SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Time Warner's Net-Metering Precedent
The decision by Time Warner Cable (TWC) to charge some Internet customers based on how much information they download was greeted with disdain by consumer groups and bloggers. Critics said the new pricing plan, to be tested in Beaumont, Tex., would discourage data usage and even stifle innovation.
But Time Warner's trial wasn't universally reviled. Other providers of Internet access said they would watch it closely and didn't rule out the prospect that they, too, might experiment with charges based on bandwith consumption.
Comcast (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable company, said it's evaluating "a variety of models, including consumption-based billing." Verizon Communications (VZ) said it also sees the potential value of billing customers based on the volume of their Web use.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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