Weekend tech reading: Reintroducing special forum titles

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As a few of you have pointed out, the special forum titles have gone unused for far too long. We hear you, and we agree. Starting this weekend, we're "promoting" many longstanding members the ranks of TechSpot Paladin, Chancellor, and Ambassador. Additionally, some of you now have the ability to apply your own custom title – be it "Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe" or otherwise. You can find eligibility details and share your thoughts in this forum thread.

Comcast preps a new round of rate hikes As Comcast looks to gain regulatory approval for their merger with NBC Universal, the company is informing many customers they'll be seeing their second round of cable rate hikes in less than a year. Comcast appears to be raising prices for services across the board, and is telling news outlets from California to Pennsylvania... DSL Reports

Judge slashes downloading penalty In a major setback for the recording industry, a Boston judge yesterday slashed by 90 percent a $675,000 damages award that a Boston University graduate student had been ordered to pay to four record labels for illegally downloading 30 songs and sharing them online. Boston.com

'Artificial blood' for the battlefield? American scientists have developed “artificial blood” that could soon be used to treat soldiers who are wounded during battle. The artificial blood is created by taking cells from umbilical cords and using a machine to imitate the way bone marrow works to produce mass quantities of usable units of red blood cells. RedOrbit

No beta yet, no launch: Windows Phone 7 still months away Microsoft has consistently maintained that Windows Phone 7 will launch in time for the "holiday season" later this year, refusing to provide any more specific information about the new phone platform's release date. A few weeks ago, a company representative accidentally let slip that this meant a launch some time in October. Ars Technica

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