence services to avoid being assassinated, as other Russian spies who fled to Britain have been, says what his protectors want him to. Business Insider is just plain stupid to publish this.
about a month and a half ago
top Climate Journal Publishes Referees' Report In Response To "Witch-Hunt" Claims
"Self-introspection" as compared to introspecting other people?
So you don't like these headlines because, what, they're too mean about some of the idiots at the Guardian's competition?
top A Look at Smart Gun Technology
The odds of your gun being grabbed and used against you are high. The odds of your toddler picking up your gun and using it on family or friend are significant - it happens at least several times a week in this country. So any instances of this new tech failing and depriving you of use of your gun when you need it should be balanced against the lives saved, including your own, by the tech working as designed.
top The NSA and Snowden: Securing the All-Seeing Eye
If you are of renown, you are renowned. You'd think folks sensitive to the exacting demands of various languages would be more respectful of English. Sheesh.
top Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts
Ron Paul's newsletter a couple of decades back was fuil of writing over his signature about how a race war is coming. They guy was in KKK territory. His son recently had to fire someone from
his staff who was famous for similar views. These guys are largely against federal powers because they share the ideology of the Confederacy. The "liberty" they want is the liberty to refuse to do business with blacks, and the liberty in which the feds get out of the way of the power of billionaires like the Koch brothers, also "libertarians," whose father was famously a Bircher.
top Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs
who believes in "centrism" and "civility" sits on the board. I'm sorry. No. I love Lessig, but "centrism" is the essence of corruption. It means that whatever the rich Republican backers and the rich Democratic backers want in common, we get. While everything that the broad majority of normal Americans want, when it doesn't align with what the rich agree one, gets ignored. A vast majority favors more equal income distribution, legal marijuana, affordable higher education, active job creation programs, higher minimum wage, prosecution of criminal bankers
... we are basically, a majority of us, to the left of most of the Democratic Party, and far to the left of the Grand Oligarch Party.
top California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers
Ya know, I have utmost respect for Indian civilization. I'm a Buddhist. I have India-raised Hindu and Jain friends. But in practical terms their IT workers, who I've been dealing with extensively in several contexts in recent years, are a disaster. It's not a matter of lack of whiteness. It's a matter of a culture where excuses and laziness outweigh any sort of responsibility. Often I've been dealing with very bright people, often eloquent. But they have no idea how to solve problems in IT of the sort that Americans and Europeans may stumble around with a bit, but get solved. Some cultures are just bad at some things. For Indian culture, it's IT.
top Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?
The number of people who have actually paid, out of these 7 million, remains a closely-guarded secret.
It's not a secret. It simply isn't a figure anyone has at hand. Generally you can pay for a policy up to 30 days late. The final enrollment date was the end of March. It's not the end of April yet. Even when it is, they will need to time to compile all the different figures from across the country.
More than 9 million Americans have gotten health insurance for the first time thanks to Obamacare, according to a new report from the Rand Corporation.
Most of the people who got new insurance didn’t buy it on the Obamacare exchanges but rather signed up with an employer, the survey found. Rand says that 8.2 million people have gained insurance from an employer since September — more than 7 million of them who had no health insurance before.
So that $95 maximum penalty this year, plus all the increased awareness of the availability and desirability of health insurance, has led to millions more signing up for health insurance. This is bad
top Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability: A Technical Remediation
this notice - the answer is yes, if affected versions of openssl are on the system.
top Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides For Decades
Well, you could either conclude "Too many warnings! I'll shut my ears and hum." Or you could not build homes under a mountain famous for its mudslides. If you build on an earthquake fault, you can build to handle a quake. You can fund repair of bridges, buildings and transit systems before they fail. You can avoid taking in too much sugar (salt it turns out is mostly good for you; low-salt dieters don't live as long, on average).
We do have the resources to vastly improve the odds. We mostly aren't investing to do that because we're committed to the joy of watching billionaires jaunt around in their personal jets and submarines, so are unwilling to tax them, because a hereditary aristocracy was such a good idea when Europe did it. We know our place as peasants. When the preventable disasters come, we won't even scream, because we know Jesus will take us directly to Heaven.
top Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down
Being conservative is not a protected class. It's not that rare at certain kinds of companies for people to be shown the door if they're "outed" as a conservative (possibly the most famous being the editor of Playgirl).
References please. Considering that 90%+ of those in the executive suites at larger corporations are card-carrying Republicans getting their news from Murdoch-owned organs, the "not that rare" and "certain kinds of companies" means what? That you know of one example - the editor or Playgirl? That the kind of company is one that is aiming a product towards relatively liberated, sexual women who conservatives, by and large, hate, and so having a known conservative as editor is going to be bad for circulation?
Would a seller of vegan foods find it advisable to fire an executive who is discovered to run a factory hog farm on the side? Sure, the executive is within rights. But isn't that a threat to sales?
top Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down
Thank you! It's depressing how many top-modded comments think it's just fine to support truly evil legislation that removes rights from millions of people because
freedom of religion. Or who think it's impertinent to ask a boss to step down for having furthered evil when that's been done outside of work.
This has nothing to do with religion. It's about moral truth. Sociopaths who can't comprehend basic moral truths should not be top executives of our corporations. If your axioms are freedom and equality before the law, then the right to marriage belongs equally to all adults. If your axioms are not freedom and equality before the law, then you're a sociopath and should be barred from positions with authority over others.
top Silicon Valley Anti-Poaching Cartel Went Beyond a Few Tech Firms
Your sense of scale is lacking. A corporation with billions of dollars, thousands of employees, and politicians beholden to it offers you a wage to work for it. Your bargaining power is that you might go work elsewhere. If most of the "elsewheres" for your particular skills are similar corporations, and if they have colluded and agreed not to offer you a job just if you already are working at any of them, then once you have that first job, you are no longer free to bargain. You, as a single individual, have been decisively ganged up on.
A labor union, as a response to such power (and labor unions historically very much were formed as response to such power) is also a way of ganging up. Labor unions have never been as rich as the corporations, and have rarely had equivalent political sway. But to negotiate as anything like an equal with a gang - here not just a single large corporation but a gang of large corporations - you need a gang behind you too. This is an excellent reason to unionize tech workers.
Having corporations and government melded into one isn't capitalism, by the way. It's the classic Italian definition of fascism. That some libertarians want to have that mix with government being the relatively weaker partner and corporations stronger does not change the satisfaction of the definition. It's the melding that is fascism, not the relative distribution of power within the meld.
In a true democracy corporations are kept separate to compete with each other, and government is often oppositional to their interests. Workers are allowed to form unions as a counter to corporate power. This creates, paradoxically, stronger corporations, since they are no longer coddled by government and allowed to suppress wages, they have to actually be clever and productive to profit. Fascism isn't just a nasty name; it's an inferior system ultimately,
even from the corporate point of view.
top IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages
First, we need some references for your claim that in the period when Europe was unusually warm there was increased overall agricultural output there. Maybe, maybe not. Second, Europe is on the whole on the cool side of temperate. It's way north on the globe. The larger proportion of the world's human population and agricultural lands are in warmer climes, many of which are already borderline in terms of water and relief from heat. If more wheat grows in Canada 20 years from now, but the central US is a permanent dust bowl, that's a problem if you're not Canadian. It can also be a problem if you are Canadian, since the US is likely to one way or another annex your land, or else insist you provide us wheat on
very favorable terms.
top NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization
The government, which governs things to some extent, shouldn't be looking ahead at all. Only private corporations and billionaires should look ahead. The government's job is to look backwards, with the goal of returning us to the past.
Yes, that will work. The conservative model of government.
top Is Chase.com being DDOSed in followup to Target heist?
wytcld (179112) writes "Last night I went to do my daily Chase.com check of a Chase credit card account that we used at a Target a few times in the danger period. Couldn't get the site to work. Thought it might just be a bad 3G connection from my vacation location. FInding it still bad this morning, I tried over a good, fast wired connection, and Chase.com still can't complete a login. Is this an active DDOS to do precisely this — prevent people from seeing fraud on the many Chase cards involved in the Target heist? Are other people seeing this problem?"
top What tools can prioritize individually-written e-mail to a politician?
wytcld (179112) writes "Sending an individually-written e-mail to my state senator resulted in an automated response saying that since she receives hundreds of e-mails a day, there might be no personal response, but please don't take that to mean she hasn't read my e-mail. So I contacted her again suggesting that was a pretty poor answer. Most of the e-mails she receives are mass mailings coordinated by various interest group websites. Why doesn't she put those to the side, I asked, and prioritize response to individual e-mails from constituents who've taken the time to actually write? Her response? She often can't tell the difference at first, so spends time drafting responses to the first instances of group e-mail spam, and gets diverted from responding to those who really write her. Are there tools out there which a politician can use to identify the incoming group-think blasts and put them to to side? It's easy enough to imagine sorting by repeated content or headers, if I ran the mail server, but I'm looking for packages already out there that a state-level representative, with no staff to speak of, might use to cut through the mess and prioritize communication with constituents who care enough about an issue to draft their own thoughts."
top Fake out auditors on a network readiness test
wytcld (179112) writes "When Verizon spun off its Northern New England lines to FairPoint, FairPoint leased Verizon's computer network to manage them. This was costly, so FairPoint readied its own network. To prove its own network was ready for the switchover a demonstration was prepared for an outside auditor, Liberty. Now a whistleblower claims:
when Liberty was watching what they thought was 'flow thru' within a system and from one system to another, they were really only seeing a small program that was created to assimilate what they wanted the systems to do. They were not actually in the systems at the time nor were they in the test systems. They were in a newly created small program that used screen shots from the real system to deceive the audience into believing that they were watching a real demonstration.
How easy is it to find auditors who can be fooled by such a simple trick? This could be useful in many business situations. Whether or not the test was faked, the network has proved so unready that
FairPoint is close to bankruptcy, and may have its licenses to operate revoked in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont."
top Fairpoint Pledges to Violate Net Neutrality
wytcld (179112) writes " Fairpoint Communications, which has taken over Verizon's landline business in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, announces that on February 6:
AOL, Yahoo! and MSN subscribers will continue to have access to content but will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be accessed directly at the MyFairPoint.net portal.
Since Verizon spun off its lines to Fairpoint in a maneuver that
got debt off of Verizon's balance sheets by saddling Fairpoint with it, there was concern by the public service boards of the three states about how Fairpoint would deal with that debt. Fairpoint's profit plan: force all Webmail users through Fairpoint's portal, by blocking all direct access to Webmail portals other than its own.
Will Fairpoint's own search engine portal be next? What can stop them?"
top Alpha trial of net newspaper censorship?
wytcld (179112) writes "Mid-day yesterday into this morning, my attempts to view
The LA Times, The Washington Post, The Union Leader, and The Guardian all consistently failed. These major newspapers, diversely located in IP space, were all still immediately responsive to a "telnet <site> 80". But in response to "GET / HTTP/1.0" none of them could get a page through to me, on any workstation, with any browser. Meanwhile, numerous other sites remained normally available, including The New York Times, many blogs, &c. SSH'ing to a remote system (different city, different ISP) and browsing from there showed these sites were all running normally — just blocked somehow from serving pages to systems here.
The local ISP confirms they know what the cause was, but refuses to share the knowledge. With the sites so dispersed, and consistently 100% unavailable, the regular sort of routing problems wouldn't fit as an explanation. The candidates look like: either a badly-implemented traffic-shaping attempt by my ISP (or their backbone provider), or the test of a Chinese-style firewalling of newspaper sites. Did anyone see this event from other ISPs while trying to read the Sunday papers? Does a more innocent explanation than a trial of a net newspaper censorship system jump to your mind?"
top Will robotics doom Chinese manufacturing?
wytcld (179112) writes "Sending manufacturing to China was brilliant. It weens the American worker from factory jobs. The next stage is fully robotic factories. Those won't be in China, since a robot costs the same in any market. They will be close to markets, to save transportation cost. All those Chinese workers will lose their factory jobs, while the American workers will have already transitioned to better professions. China is going to be severely hurt by this whole thing. America (and Japan) will come out supreme. Discuss."
wytcld has no journal entries.