Thank you for the link Emma. That was a very positive way to end a crappy Thursday.
Much as I understand that Uber has some things going for it, I wouldn't be sad to see these fuckers banned from New Zealand for shit like this.
And as a second question how reliable and robust are the e-bikes?
Part of the joy of a bike is it’s so simple* that there just isn’t that much that goes wrong – add the electric assist and that simplicity starts to decline.
I took my e-bike in for a checkup after a year, and there were no problems, and after two & a half years I took it in when the power failed on the way to work - that turned out to be a lose wire in the bottom of the battery case where it plugs to the frame, which the dealer fixed for free.
Other than that, I haven't had a failure that required me to try to take the wheels off, but that looks a little more complicated than on my old bike.
Re: Disc brakes:
My wife dinged her front disc brakes putting them in a public bike rack that the front wheels slots into. I think she took them in to get replaced. As we weren't used to that fragility, we hadn't even thought to look out for the problem.
My wife and I bought e-bikes for Commuting a couple of years ago.
One big change was getting to work and not needing to have a shower!
The other big change was being able to climb the hill at the end of the day without being completely knackered.
Occasionally on windy days, I get a roady tucking in behind me and using me for slipstreaming into the headwind.
On 4 (out of 5) power assist, it sits comfortably on about 32kmh when I peddle with some effort. It doesn't really coast well at much slower speeds 15kmh is quite difficult to maintain because I have to peddle-coast-peddle-coast.
Mine will do 25km and still be on 80% charge, but then I hit the final hill (about 100 vertical meters) it drops to 40% by the time I get home. On a full charge it went from sea-level to the top of Brooklyn hill (the wind turbine) and back (about 300 vertical meters) and was down to somewhere between 20-40%. (the indicator is relatively imprecise).
Downsides include going faster than a lot (but not all) of the standard bikes, and having to pass a lot, which can be a bit exciting on some narrow Wellington roads; and that the taxis pass me and then go round the corner with their wheels in the cycle lane, and I think they underestimate my speed and several times have nearly driven me off the road. (I'm assuming it's not deliberately due to them being bastards, but when someone cuts me off, it's 9 times out of 10 a taxi).
Both Stalker the movie and the Stalker video games are loosely based on Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's "Roadside picnic". (The Strugatskys also wrote the screenplay for the movie).
I spent far too long playing that game, modding it heavily and playing it again...
the first stalker was "STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl", the second was STALKER Clear skies, (a prequel of sorts) and the third was STALKER Call of Prypiat.
Their mechanics got steadily better, and the atmosphere got steadily worse.
One mod turned off the detectors, so the way you could tell you were about to step into an anomaly was the low frequency bass that made my neck hairs stand on end.
My wife laughed a lot the first time I encountered some of the bad-guys and nearly fell off my chair jumping sideways...
If they can make the whole get-in-get-out process not involve any sort of manual payment, I suspect it would be a piece of cake for an Uber driver-less car to rock up to a participating petrol station, be filled up, and drive away, and all the payments happen in the back-office and get amortised across all the people who rode in it that day...
Seems pretty easy, really.
When there are laws that most people are breaking, but the police let slide unless they're upset with you for some other reason, then that gives the police an enormous amount of potential for influencing behaviour that isn't illegal.
If you know the police disapprove of something legal, and if they look hard they'll be able to arrest you for something which, while illegal, is done by most people, then you'll tend to not do the thing that the police disapprove of, despite it being legal.
Which is why, while in some ways I approve of police discretion, I look sideways at laws which are not uniformly enforced, especially with ones that have harsh punishments (and currently the consequences for international travel and some jobs for having a drug conviction are quite harsh).
There was a line going round university when I was there "maybe all mean aren't rapists, but all men profit from rape".
My now-wife suggested when we got together that I read a book called "Reflecting men at twice their natural size" by Sally Cline and Dale Spender, where they started by pointing out the things that many women do that salve men's egos and emotionally manage them, with examples like how a woman who claims 50% of the conversational space will be seen as grabbing more than her share by both the man in the conversation and the woman. That men interrupt women in conversation at a rate much higher than women interrupt men, and that seems fair to all the people involved.
Why do (many) women act this way?
Conditioning. Being told that's what they should do, by other women, men, society; and the conscious or unconscious fear of rape, abuse and sexual harassment.
It doesn't require that most men be shitgibbons, just that there are enough shitgibbons for women to (subconsciously?) change their behaviour around men to be more accommodating.
One reviewer said the authors verged on misandry; but I found it quite compelling, and even now, 25 years later, I find their arguments (what I remember of them) in the back of my mind when I find myself bridling at being interrupted by a woman, or tempted to interrupt them in turn. I am still a work in progress, but my wife thinks I'm still worth keeping around... (at least, that's what she tells me).
Can anyone tell me what the interviewer Suzie's last name is? Big, big ups to her.