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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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New straw to kill disease as you drink. The LifeStraw allows you to suck purified water out of most water sources, due to a series of Iodine impregnated filters.

EU agrees battery recycling law. The EU has agreed to a law that will make battery recycling mandatory from 2008.

Cash card taps virtual game funds. The MMORPG Project Entropia is issuing a cash card that allows users to withdraw real money from cash machines, based on the money earned within the game. 10 Project Entropia Dollars are equal to 1 US Dollar.

'Cloaking device' idea proposed. UK scientists have outlined the concept for a cloaking device similar to that used in Star Trek. But before you get your hopes up of evading speed cameras or a grumpy significant other, the theory is only suitable for a speck of dust.

German bishops act over Pope show. Catholic leaders in Germany are trying to ban the BBC commissioned, and dropped, series Popetown from MTV. The series features a pogoing pope, among other items they cite will offend catholics.

Chinese man buys MiG through eBay. A Chinese businessman pays £14,000 (US$25,000) to buy a MiG-21f fighter from eBay, so that he can use it as decoration for his office.

Americans 'more ill than English'. White middle-aged US folk are less healthy than their English counterparts, research suggests. Those from the US aged 55 to 64 are twice as likely to suffer diabetes, lung cancer and high blood pressure.

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Was it Entropia where the guy bought an island for something like $16,000?

Yes, they mention in the article a guy bought a space station for US$100,000! He's turning it into a virtual night club.

Having never played it I'm not sure of the attraction of Entropia, but US$100,000... I guess he's hoping to turn a profit!

I vaguely remember reading the headline about a guy buying a virtual island for $16,000, thinking "What a dickhead!" and then reading the article and ending up thinking "He's going to make a fucking fortune, and isn't a dickhead at all!".

I don't know the end result, but according to the article it was a very real possibility that he's more than quadruple his investment in under a year IIRC. He was turning it in to a luxury complex for the richer players of Entropia, and selling off the land. I don't know about you, but I find it mind boggling that this sort of thing is going on, despite being involved in videogames and IT for virtually my entire life.

Yeah, you'd hope that there are some relatively astute folks out there, particularly in the IT world, who wouldn't flush money like this down the toilet.

I played one MMORPG, and it started to take over my life. I had a "wtf am I doing" moment and gave it up. It all gets very surreal when you're actually working to make money, within a game. Perhaps Entropia has the edge if you're making real money ultimately.

My social life is hardly booming at the moment, nor is my work life (perhaps I can make some money in Entropia!), so perhaps I could take one up again to while away the hours... but is it ultimately a fulfilling thing to do? I guess there's a Psychiatry PhD in there somewhere...

I've never really seen the appeal of any of the MMORPG's. One problem I see with it, as I've mentioned to you before, is that I don't really have time to be a guy who stands in the background making bracelets. Sure, if I was still at Uni with hundreds of hours a month to kill I'd probably get in to it. As it is, I simply don't have the time to go through the grind, so I prefer to be the Jack Bauer or Sam Fisher, as opposed to some guy they run past on their way to the next crisis ;)

It's not that I can't stand not being the centre of attention, I just don't have time to jerk around killing rats for seven hours a day :/

WoW has appealed to me, but I'm not too keen on games set in that mythical wizardy type period. I prefer contemporary or futuristic settings. CoH doesn't appeal, and neither does SWG.

Entropia just seems to be like a hardcore version of The Sims to me, with real money at stake too :)

Either way, give me Ridge Racer 6 and GRAW on the '360 over any MMORPG ;)

In the game I played, Dark Ages of Camelot, you could survive without "working for a living" and just fighting. Although a lot of people chose to earn money. In fact the number of people playing and just doing this was amazing, like you I couldn't see the attraction.

I just found progress in the game so slow and death too frequent. I'm finding the older I get the fussier I am about the games I play, for good or bad.

I'm finding the older I get the fussier I am about the games I play, for good or bad.

I'm exactly the same. As I get older, I have less "free" time and more money. Whereas I used to play right through mediocre games, and be able to spend 3 hours watching a cut-scene in MGS or FFVII I can't tolerate it now.

If I buy a game and it's shit or even just mediocre it either gets returned, traded in or gathers dust on my shelf.

I'm the same with films now too. You know, up until a year ago I'd never walked out of a cinema before a film finished and I'd never stopped a hired or purchased DVD before the film was over. Now we do it all the time. It's not that I used to be tight, or that I'm now affluent enough to be able to waste money, I just value my "free" time so much that I can't spend it doing things that aren't fulfilling.

With films I mostly make the effort, but then usually I have a good idea of whether I'm going to like the film or not in the first place.

I think it's much the same with games, in that I have a good idea whether or not I'll like them. But as I can pick a game up here for a quid or two, I am prepared to take the risk.

I think having watched so many films, and played so many games, I've just developed a skill for knowing whether I'll like it or not. Mostly it's spot on.

I probably gave a false impression there, I'm not a total cock about it. I don't watch the opening credits, yell "SHIT!" and glass the guy behind the counter at Blockbuster ;)

I do tend to pick decent games, and I also tend to pick decent films. I think we've had a poor run of late, with Outrun C2C on the PSP, Revolver (ugh!), and a couple of other poor films.

I think it can be good (albeit sometimes expensive) to pick a dud from time-to-time, helps you appreciate the better stuff. Even better if you can take it back for a refund though ;-)

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