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Penny Arcade - Comic - Endgame

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited September 18 in The Penny Arcade Hub

imagePenny Arcade - Comic - Endgame

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

Read the full story here


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Posts

  • VladimerVladimer Registered User regular
    "Keep going. You're so close" is where I lost it. I love this one.

    zepherinZilla360Commander ZoomBobbleNightslyrH3Knuckles
  • DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    I have no clue what is being discussed here. Google says Theranos is a now-defunct fraudulent health company?

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  • Slacker1913Slacker1913 Registered User regular
    I'm guessing they watched "Out For Blood In Silicon Valley" documentary.

    Eh, I'll get around to it.
    zepherinZilla360H3KnucklesSorce
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    That final Gabe picture.

    Cr7FzEgWEAAD6p6.jpg

    Zilla360V1mBobbleAndy Joe
  • NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    Yeah, I'm deeply curious how much Theranos was the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of absolutely bonkers, rather shadowy SV companies bilking venture capitalist of billions collectively. Another hot sector for that is a smattering of companies promising to solve human longevity and cure death. I believe executives at Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all invested in them.

    I'd like to believe that when they eventually go belly up with nothing to show for it, all that will happen is some very rich people will have lost a lot of their money. That would be the correct result. But I have a sneaking suspicion it won't stop there. For all I know through some dark sorcery of NDAs and pyramid schemes Peter Theil will somehow convert the industry into a blood harvesting scam to keep him young forever.

    KalTorakzepherinZilla360Commander ZoomNightslyrAndy JoeH3KnucklesMatevMan in the Mists
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited September 18
    Delzhand wrote: »
    I have no clue what is being discussed here. Google says Theranos is a now-defunct fraudulent health company?

    Oh boy, Tycho is right - enjoy!

    But in short, Theranos was started by a woman named Elizabeth Smart, a Stanford dropout who used rich-white-person connections and a bad fake-deep-voiced Steve Jobs impression to con a lot of supposedly smart and influential people (IIRC including Kissinger and Bill Clinton) to invest millions in her "invention", a blood test machine that could scan for thousands of conditions using only a drop of blood, rather than doing full blood draws. By the time anyone thought to ask "hey, how does this thing work, and does it actually exist?", her company had already been "valued" at being worth billions and made deals to sell these imaginary blood test machines.

    I believe she was indicted for many types of fraud (also at least one high ranked person at her company died by suicide), still awaiting trial.

    KalTorak on
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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    Also I feel like I'm going to have the urge to post the last panel of this comic every day, on some medium or another.

    zepherinZilla360TofystedethCommander ZoomBobbleNightslyrpainfulPleasanceKoopahTroopahmilskiMatevMan in the Mists
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Also I feel like I'm going to have the urge to post the last panel of this comic every day, on some medium or another.
    ...If someone pulls the last panel I will save it and use it on this forum for all sorts of inappropriate tom foolery. The text boxes only add some flavor to the spice.

  • PeriSoftPeriSoft Registered User regular
    KalTorak wrote: »
    But in short, Theranos was started by a woman named Elizabeth Smart,

    Holmes. Elizabeth Holmes. Elizabeth Smart is a kidnapping victim who has gone through more than enough crap without being conflated accidentally with Elizabeth Holmes. ;)

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  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Delzhand wrote: »
    I have no clue what is being discussed here. Google says Theranos is a now-defunct fraudulent health company?

    Oh boy, Tycho is right - enjoy!

    But in short, Theranos was started by a woman named Elizabeth Smart, a Stanford dropout who used rich-white-person connections and a bad fake-deep-voiced Steve Jobs impression to con a lot of supposedly smart and influential people (IIRC including Kissinger and Bill Clinton) to invest millions in her "invention", a blood test machine that could scan for thousands of conditions using only a drop of blood, rather than doing full blood draws. By the time anyone thought to ask "hey, how does this thing work, and does it actually exist?", her company had already been "valued" at being worth billions and made deals to sell these imaginary blood test machines.

    I believe she was indicted for many types of fraud (also at least one high ranked person at her company died by suicide), still awaiting trial.

    There was a lot of appeal in the con. My company had some of the machines for one year of our in office health screenings. I don't mind full blood draws but know plenty of people that are very needle averse and/or have hard to find veins so it often takes multiple stabs but even for me it was much more pleasant to only feel a quick tap instead of the full needle. And it really sped things up for our nurses doing the draw.

    Had it actually all worked as described there would definitely have been demand and use for the things but the whole actually working is kind of an important bit. The company went back to ye olde thick needles for blood draws the next year.

    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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  • Hawk oneHawk one Registered User regular
    Strangely enough, this strip could -also- have been named "Vampirism". Not only is it a perfect allegory for venture/vulture capitalists, but as a bonus, this particular fraud did involve actual blood.

    But signatures don't really work, do they?
    Commander ZoomRhesus PositivezepherinZilla360H3KnucklesfurlionMan in the Mists
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    PeriSoft wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    But in short, Theranos was started by a woman named Elizabeth Smart,

    Holmes. Elizabeth Holmes. Elizabeth Smart is a kidnapping victim who has gone through more than enough crap without being conflated accidentally with Elizabeth Holmes. ;)

    Hmmm yes, my bad.

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    Delzhand wrote: »
    I have no clue what is being discussed here. Google says Theranos is a now-defunct fraudulent health company?

    ABC News "The Dropout" is a good summary of events:



    But why is this topical now? Did something new happen?

    “I used to draw, hard to admit that I used to draw...”
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    Delzhand wrote: »
    I have no clue what is being discussed here. Google says Theranos is a now-defunct fraudulent health company?

    ABC News "The Dropout" is a good summary of events:



    But why is this topical now? Did something new happen?

    From the Tycho's news post it just seems that he got obsessed by it for a bit and had to share with the world.

  • TransluciaTranslucia Registered User regular
    edited September 18
    why is tycho talking about my ex in the post today

    Translucia on
  • painfulPleasancepainfulPleasance Registered User regular
    Basically, seeing through tech bubble bullshit is like that one bit from Player of Games where they learn how the alien civilization works and what its goal is, and being in Seattle, Tycho sees through a lot of tech bubble bullshit.

    Commander Zoom
  • v2miccav2micca Registered User regular
    edited September 18
    The problem is the attitudes the enabled Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos are all still allive a well in Silicon Valley. Check out this recent article form the New York Times.
    https://nytimes.com/2019/09/10/style/oh-behave.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

    Basically there is still a stigma against calling out obvious bullshit in start ups. Someone rightly points out how an idea isn't viable for a myriad of reasons, and venture capitalist will dog pile and excoriate them as a barely literate Luddite. Sadly, the voices of reason are actively being shouted down.

    Anyone further interested in the Theranos story should check out Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. You will be amazed at the depth to which Holmes and her associates descended with this scam.

    v2micca on
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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited September 18
    v2micca wrote: »
    The problem is the attitudes the enabled Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos are all still allive a well in Silicon Valley. Check out this recent article form the New York Times.
    https://nytimes.com/2019/09/10/style/oh-behave.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

    Basically there is still a stigma against calling out obvious bullshit in start ups. Someone rightly points out how an idea isn't viable for a myriad of reason, and venture capitalist will dog pile on you and excoriate you as a barely literate Luddite. Sadly, the voices of reason are actively being shouted down.
    It's also a culture that determines the worth of an investment by their burn rate. Which is a fucking bananas way to invest. How fast are they burning money? They are dumping it into a volcano? I'm in.

    zepherin on
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  • PyrianPyrian Registered User regular
    :?
    <.<
    >.>
    Allow me to whisper in your ear...
    Star Citizen

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  • tatterdemaliantatterdemalian Registered User new member
    Subjective. Every system our society uses to determine value is subjective. Monetary value itself is a subjective measurement, it isn't a measurable property of reality like volume and mass. It can be created, and destroyed, and moved faster than the speed of light, all because it's an imaginary property arrived at by the consensus of a buyer and seller.

    Zilla360
  • v2miccav2micca Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    It's also a culture that determines the worth of an investment by their burn rate. Which is a fucking bananas way to invest. How fast are they burning money? They are dumping it into a volcano? I'm in.

    The irony being, these are the same kinds of investors who look down their noses at lottery tickets calling it the tax for people who can't understand statistics. Getting in ground zero as an investor on the next Google or Facebook has about the same odds of winning the powerbowl. Anyone selling you the next big investment is selling a scam. Show me someone consistently beating the market and I'll show you someone getting busted by the SEC next year.

    zepherinH3KnucklesMatevfurlionMan in the Mists
  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    You gotta respect the hustle.

    ikzpt6vtahzi.png
  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    Subjective. Every system our society uses to determine value is subjective. Monetary value itself is a subjective measurement, it isn't a measurable property of reality like volume and mass. It can be created, and destroyed, and moved faster than the speed of light, all because it's an imaginary property arrived at by the consensus of a buyer and seller.
    It's still information though. Information/data can't travel faster than the speed of light without violating causality. :P :snap:
    HFT, for example, is limited nowadays mostly by the length of fibre-optic cable, or the distance between microwave radio links.

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  • StericaSterica When it comes to beauty, I rarely make boasts but I look quite good, compared to your posts!Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think part of it is that investors are largely old people entirely out-of-touch with technology, so it makes for an easy grift. Just say the app deliver sandwiches...via the Cloud and people will throw billions at you.

    Shit, Uber is basically a fake company surviving as long as it has purely because people keep pumping money into it thinking it’ll take off any day now. I think the hope is that it can undercut taxis and other transportation long enough to drive them out of business and takeover.

    YL9WnCY.png
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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    cB557 wrote: »
    You gotta respect the hustle.

    Whatever else might be said of the woman, she gets a point from me for scamming Kissinger.
    Sterica wrote: »
    I think part of it is that investors are largely old people entirely out-of-touch with technology, so it makes for an easy grift. Just say the app deliver sandwiches...via the Cloud and people will throw billions at you.

    Shit, Uber is basically a fake company surviving as long as it has purely because people keep pumping money into it thinking it’ll take off any day now. I think the hope is that it can undercut taxis and other transportation long enough to drive them out of business and takeover.

    Uber are scamming the drivers more than the investors.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    my takeaway from the theranos thing is that it remains very possible for a talented con artist to exploit a bunch of people given sufficient experience with their blind spots; holmes' whole persona seems like it was calculated to extract money from a certain flavor of 'angel' investor, and once you have some seed money that kind of scam can be perpetuated for quite a while

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    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • tatterdemaliantatterdemalian Registered User new member
    "It's still information though. Information/data can't travel faster than the speed of light without violating causality. :P :snap:
    HFT, for example, is limited nowadays mostly by the length of fibre-optic cable, or the distance between microwave radio links."
    As it turns out, only matter and energy are limited to the speed of light. Information, however, has verifiably been transmitted faster than the speed of light through an appropriate pre-charged medium in lab experiments.

    "my takeaway from the theranos thing is that it remains very possible for a talented con artist to exploit a bunch of people given sufficient experience with their blind spots; holmes' whole persona seems like it was calculated to extract money from a certain flavor of 'angel' investor, and once you have some seed money that kind of scam can be perpetuated for quite a while"
    Yes, and it remains possible to stab someone to death with a pointy stick before anyone else can stop you, no matter how many laws are passed banning murder and/or pointy sticks. A perfect world where bad things are literally impossible only exists in dreams, and I've seen too many friends turn into serial killing outlaws in an effort to make the world perfect to not speak up about it.

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 19
    my takeaway from the theranos thing is that it remains very possible for a talented con artist to exploit a bunch of people given sufficient experience with their blind spots; holmes' whole persona seems like it was calculated to extract money from a certain flavor of 'angel' investor, and once you have some seed money that kind of scam can be perpetuated for quite a while

    Investment scams are super common. They target literally everyone, too. In the 90's, a Canadian mining firm managed to get hundreds of millions of dollars in money and heavy equipment by making the geologically impossible claim of hitting the largest gold deposit ever in an Indonesian sandstone formation. They were targeting specialist investors who provide capitol and equipment to mines for profit shares. I.e. people who should have damn well known better.

    The trick to getting away with it is to not target rich people, though. Bernie Madoff ended up in jail not because he stole millions from tens of thousands of retirees, but because he stole one big pile from five guys much richer than himself in the process.

    On the other hand, crowdfunding is full of scot free scammers, with a handful of (mostly suspended) FTC fines for a fraction of the take like the guy originally behind The Doom That Came to Atlantic City. The guys behind the Triton Artificial Gill walked away with a million bucks even after being forced to refund their first million, and to this day are still selling a PDF info packet on their fake product for $300.


    Capitalism runs less on solid rules and more on the perceptions and expectations of a herd of cats with money.

    Hevach on
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  • v2miccav2micca Registered User regular
    Sterica wrote: »
    I think part of it is that investors are largely old people entirely out-of-touch with technology, so it makes for an easy grift. Just say the app deliver sandwiches...via the Cloud and people will throw billions at you.

    Except that's not accurate at all. The average age of a senior associate at a Venture Capital firm is in the late 20's to the early 30's. Its not Boomers and older genXers making the calls on these companies. Its generally Millennials.
    Sterica wrote: »
    Shit, Uber is basically a fake company surviving as long as it has purely because people keep pumping money into it thinking it’ll take off any day now. I think the hope is that it can undercut taxis and other transportation long enough to drive them out of business and takeover.

    Uber, Lyft, and similar ride shares survive on a very simple principle, the ability to provide a service comparable to existing services while shirking all the expensive regulatory overhead and simultaneously eschewing long-term commitments to labor. Once regulators catch up with them, the party will be over. But until that time you are basically talking about an investor unicorn.

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  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    v2micca wrote: »
    Sterica wrote: »
    I think part of it is that investors are largely old people entirely out-of-touch with technology, so it makes for an easy grift. Just say the app deliver sandwiches...via the Cloud and people will throw billions at you.

    Except that's not accurate at all. The average age of a senior associate at a Venture Capital firm is in the late 20's to the early 30's. Its not Boomers and older genXers making the calls on these companies. Its generally Millennials.
    Sterica wrote: »
    Shit, Uber is basically a fake company surviving as long as it has purely because people keep pumping money into it thinking it’ll take off any day now. I think the hope is that it can undercut taxis and other transportation long enough to drive them out of business and takeover.

    Uber, Lyft, and similar ride shares survive on a very simple principle, the ability to provide a service comparable to existing services while shirking all the expensive regulatory overhead and simultaneously eschewing long-term commitments to labor. Once regulators catch up with them, the party will be over. But until that time you are basically talking about an investor unicorn.

    Something to remember is that investors often have some portion of money that they can afford to lose on gambles. When one is wealthy enough, that portion of money can be mind boggling to the average person. But I haven't heard about any of those investors being bankrupted by a bad investment. While Theranos took a lot of money, a big part of why they've gotten so much attention is that they were delivering an actual product people and companies were duped into buying and believing the results of which means there was potential for actual harm if a health condition that a traditional blood draw would have picked up was missed by the Theranos finger prick. This all combined to have far more potential ramifications than a smart juicer or the like.

    As for ride shares, they also have the wrinkle of trying to get autonomous car tech up to speed before regulators catch up with them. They very much are hoping they can completely drop needing drivers period and not deal with that issue.

    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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  • AlienCowThatMoosAlienCowThatMoos Registered User regular
    As for ride shares, they also have the wrinkle of trying to get autonomous car tech up to speed before regulators catch up with them. They very much are hoping they can completely drop needing drivers period and not deal with that issue.

    Then they'd have to own and maintain a fleet of cars with all the liability that entails. Right now the sucker in the driver's seat pays for the car, the gas and the maintenance, plus they deal with it if they crash. I don't think Uber wants that. If anything, autonomous cars will probably kill Uber and allow the brick and motor taxi companies to roar back into relevance.

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  • AlienCowThatMoosAlienCowThatMoos Registered User regular
    Or more bizarrely, we may see a future where people who own autonomous cars send their Tesla out to work for Uber when they're sleeping or watching football.

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    Zilla360
  • ShowsniShowsni Registered User regular
    Delzhand wrote: »
    I have no clue what is being discussed here. Google says Theranos is a now-defunct fraudulent health company?

    ABC News "The Dropout" is a good summary of events:



    But why is this topical now? Did something new happen?

    Unfortunately only the first 4 parts are on youtube, and the link to the full video in the description is unavailable outside of the US.

    Zilla360
  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    Or more bizarrely, we may see a future where people who own autonomous cars send their Tesla out to work for Uber when they're sleeping or watching football.

    That actually was something Elon Musk mentioned as a possibility when autopilot is fully featured.

    Kind of makes sense up until our cars become sentient and rise up.

    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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  • MuffinatronMuffinatron Registered User regular
    Or more bizarrely, we may see a future where people who own autonomous cars send their Tesla out to work for Uber when they're sleeping or watching football.

    That actually was something Elon Musk mentioned as a possibility when autopilot is fully featured.

    Kind of makes sense up until our cars become sentient and rise up.

    The new Tesla optional upgrade of Maximum Overdrive

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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Ride share companies also benefit from the good will of a bunch of people who want classic taxi dispatch and payment systems to die.

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