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Belgium Says Loot Boxes Are Gambling

Belgium says loot boxes are gambling, wants them banned in Europe

Last week, Belgium’s Gaming Commission announced that it had launched an investigation into whether the loot boxes available for purchase in games like Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront 2 constitute a form of gambling. Today, VTM News reported that the ruling is in, and the answer is yes.

daaaaaamn… yeah, things are definitely heating up and getting a bit more interesting… hmmmm…

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News Online/Web Personal

Ordered My iPhone X

iPhone X availability slips into December

Phone X availability is constrained but not as bad as it could have been after months of rumors that stock would be severely limited. Apple stores in the US, UK, China, Japan and elsewhere show five to six weeks for delivery, while the Apple Store in Hong Kong simply says “no supply available.” If you want it faster, the only other option is to join a line at an Apple retail store or buy off eBay for a markup. Otherwise, the only people getting an iPhone X on November 3rd were shopping online at 3AM in their underpants.

i probably should’ve gotten up at 3am like i originally planned on doing to pre-order the new iPhone X… but i stopped at a local AT&T store the other day to double-check on whether i was eligible, and how much the payoff would be etc… went ahead and paid off the $150 owed on my iphone, and setup an appointment for 10am this morning… got up, drove over, and met with the same guy i talked to the other day… but when it was all done, he said i probably wouldn’t be getting it until sometime between december 4-18th… ummm… fuck… seriously?!?!

oh well, i’m not all that surprised or upset though… feel like this kinda stuff happens all the time with new iphones.

anybody else getting the new iPhone X?

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News WTF?

RIP Tom Petty

Report: Tom Petty Hospitalized After Cardiac Arrest

Tom Petty, the dynamic and iconoclastic frontman who led the band the Heartbreakers, went into full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home Sunday night, with conflicting reports on whether the Hall of Fame musician died on Monday. Petty was found unconscious, not breathing and in full cardiac arrest at his home, according to TMZ, and rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. EMTs were able to find a pulse when they found him, but TMZ reported that the hospital found no brain activity when he arrived. A decision was made to pull life support. CBS originally confirmed Petty’s death per the Los Angeles Police Department, but TMZ claims the musician is still on life support.

oh man, what a sad day all around… started out so good, and to be honest i was just listening to my music and jamming away at work, kinda oblivious to all the shit going down out in las vegas today — seriously, what the fuck?!?

then i turn around and later find out that tom petty died.

fuck me.

Tom Petty: A Life in Pictures

#ShakesHead  #SadPanda

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News

DC: Worst Traffic in America

Here’s the worst traffic ‘hot spot’ in the U.S., according to a new study

Congratulations, Washington-area drivers. You can now claim the worst traffic “hot spot” in the country — a stretch of Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia that averages a whopping 23 traffic jams a day, according to a new study released Wednesday.

Motorists heading south on I-95 between the Fairfax County Parkway and Exit 133 in Fredericksburg lose an average 33 minutes in backups that leave brake lights stretching an average 6.5 miles, according to the report by INRIX, a Kirkland, Wash.-based traffic data firm.

If congestion doesn’t improve over the next decade, the researchers said, that stretch of I-95 will cost local motorists $2.3 billion in wasted time, lost fuel and additional carbon emissions.

Nationwide, continued traffic congestion could cost drivers $2.2 trillion over the next decade, the study found.

anybody who lives in the DC area isn’t surprised by this at all… not one bit, because the traffic around here really and truly is fucking horrible — no exaggeration needed… aside from the obvious waste in time and money, i wonder how many grey hairs i’ve earned from my years of driving up and down I-95… probably quite a few, truth be told.

#sigh  #mutters

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News WTF?

Snake Bites Woman @ Longhorn Steakhouse

Virginia woman says she was bitten by copperhead snake inside LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – A Virginia woman was supposed to be enjoying a dinner out on the town. Instead, it turned into a serious emergency as she was bit by a poisonous snake inside of a LongHorn Steakhouse in Fredericksburg.

Rachel Myrick said she and her family were walking just before the second set of doors to the dinner room when she thought a bee had stung her foot. She reached down and a 8-inch copperhead snake was hanging onto her foot. Pictures of her foot show the snake bit her under her pinky toe.

She said the bite was some of the worst pain she has ever felt.

holy shit, man!

duuuuuude… that Longhorn is right around the corner from me, like maybe 10 minutes away, and i’ve driven past it at least a thousand times or more… only ate there once or twice, but still.

#WTF

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News WTF?

Another Teacher, Another Sex Scandal

Arkansas High School Teacher Accused of Having Sex With 4 Students

A former high school art teacher in Arkansas has been accused of having sex with four students.

Jessie Lorene Goline, who taught at Marked Tree High School in northeast Arkansas, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault, Democrat-Gazette reports. Prosecutors said Goline faces a single charge because only one of the students was younger than 18.

Goline, 25, allegedly had sex with the students between January and April of 2016, authorities told the Democrat-Gazette. During one incident, a student, who was in Goline’s class, said she picked him up and took him to her apartment to have sex, and then dropped him back off at Marked Tree High School that day. Goline is accused of having sex with another student on that same day.

well now… seems like it’s been awhile since i’ve stumbled across one of these “sex with teacher” stories… and by awhile, i mean it’s probably only been a few months… though i do remember it seemed like there were alot more of these types of stories in the news at one point awhile back.

#hmmmmmmmm

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News

Bucket Bomb On London Tube

Rush-hour chaos in London, passengers run for lives…

What happened: An improvised explosive device was detonated on a London Underground train, injuring 23 people during rush hour Friday morning. A security source told CNN there was a timer found on the device, a sign that the intent was to cause greater damage.

The investigation: A manhunt is underway and police are treating the explosion at Parsons Green station on the District Line as terrorism.

Latest reaction: Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with those injured and the emergency services, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan told CNN there would be an “enhanced police presence” across London. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”

damn man, another terrorist attack in london today?!

fucking bastards.

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News

9/11, A Moment of Silence

Trump, first lady lead moment of silence on 9/11 anniversary

hard to believe it’s been 16 years now since 9/11…

damn.

i always feel kinda moody and sad on this day, since the memories and emotions of that day are forever burned into my brain…

stay strong, mang.

#NeverForget  #WeRemember

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News

Florida Braces, Irma Weakens

Irma Weakens Into Tropical Storm As It Grinds Through Florida

In Florida, Hurricane Irma brought dangerous floodwaters, knocked out power to millions and turned human possessions into debris in the past 24 hours. After making landfall on Sunday, the huge storm remained a Category 1 hurricane as it moved over the state’s northwest Monday, before finally being downgraded to a tropical storm at 8 a.m. ET.

Irma has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and gusts of more than 90 mph. At 8 a.m. ET, Irma was about 105 miles north-northwest of Tampa — one of several areas where storm surge warnings remain in effect. Flash flood warnings have been issued in Jacksonville — a victim, like other eastern Florida areas, of the heaviest rains that are commonly found in hurricanes’ northeast quarter.

More than 6 million electricity accounts in Florida are currently without power, state officials say. While the full extent of Irma’s damage isn’t yet known, the storm has weakened at a faster rate than expected.

nice to see that Irma the Hurricane has weakened as it’s moved up florida, though that was to be expected since most hurricane’s can’t keep it up over land… still crazy to see back-2-back hurricane’s like this… watching some of the news coverage is always a bit shocking and depressing — not to mention humbling.

PS. most people in florida are like “eh, whatever dude” ;)

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News Science

Russia Blasts Dead People Into Space

Russia to blast frozen dead people and pets into space…

Russia is set to blast frozen dead people into space after having them cryogenically preserved. Firm KrioRus said frozen bodies, DNA samples and even the bodies of pets could be blasted into the atmosphere.

The multi-million pound firm already has 54 people and 21 animals from all across the world within their labs – and a further 200 signed-up for the service.

The aim is to preserve dead bodies immediately after someone passes, before launching them into the atmosphere – where it would then cost upwards of £240,000 to keep them there.

great, like there’s not enough space junk already up there.

#RollsEyes

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News Video

Devastated Houston From Above

Surreal Footage Of The Devastating Houston Floods From Above

haven’t really posted much about it, since it just seems like i’ve been completely and totally inundated with news, various photo & video footage, tweets, emails and everything else for the past week… everytime i stop in Wawa to get my morning coffee i’m asked to donate… stop in Giant to pickup a few things, same thing… run through Wendy’s for a late night frosty on my way home last night, and i’m once again asked to donate money to hurricane harvey… hell, i even got an unsolicited text message about it, and was like “dude, really??!”

i get it, it’s bad… it sucks… i’ve already donated money, and am starting to feel kinda harassed by it all to be honest — i dunno, is it just me?

one cool thing was getting an email at work a few days back about how Oracle with match any donation given to the red cross… so i went ahead and sent in a $100, which Oracle will match which i thought was pretty fucking cool.

PS. sorry for the min-rant, just… well, damn.

Houston Dry Out Begins…

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News Science

Total Eclipse Today!

The Solar Eclipse: What to Expect

The moon will begin to get in the sun’s way over the Pacific Ocean on Monday morning. This will create a zone that scientists call totality — the line where the moon completely blocks the sun, plunging the sea and then a strip of land across the continental United States into a darkness that people and other living things can mistake for premature evening.

Because of planetary geometry, the total eclipse can last less than one minute in some places, and as long as two minutes and 41 seconds in others. The eclipse’s longest point of duration is near a small town called Makanda, Ill., population 600.

Around 1:15 p.m. Eastern time, the total solar eclipse will first reach Oregon’s coast. Then it will race for the next 90 or so minutes over 13 more states: Idaho, Montana (barely), Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa (hardly), Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and finally South Carolina.

At about 2:49 p.m. Eastern time in South Carolina, some lucky souls in the Palmetto State’s marshes could be the last on American soil to experience the total eclipse. Just after 4 p.m. Eastern, the partial eclipse will end and all of America will again be under the full August sun.

If you don’t live in one of these states, don’t despair: Every American state will experience a partial solar eclipse (although it won’t darken the sky like a total eclipse). In Honolulu, the sun will be about 20 percent covered. In Brownsville, Texas, you’ll see something like a half sun. Here in New York when the maximum eclipse occurs around 2:44 p.m. Eastern, the sun will be just over 70 percent obscured (and here are tips for taking in New York City’s partial eclipse).

oh man, it sure feels like everybody is loosing their shit over this eclipse… but to be honest, i think it’s pretty cool and awesome to see… talked to a friend over the weekend, and he’s driving over 2 hours away just to get a better view of it — and an extra 20 seconds or something like that… dunno, thought that was awesome.

gotta luv it ;)

so yeah, enjoy the solar eclipse today!

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News

‘Distracted Walking’ Outlawed?

City Looks To Outlaw ‘Distracted Walking’; Fines For Texting During Strolls…

STAMFORD, Conn. — Drivers aren’t the only ones who could be fined for texting or talking.

Now, there’s a proposal to keep pedestrians safe that could set off a national trend.

Crossing busy Broad Street in downtown Stamford can be a challenge, even if you’re not staring down at text messages on your cell phone.

“I see mothers pushing their babies, they’re texting and I’m like how do y’all do all this at this intersection? That scares me,” Dawn Thompson said.

“There been many times where I looked down on my phone and then notice that there’s a car coming right at me, and I feel like a moron whenever that happens,” Nicole Neurohr said. Texting or even talking on an electronic device may soon be illegal in Stamford if a proposal to outlaw ‘distracted walking’ is approved.

“They’re oblivious to cars,” Stamford City representative, John Zelinsky said.

Zelinsky said the Pedestrian Safety Ordinance is modeled after one approved in Honolulu late last month, and would carry a $30 fine if police catch you in the act.

at first blush, sure does seem rather silly to be going after people who are talking/using their phones while walking… is it a thing? sure, we all do it… but i might actually lose my shit if some cop stopped me while walking down the sidewalk and gave me a damn ticket — i mean, are you fucking kidding me?!

now dipshits driving down the road while using their phones is a whole ‘nother thing… i swear, it’s gotten worse… i probably lose my shit at least once or twice a week due to some distracted driver swerving around on the road, only to pass them and see that they’re using (or playing a fucking game?!) on their phones. grrrrr…

#dipshits  #exasperated  #sigh

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News

Vigils for Charlottesville

‘Everyone’s hearts are aching’: Cities hold vigils in wake of Charlottesville violence

Dozens of vigils and demonstrations were held across the country Sunday a day after a woman was killed at an anti-fascist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The vigils honored the life of Heather Heyer, who died when a man drove his car into a group of counter protesters on Saturday afternoon, and some for action against hate groups.

“Really devastated, really disappointed that terrorists came and took over,” Leah Larsen, a Charlottesville resident told ABC affiliate WRIC on Saunday. “Everyone’s hearts are aching, just really upset that this is still going on even after we fought wars over this.”

Heyer was part of the group that assembled to denounce the “Unite the Right” rally held by far-right groups on Saturday. A melee broke out between the two sides followed by the car-ramming that killed Heyer and injured 19 others.

Police arrested James Alex Fields, 20, and charged him with second-degree murder in the incident.

A vigil was also held in Charlottesville at the location where Heyer was killed, and in a number of other U.S. cities.

damn man, talk about a sad and depressing display going on over the weekend in charlottesville here in virginia… seemed like talk about it was everywhere… friends texting me about it, my neighbor bringing it up over a beer, and even overhearing people talking about it at the table next to me the other night — always interesting to listen in to what others are saying and thinking about it, though.

personally, i was pretty effin disgusted by it all.

Trump’s horrible and predictable response to white supremacy in Charlottesville

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News Political

Judge Orders New Search For Hillary’s Benghazi Emails

Judge orders new searches for Clinton Benghazi emails

Nine months after the presidential election was decided, a federal judge is ordering the State Department to try again to find emails Hillary Clinton wrote about the Benghazi attack.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled that the State Department had not done enough to try to track down messages Clinton may have sent about the assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound on Sept. 11, 2012 — an attack that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

In response to Freedom of Information Act requests, State searched the roughly 30,000 messages Clinton turned over to her former agency at its request in December 2014 after officials searching for Benghazi-related records realized she had used a personal email account during her four-year tenure as secretary.

just noticed this popup in my twitter feed, and couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow… seems like forever and an age since i’ve seen both “hillary” and “benghazi” in a headline, though now that i think about it — did the FBI ever come back out with a report or finding after they re-opened the investigation?

#hmmmmm  #curious

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News Online/Web WTF?

5yr Old Lingerie Show?!

Girls as young as 5 walk in controversial Victoria’s Secret-style lingerie show

Young girls dressed in bikinis and fluffy underwear have been pictured walking the runway at a show in a shopping centre in Chengdu, China’s Sichuan Province.

The child models are also sporting full make-up and their lingerie is accessorised with feathers, jewels and even wings – just like the famous Victoria’s Secret angels.

The girls, some of whom are believed to be as young as five-years-old, take to the catwalk in small two-pieces and headresses as people in the audience take photographs.

man, i’m not even sure what to say…

that’s really fucked up.

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News Online/Web

Google’s Controversial Anti-Diversity Memo

Google fires employee behind controversial anti-diversity memo…

Google has fired the employee who wrote a controversial 10-page internal memo that criticizes the search giant for its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in its workforce, the company has confirmed to ABC News.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a note to employees about the incident on Monday, saying the staffer violated the company’s Code of Conduct. The post went over “the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” Pichai said. “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” he added.

In the memo, which circulated on an internal company network and was first reported by Motherboard and published in full by Gizmodo on Saturday, the writer attributes gender inequality in the male-dominated tech industry to biological differences between the sexes.

“Distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and … these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” the author wrote.

The memo also targeted what it referred to as a “left-leaning” workplace culture at Google and urged the firm to “stop alienating conservatives.”

google… left-leaning..?! alienating conservatives? nahhhhh… not google… no effin way, dude.

i feel like that’s the norm, to be perfectly honest… i mean, doesn’t really matter if you’re working at a big tech company like google, facebook, or apple — it’s all the same in a lot of ways… i’m surrounded by libs in the workplace, you just get used to it (and stay quiet).

as for the gender thing, i dunno… but sure seems like peeps on twitter are having a field day with it.

Julian Assange offers job to fired Google employee who wrote anti-diversity memo…

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News Online/Web

HBO Gets Hacked!

HBO Hackers Release Ransom Note and New Trove of Stolen Data

ONE WEEK AFTER hackers spilled multiple episodes of unreleased HBO shows and scripts online, the same group has dropped its second trove of purported internal data from the premium network. And this time it’s not just nihilistic Game of Thrones spoilers—there’s a ransom note, too.

The latest leak includes another half-gigabyte sample of the group’s stolen digital goods; it claims to have 1.5 terabytes in all. This round includes scripts for the first four episodes of the current Game of Thrones season, as well as the script of the yet-to-air fifth episode, all watermarked with the hackers’ motto, “HBO is Falling.” Beyond those leaked scripts, the spill contains countless HBO internal documents, including emails, financial balance sheets, employment agreements, and marketing-strategy PDFs.

Most strikingly, the hackers have finally revealed their motive: extortion. In a rambling letter published as a scrolling video set to the Game of Thrones score, the hackers have reproduced an ultimatum that they imply they’ve sent to HBO CEO Richard Plepler, demanding an amount of money (redacted from the published version of the letter) as ransom for the stolen data, which they’ll otherwise continue to leak. “Our demand is clear and Non-Negotiable: We want XXXX dollars to stop leaking your Data,” the letter reads. “HBO spends 12 million for Market Research and 5 million for GOT7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements!”

fucking hackers, i swear… hope they throw off the gloves and go full Game of Thrones on their asses.

#punkass  #douchebags

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News Online/Web

Too High To Work

Many Americans are too drugged-out to work

A slew of reports finds a fresh reason for the chronic inability of American companies to fill skilled jobs: not a lack of skills, and hence a training-and-education crisis, but a surfeit of drug abuse. Simply put, prime-working age Americans without a college diploma are often too drugged-out to get the best jobs. Opioids remain at high levels, but the surge in drug use is now heroin and the powerful contaminant fentanyl.

The reports suggest a circularity to the crisis in America’s rust and manufacturing belts: the loss of jobs and wage stagnation has led to widespread disaffection, alienation and drug abuse; and drug abuse has led to joblessness, hopelessness and disaffection.

But the numbers are all over the map. Some employers and economists say up to half of job applicants do not clear drug tests; others say it is 25%. In the chart above, Indeed economist Jed Kolko, using data from the U.S. Current Population Survey, found that 5.6% to 5.7% of working-age adults didn’t work last year because of illness or disability, an unknown percentage of which were because of drug use.

from what i’ve heard and seen over the past few years, it sure as hell seems like opioids have become a serious drug problem… i’m good at keeping secrets and confidential, especially talking to friends / neighbors / people in general… but damn, i can’t even begin to say how surprised or shocked i’ve been to find out some of the drugs people are using or into… i mean, marijuana seems downright harmless compared to some of the shit people are doing on the regular, y’know?

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News

RIP Chester Bennington

Linkin Park singer and father-of-six Chester Bennington commits suicide aged 41 on the birthday of his late friend Chris Cornell

Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington has committed suicide. The 41-year-old hanged himself in his home in Palos Verdes near Los Angeles on Thursday morning, TMZ reports. Law enforcement officials say his body was found shortly before 9am.

The Los Angeles County coroner confirmed they were investigating Bennington’s death as an apparent suicide but no additional details were available.

The singer had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. He was married and is survived by his six children.

damn man, what sad news :(

PS. whoa… 6 kids?!

#sniff

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