Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Uber Endgame? World Domination - What I am reading 8/26/2015.

The Awl - The Uber Endgame: Why Uber (and Lyft) continue to look more and more like mass transit -

But if you put all of these Uber innovations together—pre-determined routes with fixed pickup points and continuous passenger pickups—it sounds remarkably like a gently optimized version of currently existing mass transit, one of the services that Uber is attempting to d i s r xu p t.
 ...
The subtext of Uber’s new products having the look and feel of a slightly shinier version of mass transit is, of course, that Uber wants to be privatized mass transit. In Uber’s grand vision, no one owns cars because nearly everyone is taken everywhere in a driverless, electric, omnisciently networked Uber conveyance that arrives precisely when it is needed for a price cheap enough that for many people it feels free (but is just enough to make a profit, since one day, as unimaginable as it seems, the venture capital will run out). This is why Uber earnestly speaks of ending car ownership, taking cars off the road, and helping nurses commute to and from night shifts in the Bronx at two in the morning.
A year ago people were having conniptions over Google and Facebook running buses in order to move there workers to and from work.  It was like the world was coming to an end.  Now UBer comes along and actually is trying to displace public transit and there is silence?

Washington Post - Ted Cruz and Megyn Kelly tangle over immigration -

Prepare for another round of Kelly bashing.  Personally I like that she is pushing the candidates on these issues.  Remember everyone just let Obama slide in 2008 and we ended up with a feckless pice of shit as President.


Ars Technica - How security flaws work: The buffer overflow -
At its core, the buffer overflow is an astonishingly simple bug that results from a common practice. Computer programs frequently operate on chunks of data that are read from a file, from the network, or even from the keyboard. Programs allocate finite-sized blocks of memory—buffers—to store this data as they work on it. A buffer overflow happens when more data is written to or read from a buffer than the buffer can hold.
Long but informative article.  I recommend it.

NY Times - Signs, Long Unheeded, Now Point to Risks in U.S. Economy -
The data points range from the obvious to the obscure, encompassing stock market and credit bubbles in China, the strength of the dollar relative to emerging market currencies, a commodity rout and a sudden halt to global earnings growth.
I am not sure what this means although the repeated use of the word deflationary is rather scary, and I am pretty sure that this is the exact opposite of Monty's many predictions of runaway hyperinflation.  Correction:  I went back and looked at Monty's Mar 18 2015 Doom! piece and he does mention deflation: 
When we have sovereign long-bond rates dipping into negative territory and (possible) deflation looming in spite of a vast orgy of money-printing, it is clear that the global economic machine has begun to seriously malfunction.
Wired - A Peek Inside Mr. Robot’s Toolbox -
The bar wasn’t exactly high for dystopian hacker suspense thrillers when USA Network’s Mr. Robot launched, but the show has gone on to surprise everyone. WIRED Security writer Kim Zetter called it “the best hacking show yet.” What makes the show, which airs its season finale tonight, work is how true it is to its subject matter, from the alienation at the heart of an always-connected life to the technologies the characters use to pull off the story lines.
I have to say, I disagree about the quality of the show.  I really liked the first couple episodes, kind of liked the next few but I haven't even finished watching the last two.  They just completely lost me.  I'm not ever sure why, although the secret hacker family / near incest subplot may have had something to do with it.  I'll watch tonight's episode but unless it completely blows me away I am not tuning in for season two.


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