You can’t get what you want 

Fantastic post from Scott. 

I recently blogged about the impossibility of buying a Chevy truck with the features you want. The quick summary is that there are so many truck features and options that it would be almost mathematically impossible for a dealer to have the truck you want on the lot. Likewise, there are generally no nearby trucks at other dealerships that your local dealer can ship in for you.

The Bait-and-Switch Confusopoly Economy
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Visa and Walmart duke it out

Technology is putting pressure on credit card and bricks and mortar retailers. Both aren’t needed as much, and hence they start fighting like children over the scraps.

Most won’t be too sad to see both walk away wounded.

Now Walmart has initiated a public fight – something we never wanted – and they are using their own customers as negotiating leverage by stating that they will no longer accept Visa cards at Walmart stores.

www.visa.ca/en/aboutcan/mediacentre/news/visa-open-letter-walmart.jsp#.V2P7MmIpBE9

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Canada’s bad for business

NHL hockey is in the entertainment business, and Canadian teams winning is bad for American TV business. That’s not a theory, that’s a conspiracy fact.

Last week, to great fanfare, preliminary rosters for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey were unveiled. And as usual, Team Canada stood out as being ridiculously stacked, boasting so much talent that the biggest story were the perennial All-Stars who wouldn’t make the cut.It was a nice moment for Canadian fans, one where they could feel good about the nation’s hockey prowess. Then the NHL regular season resumed, and those feelings immediately vanished. Because as a glance at this year’s standings will confirm, Canada’s NHL teams are terrible.

Source: Why are Canada’s NHL teams so bad this season? The conspiracy theories explored | Sport | The Guardian

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Ubereverything

Uber continues to innovate while the old models continue to strangulate.

Here’s a good comment on how to move forward (as if the city could get its act together)

It is very simple.

UBER is not a new phenomenon – this type of transit is popular in eastern europe, particularly former soviet republics. Its called a “marshrutka” there.

Basically its a private transit that fills the gaps left by official city transport. Not as cheap as city transit, not as expensive as taxis. And it works.

Toronto needs to adopt this model rather then fight it.

1) Deregulate taxi industry. Remove fees, surcharges, most rules, plate limits – everything. Being a taxi driver should be very very simple: clean driving record, a car, insurance – and thats it. No need for special cars or rules. This will allow cabbies to compete – some companies will fail, others will spring up.

2) Work with insurance industry to launch a special type of car insurance for these drivers. its not rocket science – just basic liability with premium adjusted for higher time spent on the road. Thats it. Nothing special.

3) Deregulate TTC, let them launch their own variant of UBER. I see NO reason why TTC cant attract private drivers to drive on ad-hoc routes on a subcontractor basis. Copy uber’s app, call it something snappy, give drivers a framework, and let the market set price and schedules and routes. TTC takes a smaller cut then UBER of course. Let TTC compete with taxis. And everybody wins. Pressure is taken off crumbling street cars and overcrowded subways, public is given flexibility they need.

4) if roads and traffic jams are the problem – BUILD. NORMAL. ROADS. Key word – BUILD. Politicians waste time, while population and density keeps on growing. If council cant agree – sweep them away, put normal people in there that CAN make normal decisions.

Pools of SUVs, minivans and other high-occupancy vehicles waited at locations in Liberty Village, the Distillery District, Fort York and CityPlace.

Source: Downtown commuters test the waters on UberHop | Toronto Star

Another good article on how the cab industry is full of parasites who hurt drivers first and then fares.

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Gross(man) Toronto taxi business

The corruption goes back to 1957 – let’s hope mayor Tory lets uber drive a stake into and cut the Gordion knot that is the Toronto taxi cartel.

On the streets of Toronto, there’s a story that’s gone on for way too long – the dirty dealings behind the cab business. But things are changing. Let’s have a look.

Source: How Uber is ending the dirty dealings behind Toronto’s cab business – The Globe and Mail

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