TechBytes: Cell Phone Price War

Charging For Content, Doctors Prefer Wii, Sarcasm Punctuation Mark

ByBRETT LEVY and CARRIE HALPERIN
January 18, 2010, 2:16 AM

Jan.18, 2010— -- The battle for cell phone users is intensifying. Starting today, both Verizon Wireless and AT&T are cutting prices on their unlimited calling plans. Verizon made the first move, saying it will start charging $70 a month for an unlimited calling plan, down from $100 a month. AT&T matched its rival's announcement on Friday. But both companies are requiring more customers to buy data plans used to access the Internet and check e-mail on smartphones.

The New York Times is reportedly getting ready to charge readers for online access. New York Magazine reports the paper would give readers access to a limited number of free articles before inviting them to subscribe. The Times would join the Wall Street Journal as two major papers to charge for content, potentially opening the door for smaller papers to do the same.http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/01/new_york_times_set_to_mimic_ws.html

Doctors in Australia are using the Nintendo Wii to cut health care costs. They say the Wii balance board is clinically comparable to what's known as a "force platform" in assessing a patient's balance after a stroke. The Wii accessory costs about one hundred dollars. The medical device typically sells for more than $15,000.

Sarcasm is often lost through electronic communication. Now a company called -- you guess it -- Sarcasm has come up with a solution. It's developed this new punctuation mark-- the SarcMark. The dot inside a spiral line is supposed to be used at the end of a sentence if you're concerned the irony of your message will be lost. The symbol can be downloaded for $1.99 at sarcmark.com.

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