Existential Wombat writes "As expected, Netflix has today announced the end of integrated unlimited streaming video plans. For me, with 2 DVDs and a streaming capable box, this adds about $5 a month to my bill:
We are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into two separate plans to better reflect the costs of each. Now our members have a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan, or both.
Your current $14.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans:
Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 2 out at-a-time (no streaming) for $11.99 a month
Your price for getting both of these plans will be $19.98 a month ($7.99 + $11.99). You don't need to do anything to continue your memberships for both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs.
These prices will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.
You can easily change or cancel your unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both, by going to the Plan Change page in Your Account.
We realize you have many choices for home entertainment, and we thank you for your business. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to call us at 1-888-357-1516.
Existential Wombat writes "Engadget has a story — A report this morning from the South China Morning Post claims that Amazon's 3G-boasting Kindle is selling fast on the so-called "gray" market in China because of its 3G internet connectivity and browser. The device, it seems, offers the Chinese a rare opportunity to side-step the "great Firewall" of the Chinese government, which restricts access to sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Amazon does not officially sell the Kindle in China, which has the world's largest internet-connected population at 420 million. The Kindle, which seems to have been overlooked by the Chinese authorities thus far, makes use of Amazon's own network, Whispernet." Link to Original Source top
Existential Wombat writes "From New Scientist (8/1)
An unusually complex magnetic eruption on the sun has flung a large cloud of electrically charged particles towards Earth. When the cloud hits, which could be anytime now, it could spark aurorae in the skies around the poles and pose a threat to satellites – though probably not a particularly severe one.
On 1 August, a small solar flare erupted above sunspot 1092. It would not have raised many eyebrows, except that a large filament of cool gas stretching across the sun's northern hemisphere also chose that moment to explode into space.
Despite being separated by hundreds of thousands of kilometres, the two events may be linked. Images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory hint at a shock wave travelling from the flare into the filament. "These are two distinct phenomena but they are obviously related," says Len Culhane, a solar physicist at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London." Link to Original Source top
Existential Wombat writes "From the (in)appropriately named Cox Communications, citing declining usenet usage (no mention of bandwidth being an issue, or that they no doubt will be getting a nice kickback from Giganews for those desparate enough to sign up:
Effective June 30, 2010, Cox Communications will discontinue Usenet service to our subscribers.
Declining newsgroup usage in recent years has highlighted the need to focus our resources on other priorities, such as increasing our Internet speeds and providing new services, including Cox Media Store and Share.
We understand that our newsgroup subscribers may want to continue accessing Usenet. Therefore, we have worked with leading newsgroup service provider Giganews to offer special pricing for Cox subscribers....
$15++ a month for something Cox provided as a part of the service. Of course they will be reducing everyone's montly tarrif by the value of the servoce they no longer provide. Yea right."