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Canadian Cannabis Car 120

sykobabul writes "The CBC is reporting: 'An electric car made of hemp is being developed by a group of Canadian companies in collaboration with an Alberta Crown corporation. The Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later in August by Calgary-based Motive Industries Inc., a vehicle development firm focused on advanced materials and technologies, the company announced.' Leave it to us Canadians to come up with all sorts of uses for cannabis."
Role Playing (Games)

Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011 169

Atari and Cryptic Studios are teaming up to make a new Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG called Neverwinter, planned for Q4 2011. Gameplay will center on five-person groups that can include other players and/or AI allies, and there will be an extensive content generation system. Gamespot spoke with Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert, who explained parts of the game in more depth: "I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that we've done something interesting with: action points and healing surges. In the tabletop game, an action point lets a player perform a reroll or add an additional die to a roll. In our game, action points are earned through combat and spent to power special abilities called 'boons.' These boons give players special boosts, but only in certain circumstances. Healing surges represent the amount of times a player can heal himself before resting. In D&D and Neverwinter, various abilities let players use a surge immediately or perhaps replenish the number of surges available. It's a precious resource that players will need to husband as they adventure in the brave new world. Positioning, flanking, tactics, and using powers with your teammates are also all things that come from the 4th Edition that are interesting. Of course, we're using power names and trying to keep power behavior consistent with the pen-and-paper counterparts. Neverwinter will definitely feel familiar to anyone who has played the 4th Edition."

Comment Re:what is said and what is true (Score 1) 495

I certainly agree - that's just one of the many, many games they play with Engineers to keep salaries down and to give the majority of the pay increase pool to a few "special" members.

Most companies I've been with have just been variants on this theme.

But right now my attitude about it is better than it would have been.

1. I am currently working.

2. 3% may be chicken feed but it beats the alternatives hand down - such as pay cuts for some needed purpose, 0% or No position.

3. I actually enjoy the work I do. (But I probably should not advertise that too much).

Comment It's different Now for Corporations & Individu (Score 5, Informative) 495

It seems that ever since this "Great Recession / Depression" started that a lot of things have changed.
Our Fearless Leader has been trying to convince us it's all over now, but the EU would no doubt disagree!

The outlook for Corporations has improved though and some are hiring key people they can find now for some slots (but pay is not too good).
For most though, they have learned they can make a lot of money without their former staffing.

So individuals are doing more, often much much more for the same or less money. Grab a better position if you can, but it might be tough to get the next one. DO NOT do what a friend did and quit before securing the next position. Several of my Professional friends have been out for about 2 years now. I can't understand how they are surviving!

I was quite fortunate to find an Engineering position right at the start of the Recession and have held it.
It's a great position - great work, learning many skills and much programming.
After putting in the required long hours, I actually received commendations for my efforts.

I received a raise after that, but my manager told me he had to fight tooth and nail to get me 3%.
It was eye opening and after reflection, I consider myself quite lucky.

The #1 Goal of ALL Corporations is to maximize profits. Why wouldn't they take full advantage of the current employment situation?


The Race To Beer With 50% Alcohol By Volume 297

ElectricSteve writes "Most of the world's beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). The strength of beer achieved by traditional fermentation brewing methods has limits, but a well-crafted beer that is repeatedly 'freeze distilled' can achieve exquisite qualities and much higher alcohol concentrations. An escalation in the use of this relatively new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage suddenly move into the 40+% ABV realm of spirits such as gin, rum, brandy, whiskey, and vodka, creating a new category of extreme beer. The world's strongest beer was 27% ABV, but amidst an informal contest to claim the title of the world's strongest beer, the top beer has jumped in strength dramatically. This week Gizmag spoke to the brewers at the center of the escalating competition. New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume."

Comment Re:You are correct War on Terror = War on You (Score 1) 615

Reading your post I find I agree with you in principle but not in practice. What our representatives feel is best for us is not necessarily the beneficial.

For instance if they are trying to solve a problem, a solution that removes freedoms but solves the problem can easily gain the votes to become law.

Also consider that our politicians typically do not campaign as champions of individual freedom. They all speak of freedom in a general sense, but how many of them even see this as an issue?

Our representatives start out as prominent citizens, usually passionately committed to the ideals of government and the nation. When the get to Capitol Hill they tend to adopt the conventional wisdom and conventions approaches to solving problems.

If our representatives understood the this problem and were called on to maintain freedoms by citizens these laws would be different and preserve freedoms.

Comment A Great day for the UK (Score 1) 334

There were rumors that the UK would be relaxing a number of their tight "War on Terror" type measures.
And now they are getting rid of a major intrusive program!

It's a great day for Britain, especially if this indicates a trend. Before this they were shedding liberties at a high rate!

Now if the US could only follow their lead!

Comment Re:You are correct War on Terror = War on You (Score 3, Insightful) 615

One thing is certain, these knee jerk laws certainly erode the rights of citizens who in no way were part of the event causing the stupid reaction.

But really, since when has our government cared about freedom and rights? Being elected is a concern and getting tax money also is.
But like dogs, they seem to live entirely in the present and are incapable of extrapolating the long term consequences of all of these laws.

But they sure know how to raise Millions of Corporate contributions and note that these "sponsors" also have no stake in public freedoms.

Comment A role for anon. communications in a free? society (Score 1) 615

It is true that there is a role for anonymous communications in a free society.
Just look at how the Internet relies on anonymous communications and how this promotes individual freedom and creativity. Consider that being gone and the effect.

But notice how our current society operates: when a crackpot tries to blow up an airliner with his shoe we all must have shoes inspected, when another tries to blow up liquids, our liquids are removed.

Now an anonymous phone is used an a attempted bombing so no anonymous purchases will be allowed. Committed bombers will just use their fake ID, but everyone else loses yet another freedom (albeit minor).

Maybe we better contact the bombers and beg them not to be so creative or we will all be living in guarded barracks with no freedoms at all!

Free? Sure we are. Just keep thinking that and don't complain as our freedoms are stripped away one by one. Just to make some politician look good!

Comment ISP Alternatives Urgently Needed (Score 0) 427

Internet access is not a luxury like entertainment and is more necessary than television or radio.

The FCC and some forces in the government logically wished to treat internet access as a utility but it appears that legal Corporate graft has won instead.

And this has happened where the ISP's are virtual monopolies!

Some of the new possibilities include finding your internet access restricted to a handful of sites unless you buy access to additional sites for extra fees.
Wish to access non-US or EU sites? Good luck finding a package for that!

Since ISP's are becoming liable for Copyrighted material why won't they just remove access to sites and services that people use to access material?
What percentage of the Internet will Americans even have access to?
And of course they can use bandwidth throttling to make sure only advertising comes through at high speeds. True Internet Hell!

So we need ISP alternatives! With today's technology their must be ways around the US ISP monopolies. What could a satellite dish and equipment do?
Is it feasible to setup a "Whole Internet" Coop with WiFi in an area? Or are there regulations making it illegal to bypass the monopolies?

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