Sunday, May 18, 2014

What I am reading 5/18/2014

boingboing - Cloud computers are computers you can only use with someone else's permission - I have said this over and over.  "When you move to the cloud you give up control of your data." Somebody finally agrees with me but given who it is that makes me think I should reconsider my opposition.  

Quartz - New York's mayor is proving uber right about cab cartels -

But by restricting the number of cabs, the mayor is essentially making Uber’s case for its own existence. He’s reinforcing Uber’s narrative that the current system is rigged against consumers, and companies like Uber are needed to disrupt it and meet the unmet demand. And, in this case, Uber’s probably right.

But that doesn’t solve a problem Uber prefers to elide: the fact that, being unregulated, its drivers aren’t subject to the city’s supervision and safety checks. And that’s really where New York’s government is failing. It’s neither meeting the demand for paid car services by approving new cabs, nor is it creating a system whereby Uber, or its competitors Lyft and Sidecar, can safely fill the gap. 


What can I say, this is a perfect example of government interference making things worse for the consumer and driving up prices, but it's NYC and frankly they keep electing retards like this so they deserve what they get.

The Atlantic - What if US Cities Just Stopped Participating in the War on Drugs -

Mark Kleiman, a UCLA professor of public policy, believes that the U.S. is overly invested in a war on drugs that aims to achieve “abstract goals.” Instead, he says, drug policy should be crafted with specific public health or safety goals in mind, and with the aim of forcing the market for illicit substances to function in the least socially destructive way possible. If a drug dealer is arrested, he says, another one is likely to take their place, so cities shouldn't devote too many resources to interrupting the drug supply.

BBC - Switzerland rejects world's highest minimum wage

Supporters said the move was necessary for people to live a decent life.
But critics argued that it would raise production costs and increase unemployment.

Almost 77% of voters opposed the minimum wage proposal, according to almost complete results. Supporters had argued it would "protect equitable pay" but the Swiss Business Federation said it would harm low-paid workers in particular.


At least some places still have some sense, however now that this proposal has been examined and found wanting in Europe California will adopt it and destroy whats left of the world's seventh largest economy.

Quartz - When US companies drug test, they wind up hiring more black people -

Without the testing, employers went by their gut biases. But when testing became common and showed that black applicants were not actually using drugs, hiring rates for black applicants went up. Wozniak concludes that this is evidence of discrimination against black workers before testing, driven by some combination of racialized belief and ignorance.

Kind of a counter-intuitive result since I have heard it proclaimed over and over that drug testing for jobs is designed to keep minorities out.  I guess the oppressors will have to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Books -

Still working on "You" by Austing Grossman  and "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" by Campbell.  I am open to suggestions.


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New Ready Player One Trailer

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