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EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs 161

lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."

Comment It's Smart (Score 1) 721

"Just as a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God."

I am agnostic, and I have no problem with this line of reasoning. The presence of aliens neither proves nor disproves the existence of God, from a philosophical point of view. The 'smart' religion is the adaptable one. If you want to keep your followers and expand your base, you need to keep your belief systems up-to-date. This is a very smart thing for the Catholic church to do. Now if they could just get over their hatred of homosexuals...

Comment Re:Horrible Article (Score 2, Interesting) 86

"...if they are smart they had a contingency plan, hide a million or two in a hole in the ground, and will only serve a handful of years in jail..."

Let's assume high and say $2MN dollars is successfully hidden. Let's say they get 5 years in jail. There were 8 of them. 2MN/8 = $250,000. $250,000/5 = $50,000.

Good job, guys! You went to jail for 5 years for $50,000 per year, which is what a mid-level IT tech makes. You also guaranteed yourselves a lifetime of being watched by government agencies the world over.

Now, I don't know how many people were just foot soldiers and how many were involved in the technical side of the hack, but say instead of ripping off a bank, you used your what seems to be considerable insight into security flaws to start a security firm and make a lot more money, legitimately. Just not as exciting, I suppose. Good grief, just informing RBS about this hack would have netted you a fat, LEGAL payday. Or, you could have contacted their current security firm, told THEM about the hack, they pay you quietly under the table, then get to look like heroes when they show RBS what they found. There were a lot of ways to use this to your advantage.

I work with a lot of former eastern bloc nationals, and it never ceases to amaze me how much 'ripping off the system' is ingrained into their mentalities. Some of the world's best programming talent comes from that region, and the majority seem inclined to use it for nefarious purposes.

We had to fire what was probably the best technician our company ever had, a Bulgarian, because instead of using his abilities to improve our company's network, he used it to to hack the company firewall and phone switch, and sell Internet access and long distance to people. He probably made a few thousand dollars, but lost a job that paid $72,000, which is a fortune in Bulgaria.

Comment Re:Didn't happen. (Score 1) 978

Yes, I did.

The 19 pounds was not all fat. When you starve yourself and deplete your body of carbs, you lose a lot of water, since carbs cause water retention.

But I was 19 pounds lighter at the end of the week, and a lot of it was fat.

Yes, I'm a relatively big person. I was 6' 1" 225 pounds at the start of the week and ended at 206 pounds. I also had a decent amount of base muscle, so my metabolism is higher than most; I've weight trained since I was 16, and I was 28 at the time.

I'm accustomed to listening to people like you, so I'm not offended, and I can understand how most people would have trouble believing such a claim until they see it for themselves. But for people who are capable of doing such things, and have done it, we know it's possible.

Look up weight loss for extreme distance swimmers. They lose tremendous amounts of weight in very brief periods of time. Or read the story about Marcus Luttrell, the SEAL who was stranded in the mountains of Afghanistan and lost 30 pounds in 6 days.

Or Michelle Macy, who lost 7 pounds in 10 hours while swimming the English Channel. Men lose even more.

Legit extreme weight loss is fairly well documented, so don't take my word for it. Google it up. It's possible.

Comment BURN BABY, BURN (Score 2, Insightful) 978

I have gone through large weight swings at different periods throughout my life. I was ectomorphic growing up, and matured into a mesomorph. Because my job is IT, I'm sedentary for long periods of time, and as such, will accumulate fat, especially given that in my mid-30's I still eat just like I did in my mid-teens.

Due to my particular personality - mild OCD, extremely impatient - I am very, very good at modifying the way I look in short periods of time. I lost 19 pounds in a week, just to prove a point. I ate 3 hard boiled eggs per day, 1 slice of whole wheat toast, lots of water, lots of coffee, and never stopped chewing sugarfree gum. I also exercised for 4-5 hours per day. It takes incredible willpower. It absolutely sucks. You'll feel like shit. But it does work.

Swimmers who cross the English Channel and Florida Straits also lose huge amounts of weight in very short periods of time. Susie Maroney lost 22 pounds in just over a day when she swam from Cuba to Key West. Not all of it fat, to be sure, but a lot of it was.

Much hype was made about Michael Phelps' diet when he trains. He consumes between 10,000 - 12,000 calories per day while training. So imagine your daily food intake, and quadruple it. That's how much he eats. And that's just to prevent him from losing weight. He has to eat that much to stay the same.

I also freedive. Freedivers are some of the leanest athletes in the world. They tend to stay away from gyms as too much muscle burns too much oxygen. The repeated depletion and replenishment of O2 across the cell membrane really burns the calories. After a 4-day freediving training session off the coast of Florida, I had lost 6 pounds of fat in 4 days.

As others have noted, most people feel like they're doing a lot of exercise, but they simply aren't.

Exercise absolutely works. Just just aren't doing it intensely enough or long enough if you aren't burning fat.

Comment Re:Begging the question (Score 1) 47

Maybe change your name to BadClicheGuy.

"Begging the question" does NOT mean 'makes you wonder' or 'brings a particular inquiry to mind'.

It's a logical fallacy, a hallmark of circular arguments.

Me: That water is really warm.
You: What makes you say that?
Me: Because it's hot.

THAT is begging the question.

The term is so misused today, even by people on TV who as professional speakers should know better, that it is commonly used as you used it, but it's still wrong. And stupid.

Fuck man, think of the phrase in the context you're using it in. It makes no sense.

It 'begs the question'. What's it begging? Are you begging? You're begging to ask a question?

If the phrase made grammatical sense to imply a different meaning, I would understand the confusion, but the phrase itself makes no sense when taken in literal form.

It begs the question, what sort of education are our children getting?

See how fucking stupid that sounds?

Comment Wipe It (Score 4, Insightful) 344

Imaging products have become so good and fast that I no longer bother with 'scrubbing' a computer clean when it gets a virus. I can reimage the machine in less time; 15 minutes from start to finish, and I don't have to worry about viral remnants in the registry or some deeply buried hidden folder with a time bomb inside.

I keep our company's image file up-to-date, and when something goes wrong with a computer (drive crash, corrupt registry, malware, whatever) they are back online in 15 minutes. Screw scouring the web for a utility to remove a particular virus that may or may not work, and screw relying on an all-in-one product to save you from malware.

I have come to terms with the absolute fact that users are stupid and careless and aside from rare individual who bother to be responsible, they will always be stupid and careless, no matter how much I wish they would change.

In a business environment, imaging is the way to go.

(I use a Mac at home and don't have to worry about such things)

Comment Re:Get a leash! (Score 1) 218

If you can't provide the correct environment for a pet, _DON'T_GET_ONE_.

Growing up, we had several dogs, but we also had a 1 acre fenced lot for them to run around and be dogs on. People who keep animals, especially large ones, cooped up in a house are being rather cruel. This doesn't mean if you live in an apartment, you should buy a Great Dane and periodically let it run free in the streets. It doesn't balance out.

So if your option is to let them run loose in your only available environment, which will inevitably lead to them getting in fights, screwing up the property of others, having them run a serious risk of being hit by a car, or just annoying the public in general, DON'T GET THE PET. If you already have one and are forced into such a situation, find another home for the pet that allows them to be happier.

Comment Re: "a 10Mbps Internet connection to Earth" (Score 5, Interesting) 183

Nah, wouldn't be so bad.

ISS orbits at between 278 km (173 mi) and 460 km (286 mi) from Earth.

LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites orbit at about 400 km, and Geostationary sats orbit at 35,786 km over the equator.

I'm connected to a GEO sat right now (I'm in the Gulf of Aden atm), and ping time is just under 800ms. Not great, admittedly, but really not bad.

I imagine NASA keeps their pipe pretty full 24/7 and that might generate some lag, but at their altitude, they are probably getting 300ms ping times or better. It also depends on where your data goes once it hits the Earth station. We had a horrible bottleneck at Eik, Norway so we routed the data through Mirimar, Florida and it lopped off about 600ms from our ping time.

I'm guessing NASA has a pretty sweet peering arrangement ;)

Comment Rape. (Score 1) 536

"What remains a mystery is what Paleolithic brewery provided the catalyst for these stone age hook-ups."

It wouldn't have been alcohol or any other chemical social lubricant.

Inter-species sex, back then, would have come in the form of rape.

To those saying "if it exists, human will have sex with it" are forgetting that most of that is due to the porn industry. Women generally don't want to have sex with horses for free. Pay them a few thousand dollars, and their viewpoint changes. I doubt the porn industry was booming 30,000 years ago. Rape, however, was in its prime.

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