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No, a Huge Asteroid Is Not "Set To Wipe Out Life On Earth In 2880"

stjobe Re:Actually... (120 comments)

Suppose somebody built a nuclear power plant next door to you that had a 1 in 4000 chance of going critical on any one day. That's a median of 11 years, right?

Yeah, sure. But the thing here is that it's not a 1 in 4,000 chance of this asteroid hitting us every day; it's 1 in 4,000 that it'll hit us once. 800-odd years from now.

1 in 4,000 is a small enough chance to be a virtual certainty over a few hours for events happening once a second - does that mean anything at all to a 1 in 4,000 once-in-a-lifetime chance? No. And this event is not even a once-in-a-lifetime event; it's once-in-several-tens-of-lifetimes.

Or to put it another way: People suck at probability assessments.

3 days ago

Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

stjobe Re:Not Getting Paid (121 comments)

1. "Taxpayers like me" include you, me, the other employees at said company, and everyone else that pays taxes - the company in question and all other companies as well. The money comes from taxes already paid.
2. The sums involved wouldn't make a noticeable difference to your taxes since it's split several million ways.
3. How is protecting the employees of a failing company "propping up" said company? Either it's bankrupt and is going down, or it can recover and then has to pay back the money the government spent on employee salaries.

On a side note, I find it quite amazing that the McCarthy-era "red scare" still lives and thrives in 21st century America...

about three weeks ago

Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

stjobe Re:Not Getting Paid (121 comments)

Now where did I define "employee protection" as "employees working for free"?

Oh, that's right, I didn't. I even gave an example of how strong employee protection made sure I got paid even though my company couldn't pay me.

In the example I gave, the government paid our salaries while the company negotiated with its creditors; the company then had to pay that money back to the government. I never missed a paycheck; the employees were indeed protected.

Had the company failed in its negotiations with their creditors, it would have had to declare bankruptcy and the state would have covered our salaries during the bankruptcy proceedings. After that, we would be on our own.

Luckily for me, the company succeeded in reducing or cancelling their debts and made a full recovery (which was actually the whole point of the example, to answer the question "do companies recover from a situation where they're unable to pay salaries for a period of time" - yes they sometimes do).

about three weeks ago

Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

stjobe Re:Not Getting Paid (121 comments)

by whom? the company or the employees?

The company of course.

about three weeks ago

Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

stjobe Re:Not Getting Paid (121 comments)

Gah, that's what I get for not proof-reading. The company negotiated with their creditors, of course, to reduce or cancel the company's debts.

Also, I'd like to clarify that the money the government paid for our salaries wasn't a gift; it was a loan and had to be paid back (and has been).

about three weeks ago

Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

stjobe Re:Not Getting Paid (121 comments)

Is it a common thing for employees to stick around when they're not getting paid?

In countries with stronger employee protection than the US, yes.
The company failing to provide pay is not an implicit termination of the employment contract, leaving or not working is.

How often do companies recover from a situation where they're unable to pay salaries for a period of time?

Quite common where I'm from (EU). The company I'm currently working for had to go through reconstruction four years ago; for three months the government paid our salaries while the company negotiated with their debtors to cancel or reduce their debt. In the end we lost about 25% of our employees (some people left voluntarily, some were let go), but the company survived and have been in the black since. In fact, last year was a record year for us; best financial result in the company's history.

about three weeks ago

Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

stjobe Re:let me correct that for you. (619 comments)

Communism is State Socialism. It should be wrong to say that it is the only socialism out there, but it is definitely socialism.

Soviet communism was (corrupted) state capitalism disguised as state socialism.

Russia was truly communist for a few years after the Russian revolution, until the Bolsheviks took over and turned everything on its head and forever corrupted the word "communism". Now, instead of thinking "oh, communal ownership of the means of production so all may be equal", most people think "oh, corrupted state owns everything and represses its people so that a select few can have it unimaginably better than others" - which is so far from (any of) the communistic ideals that it's almost impossible to go any further.

Soviet communism was communistic in name only.

about a month ago

Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

stjobe Re:Great (151 comments)

It's not actually that hard to pronounce, "ey-a fjell-a yo-cull" is close enough.

"Fu-dji" is probably still easier though ;)

about a month ago

Nano-Pixels Hold Potential For Screens Far Denser Than Today's Best

stjobe Re:What's the point? (129 comments)

Aye. My Nexus 5 has a 1080x1920 445 PPI display. Although I didn't know that until just a minute ago when I looked it up, it's not something they make a big deal of in their marketing..

iPhone 5 only has 326 PPI you say? And they brag about the iPhone 6 getting a 416 PPI display?

I'll never understand marketing...

about a month ago

Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

stjobe Re:Not convinced (176 comments)

Solution: use natural language to tell the computer what you want to do.

It's hard to wreck a nice beach.

about 2 months ago

Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies

stjobe Re:Human fecal matter? (151 comments)

"The Neanderthals or Neandertals [...] are an extinct species of human in the genus Homo, possibly a subspecies of Homo sapiens."
  - Wikipedia

about 2 months ago

SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

stjobe Re:Flimsy (140 comments)

@13:38 he explains that all the critical functions needed to operate the spacecraft are available as manual (physical) buttons in the middle of the (locking-into-place) instrument panel. That includes a joystick for maneuvering.

about 3 months ago

Become a Linux Kernel Hacker and Write Your Own Module

stjobe Re:Been there done that... (143 comments)

Are you me from 2004?

Ten years ago I taught my sysadmin students how to write kernel modules in Linux (on their LFS systems I had them build); these days I make a living coding in C#...

Also, in 2004 I was 35...

about 3 months ago

Become a Linux Kernel Hacker and Write Your Own Module

stjobe Re:just because (143 comments)

where does Major Pain fit into the picture?

He's in another chain of command, he reports to General Mayhem.

about 3 months ago

Pedophile Asks To Be Deleted From Google Search After European Court Ruling

stjobe Re:I beg to differ. (370 comments)

I drink tea *EVERY* single day of my life that is hotter than that coffee was served. If you gave me a cup of tea at the temperature the coffee was served I would return it as not hot enough. Clearly the coffee was not served at an insane temperature.

It was served at 88 degC (190 degF), I sincerely doubt that you drink tea that hot. Perhaps you want it served that way, but you do NOT pour 88 degC liquids down your throat.

From the wikipedia page about the case:

Liebeck was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that she had suffered third-degree burns on six percent of her skin and lesser burns over sixteen percent.

Reading further, she originally sued for $20,000 (hospital costs + lost wages), to which McD offered her $800.

about 3 months ago

Traffic Optimization: Cyclists Should Roll Past Stop Signs, Pause At Red Lights

stjobe Re:Dangerous (490 comments)

IAAC (I Am A Cyclist). However I think that people who treat riding a bike as if they own the road are asking for trouble.

It doesn't matter if you SHOULD have right of way. It matters if someone will see you and stop (and not run you over).

Yep, that's how I treat many of my country's traffic laws, e.g. yielding for pedestrians on crosswalks: Fat lot of god it'll do me knowing I had the right of way when I've just run over and killed or badly injured someone. Let them cross, yapping obliviously away on their cellphones.

Or, conversely, if I'm the pedestrian - fat lot of good it'll do me knowing I had the right of way when I'm in a hospital bed with two broken legs. Let them pass, yapping obliviously away on their cellphone.

Cellphones and traffic don't mix, whether you're in a vehicle or biking, walking, or running. 99% of the bad driving I see is someone holding his or her hand to their ear...

about 3 months ago

Star Cluster Ejected From Galaxy At 2,000,000 MPH

stjobe Re:12 Parsecs (133 comments)


That was the sound of the Millenium Falcon - the only ship to ever do the Kessel Run in under 12 Parsecs - passing over your head.

about 4 months ago

60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

stjobe Re:Continuously variable transmission (544 comments)

"A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a transmission that can change seamlessly through an infinite number of effective gear ratios between maximum and minimum values. This contrasts with other mechanical transmissions that offer a fixed number of gear ratios. The flexibility of a CVT allows the input shaft to maintain a constant angular velocity."

My 2012 Toyota iQ 1.33 has one, and it's the smoothest ride you could ask for. A passenger once commented "You never hear it changing gears", to which I answered "that's because it never does" :)

about 5 months ago



Author raises $1m to self-publish webcomic book

stjobe stjobe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

stjobe (78285) writes "A runaway success for Kickstarter and Order of the Stick author Rich Burlew; not only did he raise more than 2000% of his goal, he broke a few records in the process:

"Author and illustrator Rich Burlew launched The Order of the Stick online in 2003. Following the comic fantasy adventures of a collection of stick figures in a role-playing game world as they struggle with enemies and the rules of the game, much of the story is available online for free, but Burlew also began self-publishing parts of it in paper format in 2005. When the costs of keeping it in print proved too high, Burlew turned to Kickstarter following repeated demands from readers, launching a project in January to raise the $57,750 he needed to rerelease the books in print.

Yesterday, he closed his fundraising project with 14,952 backers and $1,254,120 raised, making The Order of the Stick Kickstarter's most funded project by a single person ever and the most funded creative work the site has ever seen.""

Link to Original Source

Schlock Mercenary turns 10

stjobe stjobe writes  |  more than 4 years ago

stjobe (78285) writes "Every day now for the last 10 years there's been an new comic up over at Schlock Mercenary. The artist, Howard Tayler, compares it to some other things that's been happening over the last 10 years:

It is older than half of my children.
It is older than my car.
Depending on how you count, it's the longest I've ever held the same job.
I've spent almost a quarter of my life on this.
I've spent more than half my married life on this.
I've drawn 3653 strips, for a total of around 15,000 panels.
There are another 20 strips you still haven't seen (plus a kajillion or so I still haven't drawn.)
I've used enough kneaded eraser that the 'waste lump' of stuff that is too dirty to erase with is twice the size of my fist, and I've thrown away at least twice that much.
I've gone through about 10,000 sheets of legal sized paper.
I've gone through about 500 pens. Each of those set me back around $2.50.
In all that time I've only used five different mechanical pencils. I still have the first one, the second one, and the fifth one.


stjobe stjobe writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stjobe (78285) writes "Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Australian and US scientists successfully launched a supersonic scramjet engine at an Outback test range Friday, as they work on a device that could revolutionise air travel.
The researchers said a rocket carrying the scramjet reached speeds of mach 10 — ten times the speed of sound — after blasting off at the Woomera range in South Australia Friday.
They said it reached an altitude of 530 kilometres (330 miles) before the scramjet was successfully deployed following re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.
Australia's Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) said it was believed to be the first time a scramjet had been ignited within the Earth's atmosphere.

Google news has many other sources as well."


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