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Comment Re:youmail (Score 1) 237

> I also didn't know that you could have a phone without caller ID

Unless you use a VOIP line or a burner (pay-as-you-go) cell phone caller ID is always an extra for both landlines and cellphones. For cellphones it's often bundled with voicemail or some other feature so you'll usually end up getting it ... but, yes, it's very possible to get a smartphone with no caller ID or voicemail.

Submission + - New Zealand ISP's anti-geoblocking service makes waves ( 1

angry tapir writes: New Zealanders and Australians are often blocked from using cheap streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu and instead at the mercy of local content monopolies for popular shows such as Game of Thrones. However a New Zealand ISP Slingshot has caused a stir by making a previously opt-in service called 'Global Mode' a default for its customers. The new service means that people in NZ don't need to bother with VPNs or setting up proxies if they want to sign up to Netflix — they can just visit the site. The service has also caused a stir in Australia where the high price for digital goods, such as movies from the iTunes store, is a constant source of irritation for consumers

Submission + - Facebookâ(TM)s Unethical Experiment (

An anonymous reader writes: Facebookâ(TM)s methodology raises serious ethical questions. The team may have bent research standards too far, possibly overstepping criteria enshrined in federal law and human rights declarations. âoeIf you are exposing people to something that causes changes in psychological status, thatâ(TM)s experimentation,â says James Grimmelmann, a professor of technology and the law at the University of Maryland. âoeThis is the kind of thing that would require informed consent.â

Submission + - Selfie of Stroke Symptoms Finally Gets Woman Correct Diagnosis

theshowmecanuck writes: Canada's CBC TV reports that a woman suffering from a transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) was diagnosed by the attending emergency room physician as suffering from stress, given tips on how to manage it and sent home. As she left the hospital she again began suffering the same symptoms in her car. Thinking quick she pulled out her smart phone and started taking a video selfie of herself to show the doctors the classic symptoms of a stroke. She was originally stricken at home and remembering the symptoms of a stroke from a public service announcement, went to the hospital when the symptoms subsided. After the second episode, her quick thinking and video convinced the doctors they were wrong and she was right, and they sent her for the proper diagnostic testing and treatment they should have given in first place. The article has a link to the video she took, but here it is in case, and I know it is unlikely on Slashdot, you don't want to read it.

Comment Re:Send it back.... (Score 1) 221

If you think that's steep you'll be floored if you look at cellphone packages here. Many of the cellphone companies here charge $50/GB (yes, fifty) for overage... they list it as "$5 per 100 megabytes." I know I'm comparing apples and oranges, but this is the sort of crap we seem to get stuck with here.

Submission + - Sexually Transmitted Virus Sterilizes Insects While Encouraging Mating (

cold fjord writes: National Geographic reports, "Why would a sterile male cricket mate with an infertile female? On the surface, this behaviour makes no sense: sex takes energy and effort, and there’s nothing in it for either of these partners. Neither one can foster the next generation. Shelley Adamo from Dalhousie University has the answer. Her team have shown that one particular insect virus can sterilise crickets, but also change their behaviour so they continue to mate with each other. By doing so, they pass the virus on to uninfected hosts. This virus is the latest example of parasitic mind control ... Scientists have now documented hundreds of such manipulators." — TED2014 Video

Submission + - Adam Carolla Joins Fight Against Patent Troll 1

tor528 writes: Patent troll Personal Audio has sued top podcasters including Adam Carolla and HowStuffWorks, claiming that they own the patent for delivery of episodic content over the Internet. Adam Carolla is fighting back and has started a Fund Anything campaign to cover legal fees. From the Fund Anything campaign page: "If Adam Carolla loses this battle, then every other Podcast will be quickly shut down. Why? Because Patent Trolls like Personal Audio would use a victory over Carolla as leverage to extort money from every other Podcast.. As you probably know, Podcasts are inherently small, owner-operated businesses that do not have the financial resources to fight off this type of an assault. Therefore, Podcasts as we know them today would cease to exist."

James Logan of Personal Audio answered Slashdotters' questions in June 2013.
Links to the patent in question can be found on Personal Audio's website.
The EFF filed a challenge against Personal Audio's podcasting patent in October 2013.

Submission + - Why the world needs Cosmos

StartsWithABang writes: Yes, yes, he's not Carl Sagan, and if the first episode of Neil de Grasse Tyson's Cosmos was at all indicative of what's to come, it seems there be a slanted version of history presented. But there's a compelling case to be made that the world needs Cosmos now, and not just for social, political or scientific reasons, but for very personal ones that are relevant to us all.

Submission + - Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Marcus Stern and Sebastian Jones report on Bloomberg that as federal regulators continue investigating why tank cars on three trains carrying North Dakota crude oil have exploded in the past eight months, energy experts say part of the problem might be that some producers are deliberately leaving too much propane in their product, making the oil riskier to transport by rail. Sweet light crude from the Bakken Shale formation has long been known to be especially rich in volatile natural gas liquids like propane and while there's no way to completely eliminate natural gas liquids from crude, well operators are supposed to use separators at the wellhead to strip out gases before shipping the oil. The worry is that some producers are adjusting the pressure settings to leave in substantial amounts of natural gas liquids and purposefully selling their crude "fluffed up" with propane to maximize their profits. "There is a strong suspicion that a number of producers are cheating. They generally want to simply fill up the barrel and sell it—and there are some who are not overly worried about quality," says Alan J. Troner. "I suspect that some are cheating and this is a suspicion that at least some refiners share." As an oil train shakes, rattles and rolls toward the refinery, the propane begins to separate from the liquid and turning into gas. If one of those cars ruptures, the propane gas inside will likely make contact with outside air. If the gas is ignited—perhaps by a spark thrown off when the car rips open or maybe a spark thrown up from steel wheels scraping over steel tracks—the car can explode. Then the burning car can act like a blowtorch on the tanker next to it and at that point, railcars can explode in domino fashion. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently issued a safety alert that recent derailments and resulting fires indicate that the type of crude oil being transported from the Bakken region may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude oil. "It's typical of this type of oil. So it's not surprising. There's no mystery to it especially if it were in a tanker not meant to carry that type of fluid," says Ramanan Krishnamoorti referring to the much-criticized DOT-111, a black, torpedo-shaped railcar designed in the 1960s that has become the workhorse of the crude-rail industry. Washington doesn’t appear to be in a rush to address the problem. On January 23, investigators at the US National Transportation Safety Board made broad recommendations that would have big consequences: They said crude oil should meet the same restrictions as toxic chemicals, which must be routed on tracks away from population centers. “The large-scale shipment of crude oil by rail simply didn’t exist 10 years ago, and our safety regulations need to catch up,” says NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “While this energy boom is good for business, the people and the environment along rail corridors must be protected from harm.”

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