You may be right, if you're referring to trains and buses.
I hope that by "infrastructure" you don't mean the existing taxi system. There is no "regulation or requirement" for taxis to work on any given day, either. And many of us have found ourselves in times and places where one could not be hailed or called.
By "jacked rates" do you mean the way cities add an "Airport pickup tax" to some taxi pickups, for no fair reason? Or the way they add "occupancy taxes" to my hotel bill that wasn't part of the quoted rate nor part of AirBnB?
I'm not entirely anti-regulation or anti-tax, but with taxis, we've definitely got a case of the current system not working well, and the innovation working much better.
I don't know the model the Steven Johnson at the Times used, but it's very possible he missed out on a big part of the revenues by artists, specifically, merchandise.
"And yet collectively, the figures seem to suggest that music, the creative field that has been most threatened by technological change, has become more profitable in the post-Napster era"
Is he just counting "music sales"?
It is very likely that other revenues, like merch sales, are often categorized as something other than "making money from music". In fact, the Masnicator has been saying for years that music has a marginal cost of zero, thus a correct marginal revenue of zero and price of zero, therefore musicians should endeavor to make money of associated scarce products. It just so happens that it works, but still much of that revenue would NOT get categorized as music revenue, despite the fact that it still ends up in the pocketbooks of musicians -- and probably a bigger cut than if it had to be filtered through the toolbooth called RIAA.
(Oops, did I type toolbooth instead of tollbooth? Well, I'm not correcting it, since it's not incorrect.)
My fave was in 1997 before DSL was available, I was using a modem to get 56k. I figured I would order a second phone line and bond two modems for 112k.
I put in the order, paid a premium for the second line (first lines are cheaper "lifelines" while seconds are considered a luxury), and then PacBell came out and installed my second line.
I bought the "shotgun" modem that can bond two dial-ups into one PC, installed it all, got it fired up, and...
Well, it turns out, the telcos had developed splitters that could take one voice phone line and split its 56k capacity into two voice phone lines, each with its own number. They had simply gone to the edge of the apartment, installed a splitter on my line, and activate line 2 on the yellow and black wires. My technology then bonded the yellow and black back into the green and red. Yay. They split it, and I recombined it about 40 yards apart. Net effect: zero, of course.
DSL arrived a year later, and I was just about the first customer. That install was an experience in itself. Two days, and three trucks and more before they figured it out.
"Google launched Plus without a clear plan to differentiate the service from Facebook."
I disagree with this one line. Google wanted to offer "circles" which allowed much more granular control over sharing than Facebook allowed, and that feature had appeal to me, because it was one of the reasons I did not use Facebook extensively. Of course +'s lack of popularity was a bigger problem, so I didn't use it either.
"Circles" was a great idea, because it more closely reflects the way that we humans are socially organized. There are things I'm willing to share with my family that I won't share with my friends...but also vice versa.
As an owner of electric bikes, IoHawn, and a OneWheel skateboard, let me add some info on this:
"physical mobility problem that prevents me from riding a $500 bicycle."
While the devices reduce the amount of exercise the rider gets, they are fun. This SEEMS to be a possible opening for people with mobility problems, and I've had a few such people approach me to discuss my devices.
The problem is that, while physically easy to ride, the devices REMAIN physically demanding in peak-load surges. That is, they require balance and smooth roadways, and when those are compromised, sudden falls WILL occur. Your ability to survive those falls is dependent on physical athletic ability.
I've seen my devices cause all sorts of injuries to me and others. I figure it's worth it -- many sports I play cause me a variety of injuries, this is no different. But here is an important piece of knowledge that one only learns from experience with these motorized scooters:
Any fall you endure is complicated and accelerated by the device. Consider that, as you fall, your feet are still giving the device "instructions" with their angle or lean. This means that, as you fall, the device responds by accelerating one way or the other. This introduces a faster fall, and often a twist with the fall. A simple forward fall where your natural reflexes tell you to put your hands in front of you can rapidly become a backwards fall onto your tailbone or head. Or a simple loss of balance can turn into a twisting wreck. Seen it happen; sent at least one friend to the hospital.
No. It looks to me like you've just looked it up now, and are trying to retroactively fit it to what you wrote.
The definition from Google's dictionary is "involving an amount of effort and difficulty that is oppressively burdensome."
Onerous, correctly defined, is a burden, it represents work one must do.
Vizio put absolutely no burden on you, even though what they did sucked. It was not onerous. Your usage context does not fit a situation where Vizio is putting effort and difficulty on you, rather it indicates you meant to use a word more like "presumptuous".
The joke is from The Princess Bride, where Vizzini repeatedly uses the word "inconceivable" for things that are not only conceivable, but also occur. Fezzik tells him "I don't think [that word] means what you think it means."