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Comment Re:Palliative Care (Score 1) 651

Depends on who your doctors are, I guess. My grandfather just died last Valentines day. Almost a year ago he had a heart attack that put him into the hospital and they said he needed a quadruple bypass, but that he lungs were too damaged (from emphysema) and he would be on life support the rest of his life (if he even survived at all). They said they'd do it if he wanted, but they recommended against it. So he went home and prepared to die. A few more heart attacks and months later, he seemed to be doing a bit better (he was able to walk around the block occasionally), and then about a week before Valentine's Day he suddenly got much worse and died.

Comment Re:Don't be interested yet, headline is incorrect (Score 4, Informative) 297

Nothing was destroyed or shot down and the laser weapon was not fired.

This article says that you are wrong.

Finally, the ALTB fired its megawatt-class High Energy Laser, heating the boosting ballistic missile to critical structural failure...

Less than one hour later, a second solid fuel short-range missile was launched from a ground location on San Nicolas Island, Calif. and the ALTB successfully engaged the boosting target with its High Energy Laser, met all its test criteria, and terminated lasing prior to destroying the second target. The ALTB destroyed a solid fuel missile, identical to the second target, in flight on February 3, 2010.

Summary: the ALTB engaged and destroyed a liquid fueled target and then engaged, but did not destroy, a solid fueled target. The megawatt class laser was fired in both cases.

Comment Re:ha ha suckers!!! (Score 1) 658

If your Linux uptime is measured in years currently, then you have at least two remotely exploitable kernel vulnerabilities that I know of, maybe more (unless you're using reboot-free kernel updates, in which case you are trusting code doing horrible binary-rewriting tricks to run in ring 0). There are relatively frequent updates to glibc, which don't technically require a reboot, but do require you to restart all of your userspace code to use the new version, so the only difference is that you can spend a lot of effort to avoid shortening the counter for your uptime. Of course, you can use an old glibc, but then things start to get painful. I recently got some bug reports from someone using CentOS, which turned out to be due to the fact that CentOS still ships an old 'stable' glibc, and a number of bugs had been fixed in newer versions that everyone else is using so he was the only one to see problems.

Comment Re:It's far too late... (Score 1) 474

Watch the episode 1 review from this guy's You Tube videos. http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/12/17/watch-this-70-minute-video-review-of-star-wars-the-phantom-menace/ He gives it way better criticism than I can on a short Slashdot post. If you watch all 70 minutes of his review and still not see how bad the plot is, you can overlook more than I can.

I don't know about your kids, but mine sure don't care about Star Wars movies. They do not watch the cartoon shows. They certainly do play with "light sabers", as do all of the neighborhood kids, but don't collect action figures, lego sets or any of the like. They do watch and study other incomprehensible gibberish like Bakugan and Chaotic, which seems to be the hot fads in my area.

As for box office receipts, they marketed the shit out of the prequel movies. And the cost of a ticket was about half in 1977. Yet the episode 4 ranked #4 on your same list. I take the rankings with a grain of salt. I'd put it like this: If episode 1 was the first movie in the Star Wars franchise, there would be no Star Wars franchise. There would be no episode 2.

Comment Re:No, shithead. (Score 1) 436

Hey stupid asshole, when did I ever say America was some paragon of human rights?

You said that the UN was "run" by "Iran, Sudan, Libya, etc" which is total nonsense, as I pointed out.

As for "abject poverty", you've got to be kidding me. No one lives in "abject poverty" in the US. "Poor" people here live in trailers and have TVs and eat tons of junk food. Compared to places like Somalia and Haiti, that's luxury. When people are starving to death in the streets of Omaha, then you can tell me something about poverty in the US.

I was keeping mostly to the way we treat our own population to illustrate that we're no better than any third world nation. We just happen to have a ton of money. More than forty thousand a year die from a lack of health insurance, and our infant mortality is one of the highest in the west.

Incidentally, one of the reasons Haiti is dirt poor is because we destroyed their way of life for a profit by decimating their local pig population and then making them eliminate tariffs for rice production in order to receive emergency loans from the IMF in the late eighties. After all of their farmers drowned in cheap, subsidized rice from the American heartland, they became a dependent state. They elected Aristide who tried to undo the policies, but that was rejected by a US sponsored coup in the early nineties. He violated the golden moral of American foreign policy: Do Not Interfere With Profit. Haiti is our third largest importer of rice.

Which is another way of saying that we are the foxes guarding the henhouse.

Alas, these are mere meanderings in the real world, which have nothing to do with your imagination. Move along, nothing to see here.

Comment Wow, you just don't understand any of this, do you (Score 5, Informative) 316

I was half-right. Chase bought WaMu, paid off their executives handsomely (one guy who'd been there three weeks got $18M), and then somehow said, "We're buying all the assets, but not the liabilities."

All three parts of your claim there are wrong, which makes you completely wrong, not "half-right." From :

"On September 25, 2008, the United States Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) seized Washington Mutual Bank from Washington Mutual, Inc. and placed it into the receivership of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The OTS took the action due to the withdrawal of $16.4 billion in deposits, during a 10-day bank run (amounting to 9% of the deposits it had held on June 30, 2008). The FDIC sold the banking subsidiaries (minus unsecured debt or equity claims) to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion, which reopened the bank's offices the next day as JPMorgan Chase branches. The holding company, Washington Mutual, Inc. was left with $33 billion assets, and $8 billion debt, after being stripped of its banking subsidiary by the FDIC. The next day, September 26, Washington Mutual, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 voluntary bankruptcy in Delaware, where it is incorporated."

To understand that passage, it's important to know that publically-owned banks in the USA are structured as a public holding company, which privately owns a bank. This is important because what you bought was shares of Washington Mutual Inc. (let's call it WMI), the holding company for Washington Mutual Bank (WMB). WMB failed, so the OTS seized it away from WMI and gave it to the FDIC, which then disposes of the assets and liabilities of WMB in order to make insured deposits and secured debtholders whole. At that point, WMI is bankrupt, so your stock investment is not really worth nothing anymore.

But the more important thing to note is that Chase didn't buy WMI from the shareholders; they bought from FDIC the WMB assets and obligations that the FDIC was on the hook for.

You're also wrong about the "buying all the assets, but not the liabilities part." From the FDIC statement on the closure:

"Subsequent to the closure, JPMorgan Chase acquired the assets and most of the liabilities, including covered bonds and other secured debt, of Washington Mutual Bank from the FDIC as Receiver for Washington Mutual Bank. Any claims by equity, subordinated and senior unsecured debt holders were not acquired." [my emphasis]

This is a standard FDIC bank closure; the FDIC takes care of insured deposits and secured debt of the banks it takes over, and only if there's anything left over from the bank's assets, then unsecured creditors and shareholders get some (in that order). Chase bought the WMB's assets and all the liabilities that the FDIC is on the hook for. The liabilities that Chase didn't get are the ones that the FDIC doesn't normally cover. So basically, the folks who are owed those debts were wiped out by the FDIC takeover, not by the sale to Chase.

And thirdly, the WaMu executives that you claim got paid off handsomely were not paid by Chase. They were paid by WMI, the holding company that went bankrupt. Though the $17.5 million guy actually declined it:

"Chief executive Alan H. Fishman was flying from New York to Seattle on the day the bank was closed, and eventually received a $7.5 million sign-on bonus and cash severance of $11.6 million (which he declined) after being CEO for 17 days."

So basically, you made a bet on a bank that was about to fail, without understanding even a single iota of what happens when banks fail, and then you failed to learn how your investment failed. I can certainly understand and sympathize the part about making the bet on something you don't understand, if you hedge your bet accordingly (which you certainly seem to have done). What I can't understand is your inability or refusal to actually learn how your investment failed.

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