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One Year Later, USPS Looks Into Gamefly Complaint 183

Last April, we discussed news that video game rental service GameFly had complained to the USPS that a large quantity of their game discs were broken in transit, accusing the postal service of giving preferential treatment to more traditional DVD rental companies like Netflix. Now, just over a year later, an anonymous reader sends word that the USPS has responded with a detailed inquiry into GameFly's situation (PDF). The inquiry's 46 questions (many of which are multi-part) cover just about everything you could imagine concerning GameFly's distribution methods. Most of them are simple, yet painstaking, in a way only government agencies can manage. Here are a few of them: "What threshold does GameFly consider to be an acceptable loss/theft rate? Please provide the research that determined this rate. ... What is the transportation cost incurred by GameFly to transport its mail from each GameFly distribution center to the postal facility used by that distribution center? ... Please describe the total cost that GameFly would incur if it expanded its distribution network to sixty or one hundred twenty locations. In your answer, please itemize costs separately. ... Does the age of a gaming DVD or the number of times played have more effect on the average life cycle of a gaming DVD?"

Warner Bros. Acquires Turbine 57

NNUfergs writes with news that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has acquired Turbine Inc., creators of Lord of the Rings Online, Asheron's Call, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. Terms were not disclosed, but the Boston Globe claims the price was somewhere around $160 million. "Warner Bros. Interactive has bought a number of game development houses in recent years, in a bid to become a major power in video gaming. In 2007, the company purchased TT Games, a British firm that develops family-friendly products like Lego Star Wars and Lego Batman. In 2009, Warner Bros. bought the assets of bankrupt Chicago game company Midway, maker of the popular Mortal Kombat games. And earlier this year, it acquired a majority stake in Rocksteady Studios, another British developer, which created the hit game Batman: Arkham Asylum. ... Acquiring Turbine will give Warner Bros. total control over all future video games based on author J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved Lord of the Rings novels. Turbine holds an exclusive license to make an Internet-based game based on the books, while last year, Warner Bros. won a license to make non-Internet-based Tolkien video games."

Scientists Say Toads Can Predict Earthquakes 66

reillymj writes "Researchers claim toads sensed a severe earthquake last year five days before it hit. Last spring's L'Aquila earthquake devastated the medieval city of the same name in Italy. Five days earlier, a group of biologists noticed some toads behaving strangely in a pond nearby that would later be the quake's epicenter."

Comment Modern Libs have always hated NASA (Score 0, Flamebait) 324

This isn't surprising at all and was completely predictable. Even during Apollo, post modern liberalism has always been lukewarm-cold towards space exploration, a fact I always found interesting since many NASA supporters at the grass root level are Democrats. The whole global warming thing has pushed not only the liberals against NASA, but brought along the environmental movement as well. "How can we afford to rape another world when we can't take care of..." and "How can we afford to provide jobs to highly paid engineers when there are poor..."

That NASA screwed up the engineering of some of new hardware didn't help. That NASA could only look at and award to the normal fat-cat defense contractors didn't help either.

The combination of the two and NASA's own problems are all quite deadly when it comes to this administration.

Amazingly hope for American humans in space will now rely on Republicans and the US private sector, assuming we just don't try to contract it out to other countries (and lose yet another technology base).

Just as amazing is a lack of understanding by the liberals and environmentalists that the destruction of human space flight dooms the long term prospects for robotic exploration; which is a key tool to understanding the environment and natural resources on Earth. When the over all size of NASA is reduced, it's ability to innovate across programs is gone and the technology stales over time.

Finally, you could assume that even the environmentalists could start to see the only viable long term solution to maintaining Earth's ecosystem is expansion to other worlds, but clearly they don't have that kind of vision.


Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Comment Doesn't matter anyway ... at least in the states (Score 1) 822

If AGW was proven wrong tomorrow, wouldn't make a hill of beans difference. The Pols have discovered AGW is great cover for stealing hundreds of billions of dollars and gaining massive amounts of control. Modern industrialists will make millions/billions off this.

Recently heard someone describe Gore as a industrialist. This struck me odd, but come to think about it, he is little different then the robber baron industrialists of the 19th century. He is positioned to make tens of millions off the backs of the poor and middle class.

Besides, AGW is everywhere. My kid's elementary text books, the Disney Channel, the movies... everywhere. It will take a decade to remove all this stuff and a generation to de-learn it.

Comment Sleath - cloaking devices (Score 1) 244

Article in the current issue of Air and Space magazine about this sort of technology and how might be used to create cloaking devices one day.

Scientists and engineers are trying to emulate that trick by designing materials that could constitute the next-next (or next-next-next) generation of stealth. Some of their ideas sound like they sprang from the imaginations of Gene Roddenberry or J.K. Rowling, with phrases like “cloaking device” and “invisibility carpet” popping up as frequently in academic papers as in television scripts and books for kids. Other ideas are more realistic, as researchers devise ways to change an aircraft’s color and blur its outline, confusing the bad guys enough to make them shoot in the wrong direction.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 402

To make this more attractive to the Navy, the carrier's escort ships, the frigates, destroyers and cruisers all use gas turbine engines - jet engines - that burn the same fuel as the aircraft. Carriers have refueled escorts for more than 20 years. What an interesting concept. The only supply chain that would be left is ammo, parts and food. In any case, would certainly free the battle group to move faster and more independently at first need since even a nuclear powered carrier can only move as fast/far as it can refuel and supply it's escorts.

Comment Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (Score 1) 874

less natural catastrophes What? If they are man-caused (apparently because of global warming) they aren't natural, eh? The concept of human caused warming will one day go down as one of the greatest scams of all time. It was used to enrich a few (like Al Gore), increase the power of a few more (Democrats) and make a few outspoken wackos (environmentalists) feel good.

In the meantime, thousands of lost jobs, lost homes, busted up families, children forced in to lesser quality schools, reduced standard of living for everyone, prolonged recession if not complete depression and a massive increase in the misery rate.

It was a poor, poor, poor example of the joke US society has become that the media (already massively basised for this piece of crap) could only focus on the death of a odd-ball has been pop star instead of the very serious joke going in Washington that is going to help bankrupt this country and destroy the lives of our children.

Comment Re:And next up (Score 1) 467

Aged, but the primary points are the same for the future of Medicare; it is a house of cards that will fail many of us just as we need it the most. Our children will not be able to do this AND pay for all the trillions we are spending today.

Not all that 17% goes to CEOs, there are salaries for many jobs, and that advertising creates jobs too. Government doesn't create new jobs or new wealth, it can't. I guess "fair" might be the day you or I reach the point that some young kid decides we are of no value and should be put down.

I'd love to hear more examples of the government running things efficiently. Katrina? The Big Dig? Highways and bridges to no-where? Iraq? Mogadishu? (to be fair), Challenger? Columbia? If you are a bit right minded and at least honest, here is a good list, including documentation about waste in the Medicare program.

Comment Re:And next up (Score 2, Insightful) 467

And you assume the US Government can actually manage such a program? How good have they done with Social Security? Medicare? Can anyone name a US Government program to citizens the size of this that is run efficiently? The trust to those in DC to run and control our lives is nothing short of incredible, given all the complaints of the past four years.

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