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Comment: Brilliant! (Score 1) 81

by TFer_Atvar (#29363713) Attached to: <em>Monopoly</em> Uses Google Maps To Go Live Online
I was never able to withhold my laughter ... I always told the person right after they forked the money over, just so I could see the expression on their face. Then would follow the inevitable argument about how that isn't fair, and the third (and fourth) people would chime in and say that since the deal was over, the money was lost. Good times.

Comment: Already done (Score 2, Informative) 538

by TFer_Atvar (#28440665) Attached to: The Worst US Cities To Work In IT
I live here, and I've got a friend who works for SourceForge ... I'm not sure in what capacity, though. There's definitely a demand for people with technical skills. There's also ample opportunities for infrastructure development if you're interested in the hardware side of things. The state is working pretty hard to improve broadband access (http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/jun/21/fairbanks-representative-hopes-highlight-lack-alas/ and http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/mar/16/internet-companies-hope-stimulus-boon-bush/).

Comment: Satellite Phone (Score 3, Informative) 232

by TFer_Atvar (#28407181) Attached to: Best Handset For Freedom?
If you're worried about censorship, there's no better choice than a satellite phone. They're continuing to drop in price, you're not limited to a terrestrial cellular network, and many models can be tethered to provide Internet access. The big problem for non-Western countries (where they'd be most useful) is the cost, of course. In general terms -- there are cheaper options -- airtime is $1 per minute, and bandwidth also is pricey. Still, they'd be perfect in a circumstance like what's going on in Iran right now, or for any sort of major disaster.

Comment: Only half right... (Score 1) 107

by TFer_Atvar (#27963791) Attached to: The Best Achievements
The thing about Xbox Live achievements isn't that you were provided with nifty little goals for doing specific things. It's that you then received acknowledgment after you did them and you could show off your achievement. That networking, allowing other people to see what you've done, is the real success story. I find myself looking at friends' gamerscores and thinking, "hey, I need to catch up with him." It's a lot more than merely notifying you that you've done something.

Comment: Re:Oxyrhynchus (Score 4, Insightful) 132

by TFer_Atvar (#27886943) Attached to: Digitizing Literary Treasures Leads To New Finds
In addition to Oxyrhynchus, significant finds have been made at Herculaneum and Pompeii. There's a decent story here about those. The problem (and I suspect it's a common one) is that texts carbonized enough to require advanced recovery techniques aren't recognized as texts by non-professionals. I recall reading a story about 19th-century archaeologists finding a bunch of carbonized lumps in their excavations of Pompeei and Herculaneum. Believing them to be ancient foodstuffs, they examined and discarded them. In the late 20th century, similar but smaller finds were made and identified to be scrolls. Just imagine how much was lost to history due to the disposal of those innocent-looking lumps! And I have to wonder what we're missing out on now because of some future archaeological advancement.

Comment: Surprising? (Score 4, Interesting) 269

by TFer_Atvar (#27756855) Attached to: Some Large Dinosaurs Survived the K-T Extinction
After reading the abstract, it sounds very interesting. I do have one big question: Do the remains show any difference from similar specimens prior to the K-T boundary? When you have small, isolated populations, you tend to get rapid evolution to suit the species to that specific area. If this small group of animals survived in an isolated fashion, I'd expect some sort of physiological drift from the mainline in order to compensate for their unique area.

If they don't show much difference, I have to wonder what, if anything, this says about the K-T event itself; whether it created a long-term climatological change in addition to a catastrophic change evidenced by the K-T geologic boundary. I'm also intrigued by the fact that these specimens were found in Colorado/New Mexico, which is pretty darn close to the best impact site candidate. I'd expect any animals that survived to be much further away.

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