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Comment Re:Draft Kings (Score 4, Informative) 174

Let's say statistically there's a 50% chance that team A will win, and the betting odds were at 2 to 1, if 80% of the people were all betting on team A, the bookie is going to lose his shirt if team A wins.

njnna is right - the bookie doesn't lose his shirt under any circumstances. When you bet on sports you're not really betting against the bookie; you're betting against the other bettors. The bookie is making money because the winners are getting paid less than they would if the bets were mathematically fair. Let's say you had a friendly bet with a buddy over a game. Between you you've decided one team is twice as likely to win. So you bet two dollars, your buddy bets one dollar, and the winner takes all three dollars. Assuming you've judged the odds of the sports outcome properly, this is a mathematically fair bet - if you made it a million times you wouldn't win or lose money (compared to the amount you've bet, anyway).

Now change the scenario and say a third party is acting as a bookie. The bookie offers you 3:8 odds (instead of 1:2) and he offers your buddy 7:4 odds (instead of 2:1). You still bet two dollars, and your buddy still bets one dollar. This time, though, the winner gets $2.75, and the bookie pockets a quarter. Notice he pockets the quarter no matter which team wins. This bet isn't fair, mathematically speaking. If you and your buddy make it a million times you'll both be broke and the bookie will have all your money. This is why you can find bookies everywhere you go, regardless of legality :)

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 450

2. You get on the news and the President mentions what you did

This is a big, big part of it. These guys are small men in the making who've realized they'll never be the kind of people who make the papers for something good. And they desperately want to force everyone to hear their primal scream. Just like suicide clusters, the more it happens the more unbalanced people think about it and start to think it might be a good idea. It's a price we pay for a free press. I'd bet any amount of money if these things just weren't reported they wouldn't happen nearly as often.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 409

With JDAMs you can get pretty damn close to 100% perfection. The most likely scenario here is the USAF hit what they were trying to hit. From the Telegraph link in the summary:

Witnesses said that for more than an hour, beginning at 2:08am, the hospital was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids every 15 minutes. The main central hospital building, housing the intensive care unit, emergency rooms, and physiotherapy ward, was repeatedly hit very precisely.

So we're not just talking about a single bomb that failed and flew off course.

I suspect, based on the first article, US troops were taking fire from that area and called for air support, and due to time constraints nobody who knew it was a hospital was in the loop. Technically if the Taliban were firing from or from near the hospital it's a legitimate target and any civilian deaths go to the Taliban. Technically.

Comment Re:Amazon Warehouse workers should demand more mon (Score 1) 177

There are 35,000 McDonalds restaurants. Even assuming you made a machine that couldn't be used at any other chain, that's not what I would call low volume.

Anyway the low-hanging fruit for fast food restaurants is the register. Self-serve kiosks are cheap - McDonalds already uses them in countries with high labor costs and ubiquitous electronic payment systems. I doubt we'll see burger machines while they're still paying people to take your order.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen