Bad Taxi!

Beware of Unregulated Taxis

Beware of Unregulated Taxis

In many countries, taxicabs are unregulated. There are no meters. What is worse, many of them are looking for victims to rob, rape, or kidnap. According to the PeruNews website:

In the taxi robbery, a driver takes you to where his accomplices are waiting and then stops, sometimes pretending to stall the engine or run out of fuel. Then, you get mugged or kidnapped. Nice.

Many of the cabs used in these crimes have just been stolen, so don’t get into a vehicle with e.g. a broken window. You can reduce the chances by taking a cab from a company that you call up.

On the street, one cab is as good as another. The fact that it’s yellow, has a phone number written on it, is parked by the cinema rather than being driving past when you flag it down, a driver with official-looking ID; none of these means a safe taxi.

Many of the worst instances take place from Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport. Of course you can get a better deal if you walk past the legitimate (and more costly) taxi stands in the airport’s international arrivals area, but you can also get driven to ATMs and requested under duress to drain your bank account with the maximum permissible withdrawals.

That’s one of the reasons it’s a good idea to have a cellphone in Peru. This way, you can get a list of legitimate taxi companies from your guidebook and call for pickup. So what if it costs a few soles more! Your security is worth something, no?

Another problem, even with legitimate taxis, are thieves that break windows and grab the passengers’ bags. Make sure your luggage is securely locked in the trunk, and keep any bags with you on the floor and between your legs. You might even want to get a strap that attaches them to your legs. I plan to do that, even though I am taking a Taxi Verde or a Mitsui Remisse from the airport.

In one sense, Peru is a dangerous place. In another—wherever you are in the world—you have to keep your eyes open and be ready.

Streaming Agony

This Junk Is Everywhere

Video Is Great—When You Want It!

Over the last year, I’ve noticed that when I visit many websites, I automatically activate videos, usually advertising some sh*t I don’t want. Even if my mouse rolls over some areas of the screen, it is interpreted as a wish to be sold to. In that case, my first reaction is to turn down the sound; and then I hunt for active video screens and hit the stop button.

Webmasters are allowing advertisers to push them around. One instance is the “obliterad” that covers the screen and forces you to hit the X to shut it down. I have complained to several websites, but it was like asking them to empty their cash registers into a bag I am holding. They need the money, but they also need not to annoy their readers. I know I can get many more readers at Tarnmoor.Com if I started running ads, but the intention is not to become the most visited site on the Internet. In fact, greater popularity would force me to spend gobs of time interacting with people with whom I would prefer not to interact.

One easy way to counteract the automatically activated videos is for browsers to ask whether you want to run any videos. That way, I retain the ability to choose. YouTube is great, but I don’t need video when looking at a news story about Syria or our dysfunctional Congress.

Unfortunately, many of the news website stories involve activating a video. CNN, MBCNEWS, and others are trying to ram not only their stories, but their stupid ads down my throat. Do you wonder why I sometimes feeling like spewing back at them?

If, on this website, you see no ads or involuntary streaming video, it’s because I’m trying to apply the Golden Rule.