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Very Rare Air Raid Atari Cartridge Found

Back in 2010, I wrote a story about some very rare and very expensive video games. Thanks to that article, Tanner Sandlin of Austin, Texas, realized he had one of only a handful of known copies of the Atari game, Air Raid. Normally the cartridge sells for about $3000 online, but Sandlin had an ace up his sleeve: the game’s original box, which had never been seen before. The game and the box wound up selling for $31,600 on eBay.

If you think that's crazy, there's a good chance that Tanner's auction-price record is about to be shattered.

Recently, a man in California (we'll call him Lucky, as he would prefer to remain anonymous), was reading another article about rare Atari games. Naturally, Air Raid was mentioned, as was the $31,600 sale price. Lucky recalled that he'd been given a sample copy of the game by a sales rep back in the 1980s when Lucky was an assistant manager at a drug store that sold video games. Lucky took the game home, played it for a few minutes, but decided he didn't want to order it for the store's inventory. When he told the sales rep he could have the game back, the rep said not to bother because none of his other clients were all that interested, either. Lucky stuck his copy of Air Raid in an old Atari display case at home, where it sat virtually untouched for the next 30 years.

Upon reading the article, Lucky and his daughter scoured through his old collection and found they had the second known copy of Air Raid in the box. But unlike the copy that Tanner bought from a clearance bin at a discount store in the mid-1980s, Lucky’s Air Raid has never been in circulation, so the box is in near-perfect condition.

As Lucky and his daughter were taking photos of the box to send to Albert Yarusso, the owner of AtariAge.com (who personally examined Sandlin’s Air Raid box in 2010), they discovered something else tucked inside: the instruction manual. Before now, there was only speculation that a manual even existed, so this makes Lucky’s the only “CIB” (Complete In Box) copy of Air Raid ever found.

After verifying that the cartridge still worked, Lucky and his daughter put Air Raid up for sale on GameGavel.com, an auction site exclusively for video games. Will it break Sandlin’s $31,600 sale-price record? Watch the auction and find out!

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WWF
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Animals
Watch an Antarctic Minke Whale Feed in a First-of-Its-Kind Video
WWF
WWF

New research from the World Wildlife Fund is giving us a rare glimpse into the world of the mysterious minke whale. The WWF worked with Australian Antarctic researchers to tag minke whales with cameras for the first time, watching where and how the animals feed.

The camera attaches to the whale's body with suction cups. In the case of the video below, the camera accidentally slid down the side of the minke whale's body, providing an unexpected look at the way its throat moves as it feeds.

Minke whales are one of the smallest baleen whales, but they're still pretty substantial animals, growing 30 to 35 feet long and weighing up to 20,000 pounds. Unlike other baleen whales, though, they're small enough to maneuver in tight spaces like within sea ice, a helpful adaptation for living in Antarctic waters. They feed by lunging through the sea, gulping huge amounts of water along with krill and small fish, and then filtering the mix through their baleen.

The WWF video shows just how quickly the minke can process this treat-laden water. The whale could lunge, process, and lunge again every 10 seconds. "He was like a Pac-Man continuously feeding," Ari Friedlaender, the lead scientist on the project, described in a press statement.

The video research, conducted under the International Whaling Commission's Southern Ocean Research Partnership, is part of WWF's efforts to protect critical feeding areas for whales in the region.

If that's not enough whale for you, you can also watch the full 13-minute research video below:

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technology
AI Could Help Scientists Detect Earthquakes More Effectively
iStock
iStock

Thanks in part to the rise of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, earthquakes are becoming more frequent in the U.S. Even though it doesn't fall on a fault line, Oklahoma, where gas and oil drilling activity doubled between 2010 and 2013, is now a major earthquake hot spot. As our landscape shifts (literally), our earthquake-detecting technology must evolve to keep up with it. Now, a team of researchers is changing the game with a new system that uses AI to identify seismic activity, Futurism reports.

The team, led by deep learning researcher Thibaut Perol, published the study detailing their new neural network in the journal Science Advances. Dubbed ConvNetQuake, it uses an algorithm to analyze the measurements of ground movements, a.k.a. seismograms, and determines which are small earthquakes and which are just noise. Seismic noise describes the vibrations that are almost constantly running through the ground, either due to wind, traffic, or other activity at surface level. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between noise and legitimate quakes, which is why most detection methods focus on medium and large earthquakes instead of smaller ones.

But better understanding natural and manmade earthquakes means studying them at every level. With ConvNetQuake, that could soon become a reality. After testing the system in Oklahoma, the team reports it detected 17 times more earthquakes than what was recorded by the Oklahoma Geological Survey earthquake catalog.

That level of performance is more than just good news for seismologists studying quakes caused by humans. The technology could be built into current earthquake detection methods set up to alert the public to dangerous disasters. California alone is home to 400 seismic stations waiting for "The Big One." On a smaller scale, there's an app that uses a smartphone's accelerometers to detect tremors and alert the user directly. If earthquake detection methods could sense big earthquakes right as they were beginning using AI, that could afford people more potentially life-saving moments to prepare.

[h/t Futurism]

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