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Comment Tolerance for corporate hegemony (Score 1) 789

I find the tolerance for corporate greed and power in this thread really appaling, especially from the hacker crowd.

I've read a number of arguments that boil down to this: You should have read the contract. I don't care if you don't like it.

Well first off wireless carriers in this country do not offer contracts, they offer ultimatums. A proper contract is negotiated between parties who all have a say in the matter. Not only that but breaking a contract has consequences for both parties. This simply isn't what the monopoly in this case offers. You sign the paper they wrote without input or you get nothing. They get guaranteed revenue far in excess of their expenditure on the subsidy for a period of two years with no guarantee of service, reliability, or quality. You fail to pay and they terminate your account, they fail to provide coverage and you're stuck calling tech support.

To cut this to the bone, this is about power. They can dictate any terms they want unless the consumers act in a group to protest their policies. Remember this is a company that benefited multiple times from direct subsidies from the federal government, relies on access to public infrastructure to provide its service, cooperated in violating constitutionally protected private communications, and continues to make significant profit off of outrageously priced data fees despite the rest of the economy tanking.

If you're willing to sit back and get screwed by companies like this, then they will continue to screw not only you, but the rest of us. I'm not calling for boycott or anything stupidly overplayed like that, but for goodness sake, recognise when the system is not the peoples favor and have the compassion to voice your support for the rest of us getting screwed even if you personally enjoy the feeling.


Submission + - Flat Panel Displays Stop Getting Cheaper

mateomiguel writes: "Those sexy LCD and PDP monitors coming out of Asia seemed to have stopped dropping in price. Now might be a good time to buy that new HD-TV that you've been eyeing before it becomes more expensive. From the article:
"The price of LCD panels fell some 10% in the third and fourth quarter of last year, and the figure is expected to be around 5% in the first quarter of this year," said Cho Young-deok, managing director at Samsung Electronics. "Panels are now in tight supply after major TV manufacturers' zero stock policy targeting backlogs from November and December last year."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Nicotine Island, A Permanent Vacation for Smokers

Kyla writes: "Nicotine Island was designed around your highest expectations. Spacious smoking areas, cigarette vending machines, fine dining; all secured in a twenty two million square foot space aged high performance glass bubble so you get the ultimate smoking experience. But that is just the beginning. Peace of mind, Filthy air, Room to breathe unlimited smoke, to continue your unhealthy lifestyle. That's what makes Nicotine Island different, and better. It's a community like Nicotine Island that offers security, freedom, and more. If you know somebody who should be sent to Nicotine Island, please Send a Smoker Today!"

Journal Journal: TivoToGo Transfers broken.

With all the chatter recently about TiVoToGo coming to Mac users, I'm a bit surprised that nobody mentioned the fact that a significant percentage of TiVo users have not been able to use TiVoToGo since a patch in November broke the functionality on a small (but significant) percentage of Series2 TiVos. This problem was discovered within days of the patch's release, and as of today there h


Journal Journal: How The RIAA Is Like 17th Century French Button-Makers 150

Requiring permission to innovate? Feeling entitled to search others' property? Getting the power to act like law enforcement in order to fine or arrest those who are taking part in activities that challenge your business model? Don't these all sound quite familiar? Centuries from now (hopefully much, much sooner), the actions of the RIAA, MPAA and others that match these of the weavers and button-makers of 17th century France will

Submission + - Intel to launch cheaper quad core

Tommy Kino writes: ""On January 21st, Intel will launch their first mainstream quad-core processor — the Core 2 Quad Q6600. Like the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, it is made up of two Conroe dies sitting on a single package.

As such, its 8MB Level 2 cache is not completely shareable between all four cores. Rather, it's split into two separate 4MB caches, each of which is shareable between their respective core pairs.

According to Intel, we will not see a true quad-core (four cores on a die) processor until the second half of this year. Codenamed Yorkfield, it will debut in the new 45nm process and come with a fully-shared 8MB L2 cache."

Full report at http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=379& pgno=0"
Wireless (Apple)

Apple Charges For 802.11n, Blames Accounting Law 471

If you have a Core 2 Duo Macintosh, the built-in WLAN card is capable of networking using (draft 2) 802.11n. This capability can be unlocked via an update Apple distributes with the new AirPort Extreme Base Station. Or, they will sell it to you for $4.99. Why don't they give it away for free, say with Software Update? Because of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (which was passed in the wake of the Enron scandal). iLounge quotes an Apple representative: "It's about accounting. Because of the Act, the company believes that if it sells a product, then later adds a feature to that product, it can be held liable for improper accounting if it recognizes revenue from the product at the time of sale, given that it hasn't finished delivering the product at that point."

Submission + - What tax software do you use?

r_jensen11 writes: I know this topic has been asked at least once before, but seeing as how 6 years have passed, I figured the question is due again. It's about that time of the year again when we find out how much we owe Uncle Sam (Or as in my case, how much Uncle Sam owes me.) Software has changed drastically in the past 6 years since the previous query I found on Slashdot, as well as many tax rules. Does anyone here use tax software other than TurboTax and TaxCut? I know that there are also online forms I can fill out, but which ones are accessable to people that use OS's other than Windows and OSX? I'd preferably use a program that I can use off-line and store my information locally instead of using eforms, but if I have to resort to eforms, which ones should I investigate and which ones should I stay far away from?

Submission + - HP beats Moore's Law

John H. Doe writes: "From the article: "A number type of nano-scale architecture developed in the research labs of Hewlett-Packard could beat Moore's Law and advance the progress of of microprocessor development three generations in one hit. The new architecture uses a design technique that will enable chip makers to pack eight times as many transistors as is currently possible on a standard 45nm field programmable gate array (FPGA) chip.""

Submission + - Cancer cured.....again

supermegadope writes: From the article. at http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNew s/20070116/cancer_dca_070116/20070116?hub=Canada

""I think DCA can be selective for cancer because it attacks a fundamental process in cancer development that is unique to cancer cells," said Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor at the University of Alberta department of medicine and a key study author.

The molecule appears to repair the damage that cancer cells cause to mitochondria, the units that convert food into energy."

"In addition, because DCA has been used in both healthy people and ailing patients with mitochondrial diseases, researchers know it is a relatively non-toxic molecule that can be immediately tested in patients with cancer.

The compound, which is sold both as powder and as a liquid, is widely available at chemistry stores.

Furthermore, the compound is not patented, nor is it owned by any drug firm, so it would be an inexpensive drug to administer.

However, because DCA is not patented, Michelakis expressed concern that it may be difficult to find funding from private investors to test the compound in clinical trials. "

Submission + - GMap Mash-Up: NYC Hospital Closures and Race

mconnery writes: "I've got a new project rolling out that I think is a pretty interesting mix of new technology, research, and political advocacy.

Health Care That Works

The site is a Google Map mash-up that takes data on NYC hospital closures between 1985 and 2005, and overlays it on an interactive city-wide map that can display either the racial or economic demographics of the Five Boroughs. Using this tool, visitors can visually see how hospital closures disproportionately impact poor neighborhoods and communities of color. Text on the sidebar guides the user through each decade and demographic overlay, explaining the changing conditions of the city and the impact that closures have on underserved communities.

But the site is more than just a visual resource, it is also a data-rich resource for researchers that contains a variety of reports and fact sheets (as well as data on the patient demographics, payer source, and quality scores for each hospital), a community forum for health care advocates and New Yorkers, and an activism tool that encourages New Yorkers to write to their elected officials in support of creating a health care system that works equally for all."

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