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Comment Re:USA #1 (Score 1) 513

Boooooooo new slashdot format.

I just wrote that anonymous comment, not intending it to be anonymous. I wasn't logged in and it never gave me the choice between logging in or posting anonymously. It just posted it anonymously! Guess I have to log in beforehand now...

I disagree. I live in Japan, and some if not all major providers don't allow tethering in Japan either, and will charge (or fine) you a whole lot extra to do it, just like AT+T in the states.

It's actually worse here because you can't just pay for a "smartphone plan" and then use whichever unlocked smartphone you like. It's virtually impossible to bring your own smartphone from the US, for example, to Japan, and have them approve it for use on their network with a reasonably-priced unlimited data plan, unless it is the same as one of the models they sell/support. You may still get it to work, but if they detect that you weren't using the phone they approved you to use, they will charge you outrageous metered data/tethering fees. To them, I believe using anything other than the single approved device that goes with your unlimited data contract is considered tethering (whether it actually tethered through another device or not).

What sucks about USA service is that they pay per msg to *receive* text messages. I think Canada may do the same.

Comment Re:Let's not forget text messages (Score 1) 205

They've more than just "convinced" me that I need a plan that includes text messages. "Forced" is more like it. I'm 31 years old and the majority of my friends, around my age, rely on text messages extensively to coordinate all sorts of social events. I've been told that it costs $5.00 a month just to block the ability to receive those messages! Not to mention that half my friends would be too lazy to call me instead of texting, because they aren't used to having to do that for anyone else. So I pay $5.00 extra per month for 200 texts, and I have to be really careful to not go over that limit, which basically means I have to tell certain friends to "just stop texting me".

It's really rotten that the US is one of the only places where they charge you to RECEIVE texts!

Comment Let's not forget text messages (Score 1) 205

Probably the worst example of these sort of ridiculously unfair pricing schemes is text messaging. Remember when text messages first came out in the US, and they were only 5 cents per msg? Over the five years or so following that, their price inched all the way up to where it is now, 25 cents per msg I think (or is it 20?). Either way a 400%+ increase in price, despite the fact that most networks can handle more traffic now than they could back then.

The obvious cause for this is lack of competition. There's simply no incentive for the few companies holding down the monopoly on cell services to charge any less for text messaging.

It's frustrating that our govt either can't or won't do anything to open up the market to more competition.


Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee 2058

Dthief writes "From MSNBC: 'Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat. "They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.'"

Comment Re:common sense people! (Score 1) 201

You take a crap because of the guy's name. The phrase wasn't in usage until he came up with his inventions.

According to Wikipedia, your statement is false.

'It is incorrectly claimed that the verb "To crap" comes from Crapper, but the verb first came into use before Crapper was born. It is believed that this could be an example of nominative determinism, in which people are more likely to do a job connected with their name.'

Comment Re:Required reading (Score 5, Informative) 628

I have to disagree. I dive for lobsters and will sometimes bring them from the bottom of the ocean to my kitchen in about 30 minutes. These are California Spiny Lobsters, can't speak for all the other species.

But some of them are particularly lively, and will definitely thrash for a few seconds in the boiling water. Much unlike the movement you might see if you put them into cold water. If it's sufficiently hot though, I think the shock kills them pretty quickly (about 5 seconds).

When you REALLY notice their apparent ability to sense pain is when you have to "clean" them, which involves shoving a long, barbed object (like a piece of their antennae) up their rectum, so you can pull out their intestine. They usually remain pretty calm as you handle them, even if you flip them over and touch the underside of their tail a bit. But the moment you try to jam that thing up their ass, the really lively/alert lobsters are sure to resist and flail about excessively. I truly think it is mighty unpleasant for them.

One time, I had one that was so effective at resisting the required cleaning, I was unable to get the job done. So I tried running it under hot water in hopes of killing it. Seeing as just being under the sink is nowhere near as fatal as being thrown into boiling water, I witnessed a lobster thrashing about, apparently in pain, from being held under such hot water. It did seem to shock him into compliance though after 20-30 seconds.

Anyway, I feel bad for the lobsters, and really dislike feeling as is I am causing them pain. In the future, I'm going to go with the knife-through-the-head method of killing, as recommended by one of my dive buddies (and someone earlier in this thread).

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