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  1. I cannot remember how long it's been since I've actually had a problem with a MS product. I cannot remember how long it's been since I've had to do anything to rebuild my computer that wasn't caused by something I consciously did that I was aware could be potentially destructive. Why, after 5 years of never running virus protection or "open-source" applications like Firefox or Thunderbird, have I never had a problem like those "everyone" seems to be having with MS products? I'm of the camp that people bash on whatever it's popular to bash on. The reality is that MS is a big company, and it's immensely successful. If they make a mistake, they are pretty quick to fix it. They also support their products better than any other software developer that is even competitive with them. Ugh, I just get sick of people talking about MS as if they only make devil software that is out to destroy your computer or leave it vulnerable. They are the best at what they do, or else over 80% of household desktops wouldn't be MS-based.
  2. 4 words. Scene from Point Break.
  3. http://www.aina.org/news/20070425181603.htm Link that includes some shoddy videos of the Kurdish girl who was stoned recently. Frankly, I find little in life that is more pathetic than cultures where this kind of behavior is prevalent. Maybe I'm a bleeding heart, but asking people to maintain codes of conduct that directly conflict with naturalistic desires and impulses is, frankly, barbaric. Note that I'm talking about desires and impulses that don't result in someone being hurt. Stoning a guy for cold-blooded murder is a wee bit different than stoning a girl for dishonoring her family and converting to a different religion.
  4. Oh the cliche'. If the rogue hack and slash ever gets boring to you, create a druid. Druids have the most diverse playstyle in the game IMO. Their learning curve is higher, but it was the only thing that kept me playing the game. I have not logged in to my character since 2 weeks after TBC. He's stuck at level 65 and I'm selling my account. I just got burned out like I do. Any other class would have made me quit a lot sooner. Also the sad thing is that unless you just love leveling characters (i know a few people like this) the game doesn't really take off until you hit 70 and get into PvP or end game PvE raiding. Everything between level 1 and 69 is just teaching you how to play your character.
  5. There was a game that had a brief run called Battletech 3025. I was in the closed beta for it. It was a simple concept that essentially needed something else to make it stick. The map of the Innersphere was broken up into individual systems and you would pick a system to do battle. It was essentially mech death match 2v2-4v4 I believe. Had it not had to compete with the MechWarrior community, it would probably have done well. MechWarrior has such a hold on the pc flavor of the genre that until they make a MW MMO, you're pretty much screwed. As far as space sims go... there is a newtonian physics direct-control mmo called Jumpgate. Your problem there is that the only people left in that very smally community are the types of people who would get together and set up their own knockoff server if the official servers were shut down. What I really want to see is an MMO that combines the command element of Homeworld and direct-control space sim combat. Imagine being the commander of a fleet of real people who were actually flying the ships. The only thing stopping this would be hardware and network limitations.
  6. From what I've gathered in all my reading... the next appropriate picture would be the one with the look of frustration upon your face while packing it.
  7. Is that the same thing as an exact estimate? Ballparks (literally) are distinctly defined areas. For instance, training will average somewhere between say.. 750 on the cheap side and 2k on the expensive side. You can tell people "it will likely fall within this range." I've commonly seen people say gear will run you say.. $2500 used to around $6000 new. (Acceptable variance implied) So you have distinct ballpark figures. I wasn't being a total idiot when I said that.
  8. A little bit of research gathering will give you a pretty distinct ballpark figure for the costs of getting into the sport (getting licensed/acquiring gear). But I figured someone (more or less curious as I am) might want to get the low down on what kind of expenditures you are consistently going to find while participating that go beyond the cost of training, rig, and jump tickets. For example, time-mandated reserve repacks.
  9. Working on the participation variable. Participation is subjective. You change your odds of dying in a year by how many incidents you subject yourself too. I'm running the numbers to factor in participation. BTW I didnt mean to bump this thread... thought I was PM'ing someone
  10. Lets get some numbers straightened out. Take an estimated 2 million skydives made per year (just for the sake of having a round number and based on the last thing I read from a skydiving publication). Out of those 2 million skydives, factor in a 10 year average of 35 deaths per year. That leaves you with 1 in 57,xxx skydives result in a fatality. According to the NHTSA, in 2004: there were 6.1M accidents which resulted in 42636 fatalities. breaking down to: 33134 "occupants" (car/truck drivers and passengers) 4008 "motorcycle riders" 5494 "non-occupants" (e.g. pedestrians) and an estimated 2.9 trillion vehicle miles traveled. This equals out to 1 fatality for every 68 MILLION miles accumulated by all vehicles in travel. This means your chances of dying are 1 in a cool million that you will die in 68 miles of driving. Chew on that.
  11. Skydiving training... not job training They pay ME during job training I do need to get my A+ though. I failed to get it in high school when it would have been easy, so I have to study up and take the test. However, they pay for that as well.
  12. It's been a while since I've been on dz.com (not that I'm renowned or that anyone noticed) but I've been focusing on taking care of the standard personal business, blah blah whatever. But I'm finally going to achieve my goal to get into skydiving, this year. Starting May 29th, I'll be working for Dell making $6/hr more than I do now. Besides all the neat benefits (which you get from day 1 btw.), this means that all the loose financial ends I needed to tie up before I begin throwing money and myself out of planes are going to be taken care of by the end of August. I'm down to my final $4k to pay off, but I will begin the training process when I get down to $2k. Training will be paid for in cash and I'll be able to cram as much of it in on the weekends as is reasonable. Gah I'm just horribly excited. Being able to skydive has been my primary focal point and inspiration to better my financial situation and my life situation in general. I'm just glad to see the work coming to fruition. I already pushed it back 1 year, I would hate to have to do it again. But all lights show green at this point. I can't wait
  13. The real question is if I go to court, what the hell do I say and how do I say it? Hah. This is all new territory for me.
  14. pay the ticket, pay the court fees, and pay for driving school to keep it off my record. 13 over, 53 in a 40. I wasn't even aware that I was speeding at the time (tired, on my way to work in the morning) and it's my first time being pulled over for speeding in this state since I started driving. (pulled over in minnesota 3 years ago in a hurry to mount rushmore during a road trip) If it's not going to bump my insurance up that much if any than I'd rather not deal with the whole mess. Does anyone have a ballpark idea on how much it would go up? Just looking for the best option for the time/money involved.
  15. A continent with some of the richest natural resources on earth, and these people have been living on the edge of death for centuries. Sounds like a personal problem to me. With that logic, all people who work at the front line of any resource harvesting industry should be rolling in money. But alas, it's the Big Oil CEOs, NOT the rig workers, who make the real money. This ties in to the earlier post about 946 people who are willing to work for the money. Those at the bottom who literally scrape by squeezing blood out of stones work harder than most anyone else. But someone lied to them early on by telling them hardwork pays off. It might pay off, but it doesn't pay well. Work smarter, not harder. And then again, that doesn't even factor in for evironmental circumstances. Regardless, you're not going to see a wealthy diamond miner in South Africa. And hell, as far as "disproportionate tax rates are concerned"... the rich pay more in taxes because, IMO, they benefit the most from the society they support. And a rich man is nothing without his peons. Take care of the peons, lest they chop your head off. Viva la France!