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Comment Re:Meters and miles? (Score 1) 336


Whatever it is, they need to make the URL available ;)

Submission + - 555 Timer Circuit Design Contest (

Bob Cat - NYMPHS writes: Jeri Ellsworth designer of the C64DTV, maker of DIY NMOS transistors, and all-around uber-geek, decided to have a contest to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 555 timer IC. Of course, Google, Digi-Key and many other keepers of the geek flame jumped at the chance to offer thousands of dollars in prizes, and Forrest Mims III is judging, along with Hans Camenzind, the inventor of the 555. Warm up your soldering irons!

Submission + - Music royalty society shown to be complete farce (

euphemistic writes: The Belgian music royalty society SABAM (Société d’Auteurs Belge – Belgische Auteurs Maatschappij) which represents authors, composers and publishers has been targeted by an investigative and satirical show called Basta after receiving complaints about their business practices; such practices include suing a business owner because the TV in his private room could be overheard by public in his shop. Basta decided to test the boundaries of how far SABAM would go to squeeze a buck from those "publically performing" copyrighted works with tragically ludicrous results. English description of the piece can be found here, and the video except from the show (in Belgian) here. Well worth a read for all those who have suspected some music royalty societies have no shame.

Submission + - Vzn Wireless iPhone = free visual voicemail. (

An anonymous reader writes: My wife and I are on the same Verizon Wireless account. She just activated her shiny new iPhone- with FREE visual voicemail. I pay 2.99 per month extra for this service because I have a Droid. Customer Service call ends with "well that doesn't seem fair". Any other ./ers out there want to help me start a petition?

Submission + - Rediscovering WWII's female 'computers' (

An anonymous reader writes: Women were recruited to do ballistics calculations and program computers during WWII. Half a century later, their work is only beginning to get recognition.

Submission + - Verizon's dataplan bait-and-switch (

An anonymous reader writes: It’s a bit of a bait-and-switch. One of Verizon’s selling points for its version of the iPhone is that it would come with an unlimited data plan — a marked contrast to AT&T, which eliminated its unlimited data plans last year.

Verizon didn’t send out press releases to alert the public of this nationwide change regarding data throttling and so-called “optimization.” The only reason this news hit the wire was because a blogger noticed a PDF explaining the policy on Verizon’s website, which Verizon later confirmed was official. Obviously it’s bad news, so Verizon wanted to keep a lid on it.


Submission + - An iOS Hearing Aid, or Superman's Ears? (

adamengst writes: In this article over at TidBITS, Jeff Porten relates how he discovered that a $2 app could turn his iPhone and earphones into a poor man's hearing aid. But switching to his iPod's mic-less earbuds turned the iPhone into a surprisingly effective eavesdropping device.

Comment Re:Grow Ops in Marin? (Score 1) 494

Of course I know that every meter is absolutely positioned, I didn't mean that they needed to look all around when they got there, I meant that you only needed a few men on staff to do site visits as a normal course of action. Which costs more, 30 meter readers on staff or 3 "inspectors"?

And you have to admit most smart meters don't know their actual location on their own, it's the coordinating central office computers that store that information. Yes sure, some models may have that as a feature/benefit, but it's not a requirement.

As for which uses more energy, I would have to do the math and I've not yet had my coffee, but at a few partial-amps per device it would take quite a few homes to equal the cost of one truck. Plus, power plants have more efficient means of energy extraction than a truck does so I don't know what those conversion factors look like.

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