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    'Outrage' Over Verizon's Plan For $2 Payment Fee

    There's been an "uproar on the Web," as The New York Times says this morning, over the plan by Verizon Wireless to charge $2 for some methods of paying your bill.

    Indeed, a simple Twitter search of "Verizon" turns up words such as "backlash," "OUTRAGEOUS," and "Cancel your contract!" And there's the inevitable online petition.

    As Eyder reported Thursday, Verizon plans to start charging the fee if you go online or call the company on the phone to make a one-time payment with a credit or debit card. What Verizon is trying to do is steer customers toward signing up to pay their bills via electronic checks, through automatic payment programs or the old-fashioned way — by dropping a check in the mail.

    Forbes contributor Erika Morphy thinks this will be a "Bank of America moment" for Verizon. That is, it will be faced with so much criticism that it will have to reverse course — as Bank of America did when it tried to charge a $5 monthly fee if its customers used their debit cards to make some purchases.

    Verizon calls it a "convenience fee" that "will help allow us to continue to support these single bill payment options in these channels and is designed to address costs incurred by us for only those customers who choose to make single bill payments in alternate payment channels (online, mobile, telephone)."

    The company's plan comes as some customers are already upset about recent outages in its 4G network.

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    NPR

    Lawsuit Will Decide Who Owns 'Star Trek' Language Klingon

    Paramount Pictures holds the copyright to Klingon, spoken by some characters in "Star Trek." The Language Creation Society is arguing Klingon is a real language, and is therefore not copyrightable.
    NPR

    Germany's Beer Purity Law Is 500 Years Old. Is It Past Its Sell-By Date?

    For centuries, German law has stipulated that beer can only be made from four ingredients. But as Germany embraces craft beer, some believe the law impedes good brewing.
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    The Politics Hour - April 29, 2016

    Kojo reviews Maryland's primary results and what they mean for the region and November's elections. The Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Virginia's former governor. And a major funder of youth programs in the District is bankrupt.

    NPR

    Weighing The Good And The Bad Of Autonomous Killer Robots In Battle

    It sounds like science fiction, but it's a very real and contentious debate that is making its way through the U.N. Advocates of a ban want all military weapons to be under "meaningful human control."

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