23 January 2008

Europe's Appetite for Seafood Propels Illegal Trade

Europe's dinner tables are increasingly supplied by global fishing fleets, which are depleting the world's oceans.

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Europe Takes Africa's Fish, and Boatloads of Migrants Follow

Fish populations have been decimated along northwest Africa's coast, fueling a surge of migrants braving the seas to reach Europe.

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21 January 2008

Latest Addiction

Warning - creating your own city can be very habit forming. But visiting is easy. You can visit as many cities as you want. Every city can be visited once per IP address per day. You can go more often than that, but only the first visit "counts" -- that is, it's the only one that effects the city score. Going to the main site presents a search dialog, and also allows you to create your own city.

By default, a visit increases the population by 1 citizen. Once the population reaches 50, industry is enabled, which creates jobs. This is done by visiting $CITY.myminicity.com/ind; here's a link for my city, and the corresponding one for the Ars Technica city. Other options are made available as the city grows: to improve the transportation network (/tra), increase security by adding police stations (/sec), improve the environment by building parks (/env), and increase commerce (/com). If you want to help out a city, but aren't sure what they need, go to $CITY.minicity.com/xml (such as mine :D), where you'll see a text version of the XML markup that describes the current city conditions.

So how do you get visitors? By visiting other cities and leaving a note telling them the name of your city, and any particular needs. Most active "players" will quickly return the visit in the hopes of establishing a continuing reciprocal arrangement.

So join the addiction!

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