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L.A. Building's Lights Interfere With Cellular Network, FCC Says

thestallion Re: BETA INTERFERES WITH SLASHDOT (158 comments)

Yeah, time I add my two cents to this discussion as well... Beta sucks.

about 8 months ago

White House Official Tracked Down and Fired Over Insulting Tweets

thestallion Our tax dollars at work! (208 comments)

I for one find it infuriating that they can't balance the budget and must either raise taxes or cut spending simply because pointless expenditures like this apparently take precedence.

And sadly probably half the population is not the least bit upset, instead just thinking "good job guys! serves him right, that no-good trash-talking tweeter!"

about a year ago

Woz Applying For Australian Citizenship Because of the NBN

thestallion Re:That's like applying to be Canadian... (385 comments)

The beer? That's one major reason why I would NOT want to move there. Now New Zealand on the other close geographically, yet their beer tends to be waaay better and also not so ridiculously overpriced.

about 2 years ago

Apple Forces Google To Degrade Android Features

thestallion Re:"Worse" (498 comments)

I think just because "worse" reads so similar to "even worse", some people might feel it has that connotation, even though the speaker often doesn't mean it like that. In the literal sense, I think the original summary is correct.

If they really wanted to be clear, perhaps it should have read "... update intended to worsen its phones". That seems pretty connotation-free.

more than 2 years ago

Avoiding Red Lights By Booking Ahead

thestallion Re:The Good Professor is Confused (299 comments)

Well now, LA's average low in winter is lower than that of San Francisco. So if SF is not too cold in the winter, shouldn't it also qualify for your "perfect" designation, as it's certainly not too hot in the summer there? Also, if you live within a kilometer or so of the beach, the fog, moisture, and salt from the ocean air, especially if you park AT the beach very often, will age your car rather rapidly.

more than 2 years ago

IRS Employee Stole Data To Forge $8M In Fraudulent Returns

thestallion Re:Cheaters (151 comments)

I completely agree, my friend. Wish we could get more people to champion the flat income tax idea. It is unfathomable to me how many people can defend such a complex tax system with so many loopholes for investors and corporations to circumvent paying their fair share.

Simple tax scheme with no deductions/loopholes + not juicing poor people with consumption tax = massive win for society

more than 2 years ago

AT&T Cracking Down On Unofficial iPhone Tethering

thestallion US phone plans are actually quite cheap! (513 comments)

I know everyone's having a jolly good time bashing how stupid Americans are for the weaknesses in their phone plan options, but what about the strengths of what AT+T offers? I will focus on non-data users, where the US offerings are particularly appealing. First of all, it can be really cheap. If you get a few friends on a "family plan" with AT+T, you can basically get unlimited voice calling for a family of four for like $20 per person per month, including free phones for all. Talk to anyone anywhere in the US, any time of day, as much as you like, and don't pay more than $20. Ok now, I'm stretching the truth a little, because the minutes are not actually unlimited, however if your family consists of normal/typical Americans, it's very unlikely that they would all talk enough to use up the minutes that come with the plan. I talked for hours nearly every day, as did my brother, and we never hit the limit. Also, mobile-to-mobile AT+T minutes don't count against your balance, which would typically include a lot of people who you would be calling anyways.

I've traveled through a LOT of countries in the past couple of years, and for someone who actually likes to TALK on the phone, few places beat the USA pricewise. Many countries, like Australia or Japan, do not offer many "talking" minutes. Prepaid 3G internet via USB stick was surprisingly cheap in NZ and Australia, but voice calls were not. The locals told me they usually only SMS each other since they can't make many calls without paying loads. Japan is similar with messages being used because calls are prohibitively expensive. In Los Angeles, people talk for hours every day while sitting in traffic just to entertain themselves, and they don't have to pay much for it. When I returned to LA from my travels, I added myself to my family's plan for only $15 extra a month, and did not get locked into a contract. $15 a month for virtually unlimited calling and no contract, using my a phone I already owned (a free phone from AT+T would have required a contract). Even without a family plan to mooch off of, prices for plans with massive amounts of talking minutes but additional fees for data or texts are still quite cheap. If you can call instead of text, good luck finding service with that many talking minutes at that price in many other countries.

Almost every country screws you in one way or another on your cell phone communications. In the US, it's tethering fees, expensive data plans, trying to lock you into contracts, and outrageous per-msg fees for sending or receiving(!) texts unless you also pay an outrageous additional $15 per month for unlimited texts. In many countries it's expensive talk times that prohibit your ability to have long unimportant conversations with your friends. At least there's Skype for jailbroken data users :) My cell phone and plan options here in Japan super-suck and I really wish I were getting a US type of plan. On the bright side, having email in your cell phones without a data plan is quite nice though.

One last point of interest. Those "free phones" from AT+T in the US can actually make money for you! I know a guy who would unlock/jailbreak his free iPhone from AT+T, then as soon as he's eligible to upgrade to a new model (for free or heavily discounted) and renew his contract with AT+T, he would sell the unlocked/jailbroken phone on Ebay for a lot of money. Repeating this every year or however often they offer it ends up getting him an awful lot of money back on what he's paying them.

more than 3 years ago

AT&T Cracking Down On Unofficial iPhone Tethering

thestallion Re:USA #1 (513 comments)

You nailed it. So sad we can't agree upon and implement a better system that would foster actual competition and drive down unnecessary profit margins.

more than 3 years ago

AT&T Cracking Down On Unofficial iPhone Tethering

thestallion Re:USA #1 (513 comments)

Boooooooo new slashdot format.

I just wrote that anonymous comment, not intending it to be anonymous. I wasn't logged in and it never gave me the choice between logging in or posting anonymously. It just posted it anonymously! Guess I have to log in beforehand now...

I disagree. I live in Japan, and some if not all major providers don't allow tethering in Japan either, and will charge (or fine) you a whole lot extra to do it, just like AT+T in the states.

It's actually worse here because you can't just pay for a "smartphone plan" and then use whichever unlocked smartphone you like. It's virtually impossible to bring your own smartphone from the US, for example, to Japan, and have them approve it for use on their network with a reasonably-priced unlimited data plan, unless it is the same as one of the models they sell/support. You may still get it to work, but if they detect that you weren't using the phone they approved you to use, they will charge you outrageous metered data/tethering fees. To them, I believe using anything other than the single approved device that goes with your unlimited data contract is considered tethering (whether it actually tethered through another device or not).

What sucks about USA service is that they pay per msg to *receive* text messages. I think Canada may do the same.

more than 3 years ago

The Odd Variations On 3G Per-Megabyte Pricing

thestallion Re:Let's not forget text messages (205 comments)

They've more than just "convinced" me that I need a plan that includes text messages. "Forced" is more like it. I'm 31 years old and the majority of my friends, around my age, rely on text messages extensively to coordinate all sorts of social events. I've been told that it costs $5.00 a month just to block the ability to receive those messages! Not to mention that half my friends would be too lazy to call me instead of texting, because they aren't used to having to do that for anyone else. So I pay $5.00 extra per month for 200 texts, and I have to be really careful to not go over that limit, which basically means I have to tell certain friends to "just stop texting me".

It's really rotten that the US is one of the only places where they charge you to RECEIVE texts!

more than 3 years ago

The Odd Variations On 3G Per-Megabyte Pricing

thestallion Let's not forget text messages (205 comments)

Probably the worst example of these sort of ridiculously unfair pricing schemes is text messaging. Remember when text messages first came out in the US, and they were only 5 cents per msg? Over the five years or so following that, their price inched all the way up to where it is now, 25 cents per msg I think (or is it 20?). Either way a 400%+ increase in price, despite the fact that most networks can handle more traffic now than they could back then.

The obvious cause for this is lack of competition. There's simply no incentive for the few companies holding down the monopoly on cell services to charge any less for text messaging.

It's frustrating that our govt either can't or won't do anything to open up the market to more competition.

more than 3 years ago

Family's Christmas Photos Hawk Groceries In Prague

thestallion Re:The way it looks (263 comments)

I think Google's Picasa also has an option for you to upload your photos in full-res without downsizing them, so it could have been downloaded from a Picasa Web Album.

more than 5 years ago

NASA To Announce Module Name On Colbert Show

thestallion Re:common sense people! (201 comments)

You take a crap because of the guy's name. The phrase wasn't in usage until he came up with his inventions.

According to Wikipedia, your statement is false.

'It is incorrectly claimed that the verb "To crap" comes from Crapper, but the verb first came into use before Crapper was born. It is believed that this could be an example of nominative determinism, in which people are more likely to do a job connected with their name.'

more than 5 years ago

Study Suggests Crabs Can Feel Pain

thestallion Re:Required reading (628 comments)

I have to disagree. I dive for lobsters and will sometimes bring them from the bottom of the ocean to my kitchen in about 30 minutes. These are California Spiny Lobsters, can't speak for all the other species.

But some of them are particularly lively, and will definitely thrash for a few seconds in the boiling water. Much unlike the movement you might see if you put them into cold water. If it's sufficiently hot though, I think the shock kills them pretty quickly (about 5 seconds).

When you REALLY notice their apparent ability to sense pain is when you have to "clean" them, which involves shoving a long, barbed object (like a piece of their antennae) up their rectum, so you can pull out their intestine. They usually remain pretty calm as you handle them, even if you flip them over and touch the underside of their tail a bit. But the moment you try to jam that thing up their ass, the really lively/alert lobsters are sure to resist and flail about excessively. I truly think it is mighty unpleasant for them.

One time, I had one that was so effective at resisting the required cleaning, I was unable to get the job done. So I tried running it under hot water in hopes of killing it. Seeing as just being under the sink is nowhere near as fatal as being thrown into boiling water, I witnessed a lobster thrashing about, apparently in pain, from being held under such hot water. It did seem to shock him into compliance though after 20-30 seconds.

Anyway, I feel bad for the lobsters, and really dislike feeling as is I am causing them pain. In the future, I'm going to go with the knife-through-the-head method of killing, as recommended by one of my dive buddies (and someone earlier in this thread).

more than 5 years ago

Even My Mom Could Hack These Sites

thestallion Works with Cingular (233 comments)

I lost my phone out in the middle of the wilderness about a week ago. Went into the Cingular store to get a new SIM card so I can use my account with a different phone. They asked my phone number, deactivated my old SIM (the one in my missing phone), and gave me a new one.

But they never checked my ID!!! Anyone could have walked in, gave my phone number, and had my account shut off. They also would have been handed a SIM card so they can text all my friends pretending to me and start all kinds of trouble.


more than 7 years ago



Ask Slashdot: Avoiding Iodine-131 Contamination

thestallion thestallion writes  |  more than 3 years ago

thestallion (310941) writes "I live in Tokyo. Currently, levels of radioactive Iodine-131 in the water supply exceed the safe limit recommended for infants to consume. In some areas, it's approaching unsafe levels for adults as well. I can drink bottled water, but I can't avoid bathing or showering in this contaminated water. Despite it being at a "safe" concentration, whenever possible, I'd like to avoid having Iodine-131 molecules enter my body. I don't know how easily it would enter my body through my skin pores, but I'm curious...When it comes to washing oneself, which is safer, taking a bath or taking a shower?"


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