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Comment Re:A case study in overexpansion (Score 1) 312

"The risk with that strategy is every city you ignore is going to start its own Uber clones, clones that are going to get favourable treatment from local regulators and be the favourites of local consumers."

Monopoly cities are by definition cities in which it's illegal to compete with taxi companies that have been granted status. Therefore no local startups, but if a major company like Uber can become well-liked by both customers and drivers elsewhere, voters in monopoly cities will demand change.

By that definition many of the cities in which Uber is currently deployed are "monopoly cities". It doesn't mean they can't operate, it means that they're vulnerable to fines, their drivers are sometimes ticketed, and they might even get court orders against them. But they often still find ways to operate.

Uber's problem is the regulator is more likely to look the other way for the local start-up, or they're going to make a hole in the regulations that allows the local company to compete but bans Uber. These kind of actions might be challenged in court, but to do that Uber needs to go into those markets and fight them.

I'm not saying that's the only valid strategy, they certainly could try to be the nice guy and only go where they could play completely by the rules, but I'm not sure that's the optimal strategy for their business model. And given their rep as a company I'm not sure they can ever really clean up their image.

Comment Re:A case study in overexpansion (Score 3, Insightful) 312

If I were running Uber, I would have had it concentrate on an assortment of US cities that are friendly to open-market taxi service, rather than blowing its budget fighting City Hall in every monopoly city in the world. By being profitable and having the capital to treat its drivers well in the short term while getting ready for self-driving cars in the long term, it would eventually expand into monopoly cities because the customers would demand it.

The risk with that strategy is every city you ignore is going to start its own Uber clones, clones that are going to get favourable treatment from local regulators and be the favourites of local consumers.

If you don't have a presence in that market users are going to flock to the local start-up and one of those start-ups might take off and become your main competitor. Uber has a bit of a paper empire, all they really have is their network and mind-share, and ride-sharing apps are a natural monopoly in the same sense as social networks. They're trying to establish their monopoly so they become the Facebook and not the Myspace.

Comment Re:Uber is pursuing the wrong thing (Score 4, Insightful) 312

Uber is a taxi company, it made a name and got support by creating jobs and employing people. Their push to automatic cars destroys the very thing that made them popular to begin with. Uber isn't a car manufacturer, and not an automotive tech company. Any beating they get is well deserved at this point, because they put social engineering above society. The CEO should, but of course won't, be thrown out on their behind.

Yeah, the self-driving car focus is odd, I'm sure there's opportunities for some cool AI managing the Uber fleet, but they've never distinguished themselves as an elite R&D company. They'd be a big consumer of self-driving cars but I don't see them as a manufacturer.

I really think they're in a situation where they have too much VC money and don't know what to do with it. Their fundamental issue is how to turn their network profitable before the traditional Taxi companies are able to get their own app out there.

Comment Re:Were they ever in it? (Score 1) 126

Perhaps this is just my perception but I've always thought the plan was to develop the technology and then license it to car manufacturers. Did anyone honestly think that some technology companies were actually going to manufacture entire cars without any experience in the field of manufacturing let alone automotive manufacturing?

I'd classify Tesla as a tech company and they're certainly giving it a go.

I think Apple might have gone for it if Steve Jobs was still around, I think he would be a lot more aggressive in entering new product categories, and car sales are fundamentally about style and marketing, Jobs' strong suit.

It would be very tough to break in but a company like Apple has enough cash to make a bet, note they wouldn't be going head-to-head in dealerships but would aim for the luxury market where margins are higher and they don't need a big footprint.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 1085

This is just plain wrong. You should read/watch the news. Land wars, the kind fought with rifles like the ones you say are useless, still make up and decide 99% of armed conflicts. You think because drones entered the scene everything is magic hollywood effects? We blast and just send in soldiers to hand out food?

Don't be so daft. You are the one that is wrong, and the numbers show it.
How about you go tell ISIS how futile a rifle is, meanwhile they're about to seize a landmass a quarter the size of Europe.

Once an armed conflict starts weapons are easy to come by. ISIS is actually a great example of what I'm talking about.

Their origin in Iraq is unusual as they were part of a long-term insurgency partially made up of a former standing army, once you have a violent conflict it's always easy to get more guns into the country (and they got a lot of US military hardware Iraqi troops left behind as they fled).

But in Syria Assad did two things when the Arab spring started, first he started torturing and committing outrages to turn the protests violent, and second, he released all the extremists from his jails. He was faced with peaceful protests and he worked hard to create a violent Islamic insurgency, the reasoning being that while lots of people wanted the peaceful protester to take power no one wanted the Islamists in charge.

It's exactly what I'm talking about, authoritarians want an internal threat so they can be the lesser of two evils, so Assad created that threat.

In the US, if you hate Muslims and want to take away their rights the first thing you want to do is get as many guns as you can into their hands. Inevitably a few of them will use them and you'll have the public outrage to do whatever you want.

Comment Re:Obama was letting them in (Score 1) 1085

Trump is at least trying to slow the flood of people who would tend to kill us.

What people are these? Immigrants have lower crime rates than native born and terrorism is an extraordinarily rare way to die.

And yes, I know some were "American". They tend to be children of immigrants. Some are actual immigrants. Some are from long-established American families... but turned to jihad by immigrants

When native born Muslims turn to terrorism it's not because they were "turned by immigrants". It's typically because they're caught between cultures and are trying to find an identity, they feel rejected by the US because of all the people who call them "American" so they look for an identity by trying to reacquire their own culture as an outsider. This can lead an extremely tiny fraction to turn to terrorism.

often having been converted to Islam while in prison.

I'm not even sure what alt-right meme you're tapping into this time but I assume it's some kind of African-American Nation of Islam reference? Can you point to any Muslim terrorist who was converted to Islam in prison?

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1, Insightful) 1085

Non-Americans understand you believe that, but we also understand that you're wrong.

You're entitled to your opinion, but it's our country and this is how we have chosen to live. You don't have to come here or live here if you don't want to. What we Americans resent and oppose utterly are foreigners telling us how to live or trying to take away our rights, including our individual right to bear arms.

I wasn't presenting an opinion, I was presenting a fact. An opinion would be "you should have more gun control", when I originally wrote the comment I included that opinion, but then I decided to simply stick with the fact "guns do not protect you against tyranny". Now, you can argue that fact is wrong, but don't act like I'm just presenting some unsubstantiated opinion.

Guns might have been useful before the 20th century, but they are not a good defence against a modern government, if anything they actually enable authoritarians by giving them a reason to crack down on the civil liberties that actually do keep governments in check.

Governments behave differently when the people are armed. They are more restrained, less authoritarian and more cautious in the exercise of their powers. As for enabling authoritarianism, the first thing that authoritarians everywhere do is disarm the populace because they know perfectly well that an armed people will not stand for tyranny. For example, one of the first things that both the Soviets and the Nazis did when they gained power was to restrict gun ownership. Coincidence? I think not.

That authoritarian governments try to disarm their enemies, and that gun ownership enables authoritarian governments, are not mutually exclusive.

More more guns you have the more murders you have, and the more society-wide anxiety (since you realize that aggressive obnoxious guy at the bar might be packing). That creates a demand for a stronger more authoritative government to keep the violence at bay.

I don't think it's coincidence that gun-rights activists are generally in favour of harsher laws and more aggressive police. When you think you're in a dangerous society you want a strong government to keep control.

Comment Re:Obama is to blame (Score 4, Interesting) 1085

Pretty much all Trump supporters are not racists

Everybody is racist. At least to some degree, if you think you're colour-blind or your biases are grounded in dispassionate statistics then you're delusional.

Now, do Trump supporters show more racial biases than other people? Yes. Whether you call them "racist" is just a question of where you draw the line on using that particular label.

that is yet more Fake News

You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

In the face of a shooting why are you trying to make people hate others more, not less?

We're trying to wake people up to the danger posed by the rhetoric that Trump is pumping out, and he's not just creating threats on the right, if I were an Al-Queda or ISIS recruiter right now I'd be over the moon.

What triggers this shooting was a vet who couldn't get assistance from the VA.

Are you always so understanding when seeking the root cause when a Muslim does something terroristy?

After eight years, that is on Obama - as is Obama and supporters stirring racial tension

Yeah! What was Obama thinking Presidenting while black??

and giving focus to a violent angry drunk man.

I don't think Trump drinks.

Mathews apologized to the family's in her statement, calling Purinton's actions "senseless." She said he had a drinking problem that became worse since his father passed away in October 2015, and he'd been trying to get assistance from the VA.

The families of home-grown Muslim terrorists tend to be very apologetic and horrified by the actions of their relatives, do you also bold their family's response when trying to humanize the perpetrator?

Comment Re: I blame Trump. (Score 4, Informative) 1085

Cool. Then let's blame Obama for Orlando, San Bernardino, etc.

See how fucking stupid you are?

No, because Obama was always condemned the extremism that led to those attacks, and condemned the acts themselves after they happened.

Trump, on the other hand, was completely silent the last time a right wing terrorist killed people, and has done basically nothing to speak up against the extremists in his base. Even getting him to disavow the KKK or condemn anti-Semitism is like getting a toddler to eat vegetables.

There is absolutely no double standard in holding Trump accountable for this.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 3, Insightful) 1085

They genuinely believe that the right to bear arms is a good thing and the deaths that result, while tragic, are the price of freedom.

Here is the thing foreigners don't understand about guns in America. The reason we have an amendment to the Constitution which permits citizens to own guns is twofold:

1) The Founding Fathers, almost all of whom were British subjects, saw firsthand what happens when only the government has firearms. They can use those weapons to quell public outcry over anything, claiming the people were "rioting" or were "a threat to peace and order" because the people can't effectively fight back. If you read The Federalist Papers, Hamilton, Madison and Jay all say the same basic thing: citizens who have weapons are more fully able to defend themselves from the government.

That may sound odd to Europeans, but if you look at your history you should be able to see the logic behind this amendment.

Non-Americans understand you believe that, but we also understand that you're wrong.

Guns might have been useful before the 20th century, but they are not a good defence against a modern government, if anything they actually enable authoritarians by giving them a reason to crack down on the civil liberties that actually do keep governments in check.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 1085

No he isn't.

Your co-worker is dead because some fucking asshole shot him.

Taking away guns does nothing to fix the underlying issues in a situation like this. That fucking asshole who shot your co-worker is going to hate your co-worker and do violence to him, guns or not.

There is no silver bullet. These are complex times with complex social issues that take insightful determination to solve. Knee-jerk reactions like "take away guns", "kick out the Muslims", "build a wall", "get a gun" and the like do not go very far in terms of a solution. Bigotry, hatred, sexism aren't going to be fixed like that.

"Doing something" for the sake of reacting may not be the best choice.

A right wing terrorists shot somebody to death, there are two underlying issues. The fact that right wing extremism is being enabled at the highest ranks of the US Government, and that the US is so infested with guns that it's really easy for unstable individuals to get guns. You can try to fix both.

Comment Re:motivation (Score 4, Insightful) 192

"Another manager threatened to beat an underperforming employee's head in with a baseball bat."

Now, that's what must be a highly motivating work environment :/

One must wonder how their hiring process works, i.e. letting such characters through the gates, since recent reports don't paint a pretty picture.

It's not the hiring process that's creating the problem, it's senior management. Management would have heard about the incident (or similar ones), and they had the ability to discipline both the manager to grabbed the baseball bat as well as his manager who didn't do anything about it. Instead they let the incident go, perhaps even laughing about it and treating it as an example of a passionate manager motivating his people.

It's like corruption in Russia, they didn't get that way by hiring corrupt government officials, they got that way by demonstrating, at the very top, that corruption was tolerated. That same baseball bat manager might have been a perfectly decent manager in a different organization, or weeded out if he couldn't play along, but put in an organization that didn't restrain his tendencies he becomes a menace.

Comment Re:Astroturfing Trolls (Score 1) 906

The amount of Anonymous Cowards posting the same couple lines makes it obvious. This thread is being astroturfed.

Women are making more money than men for the same job and same amount of work today, especially in cities. Stop reading a bogus 30 year old paper crafted for a narrative and check current reports. or This or This or This and of course This Interestingly most of these are LEFT leaning sites, not Right/Conservative.

PolitiFact has given you the nuts and bolts about the 77 cents statistic -- you can read the two most important works in this area here and here. Basically, there is a wage gap, but it tends to disappear when you compare women and men in the exact same jobs who have the same levels of experience and education. (emphasis mine)

The wage gap gets smaller when you control for job and experience, it doesn't disappear. And it's not certain you should be controlling for those things.

The stat about unmarried women in the 22-30 range earning more is part of it. For one those articles are from 2008-2012 when uneducated males were probably the hardest hit demographic, I'm not sure that stat would be true today.

Also, as they get older that gap is likely to reverse as men move out of apprenticeship positions (in labour or medicine) and as they start moving into management.

Do men get promoted into management because women make different career choices, or because we tend to view men as leaders? The answer to that question affects whether you view the wage gap as legitimate.

Just like 60% of all College students are women, 56% of all College graduates with advanced degrees are women. Yet we continue to hear that we need more women in college.

I'm an egalitarian, not a MRA. I also happen to believe in Socrates' definition of Philosopher, who must seek truth even at their own peril. Sadly the left avoids all truth and distorts everything they can for division and agenda.

More women in College isn't necessarily a sign of equality, women need degrees because uneducated women don't have the same job opportunities as uneducated men in skilled and unskilled labour. I think Iran, hardly an example of gender equality, also has more women in University.

Besides, you're arguing a straw man. The thing you actually year is not "we need more women in college", it's "we need more women in technical fields". There are a lot of well paying fields like software and engineering that women don't pursue, that's also responsible for part of the wage gap. It also leads to the creation of hostile dysfunctional workplaces like the one described in this article.

Comment Re:Go visit Mar-a-Lago and complain (Score 1) 507

I'm not saying that Clinton was perfect, I'm saying she was a normal politician.

You claimed the Clintons didn't profit personally. You were astoundingly wrong about that and turned a blind eye when cited evidence was provided.

I meant they didn't profit personally while in office. I figured this distinction was obvious since every high profile politician makes a ton of money after office, and some of that is surely influence peddling.

since she was trying to get rid of super PACs

Give me a break. The Clintons didn't give a shit about the corrupting influence of money in politics. They unabashedly played that game their whole career and profited immensely from it, both politically and personally.

Not everyone who plays the game but says they'll try to end the game in office is lying.

Clinton wasn't great on this regard, I don't think she really felt that the money was a big problem, but she said she'd try to get rid of the PACs I don't see any reason to doubt her.

really do think there was a subtext of sexism

What's sexist is playing the gender card.

When the playing field is slanted it's not discrimination to give a hand.

Comment Re:Go visit Mar-a-Lago and complain (Score 1) 507

I'm not saying that Clinton was perfect, I'm saying she was a normal politician. All the things she's accused of are completely typical in US politics, elected she would have been no worse than a typical politician, if anything she might be slightly better since she was trying to get rid of super PACs and the Bernie camp would have had some influence to push the system.

The thing that pisses me off about it is that people only really seemed to care about this stuff once it applied to Hillary. I really do think there was a subtext of sexism, I think people felt that for a guy to play the game it was a normal ambitious guy thing to do, but for a woman to do the same somehow became sinister.

That doesn't mean anyone who criticizes her was sexist, not remotely. But there were a lot of sexist people passionately pushing the narratives that destroyed her image.

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