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Businesses

A Year After Thailand Flooding, Hard Drive Prices Remain High 214

crookedvulture writes "Last October, Thailand was hit by massive flooding that put much of the world's hard drive industry under water. Production slowed to a crawl as drive makers and their suppliers mopped up the damage, and prices predictably skyrocketed. One year later, production has rebounded, with the industry expected to ship more drives in 2012 than it did in 2011. For the most part, though, hard drive prices haven't returned to pre-flood levels. Although 2.5" notebook drives are a little cheaper now than before the flood, the average price of 3.5" desktop drives is up 35% from a year ago. Prices have certainly fallen dramatically from their post-flood peaks, but the rate of decline has slowed substantially in recent months, suggesting that higher prices are the new norm for desktop drives."
Iphone

Carriers Blame the iPhone For Data Caps and Increased Upgrade Fees 272

zacharye writes "Bruised mobile carriers such as AT&T and Verizon are 'fighting back' against Apple's iPhone, despite the fact that the device has helped them eke out consistently higher average revenue per wireless subscribers since its launch. To hear the carriers tell it, the iPhone is a major inhibitor to their profits as last year they were 'only' generating wireless service profit margins in the 38% to 42% range. But ever since these beleaguered companies started 'fighting back' by implementing data caps, increasing fees for device upgrades and implementing longer waiting periods before users can switch devices, they’ve seen their wireless service profit margins surge. AT&T reported a 45% margin in Q2 2012 and Verizon reported a record-high 49% margin."
Piracy

IFPI Won't Share Pirate Bay Damages With Musicians 177

An anonymous reader tips this news from TorrentFreak: Earlier this year the sentences against the Pirate Bay defendants were made final. Aside from prison sentences, they will have to pay damages to the entertainment industries, including €550,000 to several major music labels. The court awarded the damages to compensate artists and rightsholders for their losses. However, it now turns out that artists won’t see a penny of the money, as the labels have allocated it to IFPI to fund new anti-piracy campaigns. ...While it may come as no surprise that the music industry has a hard time getting money from The Pirate Bay defendants, what comes next may raise a few eyebrows. 'There is an agreement that any recovered funds will be paid to IFPI Sweden and IFPI London for use in future anti-piracy activities,' IFPI writes. In other words, the money that the Court awarded to compensate artists and rightsholders for their losses is not going to the artists at all."
Medicine

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive? 629

solune writes "You can get a tablet these days for a few hundred dollars, and laptops for a few hundred more. Gaming consoles, TVs, and smartphones are all available for under a thousand bucks. Yet, a decent hearing aid for my mom will go upwards of $3000! With ever-shrinking electronic components, better capabilities, and technological advancements, not to mention the rapidly increasing potential user base, I would think quality hearing aids should be coming in a lot cheaper than what we can find. Adding fuel to my fire is that a hearing aid will greatly improve my mom's life — not to mention the lives of millions of others out there. Currently, she suffers from frustration and isolation with having to ask people to 'speak up', and nodding her head to things her kids and grandkids say. We've tried the cheapies, and they're fraught with problems. So, can someone tell me why a hearing aid should be so expensive?"
Piracy

Submission + - Luxury lifestyle of "hard-up" file-sharing lawyer (pcpro.co.uk)

nk497 writes: "A lawyer who targeted file-sharers dodged a £200,000 fine for a data breach after convincing watchdogs he was on "limited means" — despite living in a £700,000 home and driving a Bentley Arnage.

Andrew Crossley's ACS Law sent letters demanding payments of £500 from accused file sharers, leading online activists to target his website and leak an email database. The Information Commissioner initially intended to fine ACS £200,000, but instead levied a fine of £800 against Crossley after he shut the firm down and signed an affidavit swearing his limited financial means."

Music

LimeWire Sued Again, Publishers Seek $150,000 Per Song 168

betterunixthanunix writes "Another lawsuit has been filed against LimeWire, this time by the National Music Publishers Association. They claim that LimeWire also damaged them, and seek $150,000 per infringement, putting the maximum possible damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars. LimeWire seems to have become the latest music industry punching bag. 'David Israelite, chief executive of the publishers' association, said his organization had decided to bring the complaint because most publishers were not represented in the record company lawsuit and they were now confident that they had a winning case. ... LimeWire, which says it is trying to start a new paid subscription model, said in a statement on Wednesday that it welcomed the publishers to the table. '"
The Internet

Olympic Media Village – Most Expensive Internet In the World? 389

An anonymous reader writes "Working for the Olympics as an IT contractor, I recently moved to the Media Village (where all of the reporters live) and was surprised the there was no free internet. BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee of the 2008 Olympic Games) is charging a ridiculous amount of money for ADSL service: for 512/512 it costs 7712.5 RMB (1131.20 USD); for 1M/512 it costs 9156.25 (1342.95 USD); for 2M/512 it costs a whopping 11,700 RMB (1716.05 USD). That is for only one month! For extra features like a fixed IP? That costs an additional 450 RMB (66 USD). I just can't believe that not only do I have to deal with the Great Firewall of China, but also pay through the nose to use it!"

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