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Lady Wins $23 Billion Lawsuit?!?

Widow: Jury sent tobacco company a $23B message

A Florida widow awarded $23.6 billion in the death of her chain-smoking husband on Monday called the massive verdict a message to Big Tobacco, even though she likely won’t see much if any of the money.

The punitive damages — $23,623,718,906.62, to be precise — almost certainly will be significantly reduced on appeal, if not thrown out entirely, legal experts and industry analysts said. In another major tobacco trial, a $28 billion verdict in a 2002 case in Los Angeles turned into $28 million after appeals.

The figure is a pointed, dramatic gesture, said Cynthia Robinson, whose husband took up smoking at 13 and died of lung cancer at 36.

dude, that’s just fucking insane.

some people might not like tobacco companies, i get it… but when did it become a court of justice’s job to “send a message” with something completely outrageous like this? did they force the guy to purchase the cigerettes with his own money, to smoke two packs a day? she was his wife, so does that make her an accessory?

i’m sure it’ll go to Appeals, and i hope they drop at least 9 zeros from that verdict…

$23 billion… geeeesh, what the fuck.

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Star Wars: Force for Change

J.J. Abrams Reveals the New X-Wing in Latest Star Wars Set Video

people were geek’n about this one all day today and i can’t really blame ‘em, since we’re all kind of starving for some new Star Wars foot’age — so yeah, cool to see the guy get into the tie-fighter behind JJ.

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Don’t Fear The Command Line

i never really used the command line all that much when i used to run Windows, but over the past year or two with OSX i find myself using it all the time… i love terminal, though i’m still not so gung-ho on using vi as my html/css editor of choice — Don’t Fear The Command Line

Diving into the command line will teach you a lot about how your computer works and organizes information. You might find that some tasks you perform every day with a mouse are actually faster when you type a command or two instead.

Most important, you’ll be better prepared to learn languages like Python and programs like Git that require some command-line setup. By getting familiar with the command line, you’ll break down barriers that may have kept you from learning to program in the past.

So here’s a quick, basic guide to getting around on the command line. It’s focused on Mac OS X’s Unix-based environment, simply because that’s what I’m familiar with. Linux users probably know the command line well already, although newcomers might also find these tips useful. If you’re running a Chromebook, Google has some helpful instructions for getting to its version of the command line, which is similar to Mac and Linux systems. Windows users, unfortunately, are stuck with a command language derived from MS-DOS that just barely overlaps with Unix, so this guide isn’t going to be much use to you; you might check out this dosprompt.info tutorial.

some good stuff in there, along with some link’age… i still feel like a terminal n00b, so even these “beginner” type articles are great to browse over and either remember something i’d forgotten all about or learn a new shortcut, etc.

Learn Fast with These 15 Apple Swift Tutorials
Access OS X’s Secret Terminal Hidden in the Login Screen

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Russian MH17 Conspiracy Theories

The Russian Public Has a Totally Different Understanding of What Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Did you know Malaysia Air Flight 17 was full of corpses when it took off from Amsterdam? Did you know that, for some darkly inexplicable reason, on July 17, MH17 moved off the standard flight path that it had taken every time before, and moved north, toward rebel-held areas outside Donetsk?

Or that the dispatchers summoned the plane lower just before the crash? Or that the plane had been recently reinsured? Or that the Ukrainian army has air defense systems in the area? Or that it was the result of the Ukrainian military mistaking MH17 for Putin’s presidential plane, which looks strangely similar?

Did you know that the crash of MH17 was all part of an American conspiracy to provoke a big war with Russia?

Well, it’s all true—at least if you live in Russia, because this is the Malaysia Airlines crash story that you’d be seeing.

heard something over the weekend about a TV news reporter over in russia quitting on the air, because she was so disgusted with what they were having her say… she said something about how the “news” over there was becoming more and more propaganda, was all state controlled, and was really pushing disinformation like crazy — what we’re hearing and what russians are hearing on the news are two completely different things, it would seem.

i like the one russian story about how the plane was mistaken as Putin’s presidential plane and shot down by ukranians… oh, and the one about how MH17 was full of corses when it flew out of amsterdam… geeeesh, nice one putin.

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IRS Hard Drives Destroyed?

IRS says hard drive that lost emails destroyed…

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS said Friday that Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive was destroyed three years ago, ending any chance of retrieving her lost emails.

In court papers, the IRS said the hard drive was destroyed after two sets of trained technicians tried to retrieve the data. The tax agency said it was standard procedure to destroy old data storage equipment that may have contained confidential taxpayer information.

The IRS says Lerner’s computer crashed in 2011, destroying an untold number of emails. At the time, Lerner headed the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status.

Lerner is a central figure in congressional investigations into the handling of applications by tea party and other conservative groups.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen had told Congress that Lerner’s hard drive was recycled and presumably destroyed. Friday’s court filings confirmed it.

of course the hard drives with ALL of her emails were destroyed… how incredibly convienent.

everybody knows that their emails are all stored locally on your PC/Mac hard drive… and if your hard drive goes bad, that you’ll lose allllll of your emails — forever.

#blink

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Game of Thrones GFX

Game of Thrones, Season 4 – VFX making of reel

i just love seeing how some of the video effects where put together on the show… pretty incredible just how nicely done it is, and how you often have no idea if what you’re seeing in the show is real or generated grapics.

fucking awesome.

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Monday Music

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Hammond Organ Cover By Pleasure Beach

just thought it was an interesting version that i haven’t heard before… that, and for some reason the old school video foot’age cracked me up.

#nirvana

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Foo.Refresh()

that’s right ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to bring the sexy back!

it’s the one thing i’ve missed the most since porting my blog over from my old Coldfusion hand-coded blog (that served me pretty damn well for about a decade, which still trips me out) to wordpress — the ajaxed side-comments.

i’ve heard it over and over again these last few months, and never really gave up on trying to bring that back… there’s a few ajax comment plugins out there, but nothing really was exactly what i needed which kinda sucked… anwyho, here’s a quick theme i slapped together this past week, one that brings back the comments to side of the blog post — a format that i’ve been using for years now.

simple and clean.

 

special thanks
two big thumbs-up to my buddy, bradley, for his help on getting the ajax-comments working in WP… i gave it a stab, but was getting kinda frustrated, so i pinged him the other day and he jumped all over it… fucking awesome, i owe ya dude!

p.s. this one’s definitely a work in progress…

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Babe vs. Babe

well gang, it’s finally friday and a rough week it’s been — getting back into the groove of things at work after being off for a week was kinda brutal, the 24-hour hackathon yesterday into today, and having my site on the fritz for the past day or two has kinda sucked balls… anywho, i’m totally beat so here’s a quickie.

** don’t be douchebag, make a choice.

have a great weekend, mang!

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2014: Obama’s America

Scandals now come so fast that each new mess makes us forget the previous one.

The summer of 2014 will go down in history as the season when America fell apart. Let’s take a tour of the disasters.

Germany in 2008 enthusiastically hosted candidate Barack Obama for his so-called Victory Column speech. Now, Germans suddenly sound as if they are near-enemies of the U.S. Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly was furious that her cell phone was tapped by American intelligence agents. She just kicked the top CIA official out of Germany, further enraged that the U.S. had recruited at least one German official to provide intelligence on the German government. Polls show that Germans find Vladimir Putin’s Russian tyranny to be almost as popular as Barack Obama’s America.

Japan is becoming similarly frustrated with the U.S. It is rearming like crazy to confront an aggressive China. Both Asian powers apparently assume that Obama won’t guarantee the security of the Japanese as America has in the past.

The Middle East is dissolving. Taking U.S. peacekeepers out of Iraq proved a disaster. The radical jihadists of ISIS are overrunning Syria and Iraq, as they extend their destruction even to the mute stones of religious sanctuaries.

War looms between Israel and the Palestinians as they exchange rockets and bombs. Older Americans had an idea of what Afghanistan will look like by 2016 after Obama announced a pullout of all U.S. troops. They remember Saigon of 1975 all too well.

Crimea has become a Russian satellite. The fate of the Ukraine hangs in the balance. In between his conquests, Russia’s Putin openly ridicules the impotence of the U.S. He is often called to the Middle East on the perception that he can address problems that America runs away from.

From his sanctuary perch in Russia, National Security Agency turncoat Edward Snowden is once again releasing top-secret data that shreds the credibility of the Obama administration.

Foreign leaders don’t trust the U.S. They are baffled as to whether America is guilty of incompetence in hiring such a roguish dropout snoop in the first place, or guilty of cynically spying on America’s best friends — or both.

The economy shrank last quarter. Record numbers of adult Americans are still not working. Zero-interest rates have destroyed the tradition of passbook savings and the very idea of thrift.

No-interest financial policies ignited a stampede to the stock market that has further enriched the one-percenters — an artificial boom that everyone believes will soon bust.

The borrowing of $7 trillion has proved no stimulus. A natural American recovery was stymied by vast federal borrowing, by the addition of more incomprehensible regulations, and by an Obamacare package that proved to be the opposite of almost everything that was promised. Inflation is said to be manageable, but only by not counting soaring food, gas, and electricity costs that do the most to erode family budgets.

U.S. immigration law simply no longer exists. Incoming foreign nationals more likely welcome arrest than fear it. Tens of thousands of newly arrived immigrants expect that the cynical coalition of commercial interests, ethnic activists, and political operatives have subverted existing federal law. America is now wide open. Almost anyone can cross the border and receive subsidized sanctuary. If you object, you are a nativist, racist, or xenophobe — take your pick.

No one denies that top IRS officials lost or destroyed key documents concerning the agency’s election-time efforts to subvert conservative organizations. The unbiased IRS that we once knew has vanished. It has become an appendage of the ruling government that punishes enemies and rewards friends — and dodges a high-level audit by lying in the same fashion as the tax cheats it goes after.

Americans accept the fact that a video never had anything to do with the killing of four American officials in Benghazi and know that the Obama administration knew precisely that when it assured them otherwise.

No one has heard anything lately from Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was traded for five of the most dangerous jihadists the U.S. had in its custody. The less we know about why Bergdahl went AWOL, the administration thinks, the better.

The scandals now come so fast and furiously that we no sooner hear of one than yet another new mess makes us forget it.

What keeps the country afloat this terrible summer?

longer than usual, i know… but shit, i just didn’t know where to stop.

good stuff, victor.

p.s. the lastest from krauthammer: The Truth about Gaza

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Your Destiny, Today

saw quite a few tweets today from various peeps and gamers talking about getting their Destiny beta game-codes today, many of whom rushed back home to download and fire it up on their PS4′s

lucky bastards.

p.s. i’ll have to wait until next week.

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HACKATHONG

i’m about 10 hours into the latest hackathon here @addthis and have been heads down coding away like a madman… already got my projects prototype styled and coded up for the most part, so i’m feeling pretty damn good about that at the moment — of course, i can’t really say or show anything, but it’s looking pretty sweet so far.

on a sidenote: my site was down most of the day, still not quite sure what the dealio is… so just a heads up that it might go down again as my buddy ron tries to sort it all out… damn man, both the PSN and Xbox network went down today, my site went down, not sure what the hell is in the air of late.

update: it’s 12:16am and i’m still crank’n along…

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Malaysia Airliner Shot Down Over Ukraine

Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people reported shot down near Ukraine-Russia border

A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane was reportedly shot down near the Ukraine-Russia border Thursday killing all 295 people on board, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry said.

Both government officials and pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied responsibility.

An aide quoted by Interfax said the total number of dead in the crash was more than 300 and includes 23 U.S. citizens, while an Associated Press reporter at the scene reported seeing at least 22 bodies.

In brief comments made in Delaware Thursday afternoon, President Obama called the crash a “terrible tragedy.” He added the White House was aware of reports of American fatalities and was working to determine whether there were U.S. citizens on board flight MH17.

damn man, that’s just fucking horrible.

p.s. malaysia just can’t catch a break…

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The New Airbnb

Airbnb’s new logo faces social media backlash

i know what i thought of when i saw the new logo, but i guess i kinda have a “dirty” mind…. i know, shocking.

Airbnb’s logo change is facing a backlash on social media, with many commentators suggesting it looks like sexual organs and other parts of the human body.

Others, however, have praised the US home-rental service’s new look.

But criticism that the logo had been “stolen” from another tech firm, Automation Anywhere, appears to be misplaced.

Airbnb said the two had come to an agreement before the announcement.

the new Airbnb really does look exactly like that Automation Anywhere logo, though.

Airbnb’s New Logo Prompts A Vagina Dialogue

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New Captain America Is… Black!

Marvel is replacing Steve Rogers with the new, black Captain America

Marvel is making big changes this year. In a special segment of the Colbert Report this evening, the comics giant announced that Steve Rogers will pass his star-spangled shield on to Sam Wilson in the fall, making Wilson (otherwise known as the Falcon) the first black man to take on the official role of Captain America. This shift comes only a day after Marvel revealed plans to give the role of yet another founding Avenger, Thor, to a woman this fall, and follows with Marvel’s overall push for more diversity in its biggest titles.

That Colbert got to announce the change is altogether fitting; Cap’s shield has been on display on his show since early 2007, when Marvel “bequeathed” the shield to the host following Steve Rogers’ assumed death in the aftermath of the Civil War event series. Wilson will take up the mantle as a result of more recent events in Captain America continuity, however. In Captain America #21, Rogers fights his greatest foe yet in the Iron Nail, only to have the villain drain him of the super-soldier serum keeping him young and super strong. As a result, Cap is not only de-powered, but ages into an old man.

first Thor becomes a woman, and now Steve Roger’s has gone black? stop all the crazy talk!

that’s cool though, as long as they do it well/right then hopefully everybody won’t be confused — kinda doubt it though… i usually hate it when they switch actors playing a role in a good movie… almost too many to list off the top of my head.

p.s. almost wonder if there’ll be a captain american + obama meme… can see having some fun with that. heh.

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Hello, Jibo.

The World’s First Family Robot Could Be Like HAL in Your Home

Meet Jibo. On track to exist next year, Jibo is being marketed as “the world’s first family robot.” The bulbous little guy can read to kids in the living room, recite recipes in the kitchen, take photos in the yard, and perform a handful of other simple tasks. Jibo is also a little bit creepy.

The idea of a robotic family helper is a terrifically timeless one. At least as far back as the original Jetsons series, we squishy humans have longed for someone to do our dirty work around the house. And over the years, we’ve gotten various versions of homebots. While Sony’s robotic dog Aibo and iRobot’s roaming cleaner Roomba aren’t quite Rosie, progress has been steady, however slow. Jibo, however, looks like a leap forward.

funny, but i can totally see people geek’n out over something like this… looks cute and friendly, almost like something Pixar might come up with.

Why Tesla’s Model 3 Could Be the Most Important Electric Car Ever

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