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7361  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's proposed 2010 budget juices carriers for more cash on: March 03, 2009, 04:06:55 PM
Pay per use?  Absolutely!  $0.15 per message last time I checked it.

Packages are a much better deal.  I get 200 for $5, so I pay $0.025 per message if I use them all.  Unlimited packages are available for $20 a user or $30 total for a family of up to 5, at least from AT&T.

And don't get me started on Directory Assistance rates.  Why anyone ever calls them anymore, I fail to understand.
7362  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Escapist: Zero Punctuation on: March 03, 2009, 04:48:39 AM
Unskippable brings us an amusing look at Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga.
7363  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Awww damn it....car accident on: March 03, 2009, 04:35:40 AM

Quote from: Octavious230 on March 03, 2009, 02:42:53 AM

I'm baffled as to why the cops didn't give him a ticket.

Because the accident didn't happen on a city street?   icon_biggrin
7364  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Commission jobs suck (updated) on: March 03, 2009, 01:53:43 AM
Congrats on surviving the culling and getting a better landing spot. 
7365  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Mega Snowstorm for the Northeast - Here it comes! on: March 03, 2009, 12:03:51 AM
60 in Dallas today, 70 tomorrow, 80 through Friday. 

God bless Texas.
7366  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's proposed 2010 budget juices carriers for more cash on: March 02, 2009, 11:38:33 PM
I'm curious as to your plan, carrier, and what the monthly charges before the add-ons are, if you wouldn't mind sharing info.  Assuming that you're on a national carrier, I would say that if $90 is your typical bill, your monthly recurring charges are around $70-80, which means you're getting 700 shared minutes between the two lines.  Based on my previous work, I would say a $70 plan should be $80-84 after taxes and fees as a high end estimate.  I'm not seeing where the extra $6-10 is coming from.

Each of you maintaining separate lines on an individual plan would get you 450 each and run you $80 for both. 

My current plan is $39.99 for my 450 Day, 5K Night/weekend, Unlimited mobile, $30 for my iPhone data package, and $5 for 200 text a month, $74.99 in MRCs.  I get $9.48 tacked on top of that, a 12.64% increase. 

  • Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge $0.27
  • Federal Universal Service Charge $1.21
  • Texas Universal Service $1.10
  • 9-1-1 Service Fee $0.50
  • TX State Sales Tax $4.86
  • City Sales Tax $0.77
  • City Special Purpose District Tax $0.77

Quote
The Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge is a charge assessed by AT&T and is not a tax or government-mandated charge. This charge is subject to change from time to time as the cost of compliance changes.

They are being honest about what it is and why it's charged.  As any business, they have to recoup any expenses made. 

Quote
Federal Universal Service Fund Fee
The Federal USF, created by the federal government, is designed to help ensure first-class, affordable telecommunications service for all consumers across the country, especially residents in high cost rural communities and low-income customers. Additionally, the Federal USF provides for discounted telecommunications services for schools, libraries and rural health-care facilities. All telecommunications providers are required to pay into the Federal USF, and their contributions may be recovered from customers.

State Universal Service Fund Fee
Certain states have established state Universal Service Funds. The purpose of these state universal service funds is to ensure affordable telecommunications service for all consumers in the state, especially residents in high-cost rural areas and low-income customers. In certain states, all telecommunications providers are required to pay into these funds, and their contributions may be recovered from customers.

Heck, the city of Dallas has decided that not only can they get me for sales tax, they can tack on another fee on top of that.  Not one of those extra charges on top of the MRCs stays in my carrier's pockets.  They collect it and then send it right back out to the government. 
7367  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's proposed 2010 budget juices carriers for more cash on: March 02, 2009, 10:00:15 PM

Quote from: Laner on March 02, 2009, 05:45:39 PM

Oh boy.  As if the cell providers weren't already milking users for everything they're worth.

As a former cell phone employee, I really take umbrage at comments like that.  I've seen it go from the top plan being $250 for 100 hours of DT usage to $99 for unlimited usage all in the last four years.  The carriers have all been competing on price and value for a long time.  Packages have gotten better, prices cheaper, services better.  How exactly are you being milked?

All those fees that are on your bill?  Not like the carrier gets to keep them.  As a matter of fact, the CTIA has been fighting against exorbitant taxes and fees for years.  And it certainly didn't make my day any better to have to explain to customers over the phone that their $60 a month plan was likely to cost them $72-75 once the Fed/state/county/city tax assessors got done with it. 

I'll be happy to debate the topic with you, but I'd like to see some evidence.
7368  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MLB - The Show 09 on: March 02, 2009, 08:00:48 PM
Played the demo and it gave me more of a High Heat vibe than my last run-in with the other franchise.  I'll definitely be considering this one after I get paid next.
7369  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [BSG] "What the frak is going on" - Hilarious on: March 02, 2009, 04:04:22 PM
I don't believe for a second that the "trouble" is real.  And for what it's worth, I tried uninstalling my software to get through to a feed for Dirty Sexy Money and it still didn't work.  So whenever I see that message, the provider can take a flying leap.  I'm sure if I cared enough to see it, there's some pirated YouTube video of it somewhere.
7370  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [BSG] "What the frak is going on" - Hilarious on: March 02, 2009, 03:47:24 AM
"We are having trouble connecting to our server.  If you have any ad blocking software running please disable it."

 Roll Eyes Yeah, whatever...
7371  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: March 01, 2009, 02:00:26 AM
7372  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [360] Weekend World at War - Friday night CoD:WaW on: February 28, 2009, 06:40:23 PM
I have rolled to my 2nd prestige... while getting spammed by COD4 invites.  When are the new maps due out again?
7373  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Free iPhones! on: February 28, 2009, 06:36:14 PM
Yeah, but you have to deal with Sprint... 

7374  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read in 2009 on: February 28, 2009, 06:23:35 PM
An Illustrated History of World War II: Crisis and Courage: Humanity on the Brink

A good coffee table book on the subject, but not really lacking in any really interesting information than I already knew.  The pictures are wonderful and definitely not the same tired pictures that get re-used everywhere else.  If the idea of the book appeals to you, then I would recommend it, but I certainly wouldn't push anyone off the fence about it.

4/5
7375  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone played Quake 3 on PS2? on: February 27, 2009, 10:25:58 PM

Quote from: Destructor on February 27, 2009, 09:07:50 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on February 27, 2009, 03:30:18 PM

Quote from: corruptrelic on February 27, 2009, 09:47:05 AM

I sure hope not since I just got it! (Used slim model)
you got the extended warranty, right?

 slywink

If you got it from Gamestop, you have 30 days (or is it 2 weeks?) to return/replace it if it's not working.

He got it at GameStop, just not from GameStop...
7376  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I have moved up in the world! on: February 27, 2009, 10:21:44 PM
Congrats!
7377  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: February Dallas GTGs on: February 27, 2009, 05:56:54 PM
GTG is cancelled due to lack of available parties.
7378  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Free iPhones! on: February 27, 2009, 05:49:54 PM
The current rate plan is $30 in the U.S. for a 3G iPhone.

The difference between the rate plans between the "free" iPhone and two year contract results in $360 more ($15 * 24mo)  than I pay for the same rate plan. 

And I paid $300 for my 16 GB up front, meaning I still come out $60 ahead on that deal.

Obviously these offers are not in direct competition, but it's all about the deferred cost of ownership. 
7379  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [360] Weekend World at War - Friday night CoD:WaW on: February 27, 2009, 05:44:07 PM
Dome, alright?!?  Freak... disgust
7380  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Free iPhones! on: February 27, 2009, 04:22:13 PM
Look for an Apple video camera to compete with the Flip in the next 12 months.  Of course, that's just me spitballing...
7381  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Going rate for two kids? $2000 or a cockatoo on: February 27, 2009, 04:03:39 PM
Fox News

Quote
NEW ORLEANS   A Louisiana woman is accused of trading two young children in her care for a pet cockatoo and $175 cash from a couple who had been trying for years to have their own child, authorities said Thursday.  Donna Greenwell, 53, a long-haul trucker with an arrest record from Pitkin, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, along with would-be adoptive parents Paul J. Romero, 46, and Brandy Lynn Romero, 27, of Evangeline Parish.

"The Romeros had good intentions from what we see," said Keith Dupre, a detective with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office. "They really wanted to take care of the kids. The kids were well-dressed and seemed to be treated good by the Romero family."

The transaction for the 5-year-old boy and the 4-year-old girl was negotiated by phone after Greenwell spotted a flier posted at a livestock barn selling a cockatoo for $1,500 and called the Romeros on Feb. 18, Dupre said.  Although Paul Romero had three children from a previous marriage, Dupre said, he and Brandy had tried unsuccessfully for years to have a child together.

When they told that to Greenwell, she allegedly offered to hand over the boy and girl for about $2,000. When the Romeros said they couldn't meet the price, Dupre said, "Ms. Greenwell agreed to make an even trade: the bird for the kids."

Greenwell showed up with the children at the Romeros' home the next day and said she would also need $175 for an attorney to complete adoption paperwork, Dupre said. But she had no authority to put the children up for adoption.
...
Authorities believe Greenwell began caring for the children about a year ago at the mother's request.  The detective said Greenwell "stated that the mother was having a hard time and asked her to baby sit. She said one month led to two months and two months led to a year."
7382  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call Of Duty W@W..new Makin map now available on: February 27, 2009, 03:51:36 PM
Apparently when the sun rose on Makin, the tide went out.  No more deep water by the beach.  It also appears that they moved in the fences, but I won't swear to that one. 
7383  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Most disturbing movie you've seen? on: February 27, 2009, 03:45:26 PM
Wiki states that reports are about 40% of it was fake, but there was a lot of real footage covering animal deaths and war footage, at least in the first title.
7384  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: February Dallas GTGs on: February 27, 2009, 03:40:41 PM
The going rate is $1000 or 1/2 of a cockatoo.
7385  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: February 27, 2009, 04:40:18 AM

Quote from: lildrgn on February 27, 2009, 04:21:38 AM

Looks like Calvin put on some lbs.

His shirt is unbuttoned and hanging forward. His physique is not present in sufficient evidence to make that determination.

That picture, though, is all kinds of cool and makes me both happy and sad at the same time.
7386  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [360] Weekend World at War - Friday night CoD:WaW on: February 27, 2009, 03:01:48 AM
Apparently the tide went out.  There's no deep water, so no getting the challenge for falling and living.  Doing it now is death.  And that achievement is much more fun to get on Cliffside or Dome.  It also appears that the water edge of the map has been moved in as well.
7387  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: HAWX demo on XBL tomorrow Feb 11th on: February 27, 2009, 02:58:00 AM
I'm out.  Getting out-turned by drones, having my aircraft climb while the flight path indicator is below the horizon line, and the sheer arcadey-ness of it means I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. 
7388  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: February Dallas GTGs on: February 27, 2009, 12:16:44 AM
Given that I have 34.75 hours accounted for at the moment, it looks like I can get an early start.  I will most likely set up court in the room to the right of the front door and look to get a pool table.  If anyone needs it, PM me and I'll give you my cell.  I'm shooting to make it there no later than 5:30.
7389  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Name that movie on: February 26, 2009, 09:37:10 PM
That looks like a really fat Tim Allen.  Other than that, I got nothing.
7390  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Natural Resources Defence Council: Softness Equals Ecological Destruction on: February 26, 2009, 07:17:31 PM
Guardian

Quote
The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public's insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.

"This is a product that we use for less than three seconds and the ecological consequences of manufacturing it from trees is enormous," said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council.

A campaign by Greenpeace seeks to raise consciousness among Americans about the environmental costs of their toilet habits and counter an aggressive new push by the paper industry giants to market so-called luxury brands.

More than 98% of the toilet roll sold in America comes from virgin forests, said Hershkowitz. In Europe and Latin America, up to 40% of toilet paper comes from recycled products. Greenpeace this week launched a cut-out-and-keep ecological ranking of toilet paper products.
...
Americans already consume vastly more paper than any other country about three times more per person than the average European, and 100 times more than the average person in China.

Barely a third of the paper products sold in America are from recycled sources most of it comes from virgin forests.

"I really do think it is overwhelmingly an American phenomenom," said Hershkowitz. "People just don't understand that softness equals ecological destruction."

Personally, there is a line that I'm not willing to cross.  But then, I buy one of these every year.  I'm not exactly a heavy user.  I hear some female-heavy households could destroy my purchase in a month or less.
7391  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GT Member "Semiconscious" Destroyed My Chances at Marriage and Gave Me an STD on: February 26, 2009, 06:42:05 PM
Well, that ought to help get you over the hump for those last 30 days...

Hell, at this point, you should just cancel the order.  Since the purchase was never completed, technically you had some supernatural assistance in keeping your resolution.
7392  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Most disturbing movie you've seen? on: February 26, 2009, 06:26:28 PM
They always eat the fabulous first...  ninja
7393  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GT Member "Semiconscious" Destroyed My Chances at Marriage and Gave Me an STD on: February 26, 2009, 05:59:19 PM
This thread delivers.
7394  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360]GTAIV:The Lost and Damned on: February 26, 2009, 05:51:51 PM

Quote from: DamageInc on February 26, 2009, 05:03:44 PM

I would really like to see a whole GTA based on the MC concept, but incorporate something like OCC to make custom rides and paint schemes.

Creating your own ride kinda takes the T out of the GTA concept. 
7395  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: California Plan: Make Money by Legalizing Marijuana on: February 26, 2009, 04:57:06 PM
The cities and towns will just pass regs making it against the rules to assist the DEA, who will become PNGs in Cali, making it very difficult to operate independently.  Just like a certain city did when addressing illegal immigration and the INS.
7396  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [360] Weekend World at War - Friday night CoD:WaW on: February 26, 2009, 04:44:47 PM
[FMkn]
7397  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Green Lantern: The Movie on: February 26, 2009, 04:34:52 PM

Quote from: Scuzz on February 26, 2009, 04:14:57 PM

Wasn't Bruce Lee Kato, kickass sidekick of the Green Lantern, on TV?

That was the Green Hornet, soon to be played by Seth Rogan.   Roll Eyes  (GH, not Kato)
7398  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Escapist: Zero Punctuation on: February 26, 2009, 06:12:06 AM
Continuing on a numeric theme, we get Fear 2.

And Unskippable gets The Bouncer.  "Deah, Kingdom Hearts!"
7399  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Woman w/8 babies..already had 6.... on: February 26, 2009, 05:41:05 AM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 25, 2009, 11:35:10 PM

Quote from: morlac on February 25, 2009, 11:21:32 PM

She has pretty much whored herself and family out to the media anyhow by selling pictures of the babies, selling the rights to her story and taking $$$ for exclusive interviews. 

Just about everyone does that now...

I didn't expect you to make the populist argument.  Just because a large number of people do it doesn't make it right.
7400  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Woman w/8 babies..already had 6.... on: February 25, 2009, 10:42:06 PM
The whole world operates on trading your personal skills for other goods and services.  And prostitution is in the Bible...
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