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8081  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Scientists make HIV strain that can infect monkeys on: March 04, 2009, 01:03:18 AM
Why they gotta be *black* squirrels?
8082  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's proposed 2010 budget juices carriers for more cash on: March 04, 2009, 01:01:02 AM
If I wanted to go the e-mail route (which I don't), I get the unlimited iPhone data package for $30 a month.  "Regular" phones can get it for $15 a line. 

There are plenty of options available to meet whatever needs and methods most people want to go with.  It all comes down to cost/benefit.  With my usage, I could easily move to a prepaid phone and probably cut my bill to 1/3, but I get a lot of benefit out of the Google Maps, having Pandora/MP3 capabilities at work, and Wikipedia (and the forums) in my pocket at a moment's notice. 

But back on topic, yeah, the taxes and fees on most telecom products and wireless in particular are outrageous.  The providers don't like being pass-throughs for it and lowering the cost of ownership would help them with market penetration, which would lead to *gasp* economic stimulus!
8083  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty World at War (360) impressions on: March 04, 2009, 12:42:15 AM

Quote from: jztemple2 on March 04, 2009, 12:37:13 AM

Actually if you can get your team to work together these might be interesting maps.

When has that EVER happened??   icon_biggrin
8084  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [NEWS] Miramar F/A-18 crashes in San Diego neighborhood on: March 04, 2009, 12:04:16 AM
icon_mad Roll Eyes

Yeah, that's classy.
8085  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 12/08) on: March 03, 2009, 11:18:20 PM
Two and a half months since the last update to the main list.  Can we get an update, Kevin?
8086  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty World at War (360) impressions on: March 03, 2009, 11:16:46 PM
Cheers for the bipod catch and working on the "New" icon and spawn issues

Jeers over removing the tanks from hardcore.  What a freaking populist move. 

And Hark won't  be happy about the rifle grenade thing if it applies to HCDM.
8087  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [NEWS] Miramar F/A-18 crashes in San Diego neighborhood on: March 03, 2009, 11:03:46 PM
Fox News

Recordings of conversations between federal air controllers and the pilot of the F/A-18D reveal that the pilot at least twice was offered a chance to put down the plane at the Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado. The base sits at the tip of a peninsula with a flight path over water.

Instead, the Federal Aviation Administration tapes disclose that the pilot decided to fly the jet, which had lost one engine and was showing signs of trouble with the second, to the inland Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, which is about 10 miles north of Coronado.  That route took him over the University City neighborhood, where the Dec. 8 crash incinerated two homes and damaged three others.

Officials in Washington, D.C., said Tuesday that 13 Marine Corps personnel have been disciplined for errors in connection with the crash. Service officials told members of Congress that four Marine Corps officers have been relieved of duty for directing the Hornet to fly over the residential area. Nine other military personnel received lesser reprimands. Officials said the pilot should have been told to fly over San Diego Bay and land at Coronado.
Military officials say the jet suffered a rare double engine failure, and Marine generals initially defended the choice to send the Hornet to Miramar.
Military officials have said that after the first engine faltered, Miramar was a straight shot and that going to North Island would have required more engine thrust.  But the tapes indicate that the ailing jet apparently was closer to Coronado when the pilot reported a possible problem with the second engine.
In private briefings with members of Congress, military officials have reportedly said there were factors that made landing at North Island unfeasible, but those issues have not been disclosed publicly.
8088  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Scientists make HIV strain that can infect monkeys on: March 03, 2009, 05:28:27 PM
Wait, what?   saywhat

Didn't HIV originate in chimpswhich are apes, yes, I know.

Scientists have created a strain of the human AIDS virus able to infect and multiply in monkeys in a step toward testing future vaccines in monkeys before trying them in people, according to a new study.  This strain of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, was developed by altering a single gene in the human version to allow it to infect a type of monkey called a pig-tailed macaque, the researchers said on Monday. 
There is a "cousin" virus to HIV called SIV, or simian immunodeficiency virus, that causes a disease similar to AIDS in certain types of monkeys.  But this monkey AIDS virus is not identical to the one that infects people and is not a perfect substitute for testing drugs and vaccines against HIV.
The genetically engineered virus infects the monkeys and during the early course of infection is a reasonably good mimic of what happens in HIV-infected people, Bieniasz said.  But after initially spreading in the monkey's body, the animal succeeds in suppressing the virus -- not completely clearing the virus but driving it to very low levels.  "The slight problem is the monkeys don't go on to develop AIDS, they don't get sick," Bieniasz said.

8089  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle on: March 03, 2009, 04:14:28 PM

Quote from: Crusis on March 03, 2009, 04:01:39 PM

Someone should design a plastic cover for the back that would make it easier to grip.
I can't believe this thing doesn't come with some sort of cover! For $360 they need to include something.

Amazon wil be happy to sell you a cover (or this one or this one).
8090  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's proposed 2010 budget juices carriers for more cash on: March 03, 2009, 04:06:55 PM
Pay per use?  Absolutely!  $0.15 per message last time I checked it.

Packages are a much better deal.  I get 200 for $5, so I pay $0.025 per message if I use them all.  Unlimited packages are available for $20 a user or $30 total for a family of up to 5, at least from AT&T.

And don't get me started on Directory Assistance rates.  Why anyone ever calls them anymore, I fail to understand.
8091  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Escapist: Zero Punctuation on: March 03, 2009, 04:48:39 AM
Unskippable brings us an amusing look at Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga.
8092  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Awww damn accident on: March 03, 2009, 04:35:40 AM

Quote from: Octavious230 on March 03, 2009, 02:42:53 AM

I'm baffled as to why the cops didn't give him a ticket.

Because the accident didn't happen on a city street?   icon_biggrin
8093  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Commission jobs suck (updated) on: March 03, 2009, 01:53:43 AM
Congrats on surviving the culling and getting a better landing spot. 
8094  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Mega Snowstorm for the Northeast - Here it comes! on: March 03, 2009, 12:03:51 AM
60 in Dallas today, 70 tomorrow, 80 through Friday. 

God bless Texas.
8095  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's proposed 2010 budget juices carriers for more cash on: March 02, 2009, 11:38:33 PM
I'm curious as to your plan, carrier, and what the monthly charges before the add-ons are, if you wouldn't mind sharing info.  Assuming that you're on a national carrier, I would say that if $90 is your typical bill, your monthly recurring charges are around $70-80, which means you're getting 700 shared minutes between the two lines.  Based on my previous work, I would say a $70 plan should be $80-84 after taxes and fees as a high end estimate.  I'm not seeing where the extra $6-10 is coming from.

Each of you maintaining separate lines on an individual plan would get you 450 each and run you $80 for both. 

My current plan is $39.99 for my 450 Day, 5K Night/weekend, Unlimited mobile, $30 for my iPhone data package, and $5 for 200 text a month, $74.99 in MRCs.  I get $9.48 tacked on top of that, a 12.64% increase. 

  • Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge $0.27
  • Federal Universal Service Charge $1.21
  • Texas Universal Service $1.10
  • 9-1-1 Service Fee $0.50
  • TX State Sales Tax $4.86
  • City Sales Tax $0.77
  • City Special Purpose District Tax $0.77

The Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge is a charge assessed by AT&T and is not a tax or government-mandated charge. This charge is subject to change from time to time as the cost of compliance changes.

They are being honest about what it is and why it's charged.  As any business, they have to recoup any expenses made. 

Federal Universal Service Fund Fee
The Federal USF, created by the federal government, is designed to help ensure first-class, affordable telecommunications service for all consumers across the country, especially residents in high cost rural communities and low-income customers. Additionally, the Federal USF provides for discounted telecommunications services for schools, libraries and rural health-care facilities. All telecommunications providers are required to pay into the Federal USF, and their contributions may be recovered from customers.

State Universal Service Fund Fee
Certain states have established state Universal Service Funds. The purpose of these state universal service funds is to ensure affordable telecommunications service for all consumers in the state, especially residents in high-cost rural areas and low-income customers. In certain states, all telecommunications providers are required to pay into these funds, and their contributions may be recovered from customers.

Heck, the city of Dallas has decided that not only can they get me for sales tax, they can tack on another fee on top of that.  Not one of those extra charges on top of the MRCs stays in my carrier's pockets.  They collect it and then send it right back out to the government. 
8096  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's proposed 2010 budget juices carriers for more cash on: March 02, 2009, 10:00:15 PM

Quote from: Laner on March 02, 2009, 05:45:39 PM

Oh boy.  As if the cell providers weren't already milking users for everything they're worth.

As a former cell phone employee, I really take umbrage at comments like that.  I've seen it go from the top plan being $250 for 100 hours of DT usage to $99 for unlimited usage all in the last four years.  The carriers have all been competing on price and value for a long time.  Packages have gotten better, prices cheaper, services better.  How exactly are you being milked?

All those fees that are on your bill?  Not like the carrier gets to keep them.  As a matter of fact, the CTIA has been fighting against exorbitant taxes and fees for years.  And it certainly didn't make my day any better to have to explain to customers over the phone that their $60 a month plan was likely to cost them $72-75 once the Fed/state/county/city tax assessors got done with it. 

I'll be happy to debate the topic with you, but I'd like to see some evidence.
8097  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MLB - The Show 09 on: March 02, 2009, 08:00:48 PM
Played the demo and it gave me more of a High Heat vibe than my last run-in with the other franchise.  I'll definitely be considering this one after I get paid next.
8098  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [BSG] "What the frak is going on" - Hilarious on: March 02, 2009, 04:04:22 PM
I don't believe for a second that the "trouble" is real.  And for what it's worth, I tried uninstalling my software to get through to a feed for Dirty Sexy Money and it still didn't work.  So whenever I see that message, the provider can take a flying leap.  I'm sure if I cared enough to see it, there's some pirated YouTube video of it somewhere.
8099  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [BSG] "What the frak is going on" - Hilarious on: March 02, 2009, 03:47:24 AM
"We are having trouble connecting to our server.  If you have any ad blocking software running please disable it."

 Roll Eyes Yeah, whatever...
8100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: March 01, 2009, 02:00:26 AM
8101  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [360] Weekend World at War - Friday night CoD:WaW on: February 28, 2009, 06:40:23 PM
I have rolled to my 2nd prestige... while getting spammed by COD4 invites.  When are the new maps due out again?
8102  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Free iPhones! on: February 28, 2009, 06:36:14 PM
Yeah, but you have to deal with Sprint... 

8103  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read in 2009 on: February 28, 2009, 06:23:35 PM
An Illustrated History of World War II: Crisis and Courage: Humanity on the Brink

A good coffee table book on the subject, but not really lacking in any really interesting information than I already knew.  The pictures are wonderful and definitely not the same tired pictures that get re-used everywhere else.  If the idea of the book appeals to you, then I would recommend it, but I certainly wouldn't push anyone off the fence about it.

8104  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone played Quake 3 on PS2? on: February 27, 2009, 10:25:58 PM

Quote from: Destructor on February 27, 2009, 09:07:50 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on February 27, 2009, 03:30:18 PM

Quote from: corruptrelic on February 27, 2009, 09:47:05 AM

I sure hope not since I just got it! (Used slim model)
you got the extended warranty, right?


If you got it from Gamestop, you have 30 days (or is it 2 weeks?) to return/replace it if it's not working.

He got it at GameStop, just not from GameStop...
8105  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I have moved up in the world! on: February 27, 2009, 10:21:44 PM
8106  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: February Dallas GTGs on: February 27, 2009, 05:56:54 PM
GTG is cancelled due to lack of available parties.
8107  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Free iPhones! on: February 27, 2009, 05:49:54 PM
The current rate plan is $30 in the U.S. for a 3G iPhone.

The difference between the rate plans between the "free" iPhone and two year contract results in $360 more ($15 * 24mo)  than I pay for the same rate plan. 

And I paid $300 for my 16 GB up front, meaning I still come out $60 ahead on that deal.

Obviously these offers are not in direct competition, but it's all about the deferred cost of ownership. 
8108  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [360] Weekend World at War - Friday night CoD:WaW on: February 27, 2009, 05:44:07 PM
Dome, alright?!?  Freak... disgust
8109  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Free iPhones! on: February 27, 2009, 04:22:13 PM
Look for an Apple video camera to compete with the Flip in the next 12 months.  Of course, that's just me spitballing...
8110  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Going rate for two kids? $2000 or a cockatoo on: February 27, 2009, 04:03:39 PM
Fox News

NEW ORLEANS   A Louisiana woman is accused of trading two young children in her care for a pet cockatoo and $175 cash from a couple who had been trying for years to have their own child, authorities said Thursday.  Donna Greenwell, 53, a long-haul trucker with an arrest record from Pitkin, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, along with would-be adoptive parents Paul J. Romero, 46, and Brandy Lynn Romero, 27, of Evangeline Parish.

"The Romeros had good intentions from what we see," said Keith Dupre, a detective with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office. "They really wanted to take care of the kids. The kids were well-dressed and seemed to be treated good by the Romero family."

The transaction for the 5-year-old boy and the 4-year-old girl was negotiated by phone after Greenwell spotted a flier posted at a livestock barn selling a cockatoo for $1,500 and called the Romeros on Feb. 18, Dupre said.  Although Paul Romero had three children from a previous marriage, Dupre said, he and Brandy had tried unsuccessfully for years to have a child together.

When they told that to Greenwell, she allegedly offered to hand over the boy and girl for about $2,000. When the Romeros said they couldn't meet the price, Dupre said, "Ms. Greenwell agreed to make an even trade: the bird for the kids."

Greenwell showed up with the children at the Romeros' home the next day and said she would also need $175 for an attorney to complete adoption paperwork, Dupre said. But she had no authority to put the children up for adoption.
Authorities believe Greenwell began caring for the children about a year ago at the mother's request.  The detective said Greenwell "stated that the mother was having a hard time and asked her to baby sit. She said one month led to two months and two months led to a year."
8111  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call Of Duty [email protected].new Makin map now available on: February 27, 2009, 03:51:36 PM
Apparently when the sun rose on Makin, the tide went out.  No more deep water by the beach.  It also appears that they moved in the fences, but I won't swear to that one. 
8112  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Most disturbing movie you've seen? on: February 27, 2009, 03:45:26 PM
Wiki states that reports are about 40% of it was fake, but there was a lot of real footage covering animal deaths and war footage, at least in the first title.
8113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: February Dallas GTGs on: February 27, 2009, 03:40:41 PM
The going rate is $1000 or 1/2 of a cockatoo.
8114  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: February 27, 2009, 04:40:18 AM

Quote from: lildrgn on February 27, 2009, 04:21:38 AM

Looks like Calvin put on some lbs.

His shirt is unbuttoned and hanging forward. His physique is not present in sufficient evidence to make that determination.

That picture, though, is all kinds of cool and makes me both happy and sad at the same time.
8115  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [360] Weekend World at War - Friday night CoD:WaW on: February 27, 2009, 03:01:48 AM
Apparently the tide went out.  There's no deep water, so no getting the challenge for falling and living.  Doing it now is death.  And that achievement is much more fun to get on Cliffside or Dome.  It also appears that the water edge of the map has been moved in as well.
8116  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: HAWX demo on XBL tomorrow Feb 11th on: February 27, 2009, 02:58:00 AM
I'm out.  Getting out-turned by drones, having my aircraft climb while the flight path indicator is below the horizon line, and the sheer arcadey-ness of it means I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. 
8117  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: February Dallas GTGs on: February 27, 2009, 12:16:44 AM
Given that I have 34.75 hours accounted for at the moment, it looks like I can get an early start.  I will most likely set up court in the room to the right of the front door and look to get a pool table.  If anyone needs it, PM me and I'll give you my cell.  I'm shooting to make it there no later than 5:30.
8118  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Name that movie on: February 26, 2009, 09:37:10 PM
That looks like a really fat Tim Allen.  Other than that, I got nothing.
8119  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Natural Resources Defence Council: Softness Equals Ecological Destruction on: February 26, 2009, 07:17:31 PM

The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public's insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.

"This is a product that we use for less than three seconds and the ecological consequences of manufacturing it from trees is enormous," said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council.

A campaign by Greenpeace seeks to raise consciousness among Americans about the environmental costs of their toilet habits and counter an aggressive new push by the paper industry giants to market so-called luxury brands.

More than 98% of the toilet roll sold in America comes from virgin forests, said Hershkowitz. In Europe and Latin America, up to 40% of toilet paper comes from recycled products. Greenpeace this week launched a cut-out-and-keep ecological ranking of toilet paper products.
Americans already consume vastly more paper than any other country about three times more per person than the average European, and 100 times more than the average person in China.

Barely a third of the paper products sold in America are from recycled sources most of it comes from virgin forests.

"I really do think it is overwhelmingly an American phenomenom," said Hershkowitz. "People just don't understand that softness equals ecological destruction."

Personally, there is a line that I'm not willing to cross.  But then, I buy one of these every year.  I'm not exactly a heavy user.  I hear some female-heavy households could destroy my purchase in a month or less.
8120  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GT Member "Semiconscious" Destroyed My Chances at Marriage and Gave Me an STD on: February 26, 2009, 06:42:05 PM
Well, that ought to help get you over the hump for those last 30 days...

Hell, at this point, you should just cancel the order.  Since the purchase was never completed, technically you had some supernatural assistance in keeping your resolution.
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