Friday, May 31, 2019

Small things 31 May

  • Remember the days when peripherals hooked up to a PC via PS/2, serial RS-232C, Parallel port, IEEE1394 (Firewire), SCSI, or DIN? No? Thank Intel.....
  • With the rise of self-driving vehicles, it's just a matter of time before there's a country song where the guy's truck leaves him.
  • White crayons. Why?
  • Slim chance = fat chance.
  • Next time I'm greeted by the flight attendants at the door to the plane, I'm calling 'shotgun'. (fingers crossed)
  • When you see a couple's initials carved in a tree, do you think "Aww, that's sweet", or "Who brings a knife on a date?"
  • What does 'the cat's out of the bag' mean? Why was it in the bag in the first place?

By Canadian sand sculptor Damon Langlois

One mistake offsets another

Not long ago, I had to visit a large health facility. It wasn't for me, I was just the chauffeur. When we arrived, the gate at the arrival printed me a ticket, which I would keep on me and then pay when we were ready to leave.

As soon as we parked, I took a photo of the pillar next to our car so we'd have no trouble finding it again once we were done. In my defence, it is a huge underground parking lot - 2 city blocks in size.

About an hour into the visit I fished in my pocket and realized that the parking stub was gone. I retraced my steps everywhere I had been, except for the underground parkade itself. I had no luck finding the stub.

I was informed that I would need to visit the parking office and they would sort it out. When I got there, they said I'd have to pay for a full day visit, because I had no proof of when I arrived. "Au contraire", I said, explaining that I had a photo of my spot on arrival (time stamped). That got my full day fare reduced to a much more reasonable $4.50.

When I returned to the car, there was the missing stub, on the ground, next to the car. I had inadvertently pulled it out and dropped it while I retrieved my phone to take the picture of the pillar by the car.

So the picture I took to remind me where we parked resulted in a lost stub, but saved me from having to pay full fare. Irony?

Mamaaaa Ooooooooo!

A huge crowd waiting for another band to come on (Green Day I think) sings along to Bohemian Rhapsody.


Sharing a pineapple

Things I learned lately 31 May

  • Of the 38,300 people who live in Monaco, 12,261 of them are millionaires.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk was paid $2.3 billion in compensation in 2018.
  • In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, earned roughly $1.7 million per hour.
  • The cheapest way to increase the value of your home (for sale) is to get rid of the clutter.
  • Bell Canada wants streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Video and the newly minted Disney streaming service to pay 20% of their revenue to Canadian content production, but conveniently rigged the revenue requirement numbers so that its own CraveTV streaming service would be exempt.
  • The folks at Intel who decided in 1994 that a new standard port for peripherals was needed had a lot of convincing to do. It eventually led to USB.
  • The iMac was the first computer to come out with only USB as standard.

Friday, May 24, 2019

American politics

I was having coffee with a group of Americans and the discussion eventually wandered into the realm of politics, specifically the evils of socialism.

When the conversation was over and I excused myself, one of the group members found me and said, "I want to apologize on behalf of my self-described 'libertarian' friend back there. He doesn't mind collecting all kinds of government benefits, but he always has a problem with others collecting them."

Small things 24 May

  • "We've kept more promises than we've even made..." ~Donald Trump
  • Q. What kind of jam would a Quaker not like? A. Traffic jam...
  • America. Where the maximum legal campaign donation is indexed to inflation, but minimum wage is not.
  • It's impossible to hypnotize a cat. All they want to do is bat at the watch.
  • Rich people don't have 'driveways'. They have 'motor courts'.
  • Mirrors and cameras seem to have a completely different idea of what I look like than I do.
  • The problem with being a stepladder is always having to hear "You're not my real ladder!"
  • Those who believe in tele-kinetics, raise my hand....
  • A postie is just a mail escort.

He's got it in his blood

Taj Farrant is a 9 year old guitar prodigy.

It's like he's been reborn from some past blues legend.

He's only been playing since he was 7.

Won't get fooled again with playground instruments

This time, the surviving members of The Who come to play with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots in this funny, popular segment, where music stars come and perform a hit using playground musical instruments.

Reincarnation. Not always what it's cracked up to be.

Things I learned lately 24 May

  • Gary Wright (Dream Weaver) performed on all of George Harrison's 1970s solo albums. He also played piano in Harry Nilsson's 'Without You'.
  • Globally, only 10-15% of plastic currently gets recycled.
  • Amazon is gamifying the warehouse work-space to encourage productivity through friendly competition.
  • In some localities in China, if you call someone who owes money, instead of a traditional ringing noise you get a special recorded voice telling you that you're calling someone who owes money, and asks you to "please urge the person" to pay back their debts.
  • The green ink used to print U.S. currency was invented by a Canadian chemist, Thomas Sterry Hunt, in 1857.
  • The price for a litre of gas in Paris is the equivalent of CAD$2.40
  • Q. Why did the chicken cross the road? A. Because it didn't live in Georgia. (It's illegal for chickens to cross the road in Georgia)
  • Mellower Coffee, in Singapore, has a unique coffee offering. The Sweet Little Rain (pictured) is a huge cup of Americano coffee with a ball of cotton candy suspended over the top of the cup like a cloud. The steam from the hot coffee melts the sugar cloud which then rains down on the drink. Be prepared to get a little messy because the sugar droplets also land directly on the cup and the saucer.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Small things 18 May

  • "Be an expert in giving everyone else a good time." ~Keith Johnstone (father of theatresports improv)
  • Q. Why do moms put the dishes away so loudly? A. To remind everyone that nobody helps around the house.
  • Imagine a Shazam type of service, but instead of for music, it's for diagnosing that weird sound your car makes.
  • Nowadays, you mention Botox and nobody raises an eyebrow.....
  • If you visit Australia and at customs they ask, "Do you have a criminal record?" do not be tempted to reply, "I wasn't aware you still needed one...."
  • Whatever you do, next April Fool's Day, do NOT put up ads all over the city telling them there's a prize for the best Chewbacca roar and to leave a voice mail with your best roar at this number: and then put your boss's cell number as the contact number. Nope. Not a good idea.
  • Remember when teachers and nurses crashed the economy and took billions in bonuses and bailouts? Me neither...
  • When you're in the hospital, the sign 'stroke patients' is not an invitation.
  • Don't go bacon my heart. I couldn't if I fried.... Also, if you don't get the song reference, you're not old.
  • Statistics have shown that people who have more birthdays live longer. It must be the cake...

I think this might have been a slightly different store once upon a time.....


There has been a lot of extremely animated discussion about whether or not Calgary needs to re-introduce fluoride into the public water supply.

Those that are pro-fluoridation quote studies that since we stopped doing it in 2011, the rate of cavities has gone up in Calgary compared to Edmonton. But this is one study, conducted by students, who did not take other dental health factors into consideration at all.

Those that are anti-fluoridation suggest that studies point to adverse effects of ingesting too much fluoride. I have discovered countless articles suggesting that these studies are being suppressed, but I can't conclude one way or the other.

Let's look at some facts. Quebec and BC for the most part do not add fluoride to their water. Only 4% of the water in Quebec is fluoridated. I wasn't able to get recent stats for BC, but Quebec's rate of cavities is 0.5 cavities more per child. Health Canada warned against drawing conclusions one way or the other because the studies to date have NOT considered other fluoride intake factors, such as the most common intake - toothpaste.

In Alberta, actual stats show that communities that do NOT add fluoride to their water showed similar decreases in tooth decay as those that did add fluoride. In one example of the inconsistencies of the data, Radway AB showed a 9% increase in decay with a natural well water fluoride amount of 0.12 ppm. Yet, Busby AB showed a 69% decrease in decay using well water with 0.19 ppm of fluoride. As a reference, communities that fluoridate their water tend to add 1.0 ppm artificially.

Every article I could find about Canada's dental health indicates that their sources show dental health improving over time, regardless of whether fluoride is added to the water.

From a Globe and Mail article:

There has also been a worldwide reduction in cavity rates, regardless of whether countries use the chemical, suggesting factors other than adding it to water supplies are at work.

One theory is that most people are already getting adequate exposure to fluoride through toothpastes, so the amounts in water aren't making much difference in tooth decay rates.

"The parallel reduction in caries [cavities] incidents in countries with a lot of fluoridation and countries with not much fluoridation is quite dramatic," says Warren Bell, former head of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, a group that questions the practice.

Dr. Limeback said factors that might be preventing caries include increased exposure to vitamin D, better oral hygiene, less sugar consumption, and even antibiotics.

When fluoridation started 60 years ago, doctors thought swallowing the chemical was beneficial by strengthening teeth from the inside out. Dr. Limeback said more recent research shows that if there is a benefit, it is from the topical application of fluoride to the surface of teeth, which suggests that brushing with a toothpaste is more effective than drinking water containing the chemical.

The problem I have personally with adding it has to do with the utility's inability to dose accurately based on our observations. Calgary also adds chlorine to the water. In our house, the water contains so much chlorine, when we fill our tub, sometimes the water has a blue tinge to it. We asked the City to test our water a few years back and they admitted that the level of chlorine in our water was rather high and that nothing could be done about it. In fact, they recommended we use a chlorine filter, such as Brita, to make our water drinkable.

So if the City can't reliably dose the water with chlorine in every home, how could one expect them to reliably dose fluoride?

Here are countries with no fluoridation that have good dental health: Switzerland; Sweden; Norway; Netherlands; Latvia; Italy; Hungary; Greece; Germany; France; Finland; Estonia; Denmark; Croatia; Czech Republic; Belgium; Austria.

Back to stats. Kentucky has the highest rate of tooth decay in the US. 98% of the residents get fluoridated water. Draw your own conclusions.

I vote no fluoridation. There aren't any conclusive studies that suggest it helps. There may be no conclusive data that it harms, but if it doesn't help according to modern stats, why bother forcefully medicating a population against their will?

Mars Habitat

This is definitely the coolest Mars habitat proposal video I've seen yet.

Those NASA folks are clever.

She looks so familiar, I just can't place that face....

Things I learned lately 18 May

  • You would have to build a single column tower at least 2.17 miles high in order to exert enough pressure on the bottom brick to lead to structural failure.
  • When in doubt, order the bigger pizza. A 16-inch pizza has almost 100% more surface area (~201 square inches) than a 12-inch pizza (~113 square inches), yet doesn’t cost anywhere near 100% more.
  • People think that the US ignores the metric system, but in fact the military, much of the federal government, and the medical and pharmaceutical fields have switched.
  • You would think that "wi-fi" stands for something longer, but it doesn't. It's just a marketing term, chosen because it sounds better than "IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence". Some folks think it stands for 'wireless fidelity', but that's only because at one time, the term wi-fi came with the tag line "the standard in wireless fidelity". In truth, wi-fi means nothing.
  • The technical name for the sound of a rumbling stomach is "borborygmus".
  • Hawaii is one of only 2 states in the US that has never recorded a record high temperature over 100F. Of course, Alaska is the other state.
  • As Notre-Dame cathedral burned, alt-right figures launched a campaign on social media falsely blaming Muslims for the blaze.
  • In 2015, Godzilla received honorary Japanese citizenship and is listed as officially residing in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Small things 10 May

Me: There was a fad in the 1950s called booth stuffing where teens would try to stuff themselves into phone booths.
Teen: Into what?

  • Don't be sad. Because sad spelled backward is das. And das not good.
  • Twins. The original, all natural buy one, get one free.
  • If you're arguing loudly on your phone in public, please put it on speaker. We need to hear both sides to know whose side we're on.
  • Dear American democrat millennials: You know you could just enable parental controls on your parents' TV and block Fox News..........
  • Never mind 'dance like no one is watching'. Dance like a toddler. They don't even care if there's music.
  • Most of the people who say the Mueller report exonerates Trump haven't actually read the report.
  • Shout out to all the early humans who died figuring out which plants were safe to eat.
  • I'm too embarrassed to tell stories of when we used to download an entire song over a period of 40 minutes on dial-up internet.

It's safer than you are

Tesla's sensors and computer are so road aware that they often see an accident developing long before you do, as witnessed in this accident avoidance video compilation.

The one at 0:33 is especially incredible, as the car sees past the car directly in front to the one experiencing loss of control. The moment you hear the beeps is when the Tesla is letting you know that an accident is happening. Then it happens. The car has already brought itself to a safe stop.

Just listen for all the times the beep alerts you to the incident to come even before it happens.

Tesla navigate on autopilot

In case you've never seen the latest Tesla cars driving on 'autopilot', here's a video showing it in action.

What it allows for over and above the typical dynamic cruise control you would get on other cars is the ability to know where we're going and suggest when it's time to change lanes, which you enable by tapping the turn signal lever.

[Update: The change lanes function I just described is now automatic. You no longer need to use the turn signal to confirm the lane change. The car does it on its own after making sure it's safe to do so. P.S.: That escalated quickly...... (Yeah, I had to say that)

Of course this only works on highways right now, but watch this space....

We're getting so close now

Here we go folks. Tesla dropped this sped up video evidence of a Tesla car fully driving itself from start to finish. Admittedly, on a planned, navigable route, but OK.

It managed traffic lights, traffic, stop signs, navigating secondary highways and roads, the gamut.

Now, I'd still like to see how it does in a blizzard or a big torrential rain, but this is the future.

Tesla Autonomy Investor Day (22 Apr 2019)

I had a chance to glimpse on Youtube Tesla's unveiling of the custom computers that are now being put into new Tesla cars. These new computers will allow the vehicles to drive themselves, which is something that still doesn't quite sit right with a lot of people. I wanted to learn more.

Up until now, Tesla has been using off the shelf computer components to give their cars intelligence, but Teslas goal has always been to create a level of intelligence and autonomy that would be more difficult to accomplish given  existing hardware and software. Let's face it, most computer hardware that exists on the market today was designed to do business productivity or gaming related tasks, not drive a car and keep its passengers safe. Most computers aren't designed to connect to 8 cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 1 radar to build an accurate picture of what's going on around a vehicle for several car lengths, plus pedal and steering wheel angle sensors. So, Tesla decided to hire specialists to build their own task specific computers and then hire specialists to make neural net software to run on those custom built computers.

The new computer is a dual redundant design, where both sets of circuitry analyze what's coming in from the sensors and cameras, devise a plan, and then the two circuits compare plans to ensure that no mistake was made. But the system can operate even if half of the system were to malfunction. Their failure prediction analysis suggests that you're 100 to 1000 times more likely to lose consciousness yourself than the computer is to malfunction. Having custom made hardware also makes it possible to only run software that was cryptographically signed by Tesla. In other words, hacking the car and taking control would be pretty tough to do. The computer chips themselves employ a neural network design, which is quite different from a traditional chip, and are fast - 144 TOPS (tera operations per second). That's 144 trillion operations per second. If you are a gamer, you know that achieving 60+ frames per second of video is only possible with really great video hardware. Tesla's new computer gets to over 3000 frames per second of processed video. As impressive as this is, Tesla is already half way through the design of the next generation computer.

A few people in the assembled reveal audience were asking if Tesla was afraid of other companies stealing their design. Elon Musk said that reverse engineering and then building a duplicate system would take 3 years, assuming they were skilled enough. But in 2 years or less, an upgraded design with at least 3 times the capability will have been released. Elon also stressed that unlike other companies attempting self driving, Tesla is collecting and analyzing real world driving data from 500,000 cars and counting to tweak their software. In other words, Tesla has gone into a manic sprint and has left the rest of the field far behind.

What the 8 cameras are seeing in real time in the car.

In the composite of what the 8 cameras are seeing, you can see the drivable space in blue, dotted lines identifying where the lane markings are. Based on the neural net designer's explanation, the critical task that the computer has, is to recognize everything it sees and determine with accuracy how far away those things are from the car. This is very difficult for a computer to do, because although our brains are able to identify objects instantly, a computer only sees billions of pixels of varying degrees of brightness. It needs to learn how to put boundaries around these bits of brightness and determine that what it's seeing is most likely a bike, or a person, or a giant truck. The bigger problem is that the 'shape' and brightness of a truck is going to be different depending on from which direction it is being lit by the sun or street lights. And if the sun is directly in your line of sight, the truck is going to appear much darker than it normally would. This is easy for us, because our brain is a high performing neural network that excels in pattern recognition.

So what the Tesla's computers are doing is learning about its surroundings from scratch. You might learn what a car looks like from one picture and be able to recognize them going forward, but a computer cannot do this. A computer needs lots of examples of what a car looks like, from every angle, in every lighting condition. The same goes for bikes, people, trucks, lane markings, signs, construction barriers, etc. In the real world, a deployed computer is learning more based on what it already knows via programming, letting the mothership know what it learned and experienced, then the computers are updated with more awareness of the world and its possibilities.

Some people in the audience wanted to know how Tesla felt about Waymo's suggestion that their self driving system would be better because of the billions of miles driven in their simulations. Elon responded by saying that basing a car's situational awareness on simulations was akin to correcting your own tests. The real world is going to throw many more unexpected but real situations at the car than could even be dreamed of in a simulation. So, Tesla believes that their system is going to be more street smart (pun intended) than the other systems that to this day have very little fleet experience. Not just now, but into the future as well, as more Tesla cars hit the streets and self drive. So the reason Tesla feels their neural network computer is best is because it's being trained with lots of data, lots of varied data, and it's all real data. Teslas have an advantage over humans in that a human can only see where the eyes are facing. Tesla cameras and sensors give the car a much better vantage point to see the world around it. Behind, beside, front and from higher levels than a human's eyes.

The problem gets even more complicated when it comes to object identification and tracking. The neural net might know what a car looks like and what a bike looks like, but what will it do when it sees a bike mounted on the back of a car on a rack? So the computer, using real images from the fleet of cars, looks at many examples of bikes mounted on the back of cars and learns that it's just a car, one object, not two objects that need to be tracked. Now imagine a bike mounted to a car being towed by a motor-home. Do you see why these computers need to be real world aware? The car needs to be aware of debris on the road, animals, what construction sites look like, boats being towed, etc.

So Tesla is being notified daily when their existing cars come across things they don't know how to deal with. Every time a driver takes back control of a vehicle from autopilot, the car sends data about that intervention back to the mothership so they can learn what happened and how to teach the fleet to deal with that particular situation. The cars are also being asked to look out for very specific situations and send video and sensor data when those situations arise. For example, there's no need to send a stream of video of normal highway driving, because the car already knows how to drive in a lane at speed. Once masses of real data are accumulated, Tesla trains the neural net to know what it's looking at, how to deal with it and uploads that new knowledge to the fleet. Imagine if every time you had a question about something, once you learned what it was, that knowledge is passed along to everyone else. Almost sounds like an automatic, built in Google. What's important to note about this, is that the car is quite capable of driving on its own, but with each new software update, it has learned how to deal with more and more situations.

But it gets better. You know how if you're really paying attention to the cars around you and where their drivers are looking, you can predict to a fair degree of accuracy, whether they're about to change lanes? Or cut you off? Well, Tesla cars have been learning this too. They can react to a car coming into its lane not only because of its speed of processing, but also because it can recognize the signs that the lane change is very likely to happen soon, such as when a car starts drifting toward the lane marking. Regardless of whether they're using the turn signal. By the way, this training has been happening for the last few years. All Teslas (built in the last few years) are watching the objects around them and making predictions about what will happen next even though it's not in self driving mode. Then the car gauges how accurate its predictions are and reports all of the false positives and false negatives back to Tesla, so they can figure out where the weaknesses are that need improving. So, when you get right down to it, Tesla's neural network is learning how to drive thanks to our driving. And better still, Tesla only pays attention to the good driving habits. That's impressive. What's even more impressive is that the car is making path predictions even on things it can't see, like blind corners and curves in the road. This why back in September 2018, a Tesla would not have been able to navigate a cloverleaf intersection, but as of April 2019, it can. This is a direct result of refined path prediction.

An audience member asked how the car could possibly figure out when it would be safe to make a lane change, considering how unpredictable drivers can be. Again, the answer came down to learning from real world scenarios. Every time a human driver did or did not choose to change lanes as they were driving their Tesla, the neural net learned from this, because it is simultaneously predicting whether it is safe to change lanes itself and seeing what the human (and the cars around the car) does in each case. It learns and ultimately teaches the rest of the fleet from these experiences. Tesla is tuning the neural net to make decisions based on a more conservative driving style, but as it learns more it will offer more aggressive driving styles while maintaining a level of safety. Owners have reported for example, that their Model 3 saw cars trying to merge onto the highway from the right and created the gaps necessary for them to merge safely. As Elon put it, they're training the car to play chicken and win every time. It sounds scary, but in real life, driving is scary. Tesla cars have driven 70+ million miles with Navigate on Autopilot. Tesla has also logged 9+ million successful lane changes performed by the cars with an additional 100,000 more every day. All of this with no accidents. That will accelerate rapidly with each passing month.

Something I've been curious about, since Tesla's system leverage what the car can see, is what happens when lane markings are hard to see, faded, or non-existent. What happens when the markings are completely covered in snow? The answer is that although Tesla needs to see lane markings some of the time, they will have the ability to train the car to figure out where the lanes are even without the markings being visible, in a manner similar to how we know where the lanes are based on the width of the visible road and where other cars are on it. It won't even rely on GPS to assist, because GPS is often wrong about where stuff is, especially when there have been changes to a road, detours during construction, unplowed lanes, etc. Tesla even said that although it had been predicted that cars communicating with each other would make for a more intelligent car, the current neural net intelligence is making that completely unnecessary, in much the same way that humans are able to navigate all driving situations without having to talk to the other drivers. They simply observe, predict, and react accordingly. Tesla cars are getting extremely good at the same process.

Again, as we drive more cars in the snow, the better the system will get, in a rather short period of time. The car is more interested in driveable space than where the lanes are, in the grand scheme of things. Because when it comes to accident avoidance, the car needs to know where it can go while maintaining control when it tries to avoid an animal, or another car losing control, etc. Elon said that in the next iteration of the software, people will be amazed at how good the driving skills of the car have evolved to. The goal is for the car to be a better driver than any human, an all scenarios. Elon expects that the system will be good enough that we won't need to monitor the car's driving by mid 2020, and convincing regulators that it's safe should come not long afterward, at least in some jurisdictions. The cars would also park themselves and connect to chargers themselves. Elon went so far as to predict that once Tesla cars prove their mettle, consumers will not be interested in driving much anymore because it will be more dangerous than letting the car do it.

Now things get really interesting. The next goal is to enable Robotaxi sometime in 2020, pending regulatory approval. That's taxis with no driver. Any Tesla owner would be able to add their vehicle to the robotaxi fleet, at times they dictate. They would even be able to limit sharing with social media friends and co-workers. The money earned (some predictions put this as much as $30,000 annually) would offset some or even all of the monthly car payments. This would also make cars 5 times more practical considering how many more hours of use they would get. The next generation of battery packs are designed to last 1 million miles before they'd need replacing, which is in line with the expected longevity of the rest of the car itself. For USD$38,000. In time, Teslas will ship without steering wheels and pedals and other parts only required by a human driver. Elon suggests this could bring the cost down to USD$25,000 and make the cars lighter and have better range. Perhaps by 2023. AAA indicates that the average all in cost of ownership of a gasoline car is $0.62 per mile. Elon predicts the average cost to run a robotaxi will be at least as low as $0.18 per mile.

How life is different for people who drive electric cars

  • No more stopping at the gas station.
  • No more gas smell on your hands.
  • Every morning, the car is / can be fully charged and ready.
  • You can get in to an already heated / cooled car.
  • Manage your car with your phone.
  • 'Fill-ups' are much cheaper.
  • It's possible to get free 'fill-ups' at work (depending on where you work).
  • Instant torque.
  • Drives are less stressful (if equipped with Autopilot).
  • Drives are safer (if equipped with Autopilot).
  • No more oil changes.
  • Fewer brake services.
  • No tune ups.
  • Higher insurance (if you choose a performance model).

Things I learned lately 10 May

  • There are more people employed by green energy jobs in Canada than are employed by the oil sands. (Source: The Globe and Mail)
  • Tesla now makes 60% of the world's lithium ion batteries (by kWh).
  • Russian halvah is made from sunflower seeds. Usually, it's made with sesame butter (tahini). (I tried it too)
  • In California you have to request a straw. I think they've mostly switched to non-plastic ones too.
  • Despite being home to enormous geothermal potential, Canada is the only country on the Pacific Ring of Fire that doesn’t use the resource to produce commercial-scale energy.
  • Home Depot could have been called 'Bad Bernie's Buildall' if an early investor hadn't intervened.
  • With nearly 5,000 wineries, California produces 81% of all US wine and sells 241 million cases of wine a year.
  • Google's unusual "death benefits" include paying the deceased's spouse or domestic partner 50% of their salary for 10 years. What's more, all of the dead Googler's stocks vest immediately. Each child of the employee receives $1,000 per month until age 19, or age 23 for full-time students. There's no tenure requirement.