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Submission + - US mobile broadband is massively overpriced, claim (broadbandexpert.com)

RichWeb Media Ltd writes: March 2010: Research compiled by international broadband comparison website Broadband Expert (www.broadbandexpert.com) reveals that mobile broadband users in the US pay almost three times more for their service compared to users in the UK and Australia. In addition, US consumers looking to purchase a USB modem as part of a prepaid plan will pay up to eight times more (see pricing appendix below).

To make matters worse, US consumers also receive a dramatic lack of choice compared to other parts of the world when it comes to selecting the amount of data allowances they receive, the website says. With service operators offering only very small or very large data allowances, consumers are very limited as to the type of plan they opt for, unlike in other parts of the world.

Rob Webber, commercial director at Broadband Expert, says that high prices and lack of data choice is stifling growth of mobile broadband in the US and that if mobile broadband is to truly take off in the US, tariffs need to be brought down to fall inline with the rest of the world.

He says: We manage broadband comparison sites in the US, UK and Australia and can clearly see that sales in the US are lagging behind other regions. We have seen a huge growth in the number of people buying mobile broadband devices in the UK and Australia over the last two years, a trend that is not reciprocated in the US. We think this is mainly due to the fact that customers are put off by the high prices.

"Having closely tracked the UK and Australian markets mobile broadband sales over the years, we have witnessed how demand for mobile broadband started slowly and then rocketed once providers cut prices; opening the market up to general consumers and not just business users. We think the big brand service providers in the US should start to price mobile broadband plans more competitively, which would not only benefit broadband users, but would give a boost to the whole US mobile broadband industry.

Price breakdown information:

Typical mobile broadband contract prices US, UK and Australia:

A typical two year mobile broadband contract in the UK costs $552, compared to $1,440 in the US oe a massive $890 price difference. Australians also pay less than their American counterparts: A typical broadband service in Australia costs just $648.

USB modem price difference US and UK:

An average USB mobile broadband modem in the US costs $249 compared to $30 in the UK. This is a surprising given that mobile broadband carriers stand to make money out of the ongoing usage associated with these types of oeprepaid plans.

Data allowances; US, UK and Australia:

Broadband Experts research shows that the current range of plans from the main providers offer either 250Mbs which is too little for most users and may result in expensive charges for exceeding the download limit, or 5Gbs which is far more than the majority of users need. In both UK and Australia consumers can choose to receive 1Gbs, 3Gbs or 5Gbs of data per month.

Broadband Expert aims to offer advice and comparison to consumers to help make choosing the right broadband or mobile broadband package simple. Broadband Expert operates broadband comparison sites in the US www.broadbandexpert.com , the UK www.broadband-expert.co.uk and Australia www.broadbandexpert.com.au .

Submission + - French reality show contestants are ready to kill (washingtonpost.com)

SpuriousLogic writes: American reality TV has left a trail of corpses, but we can still say this: No one appears to have been executed on any of the U.S. shows.
That's apparently not the case in France, where, according to a new French documentary series, people would be willing to kill their countrymen for their 15 minutes of fame.

Eighty people who thought they were participating in the shooting of a pilot for a French reality series were willing to deliver potentially lethal electric shocks to a contestant who had incorrectly answered knowledge questions, according to the documentary, "The Game of Death," airing on French TV on Wednesday night.

In truth, the would-be reality series participants were part of an experiment that was turned into the documentary.

The idea for the show came from the work of psychologist Stanley Milgram, who conducted the experiment at Yale University in the 1960s. Milgram found that most people, if pushed by an authority figure, would administer ostensibly dangerous electric shocks to another person. His experiment became famous, having been conducted at the same time as the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.

United States

Submission + - High Tech Research Moving from US to China

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that American companies like Applied Materials are moving their research facilities and engineers to China as the country develops a high-tech economy that increasingly competes directly with the United States. Applied Materials set up its latest solar research labs in China after estimating that China would be producing two-thirds of the world’s solar panels by the end of this year and their chief technology officer, Mark R. Pinto, is the first CTO of a major American tech company to move to China. “We’re obviously not giving up on the US,” says Pinto. “China needs more electricity. It’s as simple as that.” Western companies are also attracted to China’s huge reservoirs of cheap, highly skilled engineers and the subsidies offered by many Chinese cities and regions, particularly for green energy companies. Applied Materials decided to build their new $250 million research facility in Xi’an after the city government sold them a 75-year land lease at a deep discount and is reimbursing the company for roughly a quarter of the lab complex’s operating costs for five years. Pinto says that researchers from the United States and Europe have to be ready to move to China if they want to do cutting-edge work on solar manufacturing because the new Applied Materials complex here is the only research center that can fit an entire solar panel assembly line. “This opening represents a critical breakthrough for the photovoltaic industry and China and a tremendous benefit to our customers,” says Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter. “Establishing this center in China is an integral part of Applied’s global strategy and an important step toward the industrialization of the global solar industry.”"

Comment Re:Hey Nintendo, how about games for the Gamecube? (Score 1) 71

I guess what I'm asking is where is all the "revolutionary" stuff they promised us for the Gamecube? It just seems like they think they made a mistake with the Gamecube and are more worried about the new machine; the system never really seemed to hit it's stride the way all their last machines did, especially the 64. It just seems like they really dropped the ball on it. As for Metroid, it just seemed like a MOTS game to me. Ya, it had those new things you talked about, but it just wasn't enough to seperate it from the first one. It was more like a part 2. My bad on Zelda; someone had told me that it was coming out for the new system and not GC. Need to check my sources before mouthing off.

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