Main, history, food, music, tech, money, flora-fauna

I made a game - PlanetDrop

: tech, October 28 2021

So I made a game, thus fulfilling a dream of mine. Next one is pretty big and I will need more than a couple of months to complete. It is called "Planetdrop - a tiny space adventure" and is available for free on STEAM. All details about the game can be found on its official website and here is the link to download it. You can also support me on Patreon. If I have some (non-monetary) success in the broad audience, I may decide to expand a bit on the setting - time will tell. It was quite a ride though and this article marks the end of it.

When a branch fails vol.2

: tech, March 11 2021

Just a month after the first "when a branch fails" article, we finally got a vaccine. What a relief! In late autumn 2020 BigPharma finally decided it is time to open the gates - the dollars are ripe for picking. They used a massive government donation (as if they needed such), to "develop" adequate weapon against the virus. Delivery contracts were already signed, the vaccine(s) was zooming through the fast lane of EMA's (European Medical Agency) drug approval procedures, vaccination centers were being prepared. What could possibly go wrong?!

"$" steps in with "hold my beer!"

At that point nobody, except the people who signed them, knew what exactly is written in the contracts. Everything was covered under the "top secret" blanket - not only because of the falsified price data, but probably also because it would have shown exactly how bent over the politicians were. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) board chair Christa Wirthumer-Hoche, reached another level of face-palming hypocrisy, by declaring an early approval of the Russian vaccine "Sputnik V" to be equal to playing a "Russian roulette", despite it was the FIRST mass-introduced one, with good results for over 6 months. The obvious politically-forced decision not to use it, was scrapped by many EU countries, who showed EMA the middle finger, and even started producing it by themselves.
Meanwhile BigPharma was showing EMA the same finger, after using them to legitimize their product, and announcing indirectly they will just sell to the highest bidder - and this is how Israel, and recently UK and US, managed to get a record numbers in their immunization campaign. The greed (and the lack of consequences) kicked out any remaining business-integrity. No such can exist, when you get big and try to play with the top players (oh, what a nice topic for another article this is!).
In Germany, the "Impfzentren" are almost empty, due to insufficient supply of vaccines, nevertheless generating serious expenditures - the taxpayer has nowhere to go,...right? FFP2 masks were introduced as mandatory and nobody (except me) asked himself "whose cousin brought a FFP2-loaded cargo ship from China?". I hate to be right - last week 2 parliament representative burned when somebody uncovered they lobbied for these specific masks and put over a million in the bag. At the same time fraudsters were scamming the Ministry of Economy, just calling them from the name of legitimate companies "in financial need" and asking for some money. "Just transfer them to this account". And the ministry complied... , then stopped the entire program (temporarily).
Again - no resignations, no penalties - nothing! The 2 lobbyists were forced out by their own parties. One went away, the other left the party ... but remained in the parliament! Just think about this next time, when Germany moralizes over the corruption in your government. Many times people's memory is just too short. Like my all-time-favorite innovation from Ursula von der Leyen (2013-2019 Germany's Minister of Defense), who spent €650K for uniforms for pregnant soldiers. You know her better as The President of the European Commission (2019-since) - the same commission who put the entire continent in the COVID19 fiasco.
I am not even mentioning the side effects and questions, regarding the medical application of all rushed vaccines. Questions, that will cost EMA (us, the tax-payers) billions in the upcoming lawsuits. There are numerous reports of people dying after vaccination, dubious effectiveness, lack of quality control, etc. This article continues the legacy of the first one, by just giving a glimpse on how the failure spreads in a system of communicating vessels. The flaws of the fist are fueling corresponding such in the second one and vice-versa. This is not the end of the story. I am absolutely sure we will have more "incredible" examples by the end of the summer 2021.

When a branch fails

: tech, October 29 2020

I work in IT and when we have a problem, we try to solve it ASAP or the company starts losing money - indirectly most of the time, thus difficult to measure (also the reason why some managers underestimate the importance of having good engineers), but fast. If it is a big one, we work on shifts, until it is resolved. When I am done, I go to sleep, handing over to my colleague, who "returns the favor" 12 hours later. Vendors are engaged, test-scenarios are replayed, workarounds are implemented and so on... So, more or less, this is how IT operates in emergency situations.
And now we go to the healthcare industry. * My thoughts below are made up entirely with the assumption, that there is no conspiracy plot of enslaving the humanity, all actors do their best and their failure is not deliberate.
One year has passed since CoViD-19 stepped in and destroyed our society. And the little sanity, that was left. Hospitals are overwhelmed, medics die, whole healthcare systems are on their knees (US should not worry for the latter). People see nothing, but failure. The political one is more than clear - nobody expects politicians ever to solve a crisis, let alone a global one. The miscarriage I did not expect, was the scientific one. Yes, I give the prize "flop of the decade" to all pharma-scientist and their companies. It is astonishing to see an entire science branch to fail that badly, crushed by its own laziness, bureaucracy and narcissism! Not only they are not pressing enough, while millions of people are dying, but also utterly fail to provide meaningful "root cause analysis". Excuses like "we have to follow the procedures, which will take 2-5 years of testing" and "we cannot estimate how this virus functions" are complete nonsense. Bend the rules! Gather data faster! Engage AI for simulations! Experiment on people more!

"If we do not test enough, some side effects may occur."
"Yeeah, death seems a better option than a nasty rash!"

If I am working the same way, I will be on the street before noon. Despite what companies claim about the importance and strictness of the IT processes, my entire experience shows the need of a very flexible mindset in 99% of the cases when solving an issue. If drug companies cannot be flexible and adapt to the worst pandemic of the century, then maybe, their ways are entirely wrong. They should at least try different approach.
Another favorite excuse is "human body is so complex...blah blah". No it is not! Ask any down-to-earth surgeon with a broad general knowledge - humans are a sophisticated set of fine plumbing and wiring (and nothing more!). At least you do not need to reach that level of insane complexity. Most of the drugs are derivatives, so you do not work completely from the ground up. Even if there is no such, with enough testing (and motivation), you can assemble some cure in a matter of months and it will work on most of the people. The 1% you will lose anyway.
Shout out to all governments:
Instead of burning trillions of "recovery" plans in "helping" already doomed businesses, just gather the top-brains in the field, give them 10mil each, lock them in the best lab available, provide everything they need and let them hammer out the goddamn vaccine! It will be not only faster, but way cheaper!

I pay high attention when it comes to the origins of the virus. Many scientists (Professor and above and who am I to even question them) say it has been tampered with. Not necessarily like entirely man-made, but tampered to become this highly-infectious, fast-mutating, not-so-deadly-but-very-damaging, elusive monstrosity. And the obvious questions - who and why? Past this, it is a conspiracy theory for now, but whoever did it, either has a cure/vaccine (meaning "it is possible to create one") or is completely insane. All I know is, that science needs to hurry. We do not have 10 years (the usual development time frame), we do not have even 5! You guys, all pharma-research-companies, are filthy rich, so money is not the problem. If "the plan" is to stall for years, we can just all go with the virus and whoever survives...and then we will come back for you with the pitchforks and torches.
To cheer up the mood a little bit, I present you today's number for China. I do not know how low your IQ has to be, to believe this. For comparison, Germany has registered 16000 cases. A country with 1.4 billion people, huge, polluted cities with extreme population density and "a person means nothing" philosophy...Maybe we should ask them: "how do you do it?" - the low number of infected people I mean.

Electric cars are expensive because of the new tech, batteries, and other lies

: tech, September 14 2020

If you are not living under a rock, you already know, that all big car brands are now switching to electric vehicles. Although too late, it is generally a good thing, but the way it is presented to the public, is rather disgusting. All new electric cars share 3 distinct issues. First and foremost they are EXTREMELY expensive (something this articles is stressing on). Second, everybody is lying about the range of their cars. Third - charging time and lack of infrastructure portray the them even less attractive.
No, I am absolutely "FOR" the electric cars. Internal combustion engine is an engineering nonsense, pushed by the petrol moguls in the late 19th century. It is dirty, inefficient, expensive, fragile and difficult to maintain, but now we are getting the same cheesy-money-grab, they got away 100 years ago.
And we reach "the price" topic. So all EVs, despite manufacturer's claims, that all efforts go to environmental protection, are waaaaaaay more expensive, than their ICE counterparts. I am sorry, big CEOs - even the dumbest people realize this hypocrisy and despise you and your brands for this. If you really care about the environment, slash the price in half (working "only" at ~20% profit). No? Why? Ohh, the other cars will become unsellable and obsolete, yeah, that's right!
The usual excuse is:

All new EVs use expensive batteries, made from rare metals, plus all the new technology on top of it ...

Waaait a minute, dear Mr.Salesman! What you see on the picture above, is called "Detroit Electric Modell C" and was built between 1907 and 1939 from the "Anderson Carriage Company" (yes, "carriage", like "horse pulling a big wooden box") in Port Huron and later, Detroit. It looks extremely luxurious, especially from the inside. The car was advertised with a maximum range of 130km/charge, but in test conditions it managed to reach 340km/charge. Top speed 32km/h - which, for the time, is just right.
Yes people! You are reading correctly! This 100-year-old tin can, with the drag coefficient of a house, zero electronics, lack of any advanced gearbox or suspension, modern lubricants and whatever they put nowadays, outperforms most of the brand-new EVs?! How is this possible? Probably because of the electric motor? Oh wait, it is the same! In its core, the electric motors did not change much for the past 100 years, so somebody blaming it for the cost is flat-out insolent. So which "new, expensive technology" we are talking about? Is it the Android tablet in the middle of the vehicle? Or the $50 sensors? Yes, batteries may (still) be expensive, but the cost of an electric motor is a fraction of the cost for an internal combustion engine, so, to a certain degree, it should balance it.
The price of the "Detroit Electric Modell C" car varied between $2500 and $3000 for the highest trim. They produced around 13 000 DE cars, so it did not lack popularity. Adjusted with the inflation it is $75K, and you may say it is comparable to its contemporaries ... well not really. Back then this was THE peak of the technology, as now, excluding the software, there is nothing revolutionary in any EV. Cheapest "Tesla Model S" starts at 80K. The modern equivalent of the Detroit Electric would be closer to a Porshe Taycan EV (reasonably spec-ed ~150K).
Let's get back to the main perpetrator - the batteries (Li-ion ca.1991). How often have you read about "new revolutionary type of battery" and you secretly hope that "yes, this is it!"? And they all disappear. No trace, no further development, despite all promising initial results. Are you telling me, that all these projects fail due to unforeseen tech limitations? Or there is not enough funding/interest? Batteries, that are dirt-cheap. Batteries, that charge in minutes. Batteries, that are stable and last forever. So all of their researchers are stupid or slow? Think again!
I do not even want to start the topic with the government tax benefits and purchase incentives for the EVs - money, that come straight from the tax payer and goes straight in the car manufacturer's pocket. If these incentives are cut, the prices will just fall down with the same amount. Now they are taken for granted as a pure profit.
To wrap it up: nothing, but corporate greed, is stalling the inevitable success of the EVs and there is no reason to justify the current insane prices!