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Comment Re: Just sayin' (Score 0) 48

No, they use FUD, brand name recognition, and bundling, and charge obnoxiously inflated rates. Quite a few less-savvy customers end up badly gouged. My landlord is one of them. He's stuck with a ridiculously overpriced DSL package from Bell because of Fibe TV—and his location, deep in the heart of metropolitan Toronto, is mysteriously not eligible for the actual fibre-optic-to-the-pole service promised in marketing material. If you actually read the entire article, you'll see mention of lobbyist groups trying to get the CRTC to change their practices of trusting incumbents to actually keep their prices competitive due to competition.

Comment Re:Just sayin' (Score 5, Informative) 48

If you RTFA, you'll discover the little nugget of joy that the CRTC declined to regulate prices—again. So all those rural areas are going from terrible service to unaffordable service. I don't think the big telcos are that upset about this particular demand; they get money to overhaul their infrastructure (where needed) and can double-dip by charging their customers as much as they want afterward. It seems that this probably won't be changing any time soon.
AT&T

T-Mobile Exempts AT&T's DirecTV Now Service From Data Caps (arstechnica.com) 22

An anonymous reader writes: One of the biggest selling points of ATT's DirecTV Now service is that it streams video without counting against data caps on the ATT mobile network. But T-Mobile USA customers will also be able to watch DirecTV Now without using up data, the carrier announced yesterday. DirecTV Now is one of the latest services added to Binge On, which exempts dozens of video services from data caps as long as customers are willing to limit mobile viewing quality to about 480p. T-Mobile also promised to reimburse customers for DirecTV Now for 12 months if they port a phone number from the ATT network to T-Mobile and purchase at least two lines. This offer consists of a $35 monthly bill credit, enough to cover the DirecTV Now promotional price. This is a limited-time offer and cannot be combined with other offers like "Carrier Freedom," which reimburses customers for early termination fees when they switch to T-Mobile. "ATT wants you to think DirecTV is theirs exclusively, but that's a load of crap," Legere said in T-Mobile's press release yesterday. "Both DirecTV Now and the DirecTV apps stream free on T-Mobile with a faster, more advanced network that covers nearly every American. ATT is so distracted by their new businesses and DirecTV that they continue to ignore their 110 million wireless customers. Luckily, the Un-carrier's here to show them how to actually take care of customers!"

Comment Re:Hmm.... (Score 5, Interesting) 275

Tada: it's a micronation... in space!

Of course it's unrealistic armchair-libertarian drivel: the magnetosphere is a harsh mistress, after all.

What's interesting about this development is that it isn't a nearly-entirely American endeavour, which is often the case with such ambitions; Asgardia seems to be Russian and the AIRC supporting it is Viennese. I suspect we'll see a lot more anti-authoritarian behaviour from Europeans in the coming years as a) the EU weakens, b) the Internet transmits political memes that were previously comparatively contained by media limitations like talk radio and poor English literacy, and c) people already exposed to (b) come of age.

The much more feasible version of "let's get off the Earth so we can get away from our countries' laws" is called seasteading, and generally involves a platform in international waters. There's one clear non-Libertarian, non-American example of seasteading (Sealand, UK) which is fairly old and unusually successful by micronation standards. These days, however, the idea is generally associated with these guys, who have been funded by Peter Thiel. They, unquestionably, are primarily concerned with ways to dodge regulation. Without a realistic means of building such a gigantic physical presence, though, they certainly aren't going to be doing much of that; at best they'd end up creating their own passports that no one would accept.

Science

Oldest-Ever Proteins Extracted From 3.8-Million-Year-Old Ostrich Shells (sciencemag.org) 70

Slashdot reader sciencehabit writes: Scientists have smashed through another time barrier in their search for ancient proteins from fossilized teeth and bones, adding to growing excitement about the promise of using proteins to study extinct animals and humans that lived more than 1 million years ago. Until now, the oldest sequenced proteins are largely acknowledged to come from a 700,000-year-old horse in Canada's Yukon territory, despite claims of extraction from much older dinosaurs. Now geneticists report that they have extracted proteins from 3.8-million-year-old ostrich egg shells in Laetoli, Tanzania, and from the 1.7-million-year-old tooth enamel of several extinct animals in Dmanisi, Georgia...extinct horses, rhinos, and deer,
This raises the inevitable question. If we ever could clone a prehistoric species...should we?

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