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Comment Re:All I can say to that is... (Score 2, Interesting) 119

The whole point of not buying the furniture was to avoid the mess of having to donate/sell/move/divide/store it at the end of an academic year; the whole "who gets what" situation, since roommates usually changed from year to year (Someone graduates / gets sick of living with you etc). As a general rule the landlords would NOT renew leases from year to year once they realized you were actually a student since most of them also owned the aformentioned "Student Housing" where they could get quite the markup. I always managed to get a "locals" apartment initially by presenting an ID with an in-town address and showing a paystub from the pharmaceutical company I worked for part time. Was it legal for them to discriminate in this way? Probably not. Was it widespread, yes. At the end of the day, It worked for the three years I needed to play the game while living there.

Comment Re:All I can say to that is... (Score 5, Interesting) 119

It serves a useful purpose, if you use it for a short term needs. When I was an undergraduate in upstate New York, the "College Housing" cartels charged more than double the market rate for furnished apartments with shorter-term leases. It made far more sense to rent an unfurnished apartment intended for the locals with a one year lease, and just pay the extra rent for the two months most of us weren't there in the summer. Since most 18-21 year olds don't own furniture, nor wanted to be responsible for moving / storing / dealing with it. we could annually rent a full living room set with a big television - no one was responsible for buying it, we didn't have to split up possessions between roommates at the end of the year, and splitting the cost of all of it between four guys for 8-10 months was reasonable. At the end of the academic term we would call up the rental company and have them pick it all up. Next fall, we'd get the latest and greatest for that year delivered and moved in. rinse and repeat.

Submission + - Fukushima leak is 'much worse than we were led to believe' (bbc.co.uk)

singer-scientist writes: A nuclear expert has told the BBC that he believes the current water leaks at Fukushima are much worse than the authorities have stated.

"The quantities of water they are dealing with are absolutely gigantic. What is the worse is the water leakage everywhere else — not just from the tanks. It is leaking out from the basements, it is leaking out from the cracks all over the place. Nobody can measure that. It is much worse than we have been led to believe, much worse."

Submission + - New canon-faithful Star Trek series is in pre-production. (indiegogo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Star Trek veterans such as Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov), Tim Russ (Tuvok), Robert Picardo (the Doctor) and others are busy in pre-production of a professionally produced pilot episode for a suggested new online Star Trek series named Star Trek: Renegades, which will be faithful to the original Star Trek canon. The events of the series are placed a decade after Voyager's return from Delta Quadrant. They have also opened an Indiegogo campaign, seeking more funds from Star Trek fans to help make the production even more professional.

Avataritis — On the Abundance of Customizable Game Characters 78

Martyn Zachary writes "The Slowdown has posted a new critique, 'Avataritis,' that attempts to portray the utilization of character customization as a pandemic, emotional response on behalf of publishers and developers to finding the easiest, most efficient solution to the very unique dilemma presented by the enlarging, widening player base of video games. 'No mechanisms are in place stopping developers from writing and designing heterogeneous yet fully structured, narrative-based computer games with carefully constructed and immutable, unchangeable characters.' The article discusses the emergence and role of gender criticism and research in relation to the recent proliferation of the customizable avatar. The story also dissects the very act of character creation, subsequently aiming to clarify several semantic distortions related to the terminology utilized in character creation, and in turn breaking apart the concepts of relatability and understandability, wholly differentiating the two. The overarching analysis is finally related to examples from the gaming marketplace, where many continue to corroborate apparent falsehoods and misunderstandings in relation to the utilization of the avatar. Ultimately, the writer hopes to dissuade readers, developers and players from believing that written narratives are going away as customization and emergent content are entering video games with full force."

Comment I'm calling BS. (Score 1) 597

I'm a dealer at one of the tribal casinos in Connecticut. The idea that the dealer has anything to do with the outcome of the game is laughable at best. In Blackjack, the dealer is severely restricted in what he/she may do on any given hand, no splitting, standing on all 17s. In fact, the dealer can not make any decision on his own will, violating any of these rules (which are laid out by the Gaming Commission, not the casino) is a good way to lose your gaming license fast. Quite simply, the casino doesn't need a crooked dealer to maintain the house edge; even one loose player on a table full of skilled counters can disrupt the game to the point where everyone loses.

Comment Re:depends (Score 1) 1137

Lets not forget that this article was out of the Boston area. Until recently, insurance costs in Massachusetts were the highest in the nation, partially due to the no-fault insurance law and state-regulated rates, which drove all but two or three insurance companies away from doing business in Mass, and partially due to the fact that people in southern New England always rank among the worst drivers in the country. Even today, with the abandonment of the no-fault system the rates are still considerably higher than the rest of the northeast, as is the case with neighboring Rhode Island. As a 26 year old adult male in Rhode Island, with a 2003 domestic wagon, no traffic violations and no accidents, I still pay close to $200 a month for comprehensive coverage. If I had a nicer import or a violation or two (as is very commonplace in this area where each individual town has revenue collecti... I mean police departments all out trying to meet their quotas) I could easily see my premiums being in the $350-$400 range.

Comment Re:Skewed Priorities (Score 5, Insightful) 590

and I fully expect to be modded down for this reply... The Obama administration is HARDLY pursuing a socialist agenda. Political Science 101 would teach you that this is not socialism in any way shape or form... Even if it was, whats the big deal? Social Democratic programs can be implemented in ways that create jobs and reduce the cost of doing business. For example; a universal, single-payer health *insurance* system would reduce redundancy, increase the number of potential patients that doctors could see, improve productivity by reducing lost labor hours due to treatable illnesses and eliminate one of the single largest expenses per-employee that businesses currently have. Despite what the generally libertarian-leaning Slashdot crowd thinks, I would prefer a government funded not-for-profit model over the current for-profit system which costs us all more in the end.

Comment Re:Scunthorpe (Score 1) 493

From the website of the hamlet of Dildo, Newfoundland Even though Dildo doesn't have a town council it still has many resources and regarded for its activities. Dildo has it's own swimming pool, an S.U.F. lodge, and Lions Center. Every year Dildo celebrates Canada Day and our own Traditional Dildo Days. These events are held on the swimming pool grounds where there are many activities, such as games, swimming, hot dogs, cold plates, and much more. As you can see Dildo is a very historic and traditional community.

Submission + - TSA limits lithium batteries on airplanes

yali writes: The U.S. Transportation and Security Administration has issued new rules limiting travel with lithium batteries. As of January 1, no spare lithium batteries are allowed in checked luggage. Batteries carried in the cabin are subject to limitations on per-battery and total lithium content, and spare batteries must have the terminals covered. If you're returning home from the holidays with new toys, be sure to check out the new restrictions before you pack.

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