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+ - Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For An Answer

Submitted by RevWaldo
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "The Verge and other sources post how AOL's Ryan Block ultimately succeeded in cancelling his Comcast account over the phone, but not before the customer service representative pressed him for eight solid minutes (audio) to explain his reasoning for leaving "the number one provider of TV and internet service in the country" in a manner that would cause a character in Glengarry Glen Ross to blanch. Comcast has as of now issued an apology."

+ - White House won't back Tesla's Direct Sales Initiative->

Submitted by neanderslob
neanderslob (1207704) writes "Last Friday, the whitehouse rejected a whitehouse.gov petition to "allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states." The rejection, written by Dan Utech, stated: "as you know, laws regulating auto sales are issues that have traditionally sat with lawmakers at the state level." The letter went on to defend the administration by citing their initiatives "in promoting vehicle efficiency."

In response, Tesla is firing back, blasting the whitehouse for a lack of leadership on the issue and stating:

"138,469 people signed the petition asking the White House to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states. More than a year later, at 7.30pm EST on Friday as most of America prepared for the weekend, the White House released its disappointing response to those people. Rather than seize an opportunity to promote innovation and support the first successful American car company to be started in more than a century, the White House issued a response that was even more timid than its rejection of a petition to begin construction of a Death Star,"O’Connell said. "Instead of showing the sort of leadership exhibited by senior officials at the Federal Trade Commission who declared their support for consumer freedom of choice, the White House merely passed the buck to Congress and trumpeted its advances in promoting vehicle efficiency. Given the economic and environmental principles at stake, we would have hoped for stronger leadership and more action."

"

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+ - Brazil Nut Effect Explains Mystery Of The Boulder-Strewn Surfaces Of Asteroids

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "When Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft gently manoeuvred into a parking orbit around the asteroid Itokawa in September 2005, it conducted a comprehensive photographic survey, the most detailed ever taken of an asteroid. This survey revealed that Itokawa is covered in large boulders that look like ejecta from craters in other parts of the asteroid. But when astronomers added up the total volume of these boulders, it turned out to be greater than the volume of the craters there were supposed to have come from. Other asteroids also show a similarly skewed distribution of large boulders. That has caused some significant head-scratching among astronomers who are at a loss to explain where the boulders come from. Now an international team has solved the mystery. They say the boulders float to the surface of asteroids in an astrophysical example of the Brazil nut effect. This is the long observed phenomenon in which shaking a mixture of big and small particles causes the larger ones to rise to the top. That's because the shaking creates gaps beneath the large particles that small particles fall into. The result is that the large particles float. The team simulated the shaking effect that collisions between asteroids would produce and say that these vibrations would cause large boulders to float to the surface in a few hours, finally explaining why asteroids have such boulder-strewn surfaces. Problem solved!"

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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