They all knew I had a family and could not experience all the single-guy-out-on-the-town stuff. I instead, genuinely, showed interest in hearing about their antics, which they enjoyed sharing with me. I also kept up on all the newest techniques and news of the languages and frameworks we used. Thus instead of "old guy" I became the quasi guru. Having a beard helps.
An anonymous reader writes: Ars Technica recently conducted a 12 hour experiment in which story content was hidden from users of popular ad blocking tools. Explaining the experiment, Ken Fisher appealed to Ars' readership, 'My argument is simple: blocking ads can be devastating to the sites you love. I am not making an argument that blocking ads is a form of stealing, or is immoral, or unethical, or makes someone the son of the devil. It can result in people losing their jobs, it can result in less content on any given site, and it definitely can affect the quality of content. It can also put sites into a real advertising death spin. As ad revenues go down, many sites are lured into running advertising of a truly questionable nature. We've all seen it happen. I am very proud of the fact that we routinely talk to you guys in our feedback forum about the quality of our ads. I have proven over 12 years that we will fight on the behalf of readers whenever we can. Does that mean that there are the occasional intrusive ads, expanding this way and that? Yes, sometimes we have to accept those ads. But any of you reading this site for any significant period of time know that these are few and far between. We turn down offers every month for advertising like that out of respect for you guys. We simply ask that you return the favor and not block ads.'
davidphogan74 writes: "MPC Computers (formerly Micron's computer division), which has been operating under the protection of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, notified the Idaho Department of Labor that it would terminate its remaining employees in a letter on 12/30/2008. MPC said 147 employees would be terminated immediately and 51 would be retained while the company liquidates its assets. The company laid off 200 in October and filed bankruptcy in November."
Hugh Pickens writes: "Nick Bostrom has a long article that is well worth reading with an interesting interpretation why on the failure of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) for the past half a century is good news and why the discovery of life on Mars could foretell our doom. Bostrom postulates a "Great Filter," which can be thought of as a probability barrier and consists of one or more evolutionary transitions or steps that must be traversed at great odds in order for an Earth-like planet to produce a civilization capable of exploring distant solar systems. The Great Filter must be sufficiently powerful that even with many billions of rolls of the dice, one ends up with nothing: no aliens, no spacecraft, no signals. If the filter is in our past, there must be some extremely improbable step in the sequence of events whereby an Earth-like planet gives rise to an intelligent species and it follows that we are most likely the only technologically advanced civilization in our galaxy. But if the Great Filter is still ahead of us, that would mean that some great improbability prevents almost all civilizations at our current stage of technological development from progressing to the point where they engage in large-scale space colonization — perhaps some very powerful weapons technology that causes its extinction. If we discover life-forms on Mars, the effect would be to shift the probability against the hypothesis that the Great Filter is behind us. If Mars is found to be barren, we would have some grounds for hope that all or most of the Great Filter is in our past and in that case, we may have a significant chance of one day growing into something greater than we are now."
ntmokey writes: "Popular Mechanics has an in-depth look at the special effects behind the Transformers movie, including some exclusive shots from Paramount Pictures. Apparently, using real cars as models presented some interesting problems for the folks at Industrial Light and Magic, who had to figure out how a recognizable chunk of steel can fold into robot. In the end, the solution was the development team getting hands-on in the auto shop. And lots of grease."