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Comment RTFA to put this in perspective (Score 4, Informative) 562

The fee does not apply to either ACH or AutoPay transactions. This leaves credit card payment as the only mechanism which does incur the fee. Verizon can't come out and say that the fee is because you're using a credit card, because the terms between credit card processors (e.g. MasterCard, VISA) and merchants (in this case, Verizon) specifically forbid altering the price if a credit card is used. When you pay a merchant with a credit card, the merchant only gets 97-99% of the price you pay with the card. 1-3% goes to the credit card company. Verizon can accept payment in any of three ways, but one of them costs Verizon more than the other two ways, and they consequently charge a fee. It's not exactly in-line with their costs, but considering what a monthly phone bill for a smart phone costs, it's not grossly far off, either.
The Courts

Submission + - Recut, Reframe, Recycle - Fair Use Online (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "If one listens to content distributors, any use of copyrighted material that doesn't bring in significant quarterly revenue is "piracy" and some have gone so far as to say that websites or games that allow user-submitted content are infringement engines. However, the Center for Social Media disagrees. In their study, "Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video," they found that most of the videos studied qualified for fair use protections under US law. Unfortunately, copyright filters aren't able to understand things like satire, parody, commentary, illustrations, or collages."

Submission + - Passwords of a leading Swedish newpaper leaked 1

Goglu writes: Aftonbladet, a leading Swedish newspaper, was hacked yesterday and the usernames and passwords of their employees leaked on the Internet. This attack was considered "an assault on democracy". It will of course be investigated by the police.
All this said, a competitor to Aftonbladet was happy to point out that several users protected their precious information with only their first name as a password...
Question to the community: Does leaking these usernames and passwords in the open, and forcing the newspaper to take basic security measures (such as a password policy) really is "an assault on democracy"?
Online translation tool from Swedish to English for the Swedish-challenged folks...

Submission + - Microsoft Patents Frustration-Detection System (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Microsoft has patented a frustration-detection help system that would monitor your computer use and biometrics like your heart rate to figure out when you were frustrated. It could then offer to pair you up with someone else doing exactly the same thing who might be able to help you out. Interestingly, they don't appear to use speech recognition to detect abnormal levels of swear words, but that could be due to their past difficulties with speech recognition."
The Internet

Submission + - Four Root DNS Servers Go IPv6 On February 4th

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "On February 4th, IANA will add AAAA records for the IPv6 addresses of the four root servers. With this transition, it will finally be possible for two internet hosts to communicate without using IPv4 at all. Certain obsolete software may face compatibility problems due to the change, but those issues are addressed in an ICANN report [PDF]."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Woman puts husbands 'cremains' into orbit (

lukehashj writes: "After losing her 'trekkie' husband, Noami Mihara searched for ways to celebrate her husband Alan's life. The tremendous cost associated with space travel leaves out all but the extremely wealthy. However, a company called Celestis is offering space travel for 'cremains' at a price the middle class can afford. Prices range from $500 to $67,500 depending on the amount of 'cremains' and length of voyage. The company has already served Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry and the actor James Doohan (Scotty). Not just for trekkies, Timothy Leary's remains have also been sent into space."
The Internet

Submission + - Internet used to Raise $1 Million in a Day? (

SwansonMarpalum writes: "Ron Paul has long been an internet superstar, getting the lion's share of attention from YouTube subscribers, Facebook and MySpace friends, and mindshare in the blogosphere as measured by Technorati, Hitwise, and Alexa. His campaign has the distinction of using their official website to raise $1.2mil in one week, but now an independent group of supporters have set up a web site, This November 5th, to try and coordinate a massive collaborative donation effort on one day to make some noise. They currently have over 10,000 people who have comitted to donating $100 each, bringing the total to $1mil in one day, and have the goal of getting 100,000 people to join in on the scheme for a grand total of $10mil. Could this magnify the importance of the internet in politics in the future?"

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell