Massachusetts Realizes That Maybe GPS Isn't Too Newfangled After All; Reverses Order & Allows Uber

from the uber-onward dept

Well, that was fast. It seems that Uber, the innovative new transportation offering, keeps running into local regulatory problems... but as soon as the public gets wind of these, the local governments back down. Last month, it was DC backing down on a bill that would artificially inflate Uber's prices. And now, it's Massachusetts. Yesterday, we noted that the Luddite Council "Sealer of Weights & Measures" had ruled that Uber had to shut down in Boston and Cambridge because of these newfangled "GPS" things (and it didn't even know what GPS stood for).

And... just like that, the "Division of Standards" has issued a "modified hearing decision" on the matter, in which it realizes that perhaps GPS isn't such a crazy, awful, dangerous technology after all. Apparently after re-examining "relevant amendments to Handbook 44 by NIST and NCWM" (National Institute of Standards & Technology and the National Conference on Weights and Measures), they've decided that Uber can continue to operate, granted "provisional" approval, which is "pending the outcome of the NIST study and/or the establishment of any standards for the use of such systems."

In other words, crisis averted for now, but wouldn't it be better for local regulatory agencies to think these things through a bit more in the future rather than defaulting to banning any new and innovative offerings?

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2012 @ 9:09pm

    "but as soon as the public gets wind of these"

    back before the Internet, after the govt. started regulating broadcasting spectra, the public never learned about these things and they would be completely buried. If it weren't for govt. established broadcasting and cableco monopolies the public would have been made aware of anti-competitive taxi cab laws a long time ago and they would have not have gotten so bad. To the extent that the big media cartels cover these issues now it's only because of the Internets influence on the media.

    The plutocracy knows that, in order to control the government, they must control the media and keep the public ignorant. They will do everything in their power to regulate the Internet in their self interest just like they did to everything outside the Internet. Not only must we resist such regulation, we must assume that if we are not pro-active in removing existing plutocratic laws (ie: govt. established broadcasting and cableco monopolies, 95+ year copy protection lengths, etc...), the laws regulating the Internet will inevitably get more and more plutocratic as time goes on and so our overall ability to openly communicate will only become more restricted. This is exactly what happened to broadcasting, the right for the public to broadcast wasn't all stolen from the public all at once but, instead, the government gradually passed more and more laws restricting our rights to broadcast and wrongfully granting a hand full of corporate interests exclusive privileges to broadcast at public expense in return for campaign contributions, revolving door favors, and modifications in what gets broadcasted about candidates (ie: a free for all broadcasting and cableco system with no regulations will likely discuss the positions of political candidates much more thoroughly, which is what politicians don't want, instead of the very broad discussions we currently have). If we aren't moving forward, and being pro-active, to remove existing bad laws and to set laws that prohibit the passage of laws that restrict our rights, then we are necessarily moving backwards and becoming more and more restricted by the passage of bad laws as the government is always passing many laws and hiding small clauses that gradually and subtly evade our rights. We must be proactive, it's our only choice, we must not only resist the passage of new bad laws, but we must aggressively demand the removal of currently existing bad laws.

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