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Michael Gebetsroither
Works at mgIT
Attended Technische Universität Graz
Lives in Graz
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Michael Gebetsroither

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This sort of thing makes me feel more positively towards Uber than pretty much anything else does.

I think that what the taxi business as a whole has been doing for years has been wrong -- and now that it's falling apart, it's dumping the burden of that on the individual drivers, and telling the drivers that they can only protect themselves through violence, because the industry sure as hell isn't going to help them.

Taxis in most cities are artificial monopolies. Drivers have to pay in to get access to that -- the 240,000€ sum in Paris is actually not even close to the worst. (In New York, taxi medallions can easily run $1.3M) Individual drivers can't afford that, obviously, so they have to either rent medallions or take giant loans in order to buy their own. The profit went to the people owning the medallions.

This was a workable business for individual drivers for exactly as long as the monopoly was in place. And the business worked out just the way monopolies always did; taxi service is terrible. I expect that, when I get into a taxi in most places, at best the experience will be somewhat unpleasant; at worst, the driver may get lost, or attempt to cheat or rob me. If I try to call and order a taxi, that translates to "in 30 minutes, a taxi may or may not show up." Every bad thing I've ever heard said of Uber drivers has been no less (and no more) true of taxi drivers.

Uber has been basically breaking this monopoly. And from the perspective of everyone but the taxi industry, that's great; people get a (much) better service (much) cheaper. 

For the taxi industry, it's a catastrophe, but a catastrophe of its own making: it's imploding because it's taken comfort in being a regulated monopoly for so long that it forgot how to compete. So it's going to collapse, and most of the jobs in it are going to disappear because the businesses are going to disappear.

However, unlike most monopolies, the taxi industry has done a very thorough job of pushing the risk onto its lowest-level employees, by treating them as not just contractors, but contractors who had to own a special zero-value item. (At least Uber drivers only have to own a car; if Uber folded tomorrow, they'd still have a car.) The taxi companies own shockingly little of the risk; they may go out of business, but it's the individual drivers who often have huge loans that won't magically disappear if the value of a medallion plummets.

And the taxi industry isn't making any attempt to help. I haven't seen a single taxi company anywhere attempt to compete with Uber on service. Nor to think through protections for its employees. Instead, it's telling its drivers that if they want to have any financial future at all, it's their responsibility to stop Uber.

And so what happens? Violence in the streets. Petty thuggery, because the industry wants to offload even the risk of fighting its foes onto its workers. 

So I have exactly zero sympathy for the taxi industry. I have somewhat more sympathy for the drivers affected, but that's ultimately limited by the fact that none of what I described above was ever secret; the drivers got into this game knowing what it was. And it's even more limited when the taxi drivers' response seems to involve not just trying to shut down a city, but taking competing drivers hostage, or assaulting drivers and passengers alike.
French taxi drivers today blocked roads to airports and train stations in Paris, as part of a nationwide protest against Uber. Thousands of drivers are expected to participate in today's strike in...
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Michael Gebetsroither

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Hard drive firmware by all these manufacturers compromised: Western Digital Corp, Seagate Technology Plc, Toshiba Corp, IBM, Micron Technology Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. Curious, do we load this firmware from the OS?
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Michael Gebetsroither

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Linux recently saw "busiest development cycle" in its history.
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Yes they mean kernel, though the presented version numbers seem strange
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Michael Gebetsroither

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The source code of unbreakable argentinian voting machine leaked on github
vot.ar - VOT.AR - Sistema de Voto Electrónico
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Michael Gebetsroither

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DBus 101 including the new sd-bus API of systemd
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I've written several books to teach beginners of all ages how to code, and I know from experience that you don't need to consider yourself a techie or "good at math" to learn. In fact, kids often can learn to program faster than adults precisely because they don't know how "difficult" coding is supposed to be.
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Keychain cracked on OSX and IOS. Ruh-Roh. https://goo.gl/MpJU07
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Michael Gebetsroither

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Bedauerlicher Unfall in 3... 2... 1
 ·  Translate
Als Hauptangeklagte im NSU-Prozess hat Beate Zschäpe bislang geschwiegen. Nun erwägt sie laut einem Schreiben an den Vorsitzenden Richter, doch auszusagen. Das könnte den Bruch mit ihren Pflichtverteidigern bedeuten.
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If you invent something new, one of the hardest parts is to convey your concept. In the case of kdbus, I meet a lot of people who don't have a clue what it actually does. On the other hand, most people seem to be pretty familiar with AF_UNIX. Hence, I went ahead and tried to describe the very fundamental concept of kdbus, by "speaking" AF_UNIX.

I hope this makes people re-evaluate their position, if they read some premature judgement about kdbus on news media or forums. I don't believe kdbus is something radically new, nor is it a huge code-base. I much rather believe we just picked the parts of existing features we needed, and formed a fresh new interface that should serve DBus' needs for the years to come.
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etcd and etcdctl Intro... for the single point of truth
Etcd is a globally distributed key-value store that forms the basis of the clustering technology in CoreOS. In this guide, we'll look at etcd and the etcdctl utility and discuss how they can be used to store and retrieve application and cluster data.
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QUIC: a UDP-based secure and reliable transport for HTTP/2. Informational IETF draft: http://bit.ly/1Su8RnY - great read, but I do recommend getting a strong coffee first! :-)
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Education
  • Technische Universität Graz
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gebi
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  • mgIT
    Owner, 2009 - present
  • Technische Universität Graz
    2012
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Graz
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Wolfsberg
One of the best cocktails in graz
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reviewed 2 years ago
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