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EU ending mobile roaming charges in 2014

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Rejoice readers who live in the European Union! Soon you'll be able to pay the same rate for calls you make while traveling the 27 countries in the EU as you do at home. According to the UK newspaper the Telegraph, the European Union has announced an end to mobile roaming charges in 2014 as part of a package of major telecom reforms. reformes.

Roaming fees for voice calls, texts and internet access will effectively be completely scrapped under the proposals, which are part of a broader effort to create a single European telecoms market. The group of 27 European Commissioners voted in Brussels on Tuesday to drive the package through in time for the European elections in May next year, to come into force as soon as 1 July 2014.

Sadly these changes only apply to customers who live in the European Union; travelers from other countries are still stuck paying the fees.

EU ending mobile roaming charges in 2014 originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 14 Jun 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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vincentvw
2046 days ago
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thuringia
2047 days ago
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The benefits of over-regulation.
Stuttgart, DE
MagerValp
2046 days ago
Can't happen soon enough, the current state of affairs is pathetic. I have a $50 soft cap on roaming and I hit it on our trip to Amsterdam before we even got to the hotel from the airport (checking maps).

The worst charities in America

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The Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting spent a year investigating bad charities and this is what they found.

The worst charity in America operates from a metal warehouse behind a gas station in Holiday.

Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families.

Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.

Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity's operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.

In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity's founder and his own consulting firms.

No charity in the nation has siphoned more money away from the needy over a longer period of time.

But Kids Wish is not an isolated case, a yearlong investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

Using state and federal records, the Times and CIR identified nearly 6,000 charities that have chosen to pay for-profit companies to raise their donations.

Then reporters took an unprecedented look back to zero in on the 50 worst -- based on the money they diverted to boiler room operators and other solicitors over a decade.

These nonprofits adopt popular causes or mimic well-known charity names that fool donors. Then they rake in cash, year after year.

The nation's 50 worst charities have paid their solicitors nearly $1 billion over the past 10 years that could have gone to charitable works.

Despicable. And a reminder that before you give, you should check on a site like Charity Navigator or GiveWell for organizations where a sizable portion of your contribution is going to the actual cause. For instance, the aforementioned Kids Wish charity currently has a "donor advisory" notice on their Charity Navigator page. (via @ptak)

Tags: best of   business   charity   lists
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vincentvw
2047 days ago
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derekpunsalan
2046 days ago
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Check where your donations are really going.
ej
2047 days ago
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Reads like a rap sheet.
Chicago, IL

The Ruins of Old Union Square

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A couple of weeks ago, I was in taking pictures in Union Square for my article on The Warriors filming locations, when I happened to pass by these six crumbling columns on the mezzanine level near the 4-5-6 train.

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Now, I’ve walked by these things a zillion times in my travels across New York City, but it suddenly occurred to me that I’d never actually stopped to look at them.

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I’ve always just assumed them to be remnants from the old Union Square station, one of New York City’s original 28 subway stations, and it turns out that this is correct.

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Dating to the Union Square of 1904, the station’s walls were once adorned with these fantastic terracotta eagles, along with some beautiful mosaic work:

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The walls were uncovered and saved during one of Union Square’s many renovations, and installed as an art installation by Mary Miss in 1998. I love how the innards of the walls have been included in the display…

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…showing a sort of geological strata of a New York City subway station wall:

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The wall portions are arranged so that they steadily deterioriate…

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…perhaps signifying the death of the old Union Square?

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Now, here’s the thing – I’ve always known about these wall portions.

What I didn’t know about are the red frames.

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See, as it turns out, the wall portions are just a small part of Miss’s installation. In fact, there are dozens of relics from the old Union Square strewn all over the station, all of which can be found enclosed by a red frame. And once you start looking for them, you’ll suddenly see them everywhere.

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For example, I never thought twice about this Broadway Line directional arrow – but looking at it again, I now realize how incongruous its design is to the rest of the station. In addition to the mosaic Broadway text, note how the surrounding white tiling is in the old square style, while an additional mosaic strip runs along the top – all stopping abruptly at the red border.

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Ditto this great old “Exit To Street sign.” Again, I’ve noticed it countless times before, but never stopped to consider how out of place what’s within the red frame is to what’s outside. In a way, each is literally like a window into the past:

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Wandering around Union Square, I started finding red frames in more places than just the walls. Here’s a column you’d never think twice above – but wait! There are those red frames, and between them, we find a white-tiled column topped by a tiled stripe, an all but extinct creature in modern Union Square:

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Here’s another red frame, one of my favorites, again highlighting not only the mosaic stripe along the top, but the difference in the old white wall tiling vs. new (and is that authentic old-fashioned New York City grime?):

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Along one of the connecting passages…

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…a very long mosaic stretches the entire run:

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It gets even crazier, as the red frames turn up in the most unexpected of places. Here’s one looking down from the mezzanine above the 4-5-6 train…

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…and if you look in at the right angle, you’ll see it’s highlighting “steel-bulb angle columns.”

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In the corridor running north toward the 17th Street entrance, there are a bunch of slits cut into the wall…

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…which offer a slightly more abstract window into Union Square:

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For example, a tangle of telephone wiring:

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I’m sure this is old news to a lot of you. But for anyone else like myself who’s been to Union Square a million times and never stopped to look, learning about the red frames is an eye-opening experience, as you suddenly realize you’re basically surrounded by a museum exhibit for the Union Square of old.

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Ha, and all this time, I just assumed there was a fire extinguisher on the other side of that red frame.

25

-SCOUT

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vincentvw
2048 days ago
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popular
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megmo
2041 days ago
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Fascinating.
Murfreesboro, TN
Spunkle
2041 days ago
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I <3 NYC archaeology
New York, New York
grammargirl
2050 days ago
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Whoa, cool! I had no idea.
Brooklyn, NY
Michdevilish
2050 days ago
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interesting!
Canada
satadru
2051 days ago
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lovely
New York, NY

Play-companies and the value of a hard day's work

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James Somers, writer and web developer, ponders the value of the work that he does.

I have a friend who's a mechanical engineer. He used to build airplane engines for General Electric, and now he's trying to develop a smarter pill bottle to improve compliance for AIDS and cancer patients. He works out of a start-up 'incubator', in an office space shared with dozens of web companies. He doesn't have a lot of patience for them. 'I'm fucking sick of it,' he told me, 'all they talk about is colours.'

Web start-up companies are like play-companies. They stand in relation to real companies the way those cute little make-believe baking stations stand in relation to kitchens.

Take Doormates, a failed start-up founded in 2011 by two recent graduates from Columbia University whose mission was to allow users 'to join or create private networks for buildings with access restricted to only building residents'. For that they, too, raised $350,000. You wonder whether anyone asked: 'Do strangers living in the same building actually want to commune? Might this problem not be better solved by a plate of sandwiches?' (The founders have since moved on to 'Mommy Nearest', an iPhone app that points out mom-friendly locations around New York.)

A lot of the stuff going on just isn't very ambitious. 'The thing about the advertising model is that it gets people thinking small, lean,' wrote Alexis Madrigal in an essay about start-ups in The Atlantic last year. 'Get four college kids in a room, fuel them with pizza, and see what thing they can crank out that their friends might like. Yay! Great! But you know what? They keep tossing out products that look pretty much like what you'd get if you took a homogenous group of young guys in any other endeavour: Cheap, fun, and about as worldchanging as creating a new variation on beer pong.'

Tags: James Somers   web development   working
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popular
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vincentvw
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fredw
2044 days ago
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Indeed.
Portland, OR
nickoneill
2050 days ago
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hello and +1
san francisco
satadru
2050 days ago
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cosign
New York, NY

VW Bus tent

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This made me smile.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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vincentvw
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VW Beetle sphere

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Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor made this amazing thing, a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle formed into a sphere:

VW sphere

Tags: artcarsIchwan NoorVW
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vincentvw
2059 days ago
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WillSpaetzel
2061 days ago
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Now that's art
Kitchener, ON
jhamill
2061 days ago
I've seen this around the last few days and all I can think is, "poor BubbleBee"
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