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Notebook Sales Outpace Desktop Sales 207

mikesd81 writes "Eweek reports that notebook sales have surpassed desktop sales for the first time in history. 'In the third quarter of 2008, notebook PC shipments rose almost 40 percent compared with the same period of 2007 to reach 38.6 million units. Conversely, desktop PC shipments declined by 1.3 percent for the same period to 38.5 million units. "Momentum has been building in the notebook market for some time, so it's not a complete surprise that shipments have surpassed those of desktops," said iSuppli principal analyst for computer platforms Matthew Wilkins. "However, this marks a major event in the PC market because it marks the start of the age of the notebook." ... The FBI's National Crime Information Center reported that the number of reported laptop thefts increased almost 48 percent over the last two years, to nearly 109,000 from 73,700.'"

What Parrots Tell Us About the Evolution of Birds 62

GrrlScientist writes "One of the most contentious issues among scientists who study the evolution of birds is identifying precisely when the modern birds (Neornithes) first appeared. This is due to conflicts between the fossil record and molecular dating methodologies. But there is another way to address this discrepancy. Because the evolution of parrots and cockatoos reflects the evolution of the birds (Aves) themselves, studying the psittaciformes offers compelling insights into this mystery. Further, because psittaciformes generally are not migratory and because they tend to occupy discrete ranges, their ancient patterns of diversification are easier to discern than for many other taxonomic orders of birds that have dispersed widely."

Comment What the hell? (Score 5, Interesting) 86

I can't decide whether or not you're serious, but I'll respond as though you are.

I can authoritatively say that no one at The Gamer's Quarter is a "wannabe-intellectual weenie." We're just a bunch of people who love videogames, and love to write about them. We're not out to be "journalists," as nothing in TGQ is traditional journalism. None of our articles are reviews, and nobody is pretending that they would be useful things to read if you want to make a purchasing decision.

Our writing is for a different purpose--not a "higher" purpose, not a "totally new purpose that's going to fucking rock your world," but a purpose all the same. Rather than writing dry, purely informative and objective articles about games, we try to give things a more personal, introspective spin. Yeah, if you want, you can look at a game, sitting down with it and saying, okay, it looks nice, and it sounds nice, but the control is shit and it's all over in six hours; 7.3/10. But...what is that accomplishing? In analyzing the game that way, have you learned anything deeper about the game, or even about yourself?

The idea is, we try to establish a personal context, and to analyze games more in terms of their themes, their tone. How do they make us feel? Is it important that they make us feel that way? What more can we get from them? You can say that they're "just videogames," but...what the hell does that even mean? Are books "just books?" Is the sky "just the sky?" Is life "just life," something that doesn't need to be examined?

People, you know, some of them care about games, and what they mean. I know I do. And it's not just videogames--you analyze everything you come into contact with, on a sensitive, personal level. When you read a good book, it's not something cut-and-dried, something that was assigned a numerical score by a reviewer for a huge media conglomorate. It's something you felt; something you understood.

The point is: the same thing applies not just to videogames, but to all things in life. The Gamer's Quarter just focuses on the videogame part.

And, you know, it looks like you don't want to think about this sort of thing. It looks, to me, like you're spouting off vitriol about how we're just freaks patterning ourselves on gonzo journalism having secret conventions and plotting to destroy your hobby. Trust me. We're not out to get you. No one, very likely, is out to get you. Relax.

There is no movement to speak of. When you talk about us being "frauds," what the--pardon--flying fuck are you talking about? No one is defrauding anyone. We think videogames deserve sensitive, critical analysis, for reasons I've already laid out. So, you know, we're trying to provide that. Maybe some of our writing is shit, and we need to work on that. Okay, fine. Maybe our magazine didn't catch your fancy. That's fine, too. People want different things, in life. If you think this is all "bullshit," that's cool. Don't read it.

But why the defensiveness? Why the vitriol? Why do you feel you have an obligation to stop this "nonsense?"

I mean, honestly.

That's not very sensible.

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