Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
The Internet

Comcast's Lobbyists Hand Out VIP Cards To Skip the Customer Service Wait 131

An anonymous reader writes: A lengthy story about how David Gregory lost his job hosting Meet the Press holds an interesting tidbit: Comcast's team of lobbyists regularly hands out VIP cards to influential (and influence-able) people in Washington that lets them bypass normal customer service and fast-track their support problems. "Its government-affairs team carried around 'We'll make it right' cards stamped with 'priority assistance' codes for fast-tracking help and handed them out to congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians who complained about their service. A Comcast spokeswoman says this practice isn't exclusive to DC; every Comcast employee receives the cards, which they can distribute to any customer with cable or internet trouble. Nevertheless, efforts like this one have surely helped Comcast boost its standing inside the Beltway and improve its chances of winning regulatory approval for its next big conquest: merging with the second-largest cable provider in the country, Time Warner Cable." (The David Gregory article is worth a look on it's own, too; it shows how Comcast's purchase of NBC has led to interference in NBC's attempts at real journalism.)

Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography 191

As reported by The Independent, A scientific study has found that Greenland is actually connected to the area beneath the polar ice where the North Pole lies – thanks to a huge stretch of continental crust known as the Lomonosov Ridge. Since Greenland is a Danish territory, that gives the country the right to put its hat in the ring for ownership of the stretch of land, Denmark’s foreign minister [Martin Lidegaard ] said. ... Of the five Arctic countries – the US, Russia, Norway, Canada and Denmark —only Canada and Russia had indicated an interest in the North Pole territory until now. "This is a historical milestone for Denmark and many others as the area has an impact on the lives of lot of people. After the U.N. panel had taken a decision based on scientific data, comes a political process," Lidegaard told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday. "I expect this to take some time. An answer will come in a few decades. Why such a big deal? As Business Insider notes, The U.S. currently estimates that the Arctic sea bed could contain 15% of the earth's remaining oil, along with 30% of the planet's natural gas and 20% of its liquefied natural gas. Whichever country is able to successfully claim the Arctic would have the right to extract these resources.

The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought 528

An anonymous reader writes with today's installment of Sony hack news. "It's time to take a moment of silence for Sony Pictures, because more startling revelations about leaked information just came out and employees are starting to panic. BuzzFeed raked through some 40 gigabytes of data and found everything from medical records to unreleased scripts. This is probably the worst corporate hack in history. Meanwhile, Fusion's Kevin Roose is reporting on what exactly happened at Sony Pictures when the hack went down. The hack was evidently so extensive that even the company gym had to shut down. And once the hackers started releasing the data, people started 'freaking out,' one employee said. That saddest part about all of this is that the very worst is probably still to come. Hackers say they stole 100 terabytes of data in total. If only 40 gigabytes contained all of this damning information, just imagine what 100 terabytes contains."

Comment Re:Super-capitalism (Score 3, Interesting) 516

1) Espionage is anything but cost-effective. But cost isn't the primary (or even secondary) concern there for those who want to do the spying. (It's (technical) feasibility)

2) Running cable above ground is _always_ more cost-effective then running cable underground. So if you:
- don't give a shit about your customers
- don't have a lot of competition because you can gain a monopoly by buying senators
- and if you do a bare minimum of maintenance because you want more money (more so if you _do_ run cables underground)
then even in a city, local power stability is going to be shit.

Comment Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 2) 284

If you think 250TB of backup is a lot, then you don't need tape.

I currently backup about 1PB and data storage is growing exponentially here (gene sequencing data). Tape is the only cost effective solution for us.

I do agree though that tapedrives are ridiculously expensive but it's a sellers market. Tapedrives don't sell in massive quantities so the price stays up, mainly because there just aren't that many suppliers.

On the other hand. I called a shop a while ago to see what they'd give for our 5x LTO4 tapedrives since we upgraded to LTO6 and they only offered us 30 euros per drive. So if you don't need the latest drive out there, you can save a lot of money by buying second-hand.

Comment Super-capitalism (Score 1, Insightful) 516

For one, the US is big.. really big.. So it's not cost-effective to run power cables and alike underground. So that makes them more vulnerable.

Also, the US enjoys a form of super-capitalism, where the almighty dollar stands above things like quality of service and stability. So companies do the bare minimum of maintenance, also worsening outages.


Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places? 516

An anonymous reader writes: I live in a relatively large college town that's within easy driving distance of several major metropolitan centers. In many ways, the infrastructure around here is top-notch. The major exception is the electrical grid. Lightning storm? Power outage. Heavy winds? Power outage. Lots of rain? Power outage. Some areas around town are immune to this — like around the hospital, for obvious reasons. But others seem to lose power at the drop of hat. Why is this? If it were a tiny village or in the middle of nowhere, it would make sense to me. What problems do the utility companies face that they can't keep service steady? Do you deal with a lot of outages where you live? I'm not sure if it's just an investment issue or a technological one. It hasn't gotten better in the decade I've lived here, and I can imagine it will only get worse as the infrastructure ages.
Operating Systems

More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10 209

jones_supa writes Microsoft is expected to release a new build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview in the very near future, according to their own words. The only build so far to be released to the public is 9841 but the next iteration will likely be in the 9860 class of releases. With this new build, Microsoft has polished up the animations that give the OS a more comprehensive feel. When you open a new window, it flies out on to the screen from the icon and when you minimize it, it collapses back in to the icon on the taskbar. It is a slick animation and if you have used OS X, it is similar to the one used to collapse windows back in to the dock. Bah.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"