Saturday, December 18, 2010

Is It Better To Buy Or Generate Bitcoins?

Total Cost of building PC: $1995.94

How many bitcoins can I buy with $2000? As of this writing it is about $0.066 per bitcoin. So I could buy 30,303 bitcoins if I had $2000 laying around.

Now, how long would it take for my newly designed 25,000 hashes-per-second machine to generate 30,303 bitcoins? Using the bitcoin generation calculator available at, on average it will take 1 day, 19 hours, and 44 minutes to generate 50 bitcoins. After doing a little arithmetic that means it will take a little over two years to generate 30,303 bitcoins!!! Let's not forget to mention that the difficulty levels seems to be rising over time so it could take much longer than that. In addition, the electricity costs to run a server could add up.

That was in August. Now?

For $2000, at current rate, you will get 8000 bitcoins.

To generate 8000 bitcoins, at current rate (50 coins/24 days) it will take 3840 days! Almost 11 years. However, current rate will change, resulting in significantly more time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gold taxes

something else to consider: the US Government considers the sale of gold as a "collectible," and the profit realized aka capital gain is levied at 28% instead of current long term cap gains for stock at 15%! Also realize this same higher rate applies to the GLD ETF! so don't think you can circumvent the high tax the government takes via the ETF, instead of selling gold coins. I don't know if the collectibles cap gains tax goes up next year with reversing the Bush tax cuts. However, if buying gold coins, there is sales tax collected from a dealer within your own state, on top of their margin over spot price. There is a lot of headwinds to the liquidity of gold, I think this has lead to greater popularity of the gold ETF, however most people don't realize their realized cap gains are taxed at the higher rate of 28% even for an ETF.

Are you going to go crazy now?

As I've said before, some people stop doing science and just do crazy and awkward things; other people try to prove that they were worth it, and overload with research so much that they go crazy in a different manner; and of course, some Nobel prizewinners are actually senile by the time they get the prize. I'll try to keep my sanity as long as possible.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

child abuse

In the years leading up to that mass panic, I was working as a feminist journalist, writing exposés of child sexual abuse, trying to convince the world that incest was more than a one-in-a-million occurrence. In the process, I convinced myself that my father had molested me. After five years of incest nightmares and incest workshops and incest therapy, I accused my father, estranging myself and my sons from him for the next eight years.

In the early 1990s the culture flipped, and so did I. Across the country, falsely accused fathers were suing their daughters' incest therapists. Falsely accused molesters were being freed from jail -- and I realized that my accusation was false. I was one of the lucky ones. My father was still alive, and he forgave me.

It's a little embarrassing for a person who's always been thought of as a critical thinker. There's a lot about writing this book and putting it out there that's embarrassing. It's not exactly the most flattering portrait. I think if it were a novel my editor would have rejected it, because the protagonist wasn't sympathetic enough. It really shocked me, I must say, to see how much influence the external had on the internal. That the most intimate emotions and relationships can be so affected by the dominant paradigm.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

internet privacy

I can't follow you outside slashdot unless YOU make that possible. I don't know who you are. I can search your posts by your username because YOU choose to create an account and post under that account. I can't see what posts you made as an AC. Or what moderations you have done.

All your actions outside posts made under your account are unknown to me, unless YOU somehow share them AND link them to this account. You could be Obama for all I know, or be Lady Gaga. Now, I could google your nickname, but that only works if you used the same nick somewhere else.

It is possible to analyse all your posts and from them deduce a profile based on your style of writing. To be fair for the average slashdot poster that would put their location as "nearest kindergarden" but it might be possible to trace you to a specific location.

BUT that is because YOU choose to link all your posts together.

On the other hand, in the real world, I can't go invisible when I leave my house. So my neighbours know when I come and when I go. The supermarket can tell what I am doing by what I am buying. The bookshop knows my reading habbits (you sicko, is their personalized greeting) etc etc.

So, why do people worry about their online visibitlity where you can be a million different people, when everyone and their dog knows your offline person and what it is doing?

If you ever lived in a small community, you are used to it and you know, if the community is good, then it is a benefit. Neighbours actually stopped an attempted burglary because they knew I was away and saw movement so knew it couldn't be okay when I was younger and lived in a "village" that was about a dozen houses. In Amsterdam I had a neighbour discovered after the smell from the rotting corpse finally drifted into the hallway. All I knew was that the previous resident had moved and nobody ever noticed the new person moving in.

Don't complain about invasion of privacy is you broadcast every fart you make to the entire world. It is like saying "how dare people look at me when I streak down the high street".

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tim's watch is broken

What steps will reproduce the problem? 1. Find Tim (he's usually in the Seattle office) 2. Engage him in conversation 3. Surreptitiously try to check the time on his watch  What is the expected output? What do you see instead?  Expected watch to tell correct time.  It tells the wrong time.  Please use labels and text to provide additional information.

Can you please provide us with some more details:  Has anybody else observed the same issue? Is the watch still broken, if somebody else wears it? Does the watch show the correct time in another time-zone? How about in a different country? Does the watch show the wrong time for all supported language markets? Have you ruled out the possibility of it being a simple rendering issue? Does the issue repro with other watches Tim wears? Is there any other equipment that might be interfering with the proper functioning of the watch? Have you ran recently virus scan? Can you please paste the output of 'uname -r' for both the watch and Tim? When was the last time the watch was synced?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Stay away from the border ..

Even if you are legally in the US: While planning travel, avoid border towns and the routes close to the border. Stay away from Arizona, upstate NY, areas of Texas ..

The Lake Shore Limited runs between Chicago and New York City without crossing the Canadian border. But when it stops at Amtrak stations in western New York State, armed Border Patrol agents routinely board the train, question passengers about their citizenship and take away noncitizens who cannot produce satisfactory immigration papers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Great Divides

When troops must be motivated to fight, “go team” speeches often invoke an ancient conflict, along a great divide:

Our fight, of [A] against [B] over [C], is but one battle in the ancient war over [F], along the great divide between [D] and [E]. Many do not realize how many of our apparently mundane conflicts are, in reality, battles in this ancient war. Today is a crucial day in this war, so we must not give up, and we must not lose hope, or someday [D] may lose [F] forever. Fight, fight!

Some classic great divides: tyrants vs. freedom-lovers, rich vs. poor, faithful vs. heathen, urban vs. rural folk, men vs. women, intellectuals vs. ignoramuses, artists vs. undiscerning, greens vs. greedy, civilized vs. uncivilized, east vs. west, farmers vs. herders, hill vs. valley folk, Aristotle vs. Plato followers, jocks vs. nerds, extroverts vs. introverts, neats vs. scruffies, makers vs. takers, communitarians vs. individualists, young vs. old, [can add more here].

Some questions, which I rarely see adequately answered:

  1. How is this division a key division, underlying many others?
  2. How do people acquire their sides in this conflict?
  3. How has this conflict lasted so long, without one side winning?
  4. How could one side finally win such an old conflict?
  5. Why is one side better than the other in an absolute sense?
  6. Why can’t those folks be persuaded that their side is bad?
  7. Why can’t peaceful compromise replace conflict?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

make new wheel with rocks?

"So, what kind of rock should I get? Granite? Sandstone? And which quarry should I get it from? I was thinking that granite would last longer but sandstone would ride nicer and would be easier to lob at a dinosaur in case of attack."

Wheels made from rocks are quite a demanding application. Most rocks are very strong under compression (e.g., in a building or wall), but many are relatively weak under tension [] with low elastic [] strength, and therefore they will break relatively easily when a wheel is sheared laterally, such as when rounding a turn (due to forces acting perpendicular to the direction of travel). A way to mitigate this is to make the wheel rather thick, but the disadvantages (weight) are obvious.

Granite [] is probably a better choice than sandstone [] because most sandstones have individual grains that are in contact only over a small part of their area, with the spaces in between cemented together by other minerals that are often quite soft (e.g., calcite). Worse, many sandstones don't have those spaces fully infilled (i.e. the sandstones are porous []), which does increase their elastic modulus [], but makes the material more prone to surface wear (it's easier to rub the mineral grains off the surface -- and it's even worse if water freezes in your neighborhood). Cracks tend to propagate []easily in sandstones. By contrast granite and other intrusive igneous rocks [] are comprised of mineral grains that grew together as the molten rock crystallized and therefore the grains interlock quite tightly with virtually no open spaces between them (i.e. they are holocrystalline [] and often equigranular []). A downside, however, is that some of the more common minerals in many granites (e.g., feldspars [] and micas []) have good mineral cleavage[] (it's not what you think, it's planes of weakness in the crystal structure), and the more coarse-grained granites therefore tend to break more easily (because the cracks propagate along the relatively large, weaker cleavage planes in the large grains). One way around this is to look for a granite with less of the minerals that have cleavage (i.e. less feldspar and mica) and more of the minerals that don't (e.g., quartz []), and to choose a granite that is as fine-grained as possible (then the random orientation of the cleavage planes from grain to grain will mean the cracks can't propagate as far along them before bumping into a grain boundary). As a bonus, quartz has a greater hardness [] than feldspar or mica, so frictional wear will be reduced too. Therefore, a nice, fine-grained quartz-rich granite (ideally a quartzolite, but they are quite rare) is probably your best granite option. A fine-grained, non-vesicular [] mafic [] igneous rock, such as a basalt [] or diabase/dolerite [], might work well too, although they have higher density and don't have significant quartz (but the very small grainsize partly offsets this).

But why limit yourself to granite or sandstone? You can get all the benefits of a quartz-rich rock by going for a lithology [] that is even more quartz-rich than granites. For example, a metamorphosed [] quartz-rich sandstone will have the sand grains much more tightly cemented together than a typical sedimentary rock. These rocks are known as quartzites [] and are much, much stronger. So strong, in fact, that your biggest challenge will become carving the rock into a wheel shape with the tools you've got (even bronze tools would be a struggle). You might be best off doing it the old fashioned way, and using quartzite tools to carve your quartzite wheel.

To find a nice deposit of quartzite your best bet is probably to find a location where quartz-rich sandstones have been heated up adjacent to a major igneous intrusion, thus producing contact aureole [] in the sandstones where the rocks are metamorphosed into hornfels []. Basically, if you already know what granite looks like and already know what sandstone looks like (and it sounds like you do), then look in the area near the contact between the two. That will probably be the best stuff for the application you have in mind.

You've suggested using rock for your wheel, but in the end, you're almost certainly better off making your wheel out of a modern, light, composite material such as wood. A lighter wheel such as this would also allow you to flee faster should your attempts to throw rocks at the attacking dinosaurs fail.

I hope that helps. Good luck with your project.

Friday, June 18, 2010

iPhone keyboard

Recently I bought something called an iPhone. It drops calls so often that I no longer use it for audio conversations. It's too frustrating. And unlike my old BlackBerry days, I don't send e-mail on the iPhone because the on-screen keyboard is, as far as I can tell, an elaborate practical joke. I am, however, willing to respond to incoming text messages a long as they are in the form of yes-no questions and my answer are in the affirmative. In those cases I can simply type "k," the shorthand for OK, and I have trained my friends and family to accept L, J, O, or comma as meaning the same thing.

Friday, June 04, 2010

iPad vs Pebble

To judge the usefulness of the iPad you can't compare to Android tablets, but to things that are already available now. This is a comprehensive list of the features between the Apple iPad and your typical Pebble.

Pebble (40,000 BC) features:
Multitasking - no
Camera - no
Flash - no
Windows Apps - no
Removable Battery - no
Optical Drive - no
Ugly bezel - NO
Battery life - INFINITY HOURS
Weight - 0.01 LBS
Cost - $0

iPad (2010) Features:
Multitasking - no
Camera - no
Flash - no
Windows Apps - no
Removable Battery - no
Optical Drive - no
Ugly bezel - YES
Color selection - NONE
Battery life - 9-10 Hours
Weight - 1.6 LBS
Cost - $499.00 to $829.00

Note I'm only comparing features, for example I do not include things like touch screens as its not a feature, but a way to make available features more accessible. The pebble actually has a very intuitive and simple design interface. Much more user friendly.

In summary if your choosing between the Pebble and the iPad, they both are similar in feature sets, but the Pebble beats the iPad in Weight, Battery-life, portability, and variety. However the iPad has an ugly bezel around the screen, but than again the iPad is $499.98 to $829.98 more expensive.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

In Praise of Idleness

One of the commonest things to do with savings is to lend them to some Government. In view of the fact that the bulk of the public expenditure of most civilized Governments consists in payment for past wars or preparation for future wars, the man who lends his money to a Government is in the same position as the bad men in Shakespeare who hire murderers. The net result of the man's economical habits is to increase the armed forces of the State to which he lends his savings. Obviously it would be better if he spent the money, even if he spent it in drink or gambling.

The idea that the poor should have leisure has always been shocking to the rich. In England, in the early nineteenth century, fifteen hours was the ordinary day's work for a man; children sometimes did as much, and very commonly did twelve hours a day. When meddlesome busybodies suggested that perhaps these hours were rather long, they were told that work kept adults from drink and children from mischief. When I was a child, shortly after urban working men had acquired the vote, certain public holidays were established by law, to the great indignation of the upper classes. I remember hearing an old Duchess say: 'What do the poor want with holidays? They ought to work.' People nowadays are less frank, but the sentiment persists, and is the source of much of our economic confusion.

Friday, May 28, 2010

the real trick is ..

“Below 60,000 dollars a year, people are unhappy, and they get progressively unhappier the poorer they get. Above that, we get an absolutely flat line. I mean I’ve rarely seen lines so flat.”

“Clearly… money does not buy you experiential happiness, but lack of money certainly buys you misery,” he said. But the real trick, Kahneman said, is to spend time with people you like.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Douglas Adams: Parrots the Universe and Everything

... just a few days before his death.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Tyranny Of Compulsory Schooling

Let me speak to you about dumbness because that is what schools teach best. Old-fashioned dumbness used to be simple ignorance: you didn't know something, but there were ways to find out if you wanted to. Government-controlled schooling didn't eliminate dumbness - in fact, we now know that people read more fluently before we had forced schooling - but dumbness was transformed.

Now dumb people aren't just ignorant; they're the victims of the non-thought of secondhand ideas. Dumb people are now well-informed about the opinions of Time magazine and CBS, The New York Times and the President; their job is to choose which pre-thought thoughts, which received opinions, they like best. The élite in this new empire of ignorance are those who know the most pre-thought thoughts.

Mass dumbness is vital to modern society. The dumb person is wonderfully flexible clay for psychological shaping by market research, government policymakers; public-opinion leaders, and any other interest group. The more pre-thought thoughts a person has memorized, the easier it is to predict what choices he or she will make. What dumb people cannot do is think for themselves or ever be alone for very long without feeling crazy. That is the whole point of national forced schooling; we aren't supposed to be able to think for ourselves because independent thinking gets in the way of "professional" think-ing, which is believed to follow rules of scientific precision.

Modern scientific stupidity masquerades as intellectual knowledge - which it is not. Real knowledge has to be earned by hard and painful thinking; it can't be generated in group discussions or group therapies but only in lonely sessions with yourself. Real knowledge is earned only by ceaseless questioning of yourself and others, and by the labor of independent verification; you can't buy it from a government agent, a social worker, a psychologist, a licensed specialist, or a schoolteacher. There isn't a public school in this country set up to allow the discovery of real knowledge - not even the best ones - although here and there individual teachers, like guerrilla fighters, sabotage the system and work toward this ideal. But since schools are set up to classify people rather than to see them as unique, even the best schoolteachers are strictly limited in the amount of questioning they can tolerate.

The new dumbness - the non thought of received ideas - is much more dangerous than simple ignorance, because it's really about thought control. In school, a washing away of the innate power of individual mind takes place, a "cleansing" so comprehensive that original thinking becomes difficult.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

bailouts work!

The past year saw an increase in the number of billionaires, from 793 to 1,011, Forbes said. The number is still lower than the record 1,125 billionaires recorded in 2008.

Not only are there more billionaires than last year, but the ones at the top are even richer than last year. The top 10 billionaires have a combined net worth of $342 billion, up from $254 billion in 2009, Forbes said.

There are more billionaires with a lot more money. Bailouts work! What more proof do you need?

Friday, March 05, 2010

chase credit line transfer

Chase does not transfer credit line from one account to another anymore.

Monday, March 01, 2010


Of all the nonsense that twists the world, the concept of 'altruism' is the worst. People do what they want to, every time. If it pains them to make a choice - if the 'choice' looks like a 'sacrifice' - you can be sure that it is no nobler than the discomfort caused by greediness... the necessity of having to decide between two things you want when you can't have both. The ordinary bloke suffers every time he chooses between spending a buck on beer or tucking it away for his kids, between getting up to go to work and losing his job. But he always chooses that which hurts least or pleasures most. The scoundrel and the saint make the same choices on a larger scale. - Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Federal poisoning program

Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

tax on profit or gross income?

You obviously know nothing about business. Taxing revenue instead of profit is idiotic; this means that a company that has a very high profit margin because their operating expenses are low has a big advantage over a company that has high operating expenses.

For instance, look at Boeing, a big WA state employer. They build big, expensive planes. These planes aren't expensive just because Boeing decides to set the price on them at $250 million. They're expensive because it costs a lot to build a big plane: parts, materials, labor, safety testing, etc. That plane might cost a quarter-billion dollars, but only a small portion of that is profit, the rest is money they have to pay out for labor expenses, for raw materials costs, for parts from their suppliers, etc. Why should they pay taxes on all of that? You get to deduct your student loan and home loan interest from your taxes, as well as other things like medical expenses, and other unavoidable things.

Um, the parent was asking why its okay to tax people on gross income, but not companies? Either I should be taxed on Profit too, Or a company should be taxed on Gross income. Cause its just as easy to invent all sorts of crap to never have a profit. Go Google Hollywood accounting.

I mean with my income, I have to purchase a ton of expenses that eat at the total too. I have rent, food, medical care, etc. Just like Boeing has to pay for expenses to assemble their big shiny planes! And you can't get away with the "Well, they hire people and then they pay taxes" argument, cause I give income to the Landlord. I give income to Blue Cross, I provide income to farmers, sales clerks, hell, even the lady that cuts my hair. The economy is a network of economic networks..

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Google Docs Additional Storage

You can now upload any kind of file to Google Docs.

What better than a 80 GB backup drive for $20/year? And share it with others (shared folders!), to boot!

Friday, February 05, 2010


... why is it that environmentalists and the Pentagon both agree on one thing..which is that everyday people are the problem..why do both of them not mention missile testing, and weapons testing, and war and military exercises when talking about this stuff?

And the conclusion I came to is that both the Pentagon and some environmentalists (I am not talking about the average guy..I am talking about large groups with an impact on policy)…must be reading the same script.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gates Foundation Plans To Invest $10B Into Vaccines

Microsoft didn't put the patent laws into place, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did. What, you thought those medicines were free? No, they came with the requirement that your country signs a trade treaty with the USA, bringing your patent system into line with theirs. You get the vaccines now, but you've just made it much harder to develop a native information economy, and you've probably just bought another decade or two of poverty for the majority of the population. Yay for altruism.

Big Pharma will love it. Bill buys $10bn of vaccines from them. They get the money. Then, he gives the vaccines to people in other countries on the condition that their government signs a treaty with the USA to enforce patents, like the ones on the vaccines. When the vaccines run out, the people in these countries start demanding that their government keeps supplying them. Unfortunately, they've just signed a treaty that prevents them from producing them locally, so now they have to go to Big Pharma and buy them. What's not to like?

Why did you bring up Microsoft? The comment that you are replying to has nothing to do with Microsoft. It has to do with the B&MGF's policy of requiring countries that benefit from their 'altruism' to sign IP treaties with the USA that prevent local production of the vaccines in question. Over the course of a decade, their 'donations' reduce the total amount of vaccines that will reach the people in the countries in question. Free vaccine now, but only if you make sure that the local company that could produce it for $1 never starts so when the donated vaccines run out you have to buy it for $200 from a US company. Sounds altruistic...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Democracy in Action!

The dogs have voted!

.. and they form a majority.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wives of Rockstar San Diego employees

To whomever it may concern,

In response to the unfortunate circumstances, some wives of Rockstar San Diego employees have collected themselves to assert their concerns and announce a necessary rejoinder, in the form of an immediate action to ameliorate conditions of employees.

The turning for the worse came approximately in the month of March of 2009. Till present, the working conditions persists to deteriorate as employees are manipulated by certain hands that wield the reigns of power in Rockstar San Diego. Furthermore, the extent of degradation employees have suffered extends to their quality of life and their family members. Though it is presumed, this unfortunate circumstance is due largely to ignorance and unawareness of most, with enlightened knowledge, action must be taken to protect the rights of employees and those who depend on them. Realizing that such broad claims could hardly spark any interest to take a stand, a better illustration of the wrongs made unto Rockstar San Diego workers is necessary. Futhermore, the detailed descriptions about to be given can serve as a starting point as it will provide a clearer direction for change.

As a R* employee for a certain amount of years, let me first say that I feel like a proud citizen of my clan, but I like many of my peers seek a reprieve from the issues that the wives have boldly brought to the media's attention. I suppose I've been one to personally let things slide a lot over the last few months as I work many long hours, many of which I feel have been somewhat forced upon me, because I love my job so much, and every second I spend in my chair in front of my screen is only a second that comes completely natural to me. I like to make games, and I like to solve game problems. That being said, I also have a very supportive significant other half, and we have no children to feed and spend time with. Also because I'm in fairly good health, I don't find myself complaining about quality of life so much as I may complain of other issues at the studio that directly affect me. But I also do have close friends at the studio who have had their health and lives deteriorated in some way, and whether or not the long hours have directly contributed to these ailments, it certainly hasn't helped. And just because I may feel just fine today doesn't mean I'll still feel fine tomorrow or months down the road when it all catches up to me. And I acknowledge the day we have a child of our own may be a day of reckoning.

The blaming finger can be pointed in various directions here, but here's my take on the situation: We're producing a fantastic game right now, but in times past, it seemed to have little in the way of direction or conception. If it did indeed have these attributes, they were largely lost upon the majority of the development team, and many of us had little knowledge of what kind of product we were actually trying to put out there. I think we all do now, but it's in no thanks at all to any concerted effort whatsoever to actively motivate the team and evangelize the product to the developers themselves. I do believe that many of us didn't see how what we were doing could be important when we didn't really know what kind of game we're supposed to be making. Ultimately, I think we've all sort of "figured it out" and things started falling into place, but at the same time, I think this collective realization has put the pressure on all of us, management included, that we really need to nail this thing and get it out on shelves on time. There were extended core hours, frustrations rising, and then a false promise of the dropping of mandatory Saturdays, which seemed to last for about three such Saturdays.

But, perhaps an unsung root of the problems we face is a technical one, where many hours of productivity are wasted by everyone just waiting to get a build of the game that actually runs every time we need to update anything. Without getting too technical, lets just say that most of us are not happy with our build pipeline, and there are hundreds of errors and showstoppers that slow the game iteration down very significantly, in addition to many thousands of warnings that developers have littered about in both the build pipeline and the actual game itself for what we would assume are valid reasons, that pop up and nag, but there seems to be little effort on the part of the technical leads to enforce that these warnings be addressed. This I believe has brought us to where we are today. If these problems were minimized from the start, the game would have progressed much more quickly, and there would not be this frantic realization of being behind schedule and over-budget in the last year of development.

What Bitter PartyOfMany says about the "boys in New York" is also spot-on. For years there seemed to be indifference on the part of the big wigs everybody knows are really in charge, and the product never seemed to have true leaders. Directives come from people local to San Diego, when months later they are overridden arbitrarily by New York folks and work gets re-done, until they lose interest again or change their minds. Then of course we suffer their sustained scrutiny and sudden interest in what we're doing only in the last few months of development, and the weight and power they command often intimidates many of the leads at R* SD to the point where they may unnecessarily impose unreasonable expectations on the development team for the completion of a particular feature or bug fix, which may often not be universally agreed upon as particularly important.

When it's all said and done, I love my studio, I love my game, and I love my team, and I wouldn't give this up for the world. I just would like to see things improve for all of us, including our management.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

FCC Brain Drain

This all goes back to the days of Bill Clinton. The truth of the matter is, he didn't have sexual relations with any woman. There are even rumours that he is still a virgin. Chelsea is actually the result of Hillary reproducing asexually, under the reason that no one would want to regularily. This genetic mutation is considered an evolutionary advantage to some, so valuable that they want to keep it secret. This is why there was so much news surrounding Jenna Bush and none around Chelsea.

They ran some tests on CC. She has shown not only the ability to reproduce look alikes (see Hilary Duff), but also other another mutant power; laser eyes. Cyclops is actually an inspired character based on Chelsea. She currently works at Cern, powering the LHC with her amazing gifts. But as we all know, not everything is as it seems. We've all heard the stories about how the LHC is going to create black holes and destroy the Earth. It IS going to happen, in 2012, its a proven fact. It's all part of the Democrats plan. Why you ask? Despite beating the Republicans in the elections its never enough. They held a secret meeting in a hotel board room where they discussed ways to get rid of the Republicans for good. The vote was unanimous: Destroy the Earth.

So we were completely safe for 8 years while George was in power. He of course staged 9-11 to start the War on Terror so that he could reduce the amount of liquids allowed on airplanes, thus keeping the American population from over-hydration. A disguised way to protect us all from the looming threat of too much water. Water, angry in a fit of rage, retaliated with Hurricane Katrina.

And now we've got Obama back in power. How can you be certain he is in on the plan to black-hole the Earth? CHANGE. You know what another word for Change is? MUTATE. Remember Chelsea? Bingo! And look at those ears! They can't be natural! I know what you are thinking: What does all of this have to do with the FCC - the one loose knot left to tie. All the Engineers are leaving: Why? Joining CERN at the LHC. All the Economists are leaving: Why? They are needed to keep up the ruse that the economy is getting better, just long enough to keep order until the LHC can create a black hole. Of course the FCC's Administration is failing. It is under direct attack by the worlds most organized, powerful, and underhanded groups. A group which is hellbent on making sure the entire world is destroyed. And nothing, no silly Commission started a long time ago, is going to stand in their way.

Ladies and Gentlemen, its already too late.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Being White - Louis CK

Adam’s Family Jewels

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and He took the bone of Adam’s penis and made him a woman.”

Er, wait, wasn’t it from one of Adam’s ribs that Eve was created?

Not according to Ziony Zevit. A professor of Semitic languages at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles Zevit posits that the Hebrew word tsela (literally “side,” but traditionally translated as “rib”) employed in Genesis refers in fact to Adam’s member.

In court we swear to tell the truth with a hand placed on the Bible. But in the book itself, Jacob, nearing death in Egypt, asks Joseph to swear an oath not to bury him there by “put[ting] your hand under my thigh” (Gen. 47:29). Earlier in Genesis, Jacob wrestles with God, who touches “the hollow of his [Jacob’s] thigh” (32:25). “Thigh” happens to be a biblical euphemism for male genitalia; it’s from Jacob’s “thigh” or “loins” that his numerous offspring sprang. The practice of swearing an oath while touching one’s or someone else’s testicles was common in the ancient Near East (Abraham also orders a servant to do just that in Genesis 24:2). Its linguistic memory survives in our word “testify”—testis being the Latin both for “witness” and the male generative gland.

Friday, January 08, 2010

The People vs Larry Flynt (NSFW)

Not Safe for Work!

Minute 42 to 45:40 - What is more obscene? (Can't find the clip on youtube, so text below)

Murder is illegal. But, you take a picture of somebody committing the act of murder and they'll put you on the cover of Newsweek. You might even win a Pulitzer Prize. And yet . . . sex is legal. Everybody's doing it, or everybody wants to be doing it. Yet, you take a picture of two people in the act of sex of just take a picture of a woman's naked body and they'll put you in jail. Now, I have a message for all you good, moral, Christian people who are complaining that breasts and vaginas are obscene. Hey, don't complain to me, complain to the manufacturer. Okay and although Jesus told us not to judge, I know you're going to judge anyway so judge sanely--judge with your eyes open.

I think the real obscenity comes from raising out youth to believe that sex is bad and ugly and dirty. And yet, it is heroic to go spill guts and blood in the most ghastly manner in the name of humanity. With all the taboos attached to sex, it's no wonder we have the problems we have. It's no wonder were angry and violent and genocidal. But, ask yourself the question, what is more obscene: sex or war?

Larry Flynt on Reverend Gerry Falwell: "I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling."

Indecent Comment on an Indecent Subject

Steve Russell, retired after 16 years as a trial judge in Texas, is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In cyberspace, there is no place. The "community standards" are those of the whole world. An upload from Amsterdam can become a download in Idaho. By trying to regulate obscenity and indecency on the Internet, you have reduced the level of expression allowed consenting adults to that of the most anal retentive blueballed fuckhead U.S. attorney in the country. The Internet is everywhere you can plug in a modem. Call Senator Exon an "ignorant motherfucker" in Lincoln, Nebraska and find yourself prosecuted in Bibleburg, Mississippi.

This is bullshit -- unconstitutional bullshit and also bad policy bullshit. To violate your ban on indecency, I have been forced to use and overuse so-called indecent language. But if I called you a bunch of goddam motherfucking cocksucking cunt-eating blue-balled bastards with the morals of muggers and the intelligence of pond scum, that would be nothing compared to this indictment, to wit: you have sold the First Amendment, your birthright and that of your children. The Founders turn in their graves. You have spit on the grave of every warrior who fought under the Stars and Stripes.

And what mess of pottage have you acquired in exchange for the rights of a free people? Have you cleansed the Internet of even the rawest pornography? No, because it is a worldwide system. You have, however, handed the government a powerful new tool to harass its critics: a prosecution for indecent commentary in any district in the country.

inappropriate and unacceptable

No words are more typical of our moral culture than “inappropriate” and “unacceptable.” They seem bland, gentle even, yet they carry the full force of official power. When you hear them, you feel that you are being tied up with little pieces of soft string.

But this new, neutralised language does not spell any increase in freedom. When I call your action indecent, I state a fact that can be controverted. When I call it inappropriate, I invoke an institutional context—one which, by implication, I know better than you. Who can gainsay the Lord Chamberlain when he pronounces it “inappropriate” to wear jeans to the Queen’s garden party? This is what makes the new idiom so sinister. Calling your action indecent appeals to you as a human being; calling it inappropriate asserts official power.

The point can be generalised. As a society, we strive to eradicate moral language, hoping to eliminate the intolerance that often accompanies it. But intolerance has not been eliminated, merely thrust underground. “Inappropriate” and “unacceptable” are the catchwords of a moralism that dare not speak its name. They hide all measure of righteous fury behind the mask of bureaucratic neutrality. For the sake of our own humanity, we should strike them from our vocabulary.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

How China Won and Russia Lost

On a dark November night in 1978, 18 Chinese peasants from Xiaogang village in Anhui province secretly divided communal land to be farmed by individual families, who would keep what was left over after meeting state quotas. Such a division was illegal and highly dangerous, but the peasants felt the risks were worth it. The timing is significant for our story. The peasants took action one month before the “reform” congress of the party was announced. Thus, without fanfare, began economic reform, as spontaneous land division spread to other villages. One farmer said, “When one family’s chicken catches the pest, the whole village catches it. When one village has it, the whole county will be infected.”

Ten years later, in August of 1988, Mikhail Gorbachev lifted his nation’s 50-year-old prohibition against private farming, offering 50-year leases to farm families who would subsequently work off of contracts with the state. Few accepted the offer; Russian farmers were too accustomed to the dreary but steady life on the state or collective farm. Thus began reform of agriculture in Soviet Russia.

The results in each country could not have been more different. Chronically depressed Chinese agriculture began to blossom, not only for grain but for all crops. As farmers brought their crops to the city by bicycle or bus, long food lines began to dwindle and then disappear. The state grocery monopoly ended in less than one year. Soviet Russian agriculture continued to stagnate despite massive state subsidies. Citizens of a superpower again had to bear the indignity of sugar rations.

Throughout the reform process, the Chinese Communist Party simply reacted to (and wisely did not oppose) bottom-up reform initiatives that emanated largely from the rural population. Deng Xiaoping’s famous description of Chinese reform as “fording the river by feeling for the stones” is not incorrect, but it was the Chinese people who placed the stones under his feet.

Mikhail Gorbachev became general secretary of his party in March of 1985. By that time, he knew that the Chinese reforms were successful. His reforms, contrary to the popular narrative, closely mimicked China’s. He proposed to lease land to peasants, establish free trade zones, promote small cooperative businesses, and set up joint ventures. The difference was that Gorbachev imposed these changes from above, on an urban economy in which virtually all citizens worked for the state. Gorbachev’s reforms either were ignored or they were enacted with perverse consequences. Bottom-up reforms worked in China; top-down reforms failed in Russia.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Winston on Market Failure and Government Failure

Clifford Winston of the Brookings Institution talks about the ideas in his book, Market Failure vs. Government Failure, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Winston summarizes a large literature on antitrust, safety regulation and environmental regulation. He finds that government regulation often fails to meet its objectives. While markets are imperfect, so is government. Winston argues that idealized theories of government intervention based on textbook theories of market failure are not the way regulation turns out in practice. He argues that special interest politics explains much of the disappointing outcomes of government regulation.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Selling China Long-Term Innovation Assets

On my way back from Beijing in December, I sat in front of a corporate guy who was returning to the US after pitching a deal to sell tens of thousands of electric car charging stations in China. He was talking to a California software guy, also returning after pitching after pitching a deal. Their exchange was all about the polite fiction that US companies are selling products to China when they are really selling their best technologies—for the lower price and profits of products. It’s short-term real gains over long-term potential profits.

Here is the essence of what I heard:

1-China is demanding technology transfer for the deal for electric car charging stations pretty much for the price of entry and for the price of the product alone. US, European, Korean and Japanese companies have known this and done this for the past 20 years. Most countries pay extra for the technology and most companies refuse to sell their best. China is getting cutting edge technology at almost no cost.

2- China can do this not only because of its enormous market but because it is the ONLY market for many products and services. China is building large numbers of high speed trains. The US is not. China is building hundreds of thousands of urban electric car charging stations. The US is not. China is spending $800 billion to make its electric transmission lines “smart.” The US is spending $8 billion. Corporations go to expanding markets. They have no choice today.

3- China is running a national, mercantilist economy policy that both state-owned and privately owned companies follow. Technology transfer is focussed on building Chinese global companies that can compete with US, Japanese and European corporations. Investment and trade are not just about raising living standards (if they were, then Beijing would let the yuan rise, increase the buying power of China’s consumers, and boost their living standards). They are about building national and global economic and political strength.

4—US companies know they are building their own competitors in China but feel they have no choice. They need that choice or the future long-term growth prospects for the US will grow dimmer and dimmer. China is playing a serious national innovation game. Good for China. The US is not. Bad for America.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

emotional issue?

Secret History of Credit Card

NARRATOR: But what really attracted Citibank to South Dakota was an obscure Supreme Court decision that said a bank could now export its interest rate to other states. It was called the Marquette decision.

BEN STEIN: The credit card companies hate people like me, who pay off our bills every month. And I know that because I ran into a fellow I went to high school with on the street, and he told me he worked for a credit card company. And I told him about how much I use credit cards and how I pay them off every month, and he said, "Oh, we hate you. We hate you guys. We call you deadbeats."

NARRATOR: "Deadbeats," in the upside-down world of the credit card business, are the people like Ben Stein, who pay off their bills on time. The industry's best customers are the 90 million Americans who don't pay off their credit card debt. They're called the "revolvers."

PAT WALLACE: Providian, for example, was accepting payments from consumers on their accounts, depositing the checks but not crediting the account for sometimes up to several weeks. What was the net result of that? Invariably, the consumer got a late charge.

LOWELL BERGMAN: They were holding payments so that they could charge late fees and they could charge overdraft fees and—