Web Posted December 31, 2004
Updated December 31, 2004
You can blame a packed work schedule and temporary addictions to Fallout and Fallout 2 for the extreme delay of this issue. It is short but Vol. 7, No. 4 will be released next week.
Hot Wheels has released a Batmobile miniature based on the 1989 Batman movie version of the car. The model is not to be missed. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the older Rollcage and Sol-Aire CX4, two models that are nearly identical to the Renegade and Interceptor vehicles from Dark Future.
Michael P. Owen
TEEN ACCUSED OF BMW SCAM
The Associated Press and CNN
Thursday, February 12, 2004 Posted: 6:16 PM EST (2316 GMT)
NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- A teenage boy posing as a banker duped an Ohio car dealership into delivering a $123,000 BMW to him at his high school, police said Thursday.
A second order was never shipped after the dealership became suspicious, and the teen was arrested. The first car was later found in Raleigh, North Carolina, police said.
"He apparently sold the car, and it ended up in a dealership in North Carolina," said Detective Scott Davis of the Dublin, Ohio, police.
The boy was 16 in early January when he ordered the 12-cylinder 2004 BMW 760Li with "black sapphire metallic" paint and a heated steering wheel and seats. He told Midwestern Auto Group that his bank would confirm the wire transfer, authorities said.
After completing and returning paperwork that was mailed to his home,
the teen called the dealership pretending to be a banker confirming the
transfer, police said.
The car was delivered to him at Dickinson High School on January 27, two weeks after the boy turned 17, police said.
That same day, he ordered a second car. But when Midwestern Auto Group learned that the first payment was never made, the dealership contacted police.
The boy was arrested at his Jersey City home late last month.
Police said the teen was not hard to find. "He did use his correct name, as far as I know," Davis said.
The teen is charged with theft by deception and was no longer in custody,
Sgt. Edgar Martinez said. Authorities did not release the boy's name because
he is a juvenile.
RUSSIA TO RUN OUT OF OIL IN SIX YEARS?!
Translated by Anna Ossipova
Taking into account today's tempos of oil extraction, existing oil supply in Russia will last only until 2010, stated head of the department of fuel and energy resources and water works of the Ministry of Russian Natural Resources, Rinat Murzin.
The point is that the level of oil reproduction is significantly lower
than the amount of oil that is being extracted. In 2002 oil reserves have
increased by 254 million tons with oil extraction of 380 million tons. In 2003, before the initial estimates, oil reserves equaled to 240 million
tons, whereas oil extraction has increased up to 421 million tons. The Ministry of Natural Resources blames oil companies for today's situation,
since they practically totally refrain from conducting exploration works.
According to the Ministry's representative, oil tycoons have to strictly
follow license conditions, especially in those regions that have been
granted specifically for geological scouting. In addition, he also mentioned that today it appears to be of utmost importance to pay closer attention to project documentation. The Ministry also plans to establish close monitoring of the uses of oilfields.
In the meantime, the Ministry official's statement regarding the fact that 2010 could be marked by major oil crisis isn't taken seriously by the experts, since it all concerns the actual compatibility of today's oilfields and companies' future plans concerning oil extraction. Overall, the situation is such that with today"s tempos of oil extraction, oil workers will be able to hold out for several more decades.
"Big companies have 'reserve lives'", meaning a correlation of already
proven oilfields to today"s level of extraction. It will be enough for
years. Therefore, while it is true that the monitoring should be more efficient, one cannot agree with the fact that the resources will soon be
exhausted," stated the analyst of the "ATON" company, Timerbulat Karimov.
As far as geological scouting is concerned, analysts assume that no
administrative measures could change the existing situation. "Companies
will continue to conduct active geological scouting only in case a proper
law of earth's reserves will be passed. Then, the companies will be guaranteed
that after investing in geological analysis, they will have a chance to
add those resources to their balance sheet and trade them, just as it is
done in the world. Today, our companies lack such guarantees," considers
the analyst of the "FINAM" company, Marina Lukashova.
EARTH'S OIL GAUGE ON LOW?
As prices rise, concerns grow about world oil supplies
May 20, 2004: 3:03 PM EDT
Rising demand puts pressure on proven reserves, which have not seen a significant boost in 30 years.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -- With oil prices hovering near record highs and OPEC saying it's out of their control, the question of whether the planet is nearing the end of its oil supply has again arisen.
Demand for oil has soared over the last year, with prices in tow, as China has emerged as an economic powerhouse and other developing countries have boosted consumption.
In addition, oil use is picking up more steam now as the United States -- the world's biggest energy consumer -- heads into the summer driving season.
The concern is that this rising consumption is outpacing the discovery of new crude reserves.
At current rates of production, there were 40.6 years of consumption covered by proven reserves in 2002, the latest data available, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper, citing the BP Statistical Review, said that in 1989, there were 44.7 years left of consumption.
"[A shortage] will probably happen in the next 10 to 20 years," Professor
David Goodstein, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology,
"And it may have already begun," he added.
Meanwhile, the discovery of huge pools of oil beneath the earth's surface has hit a dry spell.
A field off the Kazakhstan coast was the last major discovery in 30 years, according to the Journal.
And fields in other traditional oil-heavy areas such as Texas, Alaska and the North Sea are in decline.
Exacerbating matters are worries about threats to political stability in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter, and the rest of the Middle East, as well as reductions in producers' proven reserves.
Earlier this year, Royal Dutch/Shell, one of the world's biggest oil companies, cut the amount of its proven reserves by 22 percent in a scandal that led to the ouster of top executives at the British- and Dutch-owned company.
While oil prices are near record highs in current dollars, adjusted
for inflation prices are well off the highs they hit in the 1970s and early
The Gaming Asylum Forums
April 28, 2004 09:28 AM
The spiritual successor to Autoduel?
Back in the 80s, a tabletop game of vehicular combat called "Car Wars" wars released in little ziplock bags. You got a couple of sheets of top-down view cars, a fold-up map, and a couple of page rulebook with some sample designs which let you arm cars and take them to the arena to fight it out. A few revisions and expansions later, it got to be a pretty popular game among the nerd set. This, of course, made it ripe licensing target for computer game makers and Origin Systems took it and made the absolutely splendid Autoduel (which is, at this very moment, still loaded on my PC via an Apple II emulator). That would have been about 15 years ago.
A while back, someone asked on the Origin forums if there was any chance for a remake, and the response was . . . hush, we can't talk about it yet. Well, since then Origin has been closed leaving the future of an officially licensed game in doubt.
Enter NCSoft, the City of Heroes people. Not content with releasing City of Heroes, Lineage II, and the just announced City of Villians, they are also planning a MMOG called Auto Assault (actually, NCSoft is publishing it, a company called NetDevil is creating it). From their E3 annoucement:
Auto Assault -- Combine fast-paced vehicular combat with high-tech, futuristic weaponry and hundreds of intense skills and you get Auto Assault, a unique departure from traditional Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). Hop in your own customized cars, semis, and motorcycles and prepare to fight the mutated creatures and bandits of Auto Assault's post-apocalyptic world. Battle other players both in arenas and in epic race vs. race wars for control of the regions in a devastated Earth. Auto Assault uses the power of the Havok™ physics engine to let you make insane jumps, send obstacles flying and even blast bridges, buildings, fences and trees with your car-mounted rockets. Anything you can hit, you can destroy!
FUDGE ROUTE 666
Subject: Fudge Route 666
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 16:20:15 +0100
From: Painted Target <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Michael P. Owen <email@example.com>
I was looking through the Web for some FUDGE stuff, and I came across FUDGE: Route 666, which is roleplaying in a post-apocalyptic world. I've only had a quick look, but it could be fun!
GOETHE'S RULES OF CRITICISM APPLIED TO CAR WARS
NEW OMAHA VEHICULAR ASSOCIATION (NOVA)
Subject: General / Latest news from your Car Wars group
Date: March 28, 2004 8:06 pm
Forum: Dueling Debate <http://forums.delphiforums.com/carwars>
Hi. NOVA finally had its first duel of the year. It was a bloody event in the Crossroads Arena with four rams (three of them head-on), two confirmed kills and two surrenders out of six duelists.
MID-SOUTH AUTODUELISTS AND HANDGUNNERS ATTACK TEAM (MADHAT)
From: Jimmy Anderson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 8:49 AM
Subject: New MADHAT Home
MADHAT has a new home! Here you’ll find the famous Car Wars PBEM games, the MADHAT Duel Designer and the Divine Right support files. Drop on in! You shouldn't notice a difference in content. We're just glad to have the site back up after too long of an absence. Enjoy!