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Flash
155006.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:52 am Reply with quote

The online game World of Warcraft is the most popular of the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games ("MMORPGs" - though presumably there must be a more useable name for them). It has 7.5 million subscribers worldwide (of whom 5 million are in China), each paying $15 a month, which is a yearly take of $1.35 billion (by comparison, all of Universal's films combined grossed $800 million in 2006).

These games have their own in-game currencies, sort of Monopoly money except that you have to buy it with real money and then operate within the virtual economy of the game to build it up. Another of the MMORPGs, Second Life, has just produced its first millionaire, Anshe Chung, whose virtual property holdings are worth more than 1 million real dollars. A number of companies, including IBM, have set up virtual offices inside the game, in which they hold conference calls and meetings.

s: MoneyWeek magazine, 2/3/2007

 
MatC
155009.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:54 am Reply with quote

Can we go back to the 1970s, please? Can we just hire a coach and go back?

 
Flash
155011.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:56 am Reply with quote

Space Invaders, Asteroids, Pac-Man ...

 
MatC
155052.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:03 pm Reply with quote

Not in Somerset, we didn't!

 
eggshaped
155281.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:10 am Reply with quote

Possibe outro here, I wonder if anyone's heard the story about the man who turned a red paperclip into a house by trading-up on the internet.

Quote:

It took Kyle exactly a year of 14 internet trades to move from the paper clip to a house on Main Street in the tiny town of Kipling in Saskatchewan province - a place he has never been to before.

Now the 26-year-old is planning to write a book about the venture which saw him trade up through a novelty doorknob, a camping stove, a snowmobile, a recording contract, and an afternoon with rock star Alice Cooper.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5167388.stm

 
Flash
155294.  Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:31 am Reply with quote

I heard him being interviewed on the wireless, and although it was interesting I thought it was a slight cheat as the people who were trading with him were complicit in what he was trying to do.

 
MatC
157271.  Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:00 am Reply with quote

“the ethanol binge already has driven corn prices through the roof and, now [...] promises to earmark corn in the developing world for export, thus, removing land from the production of food. There are other potential problems. In Indonesia, ancient forests are being burned up to make room for oil-palm biofuel. They're already digging up the rainforests in Brazil to plant soybeans that will be used in NutriSystem microwavable food packages designed to help fat Americans lose weight. As demand for ethanol increases to be equal to current oil consumption, it is almost guarantees forests will be dug up in the Global South to plant more sugar cane, since after all that is where it grows best. How then can ethanol be called carbon neutral when it will increase deforestation, when its promoters such as BP are notorious human rights violators, when companies such as BP are under a grand jury investigation for spilling 267,000 gallons of oil in Prudhoe Bay?"
- www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2007/03/3879_the_ethanol_deb.html


Link to Environment

 
Flash
157284.  Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:59 am Reply with quote

Though it's a shame when presumably well-meaning commentators like that undermine their own positions by hanging them on such sloppy non sequiturs as:

Quote:
How then can ethanol be called carbon neutral ... when its promoters ... are ... human rights violators?


In the source article, Standard Schaefer seems also to castigate the US both for espousing free trade and for erecting tarlff barriers against imported biofuel, simultaneously.

I don't say that he's wrong, but he does seem to be in a muddle.

 
MatC
157286.  Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:03 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Though it's a shame when presumably well-meaning commentators like that undermine their own positions by hanging them on such sloppy non sequiturs as:

Quote:
How then can ethanol be called carbon neutral ... when its promoters ... are ... human rights violators?



My thought exactly. But non-seq'ing does seem to be almost fundamental to this field! They don't train these cadres in theory, that's the trouble with the modern world ...

 
Jenny
157302.  Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:12 am Reply with quote

It is questionable how sustainable is the growing of corn fir biofuel. When you add the natural gas in the fertilizer to the fossil fuels it takes to make the pesticides, power the tractor and other machinery needed to dry, harvest and transport corn, every bushel of field corn needs about a quarter to a third of a gallon to grow it, around fifty gallons per acre. It therefore takes more than a calorie of fossil fuel energy to produce a calorie of food.

Summarised from The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan, pp 45-46

 
DELETED
157871.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:36 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 
MatC
163852.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:13 am Reply with quote

Why has North America always been empty? Of humans, I mean; it looks like the one continent more than any other that has an abundance of available resources for human civilization, and yet it has always (as far as we know) had a very small population. (The contemporary figure unreliably lurking at the back of my mind is that the USA, for instance, has 30x the UK’s population in an area 300x the size.)

Why haven’t humans (yet) bred, or immigrated, to fill the available space? Is a lot of it uninhabitable?

 
Jenny
163858.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:41 am Reply with quote

Would you want to live in flyover country?

 
suze
163861.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:50 am Reply with quote

Five times the population in forty times the area, in fact. (Three hundred million people as against sixty million; ten million square kilometers as against 250,000.)

For sure there are parts of the USA which are scarcely habitable - deserts, forests and so on - but one need only look at the amount of farmland to realise that there are huge swathes which absolutely are habitable, but no one lives there.

Canada is about 4% larger than the USA in area and has just over half the UK's population - so little more than a tenth of the USA's. That said, large parts of Canada are practically uninhabitable, and the oft quoted fact that over three quarters live within 100 miles of the US border is actually true. Of the major cities, only Edmonton AB and St John's NF are further.

 
MatC
163879.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:38 pm Reply with quote

Thanks, suze. So, the puzzle is the USA, rather than North America. Any idea of the reason?

 

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