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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oddities: Led Zep/ Cricket Plague, $62K Download

Led Zeppelin and the Plague of Crickets:

Do you like Led Zeppelin's music? Yes? Then have you noticed an absence of crickets in your area? Some towns in parts of the Great Basin of the US know that Mormon crickets don't care for Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones music. If they want to ravage these towns, they'll have to suffer a perimeter defense of loudspeakers blaring L. Z. and R. S. music. Perhaps they will go to areas of lower-hanging fruit and Mozart. I just had to look up Mormon Crickets, to find out the source of the name. By tradition, gulls saved early Mormon settlements from starvation by eating the swarming crickets.

The $62000 movie download:

You're traveling with the kiddies in Mexico and decide the darlings need some entertainment. You fire up your cellular data and download a movie, WALL-E. It takes about 98 minutes to download it. However you didn't consider the terms of your cellular data contract, particularly the roaming charges. You didn't opt-in for a roaming package, so later, you get a bill for $62000. Ouch. This sounds like one of those outrageous telephone charge scams, but it is only partially so, according to the article. The carrier at the endpoint dropped the charges down to $17000, which it claims were its costs from carriers upstream. Check your contract. (You might have expected this to be an illegal downloading story, but the article made no mention of the legality of the download.)

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