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The Oredigger Issue 1 - September 6, 2010

The Oredigger Issue 1 - September 6, 2010

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Published by The Oredigger
The Oredigger, Volume 91, Issue 1
The Oredigger, Volume 91, Issue 1

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Published by: The Oredigger on Sep 06, 2010
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 Volume 91, Issue 1September 6, 2010
News 2Features 4sports 5opiNioN - 9
~world headlines~scientific discoveries~tech break ~ Geek of the Week ~Mines beats SDSMT~csm women’s soccer ~What’s Your Beef~Rage Against the Machine
satire  12
~Free Drink at Chipotle~Black HAwk Down
Colorado School of Mines Cam-pus Dining is thrilled to announcechanges to their dining locationsbeginning this fall based on feedback received from CSM students, faculty,and staff. The exciting changes arehighlighted below.
New Meal Exchange Program at Diggers Den
 You can now use a meal planswipe at Diggers Den! Choose anentrée from our new after-hours menualong with two sides and a fountaindrink and pay with a meal swipe. Visit Diggers Den Monday through Thursday from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM totake advantage of this new programdesigned with students in mind.Don’t forget, Slate Café also offersa grab n’ go meal exchange program.Use a meal swipe and receive a sand-wich or wrap, chips, cookies, fruit,and a bottle of water to go from 11:30 AM -7:15 PM Monday through Friday.Slate Café Spices Things Up
Check out some of the awesomechanges you will notice in Slate Caféthis fall!
1. More made-to-order actionstations! An all-new omelet stationwill now be available at breakfastand dinner service in Slate Café. Thestation will highlight a featured omeleteveryday, and will also transform to amade-to-order pasta station duringlunch service. Yummy!2. Enjoy new menu items featur-ing your favorite entrées and newrecipes based on student feedback. The variety you are looking for is here,including more healthy and vegetarianoptions.3. Increased speed of service willbe a Campus Dining focus this fall. The service line has been rearrangedto allow you to get your food quicker!4. Action! The pizza station willnow feature “in your face” prepara-tion, providing a fresh, appetizingoption you will love.5. Did you say carving station?Enjoy some of your favorite meatentrées at the all-new carving station. The station will feature turkey, roastbeef, meatloaf, and more, and willbe available approximately twice perweek in the Slate Café.
Campus Dining Helps ReduceWaste through Composting
CSM Campus Dining has imple-mented a composting project tohelp the campus community reducelandll waste. Campus Dining nowcomposts all pre-consumer wastefrom cooking and preparation in theSlate Café kitchen. Along with thisinitiative, CSM Campus Dining alsoplans to implement composting of post-consumer waste by offeringguests the opportunity to compostfood waste into composting bins inSlate Café.
Campus Diningheard you
Press Release
Campus Dining
 The highlight of the August 26 ASCSM meeting was the specialsession on campus parking. Themeeting was attended by GaryBowersock, the Director of FacilitiesManagement, who presented theparking component of the CSMMaster Plan. After his presentation,Gary stayed for nearly an hour toaddress student concerns aboutparking. According to Bowersock’s pre-sentation, the CSM Master Plancalls for the CSM campus to be-come more of a pedestrian campus.For example, pedestrian access isto be improved by a foot bridge ortunnel across 6
avenue. Gary alsohighlighted the new parking metersystem. This system is designedto make it easier for visitors to ndparking by allowing them to pur-chase parking on arrival. The rst issue raised in the Q&A session was overflow for tieredparking. Students felt that if all thehigher tier parking spaces were oc-cupied, people with the higher tierpermits should be able to park inthe lower tier lots. Support for thischange was overwhelming and ledto a quick change in time for thestart of the new parking plan. As of  August 31
, the parking system waschanged to allow permit holders topark down. Reserved permits arenow allowed in general and com-muter parking. General permits arenow allowed to park in commuterlots and commuters are allowed tooverow into the remote lots. How-ever, permit holders are stronglyencouraged to park in their tier un-less there is no room left. A Geology museum staff mem-ber voiced concerns that there isno easy parking available for visitorsdue to the new parking system andthe Golden parking permit system. They argued that this is likely todecrease community usage of theGeology Museum and is an affrontto their donors and other off campusassociates.Mines Park residents raised con-cerns about other people parkingin their parking spaces and llingup the parking. Also, concern wasraised with regard to the safety of the pedestrians crossing 6
Avenue.It was suggested that the proposedfootbridge would cut down on thenumber of people driving fromMines Park to campus and thereforereduce congestion on campus.Gary noted that they are tryingto encouraging people to walk tocampus from Mines Park.Echoing the concerns fromMines Park residents, some of theGreeks were concerned that therewould be too many non-Greeksparking on Greek street.Upperclassmen brought up thenew policy of freshmen leaving carsin prime general parking real estateand not moving them for days at atime. According to a recent email,there are incentives being offeredfor students living in the traditionalresidence halls and Weaver Towersto park in outlying lots during theweek. Furthermore, the policy of allowing freshmen in general parkingis under review for future semesters.Finally, it should be noted that astudent asked the cost of the park-ing meters. The response of about$130,000 elicited an immediatenegative response from some of the audience After the Q&A session, ASCSMappointed Jonathan Harrelson asthe new ASCSM secretary follow-ing the resignation of the previous ASCSM secretary.
Erik Charrier 
Staff Writer 
Mines recently installed solar-powered parking kiosks inmany parking lots across campus.
New parking plan discussed at ASCSM
Ian Littman / Oredigger 
With excessive amounts of homework, tests, and the hun-dreds of extra-curricular activitiesoffered here at Mines, many stu-dents are unaware of the excitingresearch happening right in theirown backyard.In the physics department,master’s graduate Jon Banks talksabout the research he is involvedin. Working in a research group,Banks focuses on IntegratedOptics, which essentially meanshe is guring out how to put beroptics on a processor chip, virtu-ally eliminating the communicationtime between cores on a multi-coreprocessor. With the speeds of current processors, the last realbottleneck within the chip itself ishow the individual cores send infor-mation between themselves. Whatthis particular group of research-ers is trying to do is to eliminatethat bottleneck by placing circuitsthat use light on the chip itself. This would pave the way for vastincreases in processing power,potentially making it feasible to use20 cores on a single chip.Banks’ main task within thisgroup was testing the chips them-selves to verify their functionality.“I really like doing these experi-ments, just nding out the differentcharacteristics of things,” Bankscommented.Many students have the precon-ception that students are not theones doing the ‘fun’ stuff; assum-ing professors and the faculty runexperiments while the students work on the write-ups and papers.In reality, the students do theexperiments, run the simulations,etc. The professors are just there tooversee the operation and to helpwith the experiments if somethinggoes wrong. “The professors alsocome and help you do the experi-ments, so it’s not like they’re never inthe lab”, Banks adds. Most advisersspend their time in the administrativeand technical realm, as they overseemanagement of the experiment,progress, and budgets.For Banks, that advisor is DavidFlammer, a 2000 Mines graduate.Working on research since 2006,Flammer further explained the work in Integrated Optics. “Intel in par-ticular is doing signicant research inoptical interconnects… what they’relooking at doing is using optics toeliminate that bottleneck createdwhen you put multiple processingcores on a single chip.” The applications for IntegratedOptics are numerous, ranging fromCPUs in computers to smartphones,televisions, cameras, really anythingthat operates using a processor of some kind. And the possibilities foroptical switches and circuitry donot stop at processors. Currentlythe main reason we don’t have In-ternet upload or download speedsin the gigabyte per second rangeis because the switches on eitherend of a ber optic cable cannothandle that amount of data. Peoplelike Banks and Flammer are on thecutting edge of this research, andit’s happening here, at Mines.For students interested in re-search opportunity, Banks offeredsome advice. “If you want to doresearch, denitely talk to profes-sors early. I know there are peoplewho have started doing researchin their sophomore and junioryears.” Flammer agreed, saying,“There are a lot of opportunities outthere, it’s just a matter of lookingfor them.” There are definitely projectsthat require some experience, buttalk to professors even if you don’tthink you have the necessary ex-perience. One additional piece of advice Jon gave was to “get yourpapers published, like the papersyou helped on, and put that onyour resume, because that will helpyou get a job in the future.” There are plenty of researchopportunities like Integrated Op-tics, and Mines is leading the wayin developing students and newtechnologies.
Light breaks chip perfor-mance barrier 
Joshua Kleitsch
Staff Writer 
Women’sSoccer Photos pg. 6 
n e w s
september 6, 2010page 2
 w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t
Oredigger Staff 
Ryan Browne
Neelha Mudigonda
Managing Editor 
Abdullah Ahmed
Business Manager 
Steven Wooldridge
Barbara Anderson
Design Editor 
Zach Boerner 
Copy Editor 
Robert Gill
 Asst. Business Manager,Sales and Marketing 
Ian Littman
 Asst. Business Manager,Web Content 
Trevor Crane
Content Manager 
Katie Huckfeldt
Content Manager 
Shira Richman
Faculty Advisor 
Headlines from around the world
Local News
Joshua Kleitsch,
Staff Writer 
Katie Huckfeldt,
Content Manager 
 A recent study by the U.S.Department of Education showsthat technical, liberal arts, andnursing schools have the
highestloan repayment rates
. Surpris-ingly, liberal arts schools postedsignicantly higher loan repay-ment rates than many businessschools. The recent outcry over thepending construction of an
Is-lamic Community Center andmosque
near ground zero inManhattan has anti-terrorism ex-perts worried. Experts say thatthis message of intolerance ishurting U.S. relations with foreignnations, undermining our tradi-tional stance as a nation of reli-gious freedom and acceptance.Due to the
recent resur-gence of bedbugs
, many peo-ple are misusing pesticides orhiring exterminators that promisecheap eradication, often usingdangerous pesticides meantfor outside use. Local au-thorities in some citiesare petitioning the EPA to legalize the use of banned chemicals tocombat the infesta-tion.Republicansidentifying them-selves as
gay or lesbian arenow seekingacceptance
bytheir fellow partymembers. For-mer RepublicanNational Commit-tee Chairman KenMehlman’s afr-mation of homosex-uality two weeks ago has broughtthe issue to a head. The party,not traditionally supportive of gays, has received a fair amountof support from those claiminghomosexuality.While the BP oil spill in Aprilseemed to stir congress to act onthe controversial
energy and cli-mate bill
, it remains stalled as fallelections near. The main point of contention seems to be the cap-and-trade section, which wouldseek to limit greenhouse gasesthrough capping the amount of pollution that individual compa-nies would be allowed to pro-duce. Tensions have increased be-tween North Koreaand UN na-tions as more information about
 North Korea’s nuclear weap-ons
testing and arms dealingnetworks are being uncovereddaily. Two N. Korean men haveemerged as key proponents in N.Korea’s arms program, revealingnew information about N. Korea’sarms trading with countries in-cluding Myanmar, Iran, and Syria.While European markets con-tinue to rise, the
 jobless ratecontinues to hold
at a steady10%. Economic recovery in thecountries that use the Euro areseeing a rise in consumer spend-ing and exports, but that rise hasyet to be reected in the creationof new jobs.
Galilee, Israel
- A 12,000 year old burialand feasting site was discovered by scientists,giving the rst verication that community hu-man feasting began before the occurrence of agriculture. Inside the burial cave the remains of 71 tortoise shells and three wild cattle carcass-es were found in specic hollows and showedevidence of being cooked. Community feastsindicate the changing lifestyles of primitive hu-mans, as once-nomadic groups were settlingdown. The new communities put pressure onlocal resources leading to the shift to animal do-mestication and agriculture.
- Fossils from a relative of the Velo-ciraptor were unearthed by scientists giving longawaited insight into dinosaurs from the late Creta-ceous period. The predator, named Balaur bondoc,is the rst reasonably complete fossil of a carnivo-rous dinosaur during the last 60 million years of di-nosaurs’ existence in Europe. Balaur bondoc ex-hibited more than 20 anatomically unique featuresincluding short and stocky feet and legs and largepelvic muscles. Scientists state that the predatorwas more suited for kick-boxing than sprinting,leading to the nick-name “The Stocky Dragon.”
Gottingen, Germany 
- Max Planck researchers have succeeded in re-ducing the recording time for MRI images, giving a “live” look at musclesin action for the rst time. Doctors can watch the bending of a knee, thebeating of a heart, the movement of the eye and jaw and other areas of thebody. This new method will supply vital information about joint and heartdiseases. In addition, MRI exams will be made more comfortable for pa-tients who traditionally had to remain absolutely still.
University of Santa Catarina, Bra-zil
- Scientists from a laboratory on theMediterranean Sea published their study onsingle-celled life-forms called Foraminiferathat live around volcanic carbon dioxidevents off Naples, Italy. The study shows thatincreased CO2 levels have caused Fora-minifera to decrease from 24 to 4 species. The CO2 acidies the ocean which has adramatic effect of species like Foraminiferathat have a calcium carbonate shell. Scien-tists state that the tipping pH of 7.8 will likelyoccur by the end of this century unless CO2emissions begin to lower. At this critical pHwe risk massive extinction of marine life andrises in toxic jellysh and algae. The recently returned Colo-rado moon rock is now on dis-play in the Geology Museum. The rock was rst given to Colo-rado Governor John Vanderhoof in 1974 by President Nixon. Forsome time. The rock was miss-ing from the state’s possessionbut has since be returned.On September 11th, the sec-ond annual Field of Flags eventwill take place on Kafadar Com-mons. 2,993 ags will be placedon the grounds to commemo-rate the lives lost from the tragicattacks.Mines volleyball nished 3-1overall at the Oredigger Volley-ball Classic. Oredigger Eliza-beth Serra-Hsu was named forthe all-tournament team. CSMwill next compete in the AngeloState University Invitational Sep-tember 10th and 11th in San An-gelo, Texas.Ready your resumes! The Fall2010 Career fair is coming soon.Be ready by Tuesday September14th to look for prospective in-ternships and careers.On Wednesday, September15th , the CSM Geology Mu-seum will be holding an openhouse and silent auction from6-9 PM. The open house coin-cides with the Denver Gem andMineral show.
f e a t u r e s
september 6, 2010page 3
 w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t
Last Wednesday, Apple re-freshed its digital media lineup,ranging from revised iPods to anew music-focused social net-work to a revamped Apple TV home theater box. Apple CEOSteve Jobs noted during theevent staged at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center that over 120million iOS devices (iPhones andiPod touches) had been sold, with230,000 new devices being acti-vated via their iTunes companionsoftware every day. Apple’s rst hardware an-nouncement was an upgradeto the iPod shufe. In responseto widespread criticism aboutthe previous-generation shufe’slack of buttons, Apple decidedto return to a form factor similarto the iPod shufe generationbefore, trading larger size for us-ability, while adding VoiceOver(text-to-speech) functionality, amemory upgrade to 2GB, anda lower price of $49 to the mix.One signicant physical differ-ence between the second- andfourth-generation iPod shufes isthat the new model is effectivelysquare, exciting concerns thatoperation of the music player’sbuilt-in clip will result in inadver-tent button presses, a problemthat did not exist in the previous,more rectangular model.Next, Apple introduced a com-pletely redesigned iPod nano. Thenew media player eschews theprevious generation’s video cam-era and movie playback capabilityfor a smaller, square form factornot unlike the iPod shufe, but witha 1.54-inch touch screen to re-place the hardware buttons. Jobsstated that the new iPod nano,which has drawn comparisons toa Dick Tracy watch (but without thetwo-way radio), was designed withrunners and other exercise situa-tions in mind. Response to the an-nouncement was mixed; concernsincluded the omission of previouslyincluded iPod features, the device’ssignicantly decreased screen size,and the potential difculty of navi-gating a pure touch interface onsuch a small screen. Apple’s nal iPod announce-ment was that of a more powerfuliPod touch. The new iPod bringsthe iPhone-sans-phone to featureparity with its cellular contempo-rary, adding a six-axis gyroscope,signicantly faster processor, high-resolution “retina” display, and dualcameras to Apple’s 2010 take onthe concept of a PDA. One nota-ble omission from the iPod touchwhen compared with the iPhone(other than a GSM/HSPA cellularradio) is high-resolution still photocapability on the iPod touch’s rearcamera; the iPhone 4 can take 5megapixel still images, whereas theiPod touch can only capture im-ages at a maximum resolution of 960x720 (about .6 megapixels). Onthe plus side, the new iPod touchis the thinnest iPod touch to date,and the rear-facing camera takes720p high-denition video just likethe iPhone, and includes Apple’sFaceTime video chat system. AlliPod touch models were upgradedas opposed to Apple’s last versioniteration where an upgrade to thelow-end, 8GB iPod touch was con-spicuously absent. Apple also released signicantsoftware upgrades for iOS, the op-erating system used by iPod touch-es, iPhones and iPads, and iTunes,the desktop media manager thatsyncs with those devices. iOS 4.1,arriving this week, adds high dy-namic range photography to cam-era-enabled iOS devices, a featurethat combines three successivephotos taken with different ex-posure levels to produce a com-posite image with better highlightand shadow detail than is pos-sible with a single image captureon comparable equipment. Otherfeatures include GameCenter, Apple’s new game matchmakingservice, video streaming via WiFito Apple TVs (more on that later),and TV show rentals (99¢ perhigh-denition episode). iOS 4.2,arriving in November, will bring theabove features to the iPad, plussupport for printing documentsfrom the iPhone, iPod touch, oriPad.On the iTunes front, iTunes 10,made available late on the day of the announcement, eschews theCD in the application’s logo, addsa more efcient album-basedview to its library manager, andadds TV rentals to the list of con-tent available on the iTunes store.However, the biggest new featureof iTunes 10 is Ping, a music-centric social network that bearsa strong resemblance to Lala,an online music store that Applebought, and subsequently shutdown, earlier this year. Apple’s nal announcementwas a complete rework of their Apple TV set top box. The newmodel drops a built-in hard driveand non-HDMI video outputs inexchange for a footprint threequarters smaller than that of theprevious Apple TV and a pricedrop to $99. The device nowrelies completely on streaming,either from the iTunes store, adesktop or laptop computer, oran iOS device to procure its con-tent, which is still limited to 720pHD. The iOS streaming feature,known as AirPlay, arrives on theiPod touch and iPhone with iOS4.1, and on the iPad with iOS 4.2. The Apple TV will be available forpurchase later this month.
 Apple refreshes iPods,iTunes, appleTV
Ian Littman
Asst. Business Manager,Web Content
 Two Wednesdays ago, Googletook their Google Voice concepta step further, adding voice callingto and from standard phone num-bers to their GMail web interface. Twenty-four hours later, the com-pany stated that they had com-pleted over one million phone callsthrough the system, which allowsusers to call locations in the UnitedStates and Canada for free, andinternational locations for very lowper-minute rates. The system works tightly withGoogle Voice, which is now avail-able to any user with a Google ac-count in the United States. Callsplaced and received via the GMail-based voice system are loggedin Google Voice, and contacts inGMail’s address book integrateseamlessly into both systems, in-cluding many smartphones viaGoogle Sync, Google’s surrogateExchange ActiveSync server. Ad-ditionally, Google Chat, as the ser-vice is called, shows up as a po-tential number for Google Voice’sphone forwarding rule selection,which has historically allowed in-coming and outgoing calls to beconnected to a user’s choice of land-line or mobile phones. Onthe voicemail side, messages aremachine-transcribed and sent viae-mail and/or text message as wellas displayed in the Google Voiceinterface, though transcriptionquality tends to leave signicantroom for improvement, from theauthor’s experience.Pundits are arguing which com-pany is impacted the most by thisannouncement: Skype, traditionaltelephone companies, or Face-book, which recently partneredwith Vonage to start a Voice overIP solution of their own. Google Voice signicantly undercuts Sky-pe’s per-minute rates to traditionalphones, though Google has leftopen the possibility of chargingper-minute for outgoing calls to theUS and Canada, and users seemto prefer an application like Skyperunning on their computers to asub-window of GMail. Likewise,traditional telephone companies
Google Chat calls “real” phones
Ian Littman
Asst. Business Manager, WebContent
Growing up in Timisoara, Ro-mania, a small town in westernRomania near the border of Serbiaand Hungary, a young ProfessorFarca knew at an early age thatshe wanted to become a profes-sor of linguistics and literature.“In rst grade, I realized I was notgood at math at all. I got too manyCs in physics and chemistry,” sheexplained in an interview. “I havealways enjoyed reading and writ-ing, so I understood at an early agethat literature and teaching wouldcome naturally to me. I was notwrong.”For the last ten years, Profes-sor Farca has been living statesidewith her husband. Initially movingto Denver due to her husband’s job working at an optics company,Professor Farca swiftly decidedthat she needed to nd a teaching job in Colorado. Professor Farcastated, “I feel fortunate to teachat Mines, an engineering school,because I have many engineersin my family; my parents, brotherand grandfathers have all been en-gineers.”Professor Farca has beenworking at the Colorado Schoolof Mines since 2008 and she hasbeen very impressed with the stu-dents that she has taught. “Manyof my students say they do notlike to read and write, but in real-ity, they are remarkably gifted writ-ers and critical thinkers.” ProfessorFarca presents the duality of everydecision in the Nature and Human Values classes that she teaches.She presents the fact that no issueis ever simply presented as a black and white problem. She promotesher students to speak freely inclass and offers a very comfortable
Professor Farca:Instructor, author and ice cream lover 
Stephen Hejducek
Staff Writer 
environment where all opinions arewelcomed and debated. Whendiscussions begin to settle in Pro-fessor Farca’s classroom, she likesto add small questions so that thestudents open their minds to bothsides of an argument.Ph.D. in English Literatureand her second MA at OklahomaState University, she also receivedan education at West Universityat Timisoara, where she earnedher rst MA in linguistics and herrst BA in English and RomanianLiterature and Languages. Profes-sor Farca recently used all of hereducation to co-author a book for the Nature and Human Valuescourse. “Along with my talentedcolleagues, Courtney Holles andShira Richman, I wrote A Student’sGuide to Nature and Human Val-ues.” Professor Farca explained,“The textbook will help studentswrite and revise papers for Natureand Human Values, understandethical theories, and become moreadept at research. Not only did shework on this textbook for students,she also had a very productivesummer. “I revised my dissertation,Roots to Routes: ContemporaryIndigenous Fiction by Women Writ-ers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Thebook is expected to publish nextyear,” says Professor Farca.Of course, every professor atthe Colorado School of Mines hasa life outside of work and gradingpapers, and Professor Farca is nodifferent in this regard. “I will tell youthree things: I can live on an icecream-only diet (chocolate workstoo), my favorite tennis player isRafael Nadal, and I root for A.C.Milan, the Italian soccer team.” TheColorado School of Mines is proudto have a professor as intellectualas Professor Paula A. Farca. The night sky is a vast tapes-try that covers us for about half of our lives. Surprisingly, for such aprevalent image, very few peoplecan identify anything more than ahandful of well-known constella-tions and our satellite, the Moon.While these are elegantly familiar,there is so much more to the stars,which can be found with a smallamount of guidance. That is wherethis column comes in. The cosmosis an inspiring sight and hopefullyafter a few articles, you too will beable to nd the beauty of the uni-verse above you.So if this is the beginning, whatwill we need to move on? Depend-ing on how serious you are, there isa wide array of tools that can helpto unveil the stars. If you are read-ing this, you already have the rstfew: eyes and an inquisitive nature.Most of what this column will covercan be easily seen by the nakedeye.
Stars shine brightabove Mines
John Bristow
Guest Columnist
Still, there will surely be objectsthat can be enhanced by visualaids. If you have a set of binocu-lars, it will aid your search. Unlessyou already have a telescope, Iwould not recommend purchasingone. They can be expensive, andwhile they are a cool display pieceand can help you see a bit further,binoculars should do the trick for just about everything.Other handy tools include a pla-nisphere (a basic star chart) and ared ashlight. These can be foundfor a low price online (be sure toget one for star observations inthe Northern 40’s for observing atMines) and will aid you in nding just about anything year round.While there will be no ofcialstargazing topic this week, I sug-gest familiarizing yourself with thelarge fall constellations such asUrsa Major to the north and Sag-ittarius to the south. Also enjoythe waning Moon that will leadto a New Moon on September 8.Peace, and may the stars shinebrightly in your sky.have hardware phone systems,which Google Chat does not,though Google Voice allows us-ers to route calls to both standard(landline/cellular) and PC-based(Google Chat or the Google-owned Gizmo Project) phones us-ing the same incoming number.One important note: GoogleChat is not yet available for GMailaccounts based on Google Apps,such as Mines’s MyMail system.Google says it is working on es-tablishing feature parity betweenGoogle Apps and “direct” Googleaccounts, so MyMail users andothers on Google Apps basedsystems may not have long towait until this feature is available tothem. For now though, a standardGMail account is free to createand Google has honed the ser-vice over the past week or two tothe point that the system is high-quality enough to use as a viablesupplement to a mobile phone,or as an easy way to circumventlong distance charges associatedwith a landline, as long as you arecomfortable using your computerto make the call.

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