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Comment Re:You need to get out more... (Score 1) 675

Amen to this.

I was involved in a fairly serious motor-vehicle accident last October. On the freeway, at freeway speeds, with airbag deployment involved.

I and the driver of the other vehicle were taken to the hospital in an ambulance ('just to be sure' because of airbag deployment, despite strong evidence that my only injury was to my ankle -- nothing wrong with taking care in these cases).

I arrived at the ER, was looked at for perhaps 90 seconds by a doctor (no, not much of an exaggeration if any here) and they declared I had a sprain and that was that. I was stuck in a corner, eventually an orderly brought me an ACE bandage, and I limped out (not even given crutches, yay!) and met my roommate who was picking me up.

I don't know what the charge for the ambulance ride was, but I do know that the bill for the hospital was $2,400.

Not one X-ray, no lab work at all, just 90 seconds of a doctor declaring I simply had a sprain.

(For the record, I had more than a sprain; there was in fact a bone chip which is still causing me difficulty and hopefully will be removed surgically soon.)

So, yeah. Health care billing is about sixteen different kinds of jacked up.

Comment Re:Some dev's are clueless... (Score 1) 195

I must agree here: Eternal Darkness was (until Skies of Arcadia got ported over, and then Tales of Symphonia showed up) the main reason I even kept a GameCube around.

Yes, Eternal Darkness showed plainly it's roots as a Nintendo 64 game that shifted platforms, but the underlying gameplay conceits and design held up. The story was interesting, the gameplay worked (for me, at least), and above all: it remained fun.

That said, I played the Too Human demo last night, and all I can say is that even if it isn't the most amazing game I've ever seen, I'm still considering purchasing it.

The limited taste of gameplay was enjoyable. The game's overall pay is not unfairly compared to Diablo (kill hordes of enemies, gain XP and pseudo-random loot), with an 'innovative' (or just 'different', if you prefer) interface.

I think where Too Human falls short in reviews is that over the (lengthy!) development cycle, it's been made out to the public like this is going to be ushering in a new era of epic gameplay and story. Gameplay is some old elements and some new ones, but what I saw of the story was a cut above a lot of the crap I've seen out there, but certainly it didn't seem to come across as well as the story (and the storytelling) in Call of Duty 4 or Mass Effect.


Submission + - A few trips decades ago put an end to this one

Hexact writes: Nearly 40 years ago, a young psychotherapist embraced two-thirds of LSD guru Timothy Leary's advice to the Sixties generation to "turn on, tune in and drop out." Curious how LSD and other hallucinogens might be used in treating patients, Andrew Feldmar turned on and tuned in himself.

Last summer U.S. border guards found out about it. They simply looked up Mr. Feldmar on the Internet and discovered his own article about using LSD, written for the scholarly, peer-reviewed journal Janus Head. Mr. Feldmar was held at the border for five hours, before being allowed to return to Canada after signing an admission that he had once violated the U.S. Controlled Substance Act.
Portables (Games)

Submission + - The 20 year evolution of handheld consoles

marcellizot writes: "It has taken a while for handheld consoles to crawl from the primordial 8-bit slime to today's apex predator polygon juggling brutes. To illustrate just how much things have advanced over the last 20 years, Pocket Gamer has pulled together a few facts and figures in pretty chart form. Pitting the vital statistics of the critical handhelds of today and yesteryear against one another, there are some interesting facts to be gleaned from this infotainment extravaganza."

Feed eBay, PayPal face court action (theregister.com)

Class action alleges unfair monopoly

eBay warned shareholders yesterday that it is facing a possible class action suit in the state of California and is likely to be hit by more patent cases.


Submission + - MPAA: we're committed to fair use... and DRM

Doctor Jay writes: At a LexisNexis Conference on DRM this week, MPAA Dan Glickman announced that the MPAA was fine with consumers ripping DVDs for portable video players and home media servers. 'In his speech to industry insiders at the posh Beverly Hills Four Seasons hotel, Glickman repeatedly stressed that DRM must be made to work without constricting consumers. The goal, he said, was "to make things simpler for the consumer," and he added that the movie studios were open to "a technology summit" featuring academics, IT companies, and content producers to work on the issues involved.'

Submission + - PC bloat vs. Mac bloat

PetManimal writes: "It's natural to blame Microsoft for PC bloat, but manufacturers share a large degree of blame for unwanted applications that come preloaded on most PCs. Computerworld documents some of the bloat, ranging from the redundant to the plain useless, such as multiple mp3 players, browser toolbars, adware, and trial versions of software. The article also points to several utilities and processes that can help decrapify a new laptop or desktop PC. Apple, of course, has been making fun of PC bloat, but Macs have been known to have their own bloat issues — the iMac's "included software" list names OmniOutliner, Comic Life, and trial versions of Microsoft Office and iWork, among others."

Z Machine Advances Fusion Race 220

Sandia Labs has announced a new milestone in Linear Transformer Driver technology that aims to solve one of the biggest obstacles to practical fusion reactors. Getting the current needed to "spark" a burst of fusion is doable; getting a constant series of sparks going to create a continuous chain of fusion bursts has never been achieved. The LTD, which allows the Sandia Z machine to fire once every 10.2 seconds, makes it look achievable. The press release (which has been picked up in a few places, but with no further analysis) says that practical fusion power could now be 20 years off.

Resolution To Impeach VP Cheney Submitted 1202

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has submitted a resolution, HR 333, to impeach VP Dick Cheney on charges of "high crimes and misdemeanors." The charges were submitted on 24 April 2007. Congressman Kucinich has posted his supporting documents online, including a brief summary of the impeachment procedure (PDF), a synopsis (PDF), and the full text (PDF) of the impeachment resolution.

MS Offers Vista Upgrade Pricing To All 395

SlinkySausage writes "With a vague whiff of desperation, Microsoft is offering anyone who downloaded one of the betas or release candidates of Vista upgrade pricing for the full version. The 'special' deal is a sweetener for the fact that the betas will start expiring and becoming non-functional from May 31st. APC Magazine in Australia writes: 'Windows Vista is starting to look like those Persian rug stores which are always having a "closing down" sale... All stock has been slashed, save $$$, why pay more?'" Perhaps Microsoft is cognizant of straws in the wind such as a recent InformationWeek survey indicating that 30% of business have no intention of moving to Vista, ever.

Building a Dynamic DNS Server for Your Enterprise? 67

Biff98 asks: "We manage thousands of hostnames for field gear with DynDNS.org. It's always been our intention of configuring our own DDNS server and bring it in-house. Given the recent DynDNS outage due to a DDOS attack, resulting in the inability to resolve names for multiple days, there has been 'encouragement' from management to move forward on bringing DDNS in-house. Here's the problem: I can't find any easy-to-use, scalable software to accomplish this task! BIND doesn't scale well, and I don't consider MintDNS an option due to the required platform (Windows Server w/ AD & IIS). Has anyone out there solved this problem before?"

Submission + - Raising Flags Over Google's New SEO Firm

ngremion writes: "In his new article Ross Dunn Notes that Google is treading in dangerous waters right now. The prolific company will inherit its own SEO company called Performics after purchasing the online advertising giant DoubleClick on April 13th. With the purchase of a search engine marketing company such as Performics, Google is put into the conflicted position of trying to generate profits by providing result-oriented organic ranking services for its own "unbiased" organic search results. Altough Google could run Performics completely above board, without any advantage whatsoever there is unfortunately no one to police them. I, for one, am certainly not comfortable with Google policing itself."

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