Vector 39: Net neutrality and carrier complexity

Vector is Mobile Nations’ cross-platform, cross-site analysis show where we take on the most important stories in tech with the smartest people in the industry, from the big picture to granular details, current events to future implications. On today’s episode Rene Ritchie and Neal Gompa dive deep into the technology and policies that make net neutrality so complicated in North America, common carriers and local loop unbundling, the crippling of DSL, Sprint, the insanity that is 700 MHz and Band 12, Qualcomm’s royalty rate, and more. Subscribe and listen along!

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Stripped, the comics documentary, hits iTunes, earns all my love!

Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, Peanuts, Doonsbury, The Far Side — these were the works that helped inform much of my childhood and adult life. What they managed to capture in few panels and words resonated as deeply as books and speeches and song. They said funny things, important things, silly things, true things. They made me think and they made me feel. They were art in every sense of the word, and commentary and escapism. They’ve continued to be all that and more as print has faded and the web has provided an even larger, even more accessible platform. And Stripped, the incredible documentary by Dave Kellett and Frederick Schroeder that covers that transition, has collected the pioneers of the industry, of all generations, together for an unprecedented set of interviews, and a peek inside how and why it matters so much to so many of us. Check out the blurb below for all the details, then go grab it — and gift it if the mood strikes you! — on iTunes. It really deserves our support.

STRIPPED is a love-letter to comic strips. It brings together the world’s best cartoonists to talk about the art form they love, and what happens to it as newspapers die. Over 90 interviews were conducted, including the first-ever audio interview withBill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes), as well as Jim Davis (Garfield), Cathy Guisewite(Cathy), Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey), Mike & Jerry (Penny Arcade), Matt Inman (The Oatmeal), Jeff Keane (The Family Circus), Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics), Lynn Johnston (FBOFW), Zach Weiner (SMBC), Scott Kurtz (PvP), Scott McCloud(Understanding Comics), Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac), Jeph Jacques(Questionable Content), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) and more. STRIPPED sits down with these creators to talk about how cartooning works, why it’s so loved, and how they’re navigating this dicey period between print and digital options…when neither path works perfectly.


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O2 UK refreshes 4G LTE tariffs, starts at £17 a month for 1GB

If you’re looking for some 4G LTE of a British flavor to go with that new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c then O2 is making a new play for your custom. In a refresh to the carrier’s ‘Refresh’ and ‘Simplicity’ packages, 1GB of 4G LTE data can be yours for as little as £17 a month.

The caveat there is that particular deal is on O2 Refresh, where the price of a phone and cellular plan are split into separate entities, so you would have to factor the cost of a phone in on top of that. And honestly, 1GB is a bit of a waste when it comes to 4G LTE. For a little more on the same plan you can get 5GB for £22 or 8GB for £27.

On the SIM-only tariff, Simplicity, prices for 4G LTE start at £21 a month on a 12-month term, with 5GB and 8GB available for £26 and £31 respectively. For many iPhone owners, it’s these plans that may prove most enticing. In addition to this, existing O2 customers will see an increase in their data limits, and can migrate to a 4G contract providing their current plan has at least 1GB of data allowance on it.

For more, see the O2 4G site at the link below. Any of these deals sound enticing?

Source: O2 via Android Central


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Everything is bigger in Texas, so it’s no surprise the state is now home to the Guinness World Recor

Everything is bigger in Texas, so it’s no surprise the state is now home to the Guinness World Record-approved largest gingerbread house. This sweet spot is made from a whopping 7,200 pounds of flour, 7,200 eggs, 3,000 pounds of brown sugar, 1,800 pounds of butter, and 22,304 pieces of candy, clocking in at a gut-busting 35,823,400 calories. It looks a little terrifying, but it probably tastes delicious. [Gizmag]

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It’s Surprisingly Useful to Get a 12-Fact Recap About Amazon

Last Sunday Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon was doing early R&D on delivery drones. And whether it was a legitimate revelation or more of a marketing ploy, the idea of Amazon drones burrowed quickly and deeply into the cultural consciousness.

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ESPN renames ScoreCenter app to SportsCenter, adds a wealth of personalization

Say goodbye to ESPN’s ScoreCenter app. Don’t worry though, the sports broadcast network has renamed the popular mobile software SportsCenter alongside a redesign. The refresh brings video highlights, social functionality and personalized content to those looking to remain up to speed or follow along on-the-go. For example, you’ll now be able to set favorite teams to quickly display content and get info on those clubs to the app’s inbox. Clubhouses “for every team and league under the sun” serve up all of the latest franchise news in one convenient spot. Tweets from on-air commentators and shows are included with ESPN Now alongside access to WatchESPN content for easy streaming of live or archived events and much more. The latest version is now available for both iOS and Android devices via their respective app libraries.

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Via: TechCrunch

Source: iTunes, Google Play

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Channing Tatum Tries to Re-Create Van Damme’s Epic Splits

Hollywood hunk Channing Tatum not only has good looks, but a great sense of humor, too!

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Doctors are told to get serious about obesity

ATLANTA (AP) — Next time you go for a checkup, don’t be surprised if your doctor gets on your case about your weight.

The medical profession has issued new guidelines for fighting the nation’s obesity epidemic, and they urge physicians to be a lot more aggressive about helping patients drop those extra pounds.

Doctors should calculate your body mass index, a weight-to-height ratio. And if you need to lose weight, they should come up with a plan and send you for counseling.

“We recognize that telling patients to lose weight is not enough,” said Dr. Donna Ryan, co-chair of the guidelines committee.

The good news? By next year, most insurance companies are expected to cover counseling and other obesity treatments, following in the steps of the Medicare program, which began paying for one-on-one help last year.

More than a third of U.S. adults are obese, and that’s been the case since the middle of the last decade. Officials define someone with a BMI of 30 or higher as obese. A 5-foot-9 person would be obese at 203 pounds.

Doctors are well aware that excess weight can trigger diabetes and lead to heart disease and other health problems. Yet surveys have shown that only about a third of obese patients recall their doctor talking to them about their BMI or counseling them about weight loss.

View gallery.”

Table summarizes key points in the new guidelines; …

Table summarizes key points in the new guidelines; 2c x 5 inches; 96.3 mm x 127 mm;

The guidelines were released this week by a group of medical organizations that include the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the Obesity Society.

They come amid a spate of important developments in the fight against obesity.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved two more obesity-fighting drugs. And this year, the AMA labeled obesity a disease, a measure intended to get doctors to pay more attention to the problem and prod more insurers to pay for treatments.

Yet many people have been on their own when it comes to slimming down, left to sift through the myriad diets and exercise schemes that are promoted for weight loss. And most doctors have little training in how to help their obese patients, other than telling them it’s a problem and they need to do something about it.

“I feel for these guys,” said Dr. Tim Church, a researcher at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center. “They have patients who come in and ask them about the latest fad diet. They’re not trained in this stuff and they’re not comfortable” recommending particular diets or weight-loss plans.

The guidelines advise doctors to:

View gallery.”

In this Nov. 12, 2013 photo, Diane LeBlanc, 50, poses …

In this Nov. 12, 2013 photo, Diane LeBlanc, 50, poses for a photograph her office in Baton Rouge, La …

— At least once year, calculate patients’ BMI, measure their waists and tell them if they are overweight or obese.

— Develop a weight-loss plan that includes exercise and moderate calorie-cutting.

— Consider recommending weight-loss surgery for patients with a BMI of 40 or for those with a BMI of 35 who also have two other risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

— Refer overweight and obese patients who are headed for heart problems to weight-loss programs. Specifically, discuss enrolling them in at least 14 face-to-face counseling sessions over six months with a registered dietitian, psychologist or other professional with training in weight management.

Web or phone-based counseling sessions are considered a less effective option.

Diane LeBlanc said the new guidelines are overdue.

More than year ago, the Baton Rouge, La., woman sat down with her longtime family doctor to talk about her weight and get a referral for some kind of help. She had tried dieting without success for more than a decade, had high blood pressure and was about to hit a dress size of 20.

She said the doctor smiled and told her: “There’s a lot of programs out there. But really, you just have to eat less.”

“It just devastated me,” LeBlanc recalled. “He was saying, ‘It’s all in your mind.’ I was thinking, ‘If I could do that, don’t you think I would have done it by now?’”

She changed doctors and has lost 40 pounds from her 5-foot-4 frame since May after getting into an intensive Pennington weight-loss program that includes counseling sessions.

Doctors “need to get the message,” ”LeBlanc said. “Just telling someone you need to push the plate away is not going to work for everyone.”




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Obama Is Fumbling and Bumbling

On Thursday, President Obama conducted the “Springtime for Hitler” of press conferences. He came out at noon and proceeded to blather his way through an hour of self-justifications and evasions and apologies and complaints.

And as he went on, you could almost see America reacting as the audience in “The Producers” did to the happy-talk number about Adolf romping at his retreat in Berchtesgaden — with gaped-mouth astonishment.

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