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Comment: XKCD answered this (Score 5, Interesting) 403 403

A very similar question was in an XKCD "What If?", but only in the printed book version (which has a bunch of extra chapters compared to the blog): "What would be the last artificial light source to glow when all humans were gone".

IIRC, the conclusion was that it would be status LEDs on space probes or radiation glow from buried nuclear waste.

Comment: Re:The access is not as dire as you would imagi (Score 1) 115 115

I was there in 2011, and similarly, I found most larger towns to have an "internet cafe" in the offices of the government operated phone agency. Access was not obviously restricted, but indeed very slow - and expensive at around 8 CUC (=8 USD)/h. If cubans were to pay the same rates, it would be well out of their reach (but I don't know if that's the case, a lot of services in Cuba charge exchangeable CUC to foreigners, but local CUP to Cubans (25 CUP = 1 CUC)).

A lot of people working in any kind of government agencies (universities, etc) would have internet access as work, though.

I think internet access at home is rare (and possibly illegal), and usually only if someone secretly sets up a modem at their work place to dial in from home (they have an extensive wire telephone systems, which is state run, and free to use).

Comment: Re:German cars (Score 4, Interesting) 525 525

I currently live in Germany and the technical inspections are all safety related, not cosmetic issues like rust.

Well, they can make a good case for issues to be "safety related". For any older car, rust *is* usually the deal breaker (as it reduces the integrity of the chassis - which is true, but I don't believe that it is indeed a cause for many traffic related injuries which would not happen otherwise). In fact, if your car is old enough to have historic plates, they are actually entitled to complain about cosmetic issues, as the historic plate mandates the car to be kept in a state "worth preserving". Ie, stuff like ("You need to repaint the valve cover in your engine bay as the paint on it became dated").

Regardless of that, I've had inspectors complain about tons of "safety" issues in my car or bikes over the years, including:

-Ripped seat cover ("passenger might be injured if a spring pokes out")
-Missing isolation cap on battery pole ("electical fire hazard")
-little skull shaped caps on tire valves ("not allowed")
-fan would not work on highest setting ("no guarantee of adequate cooling of passengers if going at high temperatures")
-Worn out seat
-Motorcycle not equipped with a steering column lock
-Motorcycle would engine would not auto-shut off when extending footstand (bike was made before these became standard, but that did not matter, had to retrofit)

(These are some examples - I've also met many inspectors much more reasonable then that, but still, I am convinced that the car industry is actually pushing for tighter inspections, as it will mean more new car sells. The car industry is the biggest arm of the german economy, and they do have a lot of power.)

Comment: Re:German cars (Score 2) 525 525

Furthermore, in Germany there are mandatory periodic technical inspections, and these are no joke. Half the cars I see in the USA would never pass these inspections.

This is true. But I doubt that the US has a high rate of dangerous traffic accidents caused by failing cars. I have always felt that the technical inspections we have serve more to subsidize the car industry (by making sure old cars are taken off the road due to some rust or whatever they will come up with), and as a self-service to the inspection agencies to keep them in business. I guess regular brake & light checkups would make sense, but beyond that, I really doubt that there is much actual improvements in safety to be gained.

Comment: Re:These folks need drugs. (Score 1) 131 131

In all seriousness, is this what happens when you make drugs punishable by the death penalty?

I don't think so. Actually, drugs seem to be very easy to come by in China (At least that was my impression in Beijing earlier this year).

While the death penalty for drug trade exists on paper, according to wikipedia, it has not been applied in over a decade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

Comment: Re:Control vs. Prosperity (Score 1) 119 119

Tell me, if the exact same thing is true of capitalism, then why is it that all of the self identified capitalist societies have the highest education rates, highest literacy rates, and highest standards of living for everybody overall?

"Education rates" and "Standards of living" or somewhat subjective and thus hard to compare (though I guess what you say is true for many countries, with notable exceptions). "Literacy rates" are hard comparable numbers, and looking at that Cuba is not doing bad:

Literacy in Cuba 99.8%
Literacy in US 99%

Source: CIA World fact book: https://www.cia.gov/library/pu...

Comment: Re:Honking is different overseas (Score 1) 267 267

While it is very true that horn usage has very different cultural implications around the world, characterizing every country outside of the US as "overseas" is a wrong over-generalisation. Most northern-european countries have a very similar interpretation of the horn as you described in the US (minus the part why people get out to kick your ass, usually).

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 1146 1146

You could by them in the real world (and they did fit the socket) - and they were of course nothing else then relabeled ordinary light bulbs. It was an attempt to both challenge and ridicule the law banning light bulbs in the EU. Well, it did not hold up in court, so you can no longer buy them in the real world, but they actually used to sell them on that site.

Comment: Re:If it's for the 1%, why advertise it? (Score 1) 241 241

If it's for the 1%, why advertise it?

At the other comment points out, this is for the 0.001%.

But, generally you advertise such products to a wider audience, because why would the 1% (or 0.001%) buy stuff like this if the rest of the world couldn't tell how expensive it is? How big would the appeal of a Rolex watch be, if nobody else could tell that it's not some random no-name watch bough from a market selling chinese junk products (which, ironically, most "Rolexes" are).

Comment: Re: What does the job entail? (Score 4, Informative) 189 189

After reading several comments that game industry jobs are all sweatshop work, I thought I might share my (different) experience. I work at Unity, so not exactly a games company, but game industry anyways. I've been here for quite a few years no and have always been (and I still am) very happy about my work. While everybody has done overtime work to get urgent fixes done at some time or other, this is not the rule, and we are far from the working conditions in many places described here. The development team has a great culture, we get to work on exciting stuff, and we get plenty of opportunities to try out things which interest us -- as a rule, similar to Google's "20% time", we have FAFF (fridays are for fun) to work on pet projects, as well as regular Hack Weeks, were the whole dev team is brought in to one location to form teams to try new ideas. It's fun.

If you're interested, check out http://unity3d.com/jobs/ - but then, I guess your chances of being hired for an engineering position when fresh out of colleges are somewhat slim, unless you have done some really awesome stuff besides your education. But that will not be any different in any of the other larger companies in the industry.

Comment: Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (Score 4, Interesting) 443 443

Germany as well here -- I don't think this "global" release was actually global. Somebody proof me wrong, but I could not find a legal way to watch or download the new episode in my country yet (while watching it illegally is, as always, trivial and free). Maybe "global" as in "all major markets in which where TV shows are by default watched in english" (instead of those countries where you have to wait a year for them to release a badly synchronized version to be able to legally get an original language version).

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"

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