300,000+ Sprint Customers Will See Their Bill Increase Soon

A tried-and-true strategy by which businesses are able to attract new customers is by offering promotional (or limited-time) pricing on their products or services. But anyone who’s ever signed on the dotted line will certainly warn you in advance: once those 12- or 24-months come to pass, your bill is bound to get a bit messy.

Such is about to become the case, unfortunately, for a number of Sprint customers, according to a statement released this week by the nation’s fourth-largest telecom-giant. Namely, Sprint’s two major promotions: “Unlimited Freedom” and “50% OFF” are scheduled to end as early as mid-January, 2018, FierceWireless reports.

“Customers on Unlimited Freedom and 50% off were informed when they signed up with Sprint that the plans were introductory pricing and would increase in price at a future date,” Sprint’s Kathleen Dunleavy wrote in response to FierceWireless’ questions, adding that the company went so far as to reiterate these expiration dates to customers via multiple, subsequent communications.

“The great news is these customers are still paying less for their service compared to other major carriers. Plus, Sprint now provides unlimited customers Hulu at no additional cost. Sprint is very competitively priced and customers can call Sprint at 1-800-SPRINT1 if they have additional questions.”

Initially unveiled back in November, 2015, Sprint’s “50% off” promotion attempted to lure cost-cutters to its network by promising to “cut 50% off the price of most” rivaling plans offered by T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.

Sprint maintains it was clear, at the time, that new activations registered between Nov. 20, 2015, and Jan. 7, 2016, would enjoy the 50% off promo pricing until at least January 8, 2018. Dunleavy pointed out, however, that customers’ individual expiration dates are dependent on when they initially signed up for the promotion.

Same rules apply to the carrier’s “Unlimited Freedom” promotion, which offered customers up to five lines of unlimited talk, text, and data for [roughly] $ 20 per line. After January 31, 2018, however, “customers pay the additional $ 30 per month for those lines,” Sprint said.

Wave7 — a market research firm who closely tracks wireless carrier pricing offers relative to migration among post-paid customers — was first to shed light on the impending shut-off of Sprint’s promotions.

They added that the carrier is expected to begin contacting “roughly 300,000 customers” regarding the January, 31 expiration soon, while those who signed on to either promotion at a later date should be contacted as their expiration date approaches.

We can’t even begin to fathom what kind of impact this will have on Sprint’s bottom-line, but according to multiple Wall Street analysts who’ve already chimed in on the news, Sprint could be looking at a slightly higher churn (or post-paid subscriber defection rate) in the fiscal Q1 and Q2 of 2018.

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A Galactic Internet Could Contact Other Planets in 300,000 Years

A Galactic Communications Network

We’re already searching for intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy — any life, for that matter — and even signs of alien technologies. If advanced lifeforms were also trying to make contact, a galactic communications network might someday be possible. Therefore, maybe we should be focusing first on the ability to communicate with advanced civilizations in other galaxies. Duncan Forgan, of the University of St. Andrews in the UK, thinks so. If we can manipulate the light from our sun as a beacon, either passing massive sheets in front of it to send signals, or changing how the Earth’s transits appear to distant worlds, we might be able to realize our dreams of a galactic community.

Why Haven’t We Found Aliens? An Analysis of the Problem [INFOGRAPHIC]
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Forgan has just created a new simulation that shows it would require a minimum of 300,000 years to build such a communications network around the Milky Way galaxy, and that’s assuming there would be 500 or so civilizations that were technologically advanced enough to visibly manipulate their planet’s transit (so clearly getting started now makes sense).

For this kind of contact to work, we’d need to construct a relay network throughout the galaxy, avoiding celestial obstacles as we went. “If you want to communicate with someone on the other side of the galactic center, there’s lots of stuff in the way — dust, stars, a big black hole — so you can take the long way around using the network,” Forgan told New Scientist.

Searching For Extraterrestrial Signals

In order to detect signals that could be from extraterrestrial lifeforms, you really need the serendipity of being in the right place at the right time; you’d need to be facing the right way at a time when nothing (such as another planet) was obscuring the signal. Because planets orbit between us and their stars predictably, we could find them and communicate — but only if their orbit was aligned to be visible to us in front of its sun, and the inhabitants of the planet were advanced (and friendly) enough to change the planet’s transits to look like a signal.

However, what’s possible isn’t always likely, and this is one of those times. Professor and Harvard University astronomy department chair Avi Loeb told New Scientist that the construction of this kind of massive orbiting object was an unlikely occurrence: “Once a civilization is advanced enough to have the technology to build megastructures, it’s much more likely to leave its planet,” Loeb commented. “Each signal would take thousands of years to travel back and forth. In cosmic time that may not be that long, but you need patience.”

While we have existing projects looking for planets passing before stars, such as the Kepler space telescope (which would mean we’d see planets if they were trying to reach out and be seen), there would be additional hurdles involved in creating a cooperative galactic network. As New Scientist points out, the interstellar politics alone are likely to be daunting — particularly given how complex international politics are on Earth.

The post A Galactic Internet Could Contact Other Planets in 300,000 Years appeared first on Futurism.

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OnePlus 5 surpasses 300,000 registrations in just two days

The launch of OnePlus 5 will take place on June 20. An event is planned in China on June 21 and in India the day after, but the yet unannounced phone is already gaining interest with over 300,000 registrations on JD.com. This number includes only the registrations on the Chinese retailer’s web site. The actual interest is much higher if we consider that most purchases will go through the official OnePlus site anyway. OnePlus is teasing the “flagship killer” bit by bit, already revealing the back design. Pete Lau showed off how the OnePlus 5 will shoot in the dark and how good the…

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Three men in Thailand reportedly ran a clickfarm with over 300,000 SIM cards and 400 iPhones

Clickfarms are a dubious business people rarely get a peek inside of, but accept as part of our everyday internet existence. We know companies pay bots to shower likes, emoji, ratings, nonsensical comments, and plain traffic on content in order to artificially boost online popularity and rake in ad dollars. Now, a recent raid in Thailand is giving another look at the underbelly of the bot industry.

According to the Bangkok Post, Thai police and soldiers raided a rented home yesterday near the Cambodian border, discovering an alleged clickfarm ring run by three Chinese men. Wang Dong, Niu Bang, and Ni Wenjin are said to have had metal racks set up in the house with hundreds of 5S, 5C, and 4S iPhones wired to computer monitors. In total,…

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