Treasure: Byte-Size Booty

Byte-Size Booty

As any pirate knows, dividing the booty can be tougher than finding it. So Professional Treasure Hunter Mel Fisher has wisely relied on a high-tech mediator. Last year Fisher discovered the sunken loot of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, a Spanish galleon that sank off the Florida coast in 1622. He retrieved 118,343 items, including emeralds, gold bars and silver coins, with a potential worth estimated by Fisher at $170 million. Last week, after a 22- member committee assigned a value to each item, Fisher fed the data into an IBM computer, which apportioned the goods among 1,650 of the expedition's...

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