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Cellphones

AT&T Caps Netflix Streaming Costs At $68K/Yr 433

theodp writes "What would you say if you went to join a gym and were told that it could cost you anywhere from $360 a year to $68,000 a year for the exact same usage? Don't be ridiculous, right? Well, that's really not so different from what the potential costs of streaming video on an AT&T smartphone are. According to AT&T's Data Usage Calculator, 1,440 minutes worth of streaming video consumes 2.81GB, which — if you manage to keep Netflix fired up all day and night — would result in a $360 annual bill under the grandfathered $30-monthly-unlimited-data plan, or $68,376 under the new $20-monthly-300MB plan. Still, that didn't stop a spokesman from characterizing the new AT&T data plans as 'a great value' for customers."
Spam

Over 40% of New Mechanical Turk Jobs Involve Spam 56

An anonymous reader writes "An NYU study reveals that over 40% of the jobs posted by new employers on MTurk are some sort of spam request, such as fake account creation, fraudulent ad clicks, or fake comments, tweets, likes and votes. The study also shows that the bad jobs could be automatically filtered with 95% accuracy, but Amazon is not interested."
Books

Bible.com Investor Sues Company For Lack Of Profit 181

The board of Bible.com claims that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than to make money on the domain name, but an angry shareholder disagrees. From the article: "James Solakian filed the lawsuit in Delaware's Chancery Court against the board of Bible.com for breaching their duty by refusing to sell the site or run the company in a profitable way. The lawsuit cites a valuation done by a potential purchaser that estimated bible.com could be worth more than dictionary.com, which recently sold for more than $100 million."
The Almighty Buck

Blizzard Sues Private Server Company, Awarded $88M 356

Cali Thalen writes "A private server company, Scapegaming (aka Alyson Reeves), was ordered to pay Blizzard Entertainment over $88 million in damages after losing a lawsuit that was concluded last week. Scapegaming was operating unauthorized World of Warcraft servers and using a micropayment system to collect money from the servers' user base, which according to the lawsuit amounted to just over $3 million. $85 million of that settlement was for statutory damages, and surprisingly only $63,000 in attorney's fees."
Earth

Louisiana Federal Judge Blocks Drilling Moratorium 691

eldavojohn writes "In the ongoing BP debacle, the Obama administration imposed a six-month moratorium on offshore drilling and a halt to 33 exploratory wells going into the Gulf of Mexico. Now a federal judge (in New Orleans, no less) is unsatisfied with the reasons for this and stated, 'An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country.' The state's governor agrees on the grounds that blocking drilling will cost the state thousands of lucrative jobs." The government quickly vowed to appeal, pointing out that a moratorium on 33 wells is unlikely to have a devastating impact in a region hosting 3,600 active wells. And reader thomst adds this insight on the judge involved in the case: "Yahoo's Newsroom is reporting that the judge who overturned the drilling moratorium holds stock in drilling companies. You can view his financial disclosure forms listing his stock holdings online at Judicial Watch (PDF)."
Communications

Verizon Hints At Scrapping Unlimited Data Plans 319

BusinessWeek reports that Verizon may be preparing to follow AT&T's example by eliminating unlimited data plans later this year. Quoting: "'We will probably need to change the design of our pricing where it will not be totally unlimited, flat rate,' John Killian, chief financial officer of Verizon Communications Inc., the wireless unit’s parent, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York today. The company anticipates 'explosions in data traffic' over wireless networks as new phones on 4G networks incorporate data-heavy applications, such as video downloads, he said. Verizon is working to keep its network running smoothly as more of its customers switch to smartphones that connect to the Internet. ... 'The more bandwidth that you make available, the faster it will be consumed,' said Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. 'From Verizon’s perspective, the last thing you want is for another generation of consumers to be conditioned to the idea that data is always going to be uncapped.'"
The Almighty Buck

IRS Wants a Cut of Sales On eBay and Craigslist 517

Ponca City, We love you writes "In 2009, $60 billion worth of items were sold on eBay, meaning 'extra' money for many sellers, whose activities may provide them with taxable income. Now the Washington Post reports that beginning next year, a new law will require 'the gross amount of payment card and third-party network transactions to be reported annually to participating merchants and the IRS.' Also, for 2011 tax returns, 'taxpayers who annually sell more than $20,000 worth of goods and have more than 200 electronic transactions' will receive a new IRS form, known as 1099-K, for reporting the proceeds. The new tax issues shouldn't be a concern for people who sell just a few small items online for less than they paid for them, because as the IRS points out, income from auctions that resemble a garage or yard sale 'generally' isn't required to be reported. But if an online garage sale turns into a business with recurring sales and purchases of items for resale, it may be considered an online auction business. 'Generally, transactions resulting in a gain are reportable, regardless of whether the taxpayer is conducting a business,' says Gil Charney, principal tax researcher at The Tax Institute at H&R Block. The real reason behind the law is simple: Research shows taxpayers do a much better job of reporting taxable income when they know the IRS is receiving information about their transactions."
HP

HP Explains Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive 651

CWmike writes "'There's a perception that [printer] ink is one of the most expensive substances in the world,' says Thom Brown, marketing manager at HP. Well, yeah. One might get that feeling walking out of a store having spent $35 for a single ink cartridge that appears to contain fewer fluid ounces of product than a Heinz ketchup packet. Brown was ready to explain. He presented a series of PowerPoint slides aptly titled 'Why is printer ink so expensive?' I was ready for answers. The key point in a nutshell: Ink technology is expensive, and you pay for reliability and image quality. 'These liquids are completely different from a technology standpoint,' Brown says, adding that users concerned about cost per page can buy 'XL' ink cartridges from HP that last two to three times longer. (Competitors do the same.) The message: You get value for the money. No getting around it though — ink is still expensive, particularly if you have to use that inkjet printer for black-and-white text pages."
Data Storage

Why Aren't SSD Prices Going Down? 249

Lucas123 writes "NAND flash memory makers took an economic beating from 2007 through the first quarter of 2009 due to supply outstripping demand. During that time, solid state drives dropped in price 60% year over year. But after the economic meltdown, fabricators pulled back on production and investment in new facilities and the price of SSDs have remained flat or increased over the past year, and that is not expected to change until 2011. Until that time, SSDs remain 10x more expensive than hard disk drives. SSD vendors, however, are using a few tricks to get sales up, including selling lower-capacity boot drives that hit a sweet spot in the techie/gamer market."

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