East of the Sun, West of the Moon

2007/10/19

This week’s linkage

Filed under: Linkage,Music,News — Erwin @ 5:02 pm

Verizon Wireless: If you don’t opt-out, we get to share your CPNI call data:

Verizon Wireless has been contacting its customers via mail to inform them of their intent to share CPNI [Customer Proprietary Network Information] data with “our affiliates, agents and parent companies (including Vodafone) and their subsidiaries.” The company says that customers who do not want their CPNI data shared need to call 1-800-333-9956 to “opt-out.” Upon dialing the opt-out number, Verizon customers will be prompted for their phone number, billing ZIP code, and last four digits of their Social Security Numbers (in the case of businesses, their Employer ID numbers).

Whatever happened to opt-in? Anyway, if you’re with Verizon Wireless I recommend you do this.

Cold weather really does spread flu:

At room temperature, they found flu transmission peaks at low relative humidity (20-35%) and again at 65%. It spread less well at around 50% humidity, and not at all over 80%. This parallels the stability of flu virus in aerosol droplets at different humidities, and also the droplets’ ability to remain airborne. At over 80% humidity, droplets containing flu virus themselves fall out of the air.

The effect also happened too quickly to be due to dry air damaging nasal tissue so that it is not as effective a barrier to viruses, which has been suggested as a factor in humans.

But temperature trumped humidity: at 5 °C animals caught flu at humidities that stopped the virus when it was warmer, possibly because sick animals’ noses shed virus two days longer at cooler temperatures.

Record labels to ditch CD singles for USB flash drives:

Universal told The Times this week that by the end of this month it will release USB singles holding several songs, videos and multimedia content. However, it’ll charge around £5 (€7/$10) per stick – around £2 more than CD singles currently cost.

Read the comments for added fun.

US lawmakers’ apology to Canadian:

Members of Congress have apologised to a Canadian who was seized in New York in 2002 by US officials and sent to Syria, where he says he was tortured.

But then… that’s apparently all they did, while Canada (which also apologized, although I’m not sure what they did wrong, given that the guy was grabbed at New York’s JFK) has offered him $10M (Canadian dollars, which is $10.2M US dollars at the moment, ahem).

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