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AT&T Slaps Family With a $19,370 Cell Phone Bill 725

theodp writes "Mama, don't let your babies send e-mail and photos from Vancouver. A Portland family racked up nearly $20,000 in charges on their AT&T bill after their son headed north to Vancouver and used a laptop with an AirCard twenty-one times to send photos and e-mails back home. The family said they wished they would have received some kind of warning before receiving their chock-full-of-international-fees 200-page bill in the mail for $19,370. Guess they didn't read the fine print in that 'Stay connected whether you are traveling across town, the US, or the world' AT&T AirCard pitch. Hey, at least it wasn't $85,000."

The Google Navy 259

theodp writes "Is Google preparing to launch its own Navy? In its just-published application for a patent on the Water-Based Data Center, Google envisions a world where 'computing centers are located on a ship or ships, which are then anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away from computers in the data center.' And you thought The Onion was joking when it reported on Google's Fleet of Naval Warships!"

Sarah Palin's Stance On Technology Issues 1115

Revolution Radio writes "BetaNews has a short description of what we might expect from Governor Palin regarding technology issues. She demonstrated her familiarity with the internet by initiating an online education program for state workers, using the web for government transparency, and a supporting the general concept of 'long-distance distribution of services' (similar to net neutrality?)." We've previously discussed Senator Joe Biden's tech voting record and compared the technology platforms of Obama and McCain. In addition to the above story about Palin, Betanews also has analyses of Obama, McCain, and Biden regarding tech policy.

Carmack Talks Quake Live 36

CVG spoke with John Carmack about the in-development browser-based version of Quake III Arena called Quake Live. He discusses the development team's reasons for the new project and mentions that current mods will not work. However, he adds, "We're in no way shutting down the original Q3A scene, so anybody who wants to build things with the open-source code is still more than free to do so. That may even become a proving ground for moving things into Quake Live." Carmack also says Quake Live will be fully ad-supported to start, but "it's not out of the question that eventually we'll have some kind of a premium service. But we don't know what it's going to be yet, and we're certainly going out with the completely free-to-play model." We've looked at video clips from Quake Live in the past.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Apple holds out on resellers 1

An anonymous reader writes: Anecdotal evidence from Australian consumers indicates Apple are holding back stock from their resellers, while shipping from their online store in record time. A workmate ordered a MBP 8 weeks ago from a reputable reseller who has been saying each week 'apple say they have no stock, they won't tell us when our orders will be filled', yet people ordering from the Apple online store are receiving their laptops within 1-2 business days. My workmate canceled his order on wednesday and ordered online, he just received his laptop today (friday), after phoning the reseller they still have no word on when stock will be coming through. Forum posters from around the state indicate similar issues.

Submission + - Multiformat Listening Test at 64kbps 1

prospective_user writes: "Do you think you have good ears? Think again.

The community at Hydrogenaudio has prepared a Public Listening Test for comparison of the most popular audio codecs (AAC, Vorbis, and Microsoft's WMA included) in a battle to see how they stand at compressing audio at 64kbps.

Many of the participants right now have expressed their surprise at being unable to determine which is the original and which is the compressed version of 18 samples covering a vast amount of musical styles.

The results of this test (and other that are conducted at Hydrogenaudio) will be used by the developers of the codecs to further improve the "transparency" and let this kind of test be even harder.

Everyone is invited to participate and show how good your listening is!"

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.