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PSA time: tugrik recently discovered his bank account empty, cleared out by some thieves in Bangkok who made numerous modest withdrawals until there was nothing left. "I asked them if they knew how these bozos got my card number and PIN number so they could use the ATMs there in Bangkok. The claims rep told me there has been a rash of this exact kind of fraud and it's been tied to the ATM payment machines at California ARCO stations. While she didn't have the authority to tell me anything official, she did relay that she'd been made aware of a software/hardware intrusion within ARCO's statewide payment system that was letting the ARCO pay-stations record the PIN numbers and upload them to the thieves. They then made fake cards with these numbers and went around Bangkok emptying ATMs until the cards didn't work any more." So - if you're in California, think twice about paying by card at an Arco station.

The Bush presidency as a text adventure log. ^_^

Freespace 2 is now available as a freeware download for OS X. It's a modest 1.4GB.

I did like the name of one suggested tourist vista in the Northern Mariana Islands, inviting you to "enjoy panoramic views from high atop Laderan Banadero (Suicide Cliff)". This is followed by a recommendation for the "sheer sea cliffs at Puntan Sabaneta (Banzai Cliff)". What else - Barking Mad Bottomless Pit Into the Center of the World?

This pic makes me happy: The Communist Party.

Someone's run some benchmarks on the MacBook Pro and other recent systems. Of particular interest to me are the video encoding and 1080p playback performance - and indeed, the newcomer acquits itself very well, encoding at 1.3x vs 0.5x for a 1.67GHz PBG4 in his test, and playing 1080p video at the full 23.796fps, against 8fps for the PowerBook. As Ars Technica's numbers for a Core Duo iMac illustrate, much depends on what you're actually doing, aside from whether the app in question is native or not.

This is quite a spiffy mouse.

The dangers of relying on spellcheckers.. check out the ingredients list. ^_^;

Okay, I suppose it was just a matter of time.. I've just bought a copy of Animal Crossing: Wild World. ^_^ Tricky finding anywhere with it in stock, though, so this one's coming from South Australia. Now to pick up a console - and the Nintendogs bundle (which includes a Siberian Husky) looks likely, assuming I can actually find it in stock somewhere local. (Am I right in thinking DS power supplies are single-voltage only?)

Eeee! There's going to be a Boney M musical - "Daddy Cool". ^_^ And to celebrate, here's a fairly insane cover of one of their tracks: Kiiiii! - Brown Girl in the Ring (2.1MB).

And who can't love a user icon like this one by rosequoll? ^_^

I was so hot and bothered when I first heard about that mouse a couple weeks ago...just in time to go to MacWorld Expo and see that the new MacBooks don't have a PC Card slot. argv!
Heh! I recall reading somewhere that someone from that company was at one of the associated parties, and feeling a teensy bit frustrated at that too. ^_^;

I wonder why they went with the narrower variant? I'll be interested to see the inevitable Japanese takeapart once they start shipping - after all, its predecessor had no problem fitting a PC Card slot, which begs the question of whether it was a technical constraint somehow, or political.

'Course, don't forget CS2 would still have to go through Rosetta, for now - that gives the PowerBooks the advantage, until Macrobe release Universal Binaries. (Wonder if that'll be as a nominal fee update, or part of CS3?)

Still, that video playback and encoding improvement would be nice.. ^_^ (As would a "native" Virtual PC - though now, all that'd be required is the virtualisation aspect, which could open the doors for some good competition, considering how VPC's "progressed" in the past few years)

In other news...see you at the con this weekend?
Nah, out of town at the moment. ^_^; I'm not sure I'd go anyway, to be honest - I'm not nearly as eager about cons as previously. Add in the crowds, and it's not all that attractive, compared to a small gathering of friends.

That said, I might give Feral a try sometime; but that could require being able to withstand netlessness for a matter of multiple days.