* The Paper of Record (via H) had an interesting article about text messaging rates this weekend. We all have known that sending a text message definitely did not cost $0.10 per message, which is why most people opt for some kind of unlimited plan for around $20 a month. What you really didn't know (or at least I didn't) is that text messages literally has no cost per sent message. The Times points out that the message is sent on the Control Channel of the wireless signal (which is why the text size is limited), a spectrum that is being used regardless of if a message is being sent or not. So basically once the carrier pays for a bunch of storage - to actually store messages and information, and a few people to maintain it - they are pretty set. $20/month/user is some nice change for them ... I wish I had a business model like that. A really easy way to understand what this all means:
Customers with unlimited plans, like diners bringing a healthy appetite to an all-you-can-eat cafeteria, might think they’re getting the best out of the arrangement. But the carriers, unlike the cafeteria owners, can provide unlimited quantities of “food” at virtually no cost to themselves — so long as it is served in bite-sized portions.
* I don't think I ever shared this (via PoP), a really cool new DC neighborhoods map. Feel free to buy me one as a belated Christmas present.
* The economy will be getting better by mid-2009 via MSNBC. HHAHAHAHAHHA. In all seriousness, this is a legit article about how if all goes according to plan (Obama's Ascension to the throne and his subsequent salvation of America), the economy might be on the track for recovery. At least a group of economists that MSNBC found seem to think so, I guess it is always good to hope.
* The Paper of Record opinions section shared a note about raising the gas tax. I'm all about it. On average the gas tax in the United States is 2.6x lower than other G7 nations. Unreal. Let's raise the gas tax ... while we are at it, we stop funding freeways through the gas tax, and instead also institute a VMT tax (Vehicle Miles Travelled), makes sense to me. Here.
* News outlets are slowing cutting back on their coverage in Iraq ... when only a year ago we couldn't get away from seeing nonstop reports about it, we now get to hear Barney Frank's voice and learn about Obama 24/7. Hmmm ... I would certainly take Iraq over listening to Barney Frank. In all seriousness, the article talks about how operations are shifting away Iraq and not to other places in the region - such as long neglected Afghanistan. Via The Paper of Record - here.
* What to do with paper towels? I don't know, but I definitely like the option of having them as opposed to using air dryers. The Paper of Record: Green Inc. - Here.
* The National Archive And Records Administration is going to be overloaded with data from the Bush White House says The Paper of Record - here. Official estimate over 100 Terabytes of data has been generated during Bush's eight years in office, 50x what was left behind by the Clinton White House, and 5x the size of all the cataloged books in the Library of Congress; aka an insane amount of information. They current plan is to just freeze all data on White House servers on January 20th - and slowly study, analyze, and move into the NARA's system.
* Amazon is not giving out any specific data - but is saying that this season has been its best holiday yet. The Paper of Record - here - reports that Amazon's peak day was December 15th, on which 6.3 million items were ordered; meaning about 73 items were ordered every second. CRAZY, Amazon is awesome.
* In DC news, the DC Public Library System has finally realized that one of the reasons that people don't go to their libraries are because they basically serve as homeless shelters. As of February 1, 2009, patrons will only be allowed to bring 2 bags in with them and rules which ban sleeping will be more strictly enforced. I'm sure Corrupt will be up in arms that a public library would dare to limit the freedoms of anyone in there, but I, for one, am glad. WaPo Metro - here.
* It seems that the group of government administrators responsible for over $6 Billion in cleanup funds for the Chesapeake Bay has been concealing the fact that their efforts have been failing - miserably. So with most of the money gone and 25 years behind us ... what do we have to show - very little. This is beyond troublesome, and like many other EPA projects has proven that the environment is really easy to destroy, but next to impossible to clean up. WaPo - here and here.
* Exciting news for Ben's Chili Bowl Next Door (the new place they are opening next door) - the winner of the Gordon Ramsey shitfest show Hell's Kitchen - Rahman Harper will be joining the team as Executive Chef. Very exciting indeed, and certainly makes the space much more than just an overflow room from the regular restaurant. I look forward to getting a Chili Cheese dog, Chili Cheese fries, and also trying out some of Harper's new creations (and hopefully at a reasonable price). WaPo - here.
* DCist has inauguration bus parking (with a WaPo map); basically if you live downtown, in SW, or somewhere around Union Station - expect to see a lot of buses. Read here.
* GGW thinks we should put a stop on the Red Line for Montgomery College - here. Conveniently the Red Line runs right by the the school and next to a large tract of empty land - sounds good to me, now if only Maryland had some money to pay for this.
* GGW also has a 2009 transit wishlist - which I am all about. Check it out here.
And finally ... What are your NYE plans? I know Patchus will likely forget that he is 21 and instead opt to get drunk in the backwoods of NJ - but maybe he will cowboy up and go into the city. Corrupt, GWSkank, and I will be heading to TOWN ($25 cover; you can buy tickets on Wednesday at the club starting at 2pm).
Anyway ... comment with your plans, I want to know what people are doing