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Austin's Alamo Drafthouse Theater Gives Texters the Boot 370

Hugh Pickens writes "Ever been annoyed during that nail-biting darkened hallway scene by someone turning on their phone to send a text? Well, don't mess with Texas or you may end up on the screen in a public service announcement. Alamo Drafthouse, a local chain of dine-and-screen movie theaters in Austin, Texas, has long waged a war against impolite moviegoers booting out customers who talk or text during performances. Phoebe Connelly writes that according to Tim League, the Drafthouse's founder, a woman was recently warned twice about texting during a screening, and then, in accordance with company policy, was escorted out without a refund. 'I don't think people realize that it is distracting,' says League. 'It seems like nothing, but if you spend as much time as I do at the movies, you realize the entire theater sees it and it pulls you out of the movie experience. It's every bit as intrusive as talking.' The irate customer called up the Alamo Drafthouse and left a profanity-laced (and perhaps slightly inebriated) message decrying the theater's policies, but the theater got the last laugh as they took the audio of the woman's voicemail, transcribed it, and turned it into an in-house preview [tl: Note, YouTube video contains some profanity] that warns theatergoers against cell phone use during movies. 'Part of what we're trying to do is have a comedic message about what to us is a very serious issue,' says League, declining to give any more details about the woman at the center of the recent PSA."
Mars

NASA's Cashflow Problem Puts Moon Trip In Doubt 357

krou writes "According to the Guardian, the Augustine panel is going to declare that there is simply no money to go back to the moon, and the next-generation Ares I rocket is likely to be scrapped unless there is more funding. The $81B Constellation Program's long-term goal of putting a human on Mars is almost certainly not going to be possible by the middle of the century. The options outlined by the panel for the future of NASA 'are to extend the working life of the aging space shuttle fleet beyond next year's scheduled retirement until 2015, while developing a cheaper transport to the moon; pressing ahead with Constellation as quickly as existing funding allows; or creating a new, larger rocket that would allow exploration of the solar system while bypassing the moon.' All of this means that NASA won't be back on the moon before the end of the next decade as hoped, 'or even leaving lower Earth orbit for at least another two decades.' Another result of the monetary black hole is that they don't have the '$300m to expand a network of telescopes and meet the government's target of identifying, by 2020, at least 90% of the giant space rocks that pose a threat to Earth.'"

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