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To succeed, Uber needs to stop hemorrhaging money

Uber is the poster child for all that is wrong with Silicon Valley culture. Broculture. Disdain for the law because the company believes itself so special. Most of all, it pretends it can become profitable by blowing through billions in venture capital funding without ever making a profit or even having a remote possibility for doing so. They get bonus points for spending money on hare-brained schemes, like flying cars, rather than focusing on their core business.

Tell me again why Travis Kalanick is such a great CEO, because that makes no sense to me. Uber is losing billions of dollars. His blundering arrogance has cost them huge amounts of business and the negative PR is, gasp, hurting the bizarre valuation of $70 billion for a private company that has never made money. Investors are getting twitchy that the whole thing could crater.

Really, why is a company that is losing billions valued at $70 billion? That is completely insane.

[Uber] has been losing money at a rate that some tech analysts say is faster than any technology company ever. It lost nearly $3 billions in 2016 (and another billion or two in China), and it has already lost $700 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Uber has become stuck in a pattern of using its venture capital funding to subsidize at least 50% of every ride in order to cut fares and try to gain a monopoly position that can drive the competition out of business. In short, Uber is charging too little for each passenger ride.

Russia interfered in the election. Ordered by Putin.

Those who say there is nothing to the Trump / Russia investigation, that Russia did not interfere in the election, now need to believe that Obama, multiple intelligence services, and multiple members of Congress of both parties are lying and that Donald Trump alone is telling the truth, even though by his actions Trump has rather clearly been obstructing justice. Which is mighty peculiar behavior for someone who claims innocence.

an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

Obama also approved a previously undisclosed covert measure that authorized planting cyber weapons in Russia’s infrastructure, the digital equivalent of bombs that could be detonated if the United States found itself in an escalating exchange with Moscow.

How to blow up your company

1) Launch a startup that does something disrupty.
2) Boast about how you will smite the competition. Attempt to bulldoze them. Be astonished when they fight back, wallpapering you with lawsuits.
3) Raise billions of dollars and blow through it, losing money in a spectacular manner. You are disrupty and have no need to pay attention to outmoded concepts like making a profit.
4) Treat female employees as less than equals, sex toys for the dudebros.
5) Foster a corporate culture where top management prides itself on being belligerent assholes.
6) Lie constantly about most everything until no one can believe a word you say.
7) Be astonished when it all blows up in your face.

Alphabet soup of Marxist parties snoozes away

The alphabet soup of little Marxist parties in the US have been preaching for years, sometimes decades, that the vanguard needs to seize the opportunity if and when something triggers the masses into political action. Organize on that issue, then move onto to organizing on bigger issues.

 You would think the alphabet soup would be overjoyed with the Trump / Russia investigation. It’s splitting the ruling class. People from across the political spectrum are resisting Trump. Corruption and blind self-interest is exposed for all to see. The whole world is watching.
But instead of jumping in, helping to dump Trump, then organizing on bigger issues like systemic corruption and healthcare for all, these Marxist revolutionaries are studiously ignoring the whole thing. Go figure.

Rooftop solar returns to Nevada, Screw you Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, billionaire plutocrat exploiter beloved by the financial press because of his aw-shucks manner and folksy aphorisms tried through his subsidiary NV Energy to kill rooftop solar in Nevada. It wasn’t that NV Energy opposed solar, it was that it would hurt their profits, so everyone else could go screw themselves. They lobbied hard and managed to temporarily mostly kill rooftop solar.

Multiple casinos told Buffett to go screw himself, paid exit fees and are now buying renewable energy on the open market. Ginormous data center Switch has done much the same. Mandalay Bay has 28 acres of solar PV panels on their convention center rooftop. And yesterday Nevada Governor Sandoval just signed bills almost completely restoring rooftop solar to what it was before Buffett interfered.

A Nevada rooftop solar industry crippled by regulators’ 2015 decision to change a pricing structure is expected to make a comeback after Sandoval signed three major energy-related bills at a Tesla facility in Las Vegas

AB405, sponsored by Democratic Assembly members Chris Brooks and Justin Watkins, will restore more favorable rates for customers with rooftop solar panels who want to sell excess energy they produce back to the grid. It also enshrines into law consumer protections for people who buy solar systems.

It wouldn’t allow rates quite as generous as the ones that predated the Public Utilities Commission’s 2015 decision, but customers could now get 95 percent of that “retail” electricity rate. The rate would decline periodically in tiers as more Nevadans install rooftop solar.