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Comment: Re:a thought (Score 1) 139

by tommeke100 (#48514335) Attached to: Want To Work For a Cool Tech Company? Hone Your Social Skills
They tax the perks to a ridiculous extent.
The only thing you can do here as a tax benefit is give employees a company car. Which is still taxed, but less than getting the monthly lease money in cash.
Our company actually had to stop providing a 1-hour per week free gym visit (which nobody used) because after an audit they saw that as a taxable perk.
So we would have to pay taxes on something we never used in the first place.

Comment: What it's really like ... (Score 2) 34

by tommeke100 (#48506883) Attached to: The Life of an ATLAS Physicist At CERN
I had a friend who was a PhD student in Experimental Physics in the late 90s.
As part of his lab's obligations, he had to do some grunt/shift work at CERN about a week every month.
He said unless your life is Physics 24/7, it gets boring pretty quickly. A lot of people there only talk about physics, they have no other hobbies.
There was not much to do besides the Physics aspect.

This seems to have changed though judging from the article, there seems to be social clubs which is certainly an improvement. Still, she (the woman in the interview) says the turn-over rate is huge, people are send there at the beginning of their PhD and get back to their home labs after a while. Looks like that aspect hasn't changed but that's probably true for most University Labs in the world.

Comment: Re:German cars (Score 2) 525

by tommeke100 (#48496831) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates
As a Belgian, I would tend to agree, except for maybe the South of Europe (Italy for example) whom have far more aggressive driving.
Congestion isn't much worse than you would get in other big cities, except our cities are so close to each other (Antwerp - Brussels : 25 miles) that congestion just flows into one big clusterfuck.
One of the issues is that the highways around big cities aren't bootstrapped for ongoing traffic, so there is no way to swirl around Brussels for example if you just pass by and don't need to be there.
Also Belgium is on the crossroad of many bigger countries ( Germany, France, Netherlands, UK, ...) so our roads are heavily burdened by foreign trucks passing through our country. You can actually see that in the crash clip above. You have a truck driving behind a truck that just passed it, while the accident happened another truck was overtaking the truck with the dashcam, and the car who tried to cross to the exit crashed into another truck waiting on the exit.
This is a typical situation here in Belgium. You could say the driver was not cautious enough and should have been in the first lane sooner. However, I drive that highway (the E40 from Brussels to Oostende - sea side) every day to work and you just have a string of trucks driving one behind the other that stretches for miles.
It's choosing between sitting between 2 trucks for a couple of miles (which really gives you zero chance of survival if the truck in front of you crashes and the one behind you smashes into you) or just hoping the stretch before the exit clears up and you have a safe passage to get into the first lane.

Comment: Re:Let's do the math (Score 1) 307

by tommeke100 (#48459069) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies
The closest spiral galaxy to us is Andromeda, 2.2 million light years away.
Andromeda is approaching our galaxy at a rate of 670,000 miles per hour.
Five billion years from now it will probably collide with us.
So, we'll just have to be patient if we want to hop onto another galaxy :-)

Comment: It is your legal right under HIPAA (Score 3, Informative) 240

by tommeke100 (#48040045) Attached to: Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records
Under HIPAA regulation (The Privacy Rule to be exact), you have the right to make changes to innacurate information of any PHI (Protected Health Information) they have about you.
So, yes, you may demand some information be removed by law, and they are legally obliged have a procedure in place for it.

Comment: Mass-Effect series (Score 1) 292

by tommeke100 (#47916279) Attached to: The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming
Along the same line (and from the same company) are the Mass-Effect series.
But space-sci-fi instead of post-apocalypse.
Playing New Vegas at this moment, BTW.
What I love about these games is that you get 60-70 hrs of gameplay (still way short of my 260 hrs of Skyrim). Even GTA V felt way short with about 45 hrs (although I loved that game as well).
Plus, these games can be picked up for under 10$ on Ebay for the PS3.
Borderlands is next on my list.
What's the gameplay time to beat a FPS in single player mode? 10 hrs max ???

It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely used higher level language for systems programming. -- J. Sammet

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